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 Post subject: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-10-30 10:29pm
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Jedi Knight
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It's with my Aunt, actually. It's from an email discussion I've been having with my mom, and then my aunt stepped in to answer for my mom I guess. So I'm annoyed and don't even know where to begin...
Quote:
Hi, this is Tricia.

It is not polite to use obscenities and name calling in a political discourse. Your use of these belittles any argument you might make.

I would point out that every time that anyone questions Obama's tax policy, he simply changes it. See the article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal for the history. I would further point out that "tax cuts" and welfare, or the receipt of money from the government that you never paid in are not the same thing. So, if Obama promises to give you $4,000 or $5,000 per year of someone else's money because you are in college, whether or not you ever paid that money in, amounts to theft at a government level. There is no promise of a free college education, a free house, or free health care in this country. Those are Socialist beliefs. What this country promises is the opportunity for each citizen to work, to support himself, and to have unlimited opportunity, as did Barack.

Barack's proposals for cramdown bankruptcy legislation amounts to the abrogation of contract law in this country and would result in higher interest rates or a further drying up of credit to the populace that actually pays their bills on time and does not look for handouts.

There is no way that Barack can give tax "cuts" to 95% of the population when only something like 55% even pays taxes. What he would give would be a redistribution of money that they did not pay in. A tax cut is not the same as a government handout.

And, yes, is it so unfair to expect that I be allowed to keep what I earn, and be allowed to choose my own charities rather than having Barack take my money against my will and provide to whomever he chooses? I have helped my brothers, my Chilean family, and others, but the more the government takes from me, the less I am able to do that. What is fair about taking the money I earn? How is that an incentive for anyone to work and advance if you are punished when you do so? The incentive that Barack's policies provide is one of moral hazards. Building in a flood zone? Don't want to buy flood insurance? Don't worry, government will pay. Want to have babies outside of marriage and not support them? Don't worry. Government will pay. Want to not buy health insurance so you can buy a Porsche? Don't worry. Government will pay. Want to commit fraud on a loan application and state an income substantially higher than what you earn in order to buy a house that you could never ever ever afford? Go ahead. Don't worry. Government will pay.

The problem is that there is no "government." There is no free lunch. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. All there is is irresponsibility, and the warped belief that taking from someone else just because you want to is OK. It is morally reprehensible.

Finally, right now Obama may say those earning $250,000 or more (per couple - not individual - and Biden said $150,000), but there is absolutely nothing to stop him from changing his definition of "middle class" just as he has been changing his proposed tax policy. He can come for you next, and, yes, I am equating him to the Nazis. And I do believe that experience matters in the presidency. Obama may have enough experience to work with with ACORN on the get out the vote initiative, but that does not make him ready to be president.

Nice chatting with you, and the gang. Have a lovely evening.


Any help with this would be great.



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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-10-30 11:44pm
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Sith Marauder

Joined: 2004-12-21 11:06pm
Posts: 4999
Location: Berkeley, California (USA)
Max wrote:
I would further point out that "tax cuts" and welfare, or the receipt of money from the government that you never paid in are not the same thing. So, if Obama promises to give you $4,000 or $5,000 per year of someone else's money because you are in college, whether or not you ever paid that money in, amounts to theft at a government level. There is no promise of a free college education, a free house, or free health care in this country. Those are Socialist beliefs. What this country promises is the opportunity for each citizen to work, to support himself, and to have unlimited opportunity, as did Barack.

Wow. The lolbertarian wank is strong in this one.

First off, why are these things bad? Because of some religious-like mantra that socialist = evil? College grants give poor kids the opportunity to raise themselves to higher socioeconomic levels and lead better lives. Subsidized health care eases the burden on people who are too poor to pay for expensive treatments. "Unlimited opportunity" is rich from somebody who opposes government aid to low-income students, thus effectively supporting dooming thousands, probably millions of people to vastly reduced economic opportunities.

Second, you could try pointing out to her that she's constantly benefiting from government services in the form of roads, police, and fire departments (and I'm sure other ways as well). It's only fair that the system that benefits her expects her to chip back in. If she doesn't like being taxed she should go live out in the mountains in a cabin, where she won't use the government services that others pay for with their taxes.

Quote:
And, yes, is it so unfair to expect that I be allowed to keep what I earn, and be allowed to choose my own charities rather than having Barack take my money against my will and provide to whomever he chooses? I have helped my brothers, my Chilean family, and others, but the more the government takes from me, the less I am able to do that. What is fair about taking the money I earn?

See above. If she doesn't live in a cabin in the woods somewhere she benefits from government services such as police and fire departments. She's already a customer of the government by virtue of these benefits. So yeah, it's perfectly fair that the system she benefits from every day expects her to chip back in.

As for the usual tired "why shouldn't I be able to donate to whoever I want" saw, remind her of something called the tragedy of the commons. People are too selfish and myopic for that to work. What happens when you leave such things to the whim of the individuality is that almost everybody will figure it's somebody else's problem and keep the money for themselves. Frankly, I question the true charitability of the people who are always screaming loudest "NO FAIR giving my hard-earned money to dem damn lazy welfare queens!" If she doubts this, ask how well private charity worked in the Great Depression, or point out generally how utterly shitty it was to be poor in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, when society was set up exactly the way these chuckleheads would have it. I'm sure you can find plenty of material with very little effort. The kind of society the free market fundamentalists want has already been tried, and it was a really shitty place to live for a lot of people.

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How is that an incentive for anyone to work and advance if you are punished when you do so?

