«

»

Is Skin Required To Be In The Game?

Is 50% the tipping point? Does a free market driven democracy derail when there are more takers then providers? And can’t the takers decide that what they are taking needs to be increased from those providers through the democratic process of electing those representatives and office holders who understands the price (buying support) of elections?

All good things to ponder when you realize that we have just about reached the minus category (you knew it was coming):

Half of all Americans don’t pay income taxes, says a study from a conservative Washington think tank.
The percentage of Americans who didn’t pay federal taxes jumped from 14.8 percent in 1984 to 49.5 percent in 2009 at the height of the recession, the Heritage Foundation found.
All told, about 151.7 million Americans paid nothing in 2009, compared with 34.8 million in 1984

Human nature being what it is, if you are not paying for the system, you are not going to exercise due diligence and responsibility for the system. If you know someone else is picking up the tab then you are more apt to order more expensive fair on the menu. But for Americans the tab will be picked up by future generations, eventually.

In the early days, only property owners were allowed to vote, the main reason being that when you are at risk, have something on the line, then you will naturally be more judicious and diligent in participating in your government’s welfare. We still honor this system today. Only union members vote on union business, only shareholders get to decide what direction the company should take, having skin in the game requires selfless acts, lest it crash on the shoals and ruins you and everyone else.

Naturally, we can’t go back to this form of limitations on voting, but I often wonder (and lament) our current system, where not only stupid people but people totally uninformed and unmotivated to intelligently participate get as much representation as I do, a system where people who do not pay for it in the form of taxation gets to decide with equal weight where the country should go with those that do pay income taxes.

The system gets skewed when politicians can pander to the voters strictly in the form of gifts which they don’t pay for, the guy that promises them the most loot, like the parent who never says NO and always gives in to the child’s demands will always be more popular then the parent that tries to exercise responsibility.

Sadly, I think this is why many (how many, I don’t know) folks always vote Democrat and voted for Obama. Working is hard, being responsible and being an adult is hard, some having little confidence in their own abilities would rather sit it out, not put anything at risk, and just be provided for. And the politician that makes this acquiescence easier will always get their support and to the detriment of those pursuing some fiscal sanity.

When the have not’s out number the haves, the have’s better watch out.

63 comments

No ping yet

  1. Seattle Outcast says:

    How about a weighted vote system?

    I own property, so my vote gets an extra point. I have a job, so I get another point. I pay five figures in income taxes, so I get points for that. In theory my vote could be worth five or six times that of someone that rents, live of public assistance, or pays very little in taxes.

    There would have to be limits, of course, you can’t have some douchebag like Buffet voting once and wiping out he votes of millions of people, but it would work. The more you have in the game, the more your voice counts – sort of like stockholders.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  2. richtaylor365 says:

    Naturally, the knee jerk left wing reaction would be ,”Can’t have that, then all the haves would vote away all the rights and privileges of the have nots”, but in a Democratic Republic, like what we have, welfare, the safety nets, and the social programs that are necessary for the poor/sick/infirm and those not capable of providing for all of their NEEDS (not wants) would still be there.

    No civilized society rejects the needs of the needy, but we have gone well beyond that point, where those capable of working do not because the payouts of sitting on your ass is more lucrative, where those that really aren’t struggling still get subsistence of some kind, where millionaires still draw social security checks (equivalent to the rest of us), and where those that are living on the dole vote strictly on who will give them more free stuff.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      
  3. davidst says:

    I think you’ve got the wrong target. I really don’t believe this bottom 50% has much power at all precisely because they don’t understand the ramifications of their vote. They have the illusion of power, but what’s really going on is that wealthy owners of the finance economy own the political process (since Reagan at least). They choose which candidates are acceptable, and then we choose from among their approved candidates. They use both parties to enrich themselves at the expense of the productive economy by choosing their own short term gains over long term general prosperity. This naturally impoverishes the country from the bottom up necessitating welfare to keep the most desperate people playing along with the system. And for those of us who are not so desperate, they weave the left/right narrative to distract us from the real game. It would be a real debate (with conservatives on the better side of it) if the system wasn’t rigged.

    But for Americans the tab will be picked up by future generations, eventually.

    Future generations? The future is now. The debt will be inflated to a fraction of its value. Foreign creditor nations will eat much of the losses along with any individuals who own cash or bonds. Domestic banks will get bailout protection. The average citizen will eat it in the way of a trashed economy. Phase 1 already occurred from 2008 to 2009 and Phase 2 is coming soon!

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      
  4. bgeek says:

    These sentiments seem to be popular this week. Further reading here and the comments here.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  5. Kimpost says:

    I think that the skin in the game debate is way overblown. There’s something there, but let’s not forget that there are other taxes than federal income tax, and very few people can avoid them all. People in general contribute, even if they aren’t net contributors.

    Anyway, I think that the issue is totally dwarfed by the influence special interests and money has on today’s politics. So I agree with davidst.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  6. balthazar says:

    Well imagine that, Kim agrees with the Daily KOS bot, whoda thunk it?

    The bottom 50% pay very little in TOTAL taxes as well. They DO avoid the majority of taxes since they get their food via food stamps. The earned income tax credits actually mean they get money they never paid in, and in most cases, its enough to offset the little bit they pay in SS tax. They get their phone free from the government, and SS tax has been reduced so only people that make enough to actually have to pay income tax are paying the maximum.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      
  7. Kimpost says:

    davidst is not a bot. I met him personally at the latest Global Governance Symposium (GGS). We sat next to each other during one of many Soros speeches.

    On a serious note I think you are exaggerating a bit. The lower +50% is not as poor as you are implying. Not all of them are on food stamps or get free phones. The +50% is not a real demographic in that sense.

    But regardless, I’m not against tax reform. It’s just that I don’t see The Solution ™ there…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  8. balthazar says:

    Trolls ahev real lives too Kim, that doesnt mean he isnt one.

    151 million eligible tax payers paid no income tax.

    Maybe you should do some investigation then, we have 50 million people on food stamps(that is a household benefit therfore it could possibly be double that number of people that get it). Guess what, being on food stamps makes you AUTOMATICALLY able to obtain yourself gov provided cell phone.

