Author Topic: The 2020 Election Thread  (Read 18308 times)

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Offline PowerSlave

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #735 on: November 02, 2019, 02:42:10 PM »
I think that Warren is going to end getting the nod. People are going to end up losing confidence in Joe before the end.

A Trump/Warren debate will be very entertaining.
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #736 on: November 02, 2019, 03:29:35 PM »
I think that Warren is going to end getting the nod. People are going to end up losing confidence in Joe before the end.

A Trump/Warren debate will be very entertaining.

Possibly, though he'll just hammer the Pocahantas thing to death, fucking one trick bullying.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #737 on: November 02, 2019, 04:46:29 PM »
C'mon guys, the plan isn't to run a campaign against Trump. Remember, they've said the only way to beat him is through Impeachment.
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #738 on: November 02, 2019, 05:01:03 PM »
I think that Warren is going to end getting the nod. People are going to end up losing confidence in Joe before the end.

A Trump/Warren debate will be very entertaining.

Possibly, though he'll just hammer the Pocahantas thing to death, fucking one trick bullying.

Nah. Just need to hammer the fact she’s a socialist. That’d do the trick.
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #739 on: November 02, 2019, 05:10:04 PM »
Socialist wannabe Native American?
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #740 on: November 02, 2019, 08:46:25 PM »
Socialist wannabe Native American?

 :lol
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #741 on: November 03, 2019, 08:26:25 PM »
I don't at all expect anyone to agree (and I'm certain there will even be a little pushback; so be it, I've heard it before) but for me it will be fascinating if Warren actually gets the nod, because it will make this far more complicated than it could have been and will possibly serve to reinforce the divisiveness and vitriol of our current political climate.  It might also get us four more years of Trump.

What will the market do if Warren gets the nod?  Some of her plans ("man plans, god laughs") have the potential to be crippling to big business in this country, and that's really what the stock market is a measure of (future earnings of the listed companies).   Trump's main claim to fame has been the economy; what if her earning the nomination influences a correction that takes away his one talking point? 

Assuming that happens, can he deflect enough of the blame away from himself and create enough fear about the next four years?  I don't think it will take much, frankly.  Nancy can see it, but it's almost like rubber-necking, or that piece of cheesecake after a steak dinner; you know better not but you just can't help yourself.   Warren, Biden, and Sanders have been in the echo chamber for so long, beating the same drum... I think some of these bells are going to be very hard to unring.  You don't walk back from a $20.5 TRILLION plan that is vague on the tax implications for everyone except billionaires who are likely going to be taxed out of existence. 

(Yes, I'm nominally for single-payer, but the devil is in the details; her system isn't about healthcare, per se, it's about wealth reallocation and in my opinion would actually serve to entrench the classes even more than they already are.)
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 08:00:01 AM by Stadler »

Offline PowerSlave

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #742 on: November 04, 2019, 06:42:04 PM »
I don't at all expect anyone to agree (and I'm certain there will even be a little pushback; so be it, I've heard it before) but for me it will be fascinating if Warren actually gets the nod, because it will make this far more complicated than it could have been and will possibly serve to reinforce the divisiveness and vitriol of our current political climate.  It might also get us four more years of Trump.

What will the market do if Warren gets the nod?  Some of her plans ("man plans, god laughs") have the potential to be crippling to big business in this country, and that's really what the stock market is a measure of (future earnings of the listed companies).   Trump's main claim to fame has been the economy; what if her earning the nomination influences a correction that takes away his one talking point? 

Assuming that happens, can he deflect enough of the blame away from himself and create enough fear about the next four years?  I don't think it will take much, frankly.  Nancy can see it, but it's almost like rubber-necking, or that piece of cheesecake after a steak dinner; you know better but you just can't help yourself.   Warren, Biden, and Sanders have been in the echo chamber for so long, beating the same drum... I think some of these bells are going to be very hard to unring.  You don't walk back from a $20.5 TRILLION plan that is vague on the tax implications for everyone except billionaires who are likely going to be taxed out of existence. 

(Yes, I'm nominally for single-payer, but the devil is in the details; her system isn't about healthcare, per se, it's about wealth reallocation and in my opinion would actually serve to entrench the classes even more than they already are.)

I think that what you're talking about and my suggestion that she's going to get the nomination are a little bit different. My thinking is that she's going to excite the left base more than Biden and Bernie. Biden because he seems to be completely out of touch, and Bernie because of mounting health concerns. Biden is 76 and Bernie is 78, so I think a little bit of "ageism" might also come into play even though she's not a lot younger than them. You're talking about the results of her becoming the nominee, and while I don't completely disagree with some of the views that you put forward, these are two separate (yet related) topics.

Now, to go off-topic a little bit, I'll address some of your statements. These are only my personal opinion, but I think that I can back those opinions up.

