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petsfed


Dec 4, 2011, 7:17 PM
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Re: [guangzhou] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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Actually, my mother is a small business owner. Since she does her own taxes, it means that it takes about twice as long as if it was just my folks' regular filings. If, of course, she made enough to pay an accountant to do these things, I'm sure it would be easier. Moreover, unless she retains a tax lawyer, she will remain ignorant of these tax shelters, or at least ignorant of how to use them without running afoul of the law.

Also, what would be more fair to you? What would be a fair rate? When I was at the bottom of my poverty, I lived in a low cost-of-living area. My rent was $300/month, plus another $100 or so to cover my utilities, car insurance, and a no-frills cell phone plan. Toss in another $100 a month for food, gas, and the odd movie (about once every 6 months, as I recall), I needed $6000 a year to survive. Not thrive mind you, I couldn't drive many places on that income, just survive. It sucked. That put me squarely in the bottom 10% of people filing income tax returns. And my calculations, based on the bottom 12%, show that that was about $1000 below the average income for the bottom 12%. And if the bottom 12% paid 12% of the income tax (you know, their fair share), they would have to pay $8000 a year, a piece. Meanwhile, the next 10% pays out half of their income, leaving an amazing $2000 each year to save, pay off college loans, pay off medical bills, or buy insurance.

I think a flat tax will either fuck over the poor, or bankrupt the country. And I mean seriously fuck over the poor. Like I'd be surprised if we didn't have massive violent response to such a thing. Personally, I'm looking forward to getting into the next tax bracket, since it means my income has increased a hell of a lot more than the amount I'm paying in taxes will. As I said, the graduated tax is mean to take the same proportion from the amount left after basic cost of living. If you and I both lose about a 1/2 of our income after we both pay the rent, I'd say we're both paying in equally from our ability.


6pacfershur


Dec 4, 2011, 9:41 PM
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Re: [petsfed] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
.... plus another $100 or so to cover my utilities, car insurance, and a no-frills cell phone plan. Toss in another $100 a month for food, gas, and the odd movie....

Holy cow! if thats true, you should write a book! i spend a minimum of $300/month on food alone....


petsfed


Dec 5, 2011, 7:48 AM
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Re: [6pacfershur] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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That was at the absolute bottom of my poverty, when my meals were often brown rice and lentils (complete protein!) with some frozen veggies thrown in. I once had a craving for something sweet, so I put some sugar on oatmeal and called it dessert. Plus, I walked everywhere. I'd put maybe 30 miles on my truck a month. It helped that I lived in such a low cost-of-living area, since that drives down other things, like gas and car insurance. Still though, I wouldn't go back to it anytime soon, and I was making about $6000 a year.


Partner happiegrrrl


Dec 5, 2011, 8:34 AM
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Re: [petsfed] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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Necessity is the mother of invention - and when it comes to survival, that is a fact.

At my highest income(handbag designer in NYC) I was just above 100K/yr salary(plus a decent medical insurance that even included dental).

Right now, I am at my lowest income(and ironically, I am back designing handbags of a sort, with my chalkbags line - hahaha).

When I left working as a handbag designer, I REALLY thought I needed to have $1K per week "to live."


I look back at those days now and wonder what the hell I was doing with all that money! Well, I suppose it WAS nice to be able to have someone give me a manicure/pedicure/bikini wax, buy socks whenever I wanted and not look at the price tag(I like socks; it harkens to childhood when my sister and I would give each other cool ones as xmas presents), order takeout from the nice italian restaurant, or sushi place or...., pop in a cab if I was tired instead of walking cross town to the subway line for my neighborhood, etc.


I am living a little too lowly these days, and it really sucks that all my entrepreneurial efforts just are not doing what I need to be able to ...even buy socks. Or a new backpack(mine is corseted in duct-tape). But... I am not going hungry, and oatmeal with sugar would not do it for me as a desert item. But, for some of us, when we have it, we spend it. Others are very capable of using less than they have. Everyone is different.

And that goes for the entrepreneurial spirit, too. Guanzhou says "anyone can start a business," and that is simply not true. It shows me that he is a man who takes his gifts for granted. Being a business owner DOES take a specific personality type. Nit everyone has that type within them, it is as simple as that.

