The U.S. government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern universities has concluded.

The report, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” (PDF), used extensive policy data collected between 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the U.S. political system.

After sifting through nearly 1,800 U.S. policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile), and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the U.S. is dominated by its economic elite.



  1. LibertyLover says:

    Well, we’ve been in business over a decade. You appear to have the answers, so what metric would you recommend I use?

    Come on, noname, answer this!

    You seem to think I don’t know what I’m doing, so educate me.

    • noname says:

      Wrong again LibertyLover, I don’t presume you don’t know what you think you’re doing. Judging by your rant, I am sure you think you know what you’re doing. I am just not impressed with unsolicited self-flaunting achievements! The good stuff never needs to advertise and word of mouth brings in the new business!

      I am amazed how you vacillate from self-flaunting to self-victimization in the same sentence! Must be hard just to walk amongst Americans, feeling as paranoid and threatened as you do by nothing and everything. Dude, are you bipolar?

      Obviously you never encountered simple truths about metrics, “You are What You Measure”!
      Your only product development metric is cost, and by that measure, the developed product is “cheap” and hobbled, 1st and foremost; even-though, the customer pays allot upfront and for each subsequent needed fixes!

      Sometimes you just can’t put lipstick on a hog, but; kudos LibertyLover you sure do try!

      • LibertyLover says:

        You still haven’t answered the question. You love those fallacies, don’t you?

        If I can’t measure the success of my company based the demand for my product, then what should I measure it on? Tell me how I should know my company is successful?

        BTW . . . you still sound jealous. You need to work better on hiding that.

        • noname says:

          Ah, you still imagine I am jealous, isn’t that cute!

          Ever the neurotic self!

          Dude, if you want help -w- your business, you really need to 1st read.

          It’s obvious, product quality doesn’t much matter to you, as long as some sucker buys it.

          Your misdirected focus and inability to work with actual data that’s real (as evidenced here) and contrary to what you want, indicates what you sell is total crap!

          It is still telling how you deflect instead of answering a very simple question: “Please explain what the difference is between your “Business” and “Big Business”?”

          • LibertyLover says:

            Hey, you’re the one who has been tearing things down from the beginning. I’ve been trying to keep things on track. For instance, I’ve been trying to get you to answer this question for two days now.

            But you keep taking cues out of the “Obama Handbook of Obfuscation” – when in doubt, scream and shout; when you’re caught, accuse your opponent of being bought.

            But as a successful businessman, I’m good at seeing through the bullshit. I have to be; I’m responsible for over two dozen mouths (employees and their families). I take my job seriously.

            If you really want to prove you aren’t just another run-of-the-mill liberal blowhard who’s jealous of anyone who has or might have more than you, then please tell me how to measure the success of my business.

          • noname says:

            Really, this is what you tell your neurotic-self “you’re the one who has been tearing things down from the beginning. I’ve been trying to keep things on track.”?

            I’ve answered your question(s), but; you can’t read, you can’t do math and you can’t reason! And you still have to answer my question(s).

            Your paranoia has got you ranting that I want your stuff and other things!

            Yet, you wish people would take you seriously when you quote imaginary stuff to make your bogus points, like “Obama Handbook of Obfuscation”.

            Obviously, LibertyLover don’t like the black man!

            Again, it’s so telling how you deflect instead of answering a very simple question: “Please explain what is the difference between your “Business” and “Big Business”?” The 99% want to know!

  2. noname says:

    Ah, you still imagine I am jealous, isn’t that cute!

    Ever the neurotic self!

    Dude, if you want help -w- your business, you really need to 1st read.

    It’s obvious, product quality doesn’t much matter to you, as long as some sucker buys it.

    Your misdirected focus and inability to work with actual data that’s real (as evidenced here) and contrary to what you want, indicates what you sell is total crap!

    It is still telling how you deflect instead of answering a very simple question: “Please explain what the difference is between your “Business” and “Big Business”?”

    • LibertyLover says:

      My Bad – Hit the wrong Reply link:

      Hey, you’re the one who has been tearing things down from the beginning. I’ve been trying to keep things on track. For instance, I’ve been trying to get you to answer this question for two days now.

      But you keep taking cues out of the “Obama Handbook of Obfuscation” – when in doubt, scream and shout; when you’re caught, accuse your opponent of being bought.

      But as a successful businessman, I’m good at seeing through the bullshit. I have to be; I’m responsible for over two dozen mouths (employees and their families). I take my job seriously.

      If you really want to prove you aren’t just another run-of-the-mill liberal blowhard who’s jealous of anyone who has or might have more than you, then please tell me how to measure the success of my business.

      • noname says:

        Really, this is what you tell your neurotic-self “you’re the one who has been tearing things down from the beginning. I’ve been trying to keep things on track.”?

        I’ve answered your question(s), but; you can’t read, you can’t do math and you can’t reason! And you still have to answer my question(s).

