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#152 Feb 06 2020 at 8:18 AM Rating: Good
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You're a civilian now?
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#153 Feb 07 2020 at 3:22 PM Rating: Good
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For a party that wants to win back executive power over the nation, you'd think Democrats could figure out how to count votes in Iowa. What a debacle.

"But Demea, that's just the Iowa Democratic Party, not the DNC!"

Who do you think pushed that completely useless app on the IDP? I suppose if you were smart enough to work on Hillary's 2016 campaign (she won the popular vote!), you're smart enough to pocket a few million bucks in exchange for a product that any adderal-snorting computer science major could have cranked out over a weekend.

The various "they just didn't want Bernie to win Iowa!" conspiracy theories are wonderful, but I think Hanlon's razor applies better here.
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#154 Feb 10 2020 at 9:25 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
You're a civilian now?
3,659 hours until, not that I'm counting.
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#155 Feb 10 2020 at 11:36 AM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Elinda wrote:
You're a civilian now?
3,659 hours until, not that I'm counting.
That's still many days - without resorting to actual calculations, I'm thinking 1/2 year yet. A lot can happen in that time.

My sister (my go-to 'average democrat') who had been supporting Buttigieg is now thinking about throwing her support behind Bloomberg. I just can't help thinking Bloomberg is just a milder, nicer trump.

I'm sort of dumbfounded that the candidate list so quickly devolved into yet another list of egotistical white guys. Yes, Amy and Liz are still in the fight, but imo, not really being treated as viable candidates.
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#156 Feb 10 2020 at 2:18 PM Rating: Decent
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Demea wrote:
For a party that wants to win back executive power over the nation, you'd think Democrats could figure out how to count votes in Iowa. What a debacle.

"But Demea, that's just the Iowa Democratic Party, not the DNC!"

Who do you think pushed that completely useless app on the IDP? I suppose if you were smart enough to work on Hillary's 2016 campaign (she won the popular vote!), you're smart enough to pocket a few million bucks in exchange for a product that any adderal-snorting computer science major could have cranked out over a weekend.

The various "they just didn't want Bernie to win Iowa!" conspiracy theories are wonderful, but I think Hanlon's razor applies better here.


I found it funny when all the pundits were tossing out all these conspiracy theories about who made the app, what motivation was here, there, etc. I'm not discounting the possibility of some sort of nefariousness or whatever, but sometimes the easy/obvious explanation is the most likely. Anyone actually been to a primary polling/caucus place? Ever noticed the ratio of white haired people in the room who have likely been volunterring for said stuff since like the 60s or something?

The flaw wasn't with the app, but with the failure to understand who was going to be using it. The folks most likely to be the chairs at these precints are likely to be the oldest and most senior folks in the organization. And therefore the least likely to have a clue how to use a smartphone, let alone download an app, let alone use it properly. They tossed this thing out there, just a week before the caucus, assuming that the chairs would just download it likity split and everything would run smoothy. They removed the folks who would normally be answering the phones to take the numbercs cause... hey... we've got an app for that, right?

The result was predictable. Most of the reports weren't that the app didn't work, but that people "couldn't download/install it" which I suspect wasn't tech failure but pebkac. The old folks just looked at the app, decided that was too complicated and that they'd just call in the numbers "just like we've always done" (think how your mom would manage this situation, right?). The result was hours of being on hold, unable to get the results in. Shocking!

It still never ceases to amaze me how many people work in tech fields but have no concept of applying human factors to what they are doing. Would have helped here.
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#157 Feb 10 2020 at 3:20 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
Universal healthcare will cost our government. Ergo it will cost the taxpayer. But doing nothing - continuing to let the industry run our healthcare system will only cause us to continue to see healthcare costs soar into ridiculousness, and our actual healthcare procedures driven by profit. Not only will the middle class will continue it's decline into poverty - our communities will get sicker, addictions will continue and all those data points - life expectancy, infant mortality, death by drugs/suicide, will continue to worsen.


I disagree. At least with the whole "let the industry run our healthcare system". Assuming you mean the "for profit" parts and not the "regulated mandates from the government" parts. I think the problem isn't that we don't have enough government control over healthcare, but that we already have too much. Without getting into the details here, between the private market and the government, one of these is very very good at bringing the highest quality goods and services to consumers at the lowest price possible, and the other... isn't.