I know he meant that the law does not stop anyone from attempting to own a business(or....does it? Someone tried to make a climbers hostel at the Gunks a few years ago - local zoning wouldn't allow it. So, he then tried a campsite. Nope! So then he said "well screw it! I will let people camp on my land for a donation!" .....And guess what - can't do that either.).


But I digress - just because a person"can* start a corporation does mean the can actually do it. And to suggest otherwise is the same mentality that says people should just quit being poor. Life is not that simple. To see it as such shows a lacking in humility.


petsfed


Dec 5, 2011, 10:44 AM
Post #30 of 90 (1838 views)
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Re: [6pacfershur] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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6pacfershur wrote:
Holy cow! if thats true, you should write a book! i spend a minimum of $300/month on food alone....

Do you have kids? I'd say my girlfriend and I spend about $400 a month on food, but we also try to buy local, which drives up the cost of things, especially in winter.


scrapedape


Dec 5, 2011, 10:54 AM
Post #31 of 90 (1833 views)
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Re: [petsfed] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
6pacfershur wrote:
Holy cow! if thats true, you should write a book! i spend a minimum of $300/month on food alone....

Do you have kids? I'd say my girlfriend and I spend about $400 a month on food, but we also try to buy local, which drives up the cost of things, especially in winter.

My family (3 of us including an 18 month old) eats pretty well on about $500 per month. We pay attention to our budget and don't just fill the cart, but we more or less are eating what we want and could definitely cut this deeply if we needed to do so.

I guess I'm saying that I can see pretty easily both how a single person could get by on $100 per month on food, or $300+.

$100 for food and all incidentals would take more work. Not sure I would buy that book though. What would that be, anyway? A cookbook? 100 ways to prepare Ramen?


petsfed


Dec 5, 2011, 11:42 AM
Post #32 of 90 (1824 views)
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Re: [scrapedape] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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"How To Make Even Dinner Depressing"

Right up there with "Computational Humour Theory: Making Jokes Less Funny Through Science". Presumably with a forward by noted humour scientist Yakov Smirnov, who was the first to study the joke-value of invertible statements.

My point was that it sucked, and I won't soon do it again.


(This post was edited by petsfed on Dec 5, 2011, 11:42 AM)


scrapedape


Dec 5, 2011, 12:30 PM
Post #33 of 90 (1811 views)
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Re: [petsfed] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
"How To Make Even Dinner Depressing"

That book has already been published, under a slightly different title:



Recently named the worst book ever.

Check out the Amazon reviews:

In reply to:
“Buy this book, or don’t, I don’t care anymore” by Michael Pemulis

It used to be that I got home from work and the only thing I’d want to put in my mouth was the cold barrel of my grandfather’s shotgun. Then I discovered Sonia Allison’s Chicken Tetrazzini, and now there are two things.

(thanks for the beautiful setup)


Toast_in_the_Machine


Dec 7, 2011, 4:58 AM
Post #34 of 90 (1755 views)
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Re: [guangzhou] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
That's because the data use is just income for a job based on tax returns. So, Again, I still believe that the top 1% of America os earning substantially more.

Tax returns are accurate. One may find a bias at the low end for cash only transactions and at the high end for tax shelters, but tax returns are the most accurate method we have, for now, for insight on wealth.
http://www2.ucsc.edu/...ca/power/wealth.html

guangzhou wrote:
People here keep saying the top needs to may more taxes, but the same data that identifies the top 1% as 350,000 or more year says that the top 1% pay approximately 40% of America's federal taxes. Hardly seems like they should be paying more in my book.

If the top 1% own 40% of all nations net worth, shouldn't they pay at least 40% of the taxes?


guangzhou


Dec 7, 2011, 5:29 PM
Post #35 of 90 (1722 views)
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Re: [Toast_in_the_Machine] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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Toast_in_the_Machine wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
That's because the data use is just income for a job based on tax returns. So, Again, I still believe that the top 1% of America os earning substantially more.

Tax returns are accurate. One may find a bias at the low end for cash only transactions and at the high end for tax shelters, but tax returns are the most accurate method we have, for now, for insight on wealth.
http://www2.ucsc.edu/...ca/power/wealth.html

guangzhou wrote:
People here keep saying the top needs to may more taxes, but the same data that identifies the top 1% as 350,000 or more year says that the top 1% pay approximately 40% of America's federal taxes. Hardly seems like they should be paying more in my book.