    “The process to qualify for Lifeline Service depends on the State you live in. In general, you may qualify if…

    1. You already participate in other State or Federal assistance program such as Federal Public Housing Assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid. OR
    2. Your total household income is at or below 135% of the poverty guidelines set by your State and/or the Federal Government. AND
    3. No one in your household currently receives Lifeline Service through another phone carrier.
    4. You have a valid United States Postal Address. In order for us to ship you your free phone you must live at a residence that can receive mail from the US Post Office. Sorry, but P.O. Boxes cannot be accepted.

    In addition to meeting the guidelines above you will also be required to provide proof of your participation in an assistance program, or proof of your income level.

    FYI 135% of poverty line in NJ is over 30k
    Wow you are so clueless about how bad the nanny state is here, its like you dont live here, oh wait, you dont. Yet you think you are supremely qualified to gauge the ocial safty nets of the US.

    You might as well be a KOS troll.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      
  9. Kimpost says:

    I think I’m supremely qualified? LOL!

    151 million eligible tax payers paid no income tax.

    Please check your numbers again…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  10. balthazar says:

    Oh as an aside, when will Geitner be kicked to the curb, that fucktard says shit like this all the time.

    “That’s the kind of balance you need,” said Geithner. “Why is that the case? Because if you don’t try to generate more revenues through tax reform, if you don’t ask, you know, the most fortunate Americans to bear a slightly larger burden of the privilege of being an American, then you have to — the only way to achieve fiscal sustainability is through unacceptably deep cuts in benefits for middle class seniors, or unacceptably deep cuts in national security.”

    Holy fuck, all some people have to do to enjoy the ” privilege of being an American” is shit out a kid. Since they now wont get deported and have a kid to collect all the free money they can get their hands on.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      
  11. balthazar says:

    Ummm we have over 300 million citizens ALL of which are eligible to pay income tax, 49.5% of them in about 151 million. Math is hard for you isnt it?

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      
  12. Kimpost says:

    Wow! Continue discussing shit with yourself, you won’t be fed by me.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

      
  13. richtaylor365 says:

    I really don’t believe this bottom 50% has much power at all

    Given that most presidential elections are won by very low 50′s percent, they have tremendous power to sway elections.

    that wealthy owners of the finance economy own the political process

    I’m a bit fuzzy on exactly who you are talking about, who are these “wealthy owners” that run everything? Is it all rich people in general or are you talking about bank CEO’s, who exactly?

    they weave the left/right narrative to distract us from the real game.

    More fuzz on my part, what is “the real game”?

    Future generations? The future is now.

    If the future is now, then they would be dealing with the debt NOW, they aren’t. Debt estimates are around $30 trillion after Obama finishes his second term, double what it is now? Not only is there no serious talk to address the debt, but Obama and Co. continue to borrow money we don’t have.

    but let’s not forget that there are other taxes than federal income tax, and very few people can avoid them all.

    Yes, but these taxes you speak of are target specific, sales tax goes to the state, gasoline taxes stay within the state as well, FICA taxes go towards Social Security. No, the 49.5% are not contributing to the nation’s needs, they are getting a free ride.

    Considering that about 15% of the nation is considered living within or below the poverty line, the 49.5% figure tells me that many many folks can afford to pay something in income taxes but do not reach that arbitrary tax paying threshold, this needs to change. Anybody above that poverty line should be paying something for their upkeep, fair is fair.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      
  14. JimK says:

    They have the illusion of power, but what’s really going on is that wealthy owners of the finance economy own the political process (since Reagan at least)

    The fact that you are even compelled to TRY and imply that Reagan began the purchasing of the political process is fucking laughable. I literally can’t read any of the words you wrote after this idiotic statement.

    There has never, ever been a time in politics, American or otherwise, when the wealthy did not wield control beyond their actual physical numbers. Ever. The idea that – even if we exclude the history of the world and look only to American politics – Reagan was the “beginning of the end,” as it were?

    It’s just fucking preposterous, and specifically the kind of statement that makes it hard to tell if you ever have any good ideas to discuss. You say ridiculous things like this and everyone tunes the hell out.

    If that’s your goal, yay you, I guess. But some historical perspective and accuracy regarding the corruption of politics wouldn’t go amiss if you actually intend to have legitimate conversations with people.
    JimK recently posted..Another telling of my accidentMy Profile

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

      
  15. Seattle Outcast says:

    I think a quick class on the history of Rome would dispel any notions that the rich buying the political process is a new thing. It was old hat even to them, which is why they were good at it.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  16. balthazar says:

    As I said, he’s a KOS troll. MMFA troll, whatever floats yer boat.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  17. salinger says:

    There has never, ever been a time in politics, American or otherwise, when the wealthy did not wield control beyond their actual physical numbers. Ever.

    This is true. The pivot on the fulcrum is what one believes is an honorable way to amass said wealth. It seems to me success in finance doesn’t always come along with a dose of empathy.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  18. Poosh says:

    Only ex-military should vote or hold elected office.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      
  19. Poosh says:

    /as a side note … or actually on topic for once ….

    what of those who have no skin in the game because of how the system is configured / defective? > What if the only way they can actually get skin in the game is by actually voting to change the system.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  20. Section8 says:

    All told, about 151.7 million Americans paid nothing in 2009, compared with 34.8 million in 1984

    Honestly, I don’t know what is so wrong about this. Much of this is due to write offs from previous administrations over the years so that people would pay less taxes including those who make less. Personally, I think it would be better to have zero federal income tax, replace with with a VAT at the federal level, and get the Federal government out of almost anything other than defense, and a few other items such as courts (for real federal crimes, and not bullshit ones like drugs), and put the burden and control back to the states where it belongs. Populations could focus more on their local representatives, rather than hoping we vote in a benevolent dictator, which every administration manages to conjure up excuses to get more power, much less giving back any they inherited. Everyone bitches about this but does nothing other than vote in the same old song and dance. We’ll do it again this time around. YAWN.

