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The American Oligarchy  
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8325 posts, RR: 9
Posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2687 times:

Just finished an interesting article in the NY Times by Paul Krugman that is worth sharing with those who might be interested.

On the Wisconsin situation he writes:

Quote:
The bill that has inspired the demonstrations would strip away collective bargaining rights for many of the state’s workers, in effect busting public-employee unions. Tellingly, some workers — namely, those who tend to be Republican-leaning — are exempted from the ban; it’s as if Mr. Walker were flaunting the political nature of his actions.

Why bust the unions? As I said, it has nothing to do with helping Wisconsin deal with its current fiscal crisis. Nor is it likely to help the state’s budget prospects even in the long run: contrary to what you may have heard, public-sector workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are paid somewhat less than private-sector workers with comparable qualifications, so there’s not much room for further pay squeezes.

So it’s not about the budget; it’s about the power.

In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/opinion/21krugman.html?hp

The shift of his thoughts are clearly moving towards the concept of an Oligarchy in America. The rich do have tremendous power, especially after the US Supreme Court opened the flood gates for corporate donations to politicians.

And the buying power for Middle America has shrunk since the start of this century.

And a lot of people who used to be in the middle class are looking at something far worse than they planned and worked hard for.

80 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8969 posts, RR: 39
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2674 times:

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Not exactly fair, is it? Now the wolves are complaining about the sheep's tactics of using their only advantage - their resources - to persuade the wolves not to eat them for dinner!

Poor wolves!

NOT!



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2610 times:

The technical term would be plutocracy (the rule of the wealthy). And yes, the US system seems to be particularly geared towards it.

User currently offlinepelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2587 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 1):
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Not exactly fair, is it? Now the wolves are complaining about the sheep's tactics of using their only advantage - their resources - to persuade the wolves not to eat them for dinner!

What else can I say as quoting Churchill:
"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."


There is no alternative. You can and should strive for improvement and justice, but democracy is the only way to go.


pelican


User currently offlinepacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2734 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2574 times:

Mr. Krugman is being somewhat disingenuous claiming that public sector workers are not part of the solution to any budget issues.

While their actual pay may indeed be less than relavent private sector workers (I don't believe this correct but I'll give him this one) it is the conditions of their employment which are often out of step with the rest of us, namely defined benefit pensions, excessive sick pay, holiday and maternity entitlements, a lack of accountability (they can't be fired), etc.

Such is the case in Wisconsin and most places in the world.



" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21679 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2550 times:

Quoting pacificjourney (Reply 4):
While their actual pay may indeed be less than relavent private sector workers (I don't believe this correct but I'll give him this one) it is the conditions of their employment which are often out of step with the rest of us, namely defined benefit pensions, excessive sick pay, holiday and maternity entitlements, a lack of accountability (they can't be fired), etc.

And he mentioned that they've agreed to cuts in those areas. His point is that getting rid of collective bargaining rights has little to do with the budget, and yet it's what the governor keeps pushing for. Which moves the issue beyond a mere budgetary one into a power grab.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15781 posts, RR: 27
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2550 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 1):
Now the wolves are complaining about the sheep's tactics of using their only advantage - their resources - to persuade the wolves not to eat them for dinner!

If I were wealthy, I would be using whatever resources and string pulling I could to keep the government from using me as their piggy bank.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2739 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2525 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 5):
His point is that getting rid of collective bargaining rights has little to do with the budget

It has everything to do with keeping cost under control in the long term. Keeping costs tied to inflation like Social Security would help those costs. Collective bargaining is just a nice term for extortion. He is making wisconsin a right to work state and this is one step in that direction. Remember elections have consequences...



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8325 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2524 times:

Quoting pacificjourney (Reply 4):
namely defined benefit pensions, excessive sick pay, holiday and maternity entitlements, a lack of accountability (they can't be fired), etc.

My wife spent time in a local school systems, working as a therapist. Each spring the teachers would receive their contracts for the next year. A new contract was not guaranteed. Sick days were, fortunately, cumulating, meaning it could be carried forward into future years - a wise program to reduce "sickies" as well as help when major illness hits. Teachers could also "gift" sick days to others who had been hit with major medical conditions and used up their sick days.

Fortunately the system she worked in actually respected their teachers and there was a lot of good work done in the system because of it.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 6):
If I were wealthy, I would be using whatever resources and string pulling I could to keep the government from using me as their piggy bank.

Including using the middle class as the government piggy bank.  Wow!


