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  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Mar 29, 9:13pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

HappyGilmore says
I agree that there was non-cash benefits during those times, but I'm pretty sure that there is a decent correlation between top tax rate and actual amount of tax paid.


No, there isn't such a correlation. The overall federal tax collection as percentage of GDP has been staying at around 20-25% in the post-WWII era. Surprisingly (sarcasm on), employers and high-income (smart) people are not as stupid as the dumb people would like to project: just sitting there and taking higher tax rates on the chin instead of looking for legal ways to avoid paying higher taxes.

As GDP includes a higher and higher component of government spending (due to deficit spending), the overall tax collection as percentage of the real economy (nominal GDP minus government spending) has been increasing over the decades despite declining top marginal tax rate compared to the 50's and 60's. The next increase in tax collection (as percentage of the real economy, not GDP) is one of the reasons for our economic stagnation in recent decades.


But, it's interesting that inequality was much lower during times with high top tax rates. GDP growth was much stronger. Tax burden was spread out much more evenly. There was a much stronger middle class. Real wage growth was much stronger. Families could be comfortable on one income. None of those are coincidental.


Almost all of the positives you cited back then were due to the fact that most women were not in the work force! The so-called inequality in recent decades is largely due to the household falling apart due to divorce or not getting married, resulting in what had been the income of one family now being split into two families, therefore lower household income at the bottom end (now rapidly expanding to include the middle class). Why has that happened in recent decades? Because women have joined work force, and don't feel being stuck with men from whom they have taken jobs and bid wages down! Women initial 70-80% divorces, and low-income single-mothers are obviously responsible for getting pregnant and keeping babies despite their own inability to pay for the children themselves.

GDP growth higher in the 50's and 60's than usual peace time was due to out-sized government spending fighting the Cold War. That was not a good thing. That out-sized government spending eventually led to the run-away money-printing that forced the US government default on the Bretton Woods promise to the world economic system, and necessitated the Petro-Dollar System that eventually led to the Middleast set on fire as we know today.



HappyGilmore says
Also, if GDP growth is your primary goal, you ought to love the actual Nazi Party, which produced the highest GDP ever recorded in the modern world: 30% annual GDP growth in the first few years after Hitler and Nazi Party took power in Germay


lol--so GDP growth is a bad thing now?


GDP growth is a bad thing when it is due to government spending and central planning. It is quite unfortunate that you chopped out the detailed explanations in my previous post, not only using the Nazi example, but also the medical expense example under non-competitive market conditions. The inventor of the GDP/GNP concept made it quite clear that GDP/GNP is not an indicator of real economic size, but debt servicing capacity (when government prints money and spends it into the economy, it's essentially issuing chips that cancel previous debts, not necessarily generating any positive economic result). John Maynard Keynes borrowed the GDN/GNP concept in order to put together his fraudulent "macro-economics." Keynesian aggregates is about as silly as this: you and Jeff Bezos have an average net-worth of $50Billion, therefore if the government gives Bezos another $10B, you and him now average $55B, therefore you should feel better! It's a neat parlor trick to fool the bottom 90% in intelligence into advocating policies that are detrimental to themselves!



HappyGilmore says
The US averaged 2.8% productivity growth from 1948 - 1973. (In case you forgot--that was when we had high top tax rates.)

https://www.bls.gov/lpc/prodybar.htm


You are conflating GDP vs. real economy, which has to strip out all government spending. The most benign view of tax and government spending is that they are a form of societal insurance . . . All insurance expenses are usually cost items in a business' accounting and have to be subtracted before arriving at net profit. So a rough estimate of the size of real economy should be the nominal GDP - tax collected (insurance premium paid) - government deficit (the net loss run up by the government, as another player in the economy). In other words, GDP minus all government spending. All government spending is the cost of doing business (insurance cost) for all other businesses and individuals in the economy. The 1948-73 real economic growth was much less than the cited 2.8% when we subtract the rapidly expanding government spending. That's explains why the US government had to default on the "Gold Window" by 1973, despite the fraudulent GDP print that you cited.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Mar 29, 9:20pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

HappyGilmore says
Sorry--just want to make sure I understand this. You are equating someone who maybe lost their job and is having some tough times with a slave?



Nope! A motivated person can find another job or start a new business to serve customers directly. He doesn't have to sit around and collect welfare. Those chronically collecting welfare are wards of the state, no longer independent economic actors capable of making sound decisions, not even for themselves, much less on behalf of others as in voting.



So, all men aren't created equal then?

When each man is born, he is not entitled to vote. That's why infants are not allowed to vote.

Only those mature, independent and capable of making sound decisions in their own daily lives should have the right to vote on public policies. Otherwise, voting would become a perverse privilege: incompetents gaining the privilege to rob the competent.

That's the same reason why criminals in jail are usually not allowed to vote, despite all men are created equal in principle.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Mar 29, 9:40pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Heraclitusstudent says
Reality says
His wealth is in his ownership of Amazon, the stocks of which have been bid up on the marginal transactions, just like the 5% transactions of housing stock every year decides the price of the housing stock. The owners of stocks and houses (and almost all other productive capitals) are not at all piling money up in their homes equal to their asset value . . .


That's exactly what I mean. The rich accumulate productive assets while the poor accumulate debts - or at least struggle from pay check to pay check.
Cash is chasing and inflating assets, not products.
Main street deflation is enabling wall street inflation.

This is why inequalities are rising. And it's just not true that the growth tide is raising all boats.

I repeat: the key bottleneck to higher growth is the ability of a large part of the population to spend more.
The industry could and would prod...


The statement "The rich accumulate productive assets while the poor accumulate debts" is incorrect. How much debt can a poor person accummulate? A few thousand dollars? before the lenders would cut him/her off, or he/she can discharge the debt via bankruptcy. An average millionaire in SFBA has at least multiple-six-figure debt, usually including a mortgage $500k or more. In the highly leverage economy that we live in, the vast majority of assets have associated large debts. Government spending and intervention subsidizes this leverage, which makes successful speculators/gamblers win faster and unsuccessful gamblers lose faster.

As for people who spend more than they earn, that only shows their own financial ineptitude. Government borrowing in the name of the public (i.e to be paid back via future taxes) to subsidize the inept will only serve to strip resources from the competent middle class and give them to the incompetent poor and rich alike. For example, when government subsidize the housing of those making less than $30k, the subsidy would make renting cost higher for those already making around $50k-70k, while benefiting landlords and bankers making much more than that. It's impossible to subsidize the lives of the 99% to bring it to the same level as the top 1%; what subsidizing the bottom 20% does is making life more difficult in the 20-50 percentile, while enriching the top 0.01% who get to collect guaranteed interest on government debt/deficit on top of being paid to "help" the bottom 20% at the expense of the next 30-50%.

