... is bad.
What about Representation without Taxation? People getting a say in things without paying into the system?
Here is how I see it:
The Democrats are complaining the rich are stealing from the middle class.
The Republicans are complaining the poor are stealing from the middle class.
Now I’m complaining. From whom do we slobs in the middle class get to steal from?
So let's look at it this way, representation for taxation is not actually the foundation of representation, representation exists because otherwise government force is exerted on an individual without him having any say in the way he is governed which makes it tyranny. Now if you want to make only tax payers be able to vote then you create a class of people who no longer are represented but are still ruled over so by the same logic obviously they should no longer be bound by a system that they have no representation in otherwise it's tyranny so by all means make non tax payers not be able to vote if you are content for them to no longer be bound by any of the rules of our governance, be they laws or regulations, since they have no representation they cannot be ethically ruled.
The fallacy is to believe representation is the reward for paying taxes, it is not, representation is what divides fair governance from oppression by force.
But if they aren't paying taxes, are they under taxation?
Yes, everybody pays some form of taxes... I just thought it was an interesting phrase. Personally, I worry about pure democratic voting... the more advanced the world becomes, the more distant the average person becomes from how things work, and the less able they are to understand what is going to be best for them...
Are you saying that poor people who don't pay income tax should not be represented by Congress?
Nope, just asking a question.
I saw someone mention Representation without Taxation elsewhere, and I don't think I've seen that before.
The origin of “No taxation without representation:”
The phrase was common in Ireland before it made its way into a sermon delivered by Rev. Jonathan Mayhew in Boston in 1750. It crystallized the sentiments of British colonists struggling under the yoke of taxes and tariffs imposed on the original Thirteen Colonies by a monarchy that denied them a seat in Parliament. James Otis expanded it to a political slogan “taxation without representation is tyranny” to muster support for the American Revolution.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_taxatio … esentation
Welcome to democracy.
That's kind of the whole point of democracy--everybody gets a vote.
If only some people have a vote but others don't--that's called either oligarchy or a situation of first- and second-class citizens.
I wonder, there are so many nets in place for the poor, with little or no outside incentive for them to get out of that situation. I'm so very opposed to welfare that is given out without requirements, and I've never really considered things that might be taken away... We do it in all sorts of places, disincentives...
What you describe would inevitably, and very quickly, lead to a permanent underclass. There is already an effective/ de facto underclass in the US (people who, for all intents and purposes, are structurally stuck at the bottom of society generation after generation).
But this kind of thing--taking away their rights, votes, etc, would undoubtedly make it permanent and real. This is what the permanent underclasses of old were made of, after all--slaves, serfs, landed peasants, etc. It's not like we haven't seen what you are describing before. We've seen it, and it has been the rule by far in human societies for thousands of years.
Interesting factoid: class mobility today in the US is lower than in much of western Europe. Why? I think one major reason is because of the severe class bifurcation and rise in income inequality that has occurred in the US over the last 40 years or so.
We can certainly talk about reforming welfare and government safety nets. In other first world countries, their systems work much more efficiently, for instance, despite being much more generous.
And they have not produced a permanent class of drug-addled deadbeats waiting for their monthly check from the government.
Mobility in the US is low because the separation between quintiles is so large. Comparing relative mobility as a percentage of one country to the percentage of another doesn't make any sense.
We actually have very good mobility, as shown by the Census study of taxpayers over two decades.
We definitlely need to stop the war on drugs. It's probably alone responsible for more violence and more income inequality and income immobility than any other single factor.
"Mobility in the US is low because the separation between quintiles is so large."
Using other words, that was precisely my point.
"Comparing relative mobility as a percentage of one country to the percentage of another doesn't make any sense."
Country comparisons don't make any sense. Umm... Why is that?
The US used to have the highest interclass mobility; now it does not.
I do agree with the war on drugs thing. Ironically, if you believed in country comparisons, that would bolster your argument on drugs because other first world countries are far easier on drugs than the US.
My point is that income mobility in the US is actually quite high. The 'low' factor people use is just a very poor way of comparing.
Comparing different situations doesn't make sense unless you can control for the base and other factors.
