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  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-25-2017, 06:10 PM
    Not sure I agree. The liberals/left wants more government involvement in healthcare. The center/center-right wants some government involvement but not too much. The right/far-right wants very little government involvement in healthcare. There is money behind all three parts, especially the center and the right. The voters tend to heavily support the far-left and the center, and while money is important, politicians are wary of angry voters. When it comes to taxes, the entire Republican party is united behind lower taxes. The only point of contention would be that some Republicans want to cut taxes on the rich and raise them on the middle-class to maintain the deficit; this is very toxic to voters so some Republicans in weaker districts will protest, as will many Democrats. The blue-dog Democrats are equally eager to cut taxes on the rich, as long as taxes on the middle class are not raised. But there is pretty much no money behind the "raise taxes" wing; taxes are raised because politicians are forced to be fiscally responsible, not because special interests or voters forced them to. For the most part, all the big donors want drastic cuts in taxes. As long as everyone gets a cut, voters will generally go along with it.
    87 replies | 1403 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-25-2017, 03:06 AM
    It really should be. Everyone is on board for tax reform. The donors, who back both parties, heavily favor it.
    87 replies | 1403 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-20-2017, 02:40 AM
    He was basically saying that monopolies are basically the ideal. I'm adding on to that that a great way to do that is to use government force, other force, fraud/lying/cheating to do that. Just pointing out that there is a great incentive to do this as pure capitalism will eat away at profits.
    24 replies | 525 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-19-2017, 10:20 PM
    Well, when making predictions, you should factor those "distortions' in, no? I guess there have been distortions since 2008...
    2 replies | 188 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-19-2017, 10:18 PM
    In true capitalism, profits are fleeting. That's why Peter Thiel says he isn't a capitalist, he is a monopolist. Playing the market in a fair way means small and fleeting profits as competition will quickly reduce the price you can charge. Somewhere along the line, capitalists will realize it makes more sense to bribe, rig, and trick the system than to play it fairly. That is just human nature. You can actually look at the profits of various industries over time. For example, the food industry (wholesalers, agriculture, processing) basically makes something like .1% over the cost of money (a short-term treasury bond). Construction is just under 1%. Computer/chips are just under 5%. Banks? 17%. Tech companies? Around 8%. Retail is even at a negative percent. Health technology is at 3%. Health insurance is at 18%. Energy is at 13%, but the data was collected before the downturn in oil prices. The highest margins I have seen are in cable TV, at over 23%.
    24 replies | 525 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-15-2017, 07:23 PM
    1) I dislike the comparison. The US government is not a household...households do not issue their own currency. 2) Politicians aren't great, but the electorate is no treat either. Politicians used debt to give us all the things we asked for without raising taxes.
    44 replies | 1277 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-13-2017, 01:12 AM
    Even if that is true, that would mean that government costs 13% of GDP? Not too shabby. In regards to the private vs. public salaries, get beyond such an elementary analysis. Government workers tend to be more educated and more experienced. To be fair, if you don't have a college degree, the government pays better. If you do, the private sector pays better. Of course, the numbers will be tainted by the fact that even education doesn't tell the whole story; the private sector will have high-school students in retail and restaurant jobs bringing averages down, for example.
    6 replies | 276 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-13-2017, 01:05 AM
    Yes, they are funding Rand Paul. Not as much as Ted Cruz (who got a lot more money overall), but they give him about half-a-million dollars each year. By comparison, his biggest contributors are in the healthcare industry, which gives him a little over one million/year. It seems like the people pushing and promoting man-made climate change are in academia. Some energy companies are changing their tune due to social pressure, but they've denied it for the longest time.
    10 replies | 332 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-12-2017, 04:42 PM
    I get this is what makes sense ideologically. But larger companies fight tooth-and-nail against climate change. They fund politicians to high degrees so that the politicians will deny climate change. They fund our government so that they can pollute with impunity.