Because you still have more money even after the higher tax rate? A billionaire could be taxed at 99% of his income, he'd still be a lot better off than you or me. Frankly, leveraging the highest taxes percentage-wise on the personal income of the wealthy is sort of fair because the richer you are the less pain you will feel from having a big chunk of your income taken away, because you can still live in ridiculous luxury with even a small fraction of what you earn.

Quote:
The incentive that Barack's policies provide is one of moral hazards. Building in a flood zone? Don't want to buy flood insurance? Don't worry, government will pay. Want to have babies outside of marriage and not support them? Don't worry. Government will pay. Want to not buy health insurance so you can buy a Porsche? Don't worry. Government will pay. Want to commit fraud on a loan application and state an income substantially higher than what you earn in order to buy a house that you could never ever ever afford? Go ahead. Don't worry. Government will pay.

Ah yes, the old spectre of lazy irresponsible moochers is raised. The obvious solution is to rig the system so this does not happen. Discourage construction in flood zones. Kick the asses of people who are genuinely mooching off the system. That would be the intelligent thing to do. Can you imagine if engineers built engines the way lolbertarians want to build social programs? Nothing would ever be invented, because these chuckleheads would take one look at every design, and if it wasn't perfect on the first draft they'd toss it out as unworkable. Never mind the buttloads of problems the unregulated free market they worship has.

Quote:
The problem is that there is no "government." There is no free lunch. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. All there is is irresponsibility, and the warped belief that taking from someone else just because you want to is OK. It is morally reprehensible.

Yeah, maybe she ought to move out into a cabin in the woods. After all, tax money is being spent to maintain the roads that she drives on, pay the police that keep her neighborhood safe, pay the fire department that keep her house from burning down. It's our money too. But I guess it's only morally reprehensible to take her goddamn playstation money to pay tuition for poor students. :roll:

Quote:
Finally, right now Obama may say those earning $250,000 or more (per couple - not individual - and Biden said $150,000), but there is absolutely nothing to stop him from changing his definition of "middle class" just as he has been changing his proposed tax policy. He can come for you next, and, yes, I am equating him to the Nazis. And I do believe that experience matters in the presidency.

Isn't the possibility that they may break their promises a risk you run with every politician inherently? And lol at the pathetic equating of a tax hike with being sent to a Nazi concentration camp. You gotta love how these lolbertarians always overreact ludicrously to losing money. Shit man, they're gonna raise my taxes, it's just like what happened to the Jews under the Nazis!

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-10-31 01:30am
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Sith Marauder

Joined: 2008-10-23 11:36am
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Quote:
whether or not you ever paid that money in, amounts to theft at a government level.


This comes up alot with libertarians. "Taxation is theft". Of course, so is preventing you from dumping toxic waste on your property- the government is stealing the right of use from you. Such a course of action is legitamate when it leads to better result than just everyone have no government "theft".

Quote:
There is no promise of a free college education, a free house, or free health care in this country.


Except that Obama hasn't proposed any of these things. You get the closest for health care, but it is covered by paying taxes.

Quote:
Those are Socialist beliefs.


Actually, no. Socialists don't believe in those. Socialism is an economic system. For starters, there isn't enough colleges in the country for everyone to go.

Quote:
What this country promises is the opportunity for each citizen to work, to support himself, and to have unlimited opportunity, as did Barack.


:roll: And if you are dying from injuries and can't afford treatment, how is your opportunity equal to someone who can?

Quote:
Barack's proposals for cramdown bankruptcy legislation amounts to the abrogation of contract law in this country and would result in higher interest rates or a further drying up of credit to the populace that actually pays their bills on time and does not look for handouts.


Wouldn't failing to do this lead to the economy collapsing as tens of thousands drop below the poverty line and strain government services?

Quote:
There is no way that Barack can give tax "cuts" to 95% of the population when only something like 55% even pays taxes. What he would give would be a redistribution of money that they did not pay in. A tax cut is not the same as a government handout.


Which is why the IRS is going to be beefed up. As for paying in, if you look at the real wages, they have stalled over the past 30 years. Think of those lost wages as what was "paid in".

Quote:
And, yes, is it so unfair to expect that I be allowed to keep what I earn, and be allowed to choose my own charities rather than having Barack take my money against my will and provide to whomever he chooses?


Charities are tax deductible.

Quote:
I have helped my brothers, my Chilean family, and others, but the more the government takes from me, the less I am able to do that.


So under a situation where everyone acts as benevolent as you, the orphans get screwed over?

Quote:
What is fair about taking the money I earn?


:lol: The government can conscript you and send you of to die on some godforsaken corner of this planet for the good of the country and you think that them taking money from you is unfair? Besides, fairness isn't the goal of the government- the goal is the welfare of its citizens.

Quote:
How is that an incentive for anyone to work and advance if you are punished when you do so?


When your earnings increase, you still see more money. It just isn't at a one to one ratio. Just like now. We have had a progressive income tax since 1912.

Quote:
The incentive that Barack's policies provide is one of moral hazards. Building in a flood zone? Don't want to buy flood insurance? Don't worry, government will pay. Want to have babies outside of marriage and not support them? Don't worry. Government will pay. Want to not buy health insurance so you can buy a Porsche? Don't worry. Government will pay. Want to commit fraud on a loan application and state an income substantially higher than what you earn in order to buy a house that you could never ever ever afford? Go ahead. Don't worry. Government will pay.


Except that occurs already under our current system. Except the health insurance one.

Quote:
The problem is that there is no "government." There is no free lunch. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. All there is is irresponsibility, and the warped belief that taking from someone else just because you want to is OK. It is morally reprehensible.