"Trump's main claim to fame has been the economy; what if her earning the nomination influences a correction that takes away his one talking point?"

We are on the verge of entering a recession as we speak. The manufacturing sector has had 5 consecutive months of feeble growth, the farmers are taking a major hit due to the trade war with China and another bank bailout happened about a month ago that slid under the radar because everyone is distracted by the impeachment hearings. Peter Schiff (the economist that famously predicted the '08 recession) is sounding the alarm bells again, and (I paraphrase) is saying that this one could be worse.

Trump isn't going to be able to tout the economy if the recession hits before the election, and if it happens afterwards and he manages to get re-elected, he'll spend his second term residing over a shit show.

"Yes, I'm nominally for single-payer, but the devil is in the details; her system isn't about healthcare, per se, it's about wealth reallocation and in my opinion would actually serve to entrench the classes even more than they already are."

Wealth reallocation began with the 1980 election. Do I really expect any Democrat to honestly reverse the trend anytime soon? Not really, but the thought does put a smile on my face. I realize that that statement isn't going to endear me to many of our fellow posters, but I can't help to be honest about my feelings, and the numbers give power to my thoughts on the subject.
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Offline eric42434224

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #743 on: November 04, 2019, 08:03:00 PM »

"Trump's main claim to fame has been the economy; what if her earning the nomination influences a correction that takes away his one talking point?"

We are on the verge of entering a recession as we speak. The manufacturing sector has had 5 consecutive months of feeble growth, the farmers are taking a major hit due to the trade war with China and another bank bailout happened about a month ago that slid under the radar because everyone is distracted by the impeachment hearings. Peter Schiff (the economist that famously predicted the '08 recession) is sounding the alarm bells again, and (I paraphrase) is saying that this one could be worse.

Trump isn't going to be able to tout the economy if the recession hits before the election, and if it happens afterwards and he manages to get re-elected, he'll spend his second term residing over a shit show.


Add lower GDP (was it 1.9%?), the budget deficit, the ballooning debt, and lowering interest rates.....not exactly a rosy picture of a booming economy.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 08:19:02 PM by eric42434224 »
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #744 on: November 05, 2019, 08:31:56 AM »
I think that what you're talking about and my suggestion that she's going to get the nomination are a little bit different. My thinking is that she's going to excite the left base more than Biden and Bernie. Biden because he seems to be completely out of touch, and Bernie because of mounting health concerns. Biden is 76 and Bernie is 78, so I think a little bit of "ageism" might also come into play even though she's not a lot younger than them. You're talking about the results of her becoming the nominee, and while I don't completely disagree with some of the views that you put forward, these are two separate (yet related) topics.

But "exciting the base" is meaningless to me.  I certainly understand that concept of motivating people to vote, but look at it from the opposite perspective; other than giving fantastic opportunities to devolve our discourse with memes and snark and shallow analysis, does anyone care about Trump igniting the base?   It's the people that don't vote party line that matter.   And for the people that don't vote party line BOTH SIDES are tone deaf at this point.  Trump is doubling down on the specific issues that seemed to make those 6- to 9-million Obama voters hold their nose when they voted for Trump, and the Democrat party is doubling down on the specific issues that seemed to make those Obama voters even have to hold their nose to begin with.

I don't know if it's smarts, blind intuition, or dumb luck, but I think there's a subset of voters that realize that the welfare programs and entitlements sound great but aren't going to deliver on the end game.  As such, this election isn't going to boil down to "Medicare for all" or "Improve the ACA!"  It's going to boil down to "did the Democrat party, who had eight years of overpromising and underdelivering for moderate Americans, move far enough to the left that the ad hominem bullshit of Trump still doesn't matter"?   It's like those scales at the doctors office that you slide the weight on; Trump increased the stupid corrupt childish bullshit, but the Democrats increased the over-emphasis on identity politics and entitlement program bullshit.  Who moved more?

Quote
Now, to go off-topic a little bit, I'll address some of your statements. These are only my personal opinion, but I think that I can back those opinions up.

"Trump's main claim to fame has been the economy; what if her earning the nomination influences a correction that takes away his one talking point?"

We are on the verge of entering a recession as we speak. The manufacturing sector has had 5 consecutive months of feeble growth, the farmers are taking a major hit due to the trade war with China and another bank bailout happened about a month ago that slid under the radar because everyone is distracted by the impeachment hearings. Peter Schiff (the economist that famously predicted the '08 recession) is sounding the alarm bells again, and (I paraphrase) is saying that this one could be worse.

I don't flat out disagree on the recession thing, but I will note that the bells have been sounded since, if not literally Wednesday November 9th, then close enough to not have to flip too many calendar pages.   At some point, just like a stopped clock is right twice a day, you're going to hit.  It's like when you were a kid sitting at a stop light and waiting for it to turn and going "and... now!... and... NOW!... and ... NOW!". 

