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  1. #46
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    Re: White House Petitions

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    What's wrong with getting average people in congress? You know, not people who are only part of the rich bubble who think the average middle class pay is $250,000 and have no idea what REAL people in the US suffer through.
    Because the average person in this country is a fucking moron. The traits you despise in the rich (greed, selfishness, etc) are not limited to the rich, but permeate all classes of society, regardless of income.

    What does the president make for a salary? Seriously. 400k? Sounds like a lot. And it is. But we are talking about an extremely stressfull, 24/7/365 job. Oh, and by the way, the most important position in our country's government. The best candidates for the job, will not touch it. They can make 10 times the amount for far less stress.

    Instead of cutting pay, we should increase it! Give the position a 5 million/year salary. Try to attract more qualified candidates than the boobs (there you go Moros) we have now, because I am tired of seeing Obama-Romney-McCain bumble their way through campaigns.
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  2. #47
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    Re: White House Petitions

    I'll get on the other points later as I have limited time, but I'll address your points about pay and getting the best and brightest.

    You three seem to have this idea that those in power right now are stupid. I say no they aren't stupid, they're all really intelligent, but, they are ignorant. They are stuck in their bubble of the rich and the powerful and other politicians that they don't see the world around them and how their actions affect others. And that's the problem.

    Yes, we should open up the ability for ANYONE to run and get into government positions. Why not? The idea our Founding Fathers even had with our elected officials in government was that it was supposed to be a SERVICE job to the country and you have consistently new ideas coming in and out of the government. They never thought of being in government for a full career (well not all of them). Many of them felt it was supposed to be a service, then you return to your farms or whatever job you had before you were in government.

    Also, you three seem to have this misconception that the best and brightest care about money and only money. Or that only those who are the best and brightest is in some way related to money. No, that's not true at all. Many who are the best and brightest about certain things might not care about money at all or care only enough to survive off of, but not enough to be ridiculously rich. And, if you want to go back to the teachers bit, sure they are paid bad, but a great deal (last I can recall from studies the vast majority) of them actually love the job and do try to do their best. The problem with education is often outdated textbooks and poor management or a wide variety of other issues. It's not necessarily because teachers are slackers who are just looking for an easy job or something (and if anyone thinks it's an easy job, they are idiots).

    And my idea of tying their pay DIRECTLY to the average of all income that falls between the 20th and 80th percentile (or so) is to tie their success directly to the success of the vast majority of the nation. There are some flaws as it then doesn't account for those who are unemployed and seeking or would want a job but can't get one, but that's more to factor into how to decide their pay (perhaps tying it not only to the average income of those between 20th and 80th percentile, but also offset it based on the unemployment numbers and make sure unemployment properly includes those who DO want a job or something, that's more getting into the details). The idea is to tie their success/income/whatnot to the success/income of the people as a whole. And I don't want to necessarily say all 100% of the nation because then you get outliers and mathematically that's a bad idea.

    Hell, you wanna also talk about possibly limiting the income of a CEO? I'm not necessarily against that. If you try and balance a system, you can't balance around infinity. There's a minimum amount of income someone can have (0, can't have any less, at that point it's not income), but we have no cap on the maximum. If you were to try and mathematically balance something around that, you can't do it. I've tried doing so programmatically a lot with various tasks I've been handed :\ you need to set bounds of reason. And, sure, if there are better ways to fix the corporate culture, I'm all for it as long as they don't fuck over the majority of the people of the country.

    And, Raes, really? All you have to say to the facts about taxes at an all time low, corporate profits at an all time high and job growth being crap is "And?" You miss the ENTIRE point I'm making about how trickledown economics has not worked and will not work based on the facts of the world? I mean, if trickle down economics really worked, the corporations would be creating more jobs. And as for right to work states? Ya, so you want to just say "fuck ethics" and let employers screw workers for their own greed? Weaken the ability of the worker's rights to unionize and negotiate with their employers for a better life all so they can have better profits? My god, do you not see how this is problematic?

    Btw, right to work states, they tend to have lower income residents and poor labor relations. And I'm sick of seeing the bullshit lies of Fox News being claimed as facts. Right to work states do NOT denote higher wages, they do NOT create jobs at twice the rate of states that aren't Right to Work states.

    Here: http://umaine.edu/ble/files/2011/01/...oWork_Laws.pdf
    or: http://mediamatters.org/research/201...t-to-wo/179798

    See that? poorest states are right to work states, less income, higher unemployment, etc. Now, there could be other variables, but across the board every single economic statistic the right to work states are worse off than the free-bargain states.

    About Social Security: Why are you so for screwing over people who paid into the system? Why are you for lowering the amount of money they make a year that they survive off it? Why not remove all the damn subsidies for corporations that they don't need/deserve in the first place? Why not raise the cap on social security in the first place? Why do you choose to steal the money from those who already paid into it by up to 1000+ dollars a year? It's not like these people are living great and making boat loads of money. They are barely surviving off of social security that, AGAIN, THEY PAID INTO ALREADY! It is their money, they are owed it because they paid into it their whole life.

    Look at the facts too, Social Security keeps 20 million Americans from being in poverty. And you want to cut it and use Chained CPI bullshit to screw them over instead of cutting corporate subsidies first? Instead of raising taxes on those who have so much already and have tax rates at ridiculously low amounts compared to the rest of us? Again, effective corporate tax rate? Something like 13.4% last I saw. And there are many corporations (Bank of America, Facebook, GE, GM, etc) that have it so they are taxed at 0% or have a negative tax rate, as in they get money from us yearly even when they are having PROFITS! And still, you want to go after Social Security first? At least, that's what it seems like. Maybe you don't, but how about we go after those who have all the money (again, Corporations and Rich have about 45 trillion dollars between them) and have rigged the system to take all the money in their favor and if there STILL is a problem after fixing that? Then we can talk about cutting Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid or Education or important services to everyone in the nation.

