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Bay12 Presidential Focus Polling 2016

Ted Cruz
- 7 (6.5%)
Rick Santorum
- 16 (14.8%)
Michelle Bachmann
- 13 (12%)
Chris Christie
- 23 (21.3%)
Rand Paul
- 49 (45.4%)

Total Members Voted: 107


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Author Topic: Bay12 Election Night Watch Party  (Read 574428 times)

Lord Shonus

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6510 on: April 13, 2014, 10:33:10 am »

This explains a lot. So the United States had no income tax until 1913? The "market-based approach" to virtually everything in the United States really rubs me the wrong way.

Except for the Civil War and WWI, the Federal government spet very little money until FDR's anti-Depression programs, most of it on border security and the fairly small permanent military (intended to be fleshed out with volunteers and militiamen as needed). This was easily paid for by tariffs.
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Bauglir

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6511 on: April 13, 2014, 10:47:25 am »

What, exactly, makes SS so inherently doomed that doesn't also apply to any strategy to provide economic support? It's not like a universal income would exactly be cheap, either, for instance, but I don't see anybody insisting that it's a pipe dream in this thread. It'd also help to post arguments, hell, even a link to somebody else's argument, rather than "You just don't get it do you? You're wrong, and I'm right!"
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In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
“What are you doing?”, asked Minsky. “I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe” Sussman replied. “Why is the net wired randomly?”, asked Minsky. “I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play”, Sussman said.
Minsky then shut his eyes. “Why do you close your eyes?”, Sussman asked his teacher.
“So that the room will be empty.”
At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.

Helgoland

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6512 on: April 13, 2014, 11:37:01 am »

The idea behind Hartz4 is, "We give you what you need to live, but we're gonna a) make damn sure you need it and b) only keep giving you money as long as you keep looking for work, if you're fit to work." Although many far-left people are railing against it, I rather like this system: A liberal arts major can be forced into manning the register at the supermarket, for example - something that is apparently non-trivial. Of course, it has its downsides: People are put into useless programs that are supposed to qualify them for other work but don't; the people on Hartz4 are often not treated very nicely by the civil servants; and there's a very, very big bureaucracy at work determining who gets money and who doesn't.
A basic income would be much more elegant.
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Descan

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6513 on: April 13, 2014, 12:44:48 pm »

I still have trouble deciding between a negative tax or just a straight basic income.

On the one hand, a negative tax would do just as well as a basic income, and be far cheaper (10% the cost, or less or more depending on where you put the cut-off of "living expenses".

On the other, depending on how you do it, it could lead to a Red Queen situation for those transitioning to pay levels above and beyond the living expenses level, where the more they make, the less they get in tax-rebates, leaving them in the same situation with more effort expended.

Of course, my pipe dream is to relegate ALL manual labour and "service industry" (what a lovely name for a shit job) stuff to robotics and machines, and leave humans and whatever AI exists at that point to their own devices. Research, entrepreneurial work, cultural arts and musics, etc. Whatever the individual entity wants to do, including sitting on their butts and playing vidja gaems. I don't know whether this would be accomplished with some sort of chit that lets you access the nations (if those still exist in a political manner) resources, a massive basic-income, or what...

Use us for what makes us special, our brains, and stop wasting it on just using our muscle! D:
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 12:46:25 pm by Descan »
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FearfulJesuit

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6514 on: April 13, 2014, 02:06:17 pm »

I support basic income in theory, but it's definitely an expensive proposition (for which reason I don't think it will be viable for several decades). Let's say the average American adult needs $15,000 a year to live on frugally. (This is almost exactly the amount of money you make from working minimum wage for 40 hours a week every week of the year. Frugally is the key word here- it's perfectly reasonable to live on $15,000 a year in Arkansas or Mississippi, but not SoCal or the NYC metro area. It's very difficult to live on minimum wage in practice because very few people on minimum wage work 40 hours a week of it. We can also assume universal healthcare, because "can reasonably live on [frugal income]" should be possible, but isn't without universal healthcaren) You could even cut this down to eleven or twelve thousand dollars on the assumption that even people who live mostly on the basic income payout will also be holding down a part-time job to supplement it. That might not be much- especially since we won't need a minimum wage anymore- but it be less than five or six thousand dollars a year. Children would get a smaller payout, but nothing less than probably around $7500.

As of this writing, there are 317.5 million people in the United States. 23.5% (74,612,500) of them are under 18.

Under a generous basic income plan, where adults get $15k a year and kids get, let's say, $9k, minimum income would cost 4.3 trillion dollars every year.  Under a cheaper plan, where adults get $12k and kids get $7.5k, that's still over 3.4 trillion dollars a year. The former is more than the entire federal budget (3.9 trillion). The latter is under it, but not by much.