Quote
Trump isn't going to be able to tout the economy if the recession hits before the election, and if it happens afterwards and he manages to get re-elected, he'll spend his second term residing over a shit show.

Well, not so fast.   The economy is a fickle friend.  Generally speaking, Presidents don't have as much to do - good or bad - with the economy as people think.  We've had boom economies under both Democrat and Republican presidents, and we've had recessions under both.   But what does happen is that you get corrections in (relatively) real time for new information.    It's not a mistake or a coincidence that you saw futures changing in almost real time when the voting on November 8th started to solidify (you can go back and listen to Britt Hume, who said exactly this at that point).  There are a plethora of recent articles about Wall Street - pundits and participants - indicating that there would be repurcussions of a Warren Presidency, just by her presence in the office (but based on her stated goals of significantly ramping up regulations and taxes, and making "Big Corporations" the funding source for a significant part of her "plans").  One might be able to indirectly tie it back to Trump, but if we find ourselves in April or May of 2020, and Warren is solidly in the lead, and the impeachment hearing goes as (Schiff's fever dreams) planned, you might see a recession as corporations steel themselves for a radical shift in the balance sheet.  Is that Trump's fault?   I have long maintained - having lived through part of it - that this was a factor in the depth and severity of the recession in 2007.  Corporations just CANNOT survive the influx of $20 TRILLION in cost without some readjustment to their projected earnings.  It's just basic math.  And the smart corporations will plan for that; you will see many "keeping their powder dry", by reducing hirings, cutting benefits, and contracting growth in order to offset the massively increased costs of expanding healthcare programs, radically increased environmental programs, implementation of (unilateral, at least as compared with China) climate change requirements, etc. etc.  This, coupled with the DIRECT impact their projected earnings, will look an awful lot like a recession.  If you get the mass market reaction like we did in 2007-2008, you will actually HAVE a recession.

Quote
"Yes, I'm nominally for single-payer, but the devil is in the details; her system isn't about healthcare, per se, it's about wealth reallocation and in my opinion would actually serve to entrench the classes even more than they already are."

Wealth reallocation began with the 1980 election. Do I really expect any Democrat to honestly reverse the trend anytime soon? Not really, but the thought does put a smile on my face. I realize that that statement isn't going to endear me to many of our fellow posters, but I can't help to be honest about my feelings, and the numbers give power to my thoughts on the subject.

I understand what you're saying, but that is fundamentally NOT ACCURATE.  It doesn't work in reverse, because it is not a zero sum game. Pick a devil, any devil:   Jeff Bezos.   His wealth is not dollar-for-dollar taken out of the pockets of ANY Americans.  You can buy the same stock he does, and you can make the same (proportionally) gains he has.   The money that Americans spend on Amazon is replaced by what is (at the time) and equally valued (to that person) asset, otherwise the transaction would not occur.  In this context the "income gap" is a fallacy, and is simply another way that the sides are pitted against each other.  It's a construct to build support for other programs that need a bad guy for funding.   It's also one of the reasons I think Warren betrayed her hand; she claims to be a "capitalist" and out to help "everyone fairly"; then why does she want to tax the ONE MECHANISM that could be used to equal the playing field?  Taxing stock transactions is ridiculous in that context.   

It's not a definition, but a characteristic, but one way of thinking about this is that for a capitalist, taxes are a means of influencing behavior, whereas to a... let's say "non-capitalist", taxes are a way of reallocating wealth.  The stock market has risk, no doubt, but as a whole, it's one of the greatest wealth generators the (modern) world has ever known.  If you want to lift up all boats with that rising tide, why would you disincent people from getting in the water to begin with?  I'm not sure how you'd do it - you have to do it in a way that doesn't erode the very value you're looking to capitalize on - but rather than absolve student debt (another disingenuous attack on the system she purports to support) I would love to devise a way to help people get involved in the wealth generator. 
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 08:40:30 AM by Stadler »

Offline XeRocks81

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #745 on: November 05, 2019, 09:00:23 AM »
Income inequality is not some fallacy or made up thing.   Yeah it maybe doesn't have to be a good buy bad guy situation but it doesn't change the fact that's it's a real thing.

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #746 on: November 05, 2019, 09:42:03 AM »
Income inequality is not some fallacy or made up thing.   Yeah it maybe doesn't have to be a good buy bad guy situation but it doesn't change the fact that's it's a real thing.

It's real in the sense that it exists, but it doesn't mean what several of our candidates want/need you to think it is.  It's being made out to be something it's not - a "bad guy" as you put it, with sides, and a hero and a villain.  Bernie talks about "billionaires" like they are pedophiles.  Why is the path always to PUNISH, to promise vengeance of a sort, rather than incent and induce others to share in the source of that success?

