Author Topic: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?  (Read 13555 times)

mm1970

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #100 on: March 17, 2017, 10:59:34 AM »
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Lets be somewhat realistic though, I would not be terribly interested in paying even 5% more in Federal taxes just to help people much poorer than me. Paying more in taxes would have to be commensurate with me getting a little more of something from the Fed.

I guess I would be.

ysette9

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #101 on: March 17, 2017, 11:19:51 AM »
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I'd rather debate which method gets the best results every time. That's way more helpful than which method is Rightest.ô It's also possible to test and solve most of the time.

I have to bring this back up because it resonates with me so well. I feel we need engineers and scientists in government for this exact reason. It seems like so much hot air is wasted debating what is "right" with little or no references to reality. I don't care if you think that birth control is an individual right or morally repugnant. If we can agree on some basic goals such as increasing labor participation for those who want to work, decreasing maternal and infant mortality, decreasing childhood poverty, increasing educational and career attainment, then we can have a productive conversation about how birth control may or not effect those goals by running studies and looking at the evidence. As someone who works in aerospace, I can say with authority, "this isn't rocket science". If your goal and my goal is jointly to reduce abortions, we can jointly agree that free access to birth control is a good thing. It doesn't matter that you want to limit abortions because you think it is a moral sin and I want to limit them because I think a woman with autonomy over her body shouldn't end up having to choose an abortion except in extreme cases. Win-win, right?

Please, just give the facts a chance to stand on their own. How about evidence-based governing? It depresses me that this is too much to ask for in this country.
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eyePod

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #102 on: March 17, 2017, 11:33:29 AM »
If your goal and my goal is jointly to reduce abortions, we can jointly agree that free access to birth control is a good thing. It doesn't matter that you want to limit abortions because you think it is a moral sin and I want to limit them because I think a woman with autonomy over her body shouldn't end up having to choose an abortion except in extreme cases. Win-win, right?

But they think that birth control is a sin too. At this point, they've realized they can say whatever they want, not have to prove it, and do whatever they want even if it contradicts what they already said. They have no accountability to voters when their campaigns are already paid for by corporations.
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Bicycle_B

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #103 on: March 17, 2017, 11:43:21 AM »
Best clickbait thread title of the year!!

Anyone who disagrees with me is a hypocrite.


ysette9

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #104 on: March 17, 2017, 12:08:13 PM »
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But they think that birth control is a sin too

You are correct that I am assuming a minimal level of rational thought on the other side of this fictitious argument. That probably is the crux of most of the problems we have in this country right there.
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kayvent

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #105 on: March 17, 2017, 02:10:52 PM »
If your goal and my goal is jointly to reduce abortions, we can jointly agree that free access to birth control is a good thing. It doesn't matter that you want to limit abortions because you think it is a moral sin and I want to limit them because I think a woman with autonomy over her body shouldn't end up having to choose an abortion except in extreme cases. Win-win, right?

But they think that birth control is a sin too. At this point, they've realized they can say whatever they want, not have to prove it, and do whatever they want even if it contradicts what they already said. They have no accountability to voters when their campaigns are already paid for by corporations.

Mischaracterization. They believe people have the right to bodily autonomy and bodily integrity. The disagreement is not with "choice" or birth control, it is a disagreement on when human life beings and therefore rights begin.

Going round circle, except for a primarily catholic good of people, no one is against birth control. This is what makes the mischaracterization so bad because this topic keeps coming up in public dialogue. For people you are describing, generally they are fine with birth control is fine. Aborticides they aren't. Take for example the Hobby Lobby (sp?) case. It gets portrayed as them not wanting to pay for birth control but if I recall they were willing to pay for plans that covered a wide variety of birth control but not ones that had a certain subset of aborticides.

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #106 on: March 17, 2017, 02:24:28 PM »
Best clickbait thread title of the year!!

Anyone who disagrees with me is a hypocrite.

Maybe that can be my side hustle, writing clickbait articles!

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #107 on: March 17, 2017, 02:31:57 PM »
Quote
I'd rather debate which method gets the best results every time. That's way more helpful than which method is Rightest.ô It's also possible to test and solve most of the time.

I have to bring this back up because it resonates with me so well. I feel we need engineers and scientists in government for this exact reason. It seems like so much hot air is wasted debating what is "right" with little or no references to reality. I don't care if you think that birth control is an individual right or morally repugnant. If we can agree on some basic goals such as increasing labor participation for those who want to work, decreasing maternal and infant mortality, decreasing childhood poverty, increasing educational and career attainment, then we can have a productive conversation about how birth control may or not effect those goals by running studies and looking at the evidence. As someone who works in aerospace, I can say with authority, "this isn't rocket science". If your goal and my goal is jointly to reduce abortions, we can jointly agree that free access to birth control is a good thing. It doesn't matter that you want to limit abortions because you think it is a moral sin and I want to limit them because I think a woman with autonomy over her body shouldn't end up having to choose an abortion except in extreme cases. Win-win, right?

Please, just give the facts a chance to stand on their own. How about evidence-based governing? It depresses me that this is too much to ask for in this country.

Unfortunately, politics isn't about enacting the proper policies.  Politics is all about aggrandizing power and using that power to (i) entrench one's power; (ii) grow one's power; and (iii) benefit materially from that power.  Sure, many politicians have little pet issues they like to advance, but that's marginal compared to the real goal of seizing and maintaining power. Elections act as a very weak (albeit real) limit on political aggrandizement. 

My original post was about political philosophy, not electoral or real life politics.

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #108 on: March 17, 2017, 02:34:30 PM »
I question the premises that lead to your questions.   

 "...the focus of the mainstream American left has been:  (i) reduce inequality, especially by raising taxes on the rich; ..."

Well, certainly a lot of lip service is paid to this issue, but we've had the same tax policy (pretty much) through several administrations.   Sometimes we've had Democratically controlled Congresses, but no radical reform of the tax structure.    I have to conclude that either the Democrats are not a party of the "left" or that the "left" isn't serious about this.     


"... (ii) protect the environment to a greater extent; .."

Well, again, much talk but little action.   The "left" wants to do something about global warming, but not to the extent of giving up their SUVs.     Back in Nov. I lost count of the number of Honda Pilots sporting Clinton/Kaine stickers.    We (I would include myself as a lefty) want someone else to do something.   


"...  (iii) decrease racial/gender discrimination; ...."  Yes, so long as it doesn't upset the status quo between the salary class and the wage class.   Female lawyers not getting paid the same as their male counterparts elicits rage, while female factory workers can loose their jobs to offshoring and are told it's inevitable in a global economy.    Worry about glass ceilings but don't worry about those falling through the cracks in the floor.   

"... and (iv) play defense or make incremental expansions to existing social welfare programs including SS, Medicare, Medicaid, ACA, etc." 

Play defense while at the same time voting for exactly the same costly foreign policy that is bankrupting us for the past 16 years, then pretend to be shocked (or maybe they actually are shocked, which is sadder) when social programs are on the chopping block as we struggle to do something about our ballooning deficit.   


There isn't actually much of a left in this country.

There's a difference between what the American Left would like its elected officials to do and what the Democratic party actually does, no doubt.  Doesn't mean there's no left-wing in this country.  We are probably less left-wing than most western European countries though.

eyePod

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #109 on: March 17, 2017, 02:35:27 PM »
If your goal and my goal is jointly to reduce abortions, we can jointly agree that free access to birth control is a good thing. It doesn't matter that you want to limit abortions because you think it is a moral sin and I want to limit them because I think a woman with autonomy over her body shouldn't end up having to choose an abortion except in extreme cases. Win-win, right?