It's probably a lot more viable than it looks, since we wouldn't also be spending money on Social Security or food stamps, and business taxes can rise since there's no minimum wage to worry about, or a lower one- but it's not cheap. I don't have the stats in front of me to do the math right now, though, since I have work to do. What I can tell you is that we can't make the shortfall up by cutting from the military budget- that's under $700 billion/year.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 02:07:53 pm by FearfulJesuit »
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@Footjob, you can microwave most grains I've tried pretty easily through the microwave, even if they aren't packaged for it.

Sheb

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6515 on: April 13, 2014, 02:14:04 pm »

Sure, although your forgot to account for old people (the income would replace parts of Social Security, rather than add to it). Still, it'd cost a lot, so taxes will raises. The result will be that your average Joe won't be getting an extra 12k a year, but maybe 4 or 5k once the tax increases are taken into account.
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FearfulJesuit

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6516 on: April 13, 2014, 02:19:55 pm »

Sure, although your forgot to account for old people (the income would replace parts of Social Security, rather than add to it). Still, it'd cost a lot, so taxes will raises. The result will be that your average Joe won't be getting an extra 12k a year, but maybe 4 or 5k once the tax increases are taken into account.

Lots of proposals I've seen have a flat tax that kicks in after the minimum income level. So if basic income is $12k, and you make $18k total, you pay tax on $6k.
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@Footjob, you can microwave most grains I've tried pretty easily through the microwave, even if they aren't packaged for it.

Bauglir

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6517 on: April 13, 2014, 02:27:59 pm »

Yeah, any sensible implementation is going to have to be designed so that increased taxes do not affect your guaranteed income. I'd prefer a highly progressive system, especially applied to non-person legal entities (corporations, etc., and legal personhood or no you know exactly what I mean here), rather than a flat tax, but seriously the mathematics of making that happen are fairly trivial. It's a good deal trickier to figure out how to make sure that what you're getting out of the higher tiers is enough, of course, and to ensure that they actually stay in your tax jurisdiction, but making sure you don't fuck over the little guy is actually really easy.
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In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
“What are you doing?”, asked Minsky. “I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe” Sussman replied. “Why is the net wired randomly?”, asked Minsky. “I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play”, Sussman said.
Minsky then shut his eyes. “Why do you close your eyes?”, Sussman asked his teacher.
“So that the room will be empty.”
At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.

MetalSlimeHunt

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6518 on: April 13, 2014, 02:28:07 pm »

Then raise the age of eligibility, for crying out loud! Also, the US population is still growing - come look at Europe or Japan if you want to see a real demographic problem.
The age of eligibility would have to be raised into making the program kind of pointless anyway (and as I recall, the numbers I've seen only make that a small stopgap solution anyway). If you have to retire in your late 70's you might as well go ahead and work until you die. The US population is still growing, yes, but it isn't growing enough to sustain a program like this. Also, continued population growth is a really bad thing that we should be aiming to prevent.
Literally the only way for SS to collapse is for people to want it to collapse.  There can most definitely be a lower population of contributors than beneficiaries, and even that doesn't matter all that much since the population of the US isn't likely to start decreasing at any point in the future - and if it does, we can easily fix that too.

You can certainly argue we'd be better off with another system - but the alarmism is completely uncalled for. The only risk to Social Security is political, not technical, and the sorts of claims you're making are the thing that feeds into that actually having a chance of becoming reality. If you have a better system, by all means, propose it, but there's nothing unsustainable about the current one except in the minds of those who believe that we can't modify existing laws as needed for some reason.
Dude, the money isn't just going to appear out of thin air. The system's basic functionality relies upon more money going into the system than is being taken out of it, and that isn't going to be maintained. You aren't ever getting SS payments. I'm not ever getting SS payments. Hell, RedKing probably isn't ever getting SS payments. It's a money pit we need to cut off. US population actually should be decreasing in the next few decades, and if it doesn't that's a severe problem. There needs to be a decreasing population if we expect to survive the coming century.
What, exactly, makes SS so inherently doomed that doesn't also apply to any strategy to provide economic support? It's not like a universal income would exactly be cheap, either, for instance, but I don't see anybody insisting that it's a pipe dream in this thread. It'd also help to post arguments, hell, even a link to somebody else's argument, rather than "You just don't get it do you? You're wrong, and I'm right!"
It would certainly be a huge undertaking to try to implement, as it's never been done on a large scale before. What could potentially make it different from SS is that the money that goes into it is intended to quickly be spent, returning it to the economy. SS, on the other hand, does not have any such return system to its coffers because they are divorced from the larger economic context. It probably wouldn't work, but it does at least not run into that problem because it doesn't operate on the assumption that there will be endless population growth, which SS does.