I don't deny the substance of (many of) the arguments, but the most prevalent ones are really sociological in nature, and yet they all have a singular, financial, solution.   Increase in relative educational debt between the 1% and those in poverty?  Tax the rich.   The social impact of residential segregation?   Tax the rich.   The debilitating effects of the toxicity of environmental stress?  Tax the rich.    And we haven't even touched the subject of the difference between "income" and "wealth" (they are not the same) but even that is glossed over by "tax the rich".  We don't want to deal with the harsh realities of human nature?  Tax the rich! 

We've even recast this envy into more universal terms; it's been recast as "fairness".  What's "fairness"?   Clearly it is only in terms of dollars and cents, but that doesn't adequately address the larger issue.  If you can't or won't move for your job, it's an inherently unequal situation when compared to those that can or will.  When I was an employee of a large multinational, relatively speaking I didn't move a lot, and I certainly didn't log any time as an expat, but even then, I moved ten times in 15 years.  To the extent I made more than someone else in my community or in my company, doesn't that factor in?   On some level, isn't that transfer of knowledge, experience and tenure a benefit?  Doesn't the principle of "fairness" factor into that?  It's an anecdotal point, but it goes to the argument that putting all our eggs into the basket of "tax the rich" is inadequate to solve the problems we're facing.   Artificially freezing (or narrowing) the income gap doesn't solve the problems that income gap supposedly is causing (and thus is an argument that it's NOT the income gap after all). 

Offline PowerSlave

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #747 on: November 05, 2019, 08:19:50 PM »
It's not a definition, but a characteristic, but one way of thinking about this is that for a capitalist, taxes are a means of influencing behavior, whereas to a... let's say "non-capitalist", taxes are a way of reallocating wealth.

There was a time in one of these threads that I declined to debate my views because I knew that we were so fundamentally separate on some of those core views. This is one of those things that I chose to withdraw myself over. While we are both in the Libertarian mindset, and agree on most things that are core staples to that choice of belief, I've never been able to accept that part of mainstream libertarian thought. I could go into a long drawn-out post about why I think that taxes are a positive, and essential part of a thriving community/culture/society, but I've no doubt that you've heard the argument made several times before.

I'd be wasting both of our time if I went down that road. Instead, I'll simply say that I disagree and that maybe someone else could voice the case of opposition more eloquently than I'm able to.
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #748 on: November 06, 2019, 07:01:08 AM »
It's not a definition, but a characteristic, but one way of thinking about this is that for a capitalist, taxes are a means of influencing behavior, whereas to a... let's say "non-capitalist", taxes are a way of reallocating wealth.

There was a time in one of these threads that I declined to debate my views because I knew that we were so fundamentally separate on some of those core views. This is one of those things that I chose to withdraw myself over. While we are both in the Libertarian mindset, and agree on most things that are core staples to that choice of belief, I've never been able to accept that part of mainstream libertarian thought. I could go into a long drawn-out post about why I think that taxes are a positive, and essential part of a thriving community/culture/society, but I've no doubt that you've heard the argument made several times before.

I'd be wasting both of our time if I went down that road. Instead, I'll simply say that I disagree and that maybe someone else could voice the case of opposition more eloquently than I'm able to.

Look, if you're gone you're gone, but I have questions.  So many questions.  :)

But seriously, before you go, what part do you have a problem with?   It CAN be both ways.  I'm not actually suggesting that we should have NO taxes; I do believe - to a degree - that taxes are a positive and essential part of a thriving community/culture/society.   I just think that SOME of the ideology around "taxes" in today's political climate have gone WAY beyond that.  There's no room in a "thriving community/culture/society", especially one that purports to be a democratic one, where we're effectively PUNISHING - and exacting revenge from - a certain sector of that society via taxation.

Offline FreezingPoint

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #749 on: November 06, 2019, 10:29:50 AM »
Look, if you're gone you're gone, but I have questions.  So many questions.  :)

But seriously, before you go, what part do you have a problem with?   It CAN be both ways.  I'm not actually suggesting that we should have NO taxes; I do believe - to a degree - that taxes are a positive and essential part of a thriving community/culture/society.   I just think that SOME of the ideology around "taxes" in today's political climate have gone WAY beyond that. There's no room in a "thriving community/culture/society", especially one that purports to be a democratic one, where we're effectively PUNISHING - and exacting revenge from - a certain sector of that society via taxation.