    And, finally, about the other nations? Ya, I have a serious problem with OUR corporations exploiting workers of other nations. And I have a problem with our people suffering more poverty because of a corporation's greed to exploit other nations with more corrupt or weaker governments so they can save costs. No, we shouldn't allow that. We shouldn't let them screw over not only one nation's people but two or more all for their own greed/profits so to hell with them and ya tax the shit outta them for doing so. Tax them until they bleed. If they threaten to stop doing business in the US, then make it public knowledge and let EVERYONE in the US know how Anti-American these corporations are and get people to want to boycott those corporations. Suddenly, those corporations are fucked. We are still the #1 consumers on the planet. They aren't going to be that stupid to alienate and piss off their consumer base so greatly.

    But the problem is everyone in the media and the government are all a part of the corporate culture and problem. They are all buddy buddy (hell, the majority of the media IS incorporated) and that's the problem. That's why we get fucked.

    Even in my limited time I wrote a lot x.x back to work. I'll add more later.
    Last edited by Elemmire; April 16th, 2013 at 12:35 PM.


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  3. #48
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    Re: White House Petitions

    This will be ACTUALLY super-brief, instead of fake super brief. On my phone, etc.

    Re: Congress and intelligence. Don't feel bad, I think pretty much everyone is stupid. I'm as intelligent as I am dysfunctional, after all, which should give you an idea of how smart I really am. XD

    But your excuse that they're all intelligent people trapped in a filter bubble of ignorance still makes them stupid, given that one of their job requirements is to NOT BE TRAPPED IN FILTER BUBBLES. The current political climate makes it fairly clear that the vast majority of both parties are either stupid, short-sighted, or cynical manipulators, or some combination of the three.

    Re: Who can run. I'm all for campaign reform, it's one of my schticks. Pay attention.

    Re: Compensation. Yes, the idea was for representatives to view it more as a service than as a career, which doesn't alter the fact that it is what it is NOW. We could amend that, but regardless, the compensation for the job should reflect the responsibility entailed and the investment required.

    Re: Best and brightest. Yes, there are some. I'm trained as a teacher, so I know a shitton more about that side than you, and trust me, we'd get a lot higher quality of teacher if the job paid better.

    Re: Social Security. Yes, they paid in. No, the money they receive is not theirs. It's a mathematical approximation of what the government thinks might be theirs, calculated against probable life span and adjusted to reflect current prices and inflation levels. Nobody is having money taken away, just the money they'll be getting will more accurately reflect the current situation.

    Re: Right to work. No shit, the reason those states are going that way is BECAUSE they're poor. People are willing to work for less, there's a glut of labor on the market, and the union system has become a dark reflection of what it was intended to fight. Time to press the reset button, see what the new paradigm becomes once people actually have jobs and the labor pool starts drying up.

    Back to work for now, more and more detailed later.

  4. #49
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    Re: White House Petitions

    Actually for me that is brief x.x should see how I can get in forums I'll put full effort into such discussions. But I get so tired of repeating myself between forums.

    And yes, that doesn't make them stupid to not get beyond their bubble. It makes them narrowminded, perhaps and it makes them ignorant people, but everyone has their own bubbles in life. And that's why we need more than just the rich IN congress/senate. That's why we do need campaign finance reform and such. Hell, I think our whole electoral process needs to be changed as a whole (as in no more electoral college, instead of one vote, do an instant run-off system, etc). To get more people with differing views into the government. And I like term limits so we keep getting new people in instead of letting people sit there becoming a part of the bubble, a part of the problem.

    And I don't care about what we have now, I'd rather amend and fix the system to be towards the ideal. We shouldn't be happy with what we have now or merely settle for it, should always strive for better. And most of congress barely works in the week. You all claim it's stressful and such, but look at how little they work. They are off basically the entire summers, they only work 3 days outta the week, they aren't even required to always show up. It's pretty shit. Though, granted a lot of it might be more due to them having to go schmooze and so with others to get future funding for future campaigns. But that's not always the only reason.

    As for paying more, it's not like tying them to the average person's wage is gonna make them poor or the job wouldn't have other benefits or wouldn't have the prestige people might like or a slew of other things that would make people still run. I assure you, even the rich would keep running and accept the less pay for the chance to stay represented and in power. And if it keeps people out of the job who are more interested in money and how it benefits them instead of those who want to do good for the people? All the better. Look at our government. How many of them aren't already tied to government from the start (lawyers, judges, etc running for higher positions) or businessmen/women. We don't get anyone else in our government, no other ideas. Why is it that the head of scientific committees are religious morons that don't believe in evolution or global warming or listen to the vast majority of the science community? There's a problem here. And I don't see continuing to give them more and more benefits and money as bringing in better people for the job, no, I only see those who are interested in making money for themselves come in.

    And no they paid into social security, they are earned it. Here, Bernie Sanders talks nicely about who'll be effected by the proposed change



    And you still have answered, why don't we go after those who actually HAVE all the money, who HAVE rigged the system to benefit them only, and who do keep taking and taking and are the REAL welfare queens (corporations take millions to billions of our money when they have profits that year... and yet those who take maybe 1200 a month from Social Security are welfare queens? please...) instead of those who are barely striving to get by? Again, all because the system has been rigged screwing them.

