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Welfare in America

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Mockage
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#1

Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:14 PM

This video caught my mind.



The video depicts what could happen if welfare was cut from government spending. That being said is it really necessary? Well take a look at the concept of welfare. The government spends MONEY for POOR people. Poor people (depending on what socio-economic background they're coming from) are lazy and posses a state of mind that entitles them to receive money because of what position they're situated in. That being said, why should we pay our taxes on lazy, inconsiderate people who are simply sitting around at home waiting for the next job to hit them? OUR actions ALWAYS has a consequence. And if you're gonna choose to flaunt around like an idiot in high school or wherever and not earn any value from it whatsoever, why should you deserve other peoples money? They worked hard for it, therefore they have the right to earn it. Welfare is like stealing. The fed. govt takes OUR hard earned money and gives it to poor people. That's billions and billions of dollars each year. And yet, the same people receiving all these welfare checks are wondering why our economy is 'bad'.

Onto the video even more. Welfare is cut. People have lost that state of dependency. They know they aren't gonna earn money from the govt. anymore, therefore they resort to robbing and killing people for the sake of soliciting their own income to feed their kids or whatever they're gonna do with the money.

So is welfare necessary, or is it not? Well think about it, no welfare = the video.

Welfare = a stable environment. People depend on the govt. for their money, therefore they earn receive that state of mind that says that they can just sit around at home and not get a job but yet earn money to feed their children. They're not gonna rob and kill people, they already know they're gonna get money, so whats the point?

P.S: If I seem like an asshole, I apologize.

skills
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#2

Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:02 PM

Interesting scare tacked video

But I will say welfare on some level is needed because there are a lot of single working mothers whom don’t make enough money and need help. For whatever reasons the punk ass baby fathers are not helping financially. Understand, not all people on welfare are unemployed: just under employed.

Of course, there are lazy people that don’t want to work and just want a hand out and should not get one. With that said rich people and wealthy corporations get welfare to. But they, we the people, and the media calls it: government subsidies and government bail outs, and “Boom goes the dynamite” cry.gif

Leftcoast
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#3

Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:56 PM

QUOTE
The video depicts what could happen if welfare was cut from government spending. That being said is it really necessary? Well take a look at the concept of welfare. The government spends MONEY for POOR people. Poor people (depending on what socio-economic background they're coming from) are lazy and posses a state of mind that entitles them to receive money because of what position they're situated in. That being said, why should we pay our taxes on lazy, inconsiderate people who are simply sitting around at home waiting for the next job to hit them? OUR actions ALWAYS has a consequence. And if you're gonna choose to flaunt around like an idiot in high school or wherever and not earn any value from it whatsoever, why should you deserve other peoples money? They worked hard for it, therefore they have the right to earn it. Welfare is like stealing. The fed. govt takes OUR hard earned money and gives it to poor people. That's billions and billions of dollars each year. And yet, the same people receiving all these welfare checks are wondering why our economy is 'bad'.


Skills is right, not everyone one welfare is lazy and just wants a free ride. To say this is true is simply wrong. I do understand that our welfare system get's abused, however, we still need social safety net.

QUOTE
Of course, there are lazy people that don’t want to work and just want a hand out and should not get one. With that said rich people and wealthy corporations get welfare to. But they, we the people, and the media calls it: government subsidies and government bail outs, and “Boom goes the dynamite” cry.gif


Very true, corporate welfare can be just as absurd. Take a look at how some people take advantages of farm subsidies.

Edit: switched mockage with skills on accident.

skills
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#4

Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:37 PM Edited by skills, 02 May 2012 - 01:23 AM.

I hear you homie, the only thing they need to say is: this is a family farm or this is a small business, and nobody will question that. Despite the fact that they make 10s of millions or more a year. As Americans some of us have the attention span of 10 year olds and only care about the date the new I phone is coming out. cry.gif

El_Diablo
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#5

Posted 15 April 2012 - 01:10 AM

welfare is necessary in any stable, functioning country.

if there's one thing we need to cut back on, it's defense spending.
not welfare...

military versus non-military spending at the end of 2009:

user posted image

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#6

Posted 15 April 2012 - 01:24 AM

There's nothing I hate more than the line that poor people are all lazy. Why don't you go talk to some poor people. Find out why they are poor. Most of time, it's because they came from a poor family, which came from another poor family and so on.

Now, I know there's the argument frequently made - "I understand they come from a poor family, and that's unfortunate, but anyone can work hard if they set their mind to it". That's all well and good, and sounds great too, but it isn't true. You need to understand that schools in poor communities are more concerned not with nurturing students who show great potential, but with making sure there isn't gang activity in the classroom. With making sure female students aren't giving blowjobs in the bathroom to pay for their lunch. Ensuring that knives and guns aren't coming into the school. If even 20% of their time goes into innovative lesson techniques and smart teaching skills, I'd be shocked.

Your argument is even more f*cking stupid because of the fact that there is something called the working poor. These are people who work, but need to receive welfare in order to get by.

http://www.workingpo...NatReport08.pdf

If you refer to this document, you'll see that 72% of low income families have employed parents. Refer to this article too -

http://globalresearc...xt=va&aid=14715

You'll see that 30% of US families are members of the so called "working-poor".