Just jumping in here out of nowhere, but I agree with you here. And perhaps this is just my perspective, but the scope seems to have broadened. Not only is it the "haves" vs. the "have-nots" (in terms of raw wealth) but also those who "deserve" and those who do not.
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Offline PowerSlave

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #750 on: November 06, 2019, 06:13:25 PM »

I have questions.  So many questions.  :)


Fire away, but only with the knowledge that my answers might frustrate you to no end...
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #751 on: November 06, 2019, 06:47:11 PM »

I have questions.  So many questions.  :)


Fire away, but only with the knowledge that my answers might frustrate you to no end...

No, I don't think they will.  I respect your right to have a different viewpoint as long as the discussion is civil and so far it's been perfectly so.  I'm interested in digging into different perspectives, at least when they're not just about how the other guy (i.e. me) is either stupid or a Russian operative.  ;).

Offline PowerSlave

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #752 on: November 07, 2019, 09:36:00 PM »

I have questions.  So many questions.  :)


Fire away, but only with the knowledge that my answers might frustrate you to no end...

No, I don't think they will.  I respect your right to have a different viewpoint as long as the discussion is civil and so far it's been perfectly so.  I'm interested in digging into different perspectives, at least when they're not just about how the other guy (i.e. me) is either stupid or a Russian operative.  ;).

I'll keep it respectful. I'm on my meds, so all is good  :biggrin:

Please pose your questions.
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #753 on: November 08, 2019, 06:43:46 AM »
Well, we can start with the one I already wrote: 

Exactly what part do you have a problem with?  When you are inserting various general ideologies, there's always going to be some compromise, some rounding of the edges.   So it CAN be both ways.  I'm not actually suggesting that we should have NO taxes; I do believe - to a degree - that taxes are a positive and essential part of a thriving community/culture/society.   I just think that SOME of the ideology around "taxes" in today's political climate have gone WAY beyond that.  There's no room in a "thriving community/culture/society", especially one that purports to be a democratic one, where we're effectively PUNISHING - and exacting revenge from - a certain sector of that society via taxation.   The very base concept of a libertarian point of view is a minimal amount of state intervention, and a maximum amount of voluntary association.  Driving a unified group behavior through punishment and vengeance runs fairly counter to that notion.  I concede and accept some form of that - a heady dose of "tragedy of the commons" and human nature says we can't really leave taxation participation "voluntary" - is necessary, but we've gone WAY beyond that at this point.   (And if you're an adherent of the Laffer Curve, you'd argue that we're doing so to the DETRIMENT of the state, not the benefit, so you've LOST the compromise.)


Offline PowerSlave

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #754 on: November 09, 2019, 11:15:16 PM »
Well, we can start with the one I already wrote: 

Exactly what part do you have a problem with?  When you are inserting various general ideologies, there's always going to be some compromise, some rounding of the edges.   So it CAN be both ways.  I'm not actually suggesting that we should have NO taxes; I do believe - to a degree - that taxes are a positive and essential part of a thriving community/culture/society.   I just think that SOME of the ideology around "taxes" in today's political climate have gone WAY beyond that.  There's no room in a "thriving community/culture/society", especially one that purports to be a democratic one, where we're effectively PUNISHING - and exacting revenge from - a certain sector of that society via taxation.   The very base concept of a libertarian point of view is a minimal amount of state intervention, and a maximum amount of voluntary association.  Driving a unified group behavior through punishment and vengeance runs fairly counter to that notion.  I concede and accept some form of that - a heady dose of "tragedy of the commons" and human nature says we can't really leave taxation participation "voluntary" - is necessary, but we've gone WAY beyond that at this point.   (And if you're an adherent of the Laffer Curve, you'd argue that we're doing so to the DETRIMENT of the state, not the benefit, so you've LOST the compromise.)


To simplify things, I'll try to give a basic version of taxes that I would consider to be fair.

An effective tax rate of %20 percent for everyone above poverty level in the United States. This includes all corporations. No more corporate welfare.

However, I would be willing to lower corporate tax rates vs. their willingness to pay a certain percentage of their profits to their workforce in form of base wages and benefits. In other words, if a company makes enough money to provide a living wage and basic healthcare to their workforce, and chooses not to then I have the IRS bend them over, spread their buttcheeks and let the fun begin (ahem...WalMart). However, if they choose to cover their employees needs then I cut the taxes on the rest of their profits to the point that everyone wins.

Now, you could say that I'm agreeing with the point that you made in the beginning. But I'm really not when you consider how much more money they'd bring in if their (and other companies) workforce had disposable income. That's not trying to punish behaviour. That's trying to build a healthy economy.

And speaking of Jeff Bazos, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9m7d07k22A

I work in the warehouse industry, and everything that I see in that video is spot on. Fortunately for me, the company that I work for is more lenient than Amazon. However, working in a extremely hot warehouse during the summer months is extremely difficult. Everything in that video is true. Sorry to go off topic, but you brought him up and I couldn't resist.
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #755 on: November 09, 2019, 11:59:53 PM »
In other words, if a company makes enough money to provide a living wage and basic healthcare to their workforce...