I believe in country comparisons, but I also believe that all analysis needs to control for variables.
I understand the point about different conditions and factors. But ultimately all comparisons are flawed for that reason. A perfect comparison is impossible. But there is real information here. We're only comparing first world industrialized democracies, for example.
Also, this NYT article (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/ha … wanted=all) says:
"While Europe differs from the United States in culture and demographics, a more telling comparison may be with Canada, a neighbor with significant ethnic diversity... just 16 percent of Canadian men raised in the bottom tenth of incomes stayed there as adults, compared with 22 percent of Americans. Similarly, 26 percent of American men raised at the top tenth stayed there, but just 18 percent of Canadians."
Also, insofar as intergenerational mobility reflects more fundamental socioeconomic conditions, it is a measuring stick for those things.
In the US, to go from the bottom 20% to the top 20%, you have to increase your income by 750%. In Canada, you only have to increase your income by 450%.
That's why 22% isn't worse than 16%. If you want to look at it, stop comparing quintiles or deciles, and look at actual income change, by dollar.
The problem is, not every country has that kind of information available.
But if there is more economic opportunity in the US, then increasing one's income by 750% should not be particularly unreasonable.
And as I said, this is a measuring stick. When measuring the temperature in the jungle and the temperature on a glacier, you don't say "well, there's more snow in this environment, and that environment is closer to the equator, so using the same thermometer in both places is dumb."
It's a common tool to measure the outcome that arises from both places' various conditions.
If the two companies have the same absolute opportunity, it would be just as easy to increase by 450% in either country. I'm not saying there is more, or less, or to what extent. I'm saying that those 'measurements' don't work.
Or do you think that someone in the US that goes from 10k to 75k is doing worse than someone in Canada who goes from 10k to 55k?
It's a stupid tool, and I've fully explained why. You don't say 'The temperature in the arctic has increased from 0 to 1 degree, while the temperature on the equator has increased from 85 to 86. That means the arctic is doing INFINITELY worse than the equator, which only increased by 1.1%'.
It IS stupid to say that someone who has more absolute income growth is doing worse than someone with less. There's no way to spin it. But you can keep trying, I guess. Free speech and all that.
"Or do you think that someone in the US that goes from 10k to 75k is doing worse than someone in Canada who goes from 10k to 55k?"
Yes. Because that is an American, working within the American context. The Canadian context is not relevant to him. And vice versa. He is not buying a Canadian house, not affected by the Canadian CPI, not going to Canadian schools, not voting in Canadian elections, and not paying Canadian taxes.
Ironically, that arctic thing is what you have been advocating: one degree is one degree everywhere, regardless of the context.
Nobody will question that in absolute terms, even the poor in the US do quite well, in general human terms, where wretched peasants have been dying of the common cold for thousands of years. Absolute terms is not the issue.
I believe what counts is doing well within the conditions that you have been given. So if we go to a far flung Pacific island where 100 people live, and we discover a man who has become the leader of that tribe, even if by American standards he is dirt poor, he deserves respect for doing the best possible in his context.
You're completely free to focus on the absolute and ignore the context all you want, and I suppose ultimately conclude that the typical Chinese is far richer than the typical Luxembourger since, obviously, China's economy is so much larger than Luxembourg's.
Everything is the same in the example. Cost of living, everything. You're trying to dodge the issue, you can't honestly say it's better to increase your income to 55k than to 75k.
You're the one switching between absolute and relative. One degree is one degree, just like one dollar is one dollar. That's why it's better to go from 10k to 75k, than from 10k to 55k.
Ok... so in other words, you think it is better for somebody to be in the top 20% in country A, earning $20,000 USD PPP, than to be in the middle 20% in country B, earning $55,000 USD PPP.
I'm sorry, but I'll take the more money any day.
I really can't believe you are proposing this...
Better to be considered the rich in a poor country, than to have more money and be in the middle class somewhere else.
If that's the case, I suggest you save up a few thousand dollars and move to a very poor country. You'll be so rich!
I understand your example from the bottom of the page.
The question is not whether $100 is better than $50. I already said that even a poor American is better off than a middle class person in many other countries. You keep missing that.
