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#452 Jan 18 2012 at 4:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
However, I doubt comparing Romney's tax rate to someone in the $50-$75k range would have had the same value to you as comparing it to someone making $38.7k.

"...Households making between $50,000 and $75,000..."

Yes. And households making over $1M paid nearly 30%. What is your point?

That "households" aren't "someones", they're typically several "someones" living together and combining paychecks. I thought that was obvious but I've been overestimating you a lot lately. Shame on me.


You're still playing word games. Who cares? No one considers a household earning between $50-$75k "poor", do they? So you're really making a big deal out of nothing. Which I suppose is what you set out to do in the first place, so it's not surprising at all. OMG! Romney pays the same tax rate as some poor working class person!!! Well, not really, but never let facts get in the way of a good bit of rhetoric.
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#453 Jan 18 2012 at 4:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
However, I doubt comparing Romney's tax rate to someone in the $50-$75k range would have had the same value to you as comparing it to someone making $38.7k.

"...Households making between $50,000 and $75,000..."

Yes. And households making over $1M paid nearly 30%. What is your point?

That "households" aren't "someones", they're typically several "someones" living together and combining paychecks. I thought that was obvious but I've been overestimating you a lot lately. Shame on me.


You're still playing word games. Who cares? No one considers a household earning between $50-$75k "poor", do they? So you're really making a big deal out of nothing. Which I suppose is what you set out to do in the first place, so it's not surprising at all. OMG! Romney pays the same tax rate as some poor working class person!!! Well, not really, but never let facts get in the way of a good bit of rhetoric.


They're poor in NYC or Silicon Valley.
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#454 Jan 18 2012 at 4:37 PM Rating: Decent
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xantav wrote:
PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
I've got an idea for creating jobs. How about we lower the tax rate on middle class folks, and increase it on the really wealthy folks. Then middle class folks (whom make up the majority of the population) will have more disposable income. When they have more disposable income, they go out and buy stuff or have paid entertainment. With a higher demand for entertainment and stuff to purchase, companies will have to hire more people to meet up with the higher demand.

That's how capitalism is supposed to work anyways, right? Smiley: rolleyes

Stop your crazy talk! If tax rate goes up on the rich, they will stop being job creators.


It's not all or nothing. However, as you raise taxes on the rich, the rate at which they create jobs in the market will decrease. It's about degrees and it shouldn't be hard to noodle out. Everything else staying the same, if you raise taxes on a rich person (lets specifically look at rich business owners) then he will have fewer dollars after taxes on his profits than he would have had otherwise. Which means he's got fewer dollars to invest in expanding said business.

While the consumption argument is part of it, you don't create more jobs just because sales volume increases. You create more jobs if/when you expand your business, say by opening up a new store. And the decision to invest in such an expansion is absolutely going to be affected by tax rates and the resulting expected return on the investment.

Even if we assume the exact effects described, what do you think will happen? You've raised taxes on a businesses profits, but by lowering taxes on consumers the store sells more product and thus makes more total profit (makes it up in volume). Even if this actually does result in greater after tax money for the owner (and most likely it wont), he's got less incentive to open up a new store and a **** of a lot to just keep his investment where it is and take the money he's getting.


To be honest the tax effect is only part of it. Right now, the bigger deals are things like mandated health coverage coming in Obamacare, which effectively increases the per-employee cost of running a business and the concerns that high deficits and debt levels will cause more changes in fees and taxes down the line which the business owner can't accurately predict. That makes it a bad time to invest in anything solid (like opening a new store). And it's those kinds of investments which create jobs. That's how economic policies can negative effect job creation. The taxes (or proposed taxes) are only part of the problem.


Quote:
And if the low-middle class folk want more disposable income, they will get 2nd and 3rd jobs. Us poor folks should be happy with what we get and be thankful our betters let us work at all.


Um... sure?
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#455gbaji, Posted: Jan 18 2012 at 4:39 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) No, they're not. That's quite comfortably middle class even in the more expensive places to live in this country. Obviously, you're not going to live in the wealthiest neighborhoods making that much, but you're not going to live in a slum either.
#456 Jan 18 2012 at 5:15 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah. Comfortable middle class lifestyle, all right.
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#457 Jan 18 2012 at 5:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
In the "Nothing ever goes away" file, McCain's 200 page opposition-research file on Romney from the 2008 GOP primaries has surfaced on the webbernetz.

It's like the GOP is handing this stuff over on a silver platter.

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In October 2005, Romney signed bill expanding family planning services, including abortion counseling and morning-after pill.

In 1994 and 2002, Romney confirmed his support for Roe v. Wade decision and forcefully positioned himself as pro-choice in 1994 Senate race, saying “you will not see me wavering on that.

In 1994, Romney called “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy first step toward having gays and lesbians “able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military” and said he would provide “more effective leadership” on **** rights issues than Ted Kennedy.

Romney promised to make **** partnership benefits a “hallmark of my leadership as governor” and has said he would attend **** weddings if invited

In 1994 Senate race, Romney backed Brady bill and assault weapons ban, saying “I don’t line up with the NRA” and “that’s not going to make me the hero of the NRA.

Massachusetts’ state and local tax burden rose more than 7% during Romney’s administration

Romney implemented three rounds of tax changes (which he referred to as “closing loopholes”) which increased business taxes by an estimated $400 million per year

In 2002, Romney proposed installing 10 percent tax on private donations to political campaigns


I don't see this making him unelectable to the Dem base, barring his brand name of choice.
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#458 Jan 18 2012 at 5:21 PM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:
xantav wrote:
PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
I've got an idea for creating jobs. How about we lower the tax rate on middle class folks, and increase it on the really wealthy folks. Then middle class folks (whom make up the majority of the population) will have more disposable income. When they have more disposable income, they go out and buy stuff or have paid entertainment. With a higher demand for entertainment and stuff to purchase, companies will have to hire more people to meet up with the higher demand.

That's how capitalism is supposed to work anyways, right? Smiley: rolleyes

Stop your crazy talk! If tax rate goes up on the rich, they will stop being job creators.


It's not all or nothing. However, as you raise taxes on the rich, the rate at which they create jobs in the market will decrease. It's about degrees and it shouldn't be hard to noodle out. Everything else staying the same, if you raise taxes on a rich person (lets specifically look at rich business owners) then he will have fewer dollars after taxes on his profits than he would have had otherwise. Which means he's got fewer dollars to invest in expanding said business.