    And right to work states? What I've found is that those who have adopted "Right to Work" become weaker, poorer and worse off than they were before being a "right to work" state. It's a stupid concept that fucks the people over and is entirely non-capitalistic in nature by denying them the ability to organize and negotiate with their employers. A big part of capitalism is negotiation. Removing that right from the people is Corporatist. Stop letting our country fall down the corporatist pitfalls >< it's already fallen down enough. It's why we have a plutocracy now... where we have an issue like universal background checks, which has a 90%+ approval rating with the people (even ~80% among Republicans iirc) and yet STILL it's watered down or might not even get passed. A system where the vast majority also want corporate (and union) money outta politics, yet still nothing is done on that. It's a problem :|
    Last edited by Elemmire; April 17th, 2013 at 08:19 AM.


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  5. #50
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    Re: White House Petitions

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And yes, that doesn't make them stupid to not get beyond their bubble. It makes them narrowminded, perhaps and it makes them ignorant people, but everyone has their own bubbles in life.
    And when your job is to see beyond your bubble, failure to do so makes you an idiot at best, and a corrupt bastard at worst.

    I was giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    As for paying more, it's not like tying them to the average person's wage is gonna make them poor or the job wouldn't have other benefits or wouldn't have the prestige people might like or a slew of other things that would make people still run.
    There are at least a few people in the higher echelons of government who actually need the money, and a few more on top of that who'd rather have it than bleed their savings for the period that they're in office.

    And yes, rich people might still run, but the rest? Meh. You'd be cutting into your pool substantially by paying them between half and a third what they'd make outside government.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And if it keeps people out of the job who are more interested in money and how it benefits them instead of those who want to do good for the people? All the better.
    I realize that maybe you're living on the bottom end of the middle class, but the wages you're talking about paying them aren't reasonable. I'm the token poor guy in my family, the rest of them are quite well off, and they wouldn't be able to afford their lifestyle (which is not extravagant) being paid what you want to pay representatives.

    You can use wages to preselect for dedication, but it's a shitty way to do it. We discussed this already. Yes, you can weed out some people who would be in the job for selfish gain. But there's nothing wrong with those people, because most of them will be driven to do the job well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    There's a problem here. And I don't see continuing to give them more and more benefits and money as bringing in better people for the job, no, I only see those who are interested in making money for themselves come in.
    Most of the rich people in Congress aren't making shit compared to what they'd be making in the real world. Literally, Romney had made what, ~$250 million in the 24 years he was in the business world? Conservatively?

    He doesn't give a shit about the wages he's being paid as a congressman, or the benefits entailed. Not. One. Shit.

    Leaving the wages where they are doesn't hurt them, raising them doesn't help them, and lowering them does hurt your chances of getting someone who's not already rich into the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And no they paid into social security, they are earned it. Here, Bernie Sanders talks nicely about who'll be effected by the proposed change
    Again, Bernie Sanders doesn't help your case, given that he's among the most far left members in the Senate.

    And it's not a discussion over whether the proposed cuts to Social Security are the best way to go about it, what you and I are talking about is the way social security works.

    It does not work the way you seem to think it works. People aren't "owed" money by the system. They pay in, yes. Their money is taken, yes. Their benefits, however, are calculated by a formula. It's not like they're withdrawing money from an account; it is not theirs to withdraw.

    You can scream and cry all you like about how those benefits are calculated, but that doesn't change the reality of the system, nor the fact that the system has been amended at least twice already.

    And when Bernie Sanders opens his mouth about how Social Security is solvent now and we shouldn't mess with it now, he's not talking sense, he's talking reelection. Waiting twenty years until Social Security is insolvent is insane. Tackle the problem now, and you'll delay that insolvency longer, giving you more time to work out a solution.

    I don't particularly like the CPI adjustment formula, I'd much rather just see the ceiling on taxable earnings lifted. Which would be considerably less "fair", but I expect it's going to happen eventually anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And you still have answered, why don't we go after those who actually HAVE all the money...
    First off, again, you cannot tax corporations without that tax being paid by us.

    Can.

    Not.

    Technically, you can't tax anyone without the trickle-down effects of taxation having a minor effect on the people at the bottom of the ladder, but corporate taxes are particularly effective at fucking the people who buy from said corporation.

    Tax the rich, sure.

    Who are the rich? What's your cutoff point, and by how much would you tax them? Bear in mind that they're already carrying a very healthy chunk of the budget, so how much more do you think you can squeeze before they decide that things are looking better somewhere else?

    The reason Obama is actually looking at cutting Social Security benefits is because we have a hell of a lot of people on Social Security, and that number will continue to rise as the system absorbs the Baby Boomers, and as the elderly continue to live longer and longer lives.

    Squeeze the millionaires by another 10%, and you might see another $80 billion in revenue. Nothing to sneeze at, sure. That might even let you offset the changes to Social Security... for now. It wouldn't solve the system in the long term, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And right to work states? What I've found is that those who have adopted "Right to Work" become weaker, poorer and worse off than they were before being a "right to work" state.
    Then you were looking only at the things you wanted to look at.

    Taken on average, the unemployment rate in Right-to-Work states is a full percentage point lower than in states without such legislation.

    In bordering counties between states with and without RTW laws, manufacturing growth was 26% higher in the RTW counties.

    Yes, the average wage and benefits are lower. But while I'm sure the guy would rather have the same benefits he'd have in a union state, I'm also pretty sure he's glad to have a job at all, because in the union state, he wouldn't.

