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Is the Liberal Political Mind one dimensional?

 
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 01:15 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Thought, you might have some related data at hand.

I don't. My source is a review paper by MIT's Olivier Blanchard about European unemployment. But it's been a year and a change in computers since I've read it, and I didn't print it out at the time. If you want to read this as "the dog ate my homework", you're welcome to it. Smile
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 01:16 pm
Laughing
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 02:18 pm
Thomas wrote:
okie wrote:
I challenge you: without resorting to your 'theories' of economics, find me some real-world evidence that raising the minimum wage hurts employment, jobs, and the poor in general.

I'm afraid that would be a futile effort on okie's part, although there is such evidence. But when I pointed you to it in your "Minimum Wage" thread, you never bothered to dignify it with a response. What's the point of asking for evidence if you'll ignore the answers anyway?


Thomas, thanks for going to bat for the cause here, although I don't know how to take the "futile effort" comment. Give me a break, Thomas, I have other things to do and I do not spend hours digging up this stuff.

After some reflection, this debate actually is very frustrating. Here I am, as "okie," and I make a simple observation that is so obviously true, and all the holier than thou libs jump on me and demand all this evidence to prove the obvious. Why should I waste my time with absolute idiots? Yes, idiots. Thomas, you make the obvious observations that the minimum wage of $7. + is not sufficient to cause huge effects, but as that would increase in current dollars, it would, and has acccording to your evidence. Your evidence posted, Thomas, fits exactly as I have already observed and predicted simply by using principles of supply, demand, and common sense. All of this is totally so obvious that a hick okie can figure this out, but the liberal elite cannot. It is actually quite hilarious as well. And it all continues to prove the point made at the beginning of this thread.

Joe from Chicago says anecdotal evidence does not count. If I saw the wind blow trees down on my farm, and concluded there would likely be less trees than before, I suppose my observation of the trees blowing down does not count, that I would need empirical evidence by hiring tree counters to go count every tree before and after these observations to prove my assumption, which is merely nothing more than common sense. Common sense is not acceptable on this forum, is that right, Joe?

Libs, you really are quite hilarious. Thomas, I do not include you in that category.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 02:29 pm
Quote:

Joe from Chicago says anecdotal evidence does not count. If I saw the wind blow trees down on my farm, and concluded there would likely be less trees than before, I suppose my observation of the trees blowing down does not count, that I would need empirical evidence by hiring tree counters to go count every tree before and after these observations to prove my assumption, which is merely nothing more than common sense. Common sense is not acceptable on this forum, is that right, Joe?


Let me answer for him - it would be evidence that there are less trees on your farm than before, but not evidence that Global Warming is causing increased wind speed around the globe.

This is analagous to attempting to use anecdotal evidence to show that raising taxes makes people lazier and less inclined to work hard overall. It is not germane to the point. Since without tracking you down and interviewing your associates upon whom you base this evidence isn't a possibility, then it really isn't 'evidence' at all, but an assertion.

We merely ask that you back up an assertion with actual evidence if you are going to claim that things are 'obviously true.'

You state that

Quote:
Here I am, as "okie," and I make a simple observation that is so obviously true, and all the holier than thou libs jump on me and demand all this evidence to prove the obvious. Why should I waste my time with absolute idiots? Yes, idiots.


I understand that you may be a little bit angry with the fact that neither Joe nor I accept your 'anecdotal evidence' nor the fact that it is 'obviously true' that raising tax rates leads to greater laziness and less of an inclination to make money overall, but I'm sure you realize that neither of us are idiots.

It is not idiotic to ask someone to show evidence that what they have claimed is 'obvious' is true. If it is so obvious, then finding evidence should be a snap. I contend that it is not true, and there is a vast body of historical data showing that people still worked hard to make as much money as they could even with higher taxes then we now have.

Your reliance on the 'laffer curve' is a common fallacy amongst those on the right; not the idea of the curve itself, per se, but the assumption that we are on the wrong side of the curve at all, always, no matter what the situation. You never seem to consider that the point where taxation will actually harm impulses to work is a far, far higher rate of taxation then we currently enjoy, because people still have to work for a living - and still desire to make the most money possible - under any tax level.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 02:36 pm
Re: Is the Liberal Political Mind one dimensional?
Cycloptichorn wrote:

Quote:
True, you have no sympathy for oil companies, and apparently see no impact on their shareholders and on their oil production, some of which may be marginal. As I asserted at the beginning of this thread, such an attitude is blind to the realities of economics. Liberals see oil companies as an entity unto themselves with no impact or connection to the common man, which is ignorance personafied.


There is only one connection between oil companies and the 'common man,' and that's the fact that the common man pays the oil companies large amounts of monies every year, and that's it. The 'common man' doesn't own stock in oil companies and doesn't profit from their profits. You are greatly mistaken if you think that the 'common man' enjoys the same profits from oil companies as the, say, extremely rich or even somewhat rich do.

When your company is profiting 5-10 Billion dollars a quarter, and your taxes go up by 3 billion dollars a year, you don't have to raise prices.

You shouldn't talk about the 'realities of economics' unless you are prepared to study and get into an in-depth discussion of economics, because your understanding of Oil Company profits and their connection to the average American seems incomplete and incorrect.

Cycloptichorn


I reduced the subjects to this one, cyclops, because it illustrates so perfectly your total ignorance of real world economics. We can debate all the points, but I think they are getting to the point of redundancy.

For starters, oil companies pay thousands if not millions of property owners royalties for oil and gas production from those properties, which includes the a very high number of the common man. In fact it includes my parents and most of their neighbors in just one community of thousands of communities. These people are not rich people, but many are very poor farmers and people that work in town to support the ability to retain an acreage or farm. Without the royalties, they would have been broke long ago. Much royalty is paid to mineral lease holders in the form of descendants of land owners, whereby the land may have been sold without the mineral rights.

Secondly, oil companies employ countless people for all kinds of jobs, many being good paying technical jobs, like geologists, geophysisists, etc. Additionally, many service companies, such as Schlumberger, employ thousands of people to service well sites, refineries, etc. Add truck drivers and the thousands of other jobs relative to the oil industry.

Thirdly, think of all the 401Ks and retirement funds with oil company stocks.

Fourthly, think of the 10s of thousands of retirees from oil company related jobs.

Cyclops, you should be embarrassed to post such absolute economical nonsense and drivel that the oil companies have no connection to the common man besides ripping him off for the overpriced gasoline. My patience is running short with such outright, blatant ignorance of reality.

I am beginning to think I underestimated the stupidity and one dimensional thinking of liberals.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 02:52 pm
okie wrote:
Joe from Chicago says anecdotal evidence does not count. If I saw the wind blow trees down on my farm, and concluded there would likely be less trees than before, I suppose my observation of the trees blowing down does not count, that I would need empirical evidence by hiring tree counters to go count every tree before and after these observations to prove my assumption, which is merely nothing more than common sense. Common sense is not acceptable on this forum, is that right, Joe?

This is some kind of joke, right? I respond to each one of the points that you raised in your post and all you can do is address one of mine -- and in a response to Thomas, not me. Look, okie, if you're not up to the intellectual rigors of this discussion, then admit it and we'll both move on. Otherwise, I have no interest in engaging in any kind of serious exchange of ideas if that exchange is going to be entirely one-sided. You made some claims that are completely baseless, and I patiently explained why they are baseless. If all you can do is come back with this pathetic response, then I don't know why you even bothered to waste your time. You certainly wasted mine.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 03:03 pm
Re: Is the Liberal Political Mind one dimensional?
okie wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:

Quote:
True, you have no sympathy for oil companies, and apparently see no impact on their shareholders and on their oil production, some of which may be marginal. As I asserted at the beginning of this thread, such an attitude is blind to the realities of economics. Liberals see oil companies as an entity unto themselves with no impact or connection to the common man, which is ignorance personafied.


There is only one connection between oil companies and the 'common man,' and that's the fact that the common man pays the oil companies large amounts of monies every year, and that's it. The 'common man' doesn't own stock in oil companies and doesn't profit from their profits. You are greatly mistaken if you think that the 'common man' enjoys the same profits from oil companies as the, say, extremely rich or even somewhat rich do.

When your company is profiting 5-10 Billion dollars a quarter, and your taxes go up by 3 billion dollars a year, you don't have to raise prices.

You shouldn't talk about the 'realities of economics' unless you are prepared to study and get into an in-depth discussion of economics, because your understanding of Oil Company profits and their connection to the average American seems incomplete and incorrect.

Cycloptichorn


I reduced the subjects to this one, cyclops, because it illustrates so perfectly your total ignorance of real world economics. We can debate all the points, but I think they are getting to the point of redundancy.


Okay

Quote:
For starters, oil companies pay thousands if not millions of property owners royalties for oil and gas production from those properties, which includes the a very high number of the common man. In fact it includes my parents and most of their neighbors in just one community of thousands of communities. These people are not rich people, but many are very poor farmers and people that work in town to support the ability to retain an acreage or farm. Without the royalties, they would have been broke long ago. Much royalty is paid to mineral lease holders in the form of descendants of land owners, whereby the land may have been sold without the mineral rights.


Sure, but this is unaffected by the tax increases.

Unless the company in question is rolling every cent of their profits back into re-investment - some of which is done, true - then higher costs can be outlayed by the profits without negatively effecting the company or their development processes.

For example. Exxonmobil profited 33.9 Billion dollars in 2005. If they were forced to pay an additional 2 billion in taxes, it would hardly affect their bottom line at all. It wouldn't affect their ability to re-invest to any great amount, just lower their high share prices a bit.

Quote:
Secondly, oil companies employ countless people for all kinds of jobs, many being good paying technical jobs, like geologists, geophysisists, etc. Additionally, many service companies, such as Schlumberger, employ thousands of people to service well sites, refineries, etc. Add truck drivers and the thousands of other jobs relative to the oil industry.


As I said above, we aren't talking about anyone losing their jobs or royalties. The companies are doing so well that removing the tax breaks they got - remember, they got these tax breaks because they were doing extremely poorly, supposedly, in the 90's - isn't going to affect anything other than their huge profits, which are NOT all rolled back into people's jobs and such.

Quote:
Thirdly, think of all the 401Ks and retirement funds with oil company stocks.

Fourthly, think of the 10s of thousands of retirees from oil company related jobs.


Yes, lets.

How many Americans own stock? According to what I've found, half of American households own some sort of stock, whether it be a mutual fund, IRA-investment or just plain certificates.

So, given that a large number of American households own stock, is it likely to believe that the 'average american' owns stock in oil companies, or that they own any significant amount? I think what you will find is that the vast majority of stocks and assets are owned by those who we would not consider to be 'average americans.' So while oil company profits going up may benefit those Americans who own some stock in a small way, those who are truly benefitted are of course the wealthy and very wealthy.

You may want to look here:

www.epinet.org/newsroom/releases/2004/07/040713-SWAstocks.pdf+distribution+of+stock+ownership&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a

The average holdings - remember that we are discussing the 'average man' - in stock is less than 8k and a huge percentage of American households - 50% - have none! So to claim that the average american benefits from oil company products is ludicrous!

Quote:

Cyclops, you should be embarrassed to post such absolute economical nonsense and drivel that the oil companies have no connection to the common man besides ripping him off for the overpriced gasoline. My patience is running short with such outright, blatant ignorance of reality.


First off, I never said the oil companies were ripping anyone off with overpriced gasoline. If people think gas is too expensive, they have every right to not buy it and figure out another plan.

While those who are connected with the oil industry are doing well - big surprise there - those who are not, aren't doing well, and it is partly their taxes which are funding the profits of the rest of the country. It is completely unfair to ask someone to pay taxes in order to increase the profits of another, and for no other reason.

The 'average american' has very little connection to the oil compnaies. The 'average american' owns very little stock in oil companies, if they own any. The 'average american' does not have a well they get paid royalties on or own land they receive money for from the oil companies. Once again you are substituting anecdotal evidence for actual evidence.

Quote:

I am beginning to think I underestimated the stupidity and one dimensional thinking of liberals.


You didn't counter any of my other arguments, because yours were factually incorrect, yet it is the Liberals who are stupid. You would have a hard time defending this in front of any objective observer.

I would like to see an argument laid out by you, showing exactly why you think it is wrong to repeal tax breaks to companies which clearly don't need them as they are profiting record amounts each quarter.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 03:04 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Your reliance on the 'laffer curve' is a common fallacy amongst those on the right; not the idea of the curve itself, per se, but the assumption that we are on the wrong side of the curve at all, always, no matter what the situation. You never seem to consider that the point where taxation will actually harm impulses to work is a far, far higher rate of taxation then we currently enjoy, because people still have to work for a living - and still desire to make the most money possible - under any tax level.

A point that bears repeating. There really is no way of knowing where we are on the Laffer Curve (if there is such a thing) -- a point that Arthur Laffer himself has all but conceded.
    The Laffer Curve itself does not say whether a tax cut will raise or lower revenues. Revenue responses to a tax rate change will depend upon the tax system in place, the time period being considered, the ease of movement into underground activities, the level of tax rates already in place, the prevalence of legal and accounting-driven tax loopholes, and the proclivities of the productive factors. [i]If the existing tax rate is too high--in the "prohibitive range" shown above--then a tax-rate cut would result in increased tax revenues.[/i]
(Emphasis added). Thus, if tax rates are too high, then lowering them, according to Laffer, will result in higher revenues. But Laffer doesn't give any formula for determining whether a tax is too high or not. So we can only guess if lowering tax rates will increase or decrease tax revenues. Supply-siders always assume that we are on the "bad" side of the curve, where cutting taxes increases revenues, without considering that we may actually be on the "good" side, where cutting taxes decreases revenues.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 03:32 pm
Re: Is the Liberal Political Mind one dimensional?
Cycloptichorn wrote:

You didn't counter any of my other arguments, because yours were factually incorrect, yet it is the Liberals who are stupid. You would have a hard time defending this in front of any objective observer.

I would like to see an argument laid out by you, showing exactly why you think it is wrong to repeal tax breaks to companies which clearly don't need them as they are profiting record amounts each quarter.

Cycloptichorn


We can discuss the wisdom of repealing tax breaks another time, cyclops. The point of this discussion is whether the tax breaks affect the common man. Clearly, they do. Without even addressing the subject of direct employees and employees of companies that benefit from or service oil companies, let us look at the company stock. To use the hated anecdotal evidence, I own stock in oil companies as part of a retirement fund, and I know personal acquaintances that do. None of these people are more than basically common people, financially, they started with little or nothing and worked hard all their lives either in a trade or with a degreed profession. Obviously, cyclops, and I am not a financial person, but most funds own stock in various sectors of the market as a diversified investment portfolio, and energy stocks are an important part of that package. The profits of those companies obviously influence directly the value of the stocks as well as the dividends paid. Cyclops, what really is your purpose of arguing against the obvious here?

With sufficient time, I can go back and argue the other points if you wish. Apologies for my use of the word, "stupid."
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 03:41 pm
Re: Is the Liberal Political Mind one dimensional?
okie wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:

You didn't counter any of my other arguments, because yours were factually incorrect, yet it is the Liberals who are stupid. You would have a hard time defending this in front of any objective observer.

I would like to see an argument laid out by you, showing exactly why you think it is wrong to repeal tax breaks to companies which clearly don't need them as they are profiting record amounts each quarter.

Cycloptichorn


We can discuss the wisdom of repealing tax breaks another time, cyclops. The point of this discussion is whether the tax breaks affect the common man. Clearly, they do. Without even addressing the subject of direct employees and employees of companies that benefit from or service oil companies, let us look at the company stock. To use the hated anecdotal evidence, I own stock in oil companies as part of a retirement fund, and I know personal acquaintances that do. None of these people are more than basically common people, financially, they started with little or nothing and worked hard all their lives either in a trade or with a degreed profession. Obviously, cyclops, and I am not a financial person, but most funds own stock in various sectors of the market as a diversified investment portfolio, and energy stocks are an important part of that package. The profits of those companies obviously influence directly the value of the stocks as well as the dividends paid. Cyclops, what really is your purpose of arguing against the obvious here?

With sufficient time, I can go back and argue the other points if you wish. Apologies for my use of the word, "stupid."


No worries. You're my favorite Conservative on here - a little word play doesn't hurt my feelings!

I understand your point about the stocks and the anecdotal evidence. I'm sure that my parents own some oil company stock as well. I'm not begrudging them the right to make profits or do business (see my point about 'unfair' prices being, well, fair enough for people who choose to pay them) but I don't think that they deserve tax breaks when they don't need them, for this basically grows your portfolio at the expense of the 1/2 of Americans who don't own stock.

So, at least half of Americans don't benefit at all from the high stock prices, and many others will benefit only slightly - and there is the question as to how much extra they are paying in fuel costs in order to fund their own benefits; at what point of stock ownership vs. fuel consumption do the benefits of higher stock prices begin to outweigh the higher fuel consumption costs? This is a very complicated issue...

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 03:52 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Your reliance on the 'laffer curve' is a common fallacy amongst those on the right; not the idea of the curve itself, per se, but the assumption that we are on the wrong side of the curve at all, always, no matter what the situation. You never seem to consider that the point where taxation will actually harm impulses to work is a far, far higher rate of taxation then we currently enjoy, because people still have to work for a living - and still desire to make the most money possible - under any tax level.

A point that bears repeating. There really is no way of knowing where we are on the Laffer Curve (if there is such a thing) -- a point that Arthur Laffer himself has all but conceded.
    The Laffer Curve itself does not say whether a tax cut will raise or lower revenues. Revenue responses to a tax rate change will depend upon the tax system in place, the time period being considered, the ease of movement into underground activities, the level of tax rates already in place, the prevalence of legal and accounting-driven tax loopholes, and the proclivities of the productive factors. [i]If the existing tax rate is too high--in the "prohibitive range" shown above--then a tax-rate cut would result in increased tax revenues.[/i]
(Emphasis added). Thus, if tax rates are too high, then lowering them, according to Laffer, will result in higher revenues. But Laffer doesn't give any formula for determining whether a tax is too high or not. So we can only guess if lowering tax rates will increase or decrease tax revenues. Supply-siders always assume that we are on the "bad" side of the curve, where cutting taxes increases revenues, without considering that we may actually be on the "good" side, where cutting taxes decreases revenues.


Now, here we have some common ground, Joe. At least there is an admission of a probable curve. There has to be a curve. Now, I am sure there is much disagreement as to what the curve is shaped like. However, what I think you are talking about here, optimum tax revenues, is slightly different than optimum economic activity, which are related, but not the same. If taxes are necessary, and I think most everybody agrees that they are, we have to balance one against the other, rather than debating each one separately as often happens. Bottom line, tax rates have to affect economic activity because they are extracted from the same equation.

I have long been curious where the optimum tax rate is, and as you say, it may slide a bit one way or the other depending on other factors with time. I do not know for sure which side of the optimum we are on, but it would seem that recent tax breaks by Bush bringing higher revenues seem to indicate the rates are still on the high side of optimum. My goal here on this thread is to point out the obvious, and that tax rates are not independent, and we should all admit there is a relationship, that the debate is not one dimensional, and then perhaps both Democrats (liberals) and Republicans could agree to bring in the best economic minds to study the curve and how it is shaped. That would be far better than denying the existence of a curve.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 04:35 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
okie wrote:
Joe from Chicago says anecdotal evidence does not count. If I saw the wind blow trees down on my farm, and concluded there would likely be less trees than before, I suppose my observation of the trees blowing down does not count, that I would need empirical evidence by hiring tree counters to go count every tree before and after these observations to prove my assumption, which is merely nothing more than common sense. Common sense is not acceptable on this forum, is that right, Joe?

This is some kind of joke, right? I respond to each one of the points that you raised in your post and all you can do is address one of mine -- and in a response to Thomas, not me. Look, okie, if you're not up to the intellectual rigors of this discussion, then admit it and we'll both move on. Otherwise, I have no interest in engaging in any kind of serious exchange of ideas if that exchange is going to be entirely one-sided. You made some claims that are completely baseless, and I patiently explained why they are baseless. If all you can do is come back with this pathetic response, then I don't know why you even bothered to waste your time. You certainly wasted mine.


It is not a joke, Joe. I don't think you should eliminate all Anecdotal evidence. My tree example shows why it should not be eliminated. Now, if you go count the trees and certify the count by an official, trained tree counter, then I suppose that is as ironclad proof as possible, but anecdotal evidence is worth something.

Give me time to go back and address all your points.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 04:37 pm
Re: Is the Liberal Political Mind one dimensional?
Cycloptichorn wrote:

No worries. You're my favorite Conservative on here - a little word play doesn't hurt my feelings!
Cycloptichorn


Wow, thanks! But does that make you popular with some others, like Dyslexia for example?

As you say, Cheers!
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 04:37 pm
The curve is only a theoretical construct and not really useful in the real world, for there are a host of other factors which affect revenues besides just taxation.

Here's Joefromchicago's excellent response to your point on page 3 of this thread, which you didn't respond to:

Quote:

We don't need to speculate. The highest marginal income tax rate in US history was 92% for incomes over $400,000 in 1952-53, and the rate was above 90% for the period from 1950 to 1963. In that time period, the US GDP rose from $293.8 B (2005 dollars) to $617.7 B, an increase of about 211%. Taking a broader perspective, the top marginal tax rate was above 70% for the period from 1936 to 1980, during which time the GDP rose from $83.8 B (2005 dollars) to $2,789.5 B, an increase of around 3,329% (GDP figures from here -- download with MS Excel).

Now, to be fair, that's just the top marginal tax rate. The effective rates were, at all times, substantially less. If the tax were truly a confiscatory 100% on all wages, then we would expect somewhat different results. But since no one is proposing such a rate, and no such rate has ever been imposed, the most that we can do is look at how people reacted to changes in the marginal rates. And, from the historical evidence, it seems quite clear that economic output, in general, was not adversely affected by high marginal tax rates.


You say that

Quote:
but it would seem that recent tax breaks by Bush bringing higher revenues seem to indicate the rates are still on the high side of optimum.


Yet, we experienced growth far above what we are seeing right now, during a time in which tax rates were far higher. I have a hard time understanding why you would believe that the tax rate is still too high given the body of historical evidence showing that the opposite is true.

Simulateneously, I find it difficult to understand how the tax rate is too high if we are so deep in deficit and debt. Our country is not actually growing when we add an average of 1/2 trillion a year to the debt; we are merely putting off our bills and calling it growth.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 04:58 pm
Re: Is the Liberal Political Mind one dimensional?
joefromchicago wrote:
okie wrote:
Well for starters, what about the economic expansion in the 80's after top marginal tax rates were lowered.

Without more evidence, that is simply confusing correlation with causation.
Quote:

Well, a relationship is at least indicated. We can argue exactly what and how much at another time.

Quote:
okie wrote:
I am not an economist so I will leave the official empirical studies up to those that are.

Admirable self-restraint.

Thanks.

Quote:
okie wrote:
Beyond that, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence going back to childhood.

Anecdotal evidence isn't evidence.

I disagree with that, and further, it may be worth quite alot in some cases, or almost nothing in some cases. It is evidence, sometimes more direct than in other cases, and it varies as to its worth, but that can be debated in each instance.

Quote:
okie wrote:
Pay a man per bale of hay and you get alot more hay in the barn than if you pay by the hour.

Not necessarily. Piecework wages aren't always a more efficient solution than hourly wages.

Agreed to an extent, but it depends on which one of the exchange you refer to, the employee or the employer, but my example argues the existence of an incentive to work relative to the rewards received as part of human nature. This principle should be self evident.

Quote:
okie wrote:
Whether it is the employer or the government preventing rewards for harder work make little difference. Over the past few years, I recall many conversations with people that said, the promotion and pay raise did me no good because the tax deductions more than offset the raise. In an instance or two, I recall the person turned down the promotion and raise, in part because of that reason.

If that's true, then it's quite clear that you were talking to complete idiots. Unless the marginal tax rate on the amount of the proposed raise was 100%, an increase in wages will always lead to the employee receiving more money. To be sure, they might conclude that the extra effort involved in the new job was not worth the net amount of the wage increase, but that's not the same thing as saying that they would actually make less money, because of taxes, if they took the raise.

A valid point, but the key to the equation is what you point out that taxes can reach a threshold where effort expended is simply not worth the comparable increase in return. I beleive this factor is real and does happen, including my anecdotal examples.

Quote:
okie wrote:
I have also known of people very successful at a business that decided to quit or do something else, thus selling, because of higher marginal tax rates.

Again, your anecdotal evidence is not evidence.
It is evidence. If you think it isn't worth alot, then that is your argument, but it is worth something to the people that make decisions based on it.

Quote:
okie wrote:
The answer to this debate basically relies on simple common sense. Why do capitalistic economies thrive better than state owned economies?

That's an irrelevant question.
I think it is very relevant, because that is an example at the end of the spectrum wherein individuals ability to reap personal profits through harder work is negated, so the people tend to do the minimum to get by, and the economy suffers greatly. It proves a principle of human nature.

Quote:
okie wrote:
Using your noggin a little, Joe, what would happen to economic output if the tax rate was 100%? I think the answer should be obvious. It would plummet. Okay, what would happen to it if it was 90%? More speculation enters, but probably plummet not as completely, but very severely.

We don't need to speculate. The highest marginal income tax rate in US history was 92% for incomes over $400,000 in 1952-53, and the rate was above 90% for the period from 1950 to 1963. In that time period, the US GDP rose from $293.8 B (2005 dollars) to $617.7 B, an increase of about 211%. Taking a broader perspective, the top marginal tax rate was above 70% for the period from 1936 to 1980, during which time the GDP rose from $83.8 B (2005 dollars) to $2,789.5 B, an increase of around 3,329% (GDP figures from here -- download with MS Excel).

Now, to be fair, that's just the top marginal tax rate. The effective rates were, at all times, substantially less. If the tax were truly a confiscatory 100% on all wages, then we would expect somewhat different results. But since no one is proposing such a rate, and no such rate has ever been imposed, the most that we can do is look at how people reacted to changes in the marginal rates. And, from the historical evidence, it seems quite clear that economic output, in general, was not adversely affected by high marginal tax rates.

okie wrote:
Consider the scenarios for 80%, 60%, and so forth. You end up with a curve, where the effects may be more subtle at the lower numbers, but to pretend there would be no effect is just economic ignorance. It does not take an economist to figure this out.

No. Indeed, it is much better if you're not an economist in order to figure that out.

okie wrote:
To argue the curve would be flat from 0 to 100% marginal tax rate would be an utterly preposterous position to take.

What you're describing, of course, is the Laffer Curve, which isn't worth the napkin that it was first written on.

I was aware of that. Trickle down economics is another term wherein politicians on each side of the fence take potshots at it. Take the terms and names out of the discussion, Joe, and the fact is there is a curve and there is a benefit of job creators higher upon the ladder giving jobs to job seekers a bit lower on the ladder. It isn' rocket science to figure out that hardly any poverty sticken people provide jobs.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 05:02 pm
okie wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
okie wrote:
Joe from Chicago says anecdotal evidence does not count. If I saw the wind blow trees down on my farm, and concluded there would likely be less trees than before, I suppose my observation of the trees blowing down does not count, that I would need empirical evidence by hiring tree counters to go count every tree before and after these observations to prove my assumption, which is merely nothing more than common sense. Common sense is not acceptable on this forum, is that right, Joe?

This is some kind of joke, right? I respond to each one of the points that you raised in your post and all you can do is address one of mine -- and in a response to Thomas, not me. Look, okie, if you're not up to the intellectual rigors of this discussion, then admit it and we'll both move on. Otherwise, I have no interest in engaging in any kind of serious exchange of ideas if that exchange is going to be entirely one-sided. You made some claims that are completely baseless, and I patiently explained why they are baseless. If all you can do is come back with this pathetic response, then I don't know why you even bothered to waste your time. You certainly wasted mine.


It is not a joke, Joe. I don't think you should eliminate all Anecdotal evidence. My tree example shows why it should not be eliminated. Now, if you go count the trees and certify the count by an official, trained tree counter, then I suppose that is as ironclad proof as possible, but anecdotal evidence is worth something.

Give me time to go back and address all your points.


Actually, your example shows why anecdotal evidence should be eliminated.


In your example, you assume that the total amount of trees available is "all trees standing on my farm". Let's say you had 100 trees. Then you see the wind blowing down three trees on your farm, and deduce that the total amount of trees on your farm will now be reduced by three percent.

I would say that assumption is correct, because you have knowledge of all parameters.


Now let's assume that the total amount of trees available is "all trees standing on all farms in the world". After seeing the wind blow down three trees on your farm, you would deduce that all farms in the world must have lost three percent of their trees due to the wind.

I would say that assumption is invalid, because you have a very limited knowledge about all the parameters involved.


In the first case, you didn't rely on anecdotal evidence, but on knowledge about all the parameters. In the second case, you didn't have knowledge about all the parameters, and instead relied on anecdotal evidence.

A strong case for the elimination of anecdotal evidence from the discussion.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 05:05 pm
Re: Is the Liberal Political Mind one dimensional?
joefromchicago wrote:
okie wrote:
Well for starters, what about the economic expansion in the 80's after top marginal tax rates were lowered.

Without more evidence, that is simply confusing correlation with causation.

Well, a relationship is at least indicated. We can argue exactly what and how much at another time.

Quote:
okie wrote:
I am not an economist so I will leave the official empirical studies up to those that are.

Admirable self-restraint.

Thanks.

Quote:
okie wrote:
Beyond that, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence going back to childhood.

Anecdotal evidence isn't evidence.

I disagree with that, and further, it may be worth quite alot in some cases, or almost nothing in some cases. It is evidence, sometimes more direct than in other cases, and it varies as to its worth, but that can be debated in each instance.

Quote:
okie wrote:
Pay a man per bale of hay and you get alot more hay in the barn than if you pay by the hour.

Not necessarily. Piecework wages aren't always a more efficient solution than hourly wages.

Agreed to an extent, but it depends on which one of the exchange you refer to, the employee or the employer, but my example argues the existence of an incentive to work relative to the rewards received as part of human nature. This principle should be self evident.

Quote:
okie wrote:
Whether it is the employer or the government preventing rewards for harder work make little difference. Over the past few years, I recall many conversations with people that said, the promotion and pay raise did me no good because the tax deductions more than offset the raise. In an instance or two, I recall the person turned down the promotion and raise, in part because of that reason.

If that's true, then it's quite clear that you were talking to complete idiots. Unless the marginal tax rate on the amount of the proposed raise was 100%, an increase in wages will always lead to the employee receiving more money. To be sure, they might conclude that the extra effort involved in the new job was not worth the net amount of the wage increase, but that's not the same thing as saying that they would actually make less money, because of taxes, if they took the raise.

A valid point, but the key to the equation is what you point out that taxes can reach a threshold where effort expended is simply not worth the comparable increase in return. I beleive this factor is real and does happen, including my anecdotal examples.

Quote:
okie wrote:
I have also known of people very successful at a business that decided to quit or do something else, thus selling, because of higher marginal tax rates.

Again, your anecdotal evidence is not evidence.
It is evidence. If you think it isn't worth alot, then that is your argument, but it is worth something to the people that make decisions based on it.

Quote:
okie wrote:
The answer to this debate basically relies on simple common sense. Why do capitalistic economies thrive better than state owned economies?

That's an irrelevant question.
I think it is very relevant, because that is an example at the end of the spectrum wherein individuals ability to reap personal profits through harder work is negated, so the people tend to do the minimum to get by, and the economy suffers greatly. It proves a principle of human nature.

Quote:
okie wrote:
Using your noggin a little, Joe, what would happen to economic output if the tax rate was 100%? I think the answer should be obvious. It would plummet. Okay, what would happen to it if it was 90%? More speculation enters, but probably plummet not as completely, but very severely.

We don't need to speculate. The highest marginal income tax rate in US history was 92% for incomes over $400,000 in 1952-53, and the rate was above 90% for the period from 1950 to 1963. In that time period, the US GDP rose from $293.8 B (2005 dollars) to $617.7 B, an increase of about 211%. Taking a broader perspective, the top marginal tax rate was above 70% for the period from 1936 to 1980, during which time the GDP rose from $83.8 B (2005 dollars) to $2,789.5 B, an increase of around 3,329% (GDP figures from here -- download with MS Excel).

Now, to be fair, that's just the top marginal tax rate. The effective rates were, at all times, substantially less. If the tax were truly a confiscatory 100% on all wages, then we would expect somewhat different results. But since no one is proposing such a rate, and no such rate has ever been imposed, the most that we can do is look at how people reacted to changes in the marginal rates. And, from the historical evidence, it seems quite clear that economic output, in general, was not adversely affected by high marginal tax rates.

okie wrote:
Consider the scenarios for 80%, 60%, and so forth. You end up with a curve, where the effects may be more subtle at the lower numbers, but to pretend there would be no effect is just economic ignorance. It does not take an economist to figure this out.

No. Indeed, it is much better if you're not an economist in order to figure that out.

okie wrote:
To argue the curve would be flat from 0 to 100% marginal tax rate would be an utterly preposterous position to take.

What you're describing, of course, is the Laffer Curve, which isn't worth the napkin that it was first written on.

I was aware of that. Trickle down economics is another term wherein politicians on each side of the fence take potshots at it. Take the terms and names out of the discussion, Joe, and the fact is there is a curve and there is a benefit of job creators higher upon the ladder giving jobs to job seekers a bit lower on the ladder. It isn' rocket science to figure out that hardly any poverty sticken people provide jobs.[/quote]
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 05:05 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
Thus, if tax rates are too high, then lowering them, according to Laffer, will result in higher revenues. But Laffer doesn't give any formula for determining whether a tax is too high or not. So we can only guess if lowering tax rates will increase or decrease tax revenues. Supply-siders always assume that we are on the "bad" side of the curve, where cutting taxes increases revenues, without considering that we may actually be on the "good" side, where cutting taxes decreases revenues.

I would add that no serious, peer-reviewed economics publication argues that historically recent income tax rates are on the bad side of the curve. I have seen claims that the marginal supply of work is affected by much higher top marginal income tax rates. For example, the 70% that applied when Laffer presented his curve may well have been on the bad side. But no serious economist today claims that income tax rates like the 28% under Reagan or the 39% under Clinton are on the bad side. Claims to this effect come from conservative activists, not dispassionate scholars. They were refuted when Clinton raised the rate of the top bracket, supply siders predicted doom, and economic growth soared instead.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 05:11 pm
old europe wrote:
okie wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
okie wrote:
Joe from Chicago says anecdotal evidence does not count. If I saw the wind blow trees down on my farm, and concluded there would likely be less trees than before, I suppose my observation of the trees blowing down does not count, that I would need empirical evidence by hiring tree counters to go count every tree before and after these observations to prove my assumption, which is merely nothing more than common sense. Common sense is not acceptable on this forum, is that right, Joe?

This is some kind of joke, right? I respond to each one of the points that you raised in your post and all you can do is address one of mine -- and in a response to Thomas, not me. Look, okie, if you're not up to the intellectual rigors of this discussion, then admit it and we'll both move on. Otherwise, I have no interest in engaging in any kind of serious exchange of ideas if that exchange is going to be entirely one-sided. You made some claims that are completely baseless, and I patiently explained why they are baseless. If all you can do is come back with this pathetic response, then I don't know why you even bothered to waste your time. You certainly wasted mine.


It is not a joke, Joe. I don't think you should eliminate all Anecdotal evidence. My tree example shows why it should not be eliminated. Now, if you go count the trees and certify the count by an official, trained tree counter, then I suppose that is as ironclad proof as possible, but anecdotal evidence is worth something.

Give me time to go back and address all your points.


Actually, your example shows why anecdotal evidence should be eliminated.


In your example, you assume that the total amount of trees available is "all trees standing on my farm". Let's say you had 100 trees. Then you see the wind blowing down three trees on your farm, and deduce that the total amount of trees on your farm will now be reduced by three percent.

I would say that assumption is correct, because you have knowledge of all parameters.


Now let's assume that the total amount of trees available is "all trees standing on all farms in the world". After seeing the wind blow down three trees on your farm, you would deduce that all farms in the world must have lost three percent of their trees due to the wind.

I would say that assumption is invalid, because you have a very limited knowledge about all the parameters involved.


In the first case, you didn't rely on anecdotal evidence, but on knowledge about all the parameters. In the second case, you didn't have knowledge about all the parameters, and instead relied on anecdotal evidence.

A strong case for the elimination of anecdotal evidence from the discussion.


It is better than no evidence at all, oe. If you threw out the fact that you saw 3 trees blow down, you may assume you have more trees, and likely you do not. Now, as time progresses, the knowledge of the trees blowing down becomes less useful, as perhaps the wind blew more tree seeds around and more sprouts are coming up, and after a number of years, there are more trees. But I prefer to use all the evidence at my disposal. If I have an actual count of trees, then I that is the best, but if I don't have a good count, I would not forget that the windstorm probably reduced my inventory of trees.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 05:14 pm
This all begs a question. Are you guys arguing against the obvious just because you cannot ever bring yourself to imagine that you could agree with, heaven forbid, a lowly okie?

Sorry about the double post, Joe. I thought I was editing the existing post to fix a couple things, but apparently ended up with a double post.
0 Replies
 
 

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