        Your paranoia has got you ranting that I want your stuff and other things!

        Yet, you wish people would take you seriously when you quote imaginary stuff to make your bogus points, like “Obama Handbook of Obfuscation”.

        Obviously, LibertyLover don’t like the black man!

        Again, it’s so telling how you deflect instead of answering a very simple question: “Please explain what is the difference between your “Business” and “Big Business”?” The 99% want to know!

        • LibertyLover says:

          Wow! You’re going to bring race into this? Is that the first thing you think about when you hear or see the word Obama?

          They only thing left for you to do at this point is to accuse me of wanting to re-institute slavery under a Fifth Reich.

          Please help a poor businessman out by telling me how to measure success.

          • noname says:

            I did, but you can’t read, reason or do math!

            ” poor businessman” what a hoot. There we go again, another round of your self-victimization!

          • LibertyLover says:

            I’m combining these two threads we’ve created.

            There are more Rights than just voting rights. You’ve indicated that because you don’t like the fact someone has more money than you, you have the right to take it from them through mob rule. This violates the very foundation upon which this country was built.

            Combine that with the fact you’ve brought race into the argument, well, there is no backpedaling from all of that, Scooter.

            You’ve lost. See you in another post. Hopefully, you’ll be able to keep your emotions in check.

          • noname says:

            It’s entertaining and educational trying to have a reasoned discussion with someone delusional, paranoid and accusatory.

            You’re so full of it. You can’t reason rationally, you can’t do math, you can’t read and you just make things up as you go along.

            You point fingers at fictitious items you then mock and vilify to make bogus points, like “Obama Handbook of Obfuscation”!

            Between your self-victimization, unsolicited self-flaunting, your self-neurotic paranoia, … , you show zero life character that matters!

            You then ask me what your metrics should be to measure your success. That is all too telling! Only someone not successful asks how to measure success; that is, you must know what something is first to be able to measure it! The simple truth(s) about metrics, “You are What You Measure” shows you obviously don’t know success, and yet you still proffer vaporous emanations as boasts!

            The only person you seem to have impressed was Bobbo and certainly not me!

            As I indicated I advocate a progressive tax rates. Thomas Piketty’s book did a rational analysis of this country wealth, incomes and census data and he advocates an 80% tax rate on the top 1%. Thomas Piketty has a rational basis to advocate what he does. You sir have no basis except your shrills of self-victimization!

            If you want to change minds, you are going to have to do better than bogus accusations of mob rule, “slavery under a Fifth Reich”, vacillations between self-flaunting to self-victimization, … and all the other rhetorical shenanigans you employ. All of which, truly successful people don’t need to employee!

            At this point, you have had nothing to offer more than a bum! You’re not a Warren Buffett, so you might as well stop pretending.

            Get a life and a real job then maybe you might have something meaningful and worthwhile to say!

        • Tim says:

          Shut Rise up, materialistic slaves! Rise up from your collective collapse and declare ,”We don’t want your damn widgets! Make the salesman take the widgets back! Bed, Bath, and Beyond will rue the day they tried to sell timmy widgets…”

          http://youtube.com/watch?v=g8ufRnf2Exc

          a very profitable line of work and how to be successful at it
          http://youtube.com/watch?v=R9n11xtjZ3Y

          • bobbo, the Climate Change ALARMIST who doesn't want his kiddies boiled to death as the Oilgarchs are currently Hell Bent on doing, and the Science Denying Far Right are ignorantly supporting says:

            Isn’t lemon oil, that which can be scraped from the skin, flammable?

            Polite burglars are also not far from the truth given the too common fraud of most repair people. I hate those bastards….. AND …. the fact that they wouldn’t be that hard to police/fine/jail … but its not done.

            Gets into the role of big Nanny Gubment and the progressive tax rate needed to fund it/derive the benefits from it.

            Yea, verily

          • Tim says:

            “”too common fraud of most repair people.

            Yea, I know how that works… For someone I know, a service technician came out to give the airconditioner a pre-season checkup. I heard the hammers. One week later, smoke is coming out of the AC where the bearing burnt out on the blower motor….who knew?? It was beat by a hammer. When they came to fix that ($500) then the coil lost coolant one month later… pinhole… who knew??

            So, the same guy put in a brand new $7000 piece of shit that is not worth even mentioning how over that one I discovered smartgrid government spying and how

            “Let’s get the septic inspected………

            3 days later, the shit is flowing across the ground because the people purpousfuly backwashed into the field-lines.

            fuck service ss. Universal Airsweep — We Suck.

          • bobbo, the only true Libertarian who Dithers with the comic book versions posting here says:

            Hey Timmy–you snuck in there. Yeah, good old ac repairs. Mine went out and reputable guy comes out and says I need a new compressoer for estimate of $800. A week later a good friend of mine who is “expert” in HVAC systems took a simple continuity meter and said all I needed was a $5 fuse. Replaced the fuse and unit was still working 5 years later when I sold the house.