The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Quote:
Finally, right now Obama may say those earning $250,000 or more (per couple - not individual - and Biden said $150,000), but there is absolutely nothing to stop him from changing his definition of "middle class" just as he has been changing his proposed tax policy.


Congress has to approve tax plans, not the presidency.

Quote:
He can come for you next, and, yes, I am equating him to the Nazis.


:finger: I cannot answer this line without excessive profanity. Someone else want to give it a crack?

Quote:
And I do believe that experience matters in the presidency. Obama may have enough experience to work with with ACORN on the get out the vote initiative, but that does not make him ready to be president.


That is just vague enough to be unanswerable! What kind of experience do you want him to have? And how do the other canidates have it while he doesn't?

Quote:
Nice chatting with you, and the gang. Have a lovely evening.


I'm thinking this is a person who equates correct with polite. So you might want to... clean up our answers. Or just screw it an go with bluntness.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-10-31 10:38pm
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As a general rule, arguments like this attack anything which smacks of socialism based on the idea that they will destroy incentive to work harder, by creating a situation where those who work harder are treated unfairly.

What remains unstated, however, is the assumption that the status quo provides an equitable relationship between the work you do and the pay you get. To say this is an unfounded assumption would be quite generous; it seems to be quite easily falsified.

At the very high end, it would be completely absurd to say that a bank executive who gets paid $30 million to destroy his employer's finances and help ruin the economy is somehow doing work that is worth as much as one thousand middle-class workers combined, yet that is how he is paid. Even at the somewhat lower end, if you look at people who are getting paid $500,000 per year, can you honestly say that they are worth as much as ten middle-class workers?

The situation becomes even more imbalanced when you look at the nature of equity investing, in which those who have a lot of extra disposable income can use that money to make even more income, while those who live hand to mouth never have any money to invest and thus cannot take advantage of this system.

In short, if you look at the curve of reward for work, it is not a straight line; it is more of an exponential curve, shooting very rapidly skyward once you start hitting an income of a few hundred thousand dollars. Heavy taxation on that class would not "unfairly punish" them; it would only bring them somewhat back into line with the actual work they're doing.

So the question for people like this becomes: do you think that peoples' pay should reflect the actual value of the work they do? If so, then the status quo is completely out of whack and needs to be corrected, because the system is set up to cater not to those who generate wealth, but to those who possess it. In other words, stock market investors: the true masters of the Republican economic ideology.



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"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-01 12:10pm
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Darth Wong wrote:
What remains unstated, however, is the assumption that the status quo provides an equitable relationship between the work you do and the pay you get. To say this is an unfounded assumption would be quite generous; it seems to be quite easily falsified.

I don't think that the "socialism reduces incentives to work harder" argument presumes this because I think that you mischaracterize the argument as relying on the status-quo fairness of the wage system. If it does rely on that assumption, it's a poor argument both for the reason you point out and also because the assumption that incentive is related to fairness doesn't seem to hold up to scrutiny. Instead, incentive is largely related to how much money you make, not productivity: it seems common-sense that people are going to work harder if they're going to make more money. For example, would as many people piss away their educations focusing on sports if being a football star paid $50,000 per year instead of $5,000,000 per year?

So, since incentive is related to the magnitude of pay instead of the relation between pay and productivity, I would argue that correcting the equity relationship between productivity and pay reduces the incentive to move up the payscale. And this sort of makes sense: for an extreme example, if you can get away with extortion with no fear of recrimination, you're more likely to engage in it than if you might get five years in jail.

I submit that there is a better way to rebut the "socialism reduces incentives" argument than to charge that it assumes the natural pay scale is fair. Ask: "so what?" and question the implicit assumption that the natural, inequitable pay scale is the best for society. Instead, insist that there is a correct balance between mandating equal pay for all jobs and letting the invisible hand determine all wages.



"... alas, too many people think consistency the hobgoblin of little minds." -Publius

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-01 09:03pm
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Surlethe wrote:
I don't think that the "socialism reduces incentives to work harder" argument presumes this because I think that you mischaracterize the argument as relying on the status-quo fairness of the wage system.

How is that a mischaracterization? McCain supporters believe it is unfair to apply extra taxes to the rich. This automatically implies that the status quo is fair, or at least more fair than the situation if you increase taxes on the rich.
Quote:
If it does rely on that assumption, it's a poor argument both for the reason you point out and also because the assumption that incentive is related to fairness doesn't seem to hold up to scrutiny. Instead, incentive is largely related to how much money you make, not productivity: it seems common-sense that people are going to work harder if they're going to make more money. For example, would as many people piss away their educations focusing on sports if being a football star paid $50,000 per year instead of $5,000,000 per year?

Of course people will work harder if they get paid more money. The question is whether this really works if there is no rational relationship between work and money. Does an investment banker actually work a hundred times harder than, say, a guy who owns a roofing business? If not, then why does he make a hundred times more money? Hell, I think we both know he probably works half as hard.
Quote:
So, since incentive is related to the magnitude of pay instead of the relation between pay and productivity, I would argue that correcting the equity relationship between productivity and pay reduces the incentive to move up the payscale. And this sort of makes sense: for an extreme example, if you can get away with extortion with no fear of recrimination, you're more likely to engage in it than if you might get five years in jail.

