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RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
Here’s the proof: Before the pitchforks, there will be higher taxes on the wealthy — yet there’s meager support for more redistribution of wealth. Polls show that slightly more than half of Americans favor raising taxes on the wealthy for specific causes such as helping reduce poverty, which makes it sound like tax hikes have widespread support and are inevitable. But here’s the catch: An even higher portion of Americans are disgusted with the government, with little trust that it spends tax money wisely. That’s why Republicans can consistently block tax hikes on the wealthy with little payback at the voting booth. If there’s simmering outrage at this state of affairs, it’s not evident in the public square. The “Occupy” movement against the financial elite enjoyed a moment in 2011 but has largely fizzled. Hanauer argues that the occupiers helped sharpen the focus on income inequality, but The Tea Party is probably a more lasting phenomenon. And the Tea Party's gripes about the wealthy are limited to corporate welfare and crony capitalism that puts government bureaucracy at the service of the rich. As for wealth and income inequality, the Tea Party generally takes a laissez-faire, free-market view: Those who can get rich, should. Labor unions have represented the workingman’s concerns for a century, but they’re on the wane, too. Union membership has been in steady decline for at least 30 years, with no rebound on the horizon. The United Auto Workers couldn’t unionize a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee earlier this year, even with the tacit support of the company itself. Michigan became a “right to work” state in 2013, diminishing the power of unions in their own backyard. The Supreme Court, meanwhile, has enhanced the power of the rich through two decisions during the past several years that have eviscerated limits on campaign donations to political causes and candidates, which favors those with millions to spend to influence election outcomes. Two well-regarded academics, Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern University, argued in a recent paper that economic elites have gained so much power that “America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.” Hanauer sounds more like President Obama than a self-important plutocrat when he suggests ways to even out the wealth and income gaps. He favors a minimum wage of $15 per hour and chides wealthy business owners who feel they, rather than their customers, make the economy hum. "We rich people ... have convinced ourselves that we are the main job creators," he writes. "It's simply not true. There can never be enough superrich Americans to power a great economy." Most economists would agree with that, but Hanauer risks hyping the consequences of a growing wealth gap when he warns that “revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly.” That may be true in repressed states that don’t allow ordinary people to express their frustrations. But in functioning democracies (and even in the United States), there’s plenty of warning when social unrest is percolating. These days, all you have to do is read the blogs and follow the right Twitter (TWTR) accounts. If you do, you’ll encounter plenty of angst — but not much revolutionary zeal. The economic trends Hanauer identifies are, in fact, real problems. America as a whole will suffer if the fortunes of the middle class don’t improve. There are solutions, however, and they’ll probably materialize in the usual American way — right before disaster strikes. It’s nearly inevitable there will be government spending cuts and, yes, tax hikes, when the government’s finances become unsustainable, which could take a decade or more. When it happens, the politicians in Washington will find ways to spread the pain around and America will muddle through. The rich will have to pay more, but they’ll still be rich. And they still won't have to worry about pitchforks.http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/why-the-rich-are--mistakenly--worried-about-the-middle-class-151842954.html


  • jd50aejd50ae West Gnawed Pencil, TNPosts: 7,934 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nice read....very nice.

  • The3StogiesThe3Stogies MainePosts: 2,653 ✭✭✭✭
    Starting to believe this wealth inequality but not sure if the government now taxing the rich or raising the minimum wage is the answer. That will only kill American jobs.
    Jobs man, we need jobs. Get America working and making money again. I have been in manufacturing for 38 years now and have seen a paradigm shift in how workers are treated. When jobs are plentiful in a free market all wages flourish. In a way we are all free market, we can choose to work here or there. When I entered the workforce companies took care of you so you didn't go to work across the street so to speak. Once they saw you were a good worker raises and promotions were the norm. Merit increases and cost of living increases, times were good. Along came NAFTA and things started to change slowly. From NAFTA we then became a world trader and opened up businesses overseas for the cheap labor and lower restrictions on pollutants. You would think American wages would rise with such cheap labor contributing to the bottom line of these companies, mine included. But only at the corporate level it seems. If anything it's gone backwards for wages of the average/middle class. Now most larger companies are using temp services to fill the ranks. Like labor overseas it is cheaper and expendable. Have to satisfy the stockholders and no matter what the government does, companies will cut costs, eliminate jobs, whatever it takes to make the bottom line. Don't see how raising the minimum that much will help, or taxing the rich for that matter. Just feeding the monster, government.

    Seems to me the government caused a lot of these problems by meddling in businesses and our business. I'm still buying seeds and bullets.