"The industry could and would prod..." is clearly false when the majority of a subsidized household's expenses consist of items limited in supply due to regulatory limitations: housing, medicine, education, etc., the categories that have witnessed the highest price inflation in the last half century and are impoverishing the middle class (just as predicted in the above paragraph).
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Mar 30, 9:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

HappyGilmore says
Reality says
No, there isn't such a correlation.


Yes, there is. Despite your efforts to distract and move the goalposts, the 1% paid a higher % of their income as taxes when rates were 90% then they do now. There is a correlation between one's tax rate and how much tax he pays.


I wasn't the one moving the goal posts. I was pointing out that higher top marginal tax rate doesn't translate to more taxes collected. Here is a more detailed article on this topic:

https://mises.org/library/good-ol-days-when-tax-rates-were-90-percent

When top brackets had exorbitantly high rates, people simply sought different ways of compensating their most talented employees and/or recognized income differently. Only a tiny number of people (not top 1% but more like 0.001% of the population) ever paid those top brackets in each of those years when top brackets were close to 90%.

On top of that, the idea that taxing the top 20% to 1% more would make the economy and society better is simply wrong! The top 1% is 3,000,000+ people in the US. That's $3,000,000+ possible employers deploying their own earned money in market competition. Compared to that, the Congress has only about 500 people, plus a dozen cabinet-level officers in the White House, plus a few thousand staffers and a few tens of thousands of lobbyists surrounding them. That's two orders of magnitude (100x) more concentration of power! compared to the original 3,000,000+ people that make up the top 1%. Increasing taxation is essentially ripping off the top 20% to top 1% and concentrate the power and resources to the top 0.01%! It should be little wonder that the economy has stagnated as the government spending as percentage of GDP grew in the past half century compared to earlier times.



Government spending in the 50s and 60s increased at the same rate as usual. The trend line is not sharper during those decades.


It is interesting that you picked 1948 as your starting year (or more precisely, the talking points brainwashing the public that you have been reading start with that year). Just before that, 1946-47 saw a severe recession. 1946 saw an 11% decline in GDP, almost as drastic as at the depth of the Great Depression (1932, 12% decline). Before the introduction of Keynesianism, dating back to at least the beginning of the Bank of England, circa 1700, every major war was followed by monetary contraction in order to soak up the excessive liquidity/inflation during the wars. The so-called "trend" you see after Keynesianism was perpetual war-footing; Paul Krugman hinted at the scheme when he advocated an imaginary war against Martians at the end of the Great Recession nearly a decade ago. The Cold War launched in 1948 was that "imaginary war" implemented on planet earth. By 1973, the perpetual war footing had resulted in run-away inflation and the near-collapse of the economy. That's why Nixon's first priority was "Detente" with major Cold War rivals.




Reality says
GDP growth is a bad thing when it is due to government spending and central planning


Good--since that wasn't the case in the years with high top tax rates and high GDP, then my point stands.


You can look up the growth of federal government spending during 1948-1973. The annual growth rate was around 6% annual rate (a little more than 4x over 25 years), while the GDP (combining both the real economy and the government waste) only grew at about 2.8% annually. That's why, despite your love for those years that you never lived personally, the cumulative effect of those 25 years was the US government having to default on the obligations of the post-WWII world financial system (Bretton Woods) and the Americans on the verge of facing run-away inflation and stagnation.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Mar 30, 9:54am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

HappyGilmore says
Reality says
The 1948-73 real economic growth was much less than the cited 2.8% when we subtract the rapidly expanding government spending. That's explains why the US government had to default on the "Gold Window" by 1973, despite the fraudulent GDP print that you cited.


OK then--I've shown data to support my point. You've shown nothing. How about providing some data showing the "true" growth.

Especially considering that government spending was increasing at the same rate back then as it is now.


My apologies for assuming the relevant data is at the finger tip of anyone bothering to look up. I was pointing out the far more important aspect about how to interpret the data in your cited GDP statistic. GDP statistic includes both real economy and government waste (simply because GDP was designed as measure of debt service capacity; government being the enforcer of debt contracts get to issue new chips for cancelling existing debt; so both new economic/productivity growth and government printing can serve to zero out debts). Since the rich individuals and corporations tend to take on far more debts than the poor who simply don't have the credit worthiness to get as much loans to begin with, those newly issued chips through government spending benefit the rich and well-connected. GDP statistic is just a mind-game to fool the bottom 90% in intelligence.

When you look up government spending in 1948 vs. 1973, you'd notice that the latter is more than 4x more than the former, so the annual growth rate was about 6% (use Rule-of-72 or use a scientific calculator capable of exponentiation), contrasting with what you cited as 2.8% annual GDP growth during those 25 years. Let's not forget the 2.8% number includes that 6% cancerous growth, so the real economy grew at much lower rate.

The rot was already started in 1948. The degeneration accelerated in 1973 when the money became pure fiat after closing of the "Gold Exchange Window." Concentration of power through government taxation and government spending is the fundamental problem.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Mar 30, 10:53am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

HappyGilmore says
If it's so easily obtained, why would you not post it? Are your fingertips too busy?


Fine, if you insist, here are the details. Please keep in mind several issues when reading the numbers:

1. GDP statistics are not generated by counting good and services directly, but by cumulative chain growth over the years each year (i.e. growth or negative growth compared to previous year, then compounding over many years), so there can be significantly amplified distortions over long time period.

2. The dollar unit of count changes over time; be very careful when looking up numbers from different sources as they can be using different vintages of the dollar unit. Price inflation is another unreliable animal coming out government statistical bureaus, and the federal government itself has re-caliberated several times in the last couple decades alone how inflation statistics is calculated. So take all "deflators" with a grain of salt.

Here is a link to the federal 1948 spending budget, measured in 2009 dollars:

http://federal-budget.insidegov.com/l/50/1948

As you can see, the total spending was $224B (in 2009 dollars); surplus 88.6B amounting to 4.5% of GDP, so GDP was approximately 1.97T (in 2009 dollars). Total spending not counting Social Security liability accrued or government employee pension liability or asset depreciation was 11.4% of GDP.

Here is a link to the federal spending budget for 1971, once again measured in 2009 dollars:

http://federal-budget.insidegov.com/l/73/1971

As you can see, the total spending was $897B (in 2009 dollars); deficit 98.3B amounting to -2.1% of GDP, GDP approximately 4.78T. Total spending not counting Social Security liability, Medicare/Medicaid liability (new accounting trick introduced in the late 1960's), GSE liability (like Fannie, Freddie, etc.; also taken off the book by Johnson administration), government employee pension liability or asset depreciation was 18.8% of GDP.

On the same page, you can also see the numbers for 1973 in the lower right. but you have to deduce the total GDP yourself instead having it given to you on the page.