Whenever someone makes this kind of broad "we need the government to do things, because the for profit folks will price things out of affordability!" argument, I always do a simple substituation. Ask this question: Why doesn't a loaf of bread cost $100? There's no government law or regulation preventing them from rising the cost to that level? So why doesn't it?

Answer that, and really understand the answer, and you'll have a better ability to accurately assess how a free market medical system might work. If we had something actually like that. Which we don't.

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The last financial work up I saw (pre-election interference) estimated an individual cost just under $5.00/month/person requiring an employer match of about the same.


Where did you read that? What did that include? That seems ridiculously low, even with a fast first brush look. Assumiing we're talking about all people regardless of age or employment, that's about 330 million people in the US. Multiplied by $5, then 12 months, then doubled to include the employer match (despite that we're not just counting people employed, but whatever... I'm getting a "highest cost" calculation here), we end up with just under $40 Billion dollars a year.

Um... Medicare alone costs the Federal government $580something Billion dollars a year. That's not including any cost paid by state medical systems, nor what is currently ponied up by people paying for their own healthcare. First glance this number is not remotely close. It's at least an order of magnitude short. At least. I don't know where you got that number, but it can't possibly be remotely close to what this would cost.

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There's no way to get out of the healthcare disaster we're in without putting up some bucks and it will be ALL tax-payers shouldering the burden, not just the rich.


As Demea said, that's the problem though. The Dems do everything in their power to make this a "Rich vs Poor" argument, and instead of trying to come up with a reasonable viable alternative, just use the issue to get people "on their side" by making it seem like they'll give them free medical care paid for by "someone else". I'll put on my conservative tinfoil hat here and point out that it's yet another issue where the Dems love to run on said issue, but appear to have not actual desire to ever implement anything that might be a real solution because then they'd lose the issue and potentially lose the voters they're gaining by running on said issue.

It's an innate problem with a party that has aligned itself with people who feel poor, downtroden, abused, discriminated against, etc. They have a vested interest in making sure as many people as possible stay in those conditions cause that's the only way to grow/maintain their voting base.

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The big 'but' here is if some genius is actually able to get this country's healthcare on track while also softening the fall of the health insurance industry, costs should drop dramatically and all should see less money going towards bogus healthcare.


Yeah. That would be great. I place about zero percent chance of that ever happening via more and more government control over said industry though. I agree with the whole issue with the health insurance industry, but in the opposite direction. I don't think that simply making the government the payer/insurer is the right direction. I think it's the wrong direction, in fact. I think the problem is that we over insure health care. Insurance should only be used for things that are rare and unafordably expensive. So major medical expensese make sense. You fall out of a tree and break your leg? Covered. You develop cancer requiring expensive treatment and hostpital stays? Covered. Your regular monthly perscription costs? Should not be covered. Once or twice a year check up? Not covered. These are things that could be paid for out of pocket, and if they were paid for out of people's pockets, the market would force prices to reduce to what people could afford out of pocket (that's the whole "cost of bread" analogy I mentioned earlier).

That would significantly reduce the regular yearly cost of health care in this country, while still covering the rare and expensive stuff when and if they happen. And it would make the cost of that insurance far more affordable because we aren't lumping in all these other costs into the system. Costs which are always going to be more than what is recieved even in a non-profit insurance mode, just to cover the overhead for the fact that we're going through a middlman for the costs themselves. Its' a nonsensical way of doin this. Yet, we've done it ever since the HMO act was passed back in the mid 70s.

Not sure if that qualifies as a genius idea, but that's how I think we should be changing things.
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#158 Feb 10 2020 at 4:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
It's an innate problem with a party that has aligned itself with people who feel poor, downtroden, abused, discriminated against, etc. They have a vested interest in making sure as many people as possible stay in those conditions cause that's the only way to grow/maintain their voting base.
Wow. that's pretty cynical, even for you.

Here's a crazy theory: The Democratic party succeeds in taking care of these peoples needs and STILL retain their voterbase.

Point #2: These folks don't feel "poor, downtroden, abused, discriminated against, etc" They are.

c: You misspelled *downtrodden* Smiley: schooled
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#159 Feb 10 2020 at 8:06 PM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
My sister (my go-to 'average democrat') who had been supporting Buttigieg is now thinking about throwing her support behind Bloomberg. I just can't help thinking Bloomberg is just a milder, nicer trump.

I don't think I could ever lend support to Mike "I Tried To Ban Large Sodas" Bloomberg, but he at least has an established record in executive office over a large, diverse, metropolitan city. Mayor Pete governs a corn patch by comparison.

