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Posted: 10 September 2009 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The top income bracket used to have a tax rate of 91%

Now it’s 35%

Warren Buffett [sees] less than 0.5% of his annual income [taxed for] Social Security while some single mom working double-shifts at IHOP will see 100% of hers taxed.

The US spends 45% of the world’s military budget though is only 5% of the population. We also spend twice as much as the next four countries combined.

We spend twice as much on healthcare than the rest of the developed world yet we are less healthy and 60 of us die each day due to lack of healthcare.

Women with equal health conditions as men are more likely to pay higher premiums for the same policy.

Women and “people of color” still face glass ceilings when it comes to income or job promotions.

You ever notice that the so-called “pink collar” jobs are heavily geared towards service? As if a woman’s place in the world is to serve.

95% of victims from family violence are women abused by male partners.

More than 25% of abuses go unreported.

Usually, the rape victim is a female raped by a non-stranger who is usually a white male.

Most victims of sex crimes are female and most perpetrators are male.

Sexuality is often treated as a taboo but what is present on ads and billboards is the selling of sex as carnal lust. No wonder we see the above. When all young men can think about when they see an attractive woman is, “I’d hit [sic] that” then you know something’s wrong. The added ingredient of power and domination in a male-dominated society also helps explain. Don’t you think?

In Texas, as is true in most states, pets get more protection than people do. A pet owner is required to provide water, food and shelter or be punishable under the law (for the third offense it’s a felony).

Speaking of shelter, a large portion of homeless people are vets from foreign wars of aggression. Jingoists love to support their troops while they are committing crimes and becoming addicted to drugs and plagued with PTSD, but once its over they sneer at them on the streets when they ask for change.

In the lobby of where I work there are all kinds of pamphlets on substance abuse, domestic violence and so forth. Why do ya’ll think it is that there is a singular pamphlet on alcohol and combat?

The elderly are the demographic with the highest suicide rate.

We are more than 360% as productive as we were during the Golden Age of Capitalism that really should be called the Golden Age of State Intervention, yet we still work more than 40 hours a week. Guess where the wealth from the increased productivity went? I will give you a clue: not the working class.

Real living wages have steadily been declining since the end of that age.

We rank really low in education for the developed world so it is no wonder large portions of the population reject evolution and have superstitious beliefs about imaginary people living in magical places that they will get to go to once they die.

Livestock farming is a big contributor to the assault on our ecosystems. Think about it. We use massive amounts of land, water and grain to raise and kill animals for either us to eat or for other animals to eat. If you have a pet whose pet food contains animals know that some farmer, likely from a big corporate farm, grew that grain to feed to an animal to be slaughtered so it could be turned into pet food so you could feed it to Socks, the cat.

There is an entire industry of making milk from another animal for us to drink long after infancy. You should also look into how unsanitary the practice of milking cows industrially is.

Obama opponents from the right really oppose him because he is black. Terms like socialism are codewords they use in place of the n-bomb.

The US which is armed to the teeth (see above on military spending), flanked by two vast oceans its Navy dominates and is bordered by allies is deathly afraid of Afghanistan, a poor, defenseless country over 10,000 miles away. You can tell because a common remark supporting the war on that country is a hysterical cry that “If we don’t fight them there then we will have to fight them here!!!” That would be like me going out of state from Texas to Idaho to pummel an infant and then frantically crying, “If I didn’t pummel her there then I would have to pummel her here!!!”

And in an ironic twist, advocates of torture claim it is successful though they have yet to address why we are fighting foreign wars to keep them from our shores if torture works.

If we were actually bound to international law and didn’t use our veto power at the UNSC or economic intimidation of other countries then every president since Truman would have been tried for war crimes and hung Nuremberg style.

[ Edited: 10 September 2009 09:32 AM by truthaddict ]
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Posted: 10 September 2009 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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truthaddict - 10 September 2009 07:08 AM

Warren Buffett pays less than 0.5% of his annual income towards Social Security while some single mom working double-shifts at IHOP will see 100% of hers taxed.

I couldn’t get past the distraction of this seemingly mismatched comparison.

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Posted: 10 September 2009 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Truthaddict, there’s a lot of truth in your post, but there are also some distorted or misleading statements. Stating the truth accurately would detract from the emotional impact of your post, but it add to its intellectual impact.

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Posted: 10 September 2009 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 07:50 AM
truthaddict - 10 September 2009 07:08 AM

Warren Buffett pays less than 0.5% of his annual income towards Social Security while some single mom working double-shifts at IHOP will see 100% of hers taxed.

I couldn’t get past the distraction of this seemingly mismatched comparison.

Either there should be no cap or the cap should be progressive, not regressive.