  6. #51
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    Re: White House Petitions

    elem,
    I love how you throw bombs at fox news as slanted partisan lies, and then quote people like Bernie Sanders and Paul Krugman, and then even blast incorporated media and source fucking Media Matters and the huffington post.

    You really don't grasp irony do you?
    Last edited by Thelona; April 17th, 2013 at 07:46 PM.

  7. #52
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    Re: White House Petitions

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    .
    And right to work states? What I've found is that those who have adopted "Right to Work" become weaker, poorer and worse off than they were before being a "right to work" state. It's a stupid concept that fucks the people over and is entirely non-capitalistic in nature by denying them the ability to organize and negotiate with their employers. A big part of capitalism is negotiation. Removing that right from the people is Corporatist. :|
    no, no, no, no, no. Right to work, simply means the worker can choose if they want to be a union member or not. Period. The union can no longer force you into their membership and force you to pay dues. It ADDS rights, it does not REMOVE rights as you state. The articles you quote not only uses old, pre-recession data, but are manipulated by throwing in wealthy state like colorado, alaska, and conneticut. The maine piece you link to is a propaganda piece trying to confince teachers in the teacher's union why they need to shoot down RTW. The union is all about propaganda. I love how the Chinamart moniker sticks, even though union based stores sell the same damn products. :/
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  8. #53
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    Re: White House Petitions

    Quote Originally Posted by Raesvelg View Post
    And when your job is to see beyond your bubble, failure to do so makes you an idiot at best, and a corrupt bastard at worst.

    I was giving them the benefit of the doubt.
    What? That they weren't corrupt bastards? How is that not clear already. Given how they ONLY help themselves and their other rich friends (which in turn still helps themselves) how is that not obvious by now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raesvelg View Post
    There are at least a few people in the higher echelons of government who actually need the money, and a few more on top of that who'd rather have it than bleed their savings for the period that they're in office.

    And yes, rich people might still run, but the rest? Meh. You'd be cutting into your pool substantially by paying them between half and a third what they'd make outside government.
    Really? Why would they need that money? For what reason? The vast majority gets by with the money that I would propose our elected officials and the people they appoint make. And maybe if they were to realize exactly how their pay is and how hard it could be to live on that (punishing those who try and take bribes or so significantly so that can't be a factor or minimizes it at least) they might actually push for policies to help the people as a whole which in turn can help themselves.

    And ONLY the rich run right now anyways, so it's not like it's cutting the pool anymore than what we have now. And this idea that money will bring the brightest and the best isn't necessarily true. It often doesn't. Look at, oh, Hostess' CEO, ruins the company, still gets ridiculous sums of money and a bonus even. And sure people blame the unions, but it was hardly the unions compared to the hedge funds or the failing to adhere to the more health conscious times or the sorts. That's one example of basically every executive getting money and they screw their own companies over. They're not exactly working hard if they're ruining the corporations they work for all because they get theirs and then leave after without any real consequences for their actions. It's a pity there because the shareholders are the ones who really get screwed and yet they get all the facts too late to do anything about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raesvelg View Post
    I realize that maybe you're living on the bottom end of the middle class, but the wages you're talking about paying them aren't reasonable. I'm the token poor guy in my family, the rest of them are quite well off, and they wouldn't be able to afford their lifestyle (which is not extravagant) being paid what you want to pay representatives.

    You can use wages to preselect for dedication, but it's a shitty way to do it. We discussed this already. Yes, you can weed out some people who would be in the job for selfish gain. But there's nothing wrong with those people, because most of them will be driven to do the job well.
    No THERE IS something wrong with them. As I've already stated. Those who come in for the wages/benefits aren't going to give two shits about the job. Especially if they have big lobbyists behind them to propagandize for them. Claiming that money will make them work hard is a joke. The only thing that can make someone truly work hard is something entirely intrinsic to the person, not extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is the weakest type of motivation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raesvelg View Post
    Most of the rich people in Congress aren't making shit compared to what they'd be making in the real world. Literally, Romney had made what, ~$250 million in the 24 years he was in the business world? Conservatively?

    He doesn't give a shit about the wages he's being paid as a congressman, or the benefits entailed. Not. One. Shit.

    Leaving the wages where they are doesn't hurt them, raising them doesn't help them, and lowering them does hurt your chances of getting someone who's not already rich into the job.
    They don't make shit from just the pay, perhaps, but they make more than enough in return from the other benefits and ESPECIALLY from getting into a position of power where they suddenly rig the system so it gets them more money elsewhere. Say, oh, all the people who take donations and then get comfy "consultant" jobs after or who push bills like Cheney did to help sell a particular product from a company that, surprise surprise, he has stock in. That happens way too fucking much. So I say take care of those problems (iirc you agreed with that) but ALSO tie their pay more deeply into the actual average person to make it clear to them what the real people are working with. I doubt we're even getting our best and brightest now and I highly doubt even a CEO level pay would bring in them, it'd get more corrupt fools who care only about money and themselves. Equating wages and money to skill is not a valid comparison. It might supposed to be, but it doesn't work like that in the real world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raesvelg View Post
    Again, Bernie Sanders doesn't help your case, given that he's among the most far left members in the Senate.

    And it's not a discussion over whether the proposed cuts to Social Security are the best way to go about it, what you and I are talking about is the way social security works.

    It does not work the way you seem to think it works. People aren't "owed" money by the system. They pay in, yes. Their money is taken, yes. Their benefits, however, are calculated by a formula. It's not like they're withdrawing money from an account; it is not theirs to withdraw.