But they think that birth control is a sin too. At this point, they've realized they can say whatever they want, not have to prove it, and do whatever they want even if it contradicts what they already said. They have no accountability to voters when their campaigns are already paid for by corporations.

Mischaracterization. They believe people have the right to bodily autonomy and bodily integrity. The disagreement is not with "choice" or birth control, it is a disagreement on when human life beings and therefore rights begin.

Going round circle, except for a primarily catholic good of people, no one is against birth control. This is what makes the mischaracterization so bad because this topic keeps coming up in public dialogue. For people you are describing, generally they are fine with birth control is fine. Aborticides they aren't. Take for example the Hobby Lobby (sp?) case. It gets portrayed as them not wanting to pay for birth control but if I recall they were willing to pay for plans that covered a wide variety of birth control but not ones that had a certain subset of aborticides.

I'm not surprised that I (and many others) have mis-categorized what Hobby Lobby was trying to do (I haven't looked into it more than superficially). These spectrum issues are hard. 20 different people would have different definitions of what types of abortion or situations where abortion is OK.

On the mis-information based on article titles, it's just like the McDonalds coffee lady from back in the day. There's pictures of her legs, and then you realize "huh, McDonalds coffee was probably hot considering that it melted her skin". Media's going to do their best to mis-inform you and the hard part now is that there's no oversite (or its' severely lacking) on what can and can't be done during politcal campaigns.  Good read on it here and I can just see it being more and more abused. https://scout.ai/story/the-rise-of-the-weaponized-ai-propaganda-machine
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stoaX

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #110 on: March 17, 2017, 02:36:29 PM »
Edit: thinking about it more, I was too incomplete. We are additionally an outlier in: investment in mass transportation (high speed rail anyone?), [/quote]

The most populous state in the union, California, has invested millions in a SF to LA high speed rail project.  We just don't actually lay any track with that money or have anything to show for it, but that's another story. 

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #111 on: March 17, 2017, 02:39:41 PM »
" Hasn't Trump been getting crap for flying to Florida all the time?  Why is better when you do it?"

And I have to jump on this. He's spent something like 10 million of tax dollars to pay the resort that he owns. I don't care if he's flying anywhere. I care that he said he wasn't going to take vacations (and is), said that he's going to divest himself from his interests (he hasn't), and is staying at the resort that he owns!

If I pay for a trip all around the world, I'm not using tax dollars to do it! I'm using my own money!

The point was that if you're an environmentalist who is truly concerned about climate change, you shouldn't fly much, maybe never.  I've seen Trump's flights criticized for their environmental impact, though I'm sure they're also criticized for cost reasons as well.

RangerOne

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #112 on: March 17, 2017, 02:43:52 PM »
I question the premises that lead to your questions.   

 "...the focus of the mainstream American left has been:  (i) reduce inequality, especially by raising taxes on the rich; ..."

Well, certainly a lot of lip service is paid to this issue, but we've had the same tax policy (pretty much) through several administrations.   Sometimes we've had Democratically controlled Congresses, but no radical reform of the tax structure.    I have to conclude that either the Democrats are not a party of the "left" or that the "left" isn't serious about this.     


"... (ii) protect the environment to a greater extent; .."

Well, again, much talk but little action.   The "left" wants to do something about global warming, but not to the extent of giving up their SUVs.     Back in Nov. I lost count of the number of Honda Pilots sporting Clinton/Kaine stickers.    We (I would include myself as a lefty) want someone else to do something.   


"...  (iii) decrease racial/gender discrimination; ...."  Yes, so long as it doesn't upset the status quo between the salary class and the wage class.   Female lawyers not getting paid the same as their male counterparts elicits rage, while female factory workers can loose their jobs to offshoring and are told it's inevitable in a global economy.    Worry about glass ceilings but don't worry about those falling through the cracks in the floor.   

"... and (iv) play defense or make incremental expansions to existing social welfare programs including SS, Medicare, Medicaid, ACA, etc." 

Play defense while at the same time voting for exactly the same costly foreign policy that is bankrupting us for the past 16 years, then pretend to be shocked (or maybe they actually are shocked, which is sadder) when social programs are on the chopping block as we struggle to do something about our ballooning deficit.   


There isn't actually much of a left in this country.

There's a difference between what the American Left would like its elected officials to do and what the Democratic party actually does, no doubt.  Doesn't mean there's no left-wing in this country.  We are probably less left-wing than most western European countries though.

This is partly only an artifact of our 2 party system which kind of hides the diversity among each parties common constituents. Bernie demonstrated that somewhere close to half of Democrats are more progressive than the parties leadership.

We are also significantly larger and more spread out than most Euro countries so the way our bases politics evolve to change the make up of our two major parties I suspect just moves a bit slower than smaller European countries with multi party systems.

RangerOne

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #113 on: March 17, 2017, 03:06:00 PM »
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Lets be somewhat realistic though, I would not be terribly interested in paying even 5% more in Federal taxes just to help people much poorer than me. Paying more in taxes would have to be commensurate with me getting a little more of something from the Fed.

I guess I would be.

And you may not be alone. But it is really difficult sell to increase taxes on average workers. Even if in theory we could use that money for something good.

Single payer health would likely have to expand and tax similarly to how medicare or social security operates. With an overt and nearly unavoidable payroll tax partly picked up by your employer. SS and Medicare currently tax their taxes before even 401k contributions are factored in, so there is not a lot you can do to shield your income from paying these taxes.

So you could imagine we would likely have at least another 6% payroll tax added to pay for it? My current employer health insurance costs me about 6% of my gross salary. That includes premiums and full funding of an HSA.

I suppose if they could keep it in that range and let me keep my doctors it may actually be a decent deal. It really depends where the cap the tax at. Typically though anyone not in the top 20% of earners feel the full weight of these taxes.

Keeping in mind that if working people were paying 6%, self employed would be paying an extra 12%. Hiking their payroll tax up to around 24%-27%. That might be a tough pill to swallow at first, maybe the high costs of ACA type programs will warm people up to the idea if it off sets a large medical cost anyway.

What would be really cool is if we could get income taxes noticeably reduced for say the bottom 99% of earners through a series of refinements and cuts to overgrown programs, and then kick off a single payer health tax, so part of the pain would be offset by a reduction in other government spending. Like maybe expanding all the lower tax brackets by $10k-$20k.

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #114 on: March 17, 2017, 03:12:23 PM »
Quote
Lets be somewhat realistic though, I would not be terribly interested in paying even 5% more in Federal taxes just to help people much poorer than me. Paying more in taxes would have to be commensurate with me getting a little more of something from the Fed.

I guess I would be.

And you may not be alone. But it is really difficult sell to increase taxes on average workers. Even if in theory we could use that money for something good.

Single payer health would likely have to expand and tax similarly to how medicare or social security operates. With an overt and nearly unavoidable payroll tax partly picked up by your employer. SS and Medicare currently tax their taxes before even 401k contributions are factored in, so there is not a lot you can do to shield your income from paying these taxes.

So you could imagine we would likely have at least another 6% payroll tax added to pay for it? My current employer health insurance costs me about 6% of my gross salary. That includes premiums and full funding of an HSA.

I suppose if they could keep it in that range and let me keep my doctors it may actually be a decent deal. It really depends where the cap the tax at. Typically though anyone not in the top 20% of earners feel the full weight of these taxes.

