OT - Politics

Page 4 of 15  
NoOne N Particular wrote:

Step One --------
How about *two* houses of Congress one to pass, and one to repeal laws. In each case, one passes laws but requires a 2/3 majority to do so. The other corresponding house only has the power to *repeal* laws requiring only a simple majority. Require that all laws automatically sunset after 5 years and must go through legislation again to remain in law. Any law deemed to be so important that it should be permanent (i.e., override the sunset) should require 100% consent of both houses and a Presidential signature.
Step Two --------
Instead of salaries, allocate the current amount spent + 50% for legislative compensation. Each member of the legislative bodies gets a minimal "base salary". They collect a "bonus" quarterly based on how much the government remains in the black and how many laws they manage to pass (and do not later get repealed) or, correspondingly, on how many laws they repeal. Repealers get a 2:1 incentive compared to law passers. Law passers have a term limit of one, six year term. Repealers get two such terms. No one gets any money if the government runs a debt that quarter.
Step Three ----------
Instantiate a flat tax like the Fair Tax via a Constitutional Amendment that forbids the institution of *any* other kind of tax.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

No. No incentives for passing laws. Go down to the library and _look_ at the US Code on the shelf. Seeing it online doesn't have the same impact. One problem with this country is that there are so many damned laws that not even the lawyers can know them all.

Not sure that penalizing them for deficit spending is necessarily a good idea. Sometimes that helps the economy.

So no protective tariffs on foreign trade even if other countries do enact such tariffs? The "Fair Tax" proposal seems to be a 23% sales tax, which is a "soak the poor" scheme.
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J. Clarke wrote: <SNIP>

This is arguable. The government produces nothing, hence cannot add to the GDP. But even if it did so, the Federal Government has no Constitutional authority to "help the economy".

Right. Tariffs are yet another attempt to "manage" economics.
> The "Fair Tax" proposal seems to be a 23% sales

Go reread it. It does no such thing. It rebates *everyone* the amount of money a "poor" family would pay in taxes. This means the truly poor pay no taxes.
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Basic problem: the poor have to lay out the 23% and wait for the rebate, and some are at a marginal level that does not allow paying 23% out. They are already paying only whatever the local sales tax is, and not much, or anything, else, so, for example, a 5% sales tax state would see the poor paying the further 18% out-of-pocket, when their pockets are already empty. When is the rebate made? Instantly? Will that work?
All these flat tax and simple tax ideas work nicely on paper. I'm not at all sure they will work any better in practice than the horrendous and untrackable mishmash we already have. Then again, if a few simple objections, as above, can be answered, they sure as hell cannot be worse.
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Charlie Self said:

They work on paper because the voodoo priests... er... "economists" who devise such schemes are beholden to the ones who pay for said research. They game the system now, and you can bet they will game the system should it be altered. But you're right, Charlie; almost any truly equitable scheme would be a vast improvement over the current system of loopholes and imbalances.
The thing that bothers me most about the "Fair Tax" proposals are the people who devised it (a herd of Texas millionaires), and the proclivity of the well heeled to bypass said taxes - bartering would become the new untaxed currency amongst the well connected. (Like there's not enough good ol' boy "favor" swapping ongoing at present - particularly in political circles. They'll simply groom it to new depths of impropriety.)
FWIW,
Greg G.
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Hmmm... to be logically consistent, then, you must believe that the sum of wealth in the world is constant: that there is exactly as much wealth in the world now as there was, say, three thousand years ago.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller said:

It's all relative. "Creating" wealth is called counterfeiting. ;-) Otherwise it's just the changing fortunes of time. Currency (and it's paperwork equivalents) have no intrinsic value anyhow. It only represents current perceived wealth. We have nothing of lasting value to back the money supply in circulation. The (private) Federal Reserve Banks and markets excel at smoke and mirrors. For instance, should the system collapse, food, water, and ammunition will be worth far more that valueless, baseless paper money.
I'm sorta pulling your leg, but the point was that a business can only take money from others to "grow" wealth, it cannot create or devalue money - that's what the Feds do - well, them and various disasters.
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