            FRAUD is rampant in repair services. Why EVERY county doesn’t have a sting operation for those asshats is beyond me except that it calls for a police department that cares and is not restricted by the business community members who serve on city counsels.

            You are right: fuck them all. And that all is: us. Fuck me too!

  3. bobbo, the Climate Change ALARMIST who doesn't want his kiddies boiled to death as the Oilgarchs are currently Hell Bent on doing, and the Science Denying Far Right are ignorantly supporting says:

    Pros and cons to all we argue.

    I’ve caught you in factual/logical error so often LL that you have a kneejerk response now: “Thanks for the Worship” instead of any analysis. It shows.

    Here is a very specific question that should get to your failure as a libertarian: you have stated you agree a progressive tax system is ok (sic–whatever you said) but that 80% is too much. I agree. I think current State and Federal progressive tax rates at the margin are around 55%? (whoever knows, chime in?)

    What do you think the maximum tax burden on the margin should be?

    …………..and the follow up: given you answer, do you think that max rate should be eviscerated by special legislation giving further exceptions to those with tax accounts? ……….. IE==I do advocate a progressive tax rate with little to no social engineering/loopholes so everyone pays what the schedule says is appropriate.

    Follow up questions. Its where the heart of the matter resides.

    • Thomas L Sutherland says:

      A progressive tax is not inconsistent with libertarianism. Adam Smith, what some consider the father of modern economic theory and someone quoted quite often by libertarians, is the one who first suggested that a progressive tax system is fair, just, and appropriate. It sounds to me like LL has read Smith, unlike most people who claim the title of Libertarian.

      “The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.”

      Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

      How that progressive tax system takes shape is not discussed in the book. I, too, believe 80% to be high. I consider 55% to be high. No society in history has survived an effective tax rate above 50% for more than a couple of generations. The American Revolution was fought over a 2% tax rate.

      • noname says:

        Apparently you don’t know your history, how America was founded:

        Washington led federal and state militia to put down a popular rebellion against taxes passed by the United States Congress. 5 where killed dozens wounded with many arrested and 2 hanged afterward!

        In fact The Federalists or “Washingtonians” argued for the need for a stronger central government, big government. Washington said, “Let us have a government by which our lives, liberties, and properties will be secured, or let us know the worst at once.”

        • Thomas L Sutherland says:

          The Boston Tea Party? Taxation without Representation? These are not new subjects, yes?

          You are referring to things, it appears, that happened after the U.S. was founded.

          • noname says:

            Wow, you’re about the only dunce who could believe the Whiskey Rebellion, The Federalists or “Washingtonians” are not part of America’s founding era!

          • Thomas L Sutherland says:

            Mr. Noname,

            I believe I said the Revolution was fought over a 2% tax rate. Was I wrong?

            What happened after that may or may not be of consequence to the founding era, but has absolutely no bearing on what came before. The Whiskey Rebellion, being later in the timeline, could not have been a cause for the Revolution.

          • noname says:

            Thomas you are clueless. American history alone shows the moral and practical benefits all Americans experienced when tax rate are more progressive.

            Data and American history shows America was at it’s best when taxes were higher! As Elizabeth Warren simplified Thomas Piketty: ‘Trickle Down Doesn’t Work. Never Did’!

          • Thomas L Sutherland says:

            Mr. Noname,

            What does your statement have to do with the American Revolution?

          • noname says:

            And why do you think Thomas Piketty: ‘Trickle Down Doesn’t Work. Never Did’ has anything to do with the Revelation?

            Wow, I still don’t see why you believe a bogus tangent like “No society in history … tax rate above 50% for more than a couple of generations.” applies to one 8 yr war.

      • bobbo, the only true Libertarian who Dithers with the comic book versions posting here says:

        Thomas…I agree. Problem with LL is that he slops over into calling the payment of “taxes” as a form of slavery. He only JUST said that a progressive tax rate was reasonable. He might be thinking a progressive rate from 1 to 3 %—who knows as he is practicably incapable of responding to direct questions.

        I doubt you can give examples of societies that have failed under a progressive tax of 55 or an effective tax of 55 for more than a few generations. Too many variables. If you can prove me wrong… please educate me.

        noname–what does the Whiskey Rebellion have to do with the point raised by Thomas?

        I have indeed wondered why the American Revolution was fought. Certainly not over taxes and the Richest People leading the revolution had the most to lose. I’ve never read any text on point.

        • noname says:

          “noname–what does the Whiskey Rebellion have to do with the point raised by Thomas?”

          Well Thomas would have us believe our current taxes are too high with “The American Revolution was fought over a 2% tax rate.”

          Promoting a 2% tax rate is “starve the beast” politics guised as founding father patriotism. At least Thomas should know what our founding father thought about the need and necessity of taxes and centralized powerful government!

