Entitlements are a big part of the problem in this country. Even if you taxed everyone earning more than 100K at 100 percent you still wouldn't have enough to pay for all that has been promised to everyone currently living. Any discussion which fails to acknowledge the central role of entitlements in the budget and tax problems of the nation is doomed to produce no useful insights into what is needed to solve these problems. The problem with the fixation on a "fair share", as decided by the progressives of course, is that it's a big part of what got us into the present mess. The rich people that you so despise are much better able to hire lobbyists to construct complex schemes in the tax laws, tax attorneys to parse the codes and exploit them and wealth management advisors to help them structure their affairs so as to minimize the taxes that they do pay. All of this is tremendously wasteful to our economy with billions of dollars spent and tens of thousand of bright young minds engaged not in scientific research or improving business efficiency in the productive parts of the economy, but helping those who are best able to game the hopelessly complex tax system. How much waste will you tolerate in your quest to hunt down the white whale of "fair shares" cut from the hides of the rich? Instead, how about this tax system: Income is income, regardless of source, of which everyone pays 20% with an exemption for every taxpayer of 100% up to the federal poverty level for their household. No other deductions, credits or exemptions allowed. So for example if the federal poverty level for a family of 4 is say 30K then the first 30K of every taxpayer's income, regardless of how high or low it is, would be exempt from tax but after that it would be 20% on everything after that. Of course we would want to combine this program with entitlement cuts and many other cuts to our bloated federal budget, but this new simplified tax system would be a good start.
Can you honestly say that you're satisfied with how taxes are collected and spent in this country? While I acknowledge that some taxes are necessary to fund basic and necessary functions of government, what we have now is a complete disaster; both wasteful and inefficient. Even after taxes have been collected we have a government that tries to do too much, does most of it poorly and spends way too much doing it. In my opinion we receive very poor value for those monies and yeah it makes me angry. If you're not dissatisfied with this state of affairs then you're either not paying attention or your standards are very low. Given your coarse language and snarky remarks, it's probably a mixture of both, hmmm?
Thanks for the thoughtful and informative response. I did opt out of most of the stuff; have location tracking off, disabled Google +, Google Play Music, Books, Magazines, Games, Video, Hangouts, etc; use Startpage for most searches, use Firefox not Chrome, have Now turned off. Only occasionally use Gmail but I love Google Maps and Play Store.
In any case, I tend to be a pessimist and skeptic about such things, especially when I have no real proof that "opting out" really does anything. It is nice to hear someone a bit more on the "inside" that relays positive info.
It doesn't take a sharp mind or a keen understanding of anything to know that if society is not maintained then it crumbles.
Private property is maintained. The commons is not. If you dislike crumbling things then privatize them and you will see how well maintained they can be when a private owner is there to look after them.
Maybe you're just a selfish fuck.
Says the progressive handing me their invoice for no services rendered.
>"they revealed that Google's data is now safely protected from the prying eyes of government organizations. "
That is nonsense. The NSA could probably STILL access the information if they want to (and likely will) or Google can be compelled to reveal it with a super secret demand order, or even a regular warrant.
No information that is ever collected is ever "safe" from prying eyes. And even Google having the information is certainly nothing to be comfortable about. They have ENOUGH information about consumers already... certainly enough to be creepy.
Basic grammar not withstanding, I think that it has something to do with the fact that the right answers in economics are often subtle and counter intuitive while the easy and obvious answers, which are the sort frequently offered by the left, are both seductive and wrong in ways that are subtle and not immediately obvious until the failure becomes painful in the extreme, as it has for example in Venezuela today. So to answer your question, it takes a sharp mind and a keen understanding of both economics and history to make a proper defense of free enterprise and individual liberty against the progressive polemics offered by the left in defense of dependency and redistribution as the path to prosperity. Clearly, not everyone who takes up that mantle is equal to the task.
I know it's fashionable to blame Detroit's problems on the Evil Tax And Spend Democrats
It's fashionable because it's largely true. Detroit followed the advice of left wing Democrats and progressives religiously for decades, even as other areas which were also affected by NAFTA and globalization adapted and reinvented themselves into new industries while diversifying their economic bases. Detroit stubbornly refused to do either of these things, instead proudly asserting their God given liberal right to a standard of living which they could no longer afford and expecting somebody else to pay for it. Well, now the crows have come home to roost in Detroit and I don't feel sorry for them one bit. Detroit will be an abject lesson in what it means to live within your means and the folly of expecting others to pay for your stubbornness and extravagance.
Well, that's the price of a stable and progressive civilization.
Why is it that whenever progressives talk about the price of something I'm the one who gets handed the bill for their profligate ways?
It was probably for the best. Just curious though, did the Democratic party actually give you any support or was it one of those non-competitive districts where a Democrat hasn't won in decades? There are plenty of districts like that all over the United States where either the Democratic or Republican party is happy to let local candidates who are halfway presentable run on the off chance that one of them might actually win, but they rarely put any serious resources into those races other than offering advice on how to respond to questions along party lines and moral support.
I never want to be stuck in a job where my supervisor is an opinionated moron again.
Short of being self employed, there's no guarantee of that. Hell, even if you are self employed there's no guarantee of that.
China is not only going through an industrial revolution, but also a technocratic and political revolution.
China is already industrialized and the Communist Party remains firmly in control. I wouldn't call that a revolution. If anything it's a challenge to the United States and the Washington Consensus of how economies grow and prosper. It says to the rest of the developing world that you can have economic growth and prosperity without the chaos and inefficiency of democracy. That's the real danger of China, not their budding military or industrial might. They make good arguments for results based growth that Obama and others in the west have been slow to respond to with mostly unsatisfying answers. Obama meanwhile seams content to preside over the decline of American power, ruining by his disastrous policies many of our foreign policy achievements since the end of WWII. I've liked few enough Presidents in my time thus far, but Obama is the first one in my opinion to deliberately seek to undermine the nation that he swore to protect and lead.
Lots of other things, but those seem to be a primary "core" for me (Linux, of course).
It's more complicated than that. China has hundreds of millions of people all desperately struggling to pull themselves up into the middle class. They know how Americans, Europeans and their successful Chinese peers live because it's in their faces every day through ubiquitous advertising and ostentatious public displays of wealth. They want the trappings of that consumer lifestyle so badly that they don't care what they have to do to get them. Who wants to be the one to tell them, "no you can't have that because it will ruin the environment"? Against these base desires of human nature, no amount of logic or reasoning about consequences can prevail.