If the top 1% own 40% of all nations net worth, shouldn't they pay at least 40% of the taxes?

They already are.

It's amazing to me that Middle Class American's are willing to blame the rich for being successful but penalizing them with higher taxes.


petsfed


Dec 7, 2011, 6:26 PM
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guangzhou wrote:
They already are.

It's amazing to me that Middle Class American's are willing to blame the rich for being successful but penalizing them with higher taxes.

Tell Warren Buffet that. Close the loopholes so that they actually are taxed a fair amount (as opposed to "the law says this rate, but if you start throwing in all the deductions, it becomes much MUCH less. Still, since the law says it, that must be what they're taxed at"). I would argue that the actual tax burden on the 1% actually falls largely on the second highest half-percent, since they are less able to truly take advantage of all of these loopholes. According to Forbes, the effective taxation rate starts to fall off again above an adjusted gross income around $10 million/year.

I don't think we should punish them per se. I'm just saying that your effective taxation rate should be based on how much your net worth grows, regardless of what your wage is. I see no problem with using non-profits as tax-shelters. Indeed, I see no problem with corporations as tax-shelters, provided that such cash infusions are treated as income for that corporation, and is taxed accordingly. When the corporation is used as no more than a low-tax bank account, I see a problem.


Toast_in_the_Machine


Dec 7, 2011, 7:41 PM
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Re: [guangzhou] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
They already are.

It's amazing to me that Middle Class American's are willing to blame the rich for being successful but penalizing them with higher taxes.

Interesting. Very interesting. "Blame", "successful", "penalize”. Lots of emotional hot button words, yet amazingly devoid of thought. I, frankly, expect better than that. Since I know you are free of the knee jerk Fox / Limbaugh influences I expected at least a reply that contained the briefest of economic arguments. Since you didn’t provide one, and since you, by default, dubbed me the Middle Class American (which I proudly am), allow me to provide at least an attempt at a meaningful response.

Sure, what one man may call a government handout another may call a needed subsidy to a critical segment of the American economy. Sure, what one may call crippling regulation another may call a needed protection of the innocent. Position and perspective do dominate specific activities as being either “right” or “wrong”. However, when one brings a principled view to the issues, one is often able to set aside a party or a dogma or an ideal and see what is good and what is workable.

I will assume that you did not glance at the link I provided. Pity. While it is a starting point for policy recommendations, it is worth, at least in understanding why the “occupy” movement is more popular than the “tea party”. Simply put – since Reagan, the rich have gotten richer. Not just rich in an absolute sense, but in a percentage of overall wealth. Today, to be in the 1% means more than it did when Star Wars figures were a cool new toy. The facts are, as good as we can tell, pointing to a divergence. The rich are getting richer and no one else is. America is slouching towards a banana republic level of wealth distribution. While personal stories of success above ones initial station in life will, hopefully, continue, the cold hard mass of statistics says it will not for most. And that is the risk. The risk of no hope. This is a risk to me and the risk to my fellow Americans.

Part of the Reagan ideal was that if we let the rich have just a little more money, they would, as the great “job creators” “trickle down” the money to the rest of us. At the time, I thought it was bull shit. But hey, sometimes you try things you don’t think will work because you need to try something different. Well, guess what. It didn’t work. Well, actually it did. It helped the rich. The rising tide did not lift everyone, in fact, the tide lifted only the yachts and everyone else was left behind.

Since that time, to assume that it is right and appropriate to put have a tax system says that the more you make, the more you have benefitted from our society, therefore, the more you should pay has been labeled “class warfare” or, to use some of the words you use “blame the rich”. But it isn’t, it is an honest expectation that those who most benefit from our society and the stability, freedom, and economic opportunities that it provides pay more. Not just more in a simple straight line, but more because, as part of our society, they need to pay more than someone else who can’t afford to pay as much. The money is needed for the collective whole of society and the people with a strong disproportion of the money are best able to give up more of it.

Capitalism is the naked belief that it will all work out in the end if we are all wonderfully selfish. But life isn’t that nice, risk doesn’t always mean reward, past performance doesn’t guarantee success, and to go all Star Trek, sometimes the good of the many does outweigh the good of the few. In this case it means more taxes on the “rich”. It isn’t class warfare, envy, socialism or anything beyond setting the scale back to where it should have been in the first place. If you are rich, be happy, suck it up, pay up, and shut the fuck up. Whining about problems of being rich is so pre-divergence awareness.