Keeping in mind that if working people were paying 6%, self employed would be paying an extra 12%. Hiking their payroll tax up to around 24%-27%. That might be a tough pill to swallow at first, maybe the high costs of ACA type programs will warm people up to the idea if it off sets a large medical cost anyway.

What would be really cool is if we could get income taxes noticeably reduced for say the bottom 99% of earners through a series of refinements and cuts to overgrown programs, and then kick off a single payer health tax, so part of the pain would be offset by a reduction in other government spending. Like maybe expanding all the lower tax brackets by $10k-$20k.

About 44% of people already pay zero income tax.  http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/closer-look-those-who-pay-no-income-or-payroll-taxes  Another ~25% of people pay very little income tax.  You really have to be in ~the top 25% of income to pay any substantial amount of income tax in the U.S.

rpr

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #115 on: March 17, 2017, 03:50:54 PM »

About 44% of people already pay zero income tax.  http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/closer-look-those-who-pay-no-income-or-payroll-taxes  Another ~25% of people pay very little income tax.  You really have to be in ~the top 25% of income to pay any substantial amount of income tax in the U.S.

The linked article does not say how much income they make. I would hazard a guess that this 44% probably just makes enough money or less and barely subsist on this income. In other words, they pretty much spend what they earn with no disposable income remaining after basic living expenses.

In contrast the top 1% likely makes a large enough income such that the disposable part is many multiples of their living expenses and thus are able to get rich by saving and investing this.

As I posted earlier in this thread, the top 20% of people have a financial net worth equal to 95% while the remaining 80% only has a financial net worth of about 5%.

rpr

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #116 on: March 17, 2017, 03:54:25 PM »

The point was that if you're an environmentalist who is truly concerned about climate change, you shouldn't fly much, maybe never.  I've seen Trump's flights criticized for their environmental impact, though I'm sure they're also criticized for cost reasons as well.

Why focus on just flying? Even driving is bad for the environment. To take your argument further, even being born and existing is bad for the environment as you will use up resources and increase pollution.

BTDretire

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #117 on: March 17, 2017, 04:02:54 PM »

3) Yup, the 1% and the middle class pay for almost everything in this country. It doesn't mean that early retirees should mooch off of them.  Not fair.  Save enough to cover your own healthcare/insurance premiums then retire. Otherwise you are taking advantage of those willing to work.  It is no different than the patient I had the other day with asthma who somehow convinced the government she is too sick to work and now on disability.  I know how bad her asthma is.  Get up off your ass and get a job you leach.

Yep, the top 1% of earners pay 39% of individual taxes and the top 10% of earners pay 71% of individual taxes. The other 90% pay 29%.
 But you know, the rich don't pay there fair share. /s/
btw, the top 10% starts at $133,500.
2014 data.

The picture appears different when we look at financial wealth or (non home) net-worth with the top 1%  own 40% of the financial wealth. The next 19% own about 55% while the bottom 80% owns less than 5%. In other words, the top 20% owns 95% of financial net-worth. That is an amazing level of inequality in this country. That just tells you that pretty much all of the income of the lower 80% goes towards living expenses -- both discretionary and non-discretionary while the top 1% are able to leverage their substantial disposable incomes into a huge amount of wealth despite paying significant taxes. It's all about that disposable income.

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

IMO, we should just rid of all deductions (health insurance premiums/mortgage interest/student loan interest/401ks and IRAs, etc), and increase the standard deduction to something like $20K per person with a family max of $50K.

Plus treat capital gains and dividends as regular income.

  I don't like the idea, because as you can see by much of society, it is very difficult to save any money let alone invest it. Those that do, should be able to use it to build their future not be forced by the government to give it up.

rpr

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #118 on: March 17, 2017, 04:25:20 PM »

3) Yup, the 1% and the middle class pay for almost everything in this country. It doesn't mean that early retirees should mooch off of them.  Not fair.  Save enough to cover your own healthcare/insurance premiums then retire. Otherwise you are taking advantage of those willing to work.  It is no different than the patient I had the other day with asthma who somehow convinced the government she is too sick to work and now on disability.  I know how bad her asthma is.  Get up off your ass and get a job you leach.

Yep, the top 1% of earners pay 39% of individual taxes and the top 10% of earners pay 71% of individual taxes. The other 90% pay 29%.
 But you know, the rich don't pay there fair share. /s/
btw, the top 10% starts at $133,500.
2014 data.

The picture appears different when we look at financial wealth or (non home) net-worth with the top 1%  own 40% of the financial wealth. The next 19% own about 55% while the bottom 80% owns less than 5%. In other words, the top 20% owns 95% of financial net-worth. That is an amazing level of inequality in this country. That just tells you that pretty much all of the income of the lower 80% goes towards living expenses -- both discretionary and non-discretionary while the top 1% are able to leverage their substantial disposable incomes into a huge amount of wealth despite paying significant taxes. It's all about that disposable income.

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

IMO, we should just rid of all deductions (health insurance premiums/mortgage interest/student loan interest/401ks and IRAs, etc), and increase the standard deduction to something like $20K per person with a family max of $50K.

Plus treat capital gains and dividends as regular income.

  I don't like the idea, because as you can see by much of society, it is very difficult to save any money let alone invest it. Those that do, should be able to use it to build their future not be forced by the government to give it up.

Why should the government give a tax break for those that invest in the stock market? What about those that save but put their money in the bank or buy bonds?

Using your own words, those that save money but put it in a bank or buy bonds etc. are being forced by the government to pay higher taxes so that those who invest in the stock market can pay lower taxes.

Somehow the phrase "forced by the government"  rubs me the wrong way. We in the US do not live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. It is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The government is you, me, and every other citizen of this country.

People living in free countries such as the US who complain and use the phrase "being forced by the government" have absolutely no clue what "being forced by the government" really is. It is an insult to those that live under tyrannical and despotic regimes.

RangerOne

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #119 on: March 17, 2017, 04:55:59 PM »

3) Yup, the 1% and the middle class pay for almost everything in this country. It doesn't mean that early retirees should mooch off of them.  Not fair.  Save enough to cover your own healthcare/insurance premiums then retire. Otherwise you are taking advantage of those willing to work.  It is no different than the patient I had the other day with asthma who somehow convinced the government she is too sick to work and now on disability.  I know how bad her asthma is.  Get up off your ass and get a job you leach.

Yep, the top 1% of earners pay 39% of individual taxes and the top 10% of earners pay 71% of individual taxes. The other 90% pay 29%.
 But you know, the rich don't pay there fair share. /s/
btw, the top 10% starts at $133,500.
2014 data.

The picture appears different when we look at financial wealth or (non home) net-worth with the top 1%  own 40% of the financial wealth. The next 19% own about 55% while the bottom 80% owns less than 5%. In other words, the top 20% owns 95% of financial net-worth. That is an amazing level of inequality in this country. That just tells you that pretty much all of the income of the lower 80% goes towards living expenses -- both discretionary and non-discretionary while the top 1% are able to leverage their substantial disposable incomes into a huge amount of wealth despite paying significant taxes. It's all about that disposable income.

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

IMO, we should just rid of all deductions (health insurance premiums/mortgage interest/student loan interest/401ks and IRAs, etc), and increase the standard deduction to something like $20K per person with a family max of $50K.

Plus treat capital gains and dividends as regular income.

  I don't like the idea, because as you can see by much of society, it is very difficult to save any money let alone invest it. Those that do, should be able to use it to build their future not be forced by the government to give it up.