Social Security is an outdated policy enacted in a time in which the growing population was just taken as an unchallengeable fact. That time is over, thankfully, and we're still teetering on the precipice. Either way, Social Security needs to go.
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kaijyuu

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6519 on: April 13, 2014, 02:30:21 pm »

I'll pop in to note that any working system of guaranteed income needs to not have any exploitable breakpoints. No extra dollar you earn should have an overall negative impact.

A lot of the problems with our current welfare systems/etc is that once you start earning past some arbitrary breakpoint, you suddenly lose out on a lot of benefits. So people are encouraged to hover just below it, when we should always be encouraging people to work more.
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For, in order that men should resist injustice, something more is necessary than that they should think injustice unpleasant. They must think injustice absurd; above all, they must think it startling. They must retain the violence of a virgin astonishment. When the pessimist looks at any infamy, it is to him, after all, only a repetition of the infamy of existence. But the optimist sees injustice as something discordant and unexpected, and it stings him into action.

Sheb

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6520 on: April 13, 2014, 02:51:21 pm »

Actually, at least for federal benefits, there is no real breakpoint in the current system (Earning more never results in less income), but the marginal tax rate (How much the state takes from every extra dollar, including benefits cut) reach 95% at some point. Source: An article in the Economist I read in paper.

Still, one advantage of a universal income (or of generally merging benefits) is that it's easier to design the system right.

By the way, does anyone has data on what percentage of the cost of benefits program goes to administration and overhead?
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GreatJustice

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6521 on: April 13, 2014, 04:42:59 pm »

Actually, at least for federal benefits, there is no real breakpoint in the current system (Earning more never results in less income), but the marginal tax rate (How much the state takes from every extra dollar, including benefits cut) reach 95% at some point. Source: An article in the Economist I read in paper.

Still, one advantage of a universal income (or of generally merging benefits) is that it's easier to design the system right.

By the way, does anyone has data on what percentage of the cost of benefits program goes to administration and overhead?

Income doesn't get cut by the increased taxes, but welfare payments definitely do.

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The person supporting regenerating health, when asked why you can see when shot in the eye justified it as 'you put on an eyepatch'. When asked what happens when you are then shot in the other eye, he said that you put an eyepatch on that eye. When asked how you'd be able to see, he said that your first eye would have healed by then.

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Sheb

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6522 on: April 13, 2014, 04:47:44 pm »

Well, I may be wrong. Are those federal numbers, or numbers for Pennsylvania, including state benefits though?

Edit: I tracked the article down, after using a proxy to circumvent the paywall. The fun thing is that it's also for Pennsylvania, where they're quoting a CBO studies that look at a single mom, but the marginal tax rate never get higher that 95% (i.e. You never actually loose money by earning a bigger wage). I can't explain the discrepancy between my article and your graph.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 04:58:22 pm by Sheb »
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Helgoland

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6523 on: April 13, 2014, 05:08:44 pm »

Take a look at a true welfare state's budget, namely that of Germany. The size of the whole budget is 310*109€, the welfare budget is ~120*109€, and the health budget is ~12*109€.
Germany has a population of slightly more than 80 million people. If we assume a basic income of 500€ per month per person, we get a financial requirement of 480*109€ per year. Now, this doesn't take into account that the German government subsidizes pensions etc., but these subsidies could be phased out after a  - roughly the same amount of money that's being spent. Now, this ignores some spending in the pension and health sectors, but the introduction of a basic income would allow a tax raise that gets back almost all the money given to people who don't need it.

EDIT: I forgot a factor of twelve! That's what happens when you do calculations without units.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 05:14:36 pm by Helgoland »
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The Bay12 postcard club
Arguably he's already a progressive, just one in the style of an enlightened Kaiser.
I'm going to do the smart thing here and disengage. This isn't a hill I paticularly care to die on.

GreatJustice

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6524 on: April 13, 2014, 06:43:37 pm »

Well, I may be wrong. Are those federal numbers, or numbers for Pennsylvania, including state benefits though?

Edit: I tracked the article down, after using a proxy to circumvent the paywall. The fun thing is that it's also for Pennsylvania, where they're quoting a CBO studies that look at a single mom, but the marginal tax rate never get higher that 95% (i.e. You never actually loose money by earning a bigger wage). I can't explain the discrepancy between my article and your graph.



Economic statistics are annoyingly malleable at times. I'll go look for an article on this myself and maybe we can figure this out. brb

edit: alright, here's the article attached to the image: http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/114628958?access_key=key-2lath56wpkd24rabyzx5&allow_share=true&escape=false&view_mode=scroll
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 06:47:05 pm by GreatJustice »
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The person supporting regenerating health, when asked why you can see when shot in the eye justified it as 'you put on an eyepatch'. When asked what happens when you are then shot in the other eye, he said that you put an eyepatch on that eye. When asked how you'd be able to see, he said that your first eye would have healed by then.

Professional Bridge Toll Collector?
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