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Wednesday, July 15. 2009
This following spreadsheet debacle tote board has earned a lot of Internet ink today. From BizzyBlog:
There's a lot of John Galt talk associated with it, including the title of the BizzyBlog blog entry. I don't care for it. What is understandable is not always commendable. What is predictable is not always to be aquiesced to.
George Bailey's speech during the bank run in It's a Wonderful Life is a darling of the left, but I've never understood why. It's the most conservative thing I've ever heard. I don't hear Marx in there, I hear Hayek: If your money is pooled with an attitude of trust and probity it can be lent out to spur further economic activity and everybody wins, including the bank that holds it and lends it. I'm living in Bizarro Bedford Falls now, and when the bank and its overlords in governance forget the trust and probity part, an army of George Baileys in Armani suits shows up to excoriate the Christmas Club depositors for not always expecting an apocalypse so fervently you're de facto wishing for it.
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Oh wow. Truth in Advertising because it was posted under "Fallacies and Logic." That gave me a good laugh. You can read what I think at my blog. This can be considered a trackback.
The ditch digger with heavy equipment earns more than the ditch digger with a shovel.
The difference is capital.
Capital is extra money.
You want people with extra money, and you want them willing to invest it.
Both of these Obama is destroying.
Roger, what you see as misdirected satisfaction or glee (I guess) at deliberately winding down enterprises that would otherwise go broke if they continued at their pre-recession levels, or would be plundered by the statists if they continued to succeed, I see as a natural response to economic conditions, threats and/or promises.
These people have no "duty" to go bankrupt, and no "duty" to expose their life's work and treasure to the statists while crossing their fingers and hoping that they're not the next ones demonized.
I also sense a belief that you think they're cheating or something on a massive scale. The statists would LOVE to capitalize on that misdirected outlook.
You say that "Poor people pay their FICA. It never changes." Except with the EITC, the Child Tax Credit & the Additional Child Tax Credit [ see Sch 1040A Lines 40a, 33 & 41, respectively], low wage earners recoup some, all or more than all of their FICA taxes. For low wage earners with no income tax liability, the allowed credits result in a tax refund; I've seen returns where the tax refund is more than 20% of the filer's wages. They are not paying 15% in FICA; they are paying a negative FICA.
So what if people want to go "John Galt".
Is that not their right? Do they not have control of their own labor and capital? Are they slaves in a gulag forced to produce so the fruits of their labor can be "spread around" and squandered by people who have never produced anything but hot air and feces?
Is the productive person shackled to what you call the "poor people" (IE the less productive)?
If capital and producers were highly valued, they would not quit. Instead "The Chosen One(s)" treat them like mules in the trace - or a piggy bank - or, even worse, criminals.
Maybe if the poor voted for those that gave them jobsand goods and not those who promised something for nothing and pie in the sky, we would not be in this sad state of affairs.
Going Galt is far from "effete and shiftless". It is a brave, difficult, and rational decision.
"Going Galt" could be considered irresponsible if it's a specific punitive effort to deprive the government or it could be considered a patriotic form of dissent. I can make the case both ways.
We may have a lot more of "circumstantial Galt" going on -- the biggest producers are getting less for their work and automatically paying less. This stems largely from bad tax policy and governmental meddling (of course there are other causes) so naturally the "progressives", being either economically illiterate or in favor of widespread poverty, are enacting more bad policy and higher taxes and meddling.
Trashing the stock market is one of the worst policies a government can follow, so of course the Dems did it. Trashing the stock market reduces tax revenues, interferes with retirement planning and college tuition, cuts down the revenue stream to endowed charities...you get the drift.
My Member of Congress could be more stalwart but he's voting as I wish. My Senators are problems -- one of them is Baucus himself, now revealed as the flaming liberal he disguised for 30+ years. But we have to wait to 2012 to have a crack at either of them.
Look between these parentheses. See it?
The world's smallest violin.
To serenade the poor-me whining of those who "borrowed money to purchase a house whose value was determined by credible third parties, and got creamed."
These stupid/greedy people bought wildly overpriced homes - financed by loans they could barely service in the best of times. Loans they often should/would never have received were it not for statist interference.
Many of these same greedy know-nothings will be first in line to stick their hands out, whining about "fairness" as they take other people's money.
Why should they stint themselves?
I have heard anecdotes but I have not seen valid numbers that a significant amount of the mortgage problem was the use of equity to buy other stuff -- the second mortgage that bought the car or boat or refinanced the credit cards. I did the re-fi to clear my credit cards up, one time, but alas we didn't keep them cleared up. An illusion of wealth may have led to a boom in other purchasing that collapsed onto the homes.
What precisely obligates productive citizens to work extraordinary hours and take financial risks, simply to hand the bulk of the profits over to the government? We may have planned to expand our markets and add employees, but if, in return for the risk, we are punished with higher taxes and regulations governing the new benefits that we are required to provide, why bother? Business growth and work are not ends in themselves and when the benefit derived from them is confiscated, we can find plenty of other uses for our time and money. We are not servants of politicians or the government.
The graph above says more about the fallacy of basing a taxing system on a highly progressive income tax - ie, the California syndrome, rather the effect of "Going Galt". High income earnings are volatile, depending on things like good stock market returns, that cannot always be counted on.
The author asks what the lower income earners are getting from their 15% FICA taxation, and the answer is obvious - they are getting Social Security and Medicare. Why should someone other than the person receiving the benefits have to pay the cost of them? Perhaps the author thinks that lower income workers should have everything handed to them on a platter at no cost to them. If that is the case, then I will have to disagree. The oldest law in the land is "you don't value what you don't pay for".
Had lunch with my boss today. She does well and her husband does considerably better. She flatly stated that if their income is taxed at 45%, she's resigning. It just would not be worth paying for daycare, commuting expenses, business clothes, etc...
The fact that half her money is being flushed down the financial black hole that is the federal budget is infuriating.
Maybe it's necessary, maybe it's petty and spiteful - either way, I agree with her. Big government can go to hell.
The burden of the economy-killing progressive tax system is falling on the bottom half of income-earners, the very ones who consistently vote for it? Maybe they should stop voting for it. Maybe the solution is for them to stop using their larger numbers to confiscate a larger and larger percentage of the income of a minority of taxpayers. If the fact that it was unfair to the minority was not enough, maybe it will finally be enough that the policy doesn't even benefit the majority.
Maybe the solution is not for the productive minority to immolate themselves so the looters can hide from reality.