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15781 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2516 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 8):
Including using the middle class as the government piggy bank.

They should be paying their share too and the share of the wealthy should not be disproportionately large. All this wealth redistribution stuff is crap.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2739 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2498 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 8):
Including using the middle class as the government piggy bank.




Nobody is stopping them from becoming rich also. They have the same opportunities as everyone else. The only thing that is using anybody as a piggy bank is the looters from the left who continue to drown us in social obligation's. It is the spending not the taxes that we have to blame.



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8325 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2491 times:

Quoting windy95 (Reply 7):
It has everything to do with keeping cost under control in the long term.

Bull. First he passed a tax cut that would INCREASE the deficit, then he went after the teachers to pay for the tax cut. But that's not what he really wants. Both laws are just part of an effort to bash unions.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 7):
Remember elections have consequences...

And we might be seeing one unhealthy consequence March 5th.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
They should be paying their share too and the share of the wealthy should not be disproportionately large.

Which is why Warren Buffett said he is embarrassed that his admin assistant pays a higher total tax percent than he does.

Which is why, when you add in user taxes, like sales tax, the tax percentage burden shifts even more to the poor and middle class.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
All this wealth redistribution stuff is crap.

Especially when it is going in the opposite direction than your think it is.


User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2739 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2476 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
First he passed a tax cut that would INCREASE the deficit




No he passed two tax cuts that would help with job growth. Do you know what they are nd who received them? I will give you a hint, it was not the rich.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Quoting windy95 (Reply 7):
Remember elections have consequences...

And we might be seeing one unhealthy consequence March 5th



Yes that would be the sequel to Obamacare and Porkulus

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Which is why Warren Buffett said he is embarrassed that his admin assistant pays a higher total tax percent than he does.



On his investment income not on his salary. Sorry but that is another untruth. If he had a base salary it would be far higher than her'.s But like any smart rich guy he is avoiding taxes by not receiving a salary and living off his investment income which is taxed at a lower rate. And if he feels so bad why does he not then volunteer more money to the treasury to save his embarrassment. Why not because liberals are hypocrites when it comes to taxes.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
All this wealth redistribution stuff is crap.

Especially when it is going in the opposite direction than your think it is.



The difference is they have earned it..Do not be jealous



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2418 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 5):
etc.

And he mentioned that they've agreed to cuts in those areas.

They were unable to reach an agreement with the previous administration and State legislature, both democratic party controlled. They only agreed now to try and forestall the loss of their collective bargaining rights. Meanwhile some of them have been video taped committing fraud by accepting sick excuses while actually being at the Capitol picketing. If this isn't a PATCO moment I don't know what qualifies. Meanwhile the democratic legislature members have abandoned their responsibilities and fled the State. They too are practicing fraud and should be recalled in a special election vote.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 8):
Each spring the teachers would receive their contracts for the next year. A new contract was not guaranteed.

After three years that is not a problem with Wisconsin teachers as they achieve tenure. By the looks of this website, its not a bad gig.

http://certificationmap.com/states/wisconsin-teacher-certification/

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Which is why Warren Buffett said he is embarrassed that his admin assistant pays a higher total tax percent than he does.



He doesn't have to employ the army of accountants that allow him to find all the loopholes he uses. He could just total up his income and pay the appropriate tax if he wished too. Very hypocritical statement by him.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):

Which is why, when you add in user taxes, like sales tax, the tax percentage burden shifts even more to the poor and middle class.

Meanwhile, in another thread, this is exactly what you are advocating so you can keep your precious SS benefits intact.   


User currently offlinedfwrevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 984 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2405 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Bull. First he passed a tax cut that would INCREASE the deficit, then he went after the teachers to pay for the tax cut.

If the State's tax burden is too high, then it's too high. They must simultaneously set a competitive tax rate and then learn to live within that level of revenue.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Which is why Warren Buffett said he is embarrassed that his admin assistant pays a higher total tax percent than he does.

I would wager heavily that you do not actually know what this means or implies.

[Edited 2011-02-21 15:34:12]

User currently offlinethegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2360 times:

All we need to do is have universal health care, Australian or Dutch style....removing the burden off the backs of employers making labor more competitive.....
Next cut the military/defense spending by 60-70% and reinvest the savings in the social safety nets which do need some slight re-tweaking...eliminating the need for pensions maybe.....



