Wisconson - sign of more to come?

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darbikrash's picture
darbikrash
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Not a bad list Dshields. I

Not a bad list Dshields. I can’t say I disagree with anything there, pretty much spot on. A few comments;

# 6 is just ideological rhetoric, adds nothing, means nothing.

# 12. I believe our tax system is supposed to be structured to tax a percentage of income. In short, if you make nothing, you pay nothing. Given this reality, I cannot really reconcile your obvious resentment against “half the population”. Sociologists will tell you that a certain statistical percentage of a given population will always be unproductive. No matter what the policies are or are not. Not really sure what this number is, but it’s really pretty low. The same calculus applies to things like unemployment, most economists consider 4%-6% unemployment to be a fully employed economy, as they know the last 4% will probably never work.  So yes, some may consider this segment of the population to be deadbeats, or as you put it , a “class of dependency” wherein someone else will always have to pay the bills. Unless you bring back gulags and debtors prison, like or not, this is the law of large numbers and some number of people will always fall into this category.

The same social scientists will also tell you (correctly) that policies that encourage and reward freeloaders create disincentives for those that do want to work, in effect discouraging hard work. This cannot be allowed.

There is however a tendency among conservatives to grossly overstate the size of this “class of dependency” for purposes of political gain.

These quibbles aside, I like your list. I might add another entry:

# 17.) Large mutli-national corporations defrauding American taxpayers by avoiding or deferring income tax. This is in the trillions of dollars, and they use the tax system to create specific legislation allowing unique and specific deductions not available to common citizens and S corps. Ninety percent of American citizens that are in the bottom 90% fractile of income do not itemize their federal tax deductions at all, and pay at or very near the nominal 35% tax rate.

Source.

So while we agree on many problems, most of the posts you put forth focus on some reference to the “class of dependency”. One might take this to infer that this is a first priority for you. While I am against anything approaching a welfare state, I take serious disagreement that we should be discussing any cuts for anything at all until the revenue side of the equation is settled, and settled fairly. I am not going to sign up for any so called austerity programs of any kind until multi-nationals that sell into our markets are contributing fairly and on par with what the rest of us contribute.

Dshields, maybe you don’t know this but 80% of all (Federal) taxable revenue in the US is from C corporations, not individuals or even S corps. And these entities are writing their own tax laws and doing a great job of zeroing their adjusted gross income (AGI)- at the expense of the rest of us.

How do we expect to run a country, a society, when 80% of all the revenue earners are looking for (and finding) ways to avoid any and all taxation, and then, unbelievably, in the same breath these same people turn around and act as follows:

a.)    Prosecuting 3 wars (as you point out) Note the first 7 days in Libya cost a reported $600 million. I’d bet that money could be better spent stateside.

b.)    Go on mainstream TV and claim they cannot compete unless the taxes are avoided in their specific cases, leaving the rest of us to make up the  difference.

c.)    Introduce legislation to repatriate over $1.2 Trillion in overseas parked tax free dollars earned as profit in the US market, but deferred from taxation in foreign subsidiaries

d.)    Cry and moan about overspending while unwilling to even consider defense cuts, which make up nearly 52% of the total Federal expenditures of accrued income tax.

You see anything at all wrong with this? Because I cannot for the life of me understand why anybody would defend this kind of behavior. I mean, its just common sense.

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darbikrash
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Update

darbikrash wrote:

Dshields, maybe you don’t know this but 80% of all (Federal) taxable revenue in the US is from C corporations, not individuals or even S corps. And these entities are writing their own tax laws and doing a great job of zeroing their adjusted gross income (AGI)- at the expense of the rest of us.

This paragraph is misleading on my part.

Total taxable revenue in 2007 for both individuals and Corps was $10.6 trillion. Specifically, this is AGI (adjusted gross income)for individuals, and Net Income for corporations, per IRS tax rolls.

It’s difficult to directly compare corporate reported income subject to taxation, and individual AGI.

With respect to taxable income for individuals and S corps, the reported value is $8.7 trillion, which is 82% of the total, the inverse of what is said in the above paragraph. If you use corporate income after cost of goods sold, but before deductions, the reported value is $12.933 trillion of revenue..

