Tax receipts in 1957, per capita:
... about $3900... Tax receipts in 2013, per capita: $8754. Or a bit more than double that 1957 per-capita after you adjust for inflation
Yeah, but you have to take into account the fact that the reason that people are paying more taxes is because people are earning more today than they did in 1950. If the average income of a person in 2014 is twice what it was in 1950, then that "double the taxes" thing simply disappears because it means people are still paying the same *percentage* of their income to the federal government. The way you state your argument, you make it sound like people are paying twice as much money (as a percentage of their income) in 2014 as they did in 1950, which is simply not true. Here's a graph of the average incomes in the US over the past 100 years. The dollar amounts have been adjusted to 2006-dollars, and you'll note that the average income has roughly doubled (from around $25,000/year in 1950 to $50,000/year in 2004): http://visualizingeconomics.co...
Given that being in Congress [rollcall.com] makes one quite wealthy [opensecrets.org], perhaps a lot of that redistribution is strictly for the benefit of those IN Government. It's still a Federal Government by the people and of the people, but increasingly FOR Government, not for the people.
That may be true that people in government can become quite wealthy, but to say that the redistribution is strictly for the benefit of those in government is missing a sense of scale. The amount of wealth gained by government officials is a drop in the bucket compared to tax revenue or the US economy in general. First of all, you're comparing the net worth of members of congress (i.e. most of them were millionaires *before* they gained office). In order for your argument to work, you need to track the amount of money gained by members of congress as a result of being in congress. Saying that (as the articles claim) the combined net worth of those members of congress is over a billion dollars is mostly irrelevant. Saying that members of congress earned a billion dollars a year as a result of being in congress is much more relevant (but that's not what the articles claim). Keep in mind that the US government is bringing in a tax revenue of 3.0 trillion dollars in 2014. Even if we (falsely) claimed that members of congress were pulling in an addition 1 billion dollars in income each year as a result of being in government (which they clearly are not, certainly not in a single year), it would still mean that their additional income would be 1 billion compared to 3,000 billion in taxes. That works out to 0.03% of the federal tax revenue. The argument that some large share of the tax revenue is simply going to enrich members of congress just doesn't make sense.
Look at the graph "Government Receipts and Expenditures as a Fraction of GDP", it's the second chart on this webpage: Source: http://www.deptofnumbers.com/m...
(I say "attempt" because I found that even in cases where I wasn't trying to fool it, it would often come up with the wrong gender.)
You'll note that WhatsApp doesn't have a whole lot of usage in the US. It's quite popular in Europe and the South America.
I know that "music companies are being stupid and greedy" is implied by the piece, but I'm not sure it's the fault of the music industry that ad-supported music is just a crappy source of revenue.
If you want to see what American fascism would look like, well this is it.
Honestly, if this is what American fascism looks like, then American fascism looks silly and weak.
Look, I'm all about fairness. I think both sides of the political divide should be subject to the same level of government scrutiny. Preferentially enforcing laws on one group and not another is a kind of discrimination.
At the same time, some of your examples are some really sketchy Republicans.
James O’Keefe - You mean the guy who put out a doctored video in order to deceitfully sway public opinion? http://mediamatters.org/resear...
Dinesh D’Souza - If he's guilty, he's guilty. I mean it's not like Republicans haven't done underhanded and shadey things in the past, so I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if D'Sousa was doing illegal things. For example, how about this story about how Republicans repeatedly called a voter-pickup telephone number so that they could stop real (mostly democratic) voters from getting to the election polls on the day of an election? http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
In October 2002, Charles McGee, executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, was mailed a Democratic flier that offered Election Day rides to the polls. The circular listed telephone numbers of party offices in five cities and towns.
"I paused and thought to myself, I might find out -- I might think of an idea of disrupting those operations," McGee later testified.... When voting began Nov. 5, McGee's plan worked like a charm. For two crucial hours, an Idaho telecommunications firm tied up Democratic and union phone lines, bringing their get-out-the-vote plans to a halt. The effort helped John E. Sununu (R) win his Senate seat by 51 to 47 percent, a 19,151-vote margin.
McGee and two other participants -- Republican National Committee regional political director James Tobin and GOP consultant Allen Raymond-- have been found guilty of criminally violating federal communications law. Tobin will be sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Concord, N.H.
Or how about New Jersey governor's latest trick of shutting down traffic lanes to punish a mayor who wouldn't endorse him for governor? http://www.nydailynews.com/new...
How about the North Carolina's admission (on camera) that election changes were being pushed forward, not because of voter fraud, but rather, to "kick democrat's butts" (i.e. stop Democratic voters from actually voting). Jump to 3:30: http://www.thedailyshow.com/wa...
If your examples are examples of "fascism", then how is this also not an example of "fascism" coming from Republicans?
Republicans have used a lot of dirty tricks to win elections, so it's not really surprising that they'd end up in the crosshairs of investigations.
And while listening to this crap I immediately thought to myself "How the F*** do we have copyrights for 120 years to protect auto-generated crap like this?"
That's because copyright are protecting an entire *class* of works. In other words: you shouldn't hold up the worst example and then ask that question. We certainly wouldn't want anyone in the government making decisions about "this is good, it gets a long copyright but that is crap it shouldn't get copyright protection".
I should point out that people should parse that sentence very carefully to understand the situation. The summary says the labels make 15% more per year, on average, from paying customers of streaming services. Most people aren't paying for streaming services. Here's one source that says that only about 25% of Spotify's regular users are actually paying customers: http://paidcontent.org/2013/03/12/spotify-hits-6-million-paid-users-as-market-for-music-streaming-heats-up/
There's also the fact that people who are free-users of Spotify might be buying less music because of it (i.e. the existence of Spotify might be lowering music sales among the "not paying for spotify" group).
So, should the labels love streaming music? I don't know. But, I'm very skeptical of the notion that the labels should love streaming music over regular music sales (at least as it existed 15 years ago).
I recognize that we aren't all exactly identical in the way other people perceive us. I also recognize that there is a bias against (say) women and minorities in computing. I think it's fair to attempt to change that. Using loaded words like "privilege" however, is really just an exercise in giving the have-nots an excuse to hate the people who have. It's also worth pointing out that words like "privilege" are actually simplistic explanations for what's going on. You'll generally find that people (white, black, male, female) have a variety of different advantages and disadvantages in comparison to other people. As a white person, if I say I'm going to be a rapper or a pro-athlete, people will be more skeptical than if I were black and saying that. Based on the way "privilege" is being used, we could say that black people are "privileged" in that narrow area. I'm sure we're also well aware of the fact that women are "privileged" in the fact that men want them and they have easy access to sex. That's the other reason I hate the word "privilege" because it's used like it's some kind of widely-valid general statement about a group of people, when it's actually a statement about some very narrow aspect of their lives. It's more accurate to say that this or that person has an advantage in aspectd x,y,z of their lives while having disadvantages in aspects a,b,c of their lives.