Basically, the notion that welfare programs are unneeded because their recipients are lazy is absolute bullsh*t, and it's clear you probably haven't been outside of your parents' house yet to know that.

Mockage
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#7

Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:07 AM Edited by Mockage, 15 April 2012 - 04:26 AM.

I know what poor people are like. I understand where a lot of them come from too. But if you actually reread the first part of my post you'll see that I said "depending on what socio-economic background", which implies (I was a bit vague there. sorry about that) that I wasn't speaking on general poor people who actually went through tough times which led them to where they were today. I agree, for all those hardworking ones who still just can't get enough money to put food on their table or even pay for gas should receive welfare. They deserve it. But the ones doing sh*t? They don't. The welfare system gets abused constantly. The govt. funds billions of dollars each year into the welfare system, and knowing that our money goes to a portion of lazy welfare recipients is absurd.

Besides, what has it proven? I go out. I see crime. People getting their shoes stolen. Bums perched on the dunes of the beach and shops along the boardwalk begging for money. Welfare has been nothing but a failure. I mean I'm all for abolishing the concept of the fed govt. funding tax money for the poor, unless it's somehow reformed for being rewarded to the 'working poor', sure, but whos not to say it won't be abused?

And saying that the argument "I understand they come from a poor family, and that's unfortunate, but anyone can work hard if they set their
mind to it" isn't true is f*cking stupid. You're only saying it isn't true because you looked at statistics, stating that 30% of families in the US are part of the 'working poor' when at the same time these people are working at jobs which doesn't pay them well enough. And poor people HAVE put their mind to it and became powerful and successful. I hate using this guy as an example, but Lil Wayne. Rose from poverty, started making sh*t, and is now in the high life. He actually set his mind to something and actually put work into it. Those 'working poor'? They really haven't. They think going to some minumum wage job or whatever will supplement them so that they can survive but yet these are the same working poor that are still on welfare funded from the govt. My parents are even just like these working poor. I'm assuming you're not from a low-income family to understand how poor people operate which is why you're grabbing statistics rather than drawing from your experiences which are worth more than what you presented. I don't need anyone to clarify what poor people are like.

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#8

Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:23 AM

But not all poor people even can get jobs. You need to understand that someone who has been completely disenfranchised from the American experience for his/her entire life is not even going to qualify at a McDonalds.

Sorry, but Lil Wayne is not an acceptable comparison. Not everyone can become Lil Wayne or a basketball star. What I mean is that the vast majority cannot rise of poverty because the opportunity to do as such simply does not exist enough. How many trade schools do we have in America? Just look at the quality of schools in poor areas. Compare the amount of inner city youths coming out of high school moving onto top ranked colleges compared with the amounts of suburban, rich families like mine. It's completely and totally disproportional, and anyone who argues otherwise, is, in your words, f*cking stupid. I'm not an equal results guy. i believe in equal opportunity, and that simply does not exist right now when the playing field is inherently unequal.

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#9

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:18 PM

Adding to Irviding's point;

I didn't grow up rich, but I didn't grow up poor either. I had to work my way thru college and take out loans, which I sadly still have but it was worth it. I can say from my experience that it is possible for anyone to go to college and make a good life for themselves; however, there are many, many Americans who are at a HUGE disadvantage for making this a reality. For someone growing up poor in a crummy neighborhood it's going to be extremely difficult to get thru college compared to someone from a wealthier neighborhood with parents who can help financially with school.

For now, that's the way it is in the USA.


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#10

Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:04 AM

Welfare is one of the most destructive programs the US has ever adopted. Besides the moral problems I have socialism, it's a complete failure in practice.

Welfare gives recipients the perverse incentive to not start families because funding is often cut upon marriage. This financial discourages the formation of family units, and this is the primary cause of why black people in the US have high rates of single mothers and babies born out of wedlock. Before the welfare state, blacks formed families at the same percentage rates as whites. After the welfare state started, the black family has been destroyed. This is because blacks are disproportional recipients of welfare, and thus have the negative effects more pronounced relative to whites or asians. Welfare has done what slavery, jim crow laws, and apartheid could not, destroy the black family.

Welfare often traps people in poverty, making their situation significantly worse than if the program had never existed in the first place. Because welfare is taken away as soon as the recipient gets a decent job, many find it is in their own self interest to remain on welfare as opposed to finding employment.

Welfare also teaches people dependency (as opposed to self reliance), which makes them less likely to move up in the world and make something of themselves.

The government doesn't have magic powers that can make poverty go away at the signing of a check. The best anti-poverty measure is a steady paying job. If you want poor people to not be poor, make conditions in our economy where jobs are abundant and class mobility is greater.
This can be achieved by removing job killing legislation, lowering tax rates, repealing minimum wage laws, legalizing [insert illegal product here], and other measures promoting economic growth.

I would like to note that I grew up very poor, raised by my disabled single mother. So keep that in mind when you reply to my post with variations of how I "hate poor people", "don't know what it's like to be poor", etc.