Why should the government give a tax break for those that invest in the stock market? What about those that save but put their money in the bank or buy bonds?

Using your own words, those that save money but put it in a bank or buy bonds etc. are being forced by the government to pay higher taxes so that those who invest in the stock market can pay lower taxes.

Somehow the phrase "forced by the government"  rubs me the wrong way. We in the US do not live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. It is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The government is you, me, and every other citizen of this country.

People living in free countries such as the US who complain and use the phrase "being forced by the government" have absolutely no clue what "being forced by the government" really is. It is an insult to those that live under tyrannical and despotic regimes.

You can certainly put together a chain of logic that says we are forced to pay these things, but like you I think it is a semi unimportant exaggeration. Every society forces us to follow some rules to get the perks we would never get if it didn't exist. You wouldn't even have a job or business to make earnings and get taxed if it wasn't for the government...

All the same the incentives of our current tax structure may not be the most fair. Generally taxes and policies shouldn't strive for equality but for social mobility. We want to avoid tax structures that reduce mobility for low earners. If saving is a tool for mobility among the working poor then we should reward those with the discipline to save.

Sadly critically analyzing and changing anything about our system is ridiculously difficult. No matter how f'ed up a system is there is almost always a group benefiting from it that doesn't want it to change.

RangerOne

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #120 on: March 17, 2017, 05:30:16 PM »

About 44% of people already pay zero income tax.  http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/closer-look-those-who-pay-no-income-or-payroll-taxes  Another ~25% of people pay very little income tax.  You really have to be in ~the top 25% of income to pay any substantial amount of income tax in the U.S.

The linked article does not say how much income they make. I would hazard a guess that this 44% probably just makes enough money or less and barely subsist on this income. In other words, they pretty much spend what they earn with no disposable income remaining after basic living expenses.

In contrast the top 1% likely makes a large enough income such that the disposable part is many multiples of their living expenses and thus are able to get rich by saving and investing this.

As I posted earlier in this thread, the top 20% of people have a financial net worth equal to 95% while the remaining 80% only has a financial net worth of about 5%.

It may not show income but you could take an easy guess. The bottom 18% in that chart are paying 0 payroll tax due to offset from credits. Generally being in the bottom 20% of earners is considered below the poverty line. These people are living in the worst areas in section 8 housing or living with family.

To be in the bottom 18% or 20% you have to be earning around $20k a year. Considering the cost of housing and food, its not really any surpise that we don't get any taxes out of people in this group.

The next group that doesn't pay income tax apparently is getting around $45k a year max.

But this really depends more on earnings relative to living situation. A family of 4 making $45k with two earners is likely in the 0 income tax group.

A single person making $45k is probably paying income tax.

Its probable my concern about tax breaks for people making lower amounts of money doesn't adequately take into consideration that many already get a lot of breaks.

thesvenster

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #121 on: March 17, 2017, 05:39:26 PM »
I think whether a leftie Mustachian is a hypocrite only if they believe that a special math applies to running a government that isn't related to the math of running an individuals finances.

Mustachianism really just boils down to simple math in many ways. If you think it's bad for individuals to spend their money like drunken pirates but it's just fine and dandy when the US gov does it, then you are indeed a hypocrite.

Now if you believe in implementing certain leftie policies, say healthcare reform, and you can present pragmatic, math based reasoning for implementing said polices, I don't think that's hypocrisy.

rpr

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #122 on: March 17, 2017, 05:58:44 PM »

You can certainly put together a chain of logic that says we are forced to pay these things, but like you I think it is a semi unimportant exaggeration. Every society forces us to follow some rules to get the perks we would never get if it didn't exist. You wouldn't even have a job or business to make earnings and get taxed if it wasn't for the government...

All the same the incentives of our current tax structure may not be the most fair. Generally taxes and policies shouldn't strive for equality but for social mobility. We want to avoid tax structures that reduce mobility for low earners. If saving is a tool for mobility among the working poor then we should reward those with the discipline to save.

Sadly critically analyzing and changing anything about our system is ridiculously difficult. No matter how f'ed up a system is there is almost always a group benefiting from it that doesn't want it to change.

Agree wholeheartedly with almost everything you say!

However sometimes policies such as preferential tax rates on capital gains and make no sense to me. How many working lower income people own stocks? I would say that the people who benefit the most from these are those who get most of their income from investments. This is most likely people who are significantly wealthy. I do  not see this policy as improving social mobility in any way. 

Out of the Blue

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #123 on: March 17, 2017, 11:01:57 PM »
Agree wholeheartedly with almost everything you say!

However sometimes policies such as preferential tax rates on capital gains and make no sense to me. How many working lower income people own stocks? I would say that the people who benefit the most from these are those who get most of their income from investments. This is most likely people who are significantly wealthy. I do  not see this policy as improving social mobility in any way.

The most common rationale for preferential tax rates on capital gains is that increased investment in a country is good, we want to attract investment into our country, capital is mobile, and taxing capital too heavily will cause it to flee to lower-tax jurisdictions.  Basically, tax competition between countries.  Countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong have done very well with low tax rates, and have attracted foreign investment that they might not have attracted had tax rates been higher. 

The aim is not about social mobility, nor to "keep down the poor", but the unfortunate effect is that wage earners bear a proportionately greater burden (because labour is less mobile than capital). 

Mikenost12

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #124 on: March 18, 2017, 08:40:39 AM »
I'm taking 'are left-wing Mutachians hypocrites' as an attack rather than some legitimate request for information. Just because we arenít complete Buddhist renunciates and giving up all possessions, giving up all electricity use or perfect, how dare we talk about protecting the environment, having more egalitarian society or health care system. How dare these liberals say, maybe we could live our lives in a way more compatible with long term care for future generations of the planet, use more renuables, have health care for all citizens, while we also earn and amass personal wealth as efficiently as possible.
    A large part of Mutachianism seem to be finding logical, efficient, rational ways of living personally, financially and as a society. The same desire for efficient living personally also applies to wanting society to work efficiently. Sartre viewed morality as emerging out of this choice of making ethical decisions as if you were having to decide for all people, as no morality exists a priori, with freedom and responsibilty. Aside from ethical concerns, having universal healthcare for all is actually cheaper for society because of the costs of having preventative medicine rather that untreated severe problems requiring help. Many other countries seem to be able to do it cheaper and more effectively, with the added bonus of caring for our fellow citizens is ethical. I work with frequent users of the ER and the hospitals, preventative care would save everyone a lot of resources. So helping people treat early problems before they become diabetics, have more severe cancer, and show up repeatedly at your ERís is cheaper for society. Educate and feed people, give prenatal care rather than imprison or care for them later. If you donít believe in the utility of preventative care, stop brushing your teeth.
   Sometimes collectively buying things is cheaper for society, in the same way that a bunch of us buying several large pizzas with coupons is much cheaper per person than buying your own small pizza, even if a few of our friends didnít bring cash to chip in. While we are trying to live effectively and do well financially, we can still hold the view that higher taxes overall would be good for society and the economy, as better off poor and middle class spend more money and create more jobs/services with higher velocity of money, than having wealth concentrated with just a few very rich.
   I can try to do my best under the current rules of the game amass wealth, out of worry for myself and family, while also strongly believing there is a better way for society that I would be glad to adapt to. I believe that wealth allows investments, investments appreciate and generate income faster than work. Thus stocks and real estate generate income greatly eclipsing what income I could earn on my own. Thinking that this ĎCapital Gainsí should be taxed at a higher NOT lower rate as wealth inequality grows worse, while continuing to increase my own investments I believe makes me honest and moral, not a hypocrite. Saying we should try as a society and individual to pollute less, while still driving and only getting 46 miles per gallon, rather than sitting inside without electricity, I think makes me an adult with a sense of responsibility aware of my own failings or areas of my life I would like to improve, not a hypocrite. It is possible to believe our Country worked better after the New Deal social programs of the 30's than during the periods of the Robber Barrons and Gilded Age, while out of concern for my own personal and family wealth trying to earn as much as possible, out of fear things will get pushed much worse, the safety nets will get further eroded.
   I would be ok if my taxes were higher, and the very rich had level of taxes they might have paid 30 years ago, but we get to keep school lunch programs, funding for the arts, better infrastructure, and other things. I would love those services and as a bonus think jobs are created, rather than having some philosophical supply-side purity that says it's criminal to ask the Walton family to pay a bit more in taxes or pharmaceutical companies profiteering get reigned in.
   The US previously had much higher tax rates particularly on the rich, real wages have stagnated in the past 40 years for all but the very top and taxes have gone down. I believe the economy works better when wealth is better distributed, laws protect the environment, and that government projects despite inefficiencies like paying decent wages work better than corporatist greed. The fact I hold these beliefs while not being an ascetic doesnít cause me too much cognitive dissonance. Warren Buffet amassing wealth while calling for higher taxes on the rich and giving to charity, makes him more moral than the Walton family advocating for lower taxes, not a Ďhypocriteí. Holding a nuanced rather than simplistic black and white, polarized stance is part of thinking about issue, and how we can all come together. Iíll refrain from starting a thread, asking about right wing Mustachians with some pejorative.
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« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 09:12:17 AM by Mikenost12 »