    You can scream and cry all you like about how those benefits are calculated, but that doesn't change the reality of the system, nor the fact that the system has been amended at least twice already.

    And when Bernie Sanders opens his mouth about how Social Security is solvent now and we shouldn't mess with it now, he's not talking sense, he's talking reelection. Waiting twenty years until Social Security is insolvent is insane. Tackle the problem now, and you'll delay that insolvency longer, giving you more time to work out a solution.

    I don't particularly like the CPI adjustment formula, I'd much rather just see the ceiling on taxable earnings lifted. Which would be considerably less "fair", but I expect it's going to happen eventually anyway.
    Cause Bernie Sanders is more progressive that makes anything he say null and void? Please...

    As for Social Security, if it doesn't work so well, again why does it have a 2.6 Trillion dollar surplus? Why is it going to pay out everyone 100% until about 2034 and then after that it's about 77-78%. And it could still be 100% after that if we remove the cap of, I believe, up to 100,000 that's paid into it. There are better ways to fix it than "Hey let's steal the money from people who have paid into it already or are paying into it NOW all so the rich can keep tax cuts or get more in the future."

    And yes, PEOPLE ARE OWED THE MONEY BY THE SYSTEM! That's the fucking law. That's why it's not part of "discretionary spending" but "MANDATORY SPENDING." They paid into it their entire life. They are deserving of their money. And you are ok with them stealing it and I don't get why. Are you falling into the bullshit propaganda being spread (and has been spread for decades) about how it's "unfair entitlements" or those people are "moochers" or something? How are people who paid social security tax their entire life which is supposed to get them that money when they retire and start collecting a moocher? They worked their lives for it, they earned it. It wasn't given freely to those people.

    And I don't care if they took the money from the coffers to pay off wars or tax breaks or shit that they wanted in the first place. That's their fault for pushing wars the majority of the country never wanted to stay into this long (and a few smart people voted against from the start, too bad it wasn't the majority at the time, with Afghanistan it was understandable, but with Iraq it was purely due to the consistent propaganda of the right tying Iraq with the 9/11 attack even though they weren't involved at all) or for tax breaks which have been the worst thing for our economy or ya..



    I like this graph. The Deficit (as of 2010 iirc), what parts caused it and what it coulda been without all that crap. Bush's Tax Cuts (That Obama stupidly continued)? The biggest portion. There are far bigger problems to our deficit/debt than Social Security (which, again, I've pointed out hasn't added 1 cent to our deficit, never has, never will, just can't by the way it works).

    Quote Originally Posted by Raesvelg View Post
    First off, again, you cannot tax corporations without that tax being paid by us.

    Can.

    Not.

    Technically, you can't tax anyone without the trickle-down effects of taxation having a minor effect on the people at the bottom of the ladder, but corporate taxes are particularly effective at fucking the people who buy from said corporation.

    Tax the rich, sure.

    Who are the rich? What's your cutoff point, and by how much would you tax them? Bear in mind that they're already carrying a very healthy chunk of the budget, so how much more do you think you can squeeze before they decide that things are looking better somewhere else?

    The reason Obama is actually looking at cutting Social Security benefits is because we have a hell of a lot of people on Social Security, and that number will continue to rise as the system absorbs the Baby Boomers, and as the elderly continue to live longer and longer lives.

    Squeeze the millionaires by another 10%, and you might see another $80 billion in revenue. Nothing to sneeze at, sure. That might even let you offset the changes to Social Security... for now. It wouldn't solve the system in the long term, however.
    Again with the trickle down economics bullshit. Why don't you realize it doesn't work? Not one way or the other. If they increase taxes on the corporations to levels that they SHOULD be paying, they aren't going to raise their products so much to push the cost onto us, they can't. Because they know they won't get that money then. People just won't buy. And if they try it, how long until another business comes in and sells for less (because, honestly, MANY of our products could be cheaper, but aren't because the amount executives take through their pay and their bonuses as well as the amount the company itself will put in offshore accounts is rather impressive). And, hell, if they don't want to pay the taxes, since taxes are based on the profit (if I do recall), than if they tie their profits back into their company investing in itself to expand (create new jobs/facilities inside our country) than that's no longer considered a profit and the amount they'd pay in taxes would be less. That investment into their own company would only make them stronger in the future which results in long term profits instead of short term. Better for the system over all.

    But no, trickle down economics doesn't work, especially not in the way it was believed since Reaganomics bullshit came into play. Is there some cost that might get pushed to consumers? Perhaps, but not these days. Because most people in our country are losing so much disposable income (because wages haven't matched our productivity for one as well as other reasons: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/a...tion-620xa.gif ). Look at how corporations try and raise gas prices, they can get it around 4 bucks or so, but when it gets higher people just cut back more and gas is probably one of the most essential things in our society (which brings me to another point, why don't we regulate NECESSITIES better? We regulate power and water providers to make only normal profit or slightly above instead of letting them raise prices to increase profits to insane levels... but that's another topic). They can't hope to raise prices so much or they won't HAVE any business.

    And, want the truth? I think ALL of us could use our taxes raised. I don't like that Obama was pushing for tax breaks for just the middle and lower classes. I'd rather return to the tax rates of Clinton Era or so, you know, when we were doing better. I'd rather corporations do pay their fair share (biggest corporations pay 0% in taxes making obscene profits is really bullshit), and ya. But I've already been through that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raesvelg View Post
    Then you were looking only at the things you wanted to look at.

    Taken on average, the unemployment rate in Right-to-Work states is a full percentage point lower than in states without such legislation.