The take away is that corporations are receiving massive deductions directly off total revenue that are not available to ordinary taxpayers. In 2007, only 31% of the total Individual tax returns were itemized. Of these, the total itemized deductions for individuals amounted to $1.33 trillion or about 15% of the total. For corporations, the deductions were 93% of receipts.

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dshields
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yes and no

darbikrash wrote:

Not a bad list Dshields. I can’t say I disagree with anything there, pretty much spot on. A few comments;

# 6 is just ideological rhetoric, adds nothing, means nothing.

# 12. I believe our tax system is supposed to be structured to tax a percentage of income. In short, if you make nothing, you pay nothing. Given this reality, I cannot really reconcile your obvious resentment against “half the population”. Sociologists will tell you that a certain statistical percentage of a given population will always be unproductive. No matter what the policies are or are not. Not really sure what this number is, but it’s really pretty low. The same calculus applies to things like unemployment, most economists consider 4%-6% unemployment to be a fully employed economy, as they know the last 4% will probably never work.  So yes, some may consider this segment of the population to be deadbeats, or as you put it , a “class of dependency” wherein someone else will always have to pay the bills. Unless you bring back gulags and debtors prison, like or not, this is the law of large numbers and some number of people will always fall into this category.

The same social scientists will also tell you (correctly) that policies that encourage and reward freeloaders create disincentives for those that do want to work, in effect discouraging hard work. This cannot be allowed.

There is however a tendency among conservatives to grossly overstate the size of this “class of dependency” for purposes of political gain.

These quibbles aside, I like your list. I might add another entry:

# 17.) Large multi-national corporations defrauding American taxpayers by avoiding or deferring income tax. This is in the trillions of dollars, and they use the tax system to create specific legislation allowing unique and specific deductions not available to common citizens and S corps. Ninety percent of American citizens that are in the bottom 90% fractile of income do not itemize their federal tax deductions at all, and pay at or very near the nominal 35% tax rate.

Source.

So while we agree on many problems, most of the posts you put forth focus on some reference to the “class of dependency”. One might take this to infer that this is a first priority for you. While I am against anything approaching a welfare state, I take serious disagreement that we should be discussing any cuts for anything at all until the revenue side of the equation is settled, and settled fairly. I am not going to sign up for any so called austerity programs of any kind until multi-nationals that sell into our markets are contributing fairly and on par with what the rest of us contribute.

Dshields, maybe you don’t know this but 80% of all (Federal) taxable revenue in the US is from C corporations, not individuals or even S corps. And these entities are writing their own tax laws and doing a great job of zeroing their adjusted gross income (AGI)- at the expense of the rest of us.

How do we expect to run a country, a society, when 80% of all the revenue earners are looking for (and finding) ways to avoid any and all taxation, and then, unbelievably, in the same breath these same people turn around and act as follows:

a.)    Prosecuting 3 wars (as you point out) Note the first 7 days in Libya cost a reported $600 million. I’d bet that money could be better spent stateside.

b.)    Go on mainstream TV and claim they cannot compete unless the taxes are avoided in their specific cases, leaving the rest of us to make up the  difference.

c.)    Introduce legislation to repatriate over $1.2 Trillion in overseas parked tax free dollars earned as profit in the US market, but deferred from taxation in foreign subsidiaries

d.)    Cry and moan about overspending while unwilling to even consider defense cuts, which make up nearly 52% of the total Federal expenditures of accrued income tax.

You see anything at all wrong with this? Because I cannot for the life of me understand why anybody would defend this kind of behavior. I mean, its just common sense.