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#11

Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:33 AM

hmm.
let's begin from the top. I would advise you read my entire post before deciding to reply to the various parts of it (quote for quote).
QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 19:04)
Welfare is one of the most destructive programs the US has ever adopted. Besides the moral problems I have socialism, it's a complete failure in practice.

social welfare isn't really socialism, not in the tone you're attempting to label it with.
welfare in the US is far from perfect, but it's not one of the most "destructive" programs we have ever adopted. that's absurd hyperbole.

the moment you mention "moral problems" you betray an ignorance of the many faceted issues that converge where poverty lives.
social welfare does not create moral hazards. there's no way you can support that assertion aside from anecdotes which would not be evidence of anything.

QUOTE
Welfare gives recipients the perverse incentive to not start families because funding is often cut upon marriage. This financial discourages the formation of family units, and this is the primary cause of why black people in the US have high rates of single mothers and babies born out of wedlock.

first of all, there's nothing "perverse" about not wanting to start a family.

again the moment you use a word like this to phrase your argument is the moment you've lost most of your credibility.
because it sounds as though you are already prejudging people who choose to live their life in a manner that goes against your values. and your personal perceptions of life and/or family do not apply to everyone. keep in mind that majority does not define normalcy.

secondly, why bring black people into it?
it is a relatively well-known statistic that there are more single white women on welfare than any other subgroup; regardless of further implications...

poor/uneducated people act like poor/uneducated people wherever you find them and whatever their racial makeup.
the fact that you seem to be focusing on blacks (as we will see) is curious at best. but let's move on.

QUOTE
Before the welfare state, blacks formed families at the same percentage rates as whites. After the welfare state started, the black family has been destroyed. This is because blacks are disproportional recipients of welfare, and thus have the negative effects more pronounced relative to whites or asians. Welfare has done what slavery, jim crow laws, and apartheid could not, destroy the black family.

here is another clear example of where you feign a greater comprehension of the issue than you really have.

there's a lot of conjecture here without any support - obviously - but there's also a total lack of recognition for the any other aspect of poverty; as though welfare is to blame for everything that has happened to minorities within the inner city. you have to understand that several things happened post-World War 2 that have profoundly shaped poverty as we know it today. and little of it has to do with social welfare itself.

following WW2 there was the Homeowners Loan Program originally referred to as HOLP though officially known as the Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program (EHLP) now.
it was designed to help returning vets (more than anything) secure home loans and begin living their well-deserved American dream. however the HOLP was (perhaps intentionally) designed to screw minorities; specifically the Irish, blacks, Mormons, and Latinos. the HOLP was administered in such a way that, unless you were essentially a white Christian, interest rates and payment plans were much more difficult to secure at an affordable level.

the situation created by the HOLP was inadvertently made much worse by factors that no one could have necessarily foreseen.
vets returning from WW2 were getting loans for homes in brand new subdivisions that popped up all across the US and outside of the urban center. the inner cities were rapidly losing the old dynasty of factory jobs to modern office space where ideas and information replaced manufacturing and engineering. as such, anyone who could afford to (or secure a low-interest loan) moved out of the city to the new suburbs.

these suburbs were made possible by Eisenhower's newly completed Interstate Highway System.
during construction of what would become the backbone for our modern highways, the system itself was designed without regard for the individual needs of the various towns and cities that it cut through. no consideration was given to traffic patterns or the flow of traffic based on what part of the city the highway was going through. old roads were literally destroyed in the middle and diverted in as rudimentary fashion (to save time and money) as possible.

this would end up having the unusual effect of more or less trapping certain people in certain parts of the city. not literally of course, but in the way businesses and commerce developed; it had the tendency to build up on the "prosperous" side of town while avoiding the "derelict" side of town based on where the highway system cut through.
it is this fact that accounts for the now infamous crime-ridden zones of most major US metropolitan areas: East and North Saint Louis, South and West Chicago, Compton, the Bronx, Dade County, etc.

so combine a racist loan program with a market of disappearing labor and low skills jobs then throw in an interstate system that divides communities.
the advantages and opportunities shifted completely away from the people who needed them the most. this is what has created and sustained our culture of poverty in the cities.

however this all brings me back to my original qualm with your statements.
black people are not even the majority of welfare recipients. they're simply the most visible within our urban decay.

but just drive outside most cities to the now crumbling rural districts.
any economist who isn't selling you an agenda will tell you that white people receive the lion's share of government aid. in fact you don't need an economist anymore to learn this as most of the information is public at the respective agency websites.

