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Without reading the article (reading poisons the mind) that seems like a weird kind of mental jiujitsu. Like, liberals tend to attempt to enforce tolerance, and since the vast majority of people on the internet are dickwads, myself included, bumping up against other aggressively intolerant, racist, or belligerent douches and trying to force them to play nice makes the liberals seem less tolerant. But it's intolerance of douchebaggery.
I'd like to reiterate, why is 70% of the federal budget going to 80% of the population seen as a giveaway to those 70%. It's as if you, DW, are suggesting MORE should just be given away to the rich.
A useful and often-used definition of "middle class" is having income between 50% of and 200% of the median income. In the US the median household income is 51k, so between 25k and 102k. This accounts for about 55% of the population and those below that level another 25%. Together this makes 80%. This means that, even if we take DW's figure at face value, the poor and middle class are getting short shrift.
Ignoring for the moment that no household subsisting on 25k a year, or $12/hr for a single full-time worker, feels remotely middle class. This is largely because this definition was useful in the 1950s, 60s and 70s before the steady productivity growth we saw from 1982 to today, when consumer prices steadily rose while wages did not.
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Of COURSE you can, and we do in many ways. It's simply not okay to limit the speech of the RICH because, as we all know, those with more money are simply better than us. Intrinsically. Otherwise they wouldn't be rich, because money is an objective measure of how smart, good looking, and worthwhile one is as a person.
Except "speaking your mind" in all of these examples is "bribing politicians and public servants to bend the law to my whim".
If money=speech then I ought to be free to do whatever with my money that I wish. But I'm not.
Arguing with Doug is completely useless though because he doesn't care about freedom, only the ability of the ultra rich to have their way with the electorate. This is what happens when you worship money.
How about this: I'm willing to bet that, regardless of actual QUALITY (Budweiser tastes like piss) domestic beer producers make more revenue and have a higher profit margin than smaller breweries largely BECAUSE of such advertising.
Because advertising works. Money talks.
Advertising for consumer goods is largely a trivial matter, but things that get a lot of media attention, including aggressive advertising blitzes, are successful in swaying opinions of a product enough that the producer increases their profits. Regardless of the product's quality.
Our democratically elected government, on a state, local, and federal level, are not such trivial things. Allowing a few moneyed elites (only some 600 people hit these aggregate limits in recent cycles) to flood the market (so to speak) will absolutely have a deleterious and corrupting affect on American politics. To believe otherwise is willful ignorance.
Doug's Workshop wrote:
Except that we've already done this dance.Money is not speech, but it can be EXCHANGED for speech, or to silence others as it is indeed being used. Thus we can regulate how money is exchanged for political speech in a way that will maximize your and my ability to exercise our own without some big union or corporation or billionare drowning out our voice.
The silly argument you put forth here suggests two things. 1) That you are perfectly aware of the corrupting influence of money on politics, as the alternative to your argument would be arguing in my favor.
2) That you've run out of ideas where to go rhetorically, since money isn't speech and we both know it.
Doug's Workshop wrote:
In-state tuition at my local land-grant college is about $12k. Books are another 1k/year easily. I live in low-income housing (subsidized in part by the city) and I make all my own meals, and share a car with my girlfriend. Basically, I live extremely frugally, and my total bills every month are about $1k. During the school year I work 15 hours a week on weekends because I need every night of the week to study, but I make about $12/hr, well over the minimum wage that most students make, so I've been fortunate there, and I work full time (or more than if I get overtime) in the summers, usually while taking a summer class (not included in that 12k/yr tuition figure).
So let's recap: $13k/yr tuition and books + (by a VERY conservative estimated MINIMUM) $12k/yr=$25k/yr total. If I worked full time THE ENTIRE YEAR, thus not allowing for any study time at night, after taxes I would still not make enough to survive. I mean, unless I take out student loans, which I wouldn't qualify for if it weren't for federal assistance, I'd have to take out a minimum of $10k/yr at the current interest rates of about 7%, unsubsidized so I'd be accruing interest while going to school and after 4 years I'd owe $55k-ish. Bare freaking minimum.
Andrew R wrote:
The real takers are the corporations, espeically big oil, big ag, and big pharma, and the Wall Street machine in general.