Oh, and I suspect you aren’t likely to keep exploring issues of wealth and divergence, because I’m guessing you are comfortable in your views and not up to the challenge. Slate is continuing its articles on the creation and the how and why of income disparity in the US. Here is their explanation on why http://www.slate.com/..._so_much_worse_.html

Please, feel free to read. I think the author if this article is mostly pimping a book, but to understand the true flaws one would need to get out of associating ones’ views with one’s class. And “class” is not just last century; it is a concept that is about two centuries gone.


guangzhou


Dec 7, 2011, 9:41 PM
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In reply to:
They already are.

It's amazing to me that Middle Class American's are willing to blame the rich for being successful but penalizing them with higher taxes.

In reply to:
Interesting. Very interesting. "Blame", "successful", "penalize”. Lots of emotional hot button words, yet amazingly devoid of thought. I, frankly, expect better than that. Since I know you are free of the knee jerk Fox / Limbaugh influences I expected at least a reply that contained the briefest of economic arguments. Since you didn’t provide one, and since you, by default, dubbed me the Middle Class American (which I proudly am), allow me to provide at least an attempt at a meaningful response.

I too am a member of the American the middle class, near the bottom actually.

In reply to:
Sure, what one man may call a government handout another may call a needed subsidy to a critical segment of the American economy. Sure, what one may call crippling regulation another may call a needed protection of the innocent. Position and perspective do dominate specific activities as being either “right” or “wrong”. However, when one brings a principled view to the issues, one is often able to set aside a party or a dogma or an ideal and see what is good and what is workable.

Agree with you, it’s all perspective based on what ground we’re currently standing on.

In reply to:
I will assume that you did not glance at the link I provided. Pity. While it is a starting point for policy recommendations, it is worth, at least in understanding why the “occupy” movement is more popular than the “tea party”. Simply put – since Reagan, the rich have gotten richer. Not just rich in an absolute sense, but in a percentage of overall wealth. Today, to be in the 1% means more than it did when Star Wars figures were a cool new toy. The facts are, as good as we can tell, pointing to a divergence. The rich are getting richer and no one else is. America is slouching towards a banana republic level of wealth distribution. While personal stories of success above ones initial station in life will, hopefully, continue, the cold hard mass of statistics says it will not for most. And that is the risk. The risk of no hope. This is a risk to me and the risk to my fellow Americans.

While the rich are getting richer, I don’t agree with the thesis that no-one else is. I do believe that Americans are getting less economically responsible.

The OWM is a bunch of people screaming about how unhappy they are that their portfolio collapsed. They were not complaining when those same vessels they are protesting today were earning them money.

In reply to:
Part of the Reagan ideal was that if we let the rich have just a little more money, they would, as the great “job creators” “trickle down” the money to the rest of us. At the time, I thought it was bull shit. But hey, sometimes you try things you don’t think will work because you need to try something different. Well, guess what. It didn’t work. Well, actually it did. It helped the rich. The rising tide did not lift everyone, in fact, the tide lifted only the yachts and everyone else was left behind.

Reagan didn’t invent the trickle down theory, but generally speaking, it’s more effective than taking from the people who are successful in business and giving it to those who have not done anything to earn expect being unsuccessful.

Without the incentive of making money, fewer people would go out and innovate, invent, and create.

In reply to:
Since that time, to assume that it is right and appropriate to put have a tax system says that the more you make, the more you have benefitted from our society, therefore, the more you should pay has been labeled “class warfare” or, to use some of the words you use “blame the rich”. But it isn’t, it is an honest expectation that those who most benefit from our society and the stability, freedom, and economic opportunities that it provides pay more. Not just more in a simple straight line, but more because, as part of our society, they need to pay more than someone else who can’t afford to pay as much. The money is needed for the collective whole of society and the people with a strong disproportion of the money are best able to give up more of it.

Those who have benefited the most have done so by going out and making things happen. The system is there for everyone, some choose to take risk and make money, others decide to go work for those who took risk by starting businesses and make less money, then complain that the people who own the company make more money than they do while doing nothing.