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Posted: 10 September 2009 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Chris Crawford - 10 September 2009 08:32 AM

... there are also some distorted or misleading statements…

like what? what would be an “accurate” description?

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Posted: 10 September 2009 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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truthaddict - 10 September 2009 08:38 AM
the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 07:50 AM
truthaddict - 10 September 2009 07:08 AM

Warren Buffett pays less than 0.5% of his annual income towards Social Security while some single mom working double-shifts at IHOP will see 100% of hers taxed.

I couldn’t get past the distraction of this seemingly mismatched comparison.

Either there should be no cap or the cap should be progressive, not regressive.

Either you should give us the percentage of the mom’s annual income that’s paid to Social Security or you should tell us what percentage of Warren Buffet’s income was taxed.  I’m sure there is still a disparity but the way it was presented was distracting to the point of not wanting to read more of the same sort of thing.

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Posted: 10 September 2009 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 08:53 AM
truthaddict - 10 September 2009 08:38 AM
the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 07:50 AM
truthaddict - 10 September 2009 07:08 AM

Warren Buffett pays less than 0.5% of his annual income towards Social Security while some single mom working double-shifts at IHOP will see 100% of hers taxed.

I couldn’t get past the distraction of this seemingly mismatched comparison.

Either there should be no cap or the cap should be progressive, not regressive.

Either you should give us the percentage of the mom’s annual income that’s paid to Social Security or you should tell us what percentage of Warren Buffet’s income was taxed.  I’m sure there is still a disparity but the way it was presented was distracting to the point of not wanting to read more of the same sort of thing.

Social Security has a singular tax rate of 7.65% for employed and 15.30% for self-employed. The cap for 2009 is $106,800

The point being that a single-mom doing double-shifts at IHOP does not make $106,800 a year. Therefore 100% of her income will be taxed for Social Security. Whereas, someone like Warren Buffett - whose annual income is $50 million - will see less than 0.5% of his income taxed for Social Security.

So despite the fact that Social Security is solvent through 2049 - according to the CBO - the program is taxed regressively. That is messed up. It’s topsy turvy. If anything, it should be taxed progressively. The waitress is more deserving of seeing 0.5% of her income tax and Buffett is more deserving of having 100% of his taxed.

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Posted: 10 September 2009 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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truthaddict - 10 September 2009 09:04 AM

Whereas, someone like Warren Buffett - whose annual income is $50 million - will see less than 0.5% of his income taxed for Social Security.

This makes more sense but it is not what you originally wrote.

Now if we are to make the Social Security tax uncapped and/or progressive, are you also in favor of having the Social Security benefits uncapped and/or progressive?  We could treat the system just like a big, government-run 401(k), yes?

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Posted: 10 September 2009 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 09:09 AM
truthaddict - 10 September 2009 09:04 AM

Whereas, someone like Warren Buffett - whose annual income is $50 million - will see less than 0.5% of his income taxed for Social Security.

This makes more sense but it is not what you originally wrote.

Now if we are to make the Social Security tax uncapped and/or progressive, are you also in favor of having the Social Security benefits uncapped and/or progressive?  We could treat the system just like a big, government-run 401(k), yes?

I see the error youre talking about. I wrote “he pays less than 0.5%...” when I meant to say “he sess less than 0.5% of his income taxed….”

Good catch!

I think the programs benefit should be dispersed progressively - more given to those in need and less for those not. The purpose is to provide a safety net for the disabled and retirees. If Mr X is better off than Mrs Y then the latter should receive more benefits.

Warren Buffett should not be permitted to collect at all.

Treating it like 401k where those who put more in can take more out undermines the purpose of the program and aggrivates the problem. Even though Buffett only saw 0.5% of his annual income taxed he still put in more than the single mom. This would mean Buffett could collect more. That isn’t fair at all.

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Posted: 10 September 2009 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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truthaddict - 10 September 2009 09:19 AM

I think the programs benefit should be dispersed progressively - more given to those in need and less for those not.

A theory of government with admirable goals.  At least on the surface.  How far should we take this?  Should each and everyone net the same amount of income on which to live?

Treating it like 401k where those who put more in can take more out undermines the purpose of the program and aggrivates the problem. Even though Buffett only saw 0.5% of his annual income taxed he still put in more than the single mom. This would mean Buffett could collect more. That isn’t fair at all.

At all? Those putting in more get more out sounds like it has the ring of fairness.  It sounds like an incentive to put more in too.

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Posted: 10 September 2009 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 10:39 AM
truthaddict - 10 September 2009 09:19 AM

I think the programs benefit should be dispersed progressively - more given to those in need and less for those not.

A theory of government with admirable goals.  At least on the surface.  How far should we take this?  Should each and everyone net the same amount of income on which to live?

Standards of remunerating for labor is a different issue than standards for dispersing benefits for non-workers, at least in my opinion.