    In bordering counties between states with and without RTW laws, manufacturing growth was 26% higher in the RTW counties.

    Yes, the average wage and benefits are lower. But while I'm sure the guy would rather have the same benefits he'd have in a union state, I'm also pretty sure he's glad to have a job at all, because in the union state, he wouldn't.
    I pointed out the employment rate though...and I don't get why people think you HAVE to join a Union in the non-RTW states. It depends on what the contract is really. I could see reason to make it that public employees can not be forced to join a Union, being that's public sector we'd have the right to make that claim there, but if the Union worked out a contract with the business that their future employees must join the union when they are hired, then so be it. But I wouldn't deny the ability to create that contract in the first place. Why would you? Isn't that against your philosophy where it has government regulating the private sector?

    And Thelona, ever tried following Paul Krugman? Ever read his stuff? I've been following him and others of various affiliations for years now. He's been pretty spot on for most of his economic predictions and very often for the reasons he has claimed. He's not the only I listen to, mind you, but he's not terrible.

    And anyone who hates on Bernie Sanders or Anthony Weiner (imo a pity people focused on something stupid like his penis pics on twitter to drive him outta office.. our media sucks like that, who gives a shit if there's any kinda "sex scandal" as long as it's not wasting the people's money, which I recall some governor doing sometime ago going to Peru or something for a mistress) or Elizabeth Warren is honestly just seemingly propagandized to me to be against them or their ideology. You know, the ideology of helping the people. Not sure how you feel about them really, but if you think they're so bad, well that's pretty silly. I'd wonder how you feel about Elizabeth Warren pulling in the government regulators and basically tearing them apart as to why they are defending the big banks and their breaking the law against the very people of the nation.

    Like this



    Not sure why anyone would ever hate on people that are actually trying to HELP the majority of the people in the nation against the big corporations who abuse the system or does illegal activity unless they are clearly listening to only propaganda :\


    I'll finish with this, we've tried the "right wing" way for awhile now (arguably 3 decades). It has failed. We are becoming a weaker nation because of it. Why not try something different instead of continuing the same failing philosophy of "help the corporations out more, give them more breaks, deregulate them, tax them less, take more outta the programs to help the people (education, social security, medicare, etc) instead, etc" and try something else? And I put "right wing" in quotes cause I don't even think that's the original right wing or conservative values. The right has gone towards a terrible level which has become corporatism and crony capitalism. And it's not just the "right" (or Republicans) but the "left" (or Democrats) too. It's got to stop. And I think it's time we try another ideology. Instead of believing in looking out for the top and hope it trickles down to the lower echelons, we strengthen the roots of our nation and let the nutrients come up. If the roots of a tree are strong, the tree survives and thrives.
    Last edited by Elemmire; April 22nd, 2013 at 10:21 AM.


    "In gaming there are two types of people. Those who like to kill other people, and those who like to kill the environment.. and if you combine those two people you get the Republican Party" - Jay Mohr at Blizzcon 2010
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    Re: White House Petitions

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    No THERE IS something wrong with them. As I've already stated. Those who come in for the wages/benefits aren't going to give two shits about the job. Especially if they have big lobbyists behind them to propagandize for them. Claiming that money will make them work hard is a joke. The only thing that can make someone truly work hard is something entirely intrinsic to the person, not extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is the weakest type of motivation.
    Extrinsic motivation may be weak, but there are fundamental truths in the world. The first is that just because you love something, doesn't mean you're good at it. Secondly, just because you're good at something, doesn't mean you want to do it for very little reward.

    You're trying to have this situation both ways. If we reform the election process, so that special interest groups no longer have a say in how we elect our representatives, then there's not reason not to pay them a reasonable wage. If we don't reform the election process, so that special interest groups continue to control elections (because the average person is a fucking idiot, apparently, which is getting driven home to me increasingly often in this "debate"), then we still have no reason not to pay them a reasonable wage.

    It's not a matter of money making them work hard. It's a matter of offering highly competent, intelligent people sufficient compensation that they won't immediately disregard it as a shitty deal.


    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    I doubt we're even getting our best and brightest now and I highly doubt even a CEO level pay would bring in them, it'd get more corrupt fools who care only about money and themselves. Equating wages and money to skill is not a valid comparison. It might supposed to be, but it doesn't work like that in the real world.
    What we're getting in are people who are very good at what they do, make no mistake.

    The problem is that what they do is game the system. They're lawyers, for the most part, not engineers. They're not interested in fixing the system at the best of times, just gaming it to serve their ends. It's the way lawyers think, in fact it's the way that lawyers are trained to think, since they're not allowed to alter the systems they work within.

    And yes, money and skill are absolutely related. People who are good at something, outside of select professions with limited pay scales, make more money than people who are shitty at something.

    Where the money=skill equation breaks down most often are union jobs, where seniority=money is the order of the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    Cause Bernie Sanders is more progressive that makes anything he say null and void? Please...
    No, it just makes him about as reliable a source as me quoting Rand Paul.

    Which, you may note, I do not do.

    Because he's an idiot.

    Much like Bernie Sanders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    As for Social Security, if it doesn't work so well, again why does it have a 2.6 Trillion dollar surplus?
    Demographics.

    It's not particularly complicated. Up until now, we've had progressively more people paying in to the system than being paid by the system. As the next few decades unfold, that ratio will start to shift.

    We, as a country, are aging, due in part to the Baby Boomers representing a statistical anomaly, and improvements in medical care extending the lives of our citizens.

    It's not even remotely complicated math. We can either continue to increase our population in to offset the increasing population of the elderly, which is unsustainable, or we can adjust the way Social Security works.