Compared to what they rake in, thanks to bought votes and congressional seats (thanks SCOTUS!) welfare fraud and social programs are a mere pittance!
Andrew R wrote:
Here's all I'm saying. There will never be a perfect system, but statistically the people you're talking about are a tiny, tiny fraction of the population. Like less than 1%. Maybe you have a job where you run into that type of people a lot. I live ghetto-adjacent and I ride the bus and I know the kind of person you're talking about, and I can sympathise with the anger.
I just console myself with the knowledge they'll never go anywhere in life, and I think that if you lived their life for a while you'd know it's not all roses either. It may seem like it, because they're getting something for not working for it, but they're not getting much of anything. Really they're not.
Most of the specific points you've railed against are things that are already addressed. Like buying cigs with foodstamps, which you can't do anyway.
I'm just imagining that you're faced with these people every day, as opposed to the much more heinous theft that's happening on Wall Street day in and day out which I don't see you really raising a huff about.
Well this thread went sideways fast.
Look, I'm all for treating drug abuse like a disease like a crime, because most abuse can be ameliorated and users can be rehabilitated. Not all, but most.
My problem is this, Andrew: What about alcohol? That's a drug. In most meaningful ways it's far more dangerous than most recreational drugs other than heroin, cocaine, crack, meth, and PCP.
I'm staunchly pro-drug, even if I don't partake often. Full disclosure, it's been about 4 1/2 years since I've smoked marijuana (not my favorite drug) and almost 14 since I dropped acid (my favorite drug). My girlfriend's whole family is potheads and it borderline makes me uncomfortable when we can't go to dinner there without them busting out the pipes, cuz I don't smoke.
My gf's dad smokes basically every day. He also works 50-60 hours a work as a maintenance technician, and never works high. Where you might have a couple brews, he has a couple of tokes. He provides for his wife and family, and is otherwise a law-abiding, tax-paying average joe. Marijuana is becoming just another working class escape, and I don't think users should be locked up because Andre R hates hippies.
Come on Meat. In order to invest, you're putting in money you already have, and have already paid taxes on once. How would you 'not tax' that original income. It's already been taxed before you invest it. As you point out, capital gains are at low rates. I can live with 15%. It is the corporate rate that needs to come down. The president wants to raise Capital Gains to 30%. And what do you think the result will be on business if he succeeds? Less business.
I shouldn't have to spell this out to you: income tax deductions.If you invest $5000 into a money market account in year X, you can deduct 5k from your income for that year. Look at that! You're effectively not paying taxes on your initial investment!
The problem with your idea is that a low capital gains tax should IN THEORY incentivize new investment. What we WANT is investment in domestic capital and labor. What we GET is financial investment on the stock market, much of which goes to companies already producing or spending a significant amount of money internationally. In other words, it only accelerates the movement of capital off-shore.
In gaming terms, this is called theorycrafting. You've reasoned out how things ought to work, if everything works like a well-oiled machine, and so you've convinced yourself that it's how it MUST work.
I'd like to remind people that this is the same logic that said, back in the 50s and 60s when the idea that tobacco caused cancer was controversial, the tobacco companies wouldn't sell a dangerous product because it's not profitable to kill their customers. It has a sort of folksy, common-sense pseudo-rational bent to it, but in the end it's utter shash.
In reality, none of this in the case. If no employer offers a benefit, and they collude not to, none of them is at a particular disadvantage. While it may be true that two otherwise identical firms may find it an advantage to compete by offering such incentives, no two firms are nearly so similar as to fit this criteria. In fact, firms are becoming so big and such near-monopolies that they can utterly dominate their position in a field to create leverage against prospective employees.
Many jobs actually THRIVE on the high turnover rate that they cultivate through grueling hours and low pay, because in dire economic times such as those in which we are now living, people are desperate and there's ALWAYS a boss eager to exploit desperation. There are all KINDS of reasons why people take jobs or stay in them, and reducing human beings to an interchangeable input unfairly discounts all sorts of reasons you couldn't predict for why they act in an (apparently) economically irrational manner.