As you can see, government waste was growing at double the growth rate of GDP (real economy + government waste); that's before counting the off-book and liability items that are not directly counted in current year spending at that time but accrue as liabilities as a result of new forms of taxation invented during the years in between.

The conclusion: despite much higher top tax bracket nominal tax rate, the actual federal government spending as a percentage of the real economy was much much smaller in the 50's than in the 1970's (and later). Concentration of wealth and power is the result of government spending; comes to think of it, that should be obvious: North Korea and Venezuela have much higher percentage of government intervention in the economy, resulting in much greater wealth polarization between the billionaire leaders (in USD terms despite being in those poor socialist countries) vs. the actually starving-to-death poor.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Mar 30, 12:03pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

HappyGilmore says
On top of that, the idea that taxing the top 20% to 1% more would make the economy and society better is simply wrong!


Nope--it's correct. It is easily seen in the decline in money velocity as more and more money is hoarded at the top. Wealth inequality is the biggest problem in the US economy by a wide margin.


What do you think taxing the top 20% to 1% does? transferring money from the middle class and upper class to the very top 0.01%!

The concept of "hoarding wealth" is silly (who wouldn't invest if there is good prospect of return on capital; over-leverage not hoarding is usually the reason behind slow down in investment) ; letting the poor spending the economy into prosperity is another non-starter: why don't we encourage people to rob and steal? Wouldn't that "jump-start" the economy? Of course not.

The so-called money velocity problem is simply the result of uncertainty and lack of investment opportunity, thanks to previous and pending government interventions in the economy. The Keynesian "multiplier effect" requires positive returns on investment to work; robbing the competent who can make positive returns and giving the resources to the incompetent who have a track record of spending themselves into poverty obviously would turn the multiplier into something less than 1, which is exactly what has happened in recent decades.

What's needed to help the poor are private entrepreneurs who can discover what each poor person is good at, then giving the latter the opportunity to undertake endeavors that can generate greater return than the individual person's cost of living. That's how the real "multiplier effect" can be started in the real economy. A political system that allows the less efficient to vote their own cost of living higher and higher (the effect of "free-housing," "free-food," "free-education," "free-medicine") while robbing resources from the more efficient is only going to bankrupt itself. The cost of "free" on items that have to be produced by someone else, is infinite!
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Mar 30, 12:23pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

HappyGilmore says
Poor conclusion. Governmental waste is higher now than in either 1950 or 1970 and GDP is much lower. This is because of wealth inequality.




Glad you are coming around to the view that government spending is higher (as a percentage of GDP, or as a percentage of real economy = GDP - government spending) in the past decade than in either 1950's or in the 1970's . . . resulting in much slower growth of the real economy (despite positive GDP prints, as government spending=waste takes up more and more of the GDP, resulting in shrinking real economy despite positive GDP growth). Concentration of wealth/power resulting from government spend=waste is exacerbating wealth inequality.


Bottom line: High top tax rate had an effect on inequality which can lead to better economic performance.



Do you know how many people actually paid the top tax rate each year when top rate was close to 90%? According to this link, hardly anyone did:

http://memepoliceman.com/examining-the-90-tax-rate/

"In 1958, out of 45.6 million tax filers, only about 10,000 reported incomes subject to the 81% rate or above. This means only .02% of filers had any income taxed at the 81% rate, let alone the 91% rate!"

In fact, if you read the rest of the article in detail, you'd notice that the top 3% in the US paid less taxes proportionally back then than now!

It should be obvious that income tax rates have little to do with wealth disparity. Almost none of the billionaires get where they are by income, but by asset appreciation, which is not taxable by any income tax rate! simply because they haven't sold. Bezos and Gates obviously never traded much around their core holdings. Even Warren Buffet, the one with the highest turn-over among the top billionaires, do you think he got his $60B or so by earning $1B a year subject to income tax? Of course not. his annual income in his 60+ year career were mostly between $30,000 and $30M! Even at $30M a year, it would take 2000 years to add up to $60B! He is old, but not 2000 years old! Most of his wealth came from capital appreciation. Talking about income tax rate is utter nonsense if your beef is with wealth concentration.

Wealth disparity/concentration is the result of excessive government spending/intervention and monetary policies. Taxing more money from the top 60,000,000 Americans (top 20%) or the top 3,000,000 (top 1%) and give it to the top 0.01% (about 30,000 politicians, lobbyists and the ultra wealthy they serve) would only make the situation worse.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 3, 6:24am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

mommy1 says
I firmly believe deregulating Wall Street, and other things this Republican run government are currently doing will have dire effects on businesses, housing, families, to say the least.


The core banking deregulation was carried out under Bill Clinton's presidency. What a horrible Republican President he was! . . . oh, wait.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 5, 1:47pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Those institutions can be competitively run, providing residents with food, shelter and job training, perhaps even drugs for adults-only facilities . . . so that the homeless and those on welfare can pick and choose which one to go . . . so they are not prisons but more like assisted living facilities for the those unwilling to work/earn a living.

It's a much more efficient way of taking care of the homeless and preventing street crimes than welfare is. Giving them a basic level of food and sustenance in the facilities is likely less costly than even setting them loose on public land forcing them live off the land . . . simply because modern industrial farming is much more productive than a guy farming with hand tools (even a hard working one, never mind the homeless).

The residents can choose to learn marketable skills, or choose to take opioids that lead to their joyful demise sooner or later. Win-win for everyone involved. The best part is that, the homeless would no longer be in a vulnerable position subject to random violence from each other in the streets.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 6, 1:56pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

As someone with libertarian philosophical leaning, I'm sympathetic to legalizing prostitution and legalizing drugs.

OTOH, legalizing prostitution usually result in price collapse in the sex trade and demographic collapse in the society: more young women would be enticed by the high profit margin to enter the trade, then get the 1000-cock-stare on top of getting various STD's that often result in infertility for women, so essentially cutting them off from the gene pool. Men may also end up having less resources available for their wives and kids if they have to give the resources to sex workers (Rin is a prime example). Enough people doing that, and the society has a population collapse (happened in late Roman Empire, and happening in Germany, for native populations in both cases).

That's probably the reason why almost all traditional (i.e. successful) religions and societal moral systems show antipathy towards prostitution.

In today's society, there might be a way out for legalizing both prostitution and legalizing hard drugs to go hand-in-hand: so the ex-prostitutes in their 30's and 40's can die happy deaths quickly, removing their burden on society and removing their votes, allowing the non-prostitute women (and the men they fuck with) to birth and raise more children. Over a few generations, we may evolve women who are resistant to the temptations of prostitution (women who can think longer term, for a change). We might also be looking at the last couple generations of women anyway: with both artificial womb and sex robots soon becoming reality, it will be very difficulty to marry off a daughter in 50 years . . . at that point, readily available fetal gene editing may well induce parents to choose boys in addition to the usual brains+brawn gene package.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 9, 3:51pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

If I were living in South Korea, I'd be bugging out after reading that piece. Remember what happened to those countries shortly after the Western Lefties praised them: Soviet Union in the early 1920's, Cuba after Castro revolution, Soviet bureaucracy in the early 1980's, Japan in 1989, Swedish socialism in the early 1990's, Chavez in Venezuela, China in 2008.