TPGW

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #125 on: March 18, 2017, 09:31:43 AM »
Quote
I'm taking 'are left-wing Mutachians hypocrites' as an attack rather than some legitimate request for information.

I don't think this is necessary, and I think it's a shame that political discourse is almost always reduced to this.  Although, to be fair, I get that the title is provocative.

But I think the question forces people to compare their actions to their ideals, which is always useful.  I'm way to the left on the spectrum.  Voted for Bernie, support single payer, even think reparations in some form are worth thinking about.  Most important, I believe that taxes should be higher for people who make over 150k a year, as I do.  Not necessarily a huge hike, but somewhat higher.  And I believe that even though I don't agree 100% with the current allocations on spending, and I also know that some is wasted.

In this situation taking tax deductions (which I do) is inconsistent with my principals and policy ideals. While advocating for higher taxes on my bracket as a whole, I am reducing my own tax burden.  No way that you can argue that this is principled action.   

Ultimately, without laws demanding it, I don't always act as altruistically as I believe I should. Which is the same for almost  everyone.  Which is why liberals advocate for laws that will help conform our actions to the ideals that we believe will provide the most public benefit.  I don't necessarily think there's anything hypocritical or wrong about this.  It's a realistic acknowledgement of human nature. 

But I think a person of perfect principals, in my position, would not take tax breaks.  I am just not that guy, and few are. 


Hargrove

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #126 on: March 18, 2017, 10:09:26 AM »
There's a difference between social and personal policies.

If you're publically all about weight loss and eat nothing but cheeseburgers, sure, that's still suspect.

However, if you believe social policy should be one thing, and as long as it isn't, you don't voluntarily mimic that thing (which would probably be a negligible effect at significant cost), you are not necessarily a hypocrite, because your mimicry could not create the social reality you want via policy. We don't live in a binary world of "self actualized or hypocrite." If you can't recycle a handful of aluminum cans without a 20 mile drive, are you a hypocrite for throwing them away, or did other factors play into your consideration, like driving a car 20 miles and spending most of an hour of your life to do it? Are you lame somehow if you advocate for policies to require people to recycle them, which would also put in recycling centers that would make it a 1 mile walk for most people, thereby easing the priority strain necessary for recycling? If we insist having more than one interacting priority must mean "hypocrisy," we will get very, very little done, ever.

"You're for recycling??? But I saw you throw out cans! You're under arrest, Hypocrite!"
The flip side of going from social to personal is even more obviously flawed.
"I just marathon exercise through my colds because I'm a badass!" Hey, awesome for you! "Ok so now that's what everyone has to do!" Uhh... "But you said it was awesome! Don't be a hypocrite!"

This is the Bill O'Reilly school of "calling liberals out for not walking the walk." Oh, you must not actually care like you say you do because you don't have a foster home filled with children and Muslim refugees. Gee Bill, careful not to think of applying this to a religious group your party thinks it has co-opted. They'll be upset with you.

Trump claimed the tax code was riddled with issues that he took full advantage of and would use this knowledge to fix. I think both parties could easily have accepted that if, you know, it ever happened.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 10:20:00 AM by Hargrove »

TPGW

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #127 on: March 18, 2017, 10:21:33 AM »
Quote
because your mimicry could not create the social reality you want via policy.

But isn't that an argument for doing almost nothing altruistic at all?  I could drive an SUV all day long and feel fine because me riding a bike, alone, does nothing to abate climate change.  I could stop all my charitable contributions because 100 bucks a month does almost nothing to change the world. 

As for recycling, it would be hypocritical is you expected others in your situation (ten miles away from a recycling center) to recycle, and advocated for laws forcing them to do so, yet didn't do it yourself.  If you believed that such a thing is difficult and therefore should not be expected or required, then no. 

Which is why the most important thing about this question is whether you'd advocate for someone of your tax bracket to pay more. If you do, and still take breaks, it's inconsistent.  But for the reasons I talked about earlier, I don't think this is either terrible or unexpected, and it doesn't make it any less logical to advocate for laws that would force imperfect people like myself into actions that are advantageous for society. 

The acknowledgement that people are imperfect and require government oversight is a key tenet of liberalism.  It shouldn't be hard to admit.  If everyone was naturally efficient, rational, and altruistic, we wouldn't need any government at all.         


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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #128 on: March 18, 2017, 10:33:59 AM »
" Hasn't Trump been getting crap for flying to Florida all the time?  Why is better when you do it?"

And I have to jump on this. He's spent something like 10 million of tax dollars to pay the resort that he owns. I don't care if he's flying anywhere. I care that he said he wasn't going to take vacations (and is), said that he's going to divest himself from his interests (he hasn't), and is staying at the resort that he owns!

If I pay for a trip all around the world, I'm not using tax dollars to do it! I'm using my own money!

The point was that if you're an environmentalist who is truly concerned about climate change, you shouldn't fly much, maybe never.  I've seen Trump's flights criticized for their environmental impact, though I'm sure they're also criticized for cost reasons as well.

I hadn't seen the environmental arguments but again, it's a numbers game. Taking a trip every couple of years is very different than flying every weekend and the overhead of af1 in all types of costs (money and environmental) are going to be way more than a regular airliner.
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Hargrove

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #129 on: March 18, 2017, 10:36:06 AM »
Quote
because your mimicry could not create the social reality you want via policy.
The acknowledgement that people are imperfect and require government oversight is a key tenet of liberalism.  It shouldn't be hard to admit.  If everyone was naturally efficient, rational, and altruistic, we wouldn't need any government at all.         

This doesn't really mesh with your supposition that I was making an argument "against altruism."

Of course it's not an argument for doing nothing altruistic. It's an argument for acknowledging almost no one is altruistic, and that's no reason NOT to do good things yourself, and advocate for good policy socially, but you don't have to crucify yourself every time these things don't line up 100%.