    As it is, we stand to burn through a hypothetical surplus that took seventy years to accumulate in about twenty. Again, I repeat, for the ten millionth time: That money is not in a box somewhere. It's not even in a bank account, or an investment portfolio. It's an IOU.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    Why is it going to pay out everyone 100% until about 2034 and then after that it's about 77-78%.
    I love how you remark that the system is going to be broken in the next twenty years as proof that the system works.

    Really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And it could still be 100% after that if we remove the cap of, I believe, up to 100,000 that's paid into it.
    Thus taxing 4% of the population to support the bottom 50% who didn't plan better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And yes, PEOPLE ARE OWED THE MONEY BY THE SYSTEM! That's the fucking law.
    No.

    It's not.

    The LAW.



    Again, for the ten millionth time: Social Security is not an individualized retirement account. It's not a savings account. Social security doesn't give shit about how much you put in over the course of your life; it calculates a payment based on the thirty years in which you were paid the most.

    That payment is then adjusted by a Cost-Of-Living-Adjustment system. Like the one in place. Which they're talking about amending.

    It's not taking money from anyone. It's not robbing the old to pay the rich. It's adjusting the system so that it doesn't fail in the next fifty years.

    And I'm cool with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And I don't care if they took the money from the coffers to pay off wars or tax breaks or shit that they wanted in the first place.
    Each administration pillages that particular piggy bank based on their own personal priorities. So rest assured, quite a bit of it has been borrowed to pay for the sorts of social spending that you seem to adore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    That's their fault for pushing wars the majority of the country never wanted to stay into this long (and a few smart people voted against from the start, too bad it wasn't the majority at the time...
    And again, you want average people running the country?

    It took no fucking brains at all to realize that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Hell, I can't recall anyone ever coming out and claiming as much. All they had to do was say that Saddam Hussein supported terrorism (he did), and that he was less than transparent about his weapons programs (he was), and people jumped on that train en masse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    or for tax breaks which have been the worst thing for our economy or ya..
    Debatable, that, like most economic theories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    I like this graph.
    You would, since it was put together exclusively to pander to people who share your prejudices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    The Deficit (as of 2010 iirc), what parts caused it and what it coulda been without all that crap. Bush's Tax Cuts (That Obama stupidly continued)? The biggest portion.
    According to what? Projected tax income? Projected based on what? Economic forecasts?

    That graph, which I've seen before, is predicated on a whole raft of best-case/worst-case scenarios. The fact of the matter is that government revenues as a share of GDP were higher in 2007 than they were in 1999.

    That's not a projection.

    That's mathematical reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    There are far bigger problems to our deficit/debt than Social Security (which, again, I've pointed out hasn't added 1 cent to our deficit, never has, never will, just can't by the way it works).
    The fuck it can't.

    The instant that we no longer have as many people paying in as drawing out, the clock starts ticking. Once the intragovernmental loans get "repaid", and the hypothetical surplus gets exhausted (which would happen quite quickly), then the government has to either raise taxes, raise the retirement age, or cut benefits.

    Or, as has been the case for most presidents since FDR, they can simply borrow the money and kick the problem down the line to the next administration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    Again with the trickle down economics bullshit. Why don't you realize it doesn't work?
    According to whom?

    The high sustained growth during the Reagan years?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    If they increase taxes on the corporations to levels that they SHOULD be paying, they aren't going to raise their products so much to push the cost onto us, they can't.
    It's not as simple as just raising prices. That's an option, of course, particularly in the scenario you outlined earlier as your solution for high corporate taxes (specifically, high import duties, apparently disregarding the ensuing trade wars that that would spark), but "costs" are a blanket statement.

    Fewer jobs, fewer dividends, lower wages, less money to invest, higher prices, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    Because they know they won't get that money then. People just won't buy.
    Why not?

    If you're taxing all the corporations equally, and levying sufficient import duties to keep them competitive with foreign corporations, then the price the market would bear would shift upwards, by default.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And if they try it, how long until another business comes in and sells for less (because, honestly, MANY of our products could be cheaper, but aren't because the amount executives take through their pay and their bonuses as well as the amount the company itself will put in offshore accounts is rather impressive).
    Oh for fuck's sake.

    Your argument is that corporations are deliberately pricing goods higher so that they can make less money so that they can hide money from the tax man?

    Really?

    Corporations are in the business of making money. Yes, there's a distinct level of behavior that borders on cronyism in the higher pay scales, but let's not kid ourselves: The fact that Bob Iger pulls in $37 million for being the CEO of Disney is not forcing Disney to raise our ticket prices. Disney cleared almost six billion in profits last year.

    Sure, they could axe his compensation down to $1 million and spread the other thirty six among the rest of Disney's employees... And each of them would get, oh, about $200 out of the deal.

    That, incidentally, is where the math comes from with this super-high CEO pay scales, the idea that having that man at the top, and paying him that exorbitant wage, actually makes the company money.

    And in Bob Iger's case, they're probably right, to be honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And, hell, if they don't want to pay the taxes, since taxes are based on the profit (if I do recall), than if they tie their profits back into their company investing in itself to expand (create new jobs/facilities inside our country) than that's no longer considered a profit and the amount they'd pay in taxes would be less.
    Oh boy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    That investment into their own company would only make them stronger in the future which results in long term profits instead of short term. Better for the system over all.
    Except that it's not.

    Because it's a stupid idea.

    Yeah, some corporations could stand to invest more in their own respective infrastructure and facilities. Your argument, however, that corporations could avoid paying exorbitant taxes simply by pouring all their profits back into the company is incredibly facile.