Genuinely curious... how would you define those factors?
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #756 on: November 10, 2019, 09:14:16 AM »
Well, we can start with the one I already wrote: 

Exactly what part do you have a problem with?  When you are inserting various general ideologies, there's always going to be some compromise, some rounding of the edges.   So it CAN be both ways.  I'm not actually suggesting that we should have NO taxes; I do believe - to a degree - that taxes are a positive and essential part of a thriving community/culture/society.   I just think that SOME of the ideology around "taxes" in today's political climate have gone WAY beyond that.  There's no room in a "thriving community/culture/society", especially one that purports to be a democratic one, where we're effectively PUNISHING - and exacting revenge from - a certain sector of that society via taxation.   The very base concept of a libertarian point of view is a minimal amount of state intervention, and a maximum amount of voluntary association.  Driving a unified group behavior through punishment and vengeance runs fairly counter to that notion.  I concede and accept some form of that - a heady dose of "tragedy of the commons" and human nature says we can't really leave taxation participation "voluntary" - is necessary, but we've gone WAY beyond that at this point.   (And if you're an adherent of the Laffer Curve, you'd argue that we're doing so to the DETRIMENT of the state, not the benefit, so you've LOST the compromise.)


To simplify things, I'll try to give a basic version of taxes that I would consider to be fair.

An effective tax rate of %20 percent for everyone above poverty level in the United States. This includes all corporations. No more corporate welfare.

However, I would be willing to lower corporate tax rates vs. their willingness to pay a certain percentage of their profits to their workforce in form of base wages and benefits. In other words, if a company makes enough money to provide a living wage and basic healthcare to their workforce, and chooses not to then I have the IRS bend them over, spread their buttcheeks and let the fun begin (ahem...WalMart). However, if they choose to cover their employees needs then I cut the taxes on the rest of their profits to the point that everyone wins.

Now, you could say that I'm agreeing with the point that you made in the beginning. But I'm really not when you consider how much more money they'd bring in if their (and other companies) workforce had disposable income. That's not trying to punish behaviour. That's trying to build a healthy economy.

And speaking of Jeff Bazos, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9m7d07k22A

I work in the warehouse industry, and everything that I see in that video is spot on. Fortunately for me, the company that I work for is more lenient than Amazon. However, working in a extremely hot warehouse during the summer months is extremely difficult. Everything in that video is true. Sorry to go off topic, but you brought him up and I couldn't resist.

So let me ask you this; if the company then doesn't make their numbers, if that big product rollout becomes a bust, or - like is happening with GE right now - the good faith estimation of where the market is going is wrong, do the employees give back?   Do they share in the pain as well?

Almost every one of these "plans" that basically revolve around "corporate greed" (in quotes because I don't agree with that nomenclature, but it's the popular phrasing) totally ignores the concept of RISK.  For every "iPhone", there's a "Betamax".  For every "Alexa" there's a "Google Glass".  For every "Monster Energy Drink" there's a "Crystal Pepsi".  What happens then?   Tough toenails, as Frank Burns would say?

People conveniently rag on the healthcare insurers, lumping them in with the pharmaceuticals and other medical industries, but their "profits" are in no way, shape or form "obscene".  Then you start to do the math... current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.   Estimates for a "fair" "living" wage (in quotes because it's specious to use "fair" in this context, in my opinion) fall around $15 to $20 per hour (that's a proposal the House voted on earlier this year).  A company like Cigna made $2.6 billion in profit in 2018.  Obscene, right? Well, their profit margin averages around 5%.   They have about 46,000 employees; that $2.6 billion works out to about $27 per hour per employee.  Not everyone needs the jump to a living wage, but still, that would be $6.75 per hour.  Warren's healthcare plan?   She forecasts $8.8 trillion to be absorbed by corporations over a decade; at 155 million workers in the U.S. that's about $3 dollars an hour PER EMPLOYEE per year.  Now we're at $10 per hour.  Their profits have now been cut almost in half, but their RISK remains exactly the same; in fact, there's an argument that their risk is GREATER, since they are paying out more for essentially the same return they are getting now. 

Do this same math with a company like GE, whose profit margins are much thinner (depending on the accounting, they lost money in 2018), and with far more employees (238,000 as of 2018, about 100,000 of whom are U.S. employees).   How long do we ask a company to keep employing people at a net loss, and THEN start layering on "fair" tax increases, "fair" healthcare costs, "fair" living wages? Do you REALLY think that throwing 238,000 people out on the street is "a healthy economy"?   

Walmart; net income for 2018:  9.862 billion.   OBSCENE, amirite?   But, they have 1,500,000 million employees in the U.S.   That's $3 PER HOUR PER EMPLOYEE.   We just said that Warren alone is going to demand $3 per hour per employee for her tax plan.  Where does the money come from?   