You make it sound as if the wealthy in this country live paycheck to paycheck, and if we increase taxes on them they can't afford to invest. Don't make me laugh. People who make that much money don't even spend half of what they make in a year, if even that. They sit on their wealth and let it grow either by putting it in savings accounts, bonds, etc.

You want to know why us crazy liberals want to raise taxes on the wealthy? BECAUSE THEY CAN **** AFFORD IT!

Seriously, check this article out. Right before the Great Depression, tax rates on the wealthy were at all time lows, and income inequality was at an all time high. During the 40's and 50's (largely considered the U.S.'s "Golden Years"), tax rates on the wealthy were higher and income inequality was significantly lower. In the late 20's and early 00's, the top 10% of earners in this country earned 50% of the income! And yet, even with all that extra money, we still entered The Great Depression and The Great Recession.

You can claim all you want that lower taxes on the supposed "job creators" help the economy, but history doesn't agree with you.
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#459 Jan 18 2012 at 5:21 PM Rating: Decent
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Why are you looking at pricing for one of the most expensive places to live and trying to pull that into your narrative?
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#460 Jan 18 2012 at 6:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
"...Households making between $50,000 and $75,000..."
Yes. And households making over $1M paid nearly 30%. What is your point?
That "households" aren't "someones", they're typically several "someones" living together and combining paychecks. I thought that was obvious but I've been overestimating you a lot lately. Shame on me.
You're still playing word games. Who cares? No one considers a household earning between $50-$75k "poor", do they?

I wouldn't call a couple running a household on $12/hr each ($10.20/hr each before that 15%) "wealthy" or even necessarily "comfortable". I doubt very many people would.

Maybe some day you'll have a response that doesn't involve you crying "word games!" (I suppose that's your 2012 "Semantics!!!!") as you try desperately to spin a response.


It would put you at lower-middle class by most estimates. Whether or not you think the lower middle class are living comfortably right now depends on how often you open a newspaper. Or look out a window, I guess.

Edited, Jan 18th 2012 6:15pm by Jophiel
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#461 Jan 18 2012 at 7:18 PM Rating: Decent
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So half of the people living in New York live in doorman buildings in Manhattan? You honestly read that and didn't see the gaping flaws? Aside from the consistent mis-use of the classic "median versus average" fallacy, someone earning the median income in New York City is not representative of someone who's living in a doorman building and it's absurd to assume that if said person cannot afford to live in such a place that they can't afford to live anywhere.

I'll also point out that a household making $48k a year is less well off than the range of households earning $50-$75k per year. And that's not even starting on the whole excluded middle bit. There's a huge range between not being poor, and being rich enough to live in a doorman building in Manhattan. We call that "middle class" for a reason.
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#462 Jan 18 2012 at 7:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I'll also point out that a household making $48k a year is less well off than the range of households earning $50-$75k per year.
I, for one, would not know what to do if you weren't here to point out that $48k a year is less than $50-75k a year.
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#463 Jan 18 2012 at 7:33 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
"...Households making between $50,000 and $75,000..."
Yes. And households making over $1M paid nearly 30%. What is your point?
That "households" aren't "someones", they're typically several "someones" living together and combining paychecks. I thought that was obvious but I've been overestimating you a lot lately. Shame on me.
You're still playing word games. Who cares? No one considers a household earning between $50-$75k "poor", do they?

I wouldn't call a couple running a household on $12/hr each ($10.20/hr each before that 15%) "wealthy" or even necessarily "comfortable". I doubt very many people would.


I love how you can't help but represent things in the worst way possible. It's a "household". That means we're talking about the total income earned within a single home. Whether it's a couple each earning $12/hour, or one person earning $24/hour, it's the same total amount of money being earned. But you jumped at the lower number anyway, didn't you?

A total income in that range is more than sufficient to afford a decent home in a decent neighborhood in any area of the US. I never said they were "wealthy". I said that was comfortably middle class. And it **** well is. WTF?

Quote:
Maybe some day you'll have a response that doesn't involve you crying "word games!" (I suppose that's your 2012 "Semantics!!!!") as you try desperately to spin a response.


Stop playing word games and I'll stop calling you out for doing it.

Quote:

It would put you at lower-middle class by most estimates.


Um... How does an income range that starts above the median income and extends $25k higher equate to "lower middle class". If the middle class is that portion of the population in the middle (duh!), then the middle of middle class is at the median number (half above, half below). So a range of incomes that is entirely above that median can't be "lower middle class", can it?

Quote:
Whether or not you think the lower middle class are living comfortably right now depends on how often you open a newspaper. Or look out a window, I guess.


Or whether you are wearing liberal tinted glasses I suppose. Somehow, magically, half of the households in the US get by on less money than that $50-$75 range. You do remember that this is a nationwide value, not just New York or California where the costs of living are higher. So yeah, people making that much money are in general doing pretty well. Better than most people, right?
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#464 Jan 18 2012 at 7:35 PM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I'll also point out that a household making $48k a year is less well off than the range of households earning $50-$75k per year.
I, for one, would not know what to do if you weren't here to point out that $48k a year is less than $50-75k a year.


You'd think I wouldn't have to, but there you have it. Apparently, someone thought that pointing out that a household earning less than the range I was talking about can't afford to live in the most expensive housing market on the planet was somehow relevant. Don't blame me for this one.
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#465 Jan 18 2012 at 7:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Um... How does an income range that starts above the median income and extends $25k higher equate to "lower middle class".

Wiki wrote:
Sociologist Leonard Beeghley identifies a male making $57,000 and a female making $40,000 with a combined households income of $97,000 as a typical middle class family. Sociologists William Thompson and Joseph Hickey estimate an income range of roughly $35,000 to $75,000 for the lower middle class and $100,000 or more for the upper middle class.

Word games!!! OMG WORD GAMES!!! I USED WORDS OH NO!!!!! Smiley: cry


Edited, Jan 18th 2012 7:45pm by Jophiel
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#466 Jan 18 2012 at 7:47 PM Rating: Good
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Timelordwho wrote:


Why are you looking at pricing for one of the most expensive places to live and trying to pull that into your narrative?


Because Gbaji said 50-75K is "comfortably middle class" when I said it wasn't "not poor" in NYC. The article backs me up, with a couple having to approach the 100K mark there to afford a 2BR apartment.

ETA: It's actually pretty **** good where I live, for that matter.