In reply to:
Capitalism is the naked belief that it will all work out in the end if we are all wonderfully selfish. But life isn’t that nice, risk doesn’t always mean reward, past performance doesn’t guarantee success, and to go all Star Trek, sometimes the good of the many does outweigh the good of the few. In this case it means more taxes on the “rich”. It isn’t class warfare, envy, socialism or anything beyond setting the scale back to where it should have been in the first place. If you are rich, be happy, suck it up, pay up, and shut the fuck up. Whining about problems of being rich is so pre-divergence awareness.

I agree, risk doesn’t always mean reward, past performance doesn’t guarantee success, and the good of many sometimes does outweigh that of the few. Selfish is the belief that those who have earned something or those who own something are required to give it to you because you don’t have it or have less of it.

In reply to:
Oh, and I suspect you aren’t likely to keep exploring issues of wealth and divergence, because I’m guessing you are comfortable in your views and not up to the challenge. Slate is continuing its articles on the creation and the how and why of income disparity in the US. Here is their explanation on why http://www.slate.com/..._so_much_worse_.html

Please, feel free to read. I think the author if this article is mostly pimping a book, but to understand the true flaws one would need to get out of associating ones’ views with one’s class. And “class” is not just last century; it is a concept that is about two centuries gone.

The article supports that the best at their jobs are getting richer for sure. Why shouldn’t they? Those with the most experience and best skills should be getting paid more. If I were recruiting a new person to preform a task within my company and that person had a job doing the same thing for another company, I would entice him with a higher salary and better benefit package. The better you are at doing what you do, the more you should be paid for your skills.

Being the best at something, or better than your competitor is a good thing in my book. I hate that American is teaching people, kids especially, that participation is good enough. Individuals and sport team members now get certificates and medals of completion so they don’t feel bad for losing. This instills an attitude that just trying is good enough, you don’t have to be successful; you’ll get something no matter what.

As for wealth and divergence, I agree, rich people are getting richer. Of course, they have more skills at getting richer and focus their life on it. Me, I don’t care why this is happening or how to reverse the trend by making the rich poorer. Instead, I am working on getting richer myself.

Another words, I plan on making my life financially better by pulling myself up, instead of bringing others down to my level. Instead of complaining about the gap, work on closing it by raising your own financial gains. Stop collecting certificates of completion.


Toast_in_the_Machine


Dec 8, 2011, 4:12 AM
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guangzhou wrote:
Reagan didn’t invent the trickle down theory, but generally speaking, it’s more effective than taking from the people who are successful in business and giving it to those who have not done anything to earn expect being unsuccessful.

Without the incentive of making money, fewer people would go out and innovate, invent, and create.



Those who have benefited the most have done so by going out and making things happen. The system is there for everyone, some choose to take risk and make money, others decide to go work for those who took risk by starting businesses and make less money, then complain that the people who own the company make more money than they do while doing nothing.



I agree, risk doesn’t always mean reward, past performance doesn’t guarantee success, and the good of many sometimes does outweigh that of the few. Selfish is the belief that those who have earned something or those who own something are required to give it to you because you don’t have it or have less of it.

Before I get to some more discussion about how your personal philosophy, which is good, makes for bad policy, I want to stop and say where money would go from any increased taxes on “the rich”: It is to pay off those god damn wars. Period. That isn’t income re-distribution, that isn’t what social distribution of income, nor is it about social policy. It was bad policy to go to war and cut taxes at the same time. We now have a huge IOU to ourselves and we need the money today. Where can we get that money now? We get it from the people who most benefitted from the past ten years: the richest 1% (their income went up, everyone else stayed flat). They benefitted, they pay. If we had seen a significant movement from the middle or lower class of the past ten years in terms of income increase, I would see it as appropriate to increase their taxes. But since we haven’t seen lower / middle incomes increase and we have seen the richest people’s income increase, that is who should pay. That is the tax we are talking about today, as for how to structure taxes for social benefit. That is the next question.

guangzhou wrote:

The article supports that the best at their jobs are getting richer for sure. Why shouldn’t they? Those with the most experience and best skills should be getting paid more. If I were recruiting a new person to preform a task within my company and that person had a job doing the same thing for another company, I would entice him with a higher salary and better benefit package. The better you are at doing what you do, the more you should be paid for your skills.

Being the best at something, or better than your competitor is a good thing in my book. I hate that American is teaching people, kids especially, that participation is good enough. Individuals and sport team members now get certificates and medals of completion so they don’t feel bad for losing. This instills an attitude that just trying is good enough, you don’t have to be successful; you’ll get something no matter what.