For the former remunerating for effort and sacrifice - how hard and long one works - is superior. There would be no incentive if everyone was paid the same. This standard also stands in opposition to rewarding ownership of productive property, bargaining power, inheritance (genetic or material).

the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 10:39 AM

Treating it like 401k where those who put more in can take more out undermines the purpose of the program and aggrivates the problem. Even though Buffett only saw 0.5% of his annual income taxed he still put in more than the single mom. This would mean Buffett could collect more. That isn’t fair at all.

At all? Those putting in more get more out sounds like it has the ring of fairness.  It sounds like an incentive to put more in too.

Let me use another example to illustrate: Bill Gates pays taxes and some of his taxes are used for foodstamps. Does he qualify to claim them? If not, why? Same reason should apply to social security. These are social programs that should be dispersed based on need, not contribution.

Discussing the merits and drawbacks of rewarding ouput is a seperate conversation but an interesting one. I think rewarding effort and sacrifice, and tempered by need, is superior.

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Posted: 10 September 2009 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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truthaddict - 10 September 2009 11:30 AM
the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 10:39 AM
truthaddict - 10 September 2009 09:19 AM

I think the programs benefit should be dispersed progressively - more given to those in need and less for those not.

A theory of government with admirable goals.  At least on the surface.  How far should we take this?  Should each and everyone net the same amount of income on which to live?

Standards of remunerating for labor is a different issue than standards for dispersing benefits for non-workers, at least in my opinion.

For the former remunerating for effort and sacrifice - how hard and long one works - is superior. There would be no incentive if everyone was paid the same. This standard also stands in opposition to rewarding ownership of productive property, bargaining power, inheritance (genetic or material).

the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 10:39 AM

Treating it like 401k where those who put more in can take more out undermines the purpose of the program and aggrivates the problem. Even though Buffett only saw 0.5% of his annual income taxed he still put in more than the single mom. This would mean Buffett could collect more. That isn’t fair at all.

At all? Those putting in more get more out sounds like it has the ring of fairness.  It sounds like an incentive to put more in too.

Let me use another example to illustrate: Bill Gates pays taxes and some of his taxes are used for foodstamps. Does he qualify to claim them? If not, why? Same reason should apply to social security. These are social programs that should be dispersed based on need, not contribution.

Discussing the merits and drawbacks of rewarding ouput is a seperate conversation but an interesting one. I think rewarding effort and sacrifice, and tempered by need, is superior.

I guess where I’m headed is asking if you think there is an objective balance point to be discovered here.  Or are we left to hammer out compromises of our various subjective preferences?

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Posted: 10 September 2009 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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You ask for some specifics. Here’s one that should have been clarified:

some single mom working double-shifts at IHOP will see 100% of hers taxed.

While it’s true that 100% of her income will be SUBJECT to tax, this can be construed to mean that 100% of her income will be taken as tax. That should have been clarified.

We spend twice as much on healthcare than the rest of the developed world yet we are less healthy and 60 of us die each day due to lack of healthcare.

It would have been better to balance this against another index of health care outcomes. Yes, we spend way too much and get far too little. I’d suggest that you compare it with infant mortality or life expectancy.


You ever notice that the so-called “pink collar” jobs are heavily geared towards service? As if a woman’s place in the world is to serve.
This isn’t fair. Women, on average, have better social skills than men (on average). It therefore seems appropriate that women should be doing working utilizing those social skills. However, pay discrepancies are another matter.

We are more than 360% as productive as we were during the Golden Age of Capitalism that really should be called the Golden Age of State Intervention, yet we still work more than 40 hours a week. Guess where the wealth from the increased productivity went? I will give you a clue: not the working class.
This is a very simplistic summary of a very complex problem. The problem is real, but it needs more than bumper-sticker talk.

There is an entire industry of making milk from another animal for us to drink long after infancy. You should also look into how unsanitary the practice of milking cows industrially is.
If it were significantly unsanitary, people would be getting sick from milk. But they aren’t!

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Posted: 10 September 2009 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 11:49 AM
truthaddict - 10 September 2009 11:30 AM
the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 10:39 AM
truthaddict - 10 September 2009 09:19 AM

I think the programs benefit should be dispersed progressively - more given to those in need and less for those not.

A theory of government with admirable goals.  At least on the surface.  How far should we take this?  Should each and everyone net the same amount of income on which to live?

Standards of remunerating for labor is a different issue than standards for dispersing benefits for non-workers, at least in my opinion.

For the former remunerating for effort and sacrifice - how hard and long one works - is superior. There would be no incentive if everyone was paid the same. This standard also stands in opposition to rewarding ownership of productive property, bargaining power, inheritance (genetic or material).

the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 10:39 AM

Treating it like 401k where those who put more in can take more out undermines the purpose of the program and aggrivates the problem. Even though Buffett only saw 0.5% of his annual income taxed he still put in more than the single mom. This would mean Buffett could collect more. That isn’t fair at all.