After the leftists heap so much praise on South Korea now, that unfortunately country will likely soon be turned into a giant glass parking lot or be "unified" (aka "Conquered") by the much poorer North Koreans. Koreans don't seem to understand that the very existence of South Korean prosperity is due to the historical division and contrast across the 38th parallell; if left to their own device, every single unified country of that type of culture will turn into a North Korean style dictatorship and abject poverty. Do you know that every single democratically South Korean president has been disgraced, tossed into prison or committed suicide after their presidential terms? How can that kind of system survive in the long run? That type of "well educated" "well-connected"/corruption culture literally cries out for the jackboot stumping on their faces.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 12, 8:05am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

What's the range of those aquatic drones? If it has to carry enough fuel to travel multiple hundreds of miles, the drone is not going to be small. The future of naval warfare might belong to submarine carriers of drones.

Aircraft carriers have been the equivalent of WWII battleships for decades now: good for bombarding land, but highly vulnerable to submarine attacks.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 12, 8:25am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

A higher quality cut of steak with plenty marbling can be served well-done, and is a lot safer (less likely to cause food poisoning). When I get to Trump's age, "country fried steak" (i.e. ground chuck shaped into like a piece of steak) might also be a preferable choice due to both less work required of the teeth and higher lean content in the meat.

I prefer my fillet mignon marinated for days before grilling. However, if a lower quality cut with less marbling is not marinated before being grilled, ketchup is not a bad choice, especially with a side of fries. Worcestershire source and A1 are good on the meat, but they taste weird when touching fries.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 15, 6:50am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Generals' and admirals' salaries top out in the $140k range.

Public sector jobs that have almost guaranteed job security shouldn't have very high salaries and pensions. Some private sector job holders can earn a lot because they out-compete their competitors. Otherwise, everyone would just go into public sector jobs and quickly debasing the currency to nothing. Only the private sector produce real goods and services that people buy with their own money. Winners getting paid more in the private sector leads to more production. In the public sector, paying the guaranteed jobs extraordinarily high salaries and pensions wouldn't bring forth more production but only luring the smart minds away from the productive sector.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 6:41am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

marcus says
Reality says
more production but only luring the smart minds away from the productive sector


Yeah, whatever we do, let's not be putting good minds in education or law enforcement. THey can't do anything for next quarters earnings per share there.


High salaries and pensions for administrators do not result in better education or better law enforcement. In fact, the massive expansion of college administrators in the past couple decades has resulted in the actual teaching being left to adjunct instructors who don't get pension at all nor tenure, but paid not much more than minimum wage! Public/monopoly sector economy/incentives are very different from the private/competitive sector: customers price-shop in the private/competitive sector to keep price down and quality up; if a business has high profit margin, it will attract new entrants to drive down profit margin (i.e. resulting more/better goods/services that people want, at lower cost); whereas in the public sector, when do you think funding gets raised in public school and police department? When the graduation rate is down and crime rate is up! More money spent on the administrators in those public/monopoly sectors to pay more for administrators would only attract the "smart minds" that can understand this perverse incentive mechanism therefore deliberately under-pay and under-fund actual teachers and cops on the beat, so as to result in bad results so that they can demand more funding! That's exactly what's been happening in colleges: massive expansion of administrators and administrators' pay and pensions while cutting corners on the teaching staff. The same thing in the medical industry: massive expansion of administrator to doctor ratio. This is precisely what happens in all publicly-funded/monopolistic sectors.

In public/monopolistic sectors, we need people who enjoy the type of work they do, and are relatively simple-minded when it comes to optimizing their own benefits. High pay/pension for administrators in those sectors accomplish the exact opposite, because they are not under market competitive pressure.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 6:54am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

bob2356 says
Running a 3 billion dollar university and hospital with a salary of 1.7 million isn't outrageous. Sorry, but it just isn't.


It is outrageous because these are non-profits and/or their services largely paid for by tax money (i.e. government granted monopolies). By your math, DOD having a 700B annual (public) budget, should the secretary be paid 360 million dollars a year? and a pension of $180,000,000/yr? What about the head of the social security administration or the POTUS supervising even larger annual budgets?

Private sector (serving individual customers not funded by government) executives have to compete against other private sector companies/executives; the owners of the competitive enterprise or the shareholders decide the pay, and do so at their own peril. The public/monopolistic sector OTOH is literally socking to the taxpayers. High public sector executive pay/pension also result in less resources available to pay the front-line service staff in the public sector, as they split the given pool of tax money at any given time. There is literally no justification whatsoever for high executive pay/pension in the public sector.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 7:02am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

marcus says
What is the typical homeowner's unfunded liability on their mortgage ?


If a banker negotiates with himself or related party/friends/co-conspirator to set up a bloated mortgage, he'd be arrested for banking fraud.

When a home owner fails to make mortgage payment, he gets foreclosed, not robbing other people to make the payment. Are we going to foreclose on a school district or a government? Are we going to foreclose on the houses of all individual parties who signed / set up the pension funds running short of money before raising taxes on the other taxpayers? Are we going to throw them in jail if the foreclosure sale of all their personal assets can not make up for the short-fall? Perhaps we should!
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 8:12am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

marcus says
My point was that these numbers represent future obligations.

WE all pay thousands of dollars per year in state taxes. That money goes towards all kind of salaries and other expenses. Including debt, which the liabilites are a form of.

What percentage of state expenditures goes toward unfunded pension liabilities ?


Mortgage is a secured debt. It is funded at all time: backed by the house itself, which can be foreclosed to satisfy the loan. Otherwise, the bank wouldn't be lending the money at such low interest rate at all or for that large an amount. Pension is supposed to be funded by employees themselves, not a Ponzi scam, counting on increasing number of future workers paying into it to support previous workers, or an extortion racket counting on future raising of taxes to satisfy past pensions obligations.

The most insidious aspect of gross expansion of public sector jobs and bureaucracy via exaggerated pension promises is that: such a promise inevitably leads to major war. That's how conflicting claims on wealth eventually get settled when the pie is just not big enough to satisfy all claims on it -- a war to decide whose claims don't count. The apologists for government expansion are essentially warmongers.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 10:12am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

bob2356 says
According to KPMG audit from last year OHSU got 33 million in tax money out of a revenue of 3.1 billion. That is 1% of revenue. What exaclty is your defintion of largley?