QUOTE
Welfare often traps people in poverty, making their situation significantly worse than if the program had never existed in the first place. Because welfare is taken away as soon as the recipient gets a decent job, many find it is in their own self interest to remain on welfare as opposed to finding employment.

this here is a good example of anecdotes presented as evidence.

now it's true that welfare allows some people to remain in poverty; the incentive being their own laziness.
that's undeniable.

what you cannot support is the presumption that their situation would be "significantly worse."
that's just hearsay.
QUOTE
Welfare also teaches people dependency (as opposed to self reliance), which makes them less likely to move up in the world and make something of themselves.

here is more of the same anecdotal presumptions.

welfare programs are administered by the state and not every state functions in the same way.
some states are more similar to dependency - this is true - while some states are much more harsh in their lessons. not all of them hand out their checks without drug screenings or mandatory meetings with job counselors, etc. you're right that some programs are in terrible need of reform and are much less effective than others.

that said, the majority of welfare recipients are not lifers.
for most the safety net does function like a bungee cord and not a fly trap. the statistics imply that more people get off of welfare than stay on.

also the incentive is not very strong to begin with.
welfare is not comfortable living. you have to be PRETTY lazy and PRETTY unambitious to enjoy a life supplemented strictly by government welfare. it's not something that lazy people aspire to, it's something that lazy people end up in more often than the enterprising and self-motivated.

you said yourself that you were once very poor.
I'm guessing the point (aside from not wanting people to say you don't understand being poor) is that we are to assume you're no longer poor?
you've "made something" of yourself? how did your single and disabled mother get by? how do you get by now?

QUOTE
If you want poor people to not be poor, make conditions in our economy where jobs are abundant and class mobility is greater.
This can be achieved by removing job killing legislation, lowering tax rates, repealing minimum wage laws, legalizing [insert illegal product here], and other measures promoting economic growth.

can't really disagree here.

but the devil is in the details of course.
you would have to define what "job killing legislation" is (and please for the love of god do not start with "Obamacare" unless you are seriously prepared to defend such an ignorant GOP talking point).
also you would need to define "lowering tax rates" because this is an extremely general statement.

and repealing minimum wage laws is actually a slippery slope to more welfare. in countries without a minimum wage law (like Germany for instance), citizens who do not earn enough money to support themselves are only further subsidized by the government.

otherwise I'm all for legalizing most drugs as well as prostitution.
with legalization comes taxation and regulation.

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#12

Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:23 AM

el diablo answered all of your points very well, but I feel I have to add this.

QUOTE

Because welfare is taken away as soon as the recipient gets a decent job, many find it is in their own self interest to remain on welfare as opposed to finding employment.

Do you care to show a statistic of exactly how many people do that? Because I'm pretty damn sure that the vast majority of those who are stuck on welfare probably do not want to stay with it forever. Maybe it's .3 percent of the total unemployment rate? I think I'm even overestimating with that.
QUOTE

...lower tax rates

Lowering tax rates for which income groups?

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#13

Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:24 AM Edited by Chunkyman, 17 April 2012 - 04:27 AM.

@ El_Diablo

I admittedly have a rather broad definition of socialism, but I still have moral problems with most programs where the benefits aren't spread evenly for everyone in the population. I'm morally opposed to most government actions in which benefits are concentrated for one group at the expense of everyone (examples are farm subsidies, welfare, corporate bailouts, green energy subsidies, pork-barrel projects, etc.). My definition of socialism (and thus the things I tend to have a moral problem with) are basically what I listed above. There are a few socialist (by my definition) programs that I have no moral problem with, however.

I probably shouldn't have used the term "perverse", because I made it sound like I believed it was immoral to not have a family. I don't think that in the slightest, it was just poor wording on my part.

I bring blacks into the discussion because my knowledge of the welfare state comes from the black economist Walter Williams, who wrote a book about how welfare and other governmental actions has damaged his people's lives. (It's titled The State Against Blacks if you're interested)

How we got by was from disability benefits that my mother received due to having severe epilepsy. This is one of the few social programs I'm okay with, because there is no free market way for the severely disabled to be self-reliant.

You are correct in saying the problem of poverty among minorities is the result of multiple causes, but I still contend that welfare is one of the biggest contributors to disproportional poverty among minorities.

@ Irviding

I would personally lower the capital gains tax rate (preferably down to zero). This would encourage investment, which in turn would stimulate the economy quite nicely.

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#14

Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:08 AM

fair points then.

I'm glad we can debate with civility.

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#15

Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:10 PM

QUOTE
I would personally lower the capital gains tax rate (preferably down to zero). This would encourage investment, which in turn would stimulate the economy quite nicely.


I agree to a point on this. I believe capital gains should stay low, not done away with completely; however, I believe if your making a large amount of income thru capital gains, it should be taxed at a higher rate. For example, if you make over 50K/year thru capital gains you pay at the same rate as income tax. This would help middle class Americans saving for their own retirement yet it would also keep the wealthier classes from sheltering themselves from high taxes via capital gains.

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#16

Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:28 PM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 23:24)
@ El_Diablo

I admittedly have a rather broad definition of socialism, but I still have moral problems with most programs where the benefits aren't spread evenly for everyone in the population. I'm morally opposed to most government actions in which benefits are concentrated for one group at the expense of everyone (examples are farm subsidies, welfare, corporate bailouts, green energy subsidies, pork-barrel projects, etc.). My definition of socialism (and thus the things I tend to have a moral problem with) are basically what I listed above. There are a few socialist (by my definition) programs that I have no moral problem with, however.

I probably shouldn't have used the term "perverse", because I made it sound like I believed it was immoral to not have a family. I don't think that in the slightest, it was just poor wording on my part.