Dude, I am good with a lot of that but not all of it.  It might come as a surprise but I have a different view of the military than most people I know.  I think we need a totally different policy.  We should never go off and attack people of any country for any reason other than a direct attack upon us or something very close to that.  It would have to be an event that the vast majority of Americas would hear about and think - we have to go and really kick some ass.  We should not be sticking our faces in other people civil wars or any of the rest of it.  We stay home.  On the other hand we need a medium (smaller than we have now) sized military with unbelievable fire power.  The rule would be you don't jack with us and we will not jack with you.  You actually do something to us we are going to come to where ever you are and simply lay waste to you and yours.  No mercy.  Then we are going to leave.  No rebuilding, no nothing.  You are on your own and you should not have messed with us.  We would have to do it once or nobody would believe it.  After that nobody would mess with us for a long time.  This would allow us to focus more on what we actually need to do here in America like why do we have starving people in America ?  On one hand, we pay out too much in welfare to people who for sure can work.  After what I saw when I lived in Kansas City, my eyes were opened.  On the other hand, there are people who actually are in desperate shape and need some help.  For the people who really need help I am all for it.  They should get even more than people get now.  Get them going, get them on their feet so they can get a job and move forward.  So, for some shorter period we give these people a pretty big boost.  Giving people just enough to trap them in poverty sucks.  How can that be good.  If the people who should not be on these programs were off, we could cut the budget and still give the people who actually need help the help they actually need.

#17 - Not so sure about your number 17.  Corporations need to want to be based out of America.  If they are based here they should be able to be globally competitive.  If our corporations can not be globally competitive then it is a bad thing.  I have seen a lot of numbers about taxes.  Here are some for you -

http://www.heritage.org/BudgetChartBook/federal-revenue

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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there's a "growth imperative"?
safewrite wrote:

or is it failure because of Peak Oil and the end of growth? Globalization will cause developed nations to lower their standard of living, as surely as dye permeates water via osmosis, but so will being saddled with a fiat currency in the midst of a severe credit contraction cased by the end of cheap energy.

Your choice is a false dichotomy, looking toward the past. What frightens me is the possibility of a global tyrant rising from the ashes of the Crash. If big Government of any stripe will be holding a whip, expect things to get rocky.

It is yours that is the false dichotomy. If you believe removing debt based fiat currency and switching to renewable energy means its back to business as usual, you may want to consider a growth imperative that comes not from money, but from other causality. What might that be?

In the context of dshields post(s) it does matter. In the context of rebuilding from a failure and repeating the same mistakes, with or without oil- it does matter. In the context of allocating resources in a diminished resource environment -it does matter.

I'm glad you said "IF," which I bolded just now. Otherwise I might think you were putting words in my mouth.;-)

I never said removing debt-based fiat currency (which would be nice) and switching to renewable energy (which woul also be nice, but will never replace cheap oil) would mean "back to business as usual." Business as usual, which was based on cheap oil, is in its death throes.

I'm not considering a "growth imperative," to use your phrase. I'm considering the fact that cheap oil is done, and as Dr. Martenson has so eloquently proved alternatives will not fill the energy gap. What I am saying is that cheap oil drove a lot of the growth of many types of complex societies. Growth imperative? We are looking at a planet with seven billion people, a planet that can only sustain perhaps one billion without cheap oil, and you're talking about  a "growth imperative."

Rebuilding from failure should happen, in my opinion, from local communities. Larger systems may be exactly what  will cause us to repeat the same mistakes. Resources should be allocated on a local level since, without cheap energy, local will be much more important. MUCH more important. 

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darbikrash
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Why yes, a growth

Why yes, a growth imperative. One removed from oil, from globalization, from fiat currency.

A growth mandate that does not care what the population is or what the planet will support.

safewrite wrote:

Globalization will cause developed nations to lower their standard of living, as surely as dye permeates water via osmosis, but so will being saddled with a fiat currency in the midst of a severe credit contraction cased by the end of cheap energy.

Although I don’t mean to pick on your post, there maybe some points of interest in discussing it. You use the word “cause” twice in the sentence to describe this. While I certainly do not mean to put words into your mouth, but you have defined causation with respect to our predicament, and one can reasonably assume that if you’re correct, removing said causality would return the system “back to normal”.  If it does not go back to “normal” than the assignment of causation was incorrect or incomplete. Now, in the case of oil, once it’s gone, it’s gone and we can agree that “normal” will be redefined to represent something else, so in this respect, you are right.