As for wealth and divergence, I agree, rich people are getting richer. Of course, they have more skills at getting richer and focus their life on it. Me, I don’t care why this is happening or how to reverse the trend by making the rich poorer. Instead, I am working on getting richer myself.

Another words, I plan on making my life financially better by pulling myself up, instead of bringing others down to my level. Instead of complaining about the gap, work on closing it by raising your own financial gains. Stop collecting certificates of completion.

I too am trying continually to bring myself up (my site is still about three quarters setup – http://www.its-on-gear.com – but pimping that is for another day). I too am a fan of competition, but your take on participation medals is 100% backwards. See, it goes to the theme of the article that you seem to have missed. It isn’t just that those with more skills are getting richer; it is that with the flattening of the earth, the small distinction between “very, very good” and “excellent” creates disproportionately large rewards. Those kids whose parents obsess over their “talent” and spend all of their effort at very early ages developing it, those kids are going to be OK. They will likely be mentally effed up, but financially they will be OK.

Let’s take the next generation of pro climbers. The next pro climbers won’t come from someone who just happened to meet someone else in high school that climbed, and they go out climbing and fall in love and do it obsessively until they are the very best. No, the next best of the best will come out of one of the thousands of gyms with tens of thousands of kids from all over the globe who start at stunningly early ages who have been training their entire lives to be the best climber. Out of that pool of competition, someone will emerge the best. They will be far better than anyone of earlier generations because they will have been climbing more, with better coaching, for far longer by the time they hit high school than the previous generation did in their entire life. That person may be only marginally better than the next best person of their age, but because of the reach of technology and information they will be far better known and therefore far better compensated.

This trend is the same for climbers as it is for other sports, as it is for musicians, as it is for business people, as it is for every profession. Only those kids who start very early and dedicate their entire lives to it will get the huge rewards for being the best. Second place has really become first loser. Think of it this way: my son is 10 and an OK climber. In a way, his window of opportunity to become a pro climber has passed him by. There are already, in all likelihood, too many kids climbing so much harder than he is at his age that he should not set a goal to be a pro climber. His life doesn’t contain enough hours to train enough to catch up to the kids who are already better, at age 10, than he is. Forget regrets at 40, or even post high school, middle school is the new time to regret the choices you have made in life. If you need a story that tells this trend, try to read this without barfing in your mouth: http://www.nytimes.com/....html?pagewanted=all

It is this trend in the market with a “winner take all” attitude that is creating rifts in our social fabric. While the individual goal (to be the best) needs to be cultivated, it is creating an overall effect of a collection highly segmented competitions each with extremely high barriers to entry. Liberal Arts is dead if you want to be highly successful.

Please note, I’m not saying that competition is bad, or that winning is bad, nor even that my son cries himself to bed each night because he won’t be a pro climber (he doesn’t want to). I’m pointing to the emerging economic trends, trends that say that American kids aren’t competing against their neighbors, or the kids down the street, or even kids within their own state. Kids today are competing against kids from all over the world, geography is becoming less and less a protector of mediocrity. (Hence why unions are even more doomed, but that is another rant.)

But, and here is the big butt, what about all of the other kids who wanted to be a pro climber, spent their youth on climbing feeding teams, spent all of their time on climbing (and therefore not on studying engineering) and yet blew out their tendons and were never able to climb again? What about those people that fail at Plan A? With every other job getting an equally higher and higher barrier to entry, when plan A fails, where can they go for Plan B? If we don’t allow for people to fail and yet not lose everything, then society becomes even more polarized. We need to have natural limits on the range of success just as we should have natural limits on the range of failure. We will always have a bell curve of success, the question is how steep is the drop off. I can explain why this is bad, but I’ll, for now, assume you get why a society based on only extreme success or total failure would be very bad.

What is the best way to ensure that there isn’t a huge drop between first place and second place? Yup, taxes. Regulating the extremes of success by removing some of the extremes of the rewards helps all of us. It isn’t about taking away from people (oh crap now I sound like a religious parent about to beat their kid), it is about the rules of society as a whole. Taxes are the environmental regulations of social policy – they prevent extreme behavior from succeeding to the detriment of all. And like environmental regulations, people complain about them, but in the end, it doesn’t alter the winners and losers within a segment and the society benefits from them.