Economics isn't your strong suit, is it?
Of course businesses that produce things produce wealth (and that doesn't mean printing money). In the case of the lowest tier of production, they take raw material and grow food or produce oil, minerals, or other material. Now, they do exchange that for money, but the money at that point is a medium of exchange -- they have something that has been produced that is of value and that did not previously exist. Those goods can be exchanged for currency or for other goods. The bottom line is that what was produced has more value than the sum of the inputs (if not, the business will go out of business). Whether the money supply remains constant or is allowed to grow is an economic policy issue, but the money is only a medium of exchange. Real wealth is in the produce and output of a company. That grows as production and output grow.

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Mark & Juanita said:

Considering the value of the dollar these days, I'd say that is isn't the CEO's of America's strong suit either. You missed the point. Perhaps it's all in the semantics...

Only if someone is willing to pay for it. Therefore you are not "creating" additional wealth, you are redistributing it from the consumer to the producer. The rest is economic double speak. Point being that within a given span of time, there is a relatively constant amount of currency in circulation and a constant value associated with it. No degree of efficiency within a business can alter these factors. Wealth is garnered by transfer, not creation. Even if by convenient mediums of exchange. I understand the economic convention of what you are saying, yet I still say that in order to accumulate wealth, you have to take it from someone else, or more likely, a whole lot of someone elses. Which explains the banking and insurance industry, telecos, and Wal-Mart.
The banana doesn't get any bigger because you stroked it just right.
;-)
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

This certainly explains the misguided concept of class envy!
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Doug Winterburn said:

Au contraire.
To use the parlance of the gambling industry, if markers were called on investments currently bought on margin, this speculative, debt based economy would collapse within hours. Current trade deficits with China being another really sore spot amongst the myriad of other gaping, bloody wounds.
No envy for this scenario, nor for 3 hour cross-town commutes, $20,000 credit card debts, shopping at Wal-Mart, exploitive industries utilizing slave laborers in third world countries, or being forced by the government to purchase private industry, for-profit services in order to have health care or drive an automobile.
Being somewhat of an anarchist at heart, I resent lazy-ass, scheming, pink-handed money changers, government, economists, and most of all, pettifoggers being involved in my life and finances. In my experience they are each detrimental, and exist solely to feed upon others while providing as little as possible in return to the sheep they exploit.
This symbolistic pot of gold belongs to me - go "grow" your own.
Perhaps I'm simply a misanthrope groomed by years of exposure to a society comprised largely of gullible, yet meddling, avaricious rock tossing primates who possess computers and opposable thumbs.
;-)
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

Most excellent fog, and petty at that ;-)
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Doug Winterburn said:

Glad you liked it. When the government and it's courts, agents, and representatives refuse to do their jobs in accordance with long standing precedent in lieu of protecting their crony pals, I feel no obligation to be kind. And when the general public then further protects rank criminals at my great personal expense in order to shield their local political "wunderboys", I harbor no allegiance towards them either.
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote: <SNIP>

So who makes you use public financial vehicles like banks and markets? You can work for cash and live accordingly. Oh ... you want the *benefit* of such systems, just not the accountability that goes with them. Is that it?
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Greg G. wrote:

You're hung up on that green paper stuff being "wealth".

No, you're creating additional wealth. Giving money to the producer doesn't "redistribute it" except to the extent that the value of the goods is greater than the cost.

You were complaining a bit earlier that its value is _not_ constant.

No. Money is garnered by transfer. Money is not wealth. Money is something that can be exchanged for goods. The goods are the wealth.

So who did Bill Gates take it from?