I bring blacks into the discussion because my knowledge of the welfare state comes from the black economist Walter Williams, who wrote a book about how welfare and other governmental actions has damaged his people's lives. (It's titled The State Against Blacks if you're interested)

How we got by was from disability benefits that my mother received due to having severe epilepsy. This is one of the few social programs I'm okay with, because there is no free market way for the severely disabled to be self-reliant.

You are correct in saying the problem of poverty among minorities is the result of multiple causes, but I still contend that welfare is one of the biggest contributors to disproportional poverty among minorities.

@ Irviding

I would personally lower the capital gains tax rate (preferably down to zero). This would encourage investment, which in turn would stimulate the economy quite nicely.

How do you figure that the wealthy will invest so much more prominently if capital gains tax is lower though? In one of my eco classes yesterday, a guest lecturer who used to work at Treasury under Reagan came in and basically said that capital gains can be raised probably another 10 percent and would not stifle investment whatsoever. Say you are Mitt Romney and I am Warren Buffet. Are the two of us going to stop investing and just erase our whole stock portfolio because the government slightly raises the tax rate on our investments? I don't think so. Would lowering it increase investment? I don't know about that. Reaganomics, while I'm not going to use the typical hyperbolic left wing talking point that they were a failure, simply did not accomplish what they set out to do. The incomes of the wealthiest shot up drastically, while the incomes of the middle class stagnated. Investing in corporations does not do anything to help the middle class or the poor dramatically, and in fact, I don't believe that it does much to increase GDP growth either.

As for your comments about poor people and welfare causing it -

When Newt came into congress in 94 with his Republican Revolution, and passed the 96 welfare reform bill (since the prevailing thought was that welfare caused poverty), welfare recipients dropped by a whopping 60%. Is that good? Not so much, considering if welfare were truly the thing holding poor people back from getting jobs and rising out of poverty, it didn't do much of anything to help it. Shouldn't there have been a massive exodus of poor people onto the job market?? Nope, I don't know the number off the top of my head but I believe from after that bill passed until before the recession in 08, the poverty rate dropped by a little less than 4-5%. Why didn't the poverty rate drop completely because of gutting welfare? Refer to this chart -


user posted image

As you can see on the chart, poverty went down in the 90s, but it had already been going down prior to the bill passing, and infact after the bill passed it did continue to go down, but then it just started rising back up again. So your main argument here simply goes out the window - there is simply no evidence that poverty is caused by welfare. It just doesn't make sense.

I recall you say you're a history major, so you must've had to take at least one eco or hell even a sociology class. You should then know that most people are poor for two reasons: (1) there is a chronic lack of jobs, and (2) many low-level jobs pay wages below the poverty level. If you can’t get a job, your chances of being poor are quite high. Unemployment in the US, even during times of prosperity, doesn't really go much lower than 5%. For this economy to have full employment, we'd need to be around 2%. Poor people have bad jobs too. There simply do not exist enough great well paying jobs to take people out of poverty. Poor people are already working. I read one statistic of the late 90s, during prosperity, when still 1/3 people were earning less than 10 bucks an hour. If we got rid of welfare, how the hell would that help? Putting more people on the streets and taking away government subsidies that help these people who can barely get by, well, get by?

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#17

Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:29 AM

@ Irviding

A lower capital gains tax doesn't just affect the portfolios of the mega-rich, it helps the millions of middle class people who have some sort of stake in the stock (or other) market. By allowing them to keep a greater percentage of the money they make through investments, it gives them an increase in the amount of money they have, boosting their standard of living. For instance, my Aunt has a part of her retirement plan in various stocks and mutual funds. The less money she pays in capital gains taxes, the more she has available to spend in retirement. This alone is a pretty good justification for lowering the capital gains tax because it has a direct benefit to the millions of people who would see an increase in their purchasing power.

What do you mean that investing in corporations doesn't help the poor or middle class much? It can help them have a nicer retirement and they can sometimes (depending on the stock) receive dividends that supplement their current wages.

I agree that a lack of good paying jobs is holding class mobility back, but I think that's a result of all of the regulations falling disproportionally hard on small businesses and aspiring businessman. Some examples are insane occupational licensing laws (taxi medallions, beauticians license, etc.) that prevent poorer people from advancing to higher paying work.

I don't know enough about the 1990's welfare reform to give an informed opinion on that. There are so many variables affecting things that I haven't gotten to investigate yet that I will withhold commenting at this time.



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#18

Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:47 AM

Alright, let me know when you have investigated further.

QUOTE

@ Irviding

A lower capital gains tax doesn't just affect the portfolios of the mega-rich, it helps the millions of middle class people who have some sort of stake in the stock (or other) market. By allowing them to keep a greater percentage of the money they make through investments, it gives them an increase in the amount of money they have, boosting their standard of living. For instance, my Aunt has a part of her retirement plan in various stocks and mutual funds. The less money she pays in capital gains taxes, the more she has available to spend in retirement. This alone is a pretty good justification for lowering the capital gains tax because it has a direct benefit to the millions of people who would see an increase in their purchasing power.

What do you mean that investing in corporations doesn't help the poor or middle class much? It can help them have a nicer retirement and they can sometimes (depending on the stock) receive dividends that supplement their current wages.