          • Thomas L Sutherland says:

            Mr. Noname,

            I was not promoting a 2% tax rate. I was using that to compare against a tax rate in excess of 50%. If a war can be fought over 2%, what might happen at 50+%?

            I can assure you, you are in no danger of losing your largess. History has shown that once taxes are instituted, they never go away, only shifted, except through revolution. If we have a revolution, you will have other more pressing concerns.

          • noname says:

            Thomas you are clueless. American history alone shows the moral and practical benefits all Americans experienced when tax rate are more progressive.

            Data and American history shows America was at it’s best when taxes were higher! As Elizabeth Warren simplified Thomas Piketty: ‘Trickle Down Doesn’t Work. Never Did’!

          • Thomas L Sutherland says:

            Mr. Noname,

            What does your statement have to do with the American Revolution?

          • noname says:

            And why do you think Thomas Piketty: ‘Trickle Down Doesn’t Work. Never Did’ has anything to do with the Revelation?

            Wow, I still don’t see why you believe a bogus tangent like “No society in history … tax rate above 50% for more than a couple of generations.” applies to one 8 yr war.

        • Thomas L Sutherland says:

          I can’t remember them all off the top of my head. These two are the ones I recall. Both of these had taxation rates in excess of 50%. The first one, I actually found a link for.

          The Roman Empire is a classic example of excessive taxation needed to maintain their larger than needed government.

          http://tinyurl.com/mlr4enj

          “Despite such efforts, land continued to be abandoned and trade, for the most part, ceased (Rostovtzeff 1926). Industry moved to the provinces, basically leaving Rome as an economic empty shell; still in receipt of taxes, grain and other goods produced in the provinces, but producing nothing itself. The mob of Rome and the palace favorites produced nothing, yet continually demanded more, leading to an intolerable tax burden on the productive classes.’”

          The taxation wasn’t strictly a percentage levied on the monies of any one individual. It was also hidden by the debasing of the currency. By the time the Fall occurred, the coin of the realm contained only 5% of the silver in it then it did when the Empire was first founded. That is a 95% tax rate over the course of the Empire’s life – the Roman Government took 95% of the wealth away from its subjects. This is similar to how inflation works today (the dollar is worth 4% of what it was worth 100 years ago). The people simply stopped producing and/or operated in a black market, starving the government. Thus the Fall.

          Lagash, Summeria. I only remember this one because it was the first example we studied. I remember being shocked that taxation had been around that long. I was young :-) An increase in taxes and extravagance of the government officials caused an uprising, a killing of a king, and the installation of another on the throne – who promptly reduced the taxes back down.

  4. Thomas L Sutherland says:

    Mr. Noname,

    I can certainly see Bobbo’s and Liberty’s consternation in their dealings with you. You are akin to a horribly scratched record; it jumps all over the place, never staying in the same groove for more than a few moments, denying people the simple pleasure of consistency.

    Perhaps this is my reward for interjecting my opinions into Bobbo’s musings.

    If you cannot force yourself to stay on topic, please refrain from attempting to engage me in conversation. I have better things to do than follow you down some rabbit hole.

    TS

  5. bobbo, the only true Libertarian who Dithers with the comic book versions posting here says:

    Thomas L Sutherland says:
    4/25/2014 at 10:32 pm
    History has shown that once taxes are instituted, they never go away, only shifted, except through revolution. //// Absolute statements are almost always wrong. Doesn’t history note Britain had a marginal tax rate of 95% (Thats what the Beatles protested!) and that USA under Eisenhower was near that? Both rates since declined?

    Its a tendency, all part of the mix. No one example in history on all points with any other example in history.

    Toynbee studied and reported on the 22 recognized civilizations that have ever existed and I think over taxation is often a part of it “but” in the main a civilization fails when it gets so accustomed to the good life that it will no longer send its young men to war to rape and pillage its neighbors. A sad brutish fact of life/real politik?

    re taxation: if you have a “King” you have taxation. Do you think a king is going out to the fields to farm? … and so it goes.

    I haven’t read Piketty’s book, but it sounds like its full of graphs and charts. I assume one is close to identifying what the highest marginal and effective tax rate is before it affects overall economic health? (however that may be defined). My gut hunch is that marginal rates up to 95 ((or even 100)) are ok as long as the schedule still provides incentives for the 99.99 of us?

    An aside: is the silver content in a coin a good measure of a tax rate? I’d think it just become fiat currency, no different than paper the efficacy all based on faith it will be legal tender … and no better alternative available?

    Tax Policy. It is infinitely complicated. Subject to study, but emotions too.

    So many books to read, so little time.

  6. Thomas L Sutherland says:

    Mr. Bobbo,

    You ask pointed questions.