What in the roleplaying community we call theorycrafting, in economics we call the Austrian school of thought. Empiricism be damned, they've decided how things must work and if you show them evidence to the contrary they'll ignore you.
We're paying for the healthcare for a lot of citizens. They are LEAVING the workforce in record droves. Two or three times the number of people drop out of the work force (Unemployed, but Quit Looking for Work) per month, than those who find a job (now days, typically a part time job that doesn't offer employer benefits). As those numbers aren't counted in the unemployment statistics, it gives the appearance of an economic recovery. Point is, Medicaid is given to more than 50 million Americans. If getting healthcare is supposed to help you "get back to work" and be productive, why are people instead not going back to work?
I'm not even sure what you're referring to. The vast, vast majority of the healthcare being provided by medicare and medicare is for elderly retirees, who aren't likely to go back to work any time soon. Are you saying you think they ought to?
I think you misunderstand me though, healthcare doesn't magically make people who are unemployed find jobs (and I can't imagine why you'd think it would), it helps those who ARE employed stay productive. It's one reason why employers offer it--they know that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce. But many jobs don't offer healthcare, and to me the choice is between forcing them to or simply allowing them to sign onto medicare.
Personally I dislike the idea of subsidizing the employer's bottom line, if we're going to be a system where labor is dependent on their employer for healthcare they NEED to do so and not doing so amounts to a free ride for the employer. Which again brings us back to single-payer.
If NO employer is required or even needs to provide insurance as a benefit to employees it's an immediate positive supply shock to those companies who previously were. It adds immeasurably to the liquidity of labor and would cut down significantly on frictional unemployment. It would also prevent employees from feeling trapped in a job due to the need for medical care, such as for chronic conditions. In other words, it allows the invisible hand to actually work in the labor market.
EDIT: I just wanted to add one more thing about the shift to part-time employment. Productivity per capita has been skyrocketing for the last several decades while wages remain stagnant. If we, as an industrialized society, can continually produce the means to sustain life ever more efficiently, shouldn't we expect to do so with ever less effort? Once everything is automated, and labor isn't needed to produce anything (on a sustaining level, I'm not talking about innovation or growth, that's another topic entirely) shouldn't we all be free of the shackles of wage labor? If not, what exactly is in it for the regular joe to work ever harder when a greater portion of the fruits of his labor go to his slave master....er employer?
We just disagree what's necessary then.
Granted, Obamacare is not that efficient solution.
Again, we pay more for, and get less from, our healthcare system than any other industrialized nation. I hate being ripped off.
Doug's Workshop wrote:
You're literally saying that we don't need government programs to provide healthcare BECAUSE we have government programs that provide healthcare.
I agree. People born with a heart condition should take personal responsibility for their moral failings which cause such birth defects.
Doug's Workshop wrote:
Yes, that's what I said. If you own a car you need to buy insurance for it.If you have a BODY you have to get insurance for it.
Andrew R wrote:
Forcing all americans to buy a car would bring the price down im sure, even if they don't want one. ACA part 2 the affordable car act. If you cannot afford a car too &^%$ing bad, car or fine. and the fine will be more than the car after a few years so you might as well......
No the cogent analogy would be forcing everyone who owns a car to buy CAR insurance.Which we do.
Unless I'm woefully uninformed, a pension is a managed fund that is contributed to by an employee which he/she can then draw from after retirement. Granted it's not as safe as a bank account, but when contractually guaranteed the onus is on the guarantor to provide their end of the bargain. Hence, since it is perfectly rational to expect that contractual obligations are observed, it's reasonable to expect pensions to be paid in full.
The REASON that most people don't still have pensions is that they have been robbed blind by the fund managers who, miraculously, still walk out of their job with golden parachutes.
Andrew R wrote:
My thoughts on tax cuts are for encouraging building factories and the like, things that make jobs. if you build a factory do you go where they will tax less to get the benefits of people getting jobs or do you go somewhere that will tax you higher? You think GM would have built where they did if not for the sweet deals they were given on land and taxes? We do not need more service jobs we need manufacturing back if we are going to have any future. I will never say we cannot tax anyone, only that we cannot expect the pockets of a few to support others. Taxation is a necessary evil, but best we do as little evil we can.