Sure you can have a philosophy that says “I want to be the best” and “I want to get the rewards for my actions”, but to create social policy you need to look outside of what motivates an individual and instead study what impact rules have to society. And that study needs to be fact based, not based on ideals. If you do approach public policy with a philosophical approach, your predictions of the results is likely to be wrong. For some insight into why having an agenda doesn’t help you see the future, here is a fun article from a few years back: http://www.newyorker.com/...05/051205crbo_books1


scrapedape


Dec 8, 2011, 5:19 AM
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Re: [Toast_in_the_Machine] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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Interesting perspective, TITM, and well-argued.

I've never before thought about the potential for extremely high rewards at the tail of the distribution to attract too many people, most of whom will ultimately not make it. There is definitely an economics analogy here, as you end up with an over-provision of certain skills, a sort of stranded investment.

My own exposure to this is that I see a lot of other students around here going off to careers in banking and management consulting because that's where the big money is. It worries me because if our country's brightest minds are engineering new financial instruments instead of doing actual engineering work , what is going to happen to actual engineering as a field?


Allfred


Dec 8, 2011, 5:27 AM
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Re: [guangzhou] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
Toast_in_the_Machine wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
That's because the data use is just income for a job based on tax returns. So, Again, I still believe that the top 1% of America os earning substantially more.

Tax returns are accurate. One may find a bias at the low end for cash only transactions and at the high end for tax shelters, but tax returns are the most accurate method we have, for now, for insight on wealth.
http://www2.ucsc.edu/...ca/power/wealth.html

guangzhou wrote:
People here keep saying the top needs to may more taxes, but the same data that identifies the top 1% as 350,000 or more year says that the top 1% pay approximately 40% of America's federal taxes. Hardly seems like they should be paying more in my book.

If the top 1% own 40% of all nations net worth, shouldn't they pay at least 40% of the taxes?

They already are.

It's amazing to me that Middle Class American's are willing to blame the rich for being successful but penalizing them with higher taxes.

you're a dipshit. Look how the rich have been penalized since the great depression.




What happened to our national debt since Reagan cut those taxes...


There rising tide is NOT lifting all boats


You don't balance the books by cutting taxes while spending more on two wars.



OH NOES!



guangzhou


Dec 8, 2011, 5:33 AM
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Excellent post and well argued. Although I don't agree that the rich have all benefited from the war and that the taxes will actually be used to pay for the war.

I also think that a big pay discrepancy between best and second best is fine. If the business, the field, or the industry is willing to pay for that level of talent and the talent is good at negotiating what they get all the better. I am willing to pay much more for a product I find to be the best versus second best in many cases. In the world of business, second place is often first place loser.


I will reply a bit more next time, for now, I am going to a workout in by climbing a few of my gym's routes. Do some stretching, than walk the dogs. All of which are far more important to me than this internet conversation. (A good conversation) I think speaking face to face would make this an excellent conversation, but on a forum, well enough said.

An excellent post with lots of material for sure. Much which I don't agree with, but I can understand your view.


petsfed


Dec 8, 2011, 6:58 AM
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Re: [scrapedape] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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scrapedape wrote:
My own exposure to this is that I see a lot of other students around here going off to careers in banking and management consulting because that's where the big money is. It worries me because if our country's brightest minds are engineering new financial instruments instead of doing actual engineering work , what is going to happen to actual engineering as a field?

Interesting but true, a good fraction of the best and brightest in physics end up working on market simulations because they have a lot of background in non-linear systems. This is compounded by the fact that overseas labs (in China, mostly) are able to produce better research at lower cost than in the states. We are losing the economic tech war because of our unceasing desire to grow the bottom line.

I don't know how to get the majority back in the we're-all-in-this-together frame of mind, but it seems like if the rich paid more taxes, they'd have a stronger interest in how that money gets spent, and maybe use their considerable lobbying power to make the world a better place, not simply make their portfolios larger.


atg200


Dec 8, 2011, 8:27 AM
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Toast_in_the_Machine


Dec 8, 2011, 8:49 AM
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Re: [Allfred] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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Allfred wrote:
What happened to our national debt since Reagan cut those taxes...


There rising tide is NOT lifting all boats
[image]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v474/autorank/001/income5.jpg[/image]

You don't balance the books by cutting taxes while spending more on two wars.