I agree that a lack of good paying jobs is holding class mobility back, but I think that's a result of all of the regulations falling disproportionally hard on small businesses and aspiring businessman. Some examples are insane occupational licensing laws (taxi medallions, beauticians license, etc.) that prevent poorer people from advancing to higher paying work.

Then why can't there be different tax rates? Why should your aunt pay 15% on her, say, 2,500 dollars she gets out of the stock market, where a billionaire pays 15% out of the 175 million he earns from the market? It's just plain unfair.

That's not enough justification to allow unrestrained and essentially free of taxation investment, though. It's not as if investing in corporations through the stock market has some kind of trickle down effect.

But those regulations tend to really be at the state level. And furthermore, you didn't bring it up, but I'll mention it regardless, only a little less than 2% of small business owners actually pay the top tax rate, so if it were raised to pre Bush tax cut levels, there would be no "job crippling effect". My wager about that 2% is that it's probably consulting businesses and medical offices that are in that 2%, among other things.


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#19

Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:20 AM Edited by Chunkyman, 18 April 2012 - 01:35 AM.

QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, Apr 18 2012, 00:47)

Then why can't there be different tax rates? Why should your aunt pay 15% on her, say, 2,500 dollars she gets out of the stock market, where a billionaire pays 15% out of the 175 million he earns from the market? It's just plain unfair.

That's not enough justification to allow unrestrained and essentially free of taxation investment, though. It's not as if investing in corporations through the stock market has some kind of trickle down effect.

But those regulations tend to really be at the state level. And furthermore, you didn't bring it up, but I'll mention it regardless, only a little less than 2% of small business owners actually pay the top tax rate, so if it were raised to pre Bush tax cut levels, there would be no "job crippling effect". My wager about that 2% is that it's probably consulting businesses and medical offices that are in that 2%, among other things.

I'd like to note that I despise George Bush (as do 99% of libertarians).

Capital gains taxes right now are slightly progressive (the very, very poor don't have to pay capital gains, which I like), but even then they are way too high (especially for the lower/middle class who make only a little bit off of their investments anyways). Lower/middle class people will soon be paying capital gains tax rates that are going to be 20%! Considering their investment potential is already reduced through inflation and taxes already paid, that extra 20% tax on their meager investments is a kick in the teeth for people who are struggling to get by. It's not like the taxes collected from the lower brackets are that much anyways, so reducing it down to zero wouldn't be a big deficit burden, but it would help the lower/middle class improve their lives through a bigger retirement and/or a larger amount of supplemental income through dividends.


Can we at least agree that a reduction of the capital gains tax rates for the lower income brackets would be beneficial?

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#20

Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:42 AM

QUOTE
I agree that a lack of good paying jobs is holding class mobility back, but I think that's a result of all of the regulations falling disproportionally hard on small businesses and aspiring businessman. Some examples are insane occupational licensing laws (taxi medallions, beauticians license, etc.) that prevent poorer people from advancing to higher paying work.


My (biased) opinion says that to create good paying jobs we need to invest at least moderately if not heavily, in science and tech. Not only does this help us compete in the world economy but new advances in technology and manufacturing can certainly give us an edge.

QUOTE
Can we at least agree that a reduction of the capital gains tax rates for the lower income brackets would be beneficial?


Can't speak for Irviding, but I do agree with this. If your on the lower end of the income spectrum and investing, I believe you should get a nice break in cap gains. However, if your making significantly larger sums thru cap gains, you should be taxed as regular income. More specifically, if you making a decent years wage, this is just for example, around 50K plus I do feel you need to pay tax as income. If your doing that well on cap gains, really, your doing better than the majority of Americans and it isn't going to hurt you to pay the tax. The end result is that these taxers, ideally, go to pay for schools, roads and other needed functions of government. I'm not saying the rich need to pay a higher percentage than the rest of us, but what I do say is that they need to pay at least as much as upper middle class and that lower and lower middle class need a break. This puts money where it's needed the most, giving the rich tax breaks makes no sense, logistically or mathematically.

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#21

Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:50 PM

QUOTE

Capital gains taxes right now are slightly progressive (the very, very poor don't have to pay capital gains, which I like), but even then they are way too high (especially for the lower/middle class who make only a little bit off of their investments anyways). Lower/middle class people will soon be paying capital gains tax rates that are going to be 20%! Considering their investment potential is already reduced through inflation and taxes already paid, that extra 20% tax on their meager investments is a kick in the teeth for people who are struggling to get by. It's not like the taxes collected from the lower brackets are that much anyways, so reducing it down to zero wouldn't be a big deficit burden, but it would help the lower/middle class improve their lives through a bigger retirement and/or a larger amount of supplemental income through dividends.


Can we at least agree that a reduction of the capital gains tax rates for the lower income brackets would be beneficial?

Yes. I can agree with that.

Leftcoast, why shouldn't the very rich pay a higher amount? Say we had a flat tax on EVERYONE at 15%. There is no shared burden there. A poor family earning around 30,000 a year has a whopping 4,500 dollars taken from them, whereas my father who earns slightly over 275,000 dollars, has 41,000 dollars taken from him. How is that fair at all if the poor family bringing in 30k has to make all these sacrifices and hardly afford clothes, and probably can't even pay for a car, where the rich person loses nothing and can still afford tons of luxuries? I'm not saying we shouldn't have an upper class and we should have 99% tax rates on the very wealthy to bring them down to the level of everyone else, but a flat tax is so completely and totally flawed for that reason.