    >>> Absolute statements are almost always wrong. Doesn’t history note Britain had a marginal tax rate of 95% (Thats what the Beatles protested!) and that USA under Eisenhower was near that? Both rates since declined?

    My apologies. I should have been more specific with my definition of tax revenue.

    Indeed the marginal tax rates went down, but the effective tax rates did not. If you do some simple searches on the internet, you’ll find tax revenue collected remained unchanged to within just a few percent of GDP verses a 50% change in marginal rate. With the closing of loopholes in the tax laws, there were fewer deductions available to the taxpayers.

    >>>An aside: is the silver content in a coin a good measure of a tax rate? I’d think it just become fiat currency, no different than paper the efficacy all based on faith it will be legal tender … and no better alternative available?

    One definition of “Tax” is: a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.

    By debasing the currency, a government is indeed forcing a compulsory contribution to state revenue. It is also added to the cost of goods, services, and transactions because the cost, in real dollars (or other denominations) increases while, usually, salaries do not. In my opinion, I find little difference between reducing what is brought home versus what you do bring home being worth less.

    I agree there is discussion that supports both viewpoints, but it is hard to argue that if the coin of the realm is decreasing in value, then salaries paid to workers should increase to compensate. If the latter fails to do so, wealth is stolen. This is the cause, in my opinion, of the ever increasing wealth gap; those at the top are more apt to benefit from such policies. Increasing the mandatory base pay for the lower class does nothing more than force the powers that be to debase the currency even further. This problem must be repaired at the source. Unfortunately, there is no single device at which we may point a finger; the system itself is the problem.

    >>>My gut hunch is that marginal rates up to 95 ((or even 100)) are ok as long as the schedule still provides incentives for the 99.99 of us?

    I wonder. Should 99.99% of us decide that 0.01% of us (3,200,000) should work in the cotton fields, would that be just as acceptable to you? In this regard, I must side with LL when he said that there are more Rights than just the right to vote. If one person’s rights are violated, then the system is flawed. That is my line in the sand, so to speak.

    >>>So many books to read, so little time.

    Indeed.

    TS

    • Thomas L Sutherland says:

      I should set aside some time to brush up on my simply math skills. 32,000 would be 0.01% instead of 3,200,000.

  7. bobbo, the only true Libertarian who Dithers with the comic book versions posting here says:

    I agree about actual revenue raised remaining fairly stable regardless of official tax rates what with loopholes and refusal to pay arising fairly fast. My memory says its around 35%? I do wonder if that “realistic effective tax rate” varies from country to country with the Nordic countries paying more and “happy” to do so because they feel they get value returned.

    I prefer keeping distinguishable issue separate. Helps in the analysis. Yes, debasing currency takes from the people but taxation is distinguishable. Failure to keep things in their proper category leads to people believing in their hearts (because their brains have turned off) that any taxation at all is a form of slavery. Its bad thinking.

    The wealth gap. Its caused exclusively by tax policy. Currency debasement not properly part of tax policy has a minimum effect here. When currency debasement results in inflation to basic consumer needs, yes, the poor are hurt more oidiously than the rich. I don’t think the RICH benefit more, they just aren’t hurt in the basic needs of life….. hah!==or the luxury items either. Is settling for a smaller second yacht really an injury?

    Getting nearer the heart:

    “Increasing the mandatory base pay for the lower class does nothing more than force the powers that be to debase the currency even further.” /// Anti Minimum wage huh? Debasing the currency is only one of a range of responses? Another as stated would be a more progresssive/responsive tax policy? I find it hard to justify a flat real wage among workers when the economic sector involved has increased production proficiency. Why shouldn’t the workers directly benefit from the increase in productivity? Contra: its a fair question whether or not there should be “starter jobs” not meant to provide a living wage. Open Question: what percentage of jobs in a society should be so?

    Should 99.99% of us decide that 0.01% of us (3,200,000) should work in the cotton fields, would that be just as acceptable to you? /// I’m for maximum individual freedom. Not into forcing people to do much of anything. Encourage?==yes. In context, my example was pointing to a 100% marginal tax rate to kick in that would affect only .01% of taxpayers. Lets say that would mean an annual taxable income of 20 Million and above? I don’t know how banking 20 Million would fairly be characterized as forcing anyone into the cotton fields? You may have some dogma leaking out at the edges?

    Just if you have the time/care: any thoughts about why the American Revolution was instigated and carried on by the richest people in America. Those that were getting the maximum benefit witht the most to lose all in an endeavor that any strategist would have said the USA would lose? “They fought for political freedom.” Sure. …. but it wasn’t the kind of ECONOMIC bet I would have made under the same circumstances.

    Lots of books. Lots of issues.

  8. Thomas L Sutherland says:

    Mr. Bobbo,

    >>>I prefer keeping distinguishable issue separate. Helps in the analysis. Yes, debasing currency takes from the people but taxation is distinguishable. Failure to keep things in their proper category leads to people believing in their hearts (because their brains have turned off) that any taxation at all is a form of slavery. Its bad thinking.