I'm saying that one's opinion on social policy and one's integrity are not the same thing, and calling them out instead of discussing them just pushes people apart. Republicans donate to charity but try to destroy TANF or SNAP or whatever every single year. Are they all asshats who hate the poor, or do they believe it's not good social policy, even though they think it's good personal policy?

Liberals don't donate as much to charity. Is that because they have no integrity and bad personal policy, or because they believe it's not effective as personal policy, and want social policy to take care of a problem much bigger than they believe any individual charity can solve?

If we untie accusations of who is Rightest, we get two teams too numb to realize their behaviors are attempts to address similar problems, and we can go back to talking about the methods of solving those particular problems. It's amazing that both teams assume some cost to them to address these social problems is justifiable!

I would happily pay more in taxes for the same reason I pay taxes now - I like roads, clean air, good drinking water... and no, I would not just donate the same money to a private road building fund, because either it doesn't exist or, if it does, I wouldn't trust it to use the money properly. Republicans feel the reverse about government and private enterprize. If we discuss who is Rightest about this instead of applying what we KNOW to individual problems, we'll have...

Oh, our modern Congress.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 10:45:36 AM by Hargrove »

crentist

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #130 on: March 18, 2017, 11:40:07 AM »
Haven't read through this thread yet but I'd like to chime.  Ill get caught up tomorrow.
To answer the question, Yes most left wingers are hypocrites. It's always irked me how so many on here avoid taxes like the devil, at the same time try to take advantage of programs that are meant as safety nets. If you think these safety nets should be expanded universally than put your money where your mouth is.  And I don't buy into the argument that you paid large amount of taxes during your working years. Look into the breakdown of who actually pays taxes. Middle income pays very little. The top 10% pays 68% of the federal income tax. People making 250k+ pay over 50% of the tax. Most people are getting a deal and will benefit more than what they contributed (roads, education, military, parks, safety nets such as welfare and healthcare).

tyort1

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #131 on: March 18, 2017, 12:03:51 PM »
Haven't read through this thread yet but I'd like to chime.  Ill get caught up tomorrow.
To answer the question, Yes most left wingers are hypocrites. It's always irked me how so many on here avoid taxes like the devil, at the same time try to take advantage of programs that are meant as safety nets. If you think these safety nets should be expanded universally than put your money where your mouth is.  And I don't buy into the argument that you paid large amount of taxes during your working years. Look into the breakdown of who actually pays taxes. Middle income pays very little. The top 10% pays 68% of the federal income tax. People making 250k+ pay over 50% of the tax. Most people are getting a deal and will benefit more than what they contributed (roads, education, military, parks, safety nets such as welfare and healthcare).

Wrong.  If the system is broken, you don't fix it by throwing more money at it.  You fix it by changing the system.  Universal healthcare is not something that will happen by me donating to charity, no matter how worthy/good the charity is. 
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GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #132 on: March 18, 2017, 07:01:27 PM »

Iíll refrain from starting a thread, asking about right wing Mustachians with some pejorative.


I'm all in favor of an "are right-wing Mustachians hypocrites?" thread.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 08:02:24 PM by GU »

Johnez

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #133 on: March 19, 2017, 01:58:03 PM »

I disagree about how much the top 1% pays in taxes. Great, you made lots of money. You did that because of the elegance of a society you inherited - you didn't build that, or fight in WWII for that, and it's okay to tax your unbelievable gains from it to give it back to that society, because the presence of that society made your fortune more than you did. I know that's unpopular with some folks, but you're not making billions of dollars in Zamibia because there aren't billions of dollars to make there.


This. Although, "You didn't build that" might have been taken as well as "clinging to Bibles and guns" it is true! I don't give a flying shit that the top 1% pay over half the taxes. Really, I don't care that they can now only afford to garage 3 Bentleys instead of 4. The top 1% also earns 20% of the income. The top one percent aren't overrun by today's equivalent of peasants with pikes in their hands-not yet anyway. The bottom line is-you're born here, you got the opportunity to bust your ass, now contribute so that others from a different socio-economic background may do the same.

WRT to mustachians being hypocrites, I lol at that assertion. First, mustachians are contributing to society by spending more time with their kids rather than slaving away for megacorp. These kids will grow up with their parents backing, able to go to college without crushing debt or their parents stupid debt hangover. Second, I recall a thread where the closing of the mega backdoor Roth was being bandied about in congress-and met with support from THIS crowd of mustachians who acknowledge the exaggerated benefit it has for rich folk. Mustachians are not hypocritical in the least. Avoiding taxes is celebrated, yes. As compared to Donald Trump's swindling ways? Screwing people and companies over, then avoiding the bills and tax man in bankruptcy ain't business acumen....nor is anything like it celebrated here.


Gin1984

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #134 on: March 19, 2017, 03:27:45 PM »
If your goal and my goal is jointly to reduce abortions, we can jointly agree that free access to birth control is a good thing. It doesn't matter that you want to limit abortions because you think it is a moral sin and I want to limit them because I think a woman with autonomy over her body shouldn't end up having to choose an abortion except in extreme cases. Win-win, right?

But they think that birth control is a sin too. At this point, they've realized they can say whatever they want, not have to prove it, and do whatever they want even if it contradicts what they already said. They have no accountability to voters when their campaigns are already paid for by corporations.

Mischaracterization. They believe people have the right to bodily autonomy and bodily integrity. The disagreement is not with "choice" or birth control, it is a disagreement on when human life beings and therefore rights begin.

Going round circle, except for a primarily catholic good of people, no one is against birth control. This is what makes the mischaracterization so bad because this topic keeps coming up in public dialogue. For people you are describing, generally they are fine with birth control is fine. Aborticides they aren't. Take for example the Hobby Lobby (sp?) case. It gets portrayed as them not wanting to pay for birth control but if I recall they were willing to pay for plans that covered a wide variety of birth control but not ones that had a certain subset of aborticides.
That is not accurate.  They did not want to cover things that had decided were aborticides, even though they were not in reality.  So they wanted their opinions to override facts and reality.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 03:35:03 PM by Gin1984 »

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #135 on: March 19, 2017, 03:36:49 PM »
This is a really interesting discussion, so I just wanted to toss in my 2 cents. I consider myself left-wing, because I have lived a very difficult life and without FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society, I may not have survived to adulthood. My parents made some very bad choices -- mostly for religious reasons but also because of ignorance -- and then I made a lot of my own bad choices and when you live in poverty a single bad choice can lead to destruction without a social safety net to save you.

That being said, I also needed to listen to what Republicans say about self-reliance and agency, because if I had never internalized those messages I never would have escaped from poverty. That's just reality. If you want to be successful, you have to learn to trust yourself, be confident, and act with a certain amount of self-interest, because let's be honest here. Most people do not have the well being of other people in mind when they make decisions about their lives. You have to depend on yourself, because almost nobody is going to do anything to help you.

Mustachianism saved me. I don't think it's hyperbole when I say that.

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #136 on: March 19, 2017, 08:19:55 PM »
This is a really interesting discussion, so I just wanted to toss in my 2 cents. I consider myself left-wing, because I have lived a very difficult life and without FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society, I may not have survived to adulthood. My parents made some very bad choices -- mostly for religious reasons but also because of ignorance -- and then I made a lot of my own bad choices and when you live in poverty a single bad choice can lead to destruction without a social safety net to save you.