    First off, there's a finite amount of reinvestment that can take place. A corporation can't indefinitely improve its facilities, that wastes money.

    Secondly, the corporation has to turn a profit to attract investors. If there are no dividends, if the stock price is shit, the corporation has a hard time financing new ventures.


    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    But no, trickle down economics doesn't work, especially not in the way it was believed since Reaganomics bullshit came into play.
    Again, according to whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    Is there some cost that might get pushed to consumers? Perhaps, but not these days. Because most people in our country are losing so much disposable income (because wages haven't matched our productivity for one as well as other reasons:
    That's not "trickle-down economics", that's globalization.

    Get used to it.

    The average manufacturing employee is gonna have to accept that until the average Chinese/Indian/Indonesian/Mexican/etc worker is paid a reasonable percentage of what the average American is paid, they're going to be stuck competing in a global marketplace with people who are willing to work for less.


    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    Look at how corporations try and raise gas prices, they can get it around 4 bucks or so, but when it gets higher people just cut back more and gas is probably one of the most essential things in our society
    You think that they "try and raise gas prices"?

    Rather than the fact that gas prices reflect the price of motherfucking oil?

    Gas is considered a price-inelastic good; people need a certain amount of it regardless of what the price actually is. Sure, people cut back on travel when gas prices are high, but mostly they cut back on other things.

    Gas prices have almost nothing to do with how much I drive, just how much I have to spend on things other than gas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    We regulate power and water providers to make only normal profit or slightly above instead of letting them raise prices to increase profits to insane levels... but that's another topic). They can't hope to raise prices so much or they won't HAVE any business.
    As examples of the effects of cost increases on the free market, picking two examples of highly regulated industries does not assist your case.


    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    I pointed out the employment rate though...and I don't get why people think you HAVE to join a Union in the non-RTW states.
    Because, as a general rule, you do.

    That's just about the first thing any union does when it gets control of the labor pool of a given industry. It requires any new hires to join the union.

    Sure, there are non-union jobs in union states. Just not in union shops.


    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    But I wouldn't deny the ability to create that contract in the first place. Why would you? Isn't that against your philosophy where it has government regulating the private sector?
    Unions exists because the government protects them.

    It's government support of unions that creates things like closed shops, where if you don't join the union you can't work. That's why the unions are looking at RTW legislation as the death knell for organized labor (which in some ways it is, albeit in the short term), because it gives the worker the choice on whether or not to join the union, rather than having it mandated by law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    And Thelona, ever tried following Paul Krugman? Ever read his stuff? I've been following him and others of various affiliations for years now. He's been pretty spot on for most of his economic predictions and very often for the reasons he has claimed.
    Krugman is a die-hard Keynesian, to the extent of open derision of other schools of economic thought.

    Which is... well, kinda stupid, really. I tend to fall between the Keynesian and the Austrian schools myself, though more towards the Austrian side. Government intervention in the market should be a tool of absolute last resort, because it creates shit like what we had in 2008.

    Which, oddly enough, Krugman advocated for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    Not sure why anyone would ever hate on people that are actually trying to HELP the majority of the people in the nation against the big corporations who abuse the system or does illegal activity unless they are clearly listening to only propaganda :\
    I should amend your statement to read "clearly listening to only propaganda different from the propaganda I listen to".

    Because that's what's going on.

    I'm all for increasing separation between government regulators and the industries they regulate. I find the current state of the SEC to border on the criminal.

    I just question to what extent people are "helped" by increasing government intervention. Sure, that Warren clip has her apparently taking to task people who are in theory failing to adequately inform people who were illegally foreclosed on (which is an odd thing in and of itself, but more on that later) of their rights.

    But why were those people taking out home loans to begin with? What caused the housing bubble that lead to their unwise decision to take out a loan they could not afford?

    Oh.

    Right.

    Government intervention.

    People in the government trying to make things better for the underprivileged masses, without the foggiest idea of what the long-term effects might be.

    And the scary thing is that Obama is pushing for more of the same shit that started it all.

    We're delving into "teach a man to fish" territory here. Except it's "teach a man not to make bad investments", or "teach a man to properly budget his money". It should not, should never be "teach a man that the government will give him shit".

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    I'll finish with this, we've tried the "right wing" way for awhile now (arguably 3 decades). It has failed.
    Because clearly, things were going so swimmingly before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemmire View Post
    We are becoming a weaker nation because of it. Why not try something different instead of continuing the same failing philosophy of "help the corporations out more, give them more breaks, deregulate them, tax them less, take more outta the programs to help the people (education, social security, medicare, etc) instead, etc" and try something else?
    That would make more sense if the budgets for those programs hadn't gone up every year.

    Bush poured billions into education. Today, we spend more than twice what Japan does per year per capita on our students.

    And yet our results suck compared to theirs.

    The cold hard truth is this: The government cannot mandate equality without destroying opportunity. The government can guarantee equality of opportunity, yes, within reasonable boundaries. But it cannot guarantee equality of outcomes.

    All that crap you're talking about regarding corporations?

    WHO DO YOU THINK CREATED THAT TANGLED MESS OF EXCEPTIONS AND INCENTIVES?

    The government did, attempting to create jobs, either locally, nationally, or personally.

    You're right in that we don't need more of the same, but the direction you want to go in is as flawed as the track we're currently on.

    The answer is not to spend more, the answer is to spend more wisely.

    The answer is not to regulate more, the answer is to regulate more wisely.

    The answer is not to tax more, the answer is to tax more wisely.

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