Edited, Jan 18th 2012 8:51pm by catwho
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#467 Jan 18 2012 at 8:06 PM Rating: Decent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It's not all or nothing. However, as you raise taxes on the rich, the rate at which they create jobs in the market will decrease. It's about degrees and it shouldn't be hard to noodle out. Everything else staying the same, if you raise taxes on a rich person (lets specifically look at rich business owners) then he will have fewer dollars after taxes on his profits than he would have had otherwise. Which means he's got fewer dollars to invest in expanding said business.


You make it sound as if the wealthy in this country live paycheck to paycheck, and if we increase taxes on them they can't afford to invest.


What part of "it's not all or nothing" and "it's about degrees" made my post sound like that? It's not about suddenly making it so they can't afford to invest. It's about realizing that everything else being the same, if you reduce the amount of money someone has to invest, they will end out investing less money. It's not like this is hard to noodle out.

Quote:
Don't make me laugh. People who make that much money don't even spend half of what they make in a year, if even that. They sit on their wealth and let it grow either by putting it in savings accounts, bonds, etc.


Yeah. That other half is "invested". What do you think is done with the money they put in the bank? Banks loan that money out to people, like small business owners trying to start or expand their business. There is no such thing as idle money. You reduce the amount of money the wealthy have and you reduce the amount of things done with that money. And while not every dollar is going to result in something which employs people. the amount which does is a function of the whole amount. Reduce one and you reduce the other.

Quote:
You want to know why us crazy liberals want to raise taxes on the wealthy? BECAUSE THEY CAN @#%^ING AFFORD IT!


Yeah. I know that. But that's a terrible reason to raise taxes on a group. Also, it's not about whether the wealthy person can afford it, but how those taxes affect the things that wealthy people do with their money. You said it yourself, but seem unable to grasp the import of it. If a wealthy person only spends half his earnings on things for himself, then you'll have to raise taxes on him significantly before ever affecting his own person standard of living. However, while doing that, you will eliminate the funding for whatever he does with the other half. So less money in banks to make loans with, less money invested in the market, and less in all the things that the wealthy do with their money. And that will affect, not the wealthy, but those who are not wealthy but want to improve their own lives in some way. It most affects the middle class. Which is why raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for lowering them on the middle class isn't really a great idea. You're taking away with one hand what you give with the other. And let's face it. Having lower taxes doesn't help if you can't get a job because there's less investment capital floating around.

And of course, if you can't get a job, you aren't going to be middle class, so the tax break doesn't help you at all. So you're basically screwed over because liberals think that since taxing the rich doesn't hurt the rich, that there must be no negatives to doing it.

Quote:
Seriously, check this article out. Right before the Great Depression, tax rates on the wealthy were at all time lows, and income inequality was at an all time high. During the 40's and 50's (largely considered the U.S.'s "Golden Years"), tax rates on the wealthy were higher and income inequality was significantly lower. In the late 20's and early 00's, the top 10% of earners in this country earned 50% of the income! And yet, even with all that extra money, we still entered The Great Depression and The Great Recession.


Yeah. Because the tax rates didn't have anything to do with the causes of the Great Depression, just as they didn't have anything to do with our current economic problems.

Quote:
You can claim all you want that lower taxes on the supposed "job creators" help the economy, but history doesn't agree with you.


You've got it backwards. My argument is that raising taxes on the rich during an economic down period will tend to extend the length of the down period. It's the wrong thing to do at that time. We can debate the effect of taxes on economic growth during normal periods, and during those times there are reasons to raise taxes and reasons to lower them. But, once you're already in an economic hole, and unemployment is high the exact wrong thing to do is raise taxes on the rich.


I am not, nor have I ever argued that right now we should lower taxes on the rich and this will fix the economy. What I have argued is that we should not *raise* the taxes on the rich, or the economy will not recover (or not recover as quickly). And don't get caught up in the action being taken. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire has the effect of raising taxes, regardless of what we call it. Extending those taxes through this economic downturn is not "lowering taxes on the rich". It's keeping tax rates where they currently are. Semantics, I know.



As I mentioned in my earlier post, the far bigger factor for job creation and economic recovery is a sense of stability. It's not strictly about how much money the rich have or don't have. It's about their ability to predict what will happen if they do certain things with the money that they have. So when we've got half the people in government clamoring for higher taxes and regulations on the rich and big business, and their supporters seem to be operating on the reasoning you listed (tax them more because they can afford it), can you be surprised that they're going to be hesitant to put their money into anything that they can't take it out of quickly if they need to? When you don't know how much taxes might change, or where they might be raised, you can't intelligently choose where to put your money. And this affects job creation directly because any investment which creates jobs will tend to be a longer term investment. If I buy gold with my money, I'm not creating very many jobs, but I can sell that gold and spend the money on something else pretty quick if I need to. If I spend that money leasing office space, and buying desks and computers and whatnot so I can hire people to do something, I can't get out of that investment quickly if the winds shift. I want to know that they wont shift (much) before I'm going to spend money on something like that.


Again, this is not an all or nothing thing. It's about degrees. Some investment will go into things which result in job creation. But not as much, and not at the same relative rate as would if those with the money were more confident in the direction things are going.
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#468 Jan 18 2012 at 8:10 PM Rating: Default
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catwho wrote:
Timelordwho wrote:


Why are you looking at pricing for one of the most expensive places to live and trying to pull that into your narrative?


Because Gbaji said 50-75K is "comfortably middle class" when I said it wasn't "not poor" in NYC.


Huh? Wasn't "not poor" is the same as saying that it is poor. How can a household income in the top 50% in New York be "poor". It's not. Not unless you're now claiming that New York City has a poverty rate above 50%.

You aren't claiming that, are you?

Quote:
The article backs me up, with a couple having to approach the 100K mark there to afford a 2BR apartment.


In a doorman building in Manhattan. You know? Where the super rich people live? I'm quite certain that there are plenty of 2BR apartments in New York City which are well within the affordable range for a household earning $50-$75k.

Quote:
ETA: It's actually pretty **** good where I live, for that matter.


It's pretty **** good for almost anywhere. As long as you don't adopt a "live in the richest neighborhood in the world or bust" attitude.
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#469 Jan 18 2012 at 8:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Um... How does an income range that starts above the median income and extends $25k higher equate to "lower middle class".