    As far as any right leaning establishment complaints about write offs, at the beginning of Obama’s term, the complaint was some of his tax write off proposals would result in people getting a refund that didn’t make anything, which in effect became a transfer payment disguised as a tax break. That is different, and hence the opposition by those on the right, but otherwise, even if he adds in some legit tax break more power to him. The best solution though would be to just drop this ridiculous setup in its entirety. Spending beyond one’s means will always put you in the poor house no matter how much revenue you receive. Before we propose giving these a-holes another dime, we should get serious budget cut commitments. Of course I know I’m preaching to the choir on that one, or at least a few people here anyhow.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      
  21. balthazar says:

    Hate to tell you Section8, but that already happens, There are millions of people that get back from the fed more money than they ay in, JUST in income tax, EITC and Child credits are negative credits.

    For example, If you paid 1000 in taxes for the year but have 2 kids and are head of household, you can get back 5k. These arnt exact, but its the truth.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      
  22. hist_ed says:

    Ummm we have over 300 million citizens ALL of which are eligible to pay income tax, 49.5% of them in about 151 million. Math is hard for you isnt it?

    So you want to count my 6 month old son as one of those free riders? Cause he certainly is a citizen and I am guessing the little ingrate won’t pay any tax. If you want, I’ll ask him about it tomorrow.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      
  23. hist_ed says:

    So question for Davidsts and Kim (and anyone else who cares to take a whack at it): If the rich run things so effectively, how come they have been paying an ever increasing share of the tax burden? Wouldn’t those rich moustache twirlers want the poor to pay some income taxes? If we really went from only 15% of earners not paying income tax to 50%, doesn’t that show the those poor folks have some power? Or are those plutocrats just easing the poor folks burden out of the kindness of their hearts?

    It is, by the way, instructive too see what it means to be poor an America. Most poor people today have dishwashers, cell phones, big screen TVs, DVD players and other such things that even the rich 50 years ago did not have. If living on welfare gets you all those things, then we need to trim it. There should be a strong incentive to work.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      
  24. Seattle Outcast says:

    So you want to count my 6 month old son as one of those free riders?

    Actual quote from the airport in Manilla: “I don’t care if you are only 4 years old, you pull your weight in our family.”

    So yeah, get your carpet monkey to work already. ;-)

    Seriously though, do you think you deserve a tax exemption for your kid? How about for my dog?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  25. davidst says:

    @Jim: it’s not all about presidents, but also congress. I should have said “since at least the 80′s”. Ownership doesn’t mean 100% ownership either, just enough to steer the ship. The finance economy (or the FIRE economy; finance, insurance and real-estate) started to get noticeably out of control in the 80′s with a number of negative consequences.

    I’m just passing along information I believe is accurate. I’ve mentioned my source many times (and it’s not Daily KOS!) so you are all free to take a closer look if you like (Eric Janszen).

    http://www.itulip.com/images2/ABSPreFirevsFireQ11951-Q32011wtmk.png

    Rich: Again, it’s not all about presidents, and remember that major candidates are vetted by financial interests (among others). If anyone like Ron Paul did slip through, he’d have to deal with congress.

    I’m a bit fuzzy on exactly who you are talking about, who are these “wealthy owners” that run everything? Is it all rich people in general or are you talking about bank CEO’s, who exactly?

    Mega corporate banks mostly. The military industrial complex and other large coordinated interests. Just look at the list of corporate donations for your typical candidates vs. Ron Paul.

    More fuzz on my part, what is “the real game”?

    Apparently to make as much money in the short term as possible and maintain as much power as possible (two sides of the same coin). There are competing interests at the top, so it’s not all coordinated and cooperative, but they are not competing for our interests (except sometimes by accident).

    If the future is now, then they would be dealing with the debt NOW, they aren’t. Debt estimates are around $30 trillion after Obama finishes his second term, double what it is now? Not only is there no serious talk to address the debt, but Obama and Co. continue to borrow money we don’t have.

    The debt is unmanageable at this point. The current game is to funnel money and power into the hands of the elite and make sure losses are taken mostly by anyone but them. There is virtually no good way out of our situation. Again, they don’t plan to pay the debt, but to inflate it away.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      
  26. balthazar says:

    So you want to count my 6 month old son as one of those free riders? Cause he certainly is a citizen and I am guessing the little ingrate won’t pay any tax. If you want, I’ll ask him about it tomorrow.

    No, he shouldn’t pay since he didnt MAKE anything, but you shouldn’t be getting the enormous tax break for having one either.

    I have 4 kids, i only can claim 1 so i get a nice tax break as well.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  27. balthazar says:

    The military industrial complex

    That one phrase is all you need to know about Dave to totally dismiss ANYTHING he has to say as Che Guevara Drivel

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      
  28. richtaylor365 says:

    So you want to count my 6 month old son as one of those free riders?

    The Heritage study qualifies that 49.6 figure as “Percentage of US population not represented on a taxable return”, meaning that since you pay taxes your son is not lumped in with the rest of the scofflaws.

    Mega corporate banks mostly

    So if the financial industry pulls all the strings, why would they allow Dodd/Frank to pass, which essentially cuts them off at the knees and makes Everything they do harder and more regulated?

    The military industrial complex

    Come on David, I know you don’t like that kos wrapped scorn usually aimed at you, and I’m not doing it here, but honestly, what the hell does that even mean? Are you talking about the people at the Pentagon? you think they run the show? Given everything you have read about dissension in the ranks wrt Obama’s Iraq/Afghanistan?Iran/Middle East/Israeli policies of late, you think they are manipulating him? Do you mean the defense industry in general? Do you own any stocks in that industry? The rise and fall of their shareholder value has pretty much mirrored the indexes, no special treatment or cushy favoritism has flowed their way. When you use dopey terms like that, it is just as dopey as when Markos Moulitsas uses it.

    The debt is unmanageable at this point

    Really? So the answer is to run it up even higher? Some very smart people out there (like Paul Ryan) are saying that things are bad now, but not irreversible. I don’t know if you have kids or even care about what happens to America in the future but a Greece style outcome is looking more likely (and with it the end of America’s influence in the world, you might think that is a good thing) but sooner or later a reckoning will come, the piper must be paid, and what this president is doing to future generations is beyond criminal.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  29. AlexInCT says:

    So you want to count my 6 month old son as one of those free riders? Cause he certainly is a citizen and I am guessing the little ingrate won’t pay any tax. If you want, I’ll ask him about it tomorrow.

