Author Topic: Now that you are a net "taker", do you support more a more socialist government?  (Read 3098 times)

dustinst22

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The problem with "Universal Healthcare" in other countries is we can't look at them in a vacuum. Have they only been able to successfully implement them because the United States is subsidizing them? The US pays for the bulk of healthcare research, and we also pay for the entirety of the securing of worldwide trade routes. If the countries that had Universal Healthcare had to pay for a blue water Navy and the entire medical lifecycle process, would they still be able to?

Interesting perspective.  Many of the European countries we look to with free healthcare are in fact subsidized by the US -- we cover much of the military costs they are able to avoid in exchange for their markets -- the US subsidizes much of Europe on military defense.  If we didn't do this and they had to cover their own military expenses, one can only wonder how viable their other socialist functions would be.  It would certainly change things significantly.  All modern countries have a certain degree of socialism, the only question to debate is how much is good.  We can't necessarily look to other countries as examples, as different factors are at play.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 03:37:53 PM by dustinst22 »

pecunia

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Interesting perspective.  Many of the European countries we look to with free healthcare are in fact subsidized by the US -- we cover much of the military costs they are able to avoid in exchange for their markets -- the US subsidizes much of Europe on military defense.  If we didn't do this and they had to cover their own military expenses, one can only wonder how viable their other socialist functions would be.  It would certainly change things significantly.  All modern countries have a certain degree of socialism, the only question to debate is how much is good.  We can't necessarily look to other countries as examples, as different factors are at play.

Is this military "support" being done for them?  Is this being done for the US?  In the last few years I've heard the phrase "US Empire" batted about.  I've also seen the phrase, "America First."  Altruism is rare in this world.

seattlecyclone

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Okay, now that a source is being posted, it is clear that the numbers being quoted are indeed false because they fail to take into account corporate income tax (which we all pay through higher prices and reduced wages even though it doesn't show up on our tax returns) and growth of the national debt.

I think "false" is not the right word here. Is someone who pays more than the per-capita share of tax collected but less than the per-capita share of spending a "maker" or a "taker"? That seems to be more a matter of opinion than fact.

maizeman

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Okay, now that a source is being posted, it is clear that the numbers being quoted are indeed false because they fail to take into account corporate income tax (which we all pay through higher prices and reduced wages even though it doesn't show up on our tax returns) and growth of the national debt.

I think "false" is not the right word here. Is someone who pays more than the per-capita share of tax collected but less than the per-capita share of spending a "maker" or a "taker"? That seems to be more a matter of opinion than fact.

Of the two sources of error I can certainly see room for debate about debt financed spending, although given that as a nation we're liable for that debt and would all suffer the consequences if it weren't repaid I'm still inclined to treat including that as misleading at best and false at worst.

But the corporate taxes seem more an open and shut case. Either "corporations are people," in which case if you include the income from corporate income tax you should also include corporations in the total number of individuals for calculating the total per capita share of taxes collected (after all corporations do benefit from government spending on infrastructure, education, research, national defense, etc), or corporations are not people, in which case you can either exclude that revenue from the calculation entirely, or assign it to the people who are paying higher prices, which would mean everyone is paying noticeably more taxes each year than shows up on their 1040.

This is especially true because the same poster pushing the erroneously high number (income + payroll + debt + corporate) is comparing it to solely the federal income tax liability of an example household. See below:

Most people are net takers, especially your typical family of four.  Example:

Household income of married couple with 2 kids $70,000
Total federal income tax $1139

And that's assuming they didn't contribute anything to a retirement account.  Factor that in, and the family of four pays even less.

Taking these factors together, it is clear that presenting a number of $12,000 in total federal spending per capita (which includes spending financed by personal income tax, payroll tax, debt, and corporate income tax) without including any disclaimers to that effect, and then using that number as a benchmark to compare against individual's federal income tax liability alone is actively misleading, and going to leave many readers of the thread with highly mistaken views how money flows through our economy.

dustinst22

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Is this military "support" being done for them?  Is this being done for the US?  In the last few years I've heard the phrase "US Empire" batted about.  I've also seen the phrase, "America First."  Altruism is rare in this world.

Well it's an exchange agreement we have in place, so yeah.

EricL

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Is this military "support" being done for them?  Is this being done for the US?  In the last few years I've heard the phrase "US Empire" batted about.  I've also seen the phrase, "America First."  Altruism is rare in this world.

Well it's an exchange agreement we have in place, so yeah.

Supporting Europe against the old USSR was definitely a necessity once.  And Europe pulled its own weight once it rebuilt from WW II (with US money) for most of the Cold War.  So their socialism definitely owes the US. That said, we continued to support Europe like zombies well after the Cold War for no particular reason I can discern. Yes, recently the Russians have been a pain recently. So?  Putin may be an asshole but he doesn’t represent a world wide communist revolution.  Just the usual BS foreign policy Russia’s pursued forever. A policy Europe is more than capable of thwarting with only token US support.  If we want to shore up/improve our existing social welfare institutions I’m happy to see our military budgets take the first and biggest hits. 
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 03:17:07 PM by EricL »

mm1970

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Right now in California we have a homeless epidemic that reaches beyond the traditional losers, junkies, drunks and the mentally ill.  Now people with two or more jobs live on the streets and in growing numbers.  When that demographic gets big enough we'll see a violent communist revolution.  And don't say it can't happen because communism failed.  People increasingly don't remember that.  Leastways not the ones living on the street.