That being said, I also needed to listen to what Republicans say about self-reliance and agency, because if I had never internalized those messages I never would have escaped from poverty. That's just reality. If you want to be successful, you have to learn to trust yourself, be confident, and act with a certain amount of self-interest, because let's be honest here. Most people do not have the well being of other people in mind when they make decisions about their lives. You have to depend on yourself, because almost nobody is going to do anything to help you.

Mustachianism saved me. I don't think it's hyperbole when I say that.

Great post and good point.  Mustachianism assumes human agency and does not view hardship as intolerable (at least what passes for "hardship" in the First World).  One common left-wing narrative is that besides a few people getting lucky, the U.S. might as well be a caste system.  There is no economic mobility.  "Stop blaming the poor for being poor" and "check your privilege" are the types of things you'll hear. 

But Mustachians think that the typical middle-class person can retire after 10 - 20 years if they stop being a consumerist sucka and practice a little frugality.  Surely that same logic applies to the poor in the U.S. as well?  Maybe they can't RE, but 10 - 20 years of Mustachian living could surely make someone not poor anymore, right?  [excepting people with severe disabilities] 

Hence if you believe that people can materially, even drastically, alter their economic situation through Mustachianism, you don't really buy one of the common stories told by the Left. That's a bit awkward if you consider yourself left-wing, though not exactly hypocritical.  And you wouldn't necessarily expect people's beliefs to map exactly onto a pre-determined set of beliefs anyway.

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #137 on: March 19, 2017, 08:27:17 PM »

I disagree about how much the top 1% pays in taxes. Great, you made lots of money. You did that because of the elegance of a society you inherited - you didn't build that, or fight in WWII for that, and it's okay to tax your unbelievable gains from it to give it back to that society, because the presence of that society made your fortune more than you did. I know that's unpopular with some folks, but you're not making billions of dollars in Zamibia because there aren't billions of dollars to make there.


This. Although, "You didn't build that" might have been taken as well as "clinging to Bibles and guns" it is true! I don't give a flying shit that the top 1% pay over half the taxes. Really, I don't care that they can now only afford to garage 3 Bentleys instead of 4. The top 1% also earns 20% of the income. The top one percent aren't overrun by today's equivalent of peasants with pikes in their hands-not yet anyway. The bottom line is-you're born here, you got the opportunity to bust your ass, now contribute so that others from a different socio-economic background may do the same.

WRT to mustachians being hypocrites, I lol at that assertion. First, mustachians are contributing to society by spending more time with their kids rather than slaving away for megacorp. These kids will grow up with their parents backing, able to go to college without crushing debt or their parents stupid debt hangover. Second, I recall a thread where the closing of the mega backdoor Roth was being bandied about in congress-and met with support from THIS crowd of mustachians who acknowledge the exaggerated benefit it has for rich folk. Mustachians are not hypocritical in the least. Avoiding taxes is celebrated, yes. As compared to Donald Trump's swindling ways? Screwing people and companies over, then avoiding the bills and tax man in bankruptcy ain't business acumen....nor is anything like it celebrated here.

I feared that referencing T**** would raise hackles and cause people to veer off-topic, like you did in your post and many others did as well.  Should have trusted my gut and kept T****'s name out of it. 

tyort1

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #138 on: March 19, 2017, 08:34:08 PM »
This is a really interesting discussion, so I just wanted to toss in my 2 cents. I consider myself left-wing, because I have lived a very difficult life and without FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society, I may not have survived to adulthood. My parents made some very bad choices -- mostly for religious reasons but also because of ignorance -- and then I made a lot of my own bad choices and when you live in poverty a single bad choice can lead to destruction without a social safety net to save you.

That being said, I also needed to listen to what Republicans say about self-reliance and agency, because if I had never internalized those messages I never would have escaped from poverty. That's just reality. If you want to be successful, you have to learn to trust yourself, be confident, and act with a certain amount of self-interest, because let's be honest here. Most people do not have the well being of other people in mind when they make decisions about their lives. You have to depend on yourself, because almost nobody is going to do anything to help you.

Mustachianism saved me. I don't think it's hyperbole when I say that.

Great post and good point.  Mustachianism assumes human agency and does not view hardship as intolerable (at least what passes for "hardship" in the First World).  One common left-wing narrative is that besides a few people getting lucky, the U.S. might as well be a caste system.  There is no economic mobility.  "Stop blaming the poor for being poor" and "check your privilege" are the types of things you'll hear. 

But Mustachians think that the typical middle-class person can retire after 10 - 20 years if they stop being a consumerist sucka and practice a little frugality.  Surely that same logic applies to the poor in the U.S. as well?  Maybe they can't RE, but 10 - 20 years of Mustachian living could surely make someone not poor anymore, right?  [excepting people with severe disabilities] 

Hence if you believe that people can materially, even drastically, alter their economic situation through Mustachianism, you don't really buy one of the common stories told by the Left. That's a bit awkward if you consider yourself left-wing, though not exactly hypocritical.  And you wouldn't necessarily expect people's beliefs to map exactly onto a pre-determined set of beliefs anyway.

Your error is that you assume that "the left" is a monolithic group of people that all believe the exact same things.  Which is false.  Just like "the right" is not a monolithic group of people that all believe the exact same things.
Frugalite in training.

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #139 on: March 19, 2017, 09:09:29 PM »

The point was that if you're an environmentalist who is truly concerned about climate change, you shouldn't fly much, maybe never.  I've seen Trump's flights criticized for their environmental impact, though I'm sure they're also criticized for cost reasons as well.

Why focus on just flying? Even driving is bad for the environment. To take your argument further, even being born and existing is bad for the environment as you will use up resources and increase pollution.

Because you can argue that you have to drive sometimes, but no one has to fly, especially in retirement.  And flying is particularly bad for the environment.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/sunday-review/the-biggest-carbon-sin-air-travel.html

And I know people who have refused to procreate because of their environmental beliefs.  Really tragic IMO.  But that is the end game of a certain brand of hardcore environmentalism--kill yourself or you're really not that committed. 

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #140 on: March 19, 2017, 09:13:37 PM »
This is a really interesting discussion, so I just wanted to toss in my 2 cents. I consider myself left-wing, because I have lived a very difficult life and without FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society, I may not have survived to adulthood. My parents made some very bad choices -- mostly for religious reasons but also because of ignorance -- and then I made a lot of my own bad choices and when you live in poverty a single bad choice can lead to destruction without a social safety net to save you.

That being said, I also needed to listen to what Republicans say about self-reliance and agency, because if I had never internalized those messages I never would have escaped from poverty. That's just reality. If you want to be successful, you have to learn to trust yourself, be confident, and act with a certain amount of self-interest, because let's be honest here. Most people do not have the well being of other people in mind when they make decisions about their lives. You have to depend on yourself, because almost nobody is going to do anything to help you.

Mustachianism saved me. I don't think it's hyperbole when I say that.

Great post and good point.  Mustachianism assumes human agency and does not view hardship as intolerable (at least what passes for "hardship" in the First World).  One common left-wing narrative is that besides a few people getting lucky, the U.S. might as well be a caste system.  There is no economic mobility.  "Stop blaming the poor for being poor" and "check your privilege" are the types of things you'll hear. 