    Let's start small. Just give us all a flat tax and be gone IRS.
  • Darktower007Darktower007 Posts: 2,580 ✭✭✭✭
    There has never been a better system on planet earth than capitalism to pull people out of poverty if they choose to do so. Redistribution of wealth has never pulled anyone out of poverty. Look at Venezuela or Cuba. Socialism, a democrat wet dream, does nothing but punish the producers for being successful. Their earnings a funneled to the non producing who choose not to work, and have a 60 flat screen on every wall in their home---maybe not in Cuba but you get the point---(this is fact my cousins are the poster childs of hand out system cheaters flat Screen over food jackwagons. I encourage each of you to read Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged. "Money will not serve a mind that cannot match it." Francisco D Anconia
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You are not going to tax the super wealthy. The rich man does not pay tax. He adds it to the price, he buys a senator, he moves his money offshore. He is not about to pay the tax. All tax is paid by labor. Increasingly, by future labor. That's it. Accept it.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)

  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,684 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You are not going to tax the super wealthy. The rich man does not pay tax. He adds it to the price, he buys a senator, he moves his money offshore. He is not about to pay the tax. All tax is paid by labor. Increasingly, by future labor. That's it. Accept it.

    True. Also ,our economy is 70% consumer-driven. WE are the job creators, not the CEO. Raising minimum wage is a lot like printing more money, solves nothing. Creating a maximum ratio, and admitting that corporations are not people, and tightly regulating the financial industry could bring back the level of prosperity we seek, thus re-incarnating the middle class.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as another person's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • jd50aejd50ae West Gnawed Pencil, TNPosts: 7,934 ✭✭✭✭✭
    National Review Online According to a major new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), net employment growth in the United States since 2000 has gone entirely to immigrants, legal and illegal. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CIS scholars Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler found that there were 127,000 fewer working-age natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level. The rapidity with which immigrants recovered from the Great Recession, as well as the fact that they held a disproportionate share of jobs relative to their share of population growth before the recession, help to explain their findings, the authors report. In addition, native-born Americans and immigrants were affected differently by the recession. STAND BACK, IT IS FROM "THE NATIONAL REVIEW".

  • raisindotraisindot BostonPosts: 1,311 ✭✭✭
    Much as I love the idea of taxing the super-wealthy, it won't solve America's income-inequality issues. But it won't destroy jobs either (taxing individuals has no effect on job growth; taxing corporations can, although the given the huge 7-figure salaries CEOs and their cronies get this is detabable). Evidence? Job growth has actually PICKED UP since the Bush era tax cuts for billionaires lapsed, and the taxes raised through this (along with the Republican-brokered spending cuts and cuts in defense spending as a result of pulling out of Iraq) have helped to decrease the federal deficit to a point where today it's less than a third of what it was at its peak).

    The main problem with the labor market is that too many of the jobs lost are in manufacturing and construction industries, where recovery of those jobs is unlikely to happen. Because the bankers ruined the housing market, new home construction is anemic. Because U.S. corporations have essentially outsourced manufacturing jobs, most will never come back. Unions exacerbated the issue by not bending on wages, giving companies the excuse to chase lower priced labor markets. These manufacturing jobs will never return. There was a small window of opportunity when the U.S. could have become the world's largest manufacture of green technologies (such as wind turbines, for which there is a huge global demand), but we didn't act fast enough and China now owns that market.

    So what's left in the U.S. are service industry jobs. The immigrants are perfectly willing to take on the low-paying foodservice, landscaping and unskilled labor jobs other Americans aren't wlling to do. This isn't anything new; immigrants have always played this role. Meanwhile, we get endless carping from techno-America that the only solution is to turn construction workers (and their children) into coders. But many Americans (myself included) don't have the math or left-brain skills needed for programming. And, even if we did raise a whole generation of home-grown coders, the high tech companies would just outsource the jobs to India anyway, which they've been doing since the last 90s.

    The other main job-creator in America is energy production. The U.S. is on track to become the world's largest oil producer, and imports of foreign oil are the lowest they've been since 2005. Thousands of jobs have been created in the midwest and southwest as shale oil extraction has grown exponentially--and nearly all of this growth happened AFTER the BP oil spill disaster.But these jobs alone are not enough to lift the economy, and they're temporary, at best--some estimate say that fracking production will start to fall as early as 2015.

    Removing government regulations alone won't create jobs. And in the long run, gutting them will create more harm than good. Bush gutted most regulations on the financial industry (as did Clinton before him), and look what happened; the worst recession since the Great Depression. The fracking industry is largely unregulated today; most shale oid field operations haven't been inspected for safety or environmental compliance. And already we're seeing the effects of laissez-faire: states the had little seismic activity, such as Oklahoma, are now having thousands of earthquakes per year, the theory being that oil of the fracking operators are disrupting normal seismic activity, releasing pent up energy. And people in some of the most anti-government communities in the west are now concerned over a lack of oversight of potential contamination of their water supplies due to unregulated fracking.

    Somewhere, there's a middle ground where growth, regulation, and government spending can co-exist to create jobs without destroying the environment. But the current political climate makes this impossible.
  • The3StogiesThe3Stogies MainePosts: 2,653 ✭✭✭✭
    As far as oil production maybe we should keep it here for our own use. As time goes on and manufacturing methods improve costs should go down. Oil runs our country, like it or not, keep it here don't sell it to other countries. Supply and demand.
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