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Comment: Re:Too poor (Score 1) 319

by Pfhorrest (#46803147) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

From your own link, "The overall median personal income for all individuals over the age of 18 was $24,062".

You're probably right about the taxes though, that was a back-of-the-envelope estimate based on my own take-home pay. Still even when I was making about $25k my take-home was still barely above 80% of my earnings, so it's not super far off my estimate. That would give you an extra $200 a month or so, which is nothing to sneeze at, especially at lower incomes, but still not enough to retire on. If you can manage to save all of that for 45 years of work, it might pay your rent and maybe some utilities on a small apartment in a cheap location for 15 years of retirement. But food, medicine, never mind something to make life worth living? Good luck with that.

Comment: Re:Too poor (Score 1) 319

by Pfhorrest (#46785621) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

And how much do you expect someone making $25k a year to be able to buy? Bearing in mind they're going to be having to rent while saving up for a down payment. And then they if they somehow manage that, the interest alone on a 30-year mortgage is likely to be greater than their rent.

I agree that owning your own home is the first step toward a truly secure retirement, but that is even further out of reach of the majority of people than just saving enough to rent a tiny apartment through their old age is. You say "buy as much as you can" like buying anything at all is even remotely feasible. And I say this as someone making twice the median income, living the kind of college-student life I've described, and still looking at pretty much me entire life before I can buy anything at all.

Comment: Re:Too poor (Score 1) 319

by Pfhorrest (#46785231) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

You realize the median income in America is only about $25k/yr right? That means half of the country makes that or less. Which even with the best money management skills isn't going to leave with with much for retirement, unless you live like a college student alone by yourself in a tiny rented bedroom for your entire life AND have no irregular expenses like car repairs or medical care.

$25000 times about 0.7 for after-tax take-home pay minus about $1100/mo for ALL expenses total -- housing, utilities, food, transportation including purchasing a means of transportation, education which you will need to get to even that median income level, necessary items to work in today's world like a computer and phone, and so on -- times about 45 years of working and saving the leftovers, divided by 15 years of life expectancy after that, leaves you about $1075/mo to live off of for those 15 years.

Given housing expenses of 50% of that monthly stipend, or about $550/mo (which this tells me is the bottom of the range nationally, for a one-bedroom apartment, with the average being about $750 instead), that leaves less than $20/day to cover every other expense you will ever have in your entire life.

That is the best case scenario that over half of Americans are facing. But they're all a bunch of unskilled losers so they deserve that fate amirite?

Comment: Re:Spare Change (Score 2) 320

It's also a big thing in Santa Barbara, CA, which has streets full of "homeless" teens from wealthy families who voluntarily move out to the street to escape their "dictator" parents, and which is also apparently some kind of "homeless mecca" to which homeless people from other cities want to migrate because of great weather and sympathetic liberal-minded college kids stocked up on their rich parents' money.

Comment: Re:What the tax form should look like (Score 1) 420

by Pfhorrest (#46763871) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Oh and for a concrete example, here is that form, the simplified version with the last two lines combined, using the following values for X, Y, and Z:

X = 2, so we're exactly halfway between a flat tax and total communism.
Y = $25,000, which is a mean income of around $50,000 divided by X = 2 above.
Z = $17,500, which is a mean income of around $50,000 times a 35% tax rate.

That mean income and tax rate chosen because they're nice round numbers close to the current actual figures.

So, that said:

Line 1: Enter your gross income.
Line 2: Divide the amount on Line 1 by 2.
Line 3: Subtract $7500 from the amount on Line 2.

If you made $15,000/yr, which is about full time minimum wage ($7.25/hr * 40hr/wk * 52wk/yr = $15,080/yr), you would pay no taxes.

If you made minimum wage working half time (20hr/wk, 52wk/yr) for a total of $7540/yr, you would get a tax credit of $3730, which would mean a whopping $8 or so extra spending money a day. Don't spend it all on one meal.

If you made twice minimum wage full time for about $30,000/yr, you would owe $7500, which would be about $288 or 15% withheld from each biweekly paycheck.

If you made the mean income of $50,000/yr, you would owe $17500, which would be about $673 or 35% withheld from each biweekly paycheck.

If you made twice the mean income, or $100,000/yr, you would owe $42,500, which would be about $1635 or 42.5% withheld from each biweekly paycheck.

If you made a seven-figure income of $1,000,000/yr, you would owe $492,500, for a tax rate of 49.25%.

If you made an eight-figure income of $10,000,000/yr, you would owe $4,992,500, for a tax rate of 49.925%.

If you made a nine-figure income of $100,000,000/yr, you would owe $49,992,500, for a tax rate of 49.9925%.

But nobody would ever pay higher than a 50% tax rate, because we set our X = 2 which means the maximum possible tax rate is 1/2 = 0.5 = 50%.

Comment: Re:What the tax form should look like (Score 1) 420

by Pfhorrest (#46763619) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Every government needs to influence behavior of it's citizens

Citation needed, unless by "influence behavior" you only mean things like stopping people from aggressing upon each other. (For which taxes are a horrible method; would you punish violent criminals just by raising their taxes?)