It is interesting to consider that in America, during much of the (early) industrial revolution, we had neither of these factors. No oil (cheap or otherwise), no globalization, and our currency was backed by gold. No income tax and no Federal Reserve. Oil was introduced in the mid to late 19th century in the US, with the formation of JD Rockefellers’ Standard Oil Company in 1870. Yet, we still had horrific economic growth related crises, at a national scale. A seemingly never ending series of financial panics that –repeatedly-nearly bankrupted the country. And growth? Lots of growth- whether we wanted it or not, in fact, a growth imperative. Webster’s defines the word imperative as “not to be avoided or evaded”- an apt description. What are these forces? Will they exist when oil does not? Well, from history we know that they did exist, and likely will again. It might be useful to consider this when we start reflecting on a post-oil, post globalization environment.

People think of and prepare for this in many ways, ranging from denial to full blown survivalist mode, and every shade in between. Some follow John Michael Greer’s thesis that this is a 100 year gradual descent, others are sure it’s just around  the corner. Depending on how you land on these particulars determines what you do (if anything) and how you do it.

I take issue with those that suggest, with a certain degree of smugness, that the present does not matter as the future will be calamitous, so we should simply take up gardening and stock up on canned goods and wait for the Mad Max replay. I find no honor for those that capitulate the present to anticipate a speculative future. Prepare yes. Abdicate the present, no.

It doesn’t matter anyway?

This point of view fails to acknowledge that it is critically important to understand what went wrong- so the same mistakes are not repeated. Yes, we all know the currency system is blown up- why did it happen? Are you sure? As an engineer, you know the patterns of the post mortem, the countless times when a convenient failure mode has been identified, corrected, and then, it happens all over again. You know the importance of a thorough, unbiased, top to bottom review challenging all assumptions, because it is in the assumptions that the root cause usually lies. And by failing to challenge, understand, and re-validate these assumptions the stage is set for a repeat performance, another failure. So I would submit that these topics about the present, to the subject of this thread in its recent embodiment,  are quite relevant. Matters assumed to be “settled law” such as the theory of property rights should be fair game and open for discussion. And when a large part of the country seems quite content to blame an entire sector of the population as “at fault” I believe it is prudent to challenge this. Is this belief system going to change if oil goes away, or will it magnify and permeate a new regime of authoritarian rule? (History has an answer for that as well). I believe a thorough and reasoned discussion on not only how we got here, but what factors can we change, and change now which move us towards corrective action is essential, even if it means we will not permanently solve the problem.

Although fashionable on CM.com to take the “high road” and to look down on partisan discussions, and instead to focus on a speculative reasoning of what might occur, and when it might occur, I suggest this is not useful and merely another form of denial. Because these subjects have nearly as much to blame for our predicament as do the headline acts of Peak oil and a corrupt currency system, we have a responsibility to correct these to the best of our abilities, and do so right now.

At times “prepping” is for some people as much as about understanding root cause failure as it is about self sustainability. It is not appropriate to dismiss or ridicule either.

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Oct5
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+1 Darbikrash--Energy

+1 Darbikrash--Energy problems are at their root, political. Had Jimmy Carter not been demonized and dragged through the muck by a media historically compromised by militarists and hegemonic oil interests, energy scarcity wouldn't be an issue today.There's no reason a Manhattan project style r&d programme, started during his presidency wouldn't have been successful at implementing alternatives. Instead we are still trapped in this weird Gnostic dungeon building bombs and bullets to bully countries into supporting U.S petro backed currency. Totally freaking sick. You made a good point about the size of the military budget.  Here's another one--80% of the manufacturing base of the U.S, is military related! It's a social warfare program. Multi generational welfare can be socially crippling, but multi-generational bomb making is crippling literally and economically.

DShields--I agree with you to a point about not getting involved in foreign wars. There are some exceptions, though. The situation that met all criteria for immediate and unqualified heavy duty intervention was Rwanda. 800,000 people were slaughtered with machetes in 100 days. Men, women, babies..many had their heads lopped off. The UN turned it's back on a situation that was purely genocidal, because they were black and they didn't have oil. They didn't produce or buy anything.It's hard to have any respect for the UN and security council when you look into this issue.