Wiki wrote:
Sociologist Leonard Beeghley identifies a male making $57,000 and a female making $40,000 with a combined households income of $97,000 as a typical middle class family. Sociologists William Thompson and Joseph Hickey estimate an income range of roughly $35,000 to $75,000 for the lower middle class and $100,000 or more for the upper middle class.

Word games!!! OMG WORD GAMES!!! I USED WORDS OH NO!!!!! Smiley: cry


So you've shown that sociologists are idiots who are completely out of touch with real people's incomes. You'll get no argument from me.
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#470 Jan 18 2012 at 8:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm quite certain that there are plenty of 2BR apartments in New York City which are well within the affordable range for a household earning $50-$75k.


Hahahahah. Wow. Don't know anyone who lives in New York city, apparently.

So, here's Craigslist, NYC. Could you find...oh 5 apartments that are well within the affordable range for a household earning 75k?

Thanks

http://newyork.craigslist.org/aap/

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#471 Jan 18 2012 at 8:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
I'm quite certain that there are plenty of 2BR apartments in New York City which are well within the affordable range for a household earning $50-$75k.


Hahahahah. Wow. Don't know anyone who lives in New York city, apparently.

So, here's Craigslist, NYC. Could you find...oh 5 apartments that are well within the affordable range for a household earning 75k?

Thanks

http://newyork.craigslist.org/aap/



Um... The first listing? 2 br for $1400/month. Surely a household earning $50-$75k can afford the $16,800/year it'll cost to live there.


You didn't bother to look, did you?


EDIT: You did say to find 5. On that page, I found 17 2br apartments for less than $2000/month, many of them in the sub-$1500/month range. Easily affordable for anyone in that $50-$75k range.

Edited, Jan 18th 2012 6:35pm by gbaji
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#472 Jan 18 2012 at 8:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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Um... The first listing? 2 br for $1400/month. Surely a household earning $50-$75k can afford the $16,800/year it'll cost to live there.


Probably a stretch for a family making 75k, close to impossible for the family making 30k, but anyway, let's stipulate that was affordable. Where are the other 4?
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#473 Jan 18 2012 at 8:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
So you've shown that sociologists are idiots who are completely out of touch with real people's incomes. You'll get no argument from me.

What's that? I was right? You sure you don't want to break down and start screaming "Word games!" some more?

Well, so long as you agree that I was right even if you had to admit in your own little precious way Smiley: smile
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#474 Jan 18 2012 at 8:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Um... The first listing? 2 br for $1400/month. Surely a household earning $50-$75k can afford the $16,800/year it'll cost to live there.

Probably a stretch for a family making 75k, close to impossible for the family making 30k, but anyway, let's stipulate that was affordable. Where are the other 4?

At $50k, using the "no more than a third of your salary" guideline, you're looking at $1,250 or less.

I assume you meant $50k and not $30k.
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#475 Jan 18 2012 at 8:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Easily affordable for anyone in that $50-$75k range.


Yeah... really not so much. Spending 35% or more of your net income on housing really isn't "affordable" by any reasonable measure. Possible? Sure. $1400 at 75k, maybe. But close. $2000, not really. It's where a lot of people are right now, one bad event from disaster, unable to save, etc.

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#476 Jan 18 2012 at 8:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hahahahah. Wow. Don't know anyone who lives in New York city, apparently.

Out of curiosity, I looked at one of those cost-of-living city converters. San Diego to Queens requires a 23% increase in salary, to Brooklyn is 37% and to Manhattan (heh) was 68%.

I suppose your money goes further in San Diego when you have an apartment costing 35% of your income than it does in New York where life is considerably more expensive in general.
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#477 Jan 18 2012 at 9:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Out of curiosity, I looked at one of those cost-of-living city converters. San Diego to Queens requires a 23% increase in salary, to Brooklyn is 37% and to Manhattan (heh) was 68%.


Did it factor in the monetary impact of losing one's will to live because of residing near where the Yankees play?

I actually started to post that I know thoroughly middle class families who live in NYC who make $250k, but then I realized that might erode some of my other political leanings.

Weird to me that Gbaji would feel he wasn't middle class making $120k or whatever the number is. The median income for most families in "nice" suburbs of cities is substantially higher. The dreaded suburb we bought our house in last year has a median family income around $150k. Yes, there are McMansions and BMWs, but it's mostly working professionals. Most of our neighbors would be in serious trouble if one wage earner lost a job for an extended period. I'd guess it's not dissimilar for most Asylum posters with families. Of course, maybe that's me in my gilded cage.
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#478 Jan 18 2012 at 9:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:

Easily affordable for anyone in that $50-$75k range.


Yeah... really not so much. Spending 35% or more of your net income on housing really isn't "affordable" by any reasonable measure. Possible? Sure. $1400 at 75k, maybe. But close. $2000, not really. It's where a lot of people are right now, one bad event from disaster, unable to save, etc.


In the middle of a corn field that might be expensive. In more expensive housing markets (like say Southern California and New York City), it's not uncommon at all for households to spend closer to 50% of their total income on housing. If we look at take home pay, that number is often higher.

I guess we just have different ideas of what affordable means. Hell. My mortgage payments are just a bit under half my take home pay right now (10 years after I first bought it). Now to be fair, I toss quite a bit of my pay into investments, but still. I purchased my condo back when my pay was just a bit over $50k/year. I was making $2100/month payments (and that didn't include insurance). It was tight as hell, but I could manage it.

Not every "household" is two people with children. And we are talking about a range. While $2k/month is a stretch for a couple earning $50k collectively, it's not so much for a single person earning that much. And it's also not that much for a couple earning $75k. That $50-$75k is a range. Taking the lowest income in the range and assuming the worst cases and the most expensive of the list of apartments is kinda unfair.

The couple making $50k will take the 2br places that were in the $1100 to $1500 range. Those making more like $75k will take the ones in the $1500 to $2000 range. I'm still not seeing disaster here.
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#479 Jan 18 2012 at 9:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Taking the lowest income in the range and assuming the worst cases and the most expensive of the list of apartments is kinda unfair.

Make sure to explain that to married couples with kids and a household income of around ~$50k when they hear Romney's paying 15% Smiley: laugh
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#480 Jan 18 2012 at 9:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Not every "household" is two people with children. And we are talking about a range. While $2k/month is a stretch for a couple earning $50k collectively, it's not so much for a single person earning that much. And it's also not that much for a couple earning $75k. That $50-$75k is a range. Taking the lowest income in the range and assuming the worst cases and the most expensive of the list of apartments is kinda unfair.

The couple making $50k will take the 2br places that were in the $1100 to $1500 range. Those making more like $75k will take the ones in the $1500 to $2000 range. I'm still not seeing disaster here.


Sure. We agree it's possible. It's not disaster. The salient point is that it's *one step* from disaster. It's a tightrope with no net. You walked it and didn't fall. Great. Some people do. Some people are unlucky. Some people make bad decisions. Some people have children they didn't expect. Some people work for companies bought by Bain Capital (who, full disclosure, I've had some professional affiliation with and have personally found to be completely ethical and above board in every way.) **** happens.

What happens to them then? That's the point of "social programs" to provide a safety net for the people who fall.
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#481 Jan 18 2012 at 9:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Weird to me that Gbaji would feel he wasn't middle class making $120k or whatever the number is. The median income for most families in "nice" suburbs of cities is substantially higher.


Yes. Median. Meaning half the households make more than that. Half make less. And the dollar values extend both up and down from there. As I illustrated, you can live in an area with a $200k median income while only making $50k. Amazing, isn't it? Life just isn't as horrible as some people make it out to be by playing with the statistics.

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The dreaded suburb we bought our house in last year has a median family income around $150k. Yes, there are McMansions and BMWs, but it's mostly working professionals.


Yup. Half of them making less than $150k. Get it?

Someone making $120k/year is in the top 10% of income earners in the US. To say that's only "middle class" (or the middle of middle class") represents an extreme skew. Not a whole lot of room for "upper middle class", then "wealthy", then "rich", then "uber rich" is there? Anyone making over $80k is in the top 25% of income earners. I'd put that at the bottom end of "upper middle class", wouldn't you? You make more than 75% of the **** population, right? $65k/year (more or less in the middle of that $50-$75k range I spoke of and actually the average for "dual income households") puts you in the top 35%. So you're in the top 35% of income earners, but that doesn't make you "middle class"?


I think some people have some amazingly warped ideas of what most people earn. Most people earn less than $50k/year (actually most households do, most individuals earners earn less than that). I'd put anyone making more than that in the middle class category. Otherwise, what does that term mean?

Quote:
Most of our neighbors would be in serious trouble if one wage earner lost a job for an extended period. I'd guess it's not dissimilar for most Asylum posters with families. Of course, maybe that's me in my gilded cage.



This is because most people live right at the range of what they can afford and don't change that habit even when their salaries increase. It's the difference between being "wealthy" and having a high salary. One is not automatically the other. I know a lot of people with 6 figure salaries who are not wealthy at all. They spend every dollar they make. They're just as poor as someone living paycheck to paycheck in the ghetto. They just don't realize it because their lives are more comfortable right now.
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#482 Jan 18 2012 at 9:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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Fifty percent? How do you save any money?

That's appalling, and I live in a more expensive city than you. At a guess, anyway.

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#483 Jan 18 2012 at 9:22 PM Rating: Decent
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Sure. We agree it's possible. It's not disaster. The salient point is that it's *one step* from disaster. It's a tightrope with no net.


Yes. But the really salient point is that most people are in this situation. You just said how many of your neighbors making 6 figure plus salaries are *also* one job loss from losing everything. So I'm not sure how you make this out to be a problem that people making $50-$75k have. It's not unique. And frankly, it's not new either.

Quote:
You walked it and didn't fall. Great. Some people do. Some people are unlucky. Some people make bad decisions. Some people have children they didn't expect. Some people work for companies bought by Bain Capital (who, full disclosure, I've had some professional affiliation with and have personally found to be completely ethical and above board in every way.) sh*t happens.


Yes. That's life though, isn't it? I mean, if the median household income in New York City is $48k(ish), then either half of the population in New York is homeless, or people in households making $50-$74k are actually able to afford places to live. We can sit here and play games with the dollar amounts of rents, and the danger of living at close to the edge of your means, and whatever else you want to do. But can we please not pretend that households in that income range are somehow uniquely in economic trouble?


They aren't. They are better off than 50% of the population. I get that sometimes we get so caught up in the whole "1% versus 99%" arguments, but top 50% versus bottom 50% is significant too. Most people work over their lives to move up. Being in the top half ain't bad.

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What happens to them then? That's the point of "social programs" to provide a safety net for the people who fall.


/shrug Different subject though.
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#484 Jan 18 2012 at 9:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Samira wrote:
Fifty percent? How do you save any money?


Oops! Crap. I screwed up. ~25%. It was more like 50% (higher actually) back when I first got the place 10 years ago. Compared the per month cost to a single paycheck (which I get every two weeks). Doh!

Point being that I was able to afford a $2100/month mortgage back when I made around $50k (I just refinanced it down to about $1800/month). It was tight, but doable. I wouldn't recommend a family with kids doing that, but then we were talking about rents, nor mortgages. You're not risking the loss of an investment if you end out moving because you can't pay the rent. There's risk, but it's a risk you always had before. It's not like someone starts earning $50k and the risk of having to move if they lose their job suddenly appears for the first time. It's something that has always been true, and is still true.


But **** if that person isn't making progress towards not being in that state anymore, right?

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That's appalling, and I live in a more expensive city than you. At a guess, anyway.


Suppose that depends how you measure expensive.
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#485 Jan 18 2012 at 9:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ah, okay. And by "expensive" I mean the same things most people do, I suppose. Relative cost of housing, food, gas. I live in San Francisco, if that clarifies things.
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#486 Jan 18 2012 at 9:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yes. But the really salient point is that most people are in this situation. You just said how many of your neighbors making 6 figure plus salaries are *also* one job loss from losing everything. So I'm not sure how you make this out to be a problem that people making $50-$75k have. It's not unique. And frankly, it's not new either.


Right. What's new is that the prospects for leaving the situation are getting worse at an accelerating rate. It's a small issue if there's frictionless class mobility, and people can succeed out of the risky times, it's a large problem for *everyone* if there's one way mobility down. That's the current trend. It turns out a rising tide doesn't lift all boats, it's lets most people tread water and raises my boat a lot. It was offset for a while with the housing bubble, this problem of income stagnation. Wages stayed flat, but people built 5% equity in their homes every year, so it wasn't so important.

What happens now? The myth of the magical beneficent "small business owner" who's going to create more jobs when he gets a tax break is wearing thin. It's been demonstrated that capital investment isn't causally tied to tax rates for high income earners. What's the endgame?


Yes. That's life though, isn't it? I mean, if the median household income in New York City is $48k(ish), then either half of the population in New York is homeless, or people in households making $50-$74k are actually able to afford places to live. We can sit here and play games with the dollar amounts of rents, and the danger of living at close to the edge of your means, and whatever else you want to do. But can we please not pretend that households in that income range are somehow uniquely in economic trouble?


They aren't. They are better off than 50% of the population. I get that sometimes we get so caught up in the whole "1% versus 99%" arguments, but top 50% versus bottom 50% is significant too. Most people work over their lives to move up. Being in the top half ain't bad.


I suppose. It's subjective, of course. Being homeless in America is pretty great compared to being in a Turkish prison. Being "middle class" in America is being incredibly wealthy in Burma. The question really comes down to how much utility is actually derived from wealth stratification. Obviously some, there's no incentive if everyone's guaranteed equal income and wealth. Obviously none at the other end, there's no incentive in abject slavery, either. Finding the balance where aspirational productivity is at it's highest is the whole point, isn't it?

Where we are isn't it, and the problem isn't that we take too much from those with the most wealth.
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#487 Jan 18 2012 at 9:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Samira wrote:
Ah, okay. And by "expensive" I mean the same things most people do, I suppose. Relative cost of housing, food, gas. I live in San Francisco, if that clarifies things.


Yeah. I honestly think that some of those calculations/comparisons are a bit wonky though. Like Joph showing the cost adjustment between San Diego and Queens (or Manhattan). How much of that adjustment do you suppose is food and gas, and how much do you suppose is housing costs? And that can be skewed based on the makeup of the city. The "City" of San Diego includes downtown (which has some very nice areas, but is still mostly slums), some surrounding older communities (most of which are low rent and run down), and a very small number of outlying communities which don't fall into any of the other cities and thus are part of San Diego City. In the county, most of the nicest places (and most expensive) are *not* part of the official city of San Diego.

There's no single contiguous area making up the city of San Diego, like there is for the Burroughs of New York. I technically live in the city, but I don't believe a single part of the community I live in is bordered by another other part of the city. You literally have to get on the freeway and drive about 20+ minutes to get to downtown (and nearly that long to get to any other place that is in the "city" of San Diego). Yeah, we're a bit unusual. But that's why I always laugh when people try to rattle off statistics about where I live. They don't apply because the city isn't laid out or planned like most other cities. Personally, I prefer it, but that's a different issue.
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#488 Jan 18 2012 at 9:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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Samira wrote:
Ah, okay. And by "expensive" I mean the same things most people do, I suppose.

I'm going to go on a limb and guess that Gbaji's social budget can be found in most cars' ashtrays.
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#489 Jan 18 2012 at 10:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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Borough.
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#490 Jan 18 2012 at 10:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Right. What's new is that the prospects for leaving the situation are getting worse at an accelerating rate. It's a small issue if there's frictionless class mobility, and people can succeed out of the risky times, it's a large problem for *everyone* if there's one way mobility down. That's the current trend. It turns out a rising tide doesn't lift all boats, it's lets most people tread water and raises my boat a lot. It was offset for a while with the housing bubble, this problem of income stagnation. Wages stayed flat, but people built 5% equity in their homes every year, so it wasn't so important.


I think you're confusing statistically flat wages across a population percentile, to individually flat wages. One says "How much does the third quintile of the population make today in adjusted dollars relative to what they made 15 years ago". The other says "how much more money does the average individual person earn today compared to what that same individual earned 15 years ago". Those are two very very very different things.

Wage mobility has much more to do with the latter, but you're measuring it by looking at the former. Wage mobility means that *I* may increase my wages over my lifetime (or decrease them, or both!). And that is definitely the case today and has been for some time.

Quote:
What happens now? The myth of the magical beneficent "small business owner" who's going to create more jobs when he gets a tax break is wearing thin.


Frankly, I've never agreed with that argument. I've said many times that helping small business owners helps the small business owner. The percentage of employees working for small business who are rich or even marginally above minimum wage is pretty horrific compared to employees working for big businesses. If we want everyone in the country to work for minimum wage at mom and pop stores, then by all means, help the small businesses. But it's the big businesses who promise the jobs that people move away from the small ones to take.

We can't all be chiefs, right? Someone has to be the boss/owner, and for every one of him, there's going to be a whole lot of people working for him. The small business owner becomes successful if the small business succeed. Very few of the workers he hires do though. And most of those will succeed because at some point they parley the experience they got into a job at a big business where advancement and wage mobility is possible.

Quote:
It's been demonstrated that capital investment isn't causally tied to tax rates for high income earners. What's the endgame?


I already addressed this earlier. It depends on other conditions. Lowering tax rates on the rich when there's 4.5% unemployment and 6% GDP growth isn't going to increase economic growth (of any sort) much. But raising taxes when you've got 9% unemployment and a .5% GDP growth rate absolutely will hurt economic growth (and job creation). Just because something doesn't have an effect in all conditions, doesn't mean it never has that effect.

The argument being used is akin to looking at someone standing over a camp fire that has been burning all night but is now mostly burned out, and arguing that blowing on the embers wont help to relight the fire because no amount of blowing on the fire last night helped make the flames grow. Other factors matter.


And again, it's less about the actual taxes as the fact that someone investing can't know what those tax rates will change to that has the greatest effect. We'd could double the tax rates and still get a positive effect if in the process we promised to not touch taxes again for the next decade. But we'd get the same positive effect if we just made that promise without raising taxes. The point is that by arguing to raise taxes or raising taxes, you make investors uncertain about when the next change will come and what form it will take. So raising taxes, even if you did make that promise would not likely be believed. If you fought for and prevented a raise in taxes, and then had enough control over government to prevent them from raising for at least a few years, investors will be much more sure of what will happen. Yes, I just plugged for why the GOP needs to win sufficient control of the government for our economy to recover. What did you expect?



Quote:
I suppose. It's subjective, of course. Being homeless in America is pretty great compared to being in a Turkish prison. Being "middle class" in America is being incredibly wealthy in Burma. The question really comes down to how much utility is actually derived from wealth stratification. Obviously some, there's no incentive if everyone's guaranteed equal income and wealth. Obviously none at the other end, there's no incentive in abject slavery, either. Finding the balance where aspirational productivity is at it's highest is the whole point, isn't it?


Again, I think that the bigger issue isn't statistical wealth stratification (the whole "gap between rich and poor" bit), but the ease or difficulty for individuals within society to change their wealth situation (hopefully for the better). If it's relatively easy to get ahead in life, then no one should care that people who are "ahead" are better off than they used to be. Heck. It's a good thing, right?

I also think we worry far too much about the top versus the bottom. Most people aren't going to be in either spot, so why obsess about it? I'm more interested in the middle half. How hard is it to go from the 25th percentile of earners to the 75th percentile in a lifetime? At the end of the day, isn't that more representative of the American Dream than how much the guy at the top 1% has relative to the guy at the bottom?

Quote:
Where we are isn't it, and the problem isn't that we take too much from those with the most wealth.


I think sometimes it's more important to figure out the right question to ask first though. And right now, the question most people are asking and the "facts" that most people make a big deal about are not the things that really matter the most. Until we realign our thinking to see what matters, we can't make good decisions about what to do.
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#491 Jan 18 2012 at 10:13 PM Rating: Decent
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Borough.


Whatever.
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#492 Jan 18 2012 at 10:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think some people have some amazingly warped ideas of what most people earn. Most people earn less than $50k/year (actually most households do, most individuals earners earn less than that). I'd put anyone making more than that in the middle class category. Otherwise, what does that term mean?

Traditionally, as a statistical measure it means the middle 3 quintiles of income. So, recently, 20k to 90kish for households. What it "means" as a conversational term is another issue. Obviously, most people perceive themselves as middle class unless they're at the extreme fringes of income distribution. I have a strange anecdotal life path in relation to this. I felt middle class when I was growing up in a household firmly in the middle quintile of income. I felt middle class making almost nothing when I was 20. I feel middle class now.

My neighbors strike me as middle class. We live in an area with essentially no rentals. we know four of our neighboring families fairly well. We're closest with the people adjacent to us who have a daughter Hannah's age. Our property abuts there, and essentially we share a large yard with them. Our back yard becomes their side yard at some imaginary line. She's a Family doctor and he's a medical researcher. At a guess, they probably gross 200k. They feel middle class. I poured concrete with him last summer when we was repairing part of his foundation. He loaned me a saw when we were working on our kitchen.

The people who share the other property line with us we aren't terribly close with, but he's a firefighter in town and she teaches at a public school in a nearby one. They probably earn 100-150k. They seem middle class. They recently sold their 3 year old Honda Accord and bought a used SUV. The people on the other side of them have a son who rides the (public) school bus with Hannah in the morning. They both work for a genetics institute, I have no clue where to gauge their income, but they agonized over getting their steam heat repaired for about a week because of the cost. They feel middle class too.

None of us are by any reasonable definition. I guess we'd fall into a "professional" class.

It isn't just that, though, context matters a great deal. When we bought this place Nexa and I seriously considered not ever mentioning what we paid for it to her family in Maine. Because it would be culture shock jarring. It's just a normal house, but where they live, what we paid for it would buy an estate. In Manhattan it would buy a parking space. Absolute measures of class based on income are goofy. I don't have a better statistic, but it feels more significant to look at when separation from "normal" occurs. When a family's wealth reaches a point where working is a life option for all it's members instead of a necessity, that feels important. When a family struggles to buy food or find adequate housing, that feels important. If that happens when they earn 50k in NYC or 15k in Lexington KY, seems less so. Most people don't really have a geographical option to problems finding work. They have ties to areas, and the cost of living frequently scales with improved job prospects, so it's less important if they could earn more somewhere else, it's important if they could improve their quality of life or not.
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#493 Jan 18 2012 at 10:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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I already addressed this earlier. It depends on other conditions. Lowering tax rates on the rich when there's 4.5% unemployment and 6% GDP growth isn't going to increase economic growth (of any sort) much. But raising taxes when you've got 9% unemployment and a .5% GDP growth rate absolutely will hurt economic growth (and job creation).


What leads you to believe this? It's a serious question, not me baiting you. I know what's happened historically, obviously, but even as a superficial throw away idea, I don't see the heuristic. What's the high level argument, that the very wealthy are going to sell stock in the large companies you see as job creators and reduce capital available to hire new workers? That investment will be less aggressive if there's a higher tax on income?
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#494 Jan 18 2012 at 10:22 PM Rating: Decent
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That was a great argument for not taking a national statistic about household wages and attempting to compare them to housing costs in Manhattan.


And I suppose it also ties in with my point about upward mobility being local and individual. Trying to apply national statistics to figure that out is pretty much an exercise in futility. I honestly believe that most people do this, not because they're trying to figure anything out, but so as to deliberately misuse the result to pursue a socio-economic agenda.
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#495 Jan 18 2012 at 10:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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Borough.
Whatever.
Hey, I figure if you at least learn the correct spelling then you'll know one correct thing about New York.
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#496 Jan 18 2012 at 10:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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At my first job, one of my managers said he thought about selling everything here and moving to Atlanta proper. He'd probably get a job that paid three times as much with a better company and a better title.

He said he changed his mind when he realized that he'd still be as broke as he was here in Athens, due to the increased housing costs and the increased gas costs and commute times. As poor as our county is, here's something to be said for a town that only takes twenty minutes to cross so your commute is usually less no matter where you live or work.

Edited, Jan 18th 2012 11:25pm by catwho
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#497 Jan 18 2012 at 10:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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I honestly believe that most people do this, not because they're trying to figure anything out, but so as to deliberately misuse the result to pursue a socio-economic agenda.



They do it because it's convenient, and they're not economists. Economists do it because Macro-economics is (very) frequently counter-intuitive, and they're trying to make it relatable.

When I say I can't think of a better statistic, it's a euphemism. I can think of hundreds. What I can't think of is one I'm confident you'll understand ("you" generally, I'm uncharacteristically not very antagonistic tonight.)

I wonder what it is you think the agenda of the left is in terms of socio-economic policy. The right's agenda is transparent, to protect the status quo of wealth distribution. What is it you think the left is after?
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#498 Jan 18 2012 at 10:45 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:

I already addressed this earlier. It depends on other conditions. Lowering tax rates on the rich when there's 4.5% unemployment and 6% GDP growth isn't going to increase economic growth (of any sort) much. But raising taxes when you've got 9% unemployment and a .5% GDP growth rate absolutely will hurt economic growth (and job creation).


What leads you to believe this? It's a serious question, not me baiting you. I know what's happened historically, obviously, but even as a superficial throw away idea, I don't see the heuristic. What's the high level argument, that the very wealthy are going to sell stock in the large companies you see as job creators and reduce capital available to hire new workers? That investment will be less aggressive if there's a higher tax on income?


You really don't see it? The market is not static. It doesn't even move up and down. It's constantly shifting. You should know that the volume of trade vastly outweighs the amount of gain/lose during any given time. Same applies to jobs created/saved. They aren't static things. Some are always being lost and some always created. The result, which may look on a graph like a smooth line shifting slightly up or down is really the constant difference between loses and gains.

Imagine that you have a statistic. Let's say that statistic right now results in the number "5" (just being arbitrary). But lets say that that number is the result of adding 100,000 different positive and negative numbers ranging up to 10 digits that just happen to almost always have a perfect balance between positive and negative total values and currently results in the number 5. That's what any sort of market is like (maybe not quite to that extreme, but I'm making a point here). The result you see on a performance measurement is the result of a whole lot of positive and negative factors.


It's a mistake to think that it's static. It's not. You don't increase from 5 to 6 by just adding 1. Similarly, you don't decrease unemployment from 9% to 5% by just adding the number of jobs representing 4%. Because the normal state is that jobs are always being added, and jobs are always being lost. Similarly, capital investments are being purchased and sold. The result is the daily total. You know this, but might not ever have really thought about what it means. To change the result, you have to change the whole behavior on average. And to do that you have to start with an understanding that it's normal to have activity all the time.

It's not like investors will choose to reduce capital. It's that they will choose to add it back in at a rate less than they were before. There is a constant cycle of invest/profit/reinvest going on. Investors already invest capital in things which create jobs. They don't have to make a specific effort to do so. They just have to do so at a rate which offsets whatever job loss rate is there at any given time. When you reduce the dollars that someone gets to retain from the profit part of the cycle, he's got less to reinvest. He's still going to do it. And he might even invest in similar pattern to the last cycle (or might not!).


It's not about them selling their stock out of job creating investments. It's that people sell that stock all the time. And people buy that stock all the time. It's a constant series of positive and negative numbers streaming by that at any given time add up to a result. It takes only a relatively tiny change in the value of one side of that to have a measurable effect on the result. Like in my "5" example. If you have 100,000 numbers and you just reduce each positive one by a tiny tiny tiny tiny bit, or reduce the number of positive numbers by a similarly tiny bit, you can have a huge effect on the result.


I think that this may be a difference between liberal and conservative thinking. Liberals tend to think that results are conscious. Someone intends to "create more jobs", sets out to do so, and it happens. If it doesn't, he must have failed. Conservatives believe that it's not a conscious thing. People will do what they're doing right now, but with small adjustments based on changing conditions. The best you can do is try to lean those conditions in ways which allow for the result you want and stand back. The left tries to take specific dollars and direct them to what it wants. The right gets that there are no specific dollars. It's about shifts in trends. You can't just decide to spend X dollars hiring people and expect it to work. But if you make hiring people more profitable you can bet that in that sea of buys and sells and hires and fires, you'll end out with more people employed.


In the case of taxes, what you're trying to do is take money and direct it. But the money has to come from somewhere. It's where it comes from and the chaotic effect that has on the market that often dwarfs whatever you're trying to do with the directed money. One of the historical trends that is clear over the last half century is that the more government attempts to direct the economy, the more problems occur which need direction to fix. We saw this in the 60s and 70s as we lurched from one economic problem to another. Each time we took an action to fix something, we caused another problem a few years later. If you have a wave moving in a direction, it's pretty stupid to try to change the wave. Rather, change what you're doing so that the wave will be useful to you instead of harmful. Ride it instead of fight it.
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#499 Jan 18 2012 at 10:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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It's not like investors will choose to reduce capital. It's that they will choose to add it back in at a rate less than they were before.


I didn't read the whole thing, too long and too obviously wrong. This popped out, though. Rather than parse the whole thing, lets assume you made other great, compelling points that I'm too lazy to get to just now.

The problem with the "they'll add it back at a lower rate" argument is that the safest investment in the world, at the moment, and where most high net worth income is currently parked is.....loaning money to the US government.

In a system without this option, it's a slightly better argument, but still flawed, but the actual dynamic tends to be that the more wealth high net worth individuals have, the safer investments they seek, for obvious reasons. Taxing them more actually leads them to take on *more* risk, not less, as they seek better return to offset the decline in real income lost through taxation.

In short, they pay the government money at zero interest and invest in the market instead of loaning the government the same money at 2%, or whatever the T-Bill rate is ATM.

It's a fairly well understood mechanism, I didn't just create it.

How does that mesh with your idea?
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#500 Jan 18 2012 at 10:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
I wonder what it is you think the agenda of the left is in terms of socio-economic policy.


The lefts agenda is to equalize economic outcomes as much as possible out of a belief that this will equalize social liberty as well (liberty expressed not by what you're free to do, but what you can afford to do).

Quote:
The right's agenda is transparent, to protect the status quo of wealth distribution.


You believe that because you believe that wealth distribution is correlated to social liberty. That's not the agenda of the right at all. The rights objective is to maximize social liberty as well (same goal as the left interestingly enough). However, the right believes that maximal social liberty occurs when people are lest interfered with in their actions and choices and the results of those actions and choices.

The conflict occurs because the left believes that equalizing economic outcomes is the route to maximum social liberty, while the right believes that doing so reduces social liberty. The rights agenda isn't to protect the status quo of wealth distribution. The lefts agenda is to change that status quo. The right opposes that not because they care directly about wealth distribution, but because the act of [b]redistributing[b] it is something we believe infringes on liberty.

Quote:
What is it you think the left is after?



I think the better question is what methods I believe the left is willing to use to "win". But that's for another day.
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#501 Jan 18 2012 at 11:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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You believe that because you believe that wealth distribution is correlated to social liberty. That's not the agenda of the right at all. The rights objective is to maximize social liberty as well (same goal as the left interestingly enough). However, the right believes that maximal social liberty occurs when people are lest interfered with in their actions and choices and the results of those actions and choices.


Sorry, I may have generalized too much. When I said "the right" I meant "viable GOP politicians and policy makers in the United States. I didn't mean "people who read Atlas Shrugged when they were 14 and felt their lives changed". The entire social agenda of the viable US right is to limit personal freedom. I'm not sure how one could argue otherwise.
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Disclaimer:

To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

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