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I'm sort of dumbfounded that the candidate list so quickly devolved into yet another list of egotistical white guys.

It's not very surprising if you look at the actual records of the non-white candidates who have dropped out.

Kamala Harris was a hard-line public prosecutor who slept her way into public life, supported a law that would have sent parents to jail for their kids' school truancy, and zealously fought the War on Drugs, then tried to recreate herself as the Progressive Hero of the Downtrodden. It was clearly disingenuous and voters knew it.

Cory Booker has the executive experience and some interesting policy stances for a mainstream Democrat (he was a staunch advocate for charter schools before he abandoned that while seeking the nomination), but he's single (nobody trusts a single dude in his 40's, Rosario Dawson notwithstanding), and he's actually pretty bad at the publicity part of politics (his "Spartacus Moment" was one of several embarrassing self-owns).

Andrew Yang is technically still in the race? Honestly, he'd play a great president on a futuristic sci-fi dystopia show (robots took your jobs!), but he's running for VP at this point.

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Yes, Amy and Liz are still in the fight, but imo, not really being treated as viable candidates.

I think Warren is probably more electable because she's more well known, but Klobuchar is making something of a surge in polls since Iowa and the debate last week. I wouldn't count either of them out just yet. Plus, I'm about 80% confident that at least one member of the Democratic ticket will be a woman, so there's always Biden's VP.
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#160 Feb 10 2020 at 8:22 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
it's yet another issue where the Dems love to run on said issue, but appear to have not actual desire to ever implement anything that might be a real solution because then they'd lose the issue and potentially lose the voters they're gaining by running on said issue.

Except for that one time only a decade ago when they did run on it, and then implemented a massive change in a genuine attempt to address the issue. I mean, I thought the ACA was poorly conceived and even more poorly implemented, but you can't say with a straight face that Democrats haven't tried anything. It's fair to say they suffered the electoral consequences for Obamacare; they lost control of the House in the 2010 midterms and only just regained control in 2018, and still don't control the Senate. But that's also why they haven't passed any healthcare-related legislation since then - they literally can't.

As an aside, attempting to attribute nefarious motives to a party that functionally can't do anything about it is amateur psychoanalysis at best, and an overall shitty look my dude.
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#161 Feb 10 2020 at 8:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It's an innate problem with a party that has aligned itself with people who feel poor, downtroden, abused, discriminated against, etc. They have a vested interest in making sure as many people as possible stay in those conditions cause that's the only way to grow/maintain their voting base.
Wow. that's pretty cynical, even for you.


It is cynical. Sadly, the more I watch how the Dems operate, the more this appears to be the truth. I'd really like to think it's not. I'd like to believe that they really really do want to help people succeed and be happy, healthy, etc. Heck. I think that most rank and file Democrats *do* believe this. But the folks running the show have convinced them that the way to achieve those results is via a methodology (socialism) that just wont ever actually achieve this. So maybe it's a case of best intentions gone wrong. Maybe.

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Here's a crazy theory: The Democratic party succeeds in taking care of these peoples needs and STILL retain their voterbase.


Sure. But did you notice that even your own language indicates a lack of desire to actually resolve the base conditions of need among those they are targetting. You said "...succeeds in taking care of these people's needs...". Think about the implication of that statement. You're not pulling people out of a state of needing someone else to take care of them. You're just "taking care" of them. That goal only works if your assumption is that the people you are targetting with this will always remain in a condition in which they need the Democrats and their policies to take care of them.

Those of us on the other side of the political spectrum would prefer to make things so that fewer people are in that position of need in the first place. And I'll pull out my inner cynic and speculate that *this* is what the Dems really oppose. Because every person that the GOP lifts out of poverty via increased job growth and upward mobility is a person who doesn't need welfare anymore, may not need government subsidized health care anymore, doesn't need help from the government in general, and thus may just be someone who won't see a reason to vote for the party promising to help them with those things they no longer need.

Cynical? Yup. Because you can certainly obtain that goal you mentioned, but only as long as the Dems only succeeding in "taking care of people's needs", meaning that those people are still dependent on that in order to get by. Of course those people will tend to continue to vote Democrat. But that more or less supports my cynical position. Would the Democrats really want poverty rates to plummet, and the number of people unable to obtain health insurance via employment to plummet, and well, everything else we've talked about as well?

I don't think so. So yeah, they might just want to keep folks in that state. And they might do this by intentionally pushing for policies that are doomed to fail, but that they can still claim is them "fighting for <insert needy group here>.