    Based on how much debt we have, with team Obama tacking over 1/3 the number they got handed to them in just a short 3 /12 years, and promising to double if not triple what we have, if you put realistic numbers on the government takeover of healthcare and the massive bullshit annual deficit spending to grow the nanny state, in just another decade, your kid already owes upwards of $50K hist_ed. He might not be paying it yet, but he will be bearing the brunt of it, and he will be part of the generation that thinks the American dream is a wealth transfer scheme that spread the massive misery we will all be made to endure by these leftists and their lies about social justice and their never ending class warfare.

    The fact is that even the Greeks knew over 2500 years ago that democracy was doomed when the masses realized they could use the power of their vote to raid the treasury, which in turn would have government raid the productive. That’s where we are as a country and we are just behind the Europeans which are a long way ahead of us on this trip off a cliff. Instead of debating how many votes the productive should have, I would prefer a system where the able bodied people sucking on the government’s teat instead of doing real work didn’t get a vote at all. That alone would go a long way to derail this disastrous path the left has us on.

    We should at least be able to acknowledge that government now subsidizes the worst behaviors possible, and by that subsidy, has encouraged a lot more of these bad behaviors. So much more that it the incidences of bad subsidized bad behavior is crippling our economic viability and prosperity. When we pay people to make babies out of wedlock, to sit at home instead of work, and tell them that just by virtue of the fact that they where born they deserve all sorts of benefits, at other people’s expense, we should not be surprised that more and more people opt to have others pay for them to do things that are destructive, and then demand more be given to them than we can afford.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  30. Kimpost says:

    So question for Davidsts and Kim (and anyone else who cares to take a whack at it): If the rich run things so effectively, how come they have been paying an ever increasing share of the tax burden? Wouldn’t those rich moustache twirlers want the poor to pay some income taxes? If we really went from only 15% of earners not paying income tax to 50%, doesn’t that show the those poor folks have some power? Or are those plutocrats just easing the poor folks burden out of the kindness of their hearts?

    So if the financial industry pulls all the strings, why would they allow Dodd/Frank to pass, which essentially cuts them off at the knees and makes Everything they do harder and more regulated?

    The answer to above is that few things are black or white like that. There are many interests being lobbied for, some better and/or richer than others. And there are some honest persuasions in the political arena as well. Just like there are voters not voting with their wallets.

    The general trend though, is that the gap between rich and poor is growing, and have so for a long time. Actually, the growing number of people not paying federal income tax, might be a testament to that. Why would the rich complain over a larger share of the burden, when most policies still make them richer? 51% is just a nice number to throw around, sometimes for political reasons.

    And it’s not like Dodd-Frank hasn’t been criticized for its lack of potency (as well as for going too far – politics as usual), or for its enactment, it’s a slow process it seems.

    Here’s a funny take on it.

    P.S. These are indeed confusing political times in the US. Bill O’Reilly recently(!) found out that US Oil companies sell their oil on a global market. Now he’s jumping on Obama for not telling them to stop doing that. I believe he even said that “the oil belongs to we the people”. Fascinating.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      
  31. hist_ed says:

    I guess I need to be a litle more obvious about the nits I am picking.

    balthazar said:

    Ummm we have over 300 million citizens ALL of which are eligible to pay income tax, 49.5% of them in about 151 million. Math is hard for you isnt it?

    My point was that it is a little absurd to include the millions of children in this country into the who pays income tax numbers (not sure what you meant by “elibible to pay income tax” either).

    More later . . .

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  32. richtaylor365 says:

    the gap between rich and poor is growing

    But that trend is not as troubling to me as the one indicating that “the poor”, or those living at or below the poverty line is growing, that is the bigger concern.

    Why would the rich complain over a larger share of the burden, when most policies still make them richer?

    Nice try, but you missed. They are complaining because they (the individual) pays more then what they consider their fair share, if equanimity was established the individual could become even richer, so they are staying rich in spite of onerous wrong headed tax burdens, not because of it, and being constrained in the process.

    P.S. These are indeed confusing political times in the US. Bill O’Reilly recently(!) found out that US Oil companies sell their oil on a global market. Now he’s jumping on Obama for not telling them to stop doing that. I believe he even said that “the oil belongs to we the people”. Fascinating.

    I have been chuckling at that as well. Interesting that every time he has a guest on that knows something about the oil industry and oil pricing, they cut him up into little pieces. But he is still sticking with ,”I want big government out of my life………….until I need them to do something I want”.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      
  33. salinger says:

    So – do the ends justify the means in wealth accumulation? It seems to me that there is definitely a couple sets of rules floating around.

    I certainly have my own biases and lean toward the anti conspicuous consumption side of things.

    That being said, I am not above forking over three – four grand on a bicycle which would label me clinical by quite a few folks (some who even live with me) but I do use it just about every day. So I am not against consumerism per se – but I cannot fathom why anybody would want to accumulate shit they do not use.

    I guess it boils down to this for me. I simply do not believe that a lot of the folks who have accumulated insane amounts of wealth in the last couple decades deserve it. I think they are grossly overpaid for their contributions to society. I come from a blue collar background where clock punching and overtime bought you that mini-bike, not derivative trading and liquidation profit taking. I cannot for the life of me see how one human beings effort can be worth thousands of times more than an employee they pay. This is the wealth disparity that is going to eventually seal a tenth of our population being fences trying to hold on to what they’ve got – the way it is in a lot of societies across our globe.

    I know the deck is stacked against the working stiff – I used to be one. Through hard work and a good dose of luck I got off of that treadmill – but doing so only made me appreciate the value of the clock punchers more. Now i deal a bit more with folks at the other end of the spectrum and I can tell you the vast majority of the very wealthy ain’t anything special – certainly not to the tune that they are taking others to the cleaner.