If you believe that perhaps you should transfer some currency to the makers of Viagra in exchange for some of the wealth that they have produced.
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J. Clarke said:

Tell you what, ask anyone which they would prefer: a warehouse full of retail copies of Windows 3.11 or the investment they initially represented. Currency is currently the negotiable representation of that "wealth"; although it may take other forms, such as artwork, gold, gemstones, drugs, or under-aged Asian hookers.

Sure it does, it takes it from my account and deposits it into theirs. They now have it, I no longer do. The difference between what it costs to produce and market versus what the market will bear equates to profit. Too many economics 101 victims in here. I've heard the abstractions, I just don't agree with them.

Notice the "within a given span of time" caveat. Of course it fluctuates, unfortunately in a downward spiral these days.

Lots of disappointed customers?

No thanks. Don't need it, and priapism doesn't really interest me. The "wealth" Pfizer has produced is based solely on taking money from a nation of phallically obsessed idiots and/or dysfunctional men in exchange for little blue pills. Pretty strange outcome for what was intended to be a cardiovascular medication but failed miserably.
As for me, I don't buy pharmaceuticals other than Ibuprofen and the occasional antibiotic every few decades. I believe that a good 80% of the "medicine" that is dumped onto the market is crap promoted by abject sophistry.
You guys are too easy... ;-)
G'Night.
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

It takes from your account and you receive in return a product. That is not stealing from you, it is you engaging in a transaction.
What abstractions are you talking about? This isn't abstraction or even Econ101 anymore, it's capitalism101.

What? Part of the problem is that there are more dollars out there such that the value of those dollars is lower. i.e., it takes more dollars to buy the same thing than several years ago.

Fair shot right between the goal posts. :-)
... snip

If you say so.
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Greg G. wrote:

I must be in that 20% minority.....$10 a month pills keep me alive and to this point combined with a previous surgery have given me 8 years I never would have had. I'm sure your own personal experience justifies your silly 80% claim<G>....Rod
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Greg G. wrote:

Not sure how you think that CEO's have control of the value of US currency.

So, someone drilling a hole in the ground and extracting crude oil is not producing wealth? .. or someone taking 100 bushel of corn seed and producing 10000 bushels of corn from that seed is not creating wealth? They both are producing something that goes into the economy that was not there before. People are willing to trade either time, other products, or currency for those new products.

You are essentially saying that the economy is a zero-sum game. This can be readily proven to be false. You must agree that there is more wealth in the country than at the start of the 20'th century and that there was more wealth in the 1950's than in the 1920's. In a growing economy, the money supply is only one variable, the real measure of wealth is in products, production, and the willingess of people to exchange time, other products, or currency for goods.
This isn't rocket surgery, it's econ101.

By analogy, your banana would never grow past the flower stage because wealth doesn't increase.

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Greg G. wrote:

Or .. perhaps ... the mooching middle class has so indebted this nation with its cradle-to-grave fantasies, that the only way to survive is to maintain an economic policy that keeps paying back our creditors with a devalued dollar. The Chinese, Japanese, and Europeans that lent us money, are now getting back a fraction of what they lent in real terms primarily because the smelly hippies of the 1960s who want healthcare in their old age (and have saved nothing for it themselves) have made us a nation of international borrowers. Don't blame the rich. Blame your neighbors.

This is bluntly nonsense. There is both a variable amount of currency and "wealth" floating around at any moment in time in the economy. If this were not true, you'd still live in a log cabin without heat, lights, cell phones, and CAT scan machines at the hospital in your area.

Whether you know it or not, you are of the same mind as the economic Marxists ... they've been thoroughly discredited and are generally bad company.

I do not steal from anyone. I create value by applying my time and abilities to take low value goods and make them higher value. This creates wealth (for me and others). No involuntary transfer of other people's wealth is involved.

No. It illustrates profound ignorance of what wealth is, how it is created, and who makes it happen.

Maybe. But growing more bananas than the guy down the street makes you wealthier (without stealing from him) in a banana economy.

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