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Comment Re:A trillion dollars in student loan debts (Score 1) 1797

Um, you do benefit from the schooling for others that your taxes pay for, indirectly, in the form of a generally better economy. In fact those people your taxes helped educate will have higher income, which means they will pay more taxes than if they did not have that education, which means that they will (disproportionately to your contribution), help pay for roads you drive on, your retirement, your children's education (should you have any), and your common defense.

The same principle applies to elementary through high school education. You wouldn't seriously suggest that we the People shouldn't have a public education system? Maybe you would, if you're hard core libertarian, or religious conservative... in which case you're squarely and completely in the minority, which is as it should be.

Comment Re:Subsidies inflate pricing. (Score 1) 1797

Have you even been to collage? What idiot makes the implication that tuition is the expensive part? Thats the smallest part!

Ad hominem much? I have not been to collage [sic].

However, I went to, and graduated from, UC. And over in the fact based part of reality, tuition is indeed the most expensive part of education. Let's review the evidence...

- Stanford tuition at ~43K/year is much more than the $6K you'd pay for housing, the next highest cost.

- At UC Berkeley, versus the $13,200 resident tuition, you might pay $9,500 off campus, or ~7K/year for room AND board with the co-op.

Of course you can spend much more on housing, if you so choose.

Comment Re:Subsidies inflate pricing. (Score 1) 1797

[EDIT]: This should have read:

Subsidies inflate pricing. I agree.

Because companies change what they can, rather than a fair cost. The answer to that is simple - let the government run the universities too. That's a much better fix than denying most of the young people a higher education as Ron Paul's proposal does.

Let's do an actual comparison: UC versus Stanford.... Undergrad tuition UC $13,200 for residents, $36,078 out of state, vs $13,350 quarterly for Stanford = $42,270 yearly. So the out-of-state tuition for UC is fairly comparable to Stanford. I don't see how Stanford is profiting heavily... although they are charging 9% more, we'd have to compare whether they provide a better education for the money, etc. However this does not demonstrate that government subsidies for student loans/pell grants inflate Stanford's pricing, nor that government is more efficient at providing a university education. You might then argue that state subsidy of the resident tuition causes out-of-state tuition to inflate, but you'd be hard pressed to actually prove that. The unfortunate actual issue is that UC tuition has risen quickly over recent years as the state has been unwilling to fully fund it.

Comment Re:Subsidies inflate pricing. (Score 2) 1797

Subsidies inflate pricing. I agree.

Because companies change what they can, rather than a fair cost. The answer to that is simple - let the government run the universities too. That's a much better fix than denying most of the young people a higher education as Ron Paul's proposal does.

Let's do an actual comparison: UC versus Stanford.... Undergrad tuition UC $13,200 for residents, $36,078 out of state, vs $13,350 quarterly for Stanford = $42,270 yearly. So the out-of-state tuition for UC is fairly comparable to Stanford. I don't see how Stanford is profiting heavily... although they are charging 9% more, we'd have to compare whether they provide a better education for the money, etc. However this does not demonstrate that government subsidies for student loans/pell grants inflate Stanford's pricing, nor that government is more efficient at providing a university education. You might then argue that state subsidy of the resident tuition causes out-of-state tuition to inflate, but you'd be hard pressed to actually prove that.

The unfortunate actual issue is that UC tuition has risen quickly over recent years as the state has been unwilling to fully fund it.

Comment Re:Cap Gains vs. Income (Score 1) 2115

Bollocks. You are implying that the same dollar that the corporation made in profit is taxed twice. It is not. The corporation's dollar in profit stays in the corporation. The individual's capital gains dollar comes from whoever paid a dollar more for the stock once it is sold.

There is only an indirect relationship between corporate profits and individual capital gains. I can for example own stock in a corporation that made billions in profit yet paid $0 in corporate taxes, that stock may have gone up several hundred percent.

Some companies pay dividends, which are taxed as capital gains. But that is only a portion of the market. And there is actually no requirement that a dividend be paid on profits; a company could lose money and yet choose to pay a dividend in order to prop up its stock price.

Comment Re:Actually... (Score 1) 639

Sales tax is the most regressive form of taxation in the United States. If sales tax is 30%, that means the poorest of the poor are paying an effective tax rate of 30%, because they need to spend every penny they make in order to survive.

You are forgetting that not every item sold is taxable. Food, drugs, and items purchased with food stamps can be a large part of a poor person's budget, and they are not subject to sales tax.

Comment Re:I can't fault them for doing so.. (Score 4, Insightful) 1040

> Democrats want less government spending as a percentage of GDP [1]. The TEA Party wants to destroy government [2], unions [3], and the US economy [4].

