Originally Posted by tonton
Go ahead I'm listening. Or is this the same old shit? The only place anyone has ever 'begun' to counter this valid argument is some sort of 'trickle down' bullshit.
I've presented a simple mathematical model. You do the same. Use simple math to show me how the first example is more "successful" than the second one. Begin, or admit you don't know where to begin because you have no valid argument that goes beyond theory
Not to be rude but the reason your model falls apart is there aren't that many rich people in the real or hypothetical United States and thus the amount of wealth to confiscate and redistribute dramatically less and causes much more harm than you might imagine.
You ask us to consider whether the top 5% of earners would be better off with $10 million or $20 million. All of this top 5% combined in your scenario would equal $10-20 TRILLION dollars to redistribute among only 20 million people in a nation. I know it is only a hypothetical but please realize this....
The top 5% of income in the United States is $250,000. Those are the "rich" from who Obama and the Democrats want so much.
Now to use your numbers a bit more, household mortgages (in the U.S.) are often awarded at three times the median income. This is why when people in my state were inviting us over to enjoy the various toys they had purchased with a second mortgage on their home, I was quite the Debbie Downer and told them that in a couple years their house would be worth half of what it was worth then.
So in your hypothetical world it is very likely that houses in one country would average $150,000 and in the other $300,000. The houses wouldn't be any bigger or nicer, the average price would just be higher because that is what the market would bare. This would be true of a number of items. Bigger numbers don't relate to more purchasing power. In fact there is a term that addresses this, purchasing power parity.
One last bit and you've been more receptive lately so please think hard about this. We do not consider affluence or poverty based on individual income. We assign these based on HOUSEHOLD income. Last figure I recall, 80% of poverty level households would rise out of poverty if they simply MARRIED their partner. They are impoverished because they are single parent households.
No amount of redistribution is going to turn one person into two. So now I've used your numbers but please consider a reality-based scenario and see how this works.
You've come back to the states. We share the same street. We pop over to each other's homes and share beers. We are both married households with a kid or two and our incomes reflect these states. Regardless of which party in the household earns it or what ratio, let's presume both of our households earn approximately $90k each. This puts us in the top 25% of all households for the entire United States so we are respectively doing pretty well.
The problem isn't either of us. The problem is that third household. It is filled by a single mother and her two children. She works part time and earns $25,000 a year. The government sees her household and declares it far below the median household income of $50,000. It declares you and I must give up shares of our income to remedy this problem.
The first thing to ask is where is the partner? These kids didn't make themselves. The partner often LIVES with the single mother of the household. They just use their mother's/different address so that a household is not declared to be formed. He actually works and earns $30k a year but since it isn't at the same address for tax purposes, the household is considered impoverished. Second, all the benefits the government does bestow upon the household aren't actually added to their income. The $1,000 a month in rental subsidy, the food stamp debit card, the general relief payments, none of those are added to the household income. The government can grant them $30k a year of benefits but will not list them as income. It will reflect in their purchasing power, but it isn't income.
This money has to come from somewhere for them to redistribute of course and it does largely from you and I since we can't afford to lobby for loopholes. So our after tax income becomes $70k per household. Our neighbor down the street. Their household income is still only $25k. You declare wait, they've received $30k in benefits and even with only a single parent, they are within $15k of purchasing power to my household. You might even care to have them note that if they included Dad's income, their purchasing power is ABOVE your household.
The government declares you are wrong. They are impoverished. They live terribly. They only have $25k in household income a year. You declare they have $30k of benefits. The government states they are benefits and not income. You declare Dad is there but the stupid government simply won't count his income as part of the household. The government declares you are wrong, that the father is not in the household per his address.
You desire to remedy and reform these measures which distort and ignore the problem rather than address it. You are a racist and a sexist for wanting to address this rather than just passing out checks. How dare you want to alter any of this. You just want to fix problems on the backs of the poor. You just want to put women back in the kitchen. You just want to go back to the 50's. Slogans can suspend thought.