This has to be a joke, right? Do you honestly think the school would have $3.1 billion revenue if not for government-subsidized student loans? and government-enforced monopoly on both the practice of medicine and dentistry (the field where the school specializes) and on the establishment of universities itself?



Ridiculous to compare large federal agencies to autonomous public corporations. The mission and job is totally different.


Not at all. Considering both patients (the ultimate customers of the graduates of the school) and students are heavily subsidized by government to pay for a services in an industry that is severely restricted in supply by licensing requirement, the fields of both medicine and medical schools are effective monopolies and oligopolies enforced by the government. It's classic "socializing the cost" while "privatizing the looting"! Those high administrator pays and pensions are one of the reasons why both education and medicine have become so expensive, while students take on mortgage-sized debt without a house to show for it while being taught by low-pay adjunct instructors.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 10:18am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

bob2356 says
The salary is 1/3 to 1/2 what a ceo of a similar sized private corporation would earn. For the same skills and management tasks.

Why is it outrageous? Want to provide the missing explanation since no one has so far.


The market place for executives with $1.7mil+ annual salary is very small in the private sector. Most SP500 top executives don't even have salaries that big. If you honestly believe those thousands (if not tens of thousands) of university and hospital executives are just as good as those SP500 executives, then they should be forced to compete against the SP500 executives in the market place, thereby driving down the pay for the SP500 executives! Instead of warehousing them in tax-payer funded institutions away from the competitive market place and artificially creating shortage of executives in the private sector.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 10:31am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

bob2356 says
So post the numbers. It's true because I believe it shoudl be true isn't good enough.


It's better than the 1% number (only 1% of the college's revenue came from tax payers) that you quoted to deliberately obfuscate. Are you not aware that average medical students graduate with over $160k debt? Are you not aware that specific school gets paid by Oregon State university system via cross training programs?

bob2356 says
I've got to assume you are totally unaware the restriction on training doctors is the amount of funding for residency programs provided by state and federal governments.


This is again nonsense! Just because the hospitals cry for more public funding because they waste money while limit the supply of doctors (the very purpose of founding AMA a century ago; before AMA successfully lobbied the government into restricting the supply of doctors medicine was so affordable that doctors visiting patients home to give treatment was routine). By your logic (training doctors is limited by the amount of funding for residency programs), hospitals and doctors didn't exist before there was government funding for residency programs! How dumb does a person have to be to believe in that kind of propaganda?! Do you believe schools and roads didn't exist before government funding either? How about food if in countries where government organize food production? Government involvement always result in shortage! because government is a form of monopoly. Food was just more obvious; the same thing is happening to medicine and education, only takes longer to become obvious, because people only spend a relatively smaller percentage of their life time dealing with medicine and education, compared to food procurement.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 10:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

bob2356 says
How exaclty is this an explanation of why it's outragous for someone to have a 1.7 million salary running a 3 billion dollar enterprise. Public entities are beholden to the politicians who are beholden to the voters. If voters want to stick their heads in the sand and fail to hold their politicians responsible that is their choice. Oregon has public referendum. Anyone is free to put a referendum on the ballot to reform PERS, but it hasn't happened yet.

I would say the retirement was determined by the rules of PERS. I'm not saying it's not a lot of money. I agree PERS rules are really screwed up. For one thing they allow outside income to be included in calculating retirements. Many things are screwed up, like CEO's getting huge amounts of money for walking away from companies they ran into the ground without the share holders having any say. So much for being beholden.


If a consumer doesn't like the executive pay or executive pension at Apple, he can buy less expensive phones from other phone makers. A taxpayer can't avoid being looted to pay for the public executives and public executive pensions even if he doesn't send his kids to the school.

Indexing public sector executive pay/pension to private sector executives is of course a nonsensical attempt to enrich the super-wealthy: very high salaries are actually very rare in the private sector, whereas in the public sector due to the monopolistic consolidated nature of the public sector there are far more supposedly "high revenue enterprises." At $10k/yr in property taxes, it only takes 100k houses in a town or city to aggregate a billion dollar "revenue"; should the vast majority of mayors be pulling million-dollar salaries and pensions too? What about the heads of the tax-collector's office in all those towns and cities? Why should heads of the assessor's office be paid less? Why should the head of the school district actually spending more than half of that money be paid less? Warehousing so many times more high-paying positions in the public sector would drive private sector executive pay even higher (supply vs. demand). The idea that public/monopolistic sector executive pay should be comparable to the private/competitive sector is utterly nonsensical and would work out to be massive subsidy to the wealthy. It's as if: if a 5000sqft home in Manhattan sold for $100million, somehow the government should offer to buy every 5000sqft home in the country for $100million each! What a huge subsidy to the already wealthy home owners that would be! If the public sector executives believe they can pull $million+ salaries in the private sector, let them go to the private sector and compete down executive pay in the private sector!
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 11:06am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

bob2356 says
Yes there were no residencies in the good old days when people did surgery without anaesthesia bare handed with a cigar in their mouth.


You are describing the Civil War era army surgeon on the pay of the government. In the private sector, would you spend your own money to go to a surgeon like that? So why do you think many others would?

The irony is that, monopoly-driven high cost and consequent public-pay medicine that you advocate is precisely what leads to mice/roach infested hospitals in Cuba and Venezuela as well as in VA hospitals in the US.

Quality of service is a result of consumer choice while spending their own money, not that of the bureaucratic foremen on a slave plantation (which had single-payer "free" medicine for slaves).
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 11:21am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

bob2356 says
Want ot post the statute the AMA got passed to restrict the supply of doctors? I'll wait


It's called board licensing requirement. The number of new licensees approved each year to practice medicine is pre-set via committee process, not based on how many graduating students are competent enough to practice medicine. That's the classic evidence of a monopoly restricting supply.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 12:05pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

bob2356 says
What do you think medicine was in the pre resdency days? That was all there was. Modern anesthesia didn't start until the 1920's and IV anesthesia didn't start until the late1930's. Yes you paid for it because that's all there was. One of the first residencies was anesthesia.


Not sure what you are trying to say . . . that US government genetically engineered/invented the opium poppy plant 4000 years ago? As anesthesia started 4000 years ago with the discovery of the medicinal use of the plant. The early 20th century "modern anesthesia" was just a packaging exercise: only allowing licensed "patent medicine" makers to use the plant extract while outlawing all other vendors using the same plant. Attributing the invention of IV to AMA is just silly. Do you think every medical invention during Obama years were due to Obamacare? and every medical invention during Trump years as result of abolishing/modifying Obamacare?