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Point #2: These folks don't feel "poor, downtroden, abused, discriminated against, etc" They are.


I just didn't want to leave a condition out of my statement. Obviously people who actually are those things are going to feel like they are those things. But we have to also entertain the possibility that there are some people who aren't actually one or all of those things, but feel that they are. Only one of the four things I listed explicitly can be measured objectively. Surely we can agree that there are cases of people claiming abuse or discrimination when none actually occurred. Ergo, some people may just "feel" that this is happening, but the reality might not be the same.

And given the sheer amount of effort the folks on the left go to to "educate" people about these things, I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that this might just have an impact on how people perceive them. Even if we're talking about degrees, there does seem to be a constant drumbeat from the left telling people just how bad things are, all the time, regardless of actual conditions. Heck. Just read the transcript to the SOTU rebuttle speach last week. I kept thinking the whole time that she was re-hashing some stock Dem talking points from 3-4 years earlier. Um... Economy that only benefits the 1% at the expense of the working class? Did she not get the memo that economic growth has been faster for the bottom quartile than for any other group? Why repeat that talking point when it's demonstrably, objectively, false? Could it be because she just wants people who are working class to "think" they are doing worse or being left behind in the Trump economy? Why? So that they "feel" poor? Or "feel" downtrodden?

Sure seems that way to me. Now maybe it's not working, but the Dems certainly are *trying*. Which is kinda the point.

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c: You misspelled *downtrodden* Smiley: schooled


Hey. I used to have a web browser that had some kind of fancy spell checker thingie (or at least let you know if something might be mispelled). Seems to have disappeared somewhere along the line.

I blame the IT department.
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#162 Feb 10 2020 at 8:49 PM Rating: Decent
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Demea wrote:
gbaji wrote:
it's yet another issue where the Dems love to run on said issue, but appear to have not actual desire to ever implement anything that might be a real solution because then they'd lose the issue and potentially lose the voters they're gaining by running on said issue.

Except for that one time only a decade ago when they did run on it, and then implemented a massive change in a genuine attempt to address the issue. I mean, I thought the ACA was poorly conceived and even more poorly implemented, but you can't say with a straight face that Democrats haven't tried anything.


I didn't say that they haven't (or wouldn't) try anything. I said that they would not "implement anything that might be a real solution". The ACA, at no point, and in no form, had any chance of doing anything other than making health insurance actually cost more. They literally took the current system, with all the problems inherent in it, and instead of reforming it in any meaningful way, just mandated that everyone buy into it. That's... insane. So health insurance costs too much because greedy people are greedy or whatever, so our solution is to make more people buy health insurance? Um... what? Who thought that was a great idea?

And the only thing that could be called a "reform" is that they... wait for it... mandated more things must be covered. This is like responding to complaints that cars are too expensive for most people to afford by passing legislation that mandates that everyone must buy a new car at least once every 5 years, and that all cars must have additional features that used to be options. But that's ok. We'll somehow bring costs down by... volume? Something?

Oh wait! It gets worse! We'll make up for the fact that some people can't afford to buy cars by having the government pay for the cars for those that can't afford them. Yeah. So let me get this straight. I can now sell nothing but the top option packages on my cars, and you're going to guarantee that everyone has to buy them, and if they can't afford it, you'll pay for it for them? Wowzie! That's like the greatest deal for greedy car manufactures and retailers ever!

The ACA was not designed at all to make health more affordable. It was designed to make it less affordable. Precisely so they could then continue to run on how horrible health care was, and how much better it would be if we just went to a single payer system or some other form of fully socialized medicine.

What part of "intentionally making people victims of the current system in order to win votes" did you not get in that?

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It's fair to say they suffered the electoral consequences for Obamacare; they lost control of the House in the 2010 midterms and only just regained control in 2018, and still don't control the Senate. But that's also why they haven't passed any healthcare-related legislation since then - they literally can't.


Because they screwed up the one time they had power so badly that the people haven't given it back to them. But that doesn't stop them from running on the same "give us power and we'll fix health care!" claim. Cause they fixed it so well the last time, right?

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As an aside, attempting to attribute nefarious motives to a party that functionally can't do anything about it is amateur psychoanalysis at best, and an overall shitty look my dude.