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#22

Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:00 AM

How about a flat tax system with a personal allowance? Say, you pay no tax on the first $20,000 you earn and a flat 17.5% on everything else? That keeps lower incomes out of the tax system entirely, gives middle-income earners a reasonable proportion of their income tax-free and the more you earn, the less the tax-free allowance comprises as part of their income and therefore the more real-World tax they pay. Theoretically, it should help mitigate tax avoidance as it puts everyone on a level playing field and doesn't automatically penalise success.

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#23

Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:31 AM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Thursday, Apr 19 2012, 04:00)
How about a flat tax system with a personal allowance? Say, you pay no tax on the first $20,000 you earn and a flat 17.5% on everything else? That keeps lower incomes out of the tax system entirely, gives middle-income earners a reasonable proportion of their income tax-free and the more you earn, the less the tax-free allowance comprises as part of their income and therefore the more real-World tax they pay. Theoretically, it should help mitigate tax avoidance as it puts everyone on a level playing field and doesn't automatically penalise success.

That falls disproportionately on the middle class though. I really don't see how higher taxes equal penalizing success. It's simple fairness. Everyone should be burdened equally here. The idea you have allows a millionaire to pay the same tac percentage as a middle class family.

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#24

Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:48 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Thursday, Apr 19 2012, 11:31)
QUOTE (sivispacem @ Thursday, Apr 19 2012, 04:00)
How about a flat tax system with a personal allowance? Say, you pay no tax on the first $20,000 you earn and a flat 17.5% on everything else? That keeps lower incomes out of the tax system entirely, gives middle-income earners a reasonable proportion of their income tax-free and the more you earn, the less the tax-free allowance comprises as part of their income and therefore the more real-World tax they pay. Theoretically, it should help mitigate tax avoidance as it puts everyone on a level playing field and doesn't automatically penalise success.

That falls disproportionately on the middle class though. I really don't see how higher taxes equal penalizing success. It's simple fairness. Everyone should be burdened equally here. The idea you have allows a millionaire to pay the same tac percentage as a middle class family.

I suppose it depends where you establiah the boundaries of "upper", "middle" and "lower" class. To "British-ise" the example (and set the tax rate at 15% for ease of calculation), someone on an average income of £26,000 would pay only £400 a year in tax (1.5% of income), with anyone below that being basically exempt. Someone with an income of £75,000 would pay around £3,700 (4.9% of income) and someone on £250,000 would pay around £15,500 (6.2% of income). Of course, you vould remove the personal allowance at a certain point, which would make the final figure closer to £17,000 or 6.8%.

Of course, these are relatively crude figures but the purpose is to demonstrate a well-thought-out flat tax is workable in theory.

In regards to "penalising success", in some ways it does. It's not so much about actual policy as implementation. Take the UK income tax system for example. Those earning £100,000 loose their tax free allowance and therefore end up paying a real real rax rate above the basic tax of higher earners because of it- an individual on £99,000 will take home more money, after tax, as someone on £101,000. How counter intuitive is that? If your an employee whose paid on a comission basis, it's a disincentive to work as hard as you would had this idiotic policy not existed- ergo, penalising productivity.

I'm not saying that a flat income tax system is infallibe, just that it isn't unworkable if the correct provisions are in place. A "sliding scale" of personal allowance set at £15,000 and decreasing, say, 1% every £1000 between £25,000 and £125,000 creates a system where the tax as a proportion of income is based on actual income, rather than arbitrary cliff-edges and class warfare- which, in my view, is all top rates of 50% (as exists in the uk currently) are good for.

Please excuse any errors, I'm posting from my phobe.

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#25

Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:23 PM

QUOTE
Leftcoast, why shouldn't the very rich pay a higher amount?


I'm all for a progressive tax system taxing the rich at a higher percent. At the very least, if you have a flat tax I believe the lower and lower middle class should at least get a break.

QUOTE
In regards to "penalising success", in some ways it does. It's not so much about actual policy as implementation. Take the UK income tax system for example. Those earning £100,000 loose their tax free allowance and therefore end up paying a real real rax rate above the basic tax of higher earners because of it- an individual on £99,000 will take home more money, after tax, as someone on £101,000. How counter intuitive is that? If your an employee whose paid on a comission basis, it's a disincentive to work as hard as you would had this idiotic policy not existed- ergo, penalising productivity.


There will probably always be that point when you get screwed by getting bumped up to the next tax level/bracket. I don't feel that it has to be unfair to those who are successful, the more successful people are still doing much better than the poor. For example; this year I could not write off the interest of my student loans because I now make too much money. It was a bummer for sure, however, I'm still better off with my new salary and not getting the tax break from my student loan interest.