Medical students in the 19th century had post-graduate internships before practicing on their own even before there was board requirement to practice medicine. What happened at the beginning of 20th century was the AMA board licensing requirement and FDA approval requirement, both designed to raise the profit margin of licensed monopolies.


bob2356 says
WTF are you babbling about? What is public pay medicine? Is that like the rest of the first world that gives better medical care for half the cost? Funny you said Cuba, I actually toured a hospital and school when I visted Cuba. Very clean, no mice or roaches. Cuban kids start learning english in 2nd grade.


Have you not heard of the Potempkin Village? What you saw was not the average affair for typical Cuban people, not even for the typical local elite, but a "model hospital" that is specifically put together to showcase to foreign "useful idiots" like Walter Duranty and latter-day "fellow-travellers" like him.

"Better medical care for half the cost" in other first-world countries largely because they don't have administrators pulling multi-million-dollar annual salaries and pensions . . . aren't you trying to say multi-million dollar high executive pay is justifiable?


bob2356 says
So 75-100k a year private medical schools provide better quality of service than 30-50k public medical schools? You are saying we would have a lot more doctors if everyone went to a 100k a year private medical school?


Nope. You are the one trying to say higher payer/cost is a good thing. I'm advocating removing the licensing requirement altogether . . . so if people want, they can learn medical knowledge on their own, take medical exams (run like private testing services, like SAT, not like the current board exam run by AMA as a political lobby for restricting supply), then find their own internships and open their own practices, so the cost can be much much lower! If people want to pay $100k/yr of their own money to get a solid gold degree (and a solid gold toilet to go with it), let them spend their own money; there shouldn't be a board licensing requirement that limited the number of new licenses each year in such a way that the $100k/yr graduate is more likely to find match in hospitals (once again limited in supply due to licensing requirement) in high standards of living parts of the country than the $30-50k/yr medical school graudates (who are currently more likely to find opening in poorer parts of the country, therefore would make less on the new job). Removing licensing requirement would result in far more doctors and far more hospitals competing for customers.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 12:08pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

bob2356 says
bob2356 says
Want ot post the statute the AMA got passed to restrict the supply of doctors?


Still waiting. and waiting, and waiting, and waiting.


Have you not heard of the board licensing requirement for practicing medicine? You are just pretending to be stupid.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 12:14pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

bob2356 says
Reality says
very high salaries are actually very rare in the private sector,


ROFLOL.

Reality says
If the public sector executives believe they can pull $million+ salaries in the private sector, let them go to the private sector and compete down executive pay in the private sector!


Many do, there is a constant churn between private industry and public service. You didn't get the memo? Try again.


Not sure why you were laughing. The churning is necessary precisely because there are not nearly enough private sector positions with salaries in the $1.7mil+. The tax-payer funded monpolies have to be drafted to keep paying them those high salaries.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 1:48pm   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Human nature is not good or evil, but simply lazy! For guys who have to support women and children, there is an extra dose (or several doses, as each woman consumes about 3x as much resources as a man does while producing about half as much, as shown in household spending data and divorce data). Being alive is damn expensive. Rent-seeking behavior is simply a result of this biological drive towards most amount of resources for least amount of work (which is not evil or selfish either, per se, as that is the fundamental drive behind technological advance and productivity improvement; try farming in your backyard with hand tools only if you don't believe me, it's back breaking labor for very little food in return, not a fun existence even if you have the land to do it).

The term "parasitic" has been used frequently by intellectuals in the past 150 years. Merchants and traders were often thought of that way as they don't produce any goods themselves . . . yet, when it was tried to have government bureaucrats to manage trade and commerce instead of merchants . . . the result was far worse rent-seeking behavior by government bureaucrats, as shown in former soviet experiments: mass starvation!

The Georgist idea of 100% tax on land value (effectively centralizing land ownership) would likely result in the same: centralized bureaucracy producing even worse rent-seeking behavior, and making lives even more miserable for the average people who have to make productive use of land.

What's sorely missing in the typical mainstream education is that: value does not exist in abstract, but only subjectively to the person who can make a good use of whatever the resource is. Only two parties can arrive at a negotiated transaction price: because the seller thinks the value of the item is less than the agreed price, while the buyer thinks the value of the same item is more than the agreed price! The two of them don't even agree on the value of the item, but only on a transaction price; the small difference in subjective evaluation of the item is what makes the transaction possible (the difference also has to be larger than the transaction cost, like closing cost in the case of land, transportation cost in movable goods).

If land were to be taxed at 100% value, whose value would be used for assessing? There wouldn't be a market for trading ownership of land, so how will land be evaluated to form the tax basis?

Also, the value of a particular piece of land has to be discovered over time. For example, if a plot of hundreds of acres starts as uneven wooded gully in the middle of nowhere, it has very little value (too uneven to harvest wood); someone might cut all the trees there someday and turn it into a land fill as a recycling center for a few decades; then sprinkle some dirt on it and grow some nice grass turning it into a golf course for a few decades; then after that, the land can be subdivided into lots for home building. How is that parcel supposed to be evaluated? At the original wooded wasteland value? or smelly trash dump value? Golf course no houses? or hundreds of half-acre lots for SFH's? Notice, every step of the way, the developer has been improving the land to achieve higher value. All along the way, timing is critical: making the highly capital-intensive and labor-intensive upgrades too early or at the wrong part of an economic cycle would not only incur high interest expenses but also resulting the land reverting back into the wooded gully wasteland. Seems to me private ownership is far more beneficial to the decades long if not multi-generational development process than letting government bureaucrats who would be prone to taking bribes during his/her short tenure of management in order to seek the most rent out of his/her short-tenure of management while leaving the land in much worse shape in the long run.

It seems to me, a far better societal organization is not stamping out rent-seeking per se, but promote competitive ownership of relatively small holders, so each has competitive market pressure putting a lid on his/her lazy/rent-seeking nature. Preventing market concentration is the most effective antidote against rent-seeking; both private monopoly and "public" monopoly (government bureaucratic ownership/management) result in severe rent-seeking.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 2:13pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Patrick says
Land values are quite well known.


What is known is "tax assess value," which is subject to the owner's willingness to challenge it; i.e. a mere legal compromise that the involved parties are willing to settle for. I have bought houses with land for less than the land's assessed value alone in the last cycle bottom. The "well known" tax assess value magically went down to somewhat more reasonable level considering how little I paid, only when I brought in my lawyer. Seems to me a "well known" fixed value should not be dependent on whether a lawyer is brought in. In reality, land value change dramatically over time depending on interest rate and local economy. The "tax assess value" is best thought of as a fiction that the town needs in order to run a budget, so the local schools and town hall can stay open.


The important thing is that the tax must not change if someone builds a building or otherwise does something else productive with the land. The tax should be on the land alone, so as not to discourage productive activity.