Of course it reduces the incentive. This makes sense if the existing incentive is irrational, and serves no social purpose whatsoever. Let's look at this another way, using your sports example from before: do you think you would get a significantly higher quality of professional athlete if top sports stars were paid $1 million per year, instead of $15 million? What has the last 20 years of sports athlete salary inflation (far in excess of inflation) gotten us? Are sports an order of magnitude better now? There is a point beyond which extra incentive is meaningless.
Quote:
I submit that there is a better way to rebut the "socialism reduces incentives" argument than to charge that it assumes the natural pay scale is fair. Ask: "so what?" and question the implicit assumption that the natural, inequitable pay scale is the best for society. Instead, insist that there is a correct balance between mandating equal pay for all jobs and letting the invisible hand determine all wages.

That seems like two different ways of saying the same thing. There is no absolute way to determine what is a correct salary for a given job, or a given level of performance at that job. But we can say that people in the big-money club are in a position where they are so far better off than people making typical middle-class wages that there is no way they're actually earning that difference. The argument that they need all this incentive to keep bestowing their bounty upon us is bullshit.



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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-02 05:07am
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Quote:
That seems like two different ways of saying the same thing. There is no absolute way to determine what is a correct salary for a given job, or a given level of performance at that job. But we can say that people in the big-money club are in a position where they are so far better off than people making typical middle-class wages that there is no way they're actually earning that difference. The argument that they need all this incentive to keep bestowing their bounty upon us is bullshit.


I believe that wages keep going up because having the best gives you an advantage over the second best in a winner take all siuation. You want to be sure you get the best and wages slowly rise in a bidding war until they are totally disconnected from reality.

Or the individuals set their own wages.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-03 10:23pm
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Darth Wong wrote:
How is that a mischaracterization? McCain supporters believe it is unfair to apply extra taxes to the rich. This automatically implies that the status quo is fair, or at least more fair than the situation if you increase taxes on the rich.

I think you're mixing up what are, in my experience, two different arguments against a progressive tax. The first one is that they distort incentives, and the second is that they're unfair.

Quote:
Of course people will work harder if they get paid more money. The question is whether this really works if there is no rational relationship between work and money. Does an investment banker actually work a hundred times harder than, say, a guy who owns a roofing business? If not, then why does he make a hundred times more money? Hell, I think we both know he probably works half as hard.

Is incentive related to how hard someone works? There's also a question of how relative incentives work; current to that banker's current state in life, if he were facing a pay cut he'd probably work even less. It's sort of like those executives whose families fell apart when their pay was cut from $8 million to $4 million.

Quote:
Of course it reduces the incentive. This makes sense if the existing incentive is irrational, and serves no social purpose whatsoever. Let's look at this another way, using your sports example from before: do you think you would get a significantly higher quality of professional athlete if top sports stars were paid $1 million per year, instead of $15 million? What has the last 20 years of sports athlete salary inflation (far in excess of inflation) gotten us? Are sports an order of magnitude better now? There is a point beyond which extra incentive is meaningless.

I think you meant to say "significantly lower quality of athlete".

This argument seems a good one, since the marginal utility of the dollar decreases. So between $1 million and $15 million, there's not as much extra incentive as there is between $10,000 and $20,000 -- not as much extra benefit to the wage-earner. In fact, the same argument points out why a flat tax is effectively regressive, since poor people's living standards drop by more than rich people's.

Quote:
That seems like two different ways of saying the same thing. There is no absolute way to determine what is a correct salary for a given job, or a given level of performance at that job. But we can say that people in the big-money club are in a position where they are so far better off than people making typical middle-class wages that there is no way they're actually earning that difference. The argument that they need all this incentive to keep bestowing their bounty upon us is bullshit.

They're not quite the same thing, since it boils down to which of the two arguments you're countering. If it's the fairness one, then yeah, they're the same; if it's the incentives one, then you're leaving out the chain of the argument linking fairness to the assumption that undistorted incentives are best for society.

I'm inclined to agree with both your points that incentive decreases with each additional dollar made and that it's impossible to absolutely determine a correct salary for a given job or performance level. But setting aside extreme examples such as the sports one above, where the marginal incentive is so low as to be irrelevant, the point that taxation does cause a certain amount of "distortion" (to borrow a loaded term that somehow made its way into economics jargon) is valid.



"... alas, too many people think consistency the hobgoblin of little minds." -Publius

Daily Nugget of Wisdom from Goldman Sachs:
"I say 'keep the change' purely for my own convenience."

"A space shuttle on the back of an aircraft carrier in New York City is perhaps the most American thing you could have without the help of a deep fryer. I'm surprised anyone in the US opposes it." - Gandalf

WARNING: May become overexcited by mathematics or monetary policy.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-04 12:16am
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I think you're missing the point here: the "incentive distortion" argument implicitly presumes that the free market must automatically produce an undistorted, ie- ideal incentive curve. What reason is there for this presumption, especially since we can easily produce examples where it did no such thing?

You can point out that there are families which fell apart because the TypeA man went from $8 million to $4 million salary per year, but there are families which fall apart for all kinds of reasons; it does not mean that the extra $4 million was actually necessary to secure the services of a competent executive in the first place, except for unrestricted competition (and all competitors would be equally affected by increased taxation).



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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-05 11:30pm
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I should have stayed more abreast of this thread. I used a lot of the information you guys supplied, and after I responded to my aunt I didn't hear anything back. So I assumed that they just ignored the email and decided not to fight it. Anyway, I sent a text to my mom after Barack won last night. All I said was "Yaaay!" So, I didn't get any response from my mom until today. She sent me a text saying "whatever, I'm sending you an email with a saying in it" Which sounded weird...but whatever. This is the email she sent me (I edited out the unnecessary portions) which is just a SameTime convo with a coworker she had, and it really just pisses me off. I'm ready to send her an email telling her to stop being a cunt. I'm that annoyed. For reference, I'm Chris, Pam is my mom, Tricia is my aunt. The other people are my mom's coworkers.