    This ain’t a red or blue thing with me – this is just plain fairness. This is my mindset.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  34. davidst says:

    So if the financial industry pulls all the strings, why would they allow Dodd/Frank to pass, which essentially cuts them off at the knees and makes Everything they do harder and more regulated?

    It’s not the whole industry, but the top dogs…

    Financial market cynics have assumed all along that Dodd-Frank did not end “too big to fail” but instead created a charmed circle of protected banks labeled “systemically important” that will not be allowed to fail, no matter how badly they behave.

    You raise a good point though. Janszen refers to the FIRE era as having ended in 2008, but these banks still have money and power. At some point, the interests of increasingly impoverished citizens may become more important than campaign contributions and perks, but for now policy decisions are geared towards attempting revive the FIRE economy. And why not? The government has a huge vested interest in real-estate now. Talk about skin in the game!

    Come on David, I know you don’t like that kos wrapped scorn usually aimed at you, and I’m not doing it here, but honestly, what the hell does that even mean? Are you talking about the people at the Pentagon? you think they run the show? Given everything you have read about dissension in the ranks wrt Obama’s Iraq/Afghanistan?Iran/Middle East/Israeli policies of late, you think they are manipulating him? Do you mean the defense industry in general? Do you own any stocks in that industry? The rise and fall of their shareholder value has pretty much mirrored the indexes, no special treatment or cushy favoritism has flowed their way. When you use dopey terms like that, it is just as dopey as when Markos Moulitsas uses it.

    I know you’ve all got to hate the term “military industrial complex” because of its abuse by the left, but it’s a useful term. The term was coined (or popularized) by Eisenhower of all people. It refers to interaction between an industry and government. Since government is for sale, there are plenty of other similar “complexes” with varying size and power today.

    Really? So the answer is to run it up even higher? Some very smart people out there (like Paul Ryan) are saying that things are bad now, but not irreversible. I don’t know if you have kids or even care about what happens to America in the future but a Greece style outcome is looking more likely (and with it the end of America’s influence in the world, you might think that is a good thing) but sooner or later a reckoning will come, the piper must be paid, and what this president is doing to future generations is beyond criminal.

    I don’t need kids to care about the future, I’m 32 and have got my own future to worry about. With my genes, I’m likely to be alive until I’m 90 or more. If there is a solution it’s to impose austerity on ourselves and try to extend dollar privilege. The problem is that it’s just not going to happen, even if it does it’s just prolonging the inevitable. Dollar privilege is inherently unstable. We might be better off getting it over with more quickly at this point, but I don’t feel like we have much control over the situation. The powers that be will do what they do, and soon we will likely have a “currency event”.

    As for a Greece level default… we’re not in that bad of shape. Greece can’t print Euros. I think they’re a bit short on gold as well making an exit from the Euro zone a difficult option (although still probably the better option). We have the option of inflating our debt away despite how anyone else in the world might bitch and once we’ve let enough inflation occur to manage the debt, we can peg the dollar to gold to immediately (whether the inflation is slow and orderly or due to a sudden currency crisis). We have a lot more control over our situation than Greece does. Not that it will be pleasant. The economy will go through a couple decades transitional phase as we come off the drug of artificially cheap imports due to the dollar privilege ending.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      
  35. richtaylor365 says:

    So – do the ends justify the means in wealth accumulation?

    Wow, that was quite a leap, tell me, is wealth accumulation illegal? is is it unethical and even immoral? Why all the class envy?When I see successful people I see people who should be admired and emulated. Success is a goal all of us should have, even you.

    but I cannot fathom why anybody would want to accumulate shit they do not use.

    Ah, and who is the final arbiter on whether shit is “useful” or not? You? I make my money fair and square but now I have to run all my purchasing decisions through you? Accumulating shit happens to be one of the benefits (if one so chooses) of a capitalist system, or are you simpatico with Mr. Prysner?

    I simply do not believe that a lot of the folks who have accumulated insane amounts of wealth in the last couple decades deserve it.

    Well, there ya go, that is what’s holding you back. Until you understand that you do not get to decide what is “insane amounts of wealth”, only the earner, and that you also do not get to decide what’s deserved or not. The Free Market establishes salaries, you probably don’t think a left handed reliever who works one day in five deserves 20 million a year ( I sure don’t) but that is the going rate for a good one. If he can get it, good for him.

    I come from a blue collar background

    And you think many of these self made millionaires didn’t? Near where I live, Silicon Valley, there is probably more millionaires per square mile then anywhere on Earth. Here’s a news flash, most started out as working stiffs just like you and me.

    . I cannot for the life of me see how one human beings effort can be worth thousands of times more than an employee they pay

    Fine, next time you need brain surgery or an intricate bypass, we will be sure to grab the closest french frier from a local McDonald’s to perform the operation.

    I can tell you the vast majority of the very wealthy ain’t anything special

    So why all the class envy, if they are nothing special?

    certainly not to the tune that they are taking others to the cleaner.

    Ah yes, more left wing nonsense, because my slice of the pie is bigger, that means that yours just has to be smaller. How exactly are rich people ,”taking others to the cleaner”?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      
  36. salinger says:

    Is wealth accumulation illegal? Nope. Is it immoral – can be, as far I believe. Insider trading, ponzi schemes, embezzlement, using illegal labor, creating unsafe products etc. My point here was that it doesn’t matter HOW one accumulates said wealth, once one has they reap the benefits of a new set of rules.

    I am by no means trying to tell folks what is useful or not. That is subjective, I specifically said things that are not used. I find it wasteful to accumulate shit that collects dust. Are people within their rights to do so – sure if they can afford it, doesn’t make it any less wasteful in my eyes.

    I think the free market has been rigged by the revolving door of top level executives who become regulators of their industries and then return to private sector jobs to reap the benefits. So this is my lens for viewing that many don’t deserve their incomes.

    Never said that a fry cook and a brain surgeon are equals. Just believe that the fry cook should be able to make a living wage.

    As for class envy – my point is sort of the opposite. The more I deal with the 1% the less class I have found them to have.