But Mustachians think that the typical middle-class person can retire after 10 - 20 years if they stop being a consumerist sucka and practice a little frugality.  Surely that same logic applies to the poor in the U.S. as well?  Maybe they can't RE, but 10 - 20 years of Mustachian living could surely make someone not poor anymore, right?  [excepting people with severe disabilities] 

Hence if you believe that people can materially, even drastically, alter their economic situation through Mustachianism, you don't really buy one of the common stories told by the Left. That's a bit awkward if you consider yourself left-wing, though not exactly hypocritical.  And you wouldn't necessarily expect people's beliefs to map exactly onto a pre-determined set of beliefs anyway.

Your error is that you assume that "the left" is a monolithic group of people that all believe the exact same things.  Which is false.  Just like "the right" is not a monolithic group of people that all believe the exact same things.

I recognize that there are differences between, say, a Marxist and mainstream Progressive.  But there's got to be some overlap in beliefs, or "the Left" ceases to be a meaningful concept (same with "the Right"). That said, I'm sure you're correct that certain leftists have different feelings about free will, aggressive tax avoidance, and environmentalism than others.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #141 on: March 20, 2017, 05:55:00 AM »
I'll use every legal means to reduce my taxes.  I would also vote to raise my taxes for life saving programs like single payer.

Ah, but how much!?

As a libertarian myself I see single payer as a somewhat more freedom causing policy. As in- people are free to work/notwork/start a company/be a bum without being forced to work for health care.

As a libertarian I have a limit to what I would spend on these as well. What if it cost 50% payroll tax increase? 20%? 10%? 2%?
I would vote for a 50% payroll tax. :D Could fund a lot of projects with that. I might be pretty liberal, though.

The trouble is, at least in Canada, is that we (collective) don't mind a 50% payroll tax as long as we (singular) don't have to pay for it. I know widows that pay more in taxes than myself. And they pay more in taxes simply because parents are a larger pool of the voting public.

We could do so much more for the poor and downtrodden if the greedy middle class would just pay their fair share.
I would say this is true in the 'States, as well. Everytime a tax hike goes into effect 'for the middle class' it's such an outcry; sad to think of the good that could be done with that money.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #142 on: March 20, 2017, 05:59:01 AM »
Because you can argue that you have to drive sometimes, but no one has to fly, especially in retirement.  And flying is particularly bad for the environment.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/sunday-review/the-biggest-carbon-sin-air-travel.html

Yes, air travel is probably the single worst thing an average person, and an average mustachian, is going to do to the environment. Doesn't stop people from celebrating their cross-planet polluting sprees, though.

But that is the end game of a certain brand of hardcore environmentalism--kill yourself or you're really not that committed.

Make sure you spike some trees first, though. :D
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #143 on: March 20, 2017, 10:22:47 AM »

I feared that referencing T**** would raise hackles and cause people to veer off-topic, like you did in your post and many others did as well.  Should have trusted my gut and kept T****'s name out of it.

My apologies. A pretty good discussion is being had though. Lot of it off topic, yeah, but it's civil and intelligent.

Just Joe

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #144 on: March 20, 2017, 10:35:08 AM »
I agree, keep it coming.

Telecaster

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #145 on: March 20, 2017, 10:42:16 AM »

Somehow the phrase "forced by the government"  rubs me the wrong way. We in the US do not live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. It is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The government is you, me, and every other citizen of this country.

Thank you.  We're "forced by the government" to stop at red lights.   Are we really better off without traffic signals?  Child pornographers are "forced by the government" to give up their hobby.  Is that really such a bad thing?

When people things like "forced by the government" or "pay taxes at the point of a gun" what they are really saying is "I can't think of an argument, so I will appeal to emotion." 

Mola

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #146 on: March 20, 2017, 01:18:24 PM »
Moderator: Doesn't the topic of this thread violate rule 4 of the forum:

4. Be respectful of the site and other members.

If not, I'm going to start a thread titled "Are right-wing Mustachians idiots"

I wouldn't say that the conversation has been disrespectful (but I am no moderator). And I do think someone should start a thread asking whether right wing MMMers are hypocrites (not idiots). Just some thoughts on the flip side of the OP's question. And since the OP used Trump as the anti-thesis of the left we can use him and the poster child of the right - with similar accuracy:
-Right wing is against big government but your Mustachian lifestyle relies on all sorts of government programs: roads, the existence of qualified retirement plans, social security, obamacare, etc
-Right wing is against high taxes but again you benefit from all those government programs
-Right wing is against immigration but how many of you are immigrants or want to take advantage of other county's residency policies (ex pats)
-Right wing bans travel from certain countries, but you travel
-Right wing supports conservative christian values, but how many of you tithe (some, but not all)
-etc

The real point is the OP's question takes something that is a continuum, casts it as black and white, and then claims people are hypocrites if they are not extremists. The same kind of question is constantly rehashed about why Christians don't give away all their wealth and live like paupers.

I lean left wing. I am not an extremist, nor am I a hypocrite.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 01:20:12 PM by Mola »

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #147 on: March 20, 2017, 02:06:55 PM »
I personally think the ultimate Mustachian policy would be a flat consumption/national sales tax. Those who consume more, pay more - on all transactions - cars, homes, stuff to go in homes, etc. That will make the rich hedge fund guys pay their fair share as they buy lots of crazy expensive stuff.

Flat (income) taxes are a way to raise taxes on roughly 90% of the taxpayers while lowering it for the top 10% of taxpayers.  Flat taxes are extremely regressive because they hurt low income workers the most while giving a tax cut to the highest income earners.

As for consumption taxes, again, I've seen tons of data showing that the poorest 1/5 of Americans spend something like 90-95% of their money on taxable goods and services, so sales taxes, rent taxes, vehicle license taxes, property taxes, etc are all taxes that they are paying.  Meanwhile the richest often invest upwards of a third of their money, thus going untaxed, and furthermore the richer someone is, the easier it is for them to avoid sales taxes by playing games like living in a state with no income tax and making a big purchase in states with no sales tax.  For the ultra-rich, we saw things like yacht sales go from being mainly in Florida (where they became subject to a luxury tax) to yachts suddenly all being built & sold a couple hour boat ride away in the Bahamas tax-free.

Our current tax system actually does work pretty well because the lowest income workers pay the least percentage of their income in income tax, although they are still getting hit harder by sales tax than the wealthy.

That's all for me - I am extremely anti-flat tax and anti-national sales tax because of its regressive nature and the fact that consumption taxes are more easily avoided the more wealthy someone is.

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #148 on: March 20, 2017, 02:15:22 PM »
Moderator: Doesn't the topic of this thread violate rule 4 of the forum:

4. Be respectful of the site and other members.

If not, I'm going to start a thread titled "Are right-wing Mustachians idiots"

OP here.  I've already welcomed a right-wing counterpart thread.  Have at it.  And if you read through this (admittedly) very long thread, nearly all the comments have been respectful. 

In case you're wondering, I would guess that hypocrisy is pretty evenly distributed between Left and Right.

GU

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Re: Are left-wing Mustachians hypocrites?
« Reply #149 on: March 20, 2017, 02:21:06 PM »

As for consumption taxes, again, I've seen tons of data showing that the poorest 1/5 of Americans spend something like 90-95% of their money on taxable goods and services, so sales taxes, rent taxes, vehicle license taxes, property taxes, etc are all taxes that they are paying. 


Virtually all the states exempt rent, groceries, prescription drugs, and medical services from sales tax.  Many states also exempt clothing from sales tax.  How could the poor spend 90% - 95% on taxable goods?  If you don't own property you don't pay property tax.  I've never heard of a rent tax--please give me an example of a state that taxes residential rent payments.  The poor certainly pay taxes, but I don't think your assertions are quite correct.