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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 627310 times)

Frumple

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6555 on: April 13, 2014, 09:35:15 am »

Presumably the same one that decided federal unemployment's initials should be futa.
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Owlbread

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6556 on: April 13, 2014, 09:38:01 am »

The United States should be a Welfare State. In my opinion that means the state should provide enough economic and medical support to all its citizens so that no matter how poor they are, no matter whether they have a job or not, they earn enough from the state to survive and can always get the medical care they need to survive and be healthy free at point of use.

I lean in favour of the "citizen's income" idea where, regardless of who you are, you earn enough money to live on from the state as a right of citizenship. That amount is augmented depending on how much you earn in your job, your disabilities, your age and so on. This may be a helpful alternative to a very bloated benefits system like we have in the UK where it is hard to keep track of the various subsidies and benefits meted out to people; this becomes expensive if means testing comes into play.

EDIT: If the citizen's income is impossible, the minimum wage should also be replaced with a "living wage" that prevents its recipients from falling below the poverty line.

Regarding the health care system the United States should have a National Health Service that covers both medical care and dental care. This would again be free at point of use. Medicine prescribed by American NHS doctors should also be free.

I also believe that education should be "free at point of use"; that goes for higher education also. No more college tuition fees.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 10:20:47 am by Owlbread »
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Helgoland

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6557 on: April 13, 2014, 09:53:53 am »

Owl: I very much like the basic income idea, but you're making it too complicated, I think. The beauty of the concept is that you can get rid of all the bureaucracy! Re-introducing eligibility requirements for augmentations means losing the advantage over the current German Hartz4 system (keeping out-of-work people alive, but pushing them back into working).
And once you have the basic income, what do you need the minimum wage for?
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misko27

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6558 on: April 13, 2014, 10:14:21 am »

@Owlbread. On the other hand, America.

You're entire argument just collapsed and you probably don't realize it. But there was and is so much resistance to stuff that is seen as diametrically opposed to capitalism that income taxes were actually unconstitutional until the 16th Amendment. There is a reason the new leftist pseudo-universal health care system the US has is, in fact, a market based approach (one that, notably, is similar to what the more intellectual minds in the tea party come up with when pressed for ideas. Remember that it was Romney who pioneered it. Except not now because Obama.)

Wikipedia also just blew my mind.
Quote from: Taxation in the United States
The United States of America is a federal republic with autonomous state and local governments. Taxes are imposed in the United States at each of these levels. These include taxes on income, payroll, property, sales, imports, estates and gifts, as well as various fees. In 2010 taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.8% of GDP. In the OECD, only Chile and Mexico taxed less as a share of GDP.[1] The United States also has one of the most progressive tax systems in the industrialized world.
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Owlbread

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6559 on: April 13, 2014, 10:16:03 am »

Owl: I very much like the basic income idea, but you're making it too complicated, I think. The beauty of the concept is that you can get rid of all the bureaucracy! Re-introducing eligibility requirements for augmentations means losing the advantage over the current German Hartz4 system (keeping out-of-work people alive, but pushing them back into working).

Could you tell us more about the current German Hartz4 system? Does it avoid eligibility requirements for augmentations? I am very interested.

Quote
And once you have the basic income, what do you need the minimum wage for?

That's a very good question. An excellent one, in fact. I wish I'd thought of that when I was writing out those proposals but I wasn't thinking clearly.

@Owlbread. On the other hand, America.

You're entire argument just collapsed and you probably don't realize it. But there was and is so much resistance to stuff that is seen as diametrically opposed to capitalism that income taxes were actually unconstitutional until the 16th Amendment. There is a reason the new leftist pseudo-universal health care system the US has is, in fact, a market based approach (one that, notably, is similar to what the more intellectual minds in the tea party come up with when pressed for ideas. Remember that it was Romney who pioneered it. Except not now because Obama.)

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.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 10:24:35 am by Owlbread »
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GlyphGryph

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6560 on: April 13, 2014, 10:27:52 am »

You don't really get it, do you? I'll admit I'm not a fan of the retired population, but that's not what this is about. SS is going to collapse. Period. We can either replace it before the problem spirals out of control, or we can let it spiral out of control, but we most certainly can't keep it. The math fails on a basic level. There cannot be a lower population of contributors than beneficiaries.
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.
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Lord Shonus

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6561 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 #6562 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 #6563 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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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.

Descan

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6564 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 #6565 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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Sheb

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Re: Emperor Norton's Imperial Politics Megathread
« Reply #6566 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 #6567 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 #6568 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 #6569 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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