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#26

Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:33 AM

That proposal makes sense and is not unworkable, but unfortunately a big problem with it is that it's not going to bring in enough revenue, at least for a country as big as the United States. The British budget is about a fourth of that of the United States, and I just don't see how a flat tax could ever work here. Even with your idea, in all honesty it is really not fair. There is simply no shared burden there when the wealthiest are practically not hurt at all. As John Marshall said, the power to tax is the power to destroy. We don't need to destroy people, but taxation is necessary and it should put a dent in everyone, not just the poor and lower middle class.

I agree though that 50%+ tax rates are just wrong. I do however think the US needs one more higher tax bracket. Once Obama is reelected and the Bush tax cuts expire and Clinton's 39.6 top rate goes back, I personally believe we should have a 42 or 43% rate on the top-top earners. It's totally unfair that a somewhat affluent middle class family earning say, 250k a year should pay the same tax rate as people raking in 70 million dollars a year.

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#27

Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:16 PM


QUOTE (Mockage @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 15:14)
Poor people (depending on what socio-economic background they're coming from) are lazy and posses a state of mind that entitles them to receive money because of what position they're situated in. That being said, why should we pay our taxes on lazy, inconsiderate people who are simply sitting around at home waiting for the next job to hit them?


I will try to be civilised here.

Do you have a f*cking clue about what you're saying? Do you really think you can throw about this stupid, uneducated prejudice about the unfortunate? Let me tell you, poor people probably do twice as much hard work, and have a damned harder life than you, and for what? Enough money to pay the water bill?

Whilst I'm not denying that certain groups exist out their that take advantage of the welfare system, the simple fact you assume, in your petty argument, that all poor people are "lazy, inconsiderate people" angers me. My mother suffers from M.E., Bi Polar and a few mobility problems, so cannot get a job. But just because she is unemployed, doesn't mean she expects everything to be handed to her on a plate, as certain un-educated people as yourself seem to assume. In fact, I can safely say she works a damn sight harder just to keep the f*cking house than you do. People like you are the most spoilt, advantaged people in society, and you don't even know it.

Have you ever worried about if today is the day you get evicted from your council house for late rent? Have you ever felt that fear of opening the door, in case it's the debt collectors coming to take what measly posessions you have? Or how about having to stay at a relative's house, simply to save paying the electricity bill so you can pay for a close relative's funeral? I doubt it.

Without this welfare money, I'd have been in a care home when I was a child, my Dad would have killed himself with drugs, and my Mum would have either killed herself or currently be locked away in an institution.

Yet there you are, sitting comfortably, actually having enough money to buy that next GTA, yet being so stupid, careless and spoilt to throw prejudice at people to depressed to even care.

You make me sick.



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#28

Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:54 PM

I have to agree with the above, to some extent (though without the same aggression). Voluntary laziness isn't really a product of socio-economic class; it's prevalent across all society, just far better disguised in higher income bands as the nature of individual connections, the inevitable better education and the wealth of family members rather masks it. The wealthier you are, the easier it is to find work, regardless of any other factor. The wealthier you are, the easier it is to scrounge without being on benefits.

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#29

Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:52 AM

This is a case where the few ruin it for the many. The rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard was still cashing welfare checks when he was famous and he stated that is "free money", that is how many people see it. The state of Florida tried to pass a law that made drug screening mandatory to receive state checks. We later found out that only 5% of people on welfare in Florida were using drugs.

That being said, the United States was known around the world as a country where if you work hard, you can achieve your dream, the American Dream. The term "entitlement program" is thrown around a lot when talking about welfare. Nobody in the US is entitled to anything. There are still plenty of jobs that require only a high school diploma, you don't have to have a college degree. If you have a criminal record, its your own fault, I have no sympathy for you, neither should society.

^^ As for your mother, I am sorry to hear that, but at the same time I applaud her attitude. I've never heard of a council house so I assume you're not from the US?

For the record, I support government disability programs, after all its not their fault that they can not work. But I am against welfare and entitlement programs.

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#30

Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:30 AM

QUOTE (thecommander @ Thursday, May 10 2012, 23:52)
This is a case where the few ruin it for the many. The rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard was still cashing welfare checks when he was famous and he stated that is "free money", that is how many people see it. The state of Florida tried to pass a law that made drug screening mandatory to receive state checks. We later found out that only 5% of people on welfare in Florida were using drugs.

That being said, the United States was known around the world as a country where if you work hard, you can achieve your dream, the American Dream. The term "entitlement program" is thrown around a lot when talking about welfare. Nobody in the US is entitled to anything. There are still plenty of jobs that require only a high school diploma, you don't have to have a college degree. If you have a criminal record, its your own fault, I have no sympathy for you, neither should society.

^^ As for your mother, I am sorry to hear that, but at the same time I applaud her attitude. I've never heard of a council house so I assume you're not from the US?

For the record, I support government disability programs, after all its not their fault that they can not work. But I am against welfare and entitlement programs.

Why don't you agree with them though? Your post doesn't really convey any reasons I can try to argue with you on. As for that jobs comment, that's unfortunately very untrue. What about a family of say, a father with a college degree and a mother with a high school diploma. They earned maybe 50 k a year and were living nicely, but the father gets laid off during the recession and now has no money. Should he not get unemployment benefits?

And what's wrong with medicare and social security?




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