Our Returning Champion
User currently offlinezalemam From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2341 times:

Quoting thegreatRDU (Reply 15):
All we need to do is have universal health care, Australian or Dutch style....removing the burden off the backs of employers making labor more competitive.....
Next cut the military/defense spending by 60-70%

  

Especially on military spending! I can't think of a country that can attack the US and not suffer a horrible defeat. Cutting the defense budget is the #1 thing we should do, then reinvest the money into health care, education and Jobs. We don't need to be fighting wars when we cant sleep at night because of the fear of losing a job or getting sick.

Wisconsin's governor shouldn't be cutting vital needs at times like this!



Patience is Virtue
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8633 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2316 times:

Public unions are an oligarchy too. Many cities (including mine) are run by the union workforce of the city. More than 75% of city revenue goes to those workers. Who campaigns for Democrat mayors? You guessed it.

This is called "state capture" which is a form of corruption. The beneficiary of the government is the political leader and his pals. The kicker is, they have taxation power, which is a legal way to take money from people -- whatever the City Council / mayor decide is reasonable.

It's not like your average work group union. The fiduciary duty of a CEO is to the shareholders. He will bargain hard. A mayor only wants to get elected. He doesn't care about fiduciary duty. Nor does he pay the cost. A mayor can get re-elected by stealing money from 1 group to pay another (his friends).

Cities and states rarely go bankrupt (again because of their tax power). So, public unions need not fear bankruptcy. Corporate unions are tempered by the fact a new competitor could launch and bankrupt them, should their wages get too far out of line with American norms. But public unions have no such failsafe mechanism. A NJ cop can make $250k in salary and benefits, and no competing police force can launch to replace him (think of airlines). Instead, the process is much slower in public service, and the (corrupt) rewards to unions much larger.

Anti-tax capitalists are oligarchs, but so are the tax-loving public workers. The two do not balance each other out; regular people get screwed by both groups. They are both examples of anti-public sentiment.


User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13138 posts, RR: 15
Reply 18, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2308 times:

Many hate that government workers get pensions and minimal cost to them health care. They forget 3 critical reason for them:

1) Low pay and crappy benefits get you low people who may not stay with the job, especially when the private sector could have paid a lot more.
2) You cannot have people who decide on how the public's money is spent influenced by the stock market or bribes if they are poorly paid.
3) Government workers do not gain credits of contributions into Social Security. That means a pension will be, except for personal savings, their only or near only monies for retirement and their health care in retirement may be their primary and maybe only place to get health care as may not be qualified for Medicare.

As to the severe limits on collective bargaining in the Wisconsin bill, yes it does set a dangerous precedent to all Americans. It is an attempt of the 'oligarchs' or more exactly the plutocrats to take more money for their selfish selves. It opens up the door for more jobs to be subject to abuse by politicians as people may not want to piss the bosses off asking for their reasonable work rights, those politicians making sure their contributing friends get the 'cushy jobs' or extorting staff to make political contributions, or do work on government time or money.

I think what should be done in Wisconsin would be to have a progressive contribution plan for health care. If you work part time, or are an elected state official, you pay the full fees and higher deductibles. You work in a job as a clerk making $35,000/yr, full time, maybe you pay 5% max, if making $100K, you pay 60-75% of your benefit costs and over $100K, you pay 100%. A like policy with pensions, the more you make, you have to contribute a higher % of the costs.

Some other ways to cut state costs: Go after the political cesspools of regional and local commissions. As much as I despise our Gov. Christie in NJ, one good thing he did recently was to dissmiss most of the commissioners of a large regional sewerage commission, had dismiss leading to the arrest of a number of employees who were having there underlings do stuff at their homes and that of relatives, fired a lot of useless jobs holders who often got big pay and top bennies.
Make major cuts in the sports programs at Colleges. Why should a college football or basketball coach get millions and college in state monies when the professors are on tiny pay and no benefits, or charging students more in tutitions and fees while 'student-athletes' that are not much as students get a free ride. The deans and other college executives all need a major cut in their pay and bennies as well. Go after those that get state contracts, to make sure their rich owners don't get so rich doing government projects. End 'pay to play' as to those seeking contracts with the state, that is putting in severe limits on campaign contributions and goodies going to the politicians who vote on those contracts. Go after those businesses that use illegal persons as day workers instead of using those the state is paying unemployment to.

Beyond the govt' workers unions losing their rights, what will happen next? More rich people finding new ways to make it more difficult to register to vote or vote itself, cutting more benefits to the poor and middle class, raising fees, limiting access to the courts for civil and criminal matters, cramming more kids in each school class. it is a slippery slope and I hope some of those rich people get caught in the downhill slide and become impoverished due to their greed.