At the end of the day, massive amounts of money have been moved. Yet poverty isn't decreased because benefits are not income. That household whether you declare it to have $55k or $85k (including Dad's income) of purchasing power is still impoverished. The government declares they have $25k of income and thus are poor. Everyone around them is rich. If you wish to alter or change this understanding it is only because you endorse patriarchy, are a religious fundy pushing marriage on everyone, hate minorities, women, what have you.
This is a simplistic scenario but it is a reality based one. The government does not use benefits received as part of household income when discussing where they are relative to others. It does not add two parties into the equation. Marriage and the lack of it explains almost all poverty.
Originally Posted by tonton
Snarky, dishonest response.
Obviously, the second one, assuming equality elsewhere
. However, when you look deeper...
The average income of the lowest 80% living in country A is $80,000 per year.
The average income of the lowest 80% living in country B is $20,000 per year...
Then I would choose A without question.
Because, and here is where we differ... It's not ALL about ME.
The thousands of millionaires don't need those extra millions as much as the millions of middle class citizens need those extra thousands.
Would you choose A when the cause of B is lack of marriage. Would you choose to keep your child at the school where all those single parent families with either fatherless kids or adults who don't really work or see the need to become educated act out accordingly? Would you choose it when they want your child's place at the table in terms of future opportunities rather than just a share of your income? When the mob or at least several kids come after her and bully her is it not really bullying because she is privileged and model minority whereas they are dis-empowered, and disadvantaged? If they make a habit of coming after her because of her skin color, is it not racist because racism really isn't about skin color or beliefs about groups but about power and they have none so it can't be racism?
I've asked you this several times. It's not been answered. Would you throw your child out of UCLA or UC Berkeley and tell them to go to a lesser school simply because there are too many of her there already? There are too many children from Asian or white households that are married, well educated and academically high achieving and not enough from situations different or opposite than that?
Stop making it about the hypothetical "rich" and realize it is about YOU if you were here. Tell us what you would do. I'm not abroad advocating solutions for those here. I'm here. I'm the one calling the cops on the Section 8 neighbors in the past and my brother is the one having to deal with it in his neighborhood now.
Originally Posted by BR
And the further right you are the less you know about reality. You are more likely to believe that a magic sky daddy ordered an iron age shepherd to fill a boat with 10,000,000 animals while he committed worldwide genocide.
I'd endorse a delusional and mythical biblical genocide over the very real ones put upon human kind multiple times by various communist regimes seeking to equalize society. If you think what he believes is pure fantasy then so is the genocide created by it. Meanwhile the genocide created by the worldview you advocate is very real and has happened multiple times resulting in well over 100 million deaths.
Originally Posted by BR
You do not have the credentials to say what reality is or is not.
Are you going to throw him in an oven and gas him? What give you the right to include or exclude people? What give you the right to grant or deny?
Originally Posted by tonton
We're talking about financial well-being here. I understand that a billionaire who has just lost his wife might be less fortunate than a kindergarten teacher who has a happy family. But are you really saying there's even the remotest possibility that the billionaire is not as fortunate, financially
speaking? Would having more money bring back his wife? Or is fortune and well-being also something that cannot be 'compartmentalized'?
Have you ever seen what a profound level of responsibility and accountability does to a person tonton? I'm not talking "Gee our kids make us gray" type responsibility. There's a reason our presidents seem to age overnight. There's a reason you see so many performers, athletes and others that end up with medical and substance problems. Try to take a day or hours off when lives and livelihoods are on the line for so many.
Look at Apple computer , our one thing in common for so many at these forums. The kindergarten teacher gets pancreatic cancer. It is sad. They call in a substitute. How much wealth can be lost? How many jobs are at stake? Steve Jobs gets pancreatic cancer. It is sad. He let's someone do his job but think about how much wealth can be lost? How many jobs are at stake?
You don't think that weighs on a person?