So is the answer to keep doing what California is doing or is it to learn from California, Seattle, and Oregon and maybe consider that those highly taxed very liberal states might be doing something wrong?

It's unfortunately really hard to say, because the whole issue is incredibly complicated.

You cannot separate the highly taxed liberalism from the intensely expensive cost of housing, "no growth" attitudes, etc. 

People with money come here, because they like it or work here.  People  with money (workers in the Bay Area, retirees, etc.) buy property.

More people come here.  Rents go up.  The renters are pissed because it's $3000/month for 2 bedrooms.  But that is, in fact, less money per month than buying the same place.

More people means higher rents.  Pulling homes off market for AirBNB means higher rents.  You could build more apartments - but that means more people, less parking, more traffic, and more strain on an already suffering infrastructure.

And as was mentioned before - it's so complicated because a fair number of the homeless are actually employed, but priced out. 

Gosh I wish I had a solution to it, but I don't.  I hate the traffic, I hate the congestion, I hate seeing the homeless (including the ones who just drift into town because "why not").  It's not going to be easy, that's for sure. 

seattlecyclone

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More people means higher rents.  Pulling homes off market for AirBNB means higher rents.  You could build more apartments - but that means more people, less parking, more traffic, and more strain on an already suffering infrastructure.

More people only needs to mean higher rents if you're building houses more slowly than people are moving in. In California's case, the people are already there. They already drive cars on the roads. They also happen to sleep in those cars. Wouldn't it be better to have actual homes for them?

The transition to more density won't be easy for a lot of California, I agree. Much of the Bay Area is already in a pretty bad place, where they're a bit too dense to allow for the free-flowing highways that suburban car-oriented land use requires, but not nearly dense enough to support the sort of public transit that would serve as a real alternative to car usage for most everyday trips. San Francisco has good urban bones, and could easily scale up their existing transit networks, but their residents seem just as interested in preventing new neighbors as any other municipality in the area.

Seattle is doing better. We've been building new housing at a record pace for the past couple of years, and it seems to actually be making a difference. Rents are stabilizing, homes often take more than a week to sell, and buyers can often demand concessions that were unheard of just last year. We're incrementally upgrading our infrastructure (transit, schools, sewers, parks, and more) to serve this larger population. We still have our share of growing pains and NIMBYs, but I think we're moving in the right direction.

EricL

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More people means higher rents.  Pulling homes off market for AirBNB means higher rents.  You could build more apartments - but that means more people, less parking, more traffic, and more strain on an already suffering infrastructure.

More people only needs to mean higher rents if you're building houses more slowly than people are moving in. In California's case, the people are already there. They already drive cars on the roads. They also happen to sleep in those cars. Wouldn't it be better to have actual homes for them?

The transition to more density won't be easy for a lot of California, I agree. Much of the Bay Area is already in a pretty bad place, where they're a bit too dense to allow for the free-flowing highways that suburban car-oriented land use requires, but not nearly dense enough to support the sort of public transit that would serve as a real alternative to car usage for most everyday trips. San Francisco has good urban bones, and could easily scale up their existing transit networks, but their residents seem just as interested in preventing new neighbors as any other municipality in the area.

Seattle is doing better. We've been building new housing at a record pace for the past couple of years, and it seems to actually be making a difference. Rents are stabilizing, homes often take more than a week to sell, and buyers can often demand concessions that were unheard of just last year. We're incrementally upgrading our infrastructure (transit, schools, sewers, parks, and more) to serve this larger population. We still have our share of growing pains and NIMBYs, but I think we're moving in the right direction.

A solution to California's housing crisis exists.  But it requires upending some of our automobile worship.  Most of the population lives on the coast.  That's where the industry, tourism, and rich people are along with overcrowding, low pay, and NIMBY attitudes.  But there are plenty of low cost areas in the interior.  If we had some nice and cheap rapid transit trains to the interior we could build lower cost housing there and people could commute to lower paying jobs on the coast.  Public transit would still allow them transportation to the beaches for recreation and patronage to coastal shopping/restaurants.  The lowest paid jobs could transfer to those interior areas (I'm guessing most rich people won't miss Mickey D's) so the employees would have a chance of a cheap apartment with a shot at upward mobility rather than homelessness and no shot at upward mobility.  Rich urbanites would have to pay more competitive salaries to retain employees rather than have an artificial demand created by lousy housing. 

It won't be an easy solution.  We'd have to take the money Gov. Brown seems determined to spend on bureaucrats and put it towards a rail system - and probably tax more on top of that.  Not to mention working the wheres, hows, etc. of placing it.  Certain landlords would have to be placated, bribed, bullied legislated.  And tons of environmental bureaucracy dealt with.  I think a lot can be mitigated with elevated rail systems placed above or just on existing freeways.  Though I shudder to think of the potential disaster of high speed rails with a significant earthquake.

Malkynn

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Uh...Iíve just always been a leftist socialist, even when making a huge income and paying incredibly high taxes. Iím cool with it.

No system is perfect, but I much prefer to move towards a system where the most vulnerable are supported first rather than moving further away from that goal, even if it means less money for me personally.

So no, my politics and social values donít change relative to how much benefit I alone get from a given system. The social programs I care most about would be the ones that I pray I never need to benefit from.