    One need only look at the way some of these folks pay and treat their domestic help for an example. I think it is the overwhelming lack of empathy I find among many of the privileged that colors my opinion of them.

    This is only my opinion and not worth a spit in the wind other than I believe it.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  37. davidst says:

    Ah yes, more left wing nonsense, because my slice of the pie is bigger, that means that yours just has to be smaller. How exactly are rich people ,”taking others to the cleaner”?

    Resources aren’t unlimited. More TVs can be built if there is demand, but that is not true of everything. In that case, percentage of wealth distribution does make a difference. One important thing that rich people buy and that there is a limited amount of is political power. I’m not saying that we should support wealth redistribution as a means of dealing with the accumulation of power or penalize the rich just because they’re richer, but I wouldn’t pretend like it’s not something to worry about either. In other words, I do see a problem but I’m not proposing a solution.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      
  38. balthazar says:

    Ahhh the old tired lefty idiocy of equating “resources” with “wealth”, news flash moron, THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. The ability to make wealth is out there, and it is NOT FINITE. Things like resources can be limited, but are not always.

    You are a fucking left wing MMFA-KOS loon.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  39. Seattle Outcast says:

    Resources aren’t unlimited. More TVs can be built if there is demand, but that is not true of everything. In that case, percentage of wealth distribution does make a difference.

    I bet you had a hard time with statistics; I KNOW you don’t get economics, you prove it every time you go back to this line of “reasoning”…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  40. davidst says:

    I didn’t equate resources with wealth. I said some resources are limited (a fact). Then I noted that in the case of a limited resource, percentage of wealth will determine who can afford to purchase the limited resource. If there is a limited resource that rich people desire enough and a limited supply, it will be priced completely out of reach of non rich people. That should be obvious. When’s the last time someone on welfare bought one of the world’s top 10 largest diamonds?

    And since political power is not infinite, concentration of wealth as a percentage is worrisome even though new wealth can be created, because the power gets priced out of the reach of ordinary people just as with large diamonds.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

      
  41. AlexInCT says:

    Wow, that was quite a leap, tell me, is wealth accumulation illegal? is is it unethical and even immoral?

    If you listen to the class warriors the answer to your questions would be: it is not illegal now, but definitely should be, and that is because it is obviously unethical and immoral for anyone to get wealthy without government approval.

    Why all the class envy?

    Misery loves company, and way too many people are far more obsessed with taking others doing better than they are down, or preventing anyone from making it, than actually doing the hard work to make it themselves.

    When I see successful people I see people who should be admired and emulated. Success is a goal all of us should have, even you.

    I want to quibble a bit with this wording. I do not admire successful people solely by the virtue of their success, but I do admire innovation, hard work, and especially perseverance. Not all successes are created equally, and some are far more beneficial than others. However, I never, ever, feel I have the right to rip off successful people because I am not as successful as they are or because, like the majority of the class warfare supporters are, am a loser. Even shitbags like Paris Hilton or Michael Moore will only get me to point out how they either inherited their wealth or made it by taking advantage of the very thing idiots like Moore portend to be fighting against (capitalism). But I will not suddenly feel inclined to condone them being ripped off by a greedy & power hungry political class that just sees anyone with wealth that isn’t part of their exclusive credentialed cult as a meal ticket.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  42. AlexInCT says:
    I cannot for the life of me see how one human beings effort can be worth thousands of times more than an employee they pay

    Fine, next time you need brain surgery or an intricate bypass, we will be sure to grab the closest french frier from a local McDonald’s to perform the operation.

    BRILLIANT!

    I wish we had a segement to post the best quotes and comebacks on this web. I have repeatedly told anyone that made the ludicrous statement they could not understand why some people are paid so much more than others the same thing. Let the french frier do your surgery, your investments, and engineer your complex machines. What? You don’t want brain suregery, investement decisions, and to fly around in a plane cobbled together by the dude that still thinks a mandate is two guys going out on a date? Who would have figured that!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  43. AlexInCT says:

    Resources aren’t unlimited. More TVs can be built if there is demand, but that is not true of everything. In that case, percentage of wealth distribution does make a difference. One important thing that rich people buy and that there is a limited amount of is political power. I’m not saying that we should support wealth redistribution as a means of dealing with the accumulation of power or penalize the rich just because they’re richer, but I wouldn’t pretend like it’s not something to worry about either.

    So now we are justifying having the very politicians that could have an incestuous relationship with the people with money, fleecing the people with money, to make sure they don’t abuse power? It’s not as if the politicians will just fleece the people they don’t like while protecting the people they do, and the little guy gets fucked in the process even harder than if the politicians havd been forced to leave the whole thing alone…..

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  44. AlexInCT says:

    I didn’t equate resources with wealth. I said some resources are limited (a fact). Then I noted that in the case of a limited resource, percentage of wealth will determine who can afford to purchase the limited resource. If there is a limited resource that rich people desire enough and a limited supply, it will be priced completely out of reach of non rich people.

    Ah, so that’s your beef with the whole thing? If non rich people can not afford it then it is unfair? Next you will tell me that it is completely unfair for predators to kill the elderly or infirm animals, or that children get sick and die. That Gaia the left worships is a cruel bitch, and she makes sure that those that fuck with her rules pay dearly. If anything leftists should understand social engineering is doomed for the same reason that you can not put lion and a lamb together and expect them to just be nice to each other. Nature is nature.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  45. JimK says:

    “because the power gets priced out of the reach of ordinary people just as with large diamonds”

    The *fuck*? You should learn to stop typing after your first idea in any given sentence. You are actually complaining here that large diamonds have “been priced out of the reach of ordinary people.” Note: I am not asking you if you are complaining. I am telling you that’s specifically what the words you wrote mean.

    “Been priced.” That is an action. As if they were once within price but then someone decided to manipulate the diamond market to specifically ensure that the average Joe could no longer afford large diamonds.

    When you let things like that slip, you betray your actual vision for society, davidst. Which makes all your protestations that you aren’t (or aren’t becoming) a full blown far left nutjob ever so hard to swallow.