    10 replies | 332 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-11-2017, 07:17 PM
    Try and find a more respectable, peer-reviewed source. I mean, a quick read through the paper renders it questionable. Comparing EU government spending/growth to US government spending/growth, and then saying less spending = more growth is incredibly deceptive and is a great example of correlation not equating to causation. The paper also is more about giant government overall rather than deficits. I also do not like the over-referencing of ideological books vs. studies/papers. I do generally think that government regulation (at its current level) is bad for the economy and that we have too much government intervention, but that is besides the point of spending/deficits. Plus, if I wanted to prove that government needs to be constrained, I'd try and find a source that wasn't just coincidentally right. In the case of Australia: 1) They've had some dips that have correlated with smaller deficits. 2) They are not nearly as much of an importer as the USA, having a few years with balance of trade surpluses. That adds net financial wealth to the economy. 3) Much of their growth has been fueled by debt (which is NOT necessarily a bad thing; same thing has happened in this country)! Debt/income has, what, tripled in the past twenty years? That debt can fuel a lot of consumption and investment. The US private sector has typically had between 3-6% of the total credit level in net financial assets. Australia is at 11% today(IIRC)...over twenty years, net financial assets have gone up a hair relative to GDP while debt-to-gdp has nearly tripled. A way of thinking about it is that when some countries, like the US, expanded their credit level, they were going from a level their economy could handle to an unsustainable level; the bubble popped and they had a recession. Australia went from having a credit level too conservative for their economy to a level that their economy could handle.
    44 replies | 1277 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-11-2017, 02:16 PM
    Proof? There are studies showing a lot of different things, and I generally agree that "large government" is poor for growth, but deficits generally lead to more growth while surpluses (with few datapoints) lead to less growth or even negative growth. Where is the proof? I mean, the studies I have seen show that both higher taxes and lower taxes can disincentivize work. Higher taxes by lowering returns and lower taxes by giving less need for higher returns. Proof of this, especially in a post-gold-standard world?
    44 replies | 1277 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-11-2017, 05:13 AM
    I suppose you also laugh when someone says the sky is blue or that creationism isn't real? What I described is a factually accurate description of our monetary system. Take a look at this graph: Well-played, my good man
    44 replies | 1277 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-11-2017, 12:22 AM
    Universities receive federal funding not for free, but for doing something in exchange...research. The state of California literally gives Berkeley money for "free", to help with tuition. The vast, vast majority of federal funding comes to the school because of the research that they do. Just like Ron Paul receives money from SS for all that he put into it, or how the government paid for his medical degree under the GI bill. There were no handouts; the money is/was "earned".
    27 replies | 791 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-11-2017, 12:18 AM
    I don't think it is a coincidence that a lot of the people/sites whom you have linked to have basically gotten nothing right (in terms of the economy and predictions) over the past eight years (going back even further with the exception of a stopped clock). The debt is equivalent to private savings. If the private sector wants to save net financial assets, it has to either run a surplus with either the foreign sector (trade deficit) or the government sector (budget deficit). In our current situation, with a ~500 billion dollar trade deficit, if the private sector wants to just break even, the federal government has to run a deficit of ~500 billion dollars. When it doesn't, you see a reduction in net financial assets of the private sector. That's what happened prior to the dot com crash and the financial crash. On top of that, the federal government can't really go broke; it issues the currency and can always pay the bills. From a legal standpoint, Congress can forbid the treasury from doing so; there are statues in place, for example. But that is only from a legal standpoint and not from a "technical" standpoint. There is nothing technically preventing the US government from running unlimited deficits. There are only real constraints. When the US government spends money, it is buying (bidding on) the productive capacities of the private sector. For example, when the government wants to build a tank, the private sector needs to find the factory space, building materials, labor, infrastructure, etc. to support that project. Those are resources that cannot be used to build air conditioners or microwaves, or whatever. When the government cuts a social security check to someone, that person is bidding on food/entertainment/housing produced by the private sector. That same production cannot be used by someone else. However, there is often "spare capacity" lying around, and the private sector is able to generate new production very effectively. To the extent that government spending is met by this new capacity, all is good (great, in fact, as the private sector has to hire people to meet that capacity). To the extent that government spending is competing with already-maximized resources from the private sector, you will get price inflation. At that point, if inflation is to be reined in, the government has to cut its spending or remove the ability of the private sector to bid on that capacity (taxation). So when it comes to debt, deficits, and government spending, the question should never be "where will we find the money" or "can we afford this?" It should be if the government spending will cause inflation; if there is enough spare capacity in the economy that the government can tap into with its deficit spending.