    In my opinion, they are one in the same. They both remove wealth. One is overt. One is covert.

    >>>The wealth gap. Its caused exclusively by tax policy. Currency debasement not properly part of tax policy has a minimum effect here. When currency debasement results in inflation to basic consumer needs, yes, the poor are hurt more oidiously than the rich. I don’t think the RICH benefit more, they just aren’t hurt in the basic needs of life….. hah!==or the luxury items either. Is settling for a smaller second yacht really an injury?

    Unfortunately, you are incorrect in this instance. Bonds are purchased to support the printing of the money. Who has the ability to purchase these bonds? The upper tier. They reap the benefits of the debasement before it flows into the economy. You understand wealth is stolen through debasement. You also understand tax revenue has changed little in comparison to GDP. The wealth is not destroyed, ergo it has moved somewhere. Where do you suppose the wealth is going and how does it get there?

    >>>Anti Minimum wage huh?

    Did I say that? I simply said it makes no difference. A simple search on the internet will show a sharp increase in the price of consumer goods within two years after every minimum wage increase. You can attribute it to “supply and demand” or “currency debasement,” but in either case spending power returns to nearly its previous level before it is raised again.

    What if I told you that as a percentage, Minimum Wage has outpaced the CPI since the 50s? For instance, in 1938, MW was 1.8% the CPI. Today it is 2.8%. There was a high of 4.6% in 1968. However, the value of the dollar has dropped so much during that same time period that the additional 1% has been subsumed.

    >>>Why shouldn’t the workers directly benefit from the increase in productivity?

    Good question. They do, though probably not in the same fashion as you might imagine they should. Do you use a gas-powered lawn mower or a muscle-powered one?

    >>> I don’t know how banking 20 Million would fairly be characterized as forcing anyone into the cotton fields?

    It was meant as a comparison. Where is the line truly drawn between slavery and freedom? If the majority of the people have the power to alter a progressive tax structure that penalizes those at the top end because the ones below that feel they don’t make enough money, and those at the top end do not have the Right to redress their government, what is the next step beyond that?

    If you were to do the math, you will quite, I am sure, unbelievably find that taxing those at the upper level, even at 100%, would not come close to solving the problem. It is purely a political question. It has no value to the bottom line at all.

    Just out of curiosity, what is your reasoning for taxing the 0.01% at 100%?

    >>>American Revolution

    I am not the historian in the family, but here is a good primer. There are quite a few good answers there.

    https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080206193544AAjQynz

    My opinion is that GB got greedy as the laissez faire economy of the colonies grew to such a point where they were trying to dictate terms. King George, my guess, saw the writing on the walls, so to speak, and decided to remind the colonies who they truly were beholden to. And the colonies rebelled. The tax on tea did nothing more than prove the colonists’ points and gave them something to rally behind.

    TS

    • Thomas L Sutherland says:

      Mr. Bobbo,

      You make me think.

      Here is an interesting scenario I have never considered. What if the minimum wage is nothing more than a device to justify inflation, the stealing of wealth through debasement?

      It sounds backward, but with more cash flowing into consumers’ hands, demand goes up, thus supply goes down, thus manufacturing requires capital to produce more goods, thus they buy bonds to finance the expansion, thus the Fed prints the cash, and now the currency is that much more debased.

      The end result is eventually the consumers can no longer afford the goods as their spending power has sunk back down, so manufacturing has to look for cheap labor overseas.

      TS

      • bobbo, the only true Libertarian who Dithers with the comic book versions posting here says:

        I think you are becoming feverished. To begin with, MW does not keep up with inflation so I don’t know how it could drive it.

        Sadly, most consumer goods production is overseas so your fixation on bond financing is wholly irrelevant. In a lot of those cases, they currently are, or cycle through, phases of excess capacity and the need for capital is a fantasy anyway.

        You do have the consumer spending/gdp backward what with a dollar injected at the top having a near zero return (it is saved) while a dollar injected at the bottom has a 3 fold multiplier (it is spent on consumer goods and services).

        You got quite a few things pretty much backward. How does that happen?

  9. bobbo, the only true Libertarian who Dithers with the comic book versions posting here says:

    Thomas L Sutherland arguing by conflation and twist says:
    4/26/2014 at 7:33 pm Mr. Bobbo,

    >>>I prefer keeping distinguishable issue separate. Helps in the analysis. Yes, debasing currency takes from the people but taxation is distinguishable. Failure to keep things in their proper category leads to people believing in their hearts (because their brains have turned off) that any taxation at all is a form of slavery. Its bad thinking.

    In my opinion, they are one in the same. They both remove wealth. One is overt. One is covert. /// You make my point. They both remove wealth. One is taxation policy and the other is currency debasement/inflation. Like a Venn Diagram we have 3 areas subject to discrete discussion. Thats ok, just don’t confuse 2 of the 3 for the other? (smile!)