From an individual's perspective, of course they will always take more money over less. But from a country-level perspective, there are other things to consider, like the macro conditions that produce those outcomes for large numbers of individuals. And in any case, for an individual person, from a given starting point, where are they more likely to increase their income? In a country with low mobility or high mobility?
Now you should know poor countries do not even factor here. We're talking about first world countries only, where the comparison counts.
The credit certainly belongs to the guy who has worked hard and broken out of his starting position, not the guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. And similarly, the recognition belongs to the society that can make that kind of thing happen, not the society where everybody is stuck with their silver (or lead) spoons.
Because ultimately, my friend, which society do you think will produce more personal wealth?
In a country like the US, you can increase your income A LOT without being considered 'mobile'. You are trying to measure income by mobility, where income is best measured by... income.
Just like I said, you can increase your income more in the US without being considered mobile than other countries. YES you are less mobile. YES you are increasing your income more. They are NOT mutually exclusive.
It doesn't count, at all, unless you control for income inequality. The only way to do that is to compare dollars to dollars, not brackets to brackets.
The one that produces the most wealth. The country with the most increase in income and wealth for the median population. A country with low inequality and high mobility might not create much, because a poor person becoming a rich person might only be a few thousands dollars difference.
Just stop looking at it by %s, and start looking at $s, and you'll see how much mobility the US has.
If mobility is so irrelevant, then why has there traditionally been so much emphasis on it in the US? Why has the "American Dream" captured the imagination of millions? Why do stratified societies with permanent aristocracies and privileged elites underperform more dynamic ones?
"You are trying to measure income by mobility, where income is best measured by... income."
We're not measuring income. If you thought that, you've been mistaken the whole time. We're talking about opportunity. Which is what ultimately produces income.
"A country with low inequality and high mobility might not create much, because a poor person becoming a rich person might only be a few thousands dollars difference."
Significant wealth is not produced by societies where individuals are limited by their fathers' class or occupation. Wealth is produced by dynamic societies where real opportunity exists.
"Just stop looking at it by %s, and start looking at $s, and you'll see how much mobility the US has."
There is mobility in the US. Yes. But it has clearly declined. Relative to itself and relative to other countries. There are a host of indicators--median wages, intergenerational mobility, income inequality, etc--that all point to the same theme: less opportunity, less potential, less dynamism, more stagnation.
There is a reason why all of these things have happened together. They are related.
You say a high performer will open up gaps in income that will mask the underlying dynamism and mobility. But you are missing something: there have always been high performers. What happened in the last 20 years to make such a difference? Or the last 10 years for that matter? Your analysis cannot explain that.
Relative mobility is irrelevant. The American Dream isn't 'To be in the top 1% of earners'. That's just... I don't even know what to say.
Absolute mobility is what counts. Being able to build a career or a business, and increase your earnings. That's what counts. Who cares if you aren't in the top 1%, making $200,000/year? Most people will focus on the $200k, not the fact that they aren't in the top 1%. That's why relative doesn't really matter. Absolute does.
Income mobility, social mobility, the American Dream, it's all about income. As I said, it's not about being in the top X%. If you have an opportunity that allows you to make 200k, is that diminished at all by the fact that you aren't in the top 1%? If so, you probably have an unhealthy obsession with competition.
You aren't understanding the opportunity though. You are measuring opportunity with a different yardstick in each country! That's why I keep using these examples. If two people in two different countries each earn 10k, the one with more opportunity can turn that into more money in the future, regardless of which quintile you fall in. Turning a career that earns 10k into 65k means more opportunity than turning a career that earns 10k into 45k.
ABSOLUTE hasn't declined. There's nothing more I can say, you just don't seem to understand.
Let's say the average American today entering the workforce earns 25k. Let's also say the top 20% starts at $100k. THen the average American works his way up to $100k, but the year he gets his last raise, a whole bunch of wealthy people move to America, and the top 20% break point moves to $150k. Did the average American's opportunity decrease all of a sudden?
No. Not in the least. He still grew his earnings through opportunity. That's what you aren't understanding.