(The "obscene" CEO salaries, cued in 3...2...  Doug McMillon made $24 million last year.  His base salary was $1.3 million, so that doesn't even give a dollar to each employee for the YEAR, let alone for the hour.   Using total comp, that's $16 PER YEAR for each employee, or about 0.7 cents per hour.  Doesn't make up the difference.)

I get the sentiment, PowerSlave, I really do, but when you start to dig into the numbers, it just doesn't add up.   Simple wealth reallocation doesn't work beyond the one or two egregious examples.   

Offline Harmony

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #757 on: November 10, 2019, 10:55:39 AM »
Walmart; net income for 2018:  9.862 billion.   OBSCENE, amirite?   But, they have 1,500,000 million employees in the U.S.   That's $3 PER HOUR PER EMPLOYEE.   We just said that Warren alone is going to demand $3 per hour per employee for her tax plan.  Where does the money come from?   

How many of those 1.5M employees are part time workers?  I'll save you the suspense, about half.  About a year ago, Walmart decided to cut the hours of most full time employees as a means to save them having to pay benefits to them.  Walmart employees are among the largest group of working employees who also need food stamps in order to feed their families.  So - we - the taxpayers - are already subsidizing these 1.5 million workers with the healthcare benefits and welfare benefits that their employer does not provide them.  Seems to me part of where that money comes from is putting an end to practices such as these. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-walmart-workers/half-of-walmarts-workforce-are-part-time-workers-labor-group-idUSKCN1IQ295

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #758 on: November 10, 2019, 11:32:25 AM »
Seems to me part of where that money comes from is putting an end to practices such as these. 

Practices such as having part-time employees?
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #759 on: November 10, 2019, 11:37:48 AM »
Seems to me part of where that money comes from is putting an end to practices such as these. 

Practices such as having part-time employees?

Cute.  No.  But then you already know what I mean because I have faith in your intelligence.

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #760 on: November 10, 2019, 11:42:38 AM »
I know what you meant and was being silly, but I was hoping you would expand on your thoughts. Should a company be required by law to employee all employees as full-time?
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #761 on: November 10, 2019, 11:48:29 AM »
Well, if you'd like me to expand on my thoughts, I'd prefer not to be treated like what I'm posting is imbecilic.  I never said no part time employees.  This topic isn't silly to me.

Did you read the link I posted?  It explains what Walmart did to many of their previous full time employees and why.  Yeah, we'll take the tax breaks we got, throw a few more pennies at our employees in the form of wages but reduce their hours so now they can't keep their health insurance.

Have you ever thought about how much it costs taxpayers to subsidize the healthcare and welfare benefits of people who often work 2 or 3 part time jobs in order to pay rent?

We can - and I'm sure will - quibble with the subject of universal healthcare and how to pay for it.  My POV is that we already are paying for it.

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #762 on: November 10, 2019, 11:52:04 AM »
Again I am sorry I didn't intend to cause harm. I understand Wal-Mart's actions and motivations, but I didn't know if you were singling them out specifically, or addressing the American workforce as a whole.
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #763 on: November 10, 2019, 02:38:41 PM »
Walmart; net income for 2018:  9.862 billion.   OBSCENE, amirite?   But, they have 1,500,000 million employees in the U.S.   That's $3 PER HOUR PER EMPLOYEE.   We just said that Warren alone is going to demand $3 per hour per employee for her tax plan.  Where does the money come from?   

How many of those 1.5M employees are part time workers?  I'll save you the suspense, about half.  About a year ago, Walmart decided to cut the hours of most full time employees as a means to save them having to pay benefits to them.  Walmart employees are among the largest group of working employees who also need food stamps in order to feed their families.  So - we - the taxpayers - are already subsidizing these 1.5 million workers with the healthcare benefits and welfare benefits that their employer does not provide them.  Seems to me part of where that money comes from is putting an end to practices such as these. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-walmart-workers/half-of-walmarts-workforce-are-part-time-workers-labor-group-idUSKCN1IQ295

That’s fine.  I don’t dispute your facts.  Doesn’t materially change the math, though.  We’re still in a situation where what seems like “obscene” profits are really a matter of scale.  In the case of the part-time workers, it adds cost to Walmart, since the benefits they aren't paying would add anywhere from $1.50 to $2.75 on average to the hourly rate.   And we haven’t even talked about tariffs yet and their impact on corporate financials.   Or the non-healthcare impacts from taxes (climate change for one; the Wall Street transaction taxes for another).   