    Better to say nothing (or in this case, less) and be thought a fool than to continue typing and remove all doubt.
    JimK recently posted..Another telling of my accidentMy Profile

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      
  46. davidst says:

    I don’t know why you all keep misunderstanding my meanings so much. Well, actually I do. You’re terrified of anything that seems slightly liberal actually making sense. It’s a typical phenomenon among the ideologically impaired.

    I don’t care about diamonds who can afford diamonds. I used diamonds only as a simple illustration (since my mention of limited resources a sentence or two away from wealth brought on hysterical charges that I don’t understand the difference between wealth and resources as a result of the problem I mentioned in the first paragraph above).

    As for “been priced”, why take the words I’m saying so technically? It makes discussion miserable. I was just saying that some things are in limited supply and too expensive for people beneath a certain threshold to afford, despite the fact that new wealth can be created. I’m not concerned about competition determining who gets the most wealth and thus the really big diamonds. I’m concerned about people with the most wealth using that wealth to stifle fair competition. Almost the same as you, only I think large corporations and large groups of private sector interests are just as dangerous as large government. Even if they crash and burn in the end, they can still cause incredible damage while they’re around, and tend to get replaced with something else. But (and I’m repeating myself) I said I am not proposing any solutions. I have no alternate “vision” for society.

    or aren’t becoming

    Finally, someone is observant enough to realize what I’m actually about. I have moved ever so slightly left, more toward the center. I’m never going to be anything like your caricature of a liberal though. I’m just trying to keep an open mind.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

      
  47. AlexInCT says:

    I don’t know why you all keep misunderstanding my meanings so much. Well, actually I do. You’re terrified of anything that seems slightly liberal actually making sense.

    That gave me a hearty laugh. I would be dumbfounded if anything liberal actually wasn’t an emotionally based appeal to people’s baser instincts, envy and greed primarily, and instead made logical sense. Since about the age of 13, when I grew up and left the fantasy world the left lives in to join the grown ups, it has happened so seldom, that it is a statistical anomaly. When I see an idea on the left that makes sense I applaud it. I prefer good ideas, no matter who generates them, over ideologically driven ones. That’s because I live in a world where things need to work right, unlike most leftists that think they can change the way the world works.

    It’s a typical phenomenon among the ideologically impaired.

    You finally going to stop pretending you once where conservative and now are middle of the road? Because you are not fooling anyone after statements like that one.

    I don’t care about diamonds who can afford diamonds. I used diamonds only as a simple illustration (since my mention of limited resources a sentence or two away from wealth brought on hysterical charges that I don’t understand the difference between wealth and resources as a result of the problem I mentioned in the first paragraph above).

    With today’s technology we can create diamonds on the cheap and in numbers that are baffling. It’s all about pressure and heat. Ever heard of a Zircon diamond? If there was a need they could mass produce these to the point diamonds would be worth peanuts. Most of them get created for industrial use, where these cheap diamonds make big sense, and for the occasional rings most guys give to women in the hopes of getting “some-some”. That supply problem you speak off is non existent. Technology finds a way. About the only thing technology can’t solve is human nature. Pray it doesn’t either. I am not inclined to be a Borg drone like most leftists are.

    Of course, I should mention that most people would want to keep the distinction between the naturally occurring thing and the man made thing, again on the topic of diamonds, and most would pay more for the former and not the later. Kind of like the organic food crowd does for some reason. That’s why the real thing costs more and the real big ones are priced out of the range of the average guy. This doesn’t make either the system or diamonds bad. It is reality. I applaud anyone for wishing it was different. I chastise those that think they can fix it, and in the process have always made things worse.

    Here is a thought for you: fairness is an arbitrary concept created by those that do not like others having more than them, by religion of all things, and heavily abused by the collectivist masters that wield it as a sword. Whenever I hear someone talking about fairness, social justice, my first instinct is that I am either dealing with a dangerous crook selling poisonous snake oil, or one of the dupes that drank deeply of that poison, and so far that instinct has always been correct. Saints do not tend to feel the need to use government to force fairness upon the masses, and they would be the only ones able to do so without abusing the whole system.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  48. salinger says:

    Let the french frier do your surgery, your investments, and engineer your complex machines.

    Yeah – that’s exactly what I meant – you saw right through me. Bravo – you’re a genius. Think I’ll go let my IT consultant clean my teeth this afternoon.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  49. davidst says:

    A person may have the right ideology and still be ideologically impaired (blinded completely or partially to other ideas). I don’t know why you think this idea has anything to do with being a liberal or a conservative (or somewhere in between). Ideologies come in many forms.

    Technology finds a way.

    This is ideology for example.

    The main problem I can see in politics are that people are asleep at the wheel. Whether they are failing to keep government or giant corporations in check, the end result is the same. They are working much harder to dupe us than we can work to not be duped. If there is a solution, it definitely revolves around more personal responsibility. That is not a liberal belief.

    EDIT: and without realizing it, I brought us back to the topic of the thread.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      
  50. Kimpost says:

    But that trend is not as troubling to me as the one indicating that “the poor”, or those living at or below the poverty line is growing, that is the bigger concern.

    Of course, but I think they are connected. In any which case both are growing.

    Nice try, but you missed. They are complaining because they (the individual) pays more then what they consider their fair share, if equanimity was established the individual could become even richer, so they are staying rich in spite of onerous wrong headed tax burdens, not because of it, and being constrained in the process.

    You misunderstand me. I contend that the rich are not really complaining, and offered a super simplified and generalized explanation for it (they get richer and public policies are helping them, hence no real complaints). I think that it’s good times for the rich in the US, generally speaking. They have gotten richer, while the poor and the middle class have not.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  51. AlexInCT says:

    Yeah – that’s exactly what I meant – you saw right through me. Bravo – you’re a genius. Think I’ll go let my IT consultant clean my teeth this afternoon.

    I bet if your IT dude/duddette is good it will chost you a lot more than your dental hygienist would have, even if your IT consultant ain’t that qualified to do dental cleanings. That was the point you so brilliantly avoided.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      
  52. salinger says:

    Maybe someone can explain to me why “Sean” is worth 100 million dollars?