It's not about analysis, it's about explaining relative income mobility. As income inequality increases, the requirement to be 'mobile' increases as well. The same opportunity and the same growth will result in different 'mobility results' depending on income inequality.
But you said before... you think it's better to be in the top 20% of a poor country, than the middle 20% of a rich country. Even if that means in the poor country you only have half of what the middle 20% in the rich country has. I say that the ABSOLUTE figures matter more. The American Dream is still alive. If your dream is to be in the top 1%, then yes, that is more difficult to do now, but that's not the American Dream.
I guess the difference (or at least one difference) is that you keep looking at things on a micro level, and I'm on a macro level.
"Absolute mobility is what counts. Being able to build a career or a business, and increase your earnings. That's what counts."
Don't you see? If one person can become a millionaire, then other people can do it too. Or at least they should be able to. The fact that it was easier to follow in that person's footsteps 30 years ago than it is today says something real about the economic system. Every dollar today is harder to come by, on average. That's what you keep missing.
You are essentially looking at the various classes as islands isolated from each other (which one day they may be, at the rate mobility is going in this country), when they are actually constituent parts of the same whole.
"Who cares if you aren't in the top 1%, making $200,000/year? Most people will focus on the $200k, not the fact that they aren't in the top 1%."
Haha, you must not know many rich people. Or at least not live in a very rich area. They are fiercely competitive and hyperconscious of their differences. The $200k guy lives in a nice luxury building on the Upper West Side, but his $500k boss has a duplex overlooking Central Park. And the next guy up the chain, at $1.2 million, is buying his own apartment. There's always a bigger fish. But I digress.
"If you have an opportunity that allows you to make 200k, is that diminished at all by the fact that you aren't in the top 1%?"
No. The opportunity to make those 200k dollars is not diminished. And maybe my personal opportunity as an individual is not either. But opportunity in a general sense in the society is. That's the point. (And $200k is roughly the top 5%, BTW, so not much of a difference.)
I understand your argument. I'll prove it by putting it in my own words. You're saying that the various classes in the US are further spread out, so the greater distance between the top and bottom makes climbing that ladder more unlikely. But this does not mean there is less mobility. Because the ability to go from X dollars to Y dollars is necessarily just as easy as ever.
But the classes or quintiles are themselves composed of what? Those dollars, precisely! The dollars in this economy are not only further spread out vertically, but are also far more concentrated in a smaller elite. This makes each marginal dollar in the lower and middle classes harder to come by, ON TOP OF the difficulty of getting from the bottom to the top. It's overall, aggregate opportunity in the society. Take away the outliers, the richest of the rich, and you still have these patterns.
You want to say that inequality is not related to opportunity. What makes you think that? Where do you think that inequality came from in the first place? From people pursuing (or not pursuing) opportunities! Lol.
If the opportunity really is even throughout the land, then lots and lots of people should be getting similar results, right? So what does it mean when only the rare warrior manages to get that holy grail? It means there is less opportunity, in the aggregate. This is why I say you are chopping things up and trying to isolate them, when they compose a whole.
Also, take a look at this chart which measures interclass mobility in the US over time. Not even any country comparisons--the US is failing relative to itself. This is from about the 1940s to the early 2000s.
(I have a larger version of this image in one of my hubs on why the rich should be taxed more/ progressive taxation.)
That chart is the same thing, as the gap between groups increases, the movement between them decreases.
Jaxson likes to argue that the middle class is doing just fine, that the American dream is still intact.
If all that is true, Jaxson, why do we need to change course and elect Mitt? Just wondering.
I like to argue that looking at a relative change in one country, and comparing that to a relative change in another country, is a stupid thing to do. I've explained that elsewhere quite in-depth.
If you are making 10k USD a year in Canada, and in 5 years you are making 55k, you are considered better off than if you are making 10k USD a year in the US, and in 5 years you are making 75k.
We need to change course because we have double-digit unemployment, and Obama's policies aren't doing anything to help. We need to attract jobs, not punish them.
"We need to change course because we have double-digit unemployment, and Obama's policies aren't doing anything to help. We need to attract jobs, not punish them."
Okay, serious questions.