When they can functionally do things, it's kinda instructive to look at what they do. And that has never been "fix health care", or "end racial division", or "end sexism in the workplace". It has, on the other hand, quite consistently been "make people more aware how bad healthcare it", and "educate people on the evils of racim", and "raise awareness of sexism in the workplace". That's all they seem to do. Spend tons of money teaching people how bad things are, then running on those things politically, but never actually seeming to put a dent in the problems they started out talking about.

Ironically, as obnoxious as Trump is, he's done more to reduce racial differences and sexual inequality, in just a few years than the Dems have done in decades with their bleeding heart agenda. And he did it in the very simple way that conservatives like myself have been saying it should be done for a very long time. Just make the economy so successful, so open, so capable, that it becomes a labor powerful job market, and groups that have historically been left out will join in. And once in, and represented, they are less likely to be left out in the future. We keep this up for a generation and we might just see an end to a lot of the social ills that have been plagueing us for so long.

Imagine if we see just one generation of African american kids born into middle class homes at the same rate as white kids? Wouldn't that be something? And nothing the Democrats have been trying to do for the last 60 years or so has done that, or ever can do that. Again, their entire ideological approach seem to be to accept that the problem exists, and use it for political purposes. The literally run every single election on "vote for us because we're going to help you while the GOP won't". Imagine a world where there are no groups that this methodology actually work on because there are no identifiable groups that are statistically more poor then any other?

I'd love to live in that world. Wouldn't you? And I just don't see us getting there following the Democrats plan.
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#163 Feb 10 2020 at 11:28 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Just make the economy so successful, so open, so capable, that it becomes a labor powerful job market.


SOME THOUGHTS ON HOW CREATE SUCH AN ECONOMY.

1. Universal heath care so you have healthy population.

2. Pay for college for people who can't afford it (and qualify). An educated citizen is a productive, innovative, useful citizen.

3. US companies must return production the the US and/or pay HEFTY fees for keeping those jobs offshore.

4. EVERYBODY pays taxes on all their income. EVERYONE pays into Medicare (or, preferably the Universal setup) at the same % of total income.

5. Businesses pay a straight tax on gross income, again, with no deductions/other bullshyte. No offshore banking for ANY US citizen.

Just as an aside, change the law so any financial crime like we've seen lately, say for instance the Trump Uni fiasco or insider trading, that sort of thing ALWAYS falls under the RICO act and as such ALL assets of the guilty are forfeited PERMENANTY, along with prison time to be spent in the STATE prison system and not some Federal "prison".

Edited, Feb 10th 2020 10:31pm by Bijou
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#164 Feb 11 2020 at 9:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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I don't think I could ever lend support to Mike "I Tried To Ban Large Sodas" Bloomberg,
You live in a world that people insisted they'd never support Donald "I Sold Steaks in a Magazine" Trump, so consider the possibility.
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#165 Feb 11 2020 at 4:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Just make the economy so successful, so open, so capable, that it becomes a labor powerful job market.


SOME THOUGHTS ON HOW CREATE SUCH AN ECONOMY.

1. Universal heath care so you have healthy population.


This is a chicken and egg problem though. If you have a robust labor empowered job market, then providing health care becomes a value positive thing for employers across the board, and labor has the power to demand it. If you don't, then to the degree that employers wont see it as valuable (they can replace labor that becomes sick easily), then it *also* becomes a cost loser in terms of public funding via taxation. Again, assuming we're talking about economic impacts here.

There's also the factor that benefits (including health benefits) from an employer act as an incentive for workers to strive for more productive jobs, which means a bigger and faster growing economy (again, we're talking about the economy here, right?). Giving people free health care for sitting on a couch doing nothing is economically negative, not positive.

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2. Pay for college for people who can't afford it (and qualify). An educated citizen is a productive, innovative, useful citizen.


This is a can of worms all the way around. If we again stick to what creates a healthy economy, this only works if the education is in areas that are actually in demand in the workplace and which are productive to a degree which justifies the cost. So if we go this route, we should restrict it to degrees that are actually needed and deemed to be economically valuable. Er... But the last thing I want is the government making this decision (and I suspect you don't really want it either). So I think it's a bad idea. I would be much more in favor of encouraging companies to create more scholarships, specifically for fields that apply to their workforce needs.

Heck. Why not have companies do something like apprentiship programs where they hire young people out of high school, have them work part time, and also pay for college education at the same time? You get real work experience, and get classroom instruction, while obtaining a userful education which you know will ensure gainfull employment. As opposed to right now where a scary high percentage of college kids get out and find that the degree they chose has little or no demand in the workforce, so they are at best working somewhere that doesn't use their field of study (relying on just having a degree to get them in the door), or still sitting around asking folks if they want fries with that, with a useless piece of paper gathering dust.