    Is he adding more value to society than a thousand IT guys making a hundred grand a year?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  53. Xetrov says:

    Is he adding more value to society than a thousand IT guys making a hundred grand a year?

    Value to “society” or value to “the market”? Two different things. Someone (or many someone’s) was willing to pay him that much, so they must have thought he was worth more to the market than a thousand IT guys.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      
  54. AlexInCT says:

    Value to “society” or value to “the market”? Two different things. Someone (or many someone’s) was willing to pay him that much, so they must have thought he was worth more to the market than a thousand IT guys.

    Always baffles me how the wage control crowd seems immune to this fact. If someone is making $100 million, logic follows that other people that are responsible for making the decision to pay anyone that much felt they were worth the $100 million pay check.

    What we have at work here is the prejudice that since the wage controllers do not feel anyone should be making that much, anyone doing so anyway, does so because of something wrong with the system. I mean, how many companies can continue to be viable in the free market when they pay someone that is not worth an exorbitant paycheck too much? Let’s add the caveat that we are discussing a company that isn’t going to suck at the government’s teat, due to an unholy alliance with the political class such as GM, GE, or banks. Seriously, do they figure these people somehow trick these companies to pay them big cash, provide no value, then run off with the cash? In the mean time they demand more government control of these things when it is damned obvious that an incestuous relationship between people in government that use their power to steer economic activity against the logical mechanisms, is why our economy is in the shitter.

    As someone that owns stocks in many publically traded companies I also watch whom ends up on the board and how much they get paid and in turn pay their top people, because in the end, I want my stock to earn and grow so the investment is worth it. My vote doesn’t always make a difference but it is counted. While there are going to be people that simply do not care or lack the understanding that their involvement is required to keep this stuff in line, I suspect most people pay attention to these things.

    Here is a clue: you might not think someone is worth the money that they get paid for any job, but unless they are getting paid with your money, you get no freaking say in it. Especially when the sole reason you seem to object seems to be that you find it unfair some people get paid a lot of money for what they do and others don’t. With the exception of your average government employee and those protected by government created rackets, people get paid what they are worth to the people paying them.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  55. JimK says:

    Maybe someone can explain to me why “Sean” is worth 100 million dollars?

    No. Because it’s none of your damn business what he earns.
    JimK recently posted..Another telling of my accidentMy Profile

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      
  56. salinger says:

    No. Because it’s none of your damn business what he earns.

    Does this hold true for say a drug dealer – a scam artist – or a criminal of any kind. In the Bloomberg article these guys pretty much admit to “earning” their salaries by unethical if not outright illegal means. Is it still then nobodies business? Should this stuff just be swept under the rug – nothing to see here move along? Is it so out of line to question a system that looks to be rewarding criminals?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      
  57. JimK says:

    False equivalence. Finance and dealing drugs are not equatable. Scam artist? Maybe. “Criminals of any kind” is ridiculous, and you should have stopped at “scam artist.”

    If the masters of finance break laws, then there are already laws in place that they are breaking. The area of concern is enforcement, not salary. And there is a serious lack of enforcement happening.

    Even if they’re crooks, unless you own stock in that company, it’s STILL none of your goddamned business what a company decides to pay someone. Ever.
    JimK recently posted..Another telling of my accidentMy Profile

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      
  58. salinger says:

    And there is a serious lack of enforcement happening.

    And here we agree.

    I just think an inflated salary is a warning flag especially when that salary is earned in an industry where the regulators and the CEOs of the companies being regulated switch hats with the speed of a shell game.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  59. richtaylor365 says:

    . I mean, how many companies can continue to be viable in the free market when they pay someone that is not worth an exorbitant paycheck too much?

    The executive compensation system is flawed in this respect, there exists way too many incestuous/unholy relationships between the board members and the CEO’s in many companies. One example of this is described in Disney War, where in 4 years Michael Eisner got payed an average of $250 million each year (for a grand total of $1 billion) all the while running Disney into the ground. This feat was achieved because he hand selected most of those on the board (the body that decides executive compensation and tenure) and even though share holders were screaming bloody murder, the collective stock holdings of both Eisner and the board members negated any votes of no confidence that came down the pike. And this is not a isolate case. Look at Jeff Immelt, talk about cluelessness and incompetence. As a stock holder I would support any movement to get rid of that clown, but he owns the board so his position is safe. Sure, I can get frustrated and just sell my stock, but what about the jet engine builder who works for GE and has GE stock in his 401K?, he is stuck with Immelt, he should have more say in what happens and in what direction GE goes from here.

    Does this hold true for say a drug dealer – a scam artist – or a criminal of any kind.

    The short answer is YES. What difference does it make if the crack dealer is middling and only makes 5 grand a month, or is really industrious and makes 50? Who cares, do you? Is it really important that Madoff absconded with $5 billion or just $4 billion? If they are breaking the law, then deal with that, same with your unscrupulous CEO’s, if they are breaking the law then let’s go after them, OK?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  60. hist_ed says:

    They have gotten richer, while the poor and the middle class have not.

    That is not true. The poor and middle class have gotten wealthier, just not as fast as the rich.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      
  61. Kimpost says:

    That is not true. The poor and middle class have gotten wealthier, just not as fast as the rich.

    You are right. My casual remark was just lazy and wrong. The number of poor people has grown since the 70′s, while the rate has been more steady (a slight increasing trend since 2000). I never really intended to dwell on the wealth within the groups.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  62. hist_ed says:

    You are right. My casual remark was just lazy and wrong. The number of poor people has grown since the 70′s,

    Is that in proportion to the population? Or has the number of poor grown as the population has grown? It would also be interesting to break out birth rates by income class and see if a growing level of poor people corresponds to poor people having more babies. (You’d have to add in poor immigrants as well). The problem with these statistics is you have to know so much more that jsut the numbers to really understand what is going on.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  63. Kimpost says:

    At a glance the rate (in proportion to the population) has grown since 2000*, but the rise is not huge. And as you point out it’s difficult to really know without truly examining it. I’d be surprised if that hasn’t been done many times already?

    *) http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/incpovhlth/2009/pov09fig04.pdf

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      

Comments have been disabled.