Quote:
this is the conversation that I told you I would send you. Or the "saying" that I told you I would send you. I would think at this point in your life, you could start learning from your elders who have lived so much longer and experienced so much more.


Nov 5, 2008
Pamela M Land... Good Morning 9:08:22 AM
Sheila J Warre... Good Morning 9:08:36 AM

Did Chris text message you and to say the best candidate won? 9:08:57 AM
Pamela M Land... no, not yet 9:09:04 AM

I am sametiming with Tony Malburg about the election 9:12:18 AM

he is very Republican 9:12:23 AM
Sheila J Warre... So how are you and Tricia doing since McCain didn't win? 9:20:17 AM
Pamela M Land... Tricia sent me an email this morning with the titile "I am so depressed....." 9:21:32 AM

It basically said 9:21:36 AM

The country is going to hell in a handbasket, lead by all the under 30's, social networking, video game playing, obese, helicopter parenting, non work ethic user types. 9:21:54 AM


Nov 5, 2008
9:08:55 AM: Pamela M Land..I am totally bumed at the election results
9:09:01 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: it smelled that way
9:09:07 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: me too . . .but what can you say.
9:09:21 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: at least the Dems didn't get to 60 in the senate
9:09:32 AM: Pamela M Land..Who won as far as Norm Coleman race went?
9:09:35 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: and Franken appears to have been beaten pending the mandatory recount
9:09:47 AM: Pamela M Land..or the Michelle Bachuman?
9:09:49 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: Coleman is up by 700+ votes
9:09:52 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: she won
9:10:02 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: Paulsen beat Madia
9:10:21 AM: Pamela M Land..so, is 60 a magic number in the senate
9:10:23 AM: Pamela M Land..?
9:10:23 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: not sure about clean water amendment BS
9:10:32 AM: Pamela M Land..I voted against that
9:10:41 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: 60 is the number it takes to cut off debate and bring something to a vote.
9:11:23 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: 60 votes are needed for cloture. if they don't have 60 votes, a filibuster by the minority party can kill something from going forward to a vote
9:11:39 AM: Pamela M Land..Gary Mayer is in 7th heaven. He was telling me NOT only do we have a democratic president, but we also now have a majority in both the house and the senate.... Then he went on to say that the last eight years of us getting out of control could now be corrected
9:11:51 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: they also don't have a Veto proof majority
9:12:16 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: we do have the Dems with majorities in both houses as well as the presidency
9:13:15 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: I know Gary was an Obama supporter. I saw the sticker on the back of his SUV
9:13:31 AM: Pamela M Land..my sister sent me an email this morning with the subject line "I am so depressed".... It basically said
9:13:33 AM: Pamela M Land..The country is going to hell in a handbasket, lead by all the under 30's, social networking, video game playing, obese, helicopter parenting, non work ethic user types.
9:14:09 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: the last two years were under Dem control in both the house and senate . . . but the Rep's did not use that fact to their advantage.
9:15:11 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: the meltdown was precipitated due to the Dem's blocking proper regulation of Fannie & Freddie because they were getting sweetheart mortgages on the side and they were getting big donations from the big whigs at both Fannie & Freddie
9:15:42 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: I agree with Tricia's statement about the under 30 crowd.
9:16:19 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: they most likely don't pay any federal taxes yet came out in droves to vote for people to raise the taxes of those who do pay federal taxes
9:17:35 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: I have a feeling that Gary & his wife may see a tax increase despite what Obama said about the $250K threshold. I think the last figure I heard from Joe Biden was $150K which I'm sure Gary & his wife exceed - jointly
9:18:20 AM: Pamela M Land..Gary told me that he knew that he and his wife would be impacted by Obama's tax increases, but they still voted for him.
9:18:35 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: IDIOTS!
9:18:43 AM: Pamela M Land..There was a very lengthly email battle going on back and forth between my sister and my son Chris
9:18:53 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: the sad thing is no body really knows what we're in for with this guy
9:18:54 AM: Pamela M Land..Chris is democrat all the way
9:19:05 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: he's young ...
9:19:07 AM: Pamela M Land..and Tricia is conservative
9:19:10 AM: Pamela M Land..he is 31
9:19:40 AM: Pamela M Land..and they both were very articulate, and went on and on and on, about all the issues
9:19:51 AM: Pamela M Land..and what the canidates stood for.
9:19:53 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: tell him this . . . they say if you're not a liberal when you're, young you have no heart but if you're not a conservative when you're old, you have no brain!
9:20:19 AM: Pamela M Land..that is a good saying
9:21:06 AM: Pamela M Land..I will have to send the argument to you, so you can read it. I have it in my personal email at home. It is actually interesting. But, it is one of those battles you just give up fighting, cause your not going to change anyones mind
9:21:38 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: very true . . . we've become a very divided country from an ideology perspective
9:22:59 AM: Pamela M Land..I'll send myself an email, reminding me to forward the convo to you. Anyhow, Shelia is sametiming me to go have a smoke with her. Talk to you later. Thanks for the reviewing of my CMR
9:23:07 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: ok
9:23:09 AM: Anthony L Malburg/MN/USB: you bet


Clearly the only people in this thread who makes any sense are Gary and his wife, and they aren't even involved with the discussion per se. Should I even respond to this? I guess they're overlooking the large group of over 65 (unless I'm mistaken) that voted for Obama. I guess my mom could heed her own advice in the very begining of the message she sent me by reflecting on why that particular group of people swung in Obama's favor...