    >>>The wealth gap. Its caused exclusively by tax policy. Currency debasement not properly part of tax policy has a minimum effect here. When currency debasement results in inflation to basic consumer needs, yes, the poor are hurt more oidiously than the rich. I don’t think the RICH benefit more, they just aren’t hurt in the basic needs of life….. hah!==or the luxury items either. Is settling for a smaller second yacht really an injury?

    Unfortunately, you are incorrect in this instance. Bonds are purchased to support the printing of the money. Who has the ability to purchase these bonds? The upper tier. They reap the benefits of the debasement before it flows into the economy. /// I am not a close follower of the dismal science having quickly realized I don’t understand the main theories once you are off an island that has 10 canoes and 20 coconuts…. but aren’t most bonds purchased by the too big to fail banks? These bonds returning a 2-3 % rate while the money to buy the bonds is secured by zero percent loans from the Federal Reserve. To the degree that is true, the only debasement going on is by and for the Rich. But…. have we both lost track of what the subject of this dicussion is?….Let me review above………..”How that progressive tax system takes shape is not discussed in the book. I, too, believe 80% to be high. I consider 55% to be high. No society in history has survived an effective tax rate above 50% for more than a couple of generations. The American Revolution was fought over a 2% tax rate….” //// Yes, it was about tax policy, not the transfer of wealth. We have 4 sentences there each with a separate idea. We could discuss the one idea of most interest? In the main…I suspect neither one of us have enough “facts” at hand to argue persuasively?
    xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    You understand wealth is stolen through debasement. /// No, thats only one of the many ways wealth is stolen, although I think you more specifically mean (or should mean) transferred? Another Venn Diagram for clarity?

    You also understand tax revenue has changed little in comparison to GDP. /// No, its changed significantly. Downward trends for corp tax, downward tax revenue trend from the upper percentiles, downward from inheritance tax, and so on. Again, you are suffering, making the error, of lumping too many issues together and then cherry picking or just flat wrong on facts you want to pull from the stew.

    The wealth is not destroyed, ergo it has moved somewhere. Where do you suppose the wealth is going and how does it get there? /// It clearly has been moving into the upper percentile of wealth aggregators.

    >>>Anti Minimum wage huh?

    Did I say that? /// No you didn’t say that. I surmised it, hence the question mark. Continuing silence doubles up on the inference.

    I simply said it makes no difference. /// No, you said much the opposite that it would “debase the currency even further.” Making a fancy lie that providing a higher minimum wage would net less buying power for the base rung in society. Clever…… but dishonest….. I apologize…I don’t know if you are lying. You’ve just bought the lie in the best view of the case?

    A simple search on the internet will show a sharp increase in the price of consumer goods within two years after every minimum wage increase. /// Oh my goodness. You are on a roll now. Identifying the issue of contention as the cause of something that is always multiplexed and nuanced. The two year addition is a nice come on though. Skilled you are. Post hoc ergo proctor hoc. Concomitant. Effect and not the Cause. My response if true: raise the minumum wage again then.

    You can attribute it to “supply and demand” or “currency debasement,” but in either case spending power returns to nearly its previous level before it is raised again. /// Its math. Raise it again. Last raise of Fed min wage was 2009 while the cpi has gone up steadily from 2-4 % per year. Thats a steady decrease in buying power. Better to be brought up to par and fall behind than to simply constantly fall being don’t you think?

    What if I told you that as a percentage, Minimum Wage has outpaced the CPI since the 50s? For instance, in 1938, MW was 1.8% the CPI. Today it is 2.8%. There was a high of 4.6% in 1968. However, the value of the dollar has dropped so much during that same time period that the additional 1% has been subsumed. //// I’d say I don’t know enough to devine your point. CPI has little to do with wealth accumulation or transfer and if your hypo is true, then the money needed to support a family has little to do with the CPI.

    >>>Why shouldn’t the workers directly benefit from the increase in productivity?

    Good question. They do, though probably not in the same fashion as you might imagine they should. /// You are right, whatever you are thinking, I say MW workers deserve: more.

    Do you use a gas-powered lawn mower or a muscle-powered one? /// Grass??? That is so….the suburbs. ((I thought about posting I don’t use a mower to transplant my Orchids, but …. that was some time back. I do miss my greenhouse and the plants therein. ))

    >>> I don’t know how banking 20 Million would fairly be characterized as forcing anyone into the cotton fields?

    It was meant as a comparison. /// Exactly so. A very bad comparison.

    Where is the line truly drawn between slavery and freedom? /// The distance is measured in inches while your comparison is measured in miles.

    If the majority of the people have the power to alter a progressive tax structure that penalizes those at the top end because the ones below that feel they don’t make enough money, and those at the top end do not have the Right to redress their government, what is the next step beyond that? /// How many unstated assumptions have you strung together there? But I’d say the next step is either to revolt or eat shit like the poor do now? What are you thinking?