    44 replies | 1277 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-10-2017, 02:34 AM
    Small issue I wanted to point out was how "military spending" has changed over the years. Many things that used to be part of the DOD aren't anymore. Veterans affairs, foreign welfare, DARPA, DOE, are no longer in the DOD umbrella. Plus, there are things like Border Security and Homeland Security. Then there are tangential things like the GI benefits that are included in the DOE and the HUD. Saying we spend 5% of GDP on defense would be a conservative bet.
    240 replies | 3333 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-10-2017, 02:26 AM
    Looks like that was a herring that worked. Missing the forest for the trees, there. The death tax doesn't even kick in until, what, ten million? And in my scenario, the income tax/payroll tax/corporate tax is either eliminated or severely reduced.
    240 replies | 3333 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-08-2017, 04:04 AM
    Ultimately, the government has to run a deficit. That is how the private sector nets financial savings (and at a balanced budget, the private sectory would be losing 500 some billion to the foreign sector every year). Rand's math (as always) on the fair tax is terrible. The bottom-half of the country gets hit harder... A good proposal I saw was to cut spending by about 1 trillion, and taxes by about 2 trillion, leaving a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit. Spending cuts come in the form of giant cuts to discretionary spending (including defense) with only some minor cuts to Medicare and Meidicaid. In terms of taxes, start by basically eliminating all taxes. Make a progressive flat tax on income from 1% to 15% of income (without deductions) with the caveat that the tax rate is tied to the level of discretionary spending. Government spends less, you keep more; this should discourage government spending, especially when it comes to wars. Payroll tax and corporate income tax are gone. Capital gains tax is gone. Keep the death tax (we should discourage large transfers of wealth between generations, as this discourages innovation and investment). Introduce Pigovian taxes so that certain industries will realize the full costs of the goods they produce. Studies have found that pollution costs the economy 200-400 billion/year (mostly in the form of less productivty due to sickness); extract that from the abusers. I'd honestly be open to a soda tax or a fat tax...consumption of unhealthy food is everyone's right, and this is America, but in mass, this leads to higher levels of sickness, and we all bear the cost in terms of lowered producitivty and a greater strain on healthcare resources. I'd also experiment with a Wall street transaction tax to cut down on HFT, as well as a tax on certain instruments to cut down on CDS. The natural opposition to these taxes will be that the government (or the people) are "passing judgement". Who are we to say that eating poorly is bad? Who are we to judget Wall Street traders and certain instruments?
    240 replies | 3333 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-08-2017, 03:31 AM
    Personally, I find that in normal times (when the market is doing well), index funds/"passive funds"/mutual funds are very good strategies. Picking and choosing will generally not be a winning strategy in the relative sense. But in hectic times (dot com crash, housing bubble, etc), picking-and-choosing stocks is the superior strategy. The market as a whole gets incredibly fearful and wrong-headed; index funds or mutual funds buy into that same sentiment.
    13 replies | 448 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-02-2017, 01:55 AM
    Yes, a plan which had a mathematical error where he double-counted some 200+ billion in savings. Hence, he really only cut 700+ odd billion. Plus some of the fuzziest math ever on his tax revenues. Not to mention he claimed that his plan would add a trillion/year to private financial savings...a mathematical impossibility.
    95 replies | 2457 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    03-01-2017, 02:31 AM
    What are you trying to say? Wouldn't hard-core libertarians argue that such a revolt was immoral since it involved violence and the violation of the property rights of the royalty?
    141 replies | 2954 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    02-27-2017, 05:08 PM
    I was wondering about something; hopefully the question is appropriate for this thread. Are libertarians/anarchists opposed to the feudal/medieval system? I mean, under that system, the royalty owned the land, and the peasants had to work it. You could argue against the "rules" of the royalty, but if the royalty owns the land, don't they have a right to make rules? In that way, the feudal system was really an application of respect for property rights and contracts.
    141 replies | 2954 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    02-26-2017, 03:00 AM
    That is true. In the time of the founders to the Civil War, many states relied on property taxes to get revenue. With the modern monetary system and everything on paper, taxing income became possible.
    20 replies | 691 view(s)
  • Dr.No.'s Avatar
    02-26-2017, 02:42 AM
    Sowell Sowell isn't really a good example considering his penchant to reference bomb. When you actually go and look at the reference, you'd learn he either made it up or misconstrued its conclusions.
    91 replies | 2124 view(s)
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