Agree with you in theory, but in reality, bureaucracy tends to grow. It's very hard for land assessed value not to go up when the owners in the area make the neighborhood into a better neighborhood. Heck, most towns have been raising taxes just because declining interest rate has driven the market price of comparable land higher.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 3:11pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch says
Fuck you ALL! Landlords are entitled to suck every last dime from humanity to create dynastic wealth that gives their great great grandkids the FREE!dom to do nothing forever except fuck AMERICA! in the ass every harder every fucking year.


Average landlords have to compete against one another in order to fill their units. Also, plenty landlords went bust in places like Detroit and Baltimore. In the next housing crash, we will likely see another wave of wannabe landlords going bust.

Politicians are far more likely to form dynasties, but they are a different class of "landlords" further up the food chain/pyramid. That's why most prominent commercial families eventually go into politics, when their offsprings form too expensive habits to compete effectively in the relatively free market place. If not for political machination, most wealthy families in a relatively free market economy would go through "shirt-sleaves-to-shirt-sleaves in three generations" when their offspring grow up with silver spoon in their mouths and fail to compete effectively in the market place.

A relatively free and competitive market place is the most effective way of "spreading wealth around," far more effective and more productive than the usual political interventions that involve the dead weight of bureacracy. Some people are born into wealthier families than others, just like some people are born better looking than others or taller than others. One can only be happy by embracing what himself/herself is born with and making the best of one's own advantages.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 5:40pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Patrick says
Did they create the land? Did they buy the land from someone who created it


In most modern urban and suburban areas, the answers would be yes and yes:

1. Much of the land in many of the most expensive cities in the world (and the US) are results of land-fills. Someone did make the land from sub-tidal mud flats or river/lake bottoms. Even more land plots are results of hill removals and gully filling.

2. (Previous) owners of land created the land plots by subdividing larger plots at one time into smaller plots. The legal process and surveying involved were/are not small costs. IIRC, George Washington was a land surveyor by profession (and landlord later in his career).

3. Landlords (both current and previous ones) also create and preserve land in serviceable condition by keeping other people from dumping chemical waste and other trash onto the land (so they don't become like sidewalks and subway stations in SF, you now, marks of "public land" in urban area). At the minimum, land maintenance often involve mowing, vine/tree removal; In extreme cases, like George Washington's, that defense/maintenance action involved fighting off a foreign army. Wouldn't you say guards and night-watchmen as having rendered labor service? Likewise if the landlord has hired guards, watchman, lawyers or gardener to take care of his land.

4. Landlords (both previous and current) also paid the bulk of the local taxes to have sustained the local governments that have provided the local services.

5. Landholdings, whether already developed or waiting to be developed, is also a form of investment stock-holding, although that seems to be a very costly form of holding as most locales now have property tax on land, and often at premium rate if not having a house on it.

Seems to me, divided ownership into many landlords would be far better than a centralized government-landlord (with more severe rent-seeking power in the hands of bureaucrats, unchecked by another landlord right down the street), even for tenants looking for land to use.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 5:48pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Patrick says
You have to do something useful with the land, not simply own it, to make a profit in China. The system we have in the US is that mere ownership gives you the right to steal from the rest of the economy without doing anything useful. Just sucking the blood of people who are creative enough to build something.


Government bureaucrats control land use in China, and get far more rent-seeking profit from the developers simply because the land ownership is centralized. The blood sucking there is much worse than landlords in the US. Why else is a comparable apartment in Beijing, Shanghai or Hongkong much more expensive than one in NYC or SFBA, while the median labor income there are lower (significantly lower in some cases)? The builders there have to pay exorbitant land use fees that finance all the local governments and corruption.

What's interesting is that, private land ownership, i.e. dividing land ownership into many competing landowners, is the key to reducing rent-seeking via land monopoly.

Competition is the key to reducing rent-seeking, not centralized bureaucratic monopoly where the bureaucrats would be in an even stronger position to extract economic rent. Economic rent is not market rent per se, but monopolistic pricing power. What many see as unseemly rent-seeking in SFBA (and NYC) can be easily mitigated by relaxing building codes and allowing more supply; this is already happening in NYC: new constructions in recent years are collapsing rent price in that city.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 6:35pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Booger says
None of the ads that I see on my phone are for condoms or whore houses, despite all the porn that I look at. What gives?


Condom makers and whore houses are not buying ads from Google, yet.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 9:07pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Patrick says
non-productive rent-seeking helps no one but the parasite, and harms whole countries. It is an evil we should eliminate.


It is important to remember in the process that we ought to avoid creating a new class of rent-seekers with even greater monopolistic pricing power (i.e. greater rent-seeking opportunity). Georgist may not consider land capital, but Communists certainly did, and they did take all land ownership under government and management under government bureaucrats (just as a Georgist policy would effectively result); the result of that centralized ownership was catastrophic: people stopped making improve/maintain to land, which in turn led to crop failures and mass starvation.

Even in American history, various utopian experiments in the 19th century and the original MayFlower Compact experience itself in the early 17th century showed that concentrated/collective land ownership must lead to disaster: as more than 50% of the MayFlower passengers starved to death in the first year as they farmed the land collectively. It was only after dividing up the land into small individual family plots that led to the first bumper crop harvest and Thanksgiving. People simply had zero incentive to improve collectively owned land. In fact, the nuclear family and agriculture (farming and herding animals) appeared in human history about the same time, around 10,000 years ago, perhaps because of precisely this new concept of private ownership, of land and of uterus content being from one single man instead of previously mistakenly thought of as being derived from all men who had ejaculated into that uterus. The private ownership created enormous incentive for each man to work the land, instead of focusing on humoring and conning the women for reproductive opportunity. Ever since then, every attempt at abolishing private/individual ownership led directly to reversion from civilization to primitivism; witness the modern urban ghetto phenomenon.

Empty lots generate tons of income for their parasitical owners simply by increasing in value due to the work of others near the land.


Let's not forget about opportunity cost. Leaving a SFBA lot empty for the last 30 years would have meant foregoing tons of rent income every year while having to pay property tax at the same time every year, not a winning strategy at all compared to building a house on the lot and renting it out (or parking the money in an index fund); holding an empty lot in Detroit for the last 30 years would have cost the owner almost the entire capital . . . the owner probably would have abandoned the empty lot a long time ago after skipping property tax.

It's easy to accuse the lottery winner of receiving unearned income, despite statistically buying lottery tickets is actually a losing game.

It would be a mistake to assume centralized government land management would result in better development than private/individual landownership; in fact, a centralized system would result in far greater rent-seeking by the government bureaucrats in charge, unchecked by a competing land owners just down the street.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 16, 9:23pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Rin says
This is Central Sq Cambridge, there's always something going on there.

How is this national news?

Now if it were in Harvard Sq ... then there would be some news!