How do Mitt Romney's economic policies differ from George W. Bush's? And, if they are different, how will they result in increased employment? If they are not different, how would they result in increased employment, given that George W. Bush's economic policies did not?
Edited to add: The reason I am asking these questions is that I have seen nothing from Romney that is substantially different from previous GOP policies. If one is happy with the result of those policies, then I suppose it makes sense to want to return to them by voting for Mitt. If one is not happy with those policies, then how will Mitt's policies be different and better?
I really don't know too much about the specifics of Bush's economic policies. I wasn't in the US for most of that time, and was busy with other things.
No president in the last 20 years has put the corporate tax rate at a competitive rate. Romney says he will do that, and it needs to be done. International investors face a tax rate up to 30% higher in the US than other developed countries for new investment... that's a huge incentive to look elsewhere.
No president has put the US on a territorial tax system. It's pretty dumb to encourage companies that have foreign operations to keep their money abroad. Most other countries have figured this out.
Bush didn't cut spending. We seriously need to cut spending. We also need to do so slowly, so as not to cause a large drop in GDP in one year. Romney understands this.
"No president has put the US on a territorial tax system. It's pretty dumb to encourage companies that have foreign operations to keep their money abroad. Most other countries have figured this out."
Before I respond further, please explain the above to me. I freely admit that I am no expert in this area, but isn't a territorial tax system one that taxes domestic income but not foreign income?
Let's say you have a business that operates in the US and in Canada. In the US your business is subject to, let's say 30% tax. In Canada, 15%.
Under our current system, you pay 15% tax to Canada on profits made on Canda-based operations. If you reinvest that money in Canada, that's all you pay.
But, if you want to reinvest that money in the US, you have to pay an extra 15% tax to transfer that money to the US. In other words, companies are only penalized for bringing foreign profits into our economy.
Under a territorial system, you would pay Canada 15%, but if you wanted to bring that money to the US, you would be able to do so for about 1-2%.
Can you provide me with a link that explain Mitt's proposal on this?
Okay, I have read all of it, and it makes sense to me. Again, I do not consider myself to be well-versed in economics but a territorial tax system in conjunction with a decrease in the corporate tax rate does seem to make sense.
I will be discussing it with my friend who has a Masters in Economics.
As I said above, if there is more opportunity and dynamism in the US, then it should be theoretically as easy to move among the classes in the US as it is in other countries where there is less opportunity, but the classes are closer together. It's either one or the other.
IF the level of opportunity in the US were 66% greater than Canada, then yeah, we should see the same kind of mobility.
But I didn't say that. You didn't say that. Nobody has said that.
Let's assume that the opportunity is 10% better in the US. That wouldn't make up for the 66% increased difference in income inequality. That means, by your measure, people who do better in the US will still be counted as doing worse than they would have in Canada.
The whole point is that you can't look at income mobility by country, and draw useful conclusions from that data alone. As I've said many, many times, you would end up sayign that someone who increased their income in the US by 650% was doing worse than someone who increased their income in Canada by 450%.
Would you rather increase your income by 450% or 650%?
No incentive... It's almost like you have never been poor... the united states poverty threshold is the line set by the Census Bureau and about 15.5% of the population falls below that line. That line represents a : " federal government estimate of the point below which a household of a given size has income insufficient to meet minimal food and other basic needs."
Now do you think that not having enough money to afford "minimal food and basic needs" is not an incentive to get out of poverty... Have you ever gone without food and/or shelter?
Secularist, you might not have understood that, I should explain better.
Let's assume that opportunity is 10% better in the US than in Canada. You live in the US, with a twin in Canada. You are exactly the same, same education, same job, everything except for location is the same.
You both currently make $10,000/year. In 5 years, your twin in Canada will be making $55,000. Because you have 10% greater opportunity, you will be making $59,500.
Your twin will have jumped from the bottom 20% to the top 20%(we're speaking relatively, it takes an increase of 450%). You, on the other hand, would have jumped from the bottom 20% to the middle 20%.
Then, someone comes along and looks at your 'income mobility', and decides that the US is severely handicapped. Just look! You only went up two quintiles, where your twin went up 4!
Do you see the problem? Something that is better can look worse, if you don't understand what you are looking at.
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