There are a number of ways to approach this that isn't just "pay for kids to go to college". Again, we're focusing on what might create or sustain a healthy economy. Spending money on things with no connection to whether those things result in a more productive workforce is unlikely to create that desired result.

I'm going to swap the order a bit here to make more sense:

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4. EVERYBODY pays taxes on all their income. EVERYONE pays into Medicare (or, preferably the Universal setup) at the same % of total income.


Are you arguing that everyone should pay the same rate for all taxes on everything? I'd actually be fine with a flat tax across the board. I suspect you don't actually want say a flat 10% tax on all income earned, with no deductions (but it's unclear from your post). What I keep seeing is Democrats wanting the same progressive tax rates on income, with tons of deductions and exemptions which benefit lower income people, while heaping higher taxes on "the rich", reducing deductions where possible, and then also removing the income limit on payroll taxes. Which is just a way of saying "tax them more and not me".

It's a bit unfair to say "EVERYONE", when you really mean "THEM". Again, I'm inferring from your post, but at least the second part only results in changes to taxes for folks earning more than $132k/year. So that's not really "EVERYONE" at all, right? Unless you're ok with putting the same "flat rate on every dollar earned" for income taxes, then this isn't about fair taxes for everyone.

And that's again missing out on the whole "healthy economy" bit. Taxes don't grow the economy. Money left in the investment portion of the private enterprises does. That's *exactly* what you are targetting with this. So it would have a negative effect on economic growth, job creation, upward mobility, etc.


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3. US companies must return production the the US and/or pay HEFTY fees for keeping those jobs offshore.

5. Businesses pay a straight tax on gross income, again, with no deductions/other bullshyte. No offshore banking for ANY US citizen.


This is the same "stick and stick" approach Obama tried. It failed. Badly. You have to reward companies for doing business in the US, and hiring in the US. Saying "we're going to tax you more for business you do here *and* we're going to tax you even more more if you do business offshore" is a great way to get businesses to just move their headquarters out of the US and then you lose 100% of the potential tax revenue.

Also. I thought we were trying to create a healthy economy. I'll point out again that the government is not the economy. Increasing the taxes the government collects does not make our economy "bigger" in any way. It's strange that some people seem to think this for some reason. The economy is made up of private citizens runnning their own businesses, making things that people will buy, and paying people to work for them doing this. That's about productivity, not taxation. Taxes don't build anything. They just take away from the economy.

This was demonstrated, massively, when all it took was Trump removing the Obama era regulations to cause the economy to boom. Funny how that works.

I'll also point out that you're putting some strange language in there. I'm not sure if you just don't know how businesses (much less corporations) work, but you can't say something like "straight tax on gross income, again, with no deductions". Um... The biggest "deduction" businesses take are their business expenses. You said "gross income", not "net income". Net income is gross income minus expenses. Taxing gross income would bankrupt pretty much every business almost imediately. Many businesses (especially retail) have 5% or less net to gross ratio (meaning that they only keep about 5 cents for every dollar in gross income they make after expenses).

I'm assuming you didn't actually mean what you literally said. But it's worth pointing out. This gets doubly strange when you deal with corporations instead of privately owned businesses, since corporations technically can always put any earnings into additional expenses unless they actually disperse those earnings as dividends to their shareholders (or take as profits which may in turn increase share price). There's no single owner of a corporation into whom's pocket all profits go, and to whom you can simply apply taxes. Things that seem really simple and clear when shouting them in a protest line, or writing them on a bumper sticker, are not really that clear or simple at all.

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Just as an aside, change the law so any financial crime like we've seen lately, say for instance the Trump Uni fiasco or insider trading, that sort of thing ALWAYS falls under the RICO act and as such ALL assets of the guilty are forfeited PERMENANTY, along with prison time to be spent in the STATE prison system and not some Federal "prison".


Is this because you really think this is a good idea (in general much less from an economic point of view)? Or is this more about targetting one specific person you don't like? Cause if it's the latter that's a terrible reason to change laws. Setting that aside, the RICO requirements are high specifically because the penalties are significantly greater *and* the burden of proof once in a trial are lower. Applying RiCO penalties (higher penalties even) to cases that aren't atual cases of racketeering (just the run of the mill schemes) would be harmful I think.

On the flip side, I do agree with you that these "get rich quick!" schemes are obnoxious and are more about milking money from their customers than helping them actually get rich themselves. But that's always the nature of a free market. Buyer beware is a good concept. If something seems to good to be true, it probably is. The problem with cases like this is that some people will take those seminars and classes and actually make money based on what they learned. But those people likely are of a mindset and personality type that would do well in sales, real estate, or whatever anyway. Those who are not, will not do well, and will feel like they got ripped off. This makes it tricky to determine if something actually is a scam or not. I'd certainly not want to automatically apply RICO to them just on what is likely a very subjective opinion of a business model that many of us (me included) find to be slimy even when it is legitimately operated and intended.

Everyone does hard sells. What do you want to do? Put everyone who calls you up and tries to sell you a time share in jail and make them forfeit all earnings they've ever made? Seems a bit harsh. How about the person in the mall who walks up to you and encourages you to come to their kiosk and look at whatever thing they are selling. Same deal right? Probably junk you don't want or need. Heck. Let's not get started on the folks manning the stalls at state fairs...

Back to the economic angle, you'd probably hurt more business than help it with this idea. There needs to be a cautious balance between passing laws that protect consumers and creating regulations and laws that hamper businesses so much that they don't dare engage in certain types of business out of fear of running afoul of those same laws and regulations. Heck. Just having so many can prevent some businesses from starting up in the first place. You can violate some law you didn't know existed simply because you couldn't afford the big bucks to hire a team of attorneys to advise you. And the second you do something crazy like try to sell your little businesses goods over the internet, and therefore accross state lines, your likelihood of violating some law, somewhere significantly increases. All of that acts to ****** business creation and growth.
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#166 Feb 11 2020 at 6:07 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Democrats didn't implement the solutions I support, so it didn't count as trying.

Uh-huh.

Friar Bijou wrote:
3. US companies must return production the the US and/or pay HEFTY fees for keeping those jobs offshore.

Ever heard of the term "reverse acquisition"? This is a great way to drive more companies offshore.

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5. Businesses pay a straight tax on gross income, again, with no deductions/other bullshyte.

Deductions are (ostensibly) designed to encourage long-term investment. In a business and investment environment already too concerned with short-term profits, this is a great way to make things worse.

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No offshore banking for ANY US citizen.

On penalty of ... what? Are we going to strip citizenship from anyone who has money outside the US banking system? That seems awfully harsh, and if your real goal is to reduce tax evasion, there are tons of better ways to do that.
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#167 Feb 12 2020 at 2:33 PM Rating: Decent
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Demea wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Democrats didn't implement the solutions I support, so it didn't count as trying.

Uh-huh.


Sure. I suppose the difference here is that I can (and do) make actual arguments detailing the way the solution I don't support wont work. We can then sit back and observer, when said solution I don't support is implemented anyway, and assess whether my predictions of the way it would fail actually occurs.

In the case of the ACA, my predictions in terms of cost and economic impact have been pretty darn accurate. And yes, I'll get that the liberals will shout that the GOP somehow blocked correct implementation, poisoned the well, deliberately sabotaged it, etc to make it fail. Whatever. But at the end of the day, well before the GOP had any power to do any of those things, the Obama administration was already having to put lists of exceptions for a number of the ACA requirements due to the fact that they would put undue burden on many small businesses. They knew that the act they passed was broken, but they went forward with it anyway.

And that's ignoring the social issues like the endless promises that religious organizations would never ever ver be required to purchase health insurance that provided birth control or abortion payments. Yet, here we are, years later, still seeing religious organizations having to go to court to avoid having to do just that exact thing. It's almost like we folks on the right have become really good at noodling out what's actually going to happen as a result of some legistlative action, and the left either is really really bad at it, or knows the same things and doesn't care.
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#168 Feb 12 2020 at 7:25 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
Demea wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Democrats didn't implement the solutions I support, so it didn't count as trying.

Uh-huh.


Sure. I suppose the difference here is that I can (and do) make actual arguments detailing the way the solution I don't support wont work. We can then sit back and observer, when said solution I don't support is implemented anyway, and assess whether my predictions of the way it would fail actually occurs.

In the case of the ACA, my predictions in terms of cost and economic impact have been pretty darn accurate. And yes, I'll get that the liberals will shout that the GOP somehow blocked correct implementation, poisoned the well, deliberately sabotaged it, etc to make it fail. Whatever. But at the end of the day, well before the GOP had any power to do any of those things, the Obama administration was already having to put lists of exceptions for a number of the ACA requirements due to the fact that they would put undue burden on many small businesses. They knew that the act they passed was broken, but they went forward with it anyway.

And that's ignoring the social issues like the endless promises that religious organizations would never ever ver be required to purchase health insurance that provided birth control or abortion payments. Yet, here we are, years later, still seeing religious organizations having to go to court to avoid having to do just that exact thing. It's almost like we folks on the right have become really good at noodling out what's actually going to happen as a result of some legistlative action, and the left either is really really bad at it, or knows the same things and doesn't care.


Since we are making predictions and assessing their accuracy in the future where this forum likely won't exist, how long do you feel till the boom cycle on WS ends?
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#169 Feb 12 2020 at 7:47 PM Rating: Good
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Bijou wrote:
4. EVERYBODY pays taxes on all their income. EVERYONE pays into Medicare (or, preferably the Universal setup) at the same % of total income.

This effectively equates to a regressive tax. There are a lot of problems with the current tax system, but low income tax payers get a pretty significant benefit from the standard deduction. Removing it without something else to replace it will hurt them pretty badly.

Bijou wrote:
5. Businesses pay a straight tax on gross income, again, with no deductions/other bullshyte. No offshore banking for ANY US citizen.

For many businesses, gross can be somewhere near or identical to revenue, which would make paying existing tax rates completely infeasible for them (imagine American Airlines paying taxes on its revenue rather than profit). There are also very legitimate reasons for a U.S. citizen to have an offshore bank account, like expatriate employees.

Edited, Feb 12th 2020 7:51pm by Allegory
#170 Feb 12 2020 at 10:07 PM Rating: Good
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I've heard a lot about a tax on jobs and I think we should give it a try. Should increase productivity.
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#171 Feb 13 2020 at 1:02 AM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
Bijou wrote:
4. EVERYBODY pays taxes on all their income. EVERYONE pays into Medicare (or, preferably the Universal setup) at the same % of total income.

This effectively equates to a regressive tax. There are a lot of problems with the current tax system, but low income tax payers get a pretty significant benefit from the standard deduction. Removing it without something else to replace it will hurt them pretty badly.
Good point, O friend!!

No deductions after $30K a year.
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#172 Feb 13 2020 at 9:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Man, you spend twenty years with this nonsense and then it goes away for a few months. You'd think that, on some level, maybe you'd miss it more but... nope. Turns out you didn't miss it at all.
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#173 Feb 13 2020 at 11:35 AM Rating: Good
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I'm sure the Democrat party sorely regrets not consulting some random wanker on an internet forum for games about how they designed a massive law aimed at overhauling the US healthcare industry.

However, back to my original point, you can't say they didn't attempt to deliver on their promise to do something. That's an objectively false statement, regardless of how much you try to move the goalposts.
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#174 Feb 13 2020 at 11:43 AM Rating: Good
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Joe Biden finished 5th in the New Hampshire primary. He'll stick around until Super Tuesday for sure, but it's looking increasingly unlikely that he'll win the nomination. I can't say I'm surprised; he seems entirely too old to be president (despite being younger than Bernie).

Maybe the biggest surprise is that Warren finished 4th, only a few thousand votes ahead of Biden, and with about half the votes of Klobuchar. I figured she had the best chance at the nomination, or would at least do well in New England near her home turf.

It's looking increasingly likely that Democrats will actually nominate a 78-year-old self-identified Socialist. Who isn't even a Democrat.

Lol.
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#175 Feb 14 2020 at 10:15 AM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:
It's looking increasingly likely that Democrats will actually nominate a 78-year-old self-identified Socialist. Who isn't even a Democrat.
That's cool, he'll be going against the incumbent that people were insisting was a Democrat until he got nominated.
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#176 Feb 14 2020 at 11:54 AM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Demea wrote:
It's looking increasingly likely that Democrats will actually nominate a 78-year-old self-identified Socialist. Who isn't even a Democrat.
That's cool, he'll be going against the incumbent that people were insisting was a Democrat until he got nominated.

It's a big ol crazy world eh?

Or...this is why we should avoid labels.

Here's one thing I'm pretty sure about: Lots of people will dump trump given some one else they could vote for; Mayor Pete is not that person. Homophobia is still mainstream in some parts of this country. I'd say the same about the women except that it's 'ok' mostly everywhere in the country to let women to be leaders.

Happy Valentines Day crazies. Smiley: inlove
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