This was much closer to Harvard Sq than to Central Sq. In fact, the background looks like north of Harvard Sq, towards Radcliffe campus (one of the "Seven Sisters" Women's Colleges, now part of Harvard) and Harvard Law School area. The naked man was a Harvard student, likely thanks to Affirmative Action! Affirmative Action is racism and evil writ large. Putting that kid in an environment that he is ill-suited has made him feel inadequate; now failure to punish adequately will turn him into a chronic criminal mind. Affirmative Action creates criminals just like parents who oil squeaky wheels produce spoiled brats.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 17, 5:34pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

dublin hillz says
The problem cannot be resolved until parasites' assets are confiscated, they are stripped of passport and citizenship and deported on a red eye flight to nicaragua.


Isn't that what the Russian/Soviets did in the early 1920's and Chinese commies did in the early 1950's after taking power? Except for skipping the flight, just executing all landlords while confiscating their land. The result in both countries (and every country that copied that "mass liquidation" method) was mass starvation: 20 million farmers starved to death in Soviet Union and over 50 million farmers starved to death in Maoist China . . . simply because the political bureaucrats replacing the landlords managed the land much worse, as all they cared about were personal political career (promotions) and food for themselves while starved the peasants through forcible confiscation of food that the previous landlords would never have tried. Blood sucking by bureaucrats turned out to be far worse than "blood sucking" by local landlords.

When the method was copied to Cambodia in the 1970's, fully 1/4 of that country's population died under the regime of Pol Pot, a "well educated" math teacher who turned socialist revolutionary.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 17, 6:16pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Patrick says
Here's a bit more about the land value tax (LVT) in Hong Kong and Singapore:

The city-state Singapore, founded on Georgist tax principles, reached a tax rate on land of 16%. Hong Kong existed only on crown land, funding 4/5 of their budget with 2/5 of site Rent (Yu-Hung Hong, Landlines, 1999 March, Lincoln Inst., Cambridge, MA). The city uses land rent, not subsidy, to fund their new metro and in its suburbs grows much of its own food. Hong Kong enjoys low taxes, low prices, high investment, and often the highest per capita salaries. The city is often voted the world’s best city for business and the freest for residents.


https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/successfull-examples-of-land-value-tax-reforms/2011/02/05





Thanks for the link. Some of the content there however does not pass the smell test:

1. "in its suburbs grows much of its own food" is very misleading if not outright fraudulent. Hong Kong imports 95% of its food, as detailed in this link:
https://www.business-sweden.se/contentassets/fb4f875126144371b135b19a3c37ac6a/hong-kong-food-and-beverage-market-2016.pdf

2. "founded on Georgist tax principles, reached a tax rate on land of 16%" is once again very misleading. What Singapore and Hong Kong have is not a land tax or 15-16% land value tax; what they have is a Property Tax on current year rent revenue/income. For example, if a hypothetical unit rents for $1000/mo, that rent revenue is subject to Property Tax at 15% after a standard deduction of 20% (unless the owner choose to itemize cost for deduction); so, $1000 x (100 - 20)% x 15% = $120. So annual property tax would be $1440 on rental revenue of $12000. Considering that Hong Kong real estate routinely trade for 300x monthly rent or higher, the hypothetical property is likely trading for $300,000 or higher, the effective property tax in that case is 0.48%! Much much lower than just about any US city or town. Only Manhattan, Brooklyn and Cambridge (MA) come even close to that low rate in the sub-1% range. Most US cities and towns demand 2% if not higher! Never mind "Georgist tax principles," the prosperity of Singapore and Hong Kong is due to their (historically) smaller tax bite overall period (before their new welfare state policies in recent years).

3. The article also cited the case of Taiwan land reform after KMT regime arrived on the island. That case may have come close to "Georgist tax principle" at the time. However, in reality, it was a one-time looting against the 20 or less landlords that owned almost all the land on the island (and probably had close ties to the former Japanese colonial government and spoke Japanese). The landlords were given paper money for their land, and the paper money quickly inflated away in the subsequent decades (if the former landlords did not invest the money in industry). It was less "Georgist" than one-time looting against the local rich on an island that the new regime had just conquered (Taiwan having been reverted to China/KMT at the end of WWII, without referendum), and the KMT regime desperately needed money to sustain a large military to defend against the Communists on their tail, and the commies would have treated the landlords even worse (liquidating them all in Soviet/Stalinist style). The new owners of smaller plots worked the land harder but their taxes didn't go up in keeping with "Georgist tax principles." It's not even clear if the breaking up of farm land in Taiwan into smaller plots even made farming more productive in the long run . . . as mechanization of farming (like in the US) is not possible on those small lots. What brought prosperity to Taiwan was light industry and then tech industry, neither of which had much to do with the land reform.

Also, Hong Kong government had a long history of auctioning government land (the government owns all the land there by default) to the highest bidder (if we call that Georgist, as it did put the burden of running government almost entirely on land, before the introduction of income tax in the last decade or so). The result was extreme concentration of the construction/development industry, and extremely high housing price. Most people in Hong Kong have lived in tiny apartments for decades, while most of the land of the territory was left undeveloped. Some people there have lived almost their entire lives in pods not much bigger than one level of a bunk bed. If that kind of policy had been tried in the US, we'd have constant riots on our hands long before apartment sizes are reduced to that small.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 18, 1:31pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Mandy Lifeboats says
I know mine is (a parasite).

Raised our rent $200 (14% increase, Las Vegas) after 2 1/2 years of on time payments with no calls for anything.


Assuming the new lease will last a year, that's 14% increase over 3yrs, or less than 5% a year. My property tax and water bills (city/town monopolies) all have been rising at faster than 5% a year in the last few years. Even that particular landlord of yours is keeping rent increase at slower pace than what a government bureaucracy would have done.


Reason given by PM - rents are really going up, with a tone of amazement, slight glee.


As you can see, she can only raise rent when all her competitors are raising. That's why they are all rising at slower pace than what the town tax collectors and water departments are raising on them, effectively cushioning some of the price increase by those monopolies. If the government bureaucratic monopoly had been in charge of housing, they'd be raising rent even faster.




Place is not premium, by any stretch of the imagination. With a large desert scrub backyard and two pets, I might as well live outdoors with all the dirt dragged in. .


Moving outdoors or buying your own place or moving to a different landlord's house costing you less might just be 3 viable alternatives, and your move will also help keep rent down for other renters.
  Reality   ignore (5)   2018 Apr 18, 2:24pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Patrick says
SFace says
There will be no land value tax.


@SFace why not? Seems like an excellent idea to tax non-productive rent-seeking and stop taxing income and commerce.


What's the difference between sitting on land vs. being a city planner? The latter forcibly collects salary and pension from taxpayers, the former is a volunteering stakes-holder.



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