OH NOES!
[image]http://newsjunkiepost.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Historical-Perspective-on-Top-Tax-Rate.jpg[/image]

Chart #1 shows debt as a percentage of GDP went down under Clinton but chart two shows Billy boy added 1.6 trillion. While both could be correct, the charts seem to contradict each other.


Allfred


Dec 8, 2011, 9:34 AM
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Re: [Toast_in_the_Machine] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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Toast_in_the_Machine wrote:
Allfred wrote:
What happened to our national debt since Reagan cut those taxes...
[image]http://bloggingblue.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/US_Federal_Debt_as_Percent_of_GDP_by_President.jpg[/image]

There rising tide is NOT lifting all boats
[image]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v474/autorank/001/income5.jpg[/image]

You don't balance the books by cutting taxes while spending more on two wars.
[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LS-LLCtY1-4/Tib7QGFC8BI/AAAAAAAABgk/Nd6TeY-1YK4/s1600/debtchart.gif[/image]


OH NOES!
[image]http://newsjunkiepost.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Historical-Perspective-on-Top-Tax-Rate.jpg[/image]

Chart #1 shows debt as a percentage of GDP went down under Clinton but chart two shows Billy boy added 1.6 trillion. While both could be correct, the charts seem to contradict each other.

From what I understand the pie chart is inflation adjusted total dollars. GDP grew under Clinton as well, so there's that.

The real point of the GDP chart is the slopes and comparing them to the change in tax rates.


Toast_in_the_Machine


Dec 8, 2011, 10:18 AM
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Re: [Allfred] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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Allfred wrote:
Toast_in_the_Machine wrote:
Allfred wrote:
What happened to our national debt since Reagan cut those taxes...
[image]http://bloggingblue.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/US_Federal_Debt_as_Percent_of_GDP_by_President.jpg[/image]

There rising tide is NOT lifting all boats
[image]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v474/autorank/001/income5.jpg[/image]

You don't balance the books by cutting taxes while spending more on two wars.
[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LS-LLCtY1-4/Tib7QGFC8BI/AAAAAAAABgk/Nd6TeY-1YK4/s1600/debtchart.gif[/image]


OH NOES!
[image]http://newsjunkiepost.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Historical-Perspective-on-Top-Tax-Rate.jpg[/image]

Chart #1 shows debt as a percentage of GDP went down under Clinton but chart two shows Billy boy added 1.6 trillion. While both could be correct, the charts seem to contradict each other.

From what I understand the pie chart is inflation adjusted total dollars. GDP grew under Clinton as well, so there's that.

The real point of the GDP chart is the slopes and comparing them to the change in tax rates.

As I thought I might have maybe remembered. The chart for Slick Willy should have 0.

http://www.factcheck.org/...ficit-under-clinton/

In reply to:
Q: During the Clinton administration was the federal budget balanced? Was the federal deficit erased?

A: Yes to both questions, whether you count Social Security or not.


Allfred


Dec 9, 2011, 5:26 AM
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Re: [Toast_in_the_Machine] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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Toast_in_the_Machine wrote:

As I thought I might have maybe remembered. The chart for Slick Willy should have 0.

http://www.factcheck.org/...ficit-under-clinton/

In reply to:
Q: During the Clinton administration was the federal budget balanced? Was the federal deficit erased?

A: Yes to both questions, whether you count Social Security or not.

interesting. I suspect (wild guess on my part) this part to be where the difference is in the pie chart.
In reply to:
Keep in mind that fiscal years begin Oct. 1, so the first year that can be counted as a Clinton year is fiscal 1994. The appropriations bills for fiscal years 1990 through 1993 were signed by Bill Clinton’s predecessor, George H.W. Bush.


Partner cracklover


Dec 9, 2011, 9:42 AM
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Re: [atg200] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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Great post Andrew. This in particular:

atg200 wrote:
high marginal rates encourage business reinvestment, which creates jobs and growth.

I believe even Milton Friedman, in who's name this extreme Reaganomics agenda is pushed by the current Republican Congress, would completely disavow it; he would name it for the short-sighted monetary grab by the elite, at the expense of the economy as a whole, that it really is.

GO

edited for clarity


(This post was edited by cracklover on Dec 9, 2011, 9:45 AM)


scrapedape


Dec 9, 2011, 11:25 AM
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Re: [cracklover] what is a 1%er [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:

edited for clarity

Keep trying.

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