User currently offlineCargolex From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1275 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2306 times:

Quote:
While their actual pay may indeed be less than relavent private sector workers (I don't believe this correct but I'll give him this one) it is the conditions of their employment which are often out of step with the rest of us, namely defined benefit pensions, excessive sick pay, holiday and maternity entitlements, a lack of accountability (they can't be fired), etc.

You know, you could look at this two ways.

The first is, I think, what you are saying - which is "Public workers have it better than everybody else because of these unions and that's out of step with the current world."

The other way, I think, is this:

Public workers are the last workers that are defending the ground gained by all workers in the late 19th and early 20th century. Other workers seem to have become okay with getting less and less for their work - and I include myself in that, since I'm not a member of a union and in just the 12 years in which I've been working professionally I've seen everything get cut and wages, while mine have personally risen, not keep pace with inflation or the cost of living.

If the public sector workers in Wisconsin are the last bastion of organizing to get better working conditions and more for your work, then we should back them up and demand more for our work. People in Wisconsin fought and died for the right to collective bargaining and the working conditions we take for granted today (like the idea of weekends).

I take it as an examination of the P&L ratio - the average worker seems content to get less for their labor, why is that? Is it not a very capitalist idea to want more money (or if not money, then benefits like vacation and healthcare, which equate to additional wages) for what you do?

Quote:
If this isn't a PATCO moment I don't know what qualifies.

To my mind, it looks a lot more like Frank Lorenzo making Continental bankrupt when it really wasn't so that he could void union agreements and break those employees.

It's pure union busting. If the governor doesn't actually care about the financial gain - and he literally stated he did not - then there is nothing further to discuss.


User currently offlinethegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2300 times:

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 18):
especially when the private sector could have paid a lot more.

How are we in this situation in the first place?

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 18):
2) You cannot have people who decide on how the public's money is spent influenced by the stock market or bribes if they are poorly paid.

Nobody said eliminate their pensions....and they are not poorly paid...

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 18):
3) Government workers do not gain credits of contributions into Social Security. That means a pension will be, except for personal savings, their only or near only monies for retirement and their health care in retirement may be their primary and maybe only place to get health care as may not be qualified for Medicare.

Nothing wrong with that....paying 0% or next to nothing and leaving everything at the expense of a hard working private sector employee is wrong...



Our Returning Champion
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8325 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2293 times:

Quoting windy95 (Reply 12):
I will give you a hint, it was not the rich.

Ya gotta be kidding!         

The Republicans delivered big time for the rich when W got into office.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 12):
Yes that would be the sequel to Obamacare and Porkulus

Lack of health reform before Obama was elected had a big impact on increased medical bankruptcies. Even with W's candy to the financial sector with "Bankruptcy Reform" medical bankruptcies have been a huge problem.

As far as the stimulus money goes, your preference was obviously to let the "market make its adjustment".

That would have been called a depression. Might still be, now that the Tea Party has the Republican Party by the testicles.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 12):
living off his investment income which is taxed at a lower rate.

So we need to re-look at the lower investment income rate?

Or bought it?

Contributions to RepublicansTea Party Candidates who will support lower taxes to the top rate was pretty substantial. The more money you have the more you can "motivate" politicians.

I have no problems with avoiding the double taxation of dividends, but believe the tax break be on the corporate side, not the individual side. That puts the decisions on the companies as to investing more money into growth (like R&D, new plant or equipment) or in delivering cash to shareholders.

One look at Apple shows that the tax rate of investment income has no relation on either dividend decisions or share price.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 12):
And if he feels so bad why does he not then volunteer more money to the treasury to save his embarrassment.

He's actually joined with Bill Gates to encourage the wealthiest to give half of their wealth to philanthropic programs, and has committed to do so himself.

Quoting dxing (Reply 13):
that is not a problem with Wisconsin teachers as they achieve tenure

And that might not be an issue if the best teachers there get picked off by other states that want them. I would call that head hunting heaven. Find out the schools that perform the best and see who their teachers are.

Quoting dxing (Reply 13):
so you can keep your precious SS benefits intact

And why am I surprised that you're still working hard to take them away?

Or are you worried that the politicians will start noticing that tax free ride you are getting on your 401K?

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
I would wager heavily that you do not actually know what this means or implies.

Don't wager more than your excess weight, I do understand taxes a bit, learned both the US and Aussie tax issues when I had a business down there while living here.