First off, the manufacturing boat has already sailed I'm afraid. At least the ones you're likely talking about, rust-belt, Detroit, etc., because it is so far gone that the means of production have depreciated so much that it isn't financially viable (from the corporate perspective, mind you) to maintain/build new factories here. The only way to entice manufacturing jobs back into the US is to pay workers here less than what they do in China, which just ain't happening. The silver lining for manufacturing is that SOME skilled manufacturing will stay here, as opposed to just assembly jobs which are the ones mostly getting "off-shored."
The problem with the tax cut thing is that it quickly becomes a race to the bottom, where states or municipalities compete for the lowest tax rate to entice corporations to hire or set up headquarters there, all that happens is that the corporation keeps most or all of its money. Sometimes they're even GIVEN money or land, or granted exemptions from property taxes, which is why there are so many empty Wal-Marts. The problem is in the individual state system because if said taxes were dictated on a federal level there'd be no juking the tax man. You would probably need interstate collaboration and agreement not to participate in such a race.
I'm sorry I didn't know you were here to be mollycoddled. It's not my job to validate your emotions.
From all that I can tell, you DON'T have any reason for feeling as you do. Despite finding your claims far-fetched at first blush, LazarX have done your homework in trying to trace it to its source.
In fairness, the link that LazarX found is merely reprinting a story which originally appeared elsewhere. However, that elsewhere is The New American the official publication of the John Birch society.
I did not. I told you about my experience.
Yes, your experience of watching a film 28 years ago and later hearing (from an unnamed source) that it was all done by Greenpeace. A claim you've never yourself investigated, apparently, but which has soured you against the organization SO MUCH that you now stand in opposition to their goals on principle?
It makes no sense to any of us. We're trying to understand.
I mean, how are we meant to react?
It's strange that whenever I don't agree with this specific crowd, I always get called paranoid. Signing off, moving on after flagging. Thank you.
You: Bunch of wild claims with a paranoid, conspiratorial tone.Us: "Um...can you back any of that up with evidence? Can you explain..."
You: *takes her toys and goes home*
@Sissyl: It's not "whenever you don't agree" it's whenever you make wild claims without substantiating them.
If you're willing to torture animals for your own ends, you kind of lose the right to complain about others doing so. Because you're an evil moron person.
First of all, no. Torturing of animals is objectively evil. It doesn't become less evil because ONE or SOME people who are protesting it are tangentially involved. You're burying your head in the sand and pretending that it isn't a problem because of some hypocrisy on the part of the people informing you about it? That's just a convenient rationalization.
Second of all, your continued assertion that "no, the ONLY people who are cruel to animals are the animal rights groups, who set up elaborately staged animal torture videos to make Legitimate Business (TM) look bad" is nothing more than a self-reinforcing delusion.
There are literally miles of footage of this sort of wholesale cruelty happening, and the stance that it's okay because YOU have arbitrarily decided to dislike the messenger is not only lazy but morally reprehensible.
No one but Sissyl can understand that hogwash.Of course, questioning her underpants gnome logic, and asking for her to explain her conspiracy theories with evidence and diagrams means that we're fascist lefties who don't respect her right to believe something different...
Matrix Dragon wrote:
This is also a good point."What's your name, stranger?"
"I'm Bob the dwarven berzerker who kills everything on sight! Greetings!"
"You look like a trusty companion to have on an adventure! Why don't you travel with us, friend?"
Here's my 2cp:
Players coming back from life doesn't break my verisimilitude because, quite simply, different rules apply to PCs than do the rest of the world. It has always been that way.
7k (5k for Raise Dead and 2k for 2 restorations) isn't chump change, but it's enough to disincentivize the sort of behavior that gets players killed. When a character dies the GM or other players should have a brief conversation about why he died, and see if they can take it as a learning experience. Did the warrior foolishly dump Wis? Convince him to buy a headband of wis and/or a cloak of resistance. Does the Barbarian simply take too much damage? See if you can't get him/her better armor, etc.
Let's remember that this is first and foremost a game, in which (ostensibly) your real life friends are interacting, and when they have a character they really like, giving it up because the GM thinks it makes the world more believable can be un-fun.