    If you were to do the math, you will quite, I am sure, unbelievably find that taxing those at the upper level, even at 100%, would not come close to solving the problem. //// Again, the problem is not unidimensional and involves a response set of: all of the above. The upper tax level is as you in the best view note is symbollic except it does set the tone for a whole raft of related tax and social policies. Corporate tax, inheritance tax, offshoring of assets, stock market fast trading skimming, too big to fail–its all related as if “the RICH” being rich doens’t matter. But it does.

    It is purely a political question. /// No, it has real world material consequences and I would say is as moral as it is political. Forthly: it has very pragmatic consequences to all considerations.

    It has no value to the bottom line at all. /// If that were true, then the tax rate applied would be of no concern. Obviously it does to you and me both. When you are “wrong” and you talk long enough, it usually doesn’t take long to trip on your own argument.

    Amusing no?

    Prediction: college kiddies especially athletes are as dumb as hammers in a bag. They think unions are about not loving Mom and Dad when Unions are all about the money. Cracks me up. Just a stupid and buying the BS as you can get.

    Athletes. ……… foot.

    Just out of curiosity, what is your reasoning for taxing the 0.01% at 100%?

    >>>American Revolution

    I am not the historian in the family, but here is a good primer. There are quite a few good answers there.

    https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080206193544AAjQynz

    My opinion is that GB got greedy as the laissez faire economy of the colonies grew to such a point where they were trying to dictate terms. King George, my guess, saw the writing on the walls, so to speak, and decided to remind the colonies who they truly were beholden to. And the colonies rebelled. The tax on tea did nothing more than prove the colonists’ points and gave them something to rally behind.

    TS

  10. bobbo, the only true Libertarian who Dithers with the comic book versions posting here says:

    Sorry, proofing the draft, I see I stopped short:

    Just out of curiosity, what is your reasoning for taxing the 0.01% at 100%? /// Totally arbitrary and just following up on the main question of what is the affect on society from various tax rates? Its just another way of asking/recognizing that in a society “of and by the people” is there any legitimate support for enough money being enough? I think there is for all the bases in reasoning, but that is a whole nother discussion but here is a tease: When getting operated on at 8AM in the morning, do you want your surgeon to have dreamed that night about your operation, or his stock holdings?

    >>>American Revolution

    I am not the historian in the family, but here is a good primer. There are quite a few good answers there. /// …I’ll just assume not my answer. As stated, I have looked for quite a while. Another teaser, I think it has to do with the very practical reason why many of our founders spoke of Liberty while holding slaves. Its related to the Minimum Wage…. but by miles.

    https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080206193544AAjQynz

    My opinion is that GB got greedy as the laissez faire economy of the colonies grew to such a point where they were trying to dictate terms. King George, my guess, saw the writing on the walls, so to speak, and decided to remind the colonies who they truly were beholden to. And the colonies rebelled. The tax on tea did nothing more than prove the colonists’ points and gave them something to rally behind. //// I agree.

    TS/bobbo

  11. Thomas L Sutherland says:

    Mr. Bobbo,

    There are too many questions and ideas floating around, many of them sprouting from my own posts. Let us please stick to one. I suggest the top of the list.

    >>>Currency Debasement as or as not the same as taxation.

    Here are a series of statements I find to be true and logical. Please take them at face value. Somewhere along this trail, we diverge. I am not attempting to hide any special meaning in between the lines. I am not trying to set you up for a trap. I am attempting to see where we diverge. Please indicate where.

    If currency maintains its value, any growth in the economy should be the result of true growth (production increases) and not an apparent increase due to an increase in the number of dollars in circulation.

    As long as government does not grow in size, the percentage of the GDP collected in tax revenue used to fund the government will be adequate from year to year. We shall assume there are no emergency measures encountered.

    Inflation is shorthand for Inflation of the Money Supply. Increased costs are a symptom, not the cause, of inflation.

    As inflation affects the value of money, companies/individuals requiring payment for services/goods increase their prices to compensate for their own lost wealth. This means the percentage of the GDP collected in tax revenue will no longer continue to fund the same amount of government services. There are not enough dollars.

    The government solves this problem by borrowing money to pay the increased costs. Now these companies/individuals make more dollars because the government can pay them. But as the tax rate is the same, the government’s revenue collection, in dollars, increases appropriately as well. Therefore, the government’s services are not reduced. They are still able purchase x man-hours of goods and services.

    So even in a fiat currency situation, as long as taxes remain steady, and government spending does not increase, and all other things remain equal (salaries keep up with inflation, etc.), the economy effectively moves along in steady state. Any growth outside of inflation is true growth.

    Let’s not worry about the persistent debt just yet.

    Do you agree with these statements?

    TS