So, yes, I understand various tax issues, like the difference between GST and sales taxes. I understand user fees.

And I do understand how to look at taxes as both dollars and percentages.

Quoting zalemam (Reply 16):
I can't think of a country that can attack the US and not suffer a horrible defeat.

Not a country, but our own upper class seem to be doing pretty well.


User currently offlinedfwrevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 984 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2274 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 21):
Don't wager more than your excess weight, I do understand taxes a bit, learned both the US and Aussie tax issues when I had a business down there while living here.

Then step up to the plate tax guru. Explain the implications of Warren Buffet's claim.


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8969 posts, RR: 39
Reply 23, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2273 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 19):
Is it not a very capitalist idea to want more money (or if not money, then benefits like vacation and healthcare, which equate to additional wages) for what you do?

Bargaining is indeed capitalistic at its core, which is why I don't have a problem with the idea of unions. However, any negotiations with the state is not a capitalistic one. Nor is it capitalistic for us to pass laws that tilt the bargaining power in favor of unions or companies or states. That is simply corrupt or criminal at worse, regardless of which way you choose to tilt bargaining power.

Justice is blind, it should not look at your wallet to make decisions.

[Edited 2011-02-21 19:26:25]


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39906 posts, RR: 75
Reply 24, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2269 times:

How about a flat tax?
A true flat tax with NO homeowner's tax deduction, no child tax credit, no charitable donations tax credits, etc.?
Renters, single people and those with no children are punished under the current tax system.