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Oct5 wrote: +1

Oct5 wrote:

+1 Darbikrash--Energy problems are at their root, political. Had Jimmy Carter not been demonized and dragged through the muck by a media historically compromised by militarists and hegemonic oil interests, energy scarcity wouldn't be an issue today.There's no reason a Manhattan project style r&d programme, started during his presidency wouldn't have been successful at implementing alternatives. Instead we are still trapped in this weird Gnostic dungeon building bombs and bullets to bully countries into supporting U.S petro backed currency. Totally freaking sick. You made a good point about the size of the military budget.  Here's another one--80% of the manufacturing base of the U.S, is military related! It's a social warfare program. Multi generational welfare can be socially crippling, but multi-generational bomb making is crippling literally and economically.

DShields--I agree with you to a point about not getting involved in foreign wars. There are some exceptions, though. The situation that met all criteria for immediate and unqualified heavy duty intervention was Rwanda. 800,000 people were slaughtered with machetes in 100 days. Men, women, babies..many had their heads lopped off. The UN turned it's back on a situation that was purely genocidal, because they were black and they didn't have oil. They didn't produce or buy anything.It's hard to have any respect for the UN and security council when you look into this issue.

I agree with that.  If there was ever a case for intervention in someone else's civil war it is probably Rwanda.  But I do not want America to interfere with other people's civil wars.  We should not be in Libya's civil war. We should not be in Afghanistan's civil war or any other civil war.  Let them fight it out.  It is good for them.  When they are focused on killing each other then they are not about killing us.

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dshields
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gov unions

I used to rail on about unions in the government - fed, state, and local.  Since then I have come to the view that it does not make any difference.  Public sector revenue is declining.  That will make it self correcting.  So, i do not care if they have a union.  I does not make a real difference so I am going to get off that band wagon.  I used to be big on appealing obamacare.  I used to go on about that.  Now i think it is the same as unions on the government.  Since it can not be paid for it is self repealing.  It would be good if we could repeal it in an organized way but if not, no biggie.  Since it can not be paid for it is self repealing.

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Vanityfox451
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Noam Chomsky on Wisconsin protests ...

Is this interview from a month ago old news??? Somehow I doubt it ...

"The reason why you can’t get Democratic leaders to join is because they agree. They are also trying to destroy the unions. In fact, if you take a look at—take, say, the lame-duck session. The great achievement in the lame-duck session for which Obama is greatly praised by Democratic Party leaders is that they achieved bipartisan agreement on several measures. The most important one was the tax cut. And the issue in the tax cut—there was only one issue—should there be a tax cut for the very rich? The population was overwhelmingly against it, I think about two to one. There wasn’t even a discussion of it, they just gave it away. And the very same time, the less noticed was that Obama declared a tax increase for federal workers. Now, it wasn’t called a "tax increase"; it’s called a "freeze." But if you think for 30 seconds, a freeze on pay for a federal workers is fiscally identical to a tax increase for federal workers. And when you extend it for five years, as he said later, that means a decrease, because of population growth, inflation and so on. So he basically declared an increase in taxes for federal workers at the same time that there’s a tax decrease for the very rich." ~ Noam Chomski

Transcript of the interview

~ VF ~

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Poet
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Good Idea

dshields wrote:

I used to rail on about unions in the government - fed, state, and local.  Since then I have come to the view that it does not make any difference.  Public sector revenue is declining.  That will make it self correcting.  So, i do not care if they have a union.  I does not make a real difference so I am going to get off that band wagon.  I used to be big on appealing obamacare.  I used to go on about that.  Now i think it is the same as unions on the government.  Since it can not be paid for it is self repealing.  It would be good if we could repeal it in an organized way but if not, no biggie.  Since it can not be paid for it is self repealing.

Good idea. Let's save our railing for other, more pressing concerns that we have influence over. (Although I'm just as guilty of going on about stuff that I really have no control over, too.)

Poet

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