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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-05 11:40pm
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The older generation has been full of itself since the 1960s, even though the huge majority of them were not at Woodstock, and did not participate in any civil rights marches. They think they're responsible for all the prosperity of the last three decades, and that the younger generation is ruining their hard work. The reality is that they bought prosperity by borrowing from the future. They demanded tax cuts and increased spending at every turn, and punished any politician who wouldn't humour their unreasonable expectations.



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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-05 11:48pm
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Am I a bad person for kind of enjoying watching conservitards whine about the election? I love to taste their sweet, delicious tears. :lol:

Anyway, yeah, for the most part it doesn't contain anything worth responding to though. It contains no actual arguments, just a lot of completely unsupported statements.

I do love the idea that if you vote for a guy who might raise your taxes you must be an idiot, as opposed to somebody who accepts paying higher taxes because you think it's justified for the good of the country. Because as we all know you should always vote for the guy who will cut your personal self the best deal, and fuck everybody else. Civic responsibility, what's that? You might use that, if you feel like continuing the debate.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-06 10:04am
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Well Junghalli, unfortunately I woke up to a somewhat scathing email from my mom. I reinterpreted wong's remark and sent that to her. I really didn't know how else to handle the email and I was in a hurry to go watch a movie with my bf. When I woke up today, this is what I found:

Quote:
Good Luck. Prove yourself. For once in your life. You are 31 years old. It is about time.

I still love you. And I always will. But, don't talk to your mother that way. Or your aunt. Talk to me in 20 years about this stuff (if I am still alive). And then I will see your opinion as someone who has actually experienced a life, contributed to charities or the United Way, assisted others when they needed help with your hard earned money, volunteered your time to food shelves or the brush with kindness, or the habitat for humanity. Who the fuc#k are you to judge? I have been doing all of this for year after year after year. And so has my sister. Although, Tricia even does more then I do. It is easy to talk whenever you never put up. Put up or shut up. The reality is that the older generation grew up being taught that they had to work hard. The current generation has not learned this. The current generation expects things to be handed to them. You are turning this into a civil rights issue, when that was never on the table. I believe in defending America and what it stands for. I believe in being free (an obviously you like that as well, based upon your comments). But, it all comes with a price. It is not just given to you. You have what you have, because people like Andy Roberts, or my coworker Grupe, depend our nation. Soooo, even though I understand your need to better everything, u need to get back to the basics. All people need to make the effort. There should be no free rides. You want to reap the benefits,,,, so you need to contribute.

And, once again, I love you.

Mom


I don't know whether to send her a nasty email or not. Firstly, I'm not the one that starts this shit. Secondly, I literally talk to my mother over the phone once every 4 months..so I can hardly see where she thinks she knows what I do with my spare time. Then there's the whole issue that doing these charities gives her some deeper insight to the candidates and their policies? My mom clearly has a tenuous grasp on politics (she didn't even know what 60 dems in the senate would mean) and just repeats talking points. I really wanted to comment on the Fannie/Freddie remark in the previous post that I made, but I've already tried explaining it to her, and she still believes that because the dems have had controll of congress for two years, it was because of them. At least that's what I gather from her SameTime crap she sent me. Ugh, part of me wants to tell her to just fuck off with this shit, but another part of me really wants to educate her on things so that she can critically think about it and make better (read informed) opinions. *cries*



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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-06 10:47am
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Ugh.. and it just won't end. My aunt sent me an email, I guess she was cc'd when my mom emailed me:

Quote:
I agree. I do not like being sworn at and yelled at electronically. I did notice a big story in the paper today about what the Obamas wore the other day, including Barack's custom-made suit, but nary a mention of the price. Why is that, do you think? The price of Sarah Palin's wardrobe was fodder for the national news for days. Strange.

I do not believe that we will agree on any of these issues. I will, however, respect the office of the president, and not spew obscenities about whoever may be in that office. I will support my country, and myself. That is one area where conservatives and liberals are different.

Have a good day.


The only time I 'swore at her electronically' was when I said:

Quote:
You had your 8 years with Bush, and you fuc#ked it up for us. It's the under 30's, social networking, video game playing, obese, helicopter parenting, non work ethic user types turn.


Isn't the big difference with how Obama was funded and McCain is that McCain accepted PUBLIC FUNDING (which comes out of our taxes) and Obama took donations, which are gifts from those who endorse him. So wouldn't it be safe to say that Obama has more liberty with how he spends what is basically gift money? Isn't that why there was such an issue with Palin's spending spree to begin with? Also, I somehow doubt his suit cost in excess of 150K...



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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-06 11:26am
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She's full of shit. In reality, her generation is the one that dismantled the "honest day's work for an honest day's pay" ethos of the Depression-era generation, and replaced it with "make big money now" philosophy. That in turn led the rampant consumerism that the country is swamped in today. The under-30 crowd didn't do that; the Yuppies did.

And who the fuck are they to criticize the under-30 generation? THEY RAISED IT. If there is a problem with the under-30 generation, they are responsible, for being bad parents because they were too collectively self-obsessed to do a good job. It's hard to be a good parent when you have only one arm free because you're constantly patting yourself on the back with the other one.