Bring back the Concorde
25 Ken777 : You don't need to be a guru to understand what he was trying to say. Just like it doesn't take a PhD to understand him when he said he can afford to
26 BMI727 : Taking from the rich to give to the poor is a great way to run a charity, but it's a piss poor way to run a country. That's the last thing that shoul
27 Mir : And it's to Walker's credit that he was able to get them to agree to that by playing hardball, which I doubt the Democrats were willing to do. But no
28 seb146 : Why were all these right-wingers screaming and crying because of the fear of the "death tax" being raised? How many people does that effect, really?
29 Post contains images Superfly : Aren't those deciscions made by the colleges themselves? Doesn't the Associated Student Body and board of regents determine how their funds are divid
30 WarRI1 : [quote=dxing,reply=13]Meanwhile the democratic legislature members have abandoned their responsibilities and fled the State. They too are practicing f
31 Cargolex : Virtually all evidence points to the fact that over the last decade, tax structure has shifted wealth away from the poor and middle class to the weal
32 Post contains images Superfly : Very true. Would have been even worse if Cap & Trade had passed. All of those rich frauds that were co-sponsors and their friends at Goldman Sach
33 Post contains links dxing : While I agree with your flat tax proposal I have to ask how renters are punished, or don't you believe that a renter gets a better deal by just being
34 Post contains images windy95 : It was ignored because it was ludicrous to compare 1924 to now...If it makes you feel better I will condemn those dead Republican Senators from 1924.
35 Cargolex : Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
36 Post contains images Ken777 : They would be able to "negotiate" a pay increase up to, and only up to, the cost of living increases. that would mean that the Republicans would be a
37 BMI727 : A lot. The estate tax is a load of crap. It is taxing money that has already been taxed but has not created any value. As for who it affects, look no
38 Cargolex : The rich have gotten richer because they have the means to influence policy - in particular, tax policies enacted by the Republican party, which have
39 windy95 : So I guess the Dems in WI and IN now had not learned anything from History.
40 Cargolex : I think what they learned is that you have to make personal sacrifices to earn things for your constituents. I suppose your point, and it's hard to t
41 PPVRA : The middle class and the "poor" have made some people rich by their own choice, because the now "rich" produced highly desirable products that improv
42 Cargolex : You mean to suggest that providing social safety nets is buying elections while lowering tax rates for earned income and pouring money into campaigns
43 windy95 : Yes they should shut up and take it..They lost the House and the Governers office. They are doing what they told voters and taxpayers they would do a
44 nwaesc : Great. Remind us all where those jobs are, then. By most counts jobs have declined under Walker's short watch, and none of his actions yet have spurr
45 PPVRA : Pouring money into a campaign may buy you a candidate, but it does not buy you an election. You still need to persuade thousands if not millions of p
46 Post contains images Ken777 : You are forgetting that those with over $5,000,000.00 in disclosed estates have had the benefits of tax and estate planning for a long time. They hav
47 Cargolex : No, they should not. They should do their best to preserve the rights that workers struggled so hard for an fought (and died) to get if that is what
48 Cargolex : Millions of dollars buys you media. And Rupert Murdoch's millions have convinced a sizeable chunk of the American electorate that Barack Obama is a M
49 BMI727 : Considering the American tax structure, who in their right mind wouldn't? It's not that easy. You can't send your combine to the Cayman Islands.
50 Post contains images windy95 : It is not what their constituents want. It is what the public employee union constituents want. A majority of constituents from their districts I am
51 Post contains images Ken777 : Considering the American tax laws, anyone who doesn't want to have up to half confiscated plus fines. Of have the government look at building a racke
52 Cargolex : Doesn't seem like you're paying attention to the situation where many thousands of people are turning out every day to support these senators. Clearl
53 dxing : Given the state of Wisconsins budget that does not seem unreasonable. In case you hadn't noticed, GM, Ford, Chrysler, as well as a number of large em
54 Ken777 : Are you actually complaining that the government is not providing you with a socialist handout that will cover the full cost of having a kid? I thoug
55 Cargolex : I hear this argument alot - not necessarily about the child tax credit, but that people should keep everything they earn. That would be fine - I woul
56 dxing : Not at all, I'm pointing out that the deduction, which allows a person to keep more of what they earned, which unless they are a goverment employee t
57 Post contains images Superfly : You're assuming that the landlord will actaully make the repair. I've seen landlords run good tenants away be refusing to maintain properties and doi
58 WarRI1 : One cannot bring up something that happened in 1924, and committed by Republicans, and now it is exactly what the Republicans are condemnimg the Demo
59 Post contains images Ken777 : Nope. You would get $1,000.00 per child cash handout even if your were laid up and unable to work for the entire year. It has nothing to do with your
60 Post contains images Superfly : I don't get a $1,000.00 cash handout from the government for popping out a baby. Gee isn't that called ...............dare I say.....................
61 BMI727 : ...but then someone else starts a bank that won't provide data. There are always people looking to make a buck and quietly holding money would be a g
62 WarRI1 : Good point. I often wonder how many of our fellow members who now condemn our social programs, unions and all other government social services have b
63 windy95 : Yes we can, yes we can!!!!! Remenber elections have consequences and the consequence of this one is the end of the Public sector union power and the
64 dxing : If you have a contract he is legally obligated too. One can, but it is just as out of place as condeming someone who is a descendant of slave owners
65 Ken777 : We saw that during the Bush/Cheney years - even though Bush/Cheney lost the 2000 vote. I guess you could say that the Electoral College system has un
66 dxing : No you would not. It is not a cash payment. You do not get the cash equivlant of $1,000.00. If that were so my refund when I had two children listed
67 dxing : Quoting Ken777 (Reply 65): And if you were simply lazy and the only thing you ever produced was 4 kids then you would get a $4,000 cash payment each y
68 WarRI1 : This is what I said. I love the selective editing. Typical.
69 Superfly : ...and you need to hire a lawyer to force your landlord to do so. Lawyers aren't cheap either. A deduction that I don't get because I don't have chil
70 dxing : A quick internet search turns up numerous listings for lawyers that help low income people. You are correct, you don't get it because you don't have
71 Mir : Currently, it's certainly reasonable. But unless the state is planning on being broke for the rest of its existence, then at some point down the road
72 dxing : I disagree. I cannot fathom an entire "group" of people being eligible for more than a cost of living increase. If the union wants to negotiate perfo
73 Mir : But it appears that even that would be prohibited by the bill. -Mir
74 dxing : Then that is something that needs to be added to the bill but that can't be done unless the Senators are there to see it happen. If it doesn't happen
75 Mir : The Republicans certainly aren't looking to add it. And since the governor is on record saying that he's not going to compromise, the Democrats comin
76 dxing : Not at this time. But as you noted above, at a time when the government is in a better position financially the matter can be revisited. Or do you be
77 Mir : The Democrats will get back into power eventually, sure. But who knows when that will be, and if I were in the union's position, I wouldn't want to b
78 dxing : Yes it most certainly does because it gives the teacher a right to strike for greater than a cost of living increase. This really isn't much differen
79 Mir : Fine. They should be able to do that if the government doesn't loosen up when the economy comes back up. Or, if that's really that much of an issue,
80 dxing : By limiting their ability to only negotiate for a cost of living increase that if effectively done. No one is going to strike over that. And I would
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