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Comment: Re:And the US could turn Russia into vapor (Score 1) 878

by kbolino (#46582767) Attached to: Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

As a result, of course, there is no need to worry much about the national debt, or to destabilize things by trying to pay them off rapidly.

Rapidly is the context in which I took the statement to which I responded, hence why I qualified the currency manipulation with "blatant". Gentler and more subtle forms of currency manipulation happen all the time.

Comment: Re:America is boned (Score 2) 870

by kbolino (#46582717) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

If you think America is not socialist, you need to stop reading propaganda.

We have:

Fixed income for the elderly and disabled (Social Security)
Single payer health care for everyone over 65 (Medicare)
Single payer health care for everyone under a certain income level (Medicaid)
Health assistance for children of parents who don't qualify for Medicaid (SCHIP)
Health assistance for people injured on the job (Workers' Compensation)
Food assistance for everyone under a certain income level (SNAP)
Direct payments to families with children (TANF, EITC)
Direct payments to the unemployed (Unemployment Insurance)
Various forms of assistance to the homeless (shelters, soup kitchens, free clinics, etc.)
Primary and secondary education for all from ages 5 to 18 (K-12 schools)
Post-secondary education assistance for everyone under a certain income level (Pell Grant, Perkins and Stafford loans)

Just to name the bigger programs. Yep, not socialist at all.

Comment: Re:America is boned (Score 1) 870

by kbolino (#46582661) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

A socialist is someone who believes that some proportion of the population should be sustained at the forcibly extracted expense of the rest.

Not forcible, you say? Well fine, make taxes optional and tell me how long you can afford to maintain welfare benefits at current levels.

The only practical difference between socialists and communists is that one of them thinks the proportion should be 100%.

Comment: Re:growing pains toward a better future, maybe? (Score 1) 870

by kbolino (#46582597) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

The whole premise behind the world of Star Trek, especially TNG, is a "post-scarcity" society in which all of life's necessities can be provided without cost. But no such thing will ever exist, in the commonly understood sense. The laws of thermodynamics are immutable, and the laws of economics derive from them. You cannot accomplish anything without some expenditure of energy; there will always be a cost, regardless of whether it's quantified in monetary terms or not. The replicator does not run itself; it requires a source of energy, and both of those things require knowledge to produce and work to maintain. Even if the marginal costs are reduced to practically infinitesimal amounts, people will simply expand their idea of what is a necessity for life. Today, we consider education the most pressing human necessity, a hundred years ago it was electricity, half a millennium ago it was sanitation, and ten thousand years ago it was food. Tomorrow, there will be new demands.

Comment: Re:Come and get it, stupid future generations! (Score 1) 676

by kbolino (#46460743) Attached to: 70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

If Warren Buffet pays a lower percentage tax rate than his secretary, I don't see how you can honestly claim taxes are progressive.

The principal reason for this is SS and Medicare taxes, which while definitely not progressive due to being capped, are tied to benefits that are also capped. Buffet will almost certainly have paid more into SS than he will have taken out by the day he dies.

Also, Buffet is roughly one-third owner of Berkshire Hathaway, while his secretary has no such holdings. Not only is he taxed on any realized capital gains, but the company paid taxes on its income, and so he paid a roughly one-third share of those taxes from his equity in the company.

The income tax by itself is definitely progressive; if you want to factor in other taxes, then you need to account for capital gains taxes, corporate income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, etc. as well.

Comment: Re:Come and get it, stupid future generations! (Score 1) 676

by kbolino (#46460673) Attached to: 70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

The growth in income could not be described as even slightly balanced.

Income quintiles, 1960: 2,784 / 4,800 / 6,364 / 8,800
Income quintiles, 2012: 27,794 / 49,788 / 76,538 / 119,001
Change in quantiles: 998% / 1037% / 1203% / 1352%

CPI change from 1960 to 2012: 776%

Population change from 1960 to 2012: 175%

There are nearly twice as many people, yet even the lowest 20% of income earners are making 28% more in real dollars. How are they in any way harmed by the fact that the highest 20% of income earners are making 74% more in real dollars?

Comment: Re:Come and get it, stupid future generations! (Score 1) 676

by kbolino (#46460587) Attached to: 70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

These types of budget problems ... require higher taxes.

For 70 years, federal tax revenue has averaged 16-18% of GDP while expenditures have increased from 16% of GDP to 24% of GDP. Our budget issues are not revenue problems.

The richest have been undertaxed for decades.

The highest income earners pay the most in income taxes, the owners of the most valuable real estate pay the most in property taxes, and the largest consumers pay the most in sales taxes. How is this undertaxation?

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