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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-06 11:54am
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I hope you don't mind, but I'm using that in my reply to them both. I'm also including:

Quote:
If you think the cost of Obama's acceptance speach suit is somehow comparable to how Palin spent money on her warddrobe/hair/makeup for months, then you're being a bitch just to be a bitch. As far as Sarah Palin spending 150K+ on her wardrobe, that was financed out of tax payers pockes. The majority of whom didn't want that idiot in the white house and had no desire to see THEIR TAX MONEY go to that campaign. You DO remember that little argument? The one where you felt that you should be the ones to decide where your tax money goes to? Yeah. Obama's money was raised by donations. That's a far cry from public financing. So how he spends his money will be decried by those that donated it. Wow. Do you hear that? Yep, it's the sound of NONE OF US GIVING A FUCK. Stop playing the tit for tat game if you're only going to bother comparing apples to oranges. McCain lost (thank god) and Obama won. Deal with it.


Unless anyone has anything I should add, or change, I'll probably end up sending that to them along with Wong's post.



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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-06 01:11pm
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Quote:
I still love you. And I always will. But, don't talk to your mother that way. Or your aunt. Talk to me in 20 years about this stuff (if I am still alive). And then I will see your opinion as someone who has actually experienced a life, contributed to charities or the United Way, assisted others when they needed help with your hard earned money, volunteered your time to food shelves or the brush with kindness, or the habitat for humanity. Who the fuc#k are you to judge? I have been doing all of this for year after year after year. And so has my sister. Although, Tricia even does more then I do. It is easy to talk whenever you never put up. Put up or shut up.


This is an ad hominum argument.

Quote:
You are turning this into a civil rights issue, when that was never on the table.


Are we talking about gays or providing health care to everyone? You need to be specific.

Quote:
I believe in defending America and what it stands for. I believe in being free (an obviously you like that as well, based upon your comments).


:wanker:

Quote:
But, it all comes with a price. It is not just given to you. You have what you have, because people like Andy Roberts, or my coworker Grupe, depend our nation. Soooo, even though I understand your need to better everything, u need to get back to the basics. All people need to make the effort. There should be no free rides. You want to reap the benefits,,,, so you need to contribute.


They are called taxes.

Quote:
I do not believe that we will agree on any of these issues. I will, however, respect the office of the president, and not spew obscenities about whoever may be in that office. I will support my country, and myself. That is one area where conservatives and liberals are different.


The government serves its people, NOT the other way around.
Definitely use that line when she mentions respect.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-06 06:23pm
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Max wrote:
Quote:
Good Luck. Prove yourself. For once in your life. You are 31 years old. It is about time.

I still love you. And I always will. But, don't talk to your mother that way. Or your aunt. Talk to me in 20 years about this stuff (if I am still alive). And then I will see your opinion as someone who has actually experienced a life, contributed to charities or the United Way, assisted others when they needed help with your hard earned money, volunteered your time to food shelves or the brush with kindness, or the habitat for humanity. Who the fuc#k are you to judge? I have been doing all of this for year after year after year. And so has my sister. Although, Tricia even does more then I do. It is easy to talk whenever you never put up. Put up or shut up.

They donate to private charity, good for them. Unfortunately, not everybody's as caring as that. I suggest, again, they look at how the tragedy of the commons works. And they look at how well private charity worked as a social security substitute in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Like I said, the kind of society the free market worshippers want has been tried, and it wasn't pretty if you weren't in the upper crust.

And just because somebody is rude does not mean you can just ignore the logic of their argument. That's a cheap cop-out.

Quote:
The reality is that the older generation grew up being taught that they had to work hard. The current generation has not learned this. The current generation expects things to be handed to them.

:wanker:

I love how lolbertarians think wanting any kind of support is "expecting things to be handed to you". For instance, taking out college grants if you'd be hard-pressed to afford college. That's the government helping you become a more productive member of society. A more educated population is probably good for the country, after all. It's not "expecting things to be handed to you", you still have to work at getting an education and getting a job, and IIRC it's also only available if you actually need the money (yes, college loans have looser criteria, but you pay them back). So what the hell is this "they want everything handed to them!" crap. Or welfare, properly applied, is just something to keep you from starving or losing your house while you get a new job. I laugh at the naked admission of cruelty and sociopathy from people who genuinely begrudge money for food and a roof on a temporary basis as an unworthy hand-out.

Sure, people can abuse the system, the obviously solution is to kick their asses on a case by case basis. If somebody's using welfare as a lifetime pension give him six months to get a job or kick him off. But the lolbertarians would rather deprive everyone of these useful services because their blinkered ideology demands it. If engineers thought the way these people did nothing would ever get built because every design with potential problems would be instantly scrapped as unworkable.

Quote:
You are turning this into a civil rights issue, when that was never on the table. I believe in defending America and what it stands for. I believe in being free (an obviously you like that as well, based upon your comments). But, it all comes with a price.

Yeah, it's called paying your taxes.

Quote:
It is not just given to you. You have what you have, because people like Andy Roberts, or my coworker Grupe, depend our nation.

And you have what you have because people pay taxes to support stuff like fire departments and utilities. We've all benefited from society, we all pay into it. What's so terrible about that.

Quote:
There should be no free rides. You want to reap the benefits,,,, so you need to contribute.

Again, who the fuck said anything about free rides. I get tired of this strawman the lolbertarians like to repeat endlessly. Or I suppose they think that basic things like health care and food should be privilidges you earn instead of rights, even if it's within society's power to pay them to everyone with relatively little cost to most individuals, in which case I laugh at the blatant display of callous sociopathic thinking.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-10 09:58pm
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Darth Wong wrote:
I think you're missing the point here: the "incentive distortion" argument implicitly presumes that the free market must automatically produce an undistorted, ie- ideal incentive curve. What reason is there for this presumption, especially since we can easily produce examples where it did no such thing?

There's a miscommunication here. "Distorted" is an economics term that, as far as I can gather, means "deviates from the free market conditions" -- for example, the tax wedge "distorts" incentives. It's a good example of shitty jargon (and it's what happens when you let idealogues make science). Ultimately, we agree: the free-market undistorted curve is certainly not ideal. I was just taking issue with attacking the "fairness" argument with rebuttals that are more effective against the "incentives" argument.

Quote:
You can point out that there are families which fell apart because the TypeA man went from $8 million to $4 million salary per year, but there are families which fall apart for all kinds of reasons; it does not mean that the extra $4 million was actually necessary to secure the services of a competent executive in the first place, except for unrestricted competition (and all competitors would be equally affected by increased taxation).

The example illustrates irrational behavior with respect to money, which is another sort of thing that this sort of traditional free-marketist outlook doesn't take into account. It can go two ways: the extra money produces little or no incentive -- for example, $4 million dollar bonuses -- or it can be utterly devastating when it's taken away. It's almost kind of like a spoiled child, when you think about it: a hypothetical TypeA executive becomes accustomed to his $4 million bonus, even though he doesn't have to work harder for it, and then when it's revoked (or taxed) he becomes quite upset about it.



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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-11 01:47am
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Quote:
There's a miscommunication here. "Distorted" is an economics term that, as far as I can gather, means "deviates from the free market conditions" -- for example, the tax wedge "distorts" incentives. It's a good example of shitty jargon (and it's what happens when you let idealogues make science). Ultimately, we agree: the free-market undistorted curve is certainly not ideal. I was just taking issue with attacking the "fairness" argument with rebuttals that are more effective against the "incentives" argument.


Except the free market itself is a distortion. Saying it deviates from the freemarket is misleading because it subtly implies the free market is the natural condition, when it requires as much imput and work to maintain as most social institutions.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-11 08:50am
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Samuel wrote:
Quote:
There's a miscommunication here. "Distorted" is an economics term that, as far as I can gather, means "deviates from the free market conditions" -- for example, the tax wedge "distorts" incentives. It's a good example of shitty jargon (and it's what happens when you let idealogues make science). Ultimately, we agree: the free-market undistorted curve is certainly not ideal. I was just taking issue with attacking the "fairness" argument with rebuttals that are more effective against the "incentives" argument.


Except the free market itself is a distortion. Saying it deviates from the freemarket is misleading because it subtly implies the free market is the natural condition, when it requires as much input and work to maintain as most social institutions.

Like I said, it's a poorly-chosen jargon term; you can point out that laissez-faire conditions ultimately produce incentives distorted away from the social ideal until you're blue in the face, and when it comes to taxation economists will still say, "taxes distort incentives". The key is to point out that taxes are necessary to distort incentives back to the social ideal.



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"I say 'keep the change' purely for my own convenience."

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-11 11:27am
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Surlethe wrote:
Samuel wrote:
Quote:
There's a miscommunication here. "Distorted" is an economics term that, as far as I can gather, means "deviates from the free market conditions" -- for example, the tax wedge "distorts" incentives. It's a good example of shitty jargon (and it's what happens when you let idealogues make science). Ultimately, we agree: the free-market undistorted curve is certainly not ideal. I was just taking issue with attacking the "fairness" argument with rebuttals that are more effective against the "incentives" argument.


Except the free market itself is a distortion. Saying it deviates from the freemarket is misleading because it subtly implies the free market is the natural condition, when it requires as much input and work to maintain as most social institutions.

Like I said, it's a poorly-chosen jargon term; you can point out that laissez-faire conditions ultimately produce incentives distorted away from the social ideal until you're blue in the face, and when it comes to taxation economists will still say, "taxes distort incentives". The key is to point out that taxes are necessary to distort incentives back to the social ideal.


I wasn't refering to that- laws against theft distort incentives for stealing. All actions from the government distort incentives.

I was pointing out the free market itself is the result of such distortion. There is no priviledged about the amount of distortion required for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-11 02:28pm
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Samuel wrote:
I wasn't refering to that- laws against theft distort incentives for stealing. All actions from the government distort incentives.

I was pointing out the free market itself is the result of such distortion. There is no priviledged about the amount of distortion required for it.

Of course; you're right that ensuring a free market requires government intervention. If that's all you're trying to say, I agree with you. If you zoom in on a market, though -- assuming such a market exists -- there will be a 'privileged position' that results from zero government interference. Nobody except the most hardline anarcho-libertarians will dispute that government needs to interfere in natural conditions to create free market conditions, so it's reasonable to assume that markets are free, and from there examine the amount of distortion away from zero government interference in a given market (in the case of this little discussion, the labor market) that results from taxation.



"... alas, too many people think consistency the hobgoblin of little minds." -Publius

Daily Nugget of Wisdom from Goldman Sachs:
"I say 'keep the change' purely for my own convenience."

"A space shuttle on the back of an aircraft carrier in New York City is perhaps the most American thing you could have without the help of a deep fryer. I'm surprised anyone in the US opposes it." - Gandalf

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 Post subject: Re: Need some HUGE help with Mccain/Obama discussion PostPosted: 2008-11-11 03:09pm
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I don't think it's a good idea to allow economists to get away with butchering the English language just because they say so. The fact is that the word "distort" is a widely used English word with a well-recognized definition, and has never been recognized as a specialist economics term. They can't just abuse it and say "Aha, but we choose to define it that way!" What are they going to do next? Redefine the word "fair"?



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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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