By the way, you should know that I’m very much in favor of severing the nexus between healthcare and employers.   There’s no reason we should be relying on Walmart for our healthcare.   Doing that goes a long way to removing the Walmart piece of the part-time problem.   
« Last Edit: November 10, 2019, 06:23:46 PM by Stadler »

Offline PowerSlave

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #764 on: November 10, 2019, 11:24:24 PM »
It appears that I've started some heated feelings about some of this stuff. Absolutely not my intention. I respect you all, and hope that we all achieve peace.

To answer a couple of things, I'm primarily speaking about profit sharing by companies. Sometimes these things are handled through quarterly/annual bonuses, sometimes they're handled through awarding shares to their employees and finally sometimes they're paid through 401k contributions by the employer.

As to how my scheme would be calculated, there is most likely a mathematical equation that could be put in place by an economist. I was an engineering major in college, so if you want some blueprints drafted, or a CAD design made I'm your man. Otherwise, I can only scratch the surface of an idea, and I should probably keep my mouth shut about it from here on out.
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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #765 on: November 11, 2019, 09:46:58 AM »
It appears that I've started some heated feelings about some of this stuff. Absolutely not my intention. I respect you all, and hope that we all achieve peace.

Nah, you're fine.

Apologies to Chris.  My family tells me I've been a bit cranky lately and they would know.  It's not an excuse (though it sounds like it) but I've got a rotator cuff impingement issue and it's very painful at the moment.  I'm not much of a pill taker so that limits my options - I am taking Ibuprofen like it's candy - to mostly ice and heat.  Anyway, I was in a mood and it left me without my sense of humor.  I'm working on it.

Stadler, glad to hear you and I agree about severing the ties between employment and healthcare.  I mostly expect those on the right to turn this into a boogey-man scare-tactic so it's refreshing to hear.  I'd love to retire and have the ability to do so financially with the exception of the on-going need to provide health insurance for my family.  It is infuriating that this one thing keeps retirement something I can only dream about.  I imagine I'm not the only one in this boat.

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #766 on: November 11, 2019, 04:12:35 PM »
It appears that I've started some heated feelings about some of this stuff. Absolutely not my intention. I respect you all, and hope that we all achieve peace.

To answer a couple of things, I'm primarily speaking about profit sharing by companies. Sometimes these things are handled through quarterly/annual bonuses, sometimes they're handled through awarding shares to their employees and finally sometimes they're paid through 401k contributions by the employer.

As to how my scheme would be calculated, there is most likely a mathematical equation that could be put in place by an economist. I was an engineering major in college, so if you want some blueprints drafted, or a CAD design made I'm your man. Otherwise, I can only scratch the surface of an idea, and I should probably keep my mouth shut about it from here on out.

Well I’m the opposite.  I want people involved and weighing in and contributing.   But - and I’m not referring to anyone in this discussion even a little bit - that doesn’t mean we foresake basic principles of math and human psychology.   Unfortunately much discourse these days - again not referring to anyone in this discussion even a little bit - does that right out the gate.   I have zero problem with profit sharing if it makes sense.  That in my mind is the way to do it.  A lot of those programs have issues but it can be done right.   

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #767 on: November 11, 2019, 04:21:06 PM »

Stadler, glad to hear you and I agree about severing the ties between employment and healthcare.  I mostly expect those on the right to turn this into a boogey-man scare-tactic so it's refreshing to hear.  I'd love to retire and have the ability to do so financially with the exception of the on-going need to provide health insurance for my family.  It is infuriating that this one thing keeps retirement something I can only dream about.  I imagine I'm not the only one in this boat.

I think it matters how it’s phrased.   I’m actually VEHEMENTLY in favor of severing that but I was well before I got on board with single payer.  Too often politics in general obscure the real choices.   I think many just assume it’s “employer” or “obummercare”.   They’re not even really opposites.   

(I say “obummercare” to make a point.   I don’t ever call it that.  I don’t like it but it’s the execution not the idea.)

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #768 on: November 11, 2019, 11:35:47 PM »
Harmony, we have disagreed here on... well, pretty much everything  :biggrin: but we always seemed to discuss our viewpoints and consider the other's rationally. This topic went sideways a bit for whatever reason. I trust it was an anomaly.

I have thoughts on healthcare, and local 2019 elections, I will have to post on later, as it is late and whatever else I say is not going to be coherent.
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Offline Harmony

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Re: The 2020 Election Thread
« Reply #769 on: November 12, 2019, 06:26:02 PM »
Harmony, we have disagreed here on... well, pretty much everything  :biggrin: but we always seemed to discuss our viewpoints and consider the other's rationally. This topic went sideways a bit for whatever reason. I trust it was an anomaly.

I have thoughts on healthcare, and local 2019 elections, I will have to post on later, as it is late and whatever else I say is not going to be coherent.

Look forward to reading them.  But I think you are wrong about disagreeing on pretty much everything.

Oh wait -  :P :laugh: