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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#18081 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-14, 19:52

Chuck Marr, Director of Federal Tax Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said:

Stars are aligning to rebuild the IRS & address tax gap. Here’s our take on need for multi-year discretionary cap adjustment, & a multiyear mandatory funding stream to help pay for recovery legislation– to be combined with increased reporting requirements.

Rebuilding IRS Would Reduce Tax Gap, Help Replenish Depleted Revenue Base

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If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#18082 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted Yesterday, 07:31

I think the weakening of the IRS has been a disaster. I hope it gets fixed.

As I have said boringly often, I don't fret about other people having more money than I do. And I expect to be taxed, someone has to pay for what we want done. however the rich are undertaxed to start with, and they have ways to get around taxes by clever legal maneuvers. If it also becomes the case that they regualrly dodge taxes illegally with little fear of being caught, this will be very bad for how I and many others see our government.

Of course I know people often read tax rules imaginatively and sometimes get away with it. I don't demand perfection. But I am getting the idea that holding millionaires to the tax laws today is like it was holding speakeasies to the liquor laws in the 20s. This is not good.

Added: Sure, I realize "millionaire" does not mean what it meant in the time of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I am using it to mean those with ridiculous wealth.
Ken
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#18083 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted Yesterday, 16:14

Ken, as long as you keep trying to relate things to the life you led growing up, I don't think you'll ever "get it".

You were a white boy growing up in the rural midwest. I grew up in suburban Long Island a generation later, with middle class parents (my father ran the medium-sized family business that my grandfather started). We had decent school systems, which prepared us to go to college and become whatever we wanted, and we had little trouble paying for it (my parents paid for almost all my college expenses, the only debt I took on was the $7500 Guaranteed Student Loan that was available to everyone at the time).

The only people who had better prospects than us were children of parents who were already filthy rich. White girls who wanted to become wives and mothers also had it good; but if they wanted careers, they were mostly SOL unless they were interested in a few specific jobs (teacher, nurse); there were also some jobs like secretaries and sales clerk that were usually just temporary until they found a husband, not long-term careers.

But this is not the life that many Americans live these days. Income hasn't kept pace with the increases in costs of college and health care. There are far more single-parent families, and two-parent families often require both parents to work to afford a decent lifestyle. There are far more people below the poverty line; getting out of it is difficult, and even harder if you're a minority. Income inequality is orders of magnitude worse now than it was when you were growing up, and the rich have the means to keep it that way unless drastic changes are made by the government (which is unlikely because the GOP is firmly in the pocket of big business, and even Democrats need corporate donations).

Your folksy anecdotes about your life are fun reads, but they offer little in the way of ideas about how to solve the problems that all these people have. They mostly just highlight how different things are now.

#18084 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted Yesterday, 16:38

Yes, that's one thing I missed when discussing "living with median family income, 1960 vs 2020" (1990, really). Child care has gone up much more than inflation, because for many (including "most" median income families), child care cost "$0" - the wife stayed at home and was child care and maid and cook.

Median family income was 90% one-income; it's now maybe 15%.

I was an outlier (for white urban children) in the 1970s being from a two-full-time-income household; I remained an outlier in the 1980s when I now came from a one-income (but also one-parent) household. Both of those things are much more common now.

(no comment about the number of two-parent families that would have been one-parent households if a certain parent had a full-time job and *could* leave. That is, I'm told, a significant factor.)
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
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#18085 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted Yesterday, 17:57

View Postbarmar, on 2021-April-15, 16:14, said:

Ken, as long as you keep trying to relate things to the life you led growing up, I don't think you'll ever "get it".

You were a white boy growing up in the rural midwest. I grew up in suburban Long Island a generation later, with middle class parents (my father ran the medium-sized family business that my grandfather started). We had decent school systems, which prepared us to go to college and become whatever we wanted, and we had little trouble paying for it (my parents paid for almost all my college expenses, the only debt I took on was the $7500 Guaranteed Student Loan that was available to everyone at the time).

The only people who had better prospects than us were children of parents who were already filthy rich. White girls who wanted to become wives and mothers also had it good; but if they wanted careers, they were mostly SOL unless they were interested in a few specific jobs (teacher, nurse); there were also some jobs like secretaries and sales clerk that were usually just temporary until they found a husband, not long-term careers.

But this is not the life that many Americans live these days. Income hasn't kept pace with the increases in costs of college and health care. There are far more single-parent families, and two-parent families often require both parents to work to afford a decent lifestyle. There are far more people below the poverty line; getting out of it is difficult, and even harder if you're a minority. Income inequality is orders of magnitude worse now than it was when you were growing up, and the rich have the means to keep it that way unless drastic changes are made by the government (which is unlikely because the GOP is firmly in the pocket of big business, and even Democrats need corporate donations).

Your folksy anecdotes about your life are fun reads, but they offer little in the way of ideas about how to solve the problems that all these people have. They mostly just highlight how different things are now.


But I have asked a clear question. What family income would be required for a child to grow up as I did? Btw, I don't think of St.\Paul as rural. But I picked St. Paul because (1) I know it and (2) it's probably somewhere in the middle for costs. As I mentioned, the z value of the house I grew up in 70 years ago is something like 350K.

My idea is this: If we want to accomplish something, we should be clear on what we are hoping for and have some idea of what it would cost.

Let me be very specific: Suppose a married couple have one kid and a family income of 80K. Suppose they plan to live in St. Paul. Is it reasonable to think that the kid could grow up being comfortable about the basics (housing, food, clothing), get a decent start in life from the school system, have a bike, but nooks, go to moviesd? Is 60K enough? Not enough? Easily more than enough?

If we hope to make a life better, I ask for some details of what we hope for and what sort of family income would suffice to bring it about.
Ken
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#18086 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted Yesterday, 18:54

View Postkenberg, on 2021-April-15, 17:57, said:

But I have asked a clear question. What family income would be required for a child to grow up as I did? Btw, I don't think of St.\Paul as rural. But I picked St. Paul because (1) I know it and (2) it's probably somewhere in the middle for costs. As I mentioned, the z value of the house I grew up in 70 years ago is something like 350K.

My idea is this: If we want to accomplish something, we should be clear on what we are hoping for and have some idea of what it would cost.

Let me be very specific: Suppose a married couple have one kid and a family income of 80K. Suppose they plan to live in St. Paul. Is it reasonable to think that the kid could grow up being comfortable about the basics (housing, food, clothing), get a decent start in life from the school system, have a bike, but nooks, go to moviesd? Is 60K enough? Not enough? Easily more than enough?

If we hope to make a life better, I ask for some details of what we hope for and what sort of family income would suffice to bring it about.


The answer Ken, is that you are asking the wrong question.
Your "clear" question: "What family income would be required for a child to grow up as I did?" suggests that your life is the optimal life and that if other people had a particular "family income", they could replicate it and all would be well with the world.


The clear implication is that if we could add 'Income=X' to 'Child=Y', then 'Happy life = Z'.


It's a wonderful equation. Mr Smith should take it to Washington.


Tragically, your relationship is not a physical law. Merely a correlation that worked out well in your case.
Nothing that happened to you in your life had very much to do with your family income.
Ask Bill Clinton or Lyle and Erik Menendez.


A "Happy Life" does not come out of a wallet.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18087 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted Yesterday, 19:50

I think Ken asked a valid economic question; however, I don’t think it went far enough. Once “x” is determined, the question is how likely someone is to be able to earn that figure if white compared to black and Hispanic and Asian
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18088 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted Yesterday, 23:24

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-April-15, 19:50, said:

I think Ken asked a valid economic question; however, I don't think it went far enough. Once "x" is determined, the question is how likely someone is to be able to earn that figure if white compared to black and Hispanic and Asian


Once again, I don't think that there is much of a relationship between [(ethnicity, gender or anything else) X (money)] and happiness.

What you are alluding to is a different question.

In medicine, for decades (centuries), there was a problem that goes by the fancy name "homosocialization". This term has appropriated by Wikipedia writers to mean the "process by which LGBT people meet...".

What the term was originally used to describe was the process by which people maintained their own community to the exclusion of others.
In medicine, this meant that unless you were a white Anglo-Saxon male, it was tough to get into medicine.

So bad was the situation that the London School of Medicine was founded.

The problem was that Medicine (like the Priesthood) was a secure, well-paying, highly respected sinecure. Nice work if you can get it.
It's different in some countries. Medicine in the Soviet Union sucked if you wanted wealth and status, so women were common - except in Senior posts, of course.
If you read Mikhail Bulgakov's book "A Country Doctor's Notebook", you'll find out why.
Instead of enjoying the opportunity of walking along the beach and meeting charming villagers in Port Wenn (Doc Martin).
You had the opportunity to be eaten by wolves and nearly freeze to death (they made a TV series about it starring Harry Potter).

(You are interpreting) Ken's question is relevant to the way that the "have's" prevent the "have nots" from getting their fair share - or as David Gilmour wrote (in distinctively 7/4 time):

Money, get away
You get a good job with more pay and you're okay
Money, it's a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four-star daydream
Think I'll buy me a football team

Money, get back
I'm alright, Jack, keep your hands off of my stack
Money, it's a hit
Ah, don't give me that do-goody-good bullshit
I'm in the high-fidelity first class travelling set
And I think I need a Lear jet


If that's what is being discussed, I'm right there with you.




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#18089 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted Today, 07:57

I interpreted Ken's expression "how I did" to mean with quantifiable objects of x, y, z rather than a question of happiness.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18090 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted Today, 08:39

I've always hoped that police were honest but have always had a nagging concern that two officers operating in tandem could lie and send me to prison. That makes this article even more troubling to me.

Combine that with this and it is spooky.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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