FTFY.

Sources: [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Federal_Debt_as_Percent_of_GDP_by_President.jpg
[2] http://www.contractfromamerica.com/Idea.aspx
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Wisconsin_protests
[4] http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/us-rating-action/en/us/

Comment Re:And some people still wonder why... (Score 1) 673

While human deaths are clearly bad, they are not the only metric with which we need to judge the scale of a catastrophe. There is the economic cost, directly due to the loss of electricity generation, and indirectly due to other countries recommending against visiting Japan. There is the continued risk management (read: people risking their lives to mitigate the disaster and the enormous expense of containment). There is the as yet unknown impact on the environment. Thousands of people may be permanently displaced (though sadly they have nothing to return to anyway). The effect on the rest of the world is real, many important Japanese products are in short supply or out of production.

Libya, in contrast, is a dusty outpost bombing themselves from the 9th century to the 8th century and has little effect on the world other than a slight disruption in oil supply. (Apologies to all free Libyans).

Fukushima will be a disaster for years to come. This is what the media is talking about.

Comment Re:And some people still wonder why... (Score 1) 673

The whole thing is a caution-outrage spiral; public concern creates the need for immensely cautious evacuation, which creates more public concern.

No. The concern is not over what has happened. It's over what might happen.... IF pumps to cool the core and spent rods fail, which they did, multiple times. IF containment fails, which it did. IF highly radioactive water leaks into the ocean, which we now learn did happen. All of these things were not supposed to happen, yet they did. People are risking their lives and improvising 24/7 to fix problems that were never anticipated. If any of those efforts fail, the disaster, already bad, gets much worse. And the plants are actually pretty close to major population centers. What's next? Nobody actually knows. Your precious safety record is preserved only by incredible effort applied to contain "problems" when they occur. What's the cost to clean all this up, in relation to the amount of benefit gained from the plants? How many years will Fukushima be a ghost town because of this incident?

One wonders, how safe would fossil fuels be if we spent real money to ensure their safety (as much regulation as nuclear, for example)? Requiring scrubbers, retiring dirty plants, etc.

Your previous post stated "Statistically, major incidents included, nuclear remains the safest form of electricity production known". You are drawing an incorrect conclusion from a statistically small sample. There aren't that many nuclear plants and they're relatively new. Most plants are well regulated, but there have been many near disasters in the past; we've been lucky. And your rosy outlook doesn't include a future where proliferation allows bad people to get ahold of nuclear material (Iran). Fast forward a few hundred years, and statistics shows there will be many more disasters, whose effects we cannot know because the failure modes will all be new. Fast forward a couple hundred thousand years, when the waste from existing plants still needs to be sequestered, at enormous cost. From that vantage point, nuclear doesn't look so good.

Engineering can only cope with the known. Airplanes are safe because we investigate and learn from past crashes. We cannot afford to go through this process with nuclear. If a nuclear plant is subjected to a natural disaster outside of its engineered ability to withstand the stress, what happens next? Experts in the field don't know, or their warnings are overridden by executives who don't want to pay the bills to mitigate "improbable" risks. Then when the disaster happens, they start by covering it up and minimizing the bad news. And that is what prompts evacuations, and concern about the use of nuclear power in general.

Comment Re:Welcome to the real truth (Score 4, Insightful) 290

Since WWII, Federal revenue has been 18-19% of GDP, no matter what the tax rates were. This suggests that increasing taxes will not significantly increase the amount of money that the federal government collects. If increasing taxes will not increase the percentage of GDP that the federal government collects in revenue (which historical figures suggest is indeed the case), I do not see how increasing taxes will help reduce the deficit.

You are not being factual here. This shows federal revenue varying from 14.4% to 20.4% over that period. That's quite a bit different than 18-19%, which sounds flat. It was not flat.

The highest personal marginal tax rates did vary significantly, from 94% in 1945 to 35% today, but this does not shed light on the subject as it's only one of a large number of contributing variables.

Of particular note, the revenue as a % of gdp dropped from 20.6 in 2000 to 14.9 in 2009. That's quite a significant drop. Combine that with increased apparent spending, which went from 18% of gdp in 2000 to 24% of gdp in 2010 (primarily because of large drop in gdp in 2008-9 due to the recession), and you have a problem.

Back to your point. You were implying that there is a causal relationship between federal receipts and GDP, but your data was faulty. If no such link exists, then increasing taxes will indeed reduce the deficit. In fact, this is strongly suggested by the opposite case in the last decade: we have been cutting taxes, and federal revenue has fallen. Therefore, increasing taxes (within reason) will increase federal revenues, and won't affect GDP.

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