Why does any government need to influence its people's behavior beyond keeping people from using force to "influence" each other's behavior?

Comment: Re:Not possible (Score 1) 420

by Pfhorrest (#46763585) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

I think a big point of his tax form is that all of that complication is problematic. Any kind of income should count the same and be taxed the same, with no loopholes. If we're going to allow deductions for expenses, any kind of expense should be taxed the same. But what defines an expense, you might ask? I would answer: any trade where you lose capital, like paying for services, but not paying for goods. Likewise, I would define income as any trade where you gain capital, like selling services, but not selling goods.

This would have positive motivational effects as well, as it would encourage the rich to make money by selling off their capital and to spend money by buying labor, thus spurring business ("creating jobs") for the poor who have nothing but their labor services to sell, in turn enabling those poor to buy the capital goods that the rich are selling off, creating a natural, voluntary redistribution of capital from the rich to the poor. It would also allow the poor to deduct their expenses for "services" like rent paid to the rich, for which the poor gain no capital and thus no wealth.

Comment: Re:What the tax form should look like (Score 1) 420

by Pfhorrest (#46763485) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Only very slightly more complex form to allow for progressive taxation:

Line 1: Enter your gross income.
Line 2: Divide the amount on Line 1 by X[1].
Line 3: Subtract Y[2] from the amount on Line 2.
Line 4: Add Z[3] to the amount on Line 3.

If the amount on Line 4 is greater than zero, this is the amount that you owe.
If the amount on Line 4 is less than zero, this is the tax credit you will receive.

[1] This figure controls how progressive the tax is; a smaller X will make it more progressive, a larger X will make it less.
[2] This figure is last year's mean personal income divided by X. Assuming the mean hasn't changed drastically since the previous year, someone making about the mean income this year should thus get about zero on Line 3, while people making above the mean should have positive numbers on Line 3, and people making below the mean should have negative numbers on Line 3.
[3] This is the amount we actually want to tax each person on average; to convert to this from a percentage tax rate, just multiply the mean income by that percentage. People making less than mean will pay less than Z due to their negative Line 3, but people making more than the mean will make up for it due to their positive Line 3, meaning Z is still the average tax per capita. It's possible that people making far less than the mean could get actual positive tax credits in the end, a negative tax, depending on how progressively we crank the value of X, and how high the per capita tax Z is set.

Of course this should actually be simplified a step further by pre-calculating what Z minus Y is, call it W, and making Line 3 "Add W to the amount on Line 2" and you're done. But I spelled it out here for clarity.

Comment: Re:Mental and physical "disabilities" are differen (Score 1) 510

by Pfhorrest (#46719049) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

If you find your condition limiting then I agree it's fine to call it a handicap or a disability or an illness or what have you. I'm just supportive of people who might have similar conditions and like being that way and not want to be any different -- people who'd find that becoming 'normal' would be tradeoff that's not worth it. (And contrasting that with something like blindness or deafness, where it's not like you get Daredevil-like powers by being blind, or X-ray vision from being deaf... there's nothing you would lose from gaining an ability others have and you lack. It's not a different emphasis or optimization of different traits like many mental conditions can be, it's just a deficit in one).

Comment: Re:Disability inclusiveness in Star Trek (Score 1) 510

by Pfhorrest (#46711829) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

Yes but he was not any specific Asian ethnicity (on purpose), and as some people find offense in lumping all Asians together I felt it necessary to note that I wasn't just unsure of what Asian ethnicity Sulu was, he specifically didn't have a definite one.

I wonder if the people who take offense at references to nonspecific "Asians" take offense at Sulu being one, rather than say, Japanese or Korean or something.

Comment: Disability inclusiveness in Star Trek (Score 1) 510

by Pfhorrest (#46711027) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

I was just thinking about something similar to this earlier.

Geordi LaForge was included in Star Trek: The Next Generation as the token disabled character, so that disabled people would get representation in the inclusive vision of the future that show painted -- similar to how the Original Series depicted a Russian, a (nonspecific) Asian, and a black woman, all serving on the bridge in a show targeted at a predominantly white male American culture, to show how different nationalities, races, and sexes could all work together in harmony in the future.

But in an idealistic utopian future like Trek presents, shouldn't all disabilities be cured? Disability isn't some harmless difference like race or sex or nationality or whatever that we want to show all integrated and coexisting in the future. Showing a future where somehow all blacks had become white, all women had become men, and so on, would be ridiculous and dystopian. But showing a world where all disabled people were as able as anyone else... isn't that what we're aiming for? Isn't that the point of medicine?

Why isn't there a token poor character on the bridge of the Enterprise? Every series depicts nothing but well-to-do people with all their material needs met, pursuing science and such for the intrinsic fulfillment of those activities -- nobody's struggling just to make ends meet, like many people do in real life. Sound the cries of "class discrimination!" then, shall we? Against the erasure of the lower classes?

No, that would be stupid. The reason there's no poor people serving on the bridge of the Enterprise is because in Star Trek's utopian future, poverty has been eliminated. Why is disability any different? Why does it show a somehow better future to have a token disabled character, but not a token poor character?

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