At all? Those putting in more get more out sounds like it has the ring of fairness.  It sounds like an incentive to put more in too.

Let me use another example to illustrate: Bill Gates pays taxes and some of his taxes are used for foodstamps. Does he qualify to claim them? If not, why? Same reason should apply to social security. These are social programs that should be dispersed based on need, not contribution.

Discussing the merits and drawbacks of rewarding ouput is a seperate conversation but an interesting one. I think rewarding effort and sacrifice, and tempered by need, is superior.

I guess where I’m headed is asking if you think there is an objective balance point to be discovered here.  Or are we left to hammer out compromises of our various subjective preferences?

On dispersing benefits or remunerating labor?

If I understand you correctly my general response is that people are different and its not likely everyone can be pleased all of the time so compromises would be in order, and the degree to which compromises yield our optimally achieving of ethical goals would depend on how broadly those ethics are shared.

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Posted: 10 September 2009 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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truthaddict - 10 September 2009 12:27 PM
the PC apeman - 10 September 2009 11:49 AM

I guess where I’m headed is asking if you think there is an objective balance point to be discovered here.  Or are we left to hammer out compromises of our various subjective preferences?

On dispersing benefits or remunerating labor?

If I understand you correctly my general response is that people are different and its not likely everyone can be pleased all of the time so compromises would be in order, and the degree to which compromises yield our optimally achieving of ethical goals would depend on how broadly those ethics are shared.

Sounds reasonable to me.  I wish you happy hammering.

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Posted: 10 September 2009 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Chris Crawford - 10 September 2009 12:17 PM

You ask for some specifics. Here’s one that should have been clarified:

some single mom working double-shifts at IHOP will see 100% of hers taxed.

While it’s true that 100% of her income will be SUBJECT to tax, this can be construed to mean that 100% of her income will be taken as tax. That should have been clarified.

In all my years of saying this it has never been misconstrued. I guess people are smarter than you give them credit for.

Chris Crawford - 10 September 2009 12:17 PM

We spend twice as much on healthcare than the rest of the developed world yet we are less healthy and 60 of us die each day due to lack of healthcare.

It would have been better to balance this against another index of health care outcomes. Yes, we spend way too much and get far too little. I’d suggest that you compare it with infant mortality or life expectancy.

I have and they live longer. There are some other differences to point out too but I opted to just generally note that in developed countries with single-payer they are healthier and its cheaper.

Chris Crawford - 10 September 2009 12:17 PM

You ever notice that the so-called “pink collar” jobs are heavily geared towards service? As if a woman’s place in the world is to serve.
This isn’t fair. Women, on average, have better social skills than men (on average). It therefore seems appropriate that women should be doing working utilizing those social skills. However, pay discrepancies are another matter.

Giving the claim the benefit of the doubt, why do you think that is and do you see any connection to sexist division of labor?

If we traveled back to 1860 and remarked that black people seemed to make up the majority of those picking cotton what do you think the odds would be that some apologist (and im not saying your an apologist for sexism, but that maybe you havent considered this further) would say, “Wait a minute. That isn’t fair. They’re good at it.”

The point being that when it is what they are left to do by sexist relations it should be no wonder that we find they acquire skills.

But that doesnt mean women are less productive at industrial jobs. During WW2 women took prominence in factories while men went to make war. They were more productive than their male counterparts.

Chris Crawford - 10 September 2009 12:17 PM

We are more than 360% as productive as we were during the Golden Age of Capitalism that really should be called the Golden Age of State Intervention, yet we still work more than 40 hours a week. Guess where the wealth from the increased productivity went? I will give you a clue: not the working class.
This is a very simplistic summary of a very complex problem. The problem is real, but it needs more than bumper-sticker talk.

The whole thing is a simplistic summary of various issues, I agree. That was the point. But there is nothing inaccurate about it. Productivity has increased by more than 360% as was during the Golden Age of Capitalism and yet we continue to work long hours and see the benefits inequitably siphoned away while the real living wages of the working class dwindle.

Chris Crawford - 10 September 2009 12:17 PM

There is an entire industry of making milk from another animal for us to drink long after infancy. You should also look into how unsanitary the practice of milking cows industrially is.
If it were significantly unsanitary, people would be getting sick from milk. But they aren’t!

I never said it was significant. I am just saying that it is weird that we not only drink milk after infancy but drink the milk of other animals, and that industrial milking is less clean than small family farms where you do it by hand. There are documented instances where utters get sores and bleed and other nasty things from being hooked up to industrial suckers too long.

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