Rebirth of Reason

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Post 0

Thursday, December 25, 2014 - 1:47pmSanction this postReply

I think that part of it is that the left is almost entirely emotion-driven, and "fair share" sounds really good, but I also think that another part is that they want to add this or that program, and in order to do so, need to fund it.  And there is really only one place to get more money, and that's from the wealthy.  So the left needs to get money from the wealthy in order to pay for whatever is pulling on their heartstrings at the moment, and now they need to justify it somehow.  Well, of course, the wealthy aren't already paying their "fair share", they should!


If the ends justify the means, then they don't need to think too hard about the morality of the means, as long as it sounds fair and somehow involves sharing.

Post 1

Friday, December 26, 2014 - 1:38amSanction this postReply

when I'm confronted with this little bit of silliness I turn the tables on them: "Wonderful! From now on you pay 50% and I pay 50% - that's a fair share - right :D"

Of course in Germany 10% of the rich pay 90% of the taxes - you should see them squirm, falling over each other to defend their 'fair share' ;)

~ Non-Contradiction ~


I had a good giggle when they dragged Tim Cook before a Senate hearing like a delinquent child and gave him a parental talking-to about the morals of 'eating at home' :D They wasted an entire Senate hearing (no idea how much that cost, but I'm sure it does not come cheap) without a thread of illegal malpractice (sic) to charge him with.

Of course they got the desired effect in the non-thinking media (the thinking media was drowned out in the hysterical noise), that rich corporations don't pay their taxes as they should, when it's clear to anybody who can still think that it is their half-assed tax-laws that they were following to the letter - they are just smarter reading them than those fools who wrote them :P

~ Either Or ~


Complaining afterwards that "we didn't mean it that way" doesn't excuse them from the fact that they did not change it to what they meant. One sentence I loved from the start about Ayn Rand: "And I mean it" :)

~ A is A ~



Post 2

Friday, December 26, 2014 - 1:44amSanction this postReply

PS: just a personal note on this topic ... hasn't anyone ever wondered how come the rich are still paying 90% of our taxes when they are so good at evading them?

imagine the percentage if they were stupidly following 'directive 10-289' ... they could buy out this country in cash and still have change to spare ...

Post 3

Friday, December 26, 2014 - 9:49amSanction this postReply

 And there is really only one place to get more money, and that's from the wealthy. 



It's funny how that plays out when those lefties end up anywhere near the guns of goverment.


On an individual basis, that assertion seems to make sense; wealthy individuals have more money than non-wealthy individuals.   Certainly in terms of wealth.   But governments can only tax wealth once; goverernments must live by taxing income, not wealth.  Income is, in theory, re-occurring(until their policies drive economies to ground.)


In aggregate, if you make the following plot:   (income x people earning income) vs. income, and as well, pay special focus on the concept of 'currently untaxed income', you see the reality beyond the rhetoric of 'tax the rich.'     In the US, where Average Wage Index is around $45k/yr, this plot is indeed a massive mountain of taxable income centered not far from $45k.   Which, if you think about it, it has to be, if AWI is AWI.


This visual representation of a pile of taxable income is what is available as income for the government to tax.


At the low end of this plot, the curve goes to exactly '0' no matter how may people are earning '0'.  If you took the sum of all the income, and you divided it by the sum of all the people earning income, you would arrive at AWI:   $45k/yr.


If everyone earned exactly the same amount of money, you would see the same pile of taxable income, but it would all be piled in a vertical pile at $45K +/- $0.50.


If one person earned all of that income, you would see the same pile of taxable income up at that very income level(say 8 trillion dollars +/- $0.50) and nothing anywhere else.


But what in fact we see is a pile of taxable income piled up around $45K/yr (because there are so many people earning around that value), trailing off to '0' on either side of $45K.


On the low side, the pile is constrained by the fact that at 0, the pile of taxable income goes to 0; so, from AWI to AWI-AWI, the pile of money drops to 0.


On the high side, the pile is also constrained; constrained by the fact that AWI is AWI.   So at AWI+AWI, the pile must be well on its way to the axis, relative to the peak around AWI.   


Relative to the case where everyone earned AWI, that pile of taxable income spreads out to fill the taxable mountain of cash on the low side of AWI...and it also spreads out to fill the taxable mountain of cash on the high side of AWI.     The shape on either side is not exactly the same, because of the absolute constraint at '0'; the shape on the high side can drop quickly and tail off at whatever rate is necessary for AWI to be AWI, given the constraint of this curve.


The upshot of which is, if you are the government and in need of untaxed taxable income, then government is constrained by reality to look at that curve, notice where the untaxed area under the curve is,  and so,  find ways to increase taxes on those earning around $45k/yr, where the large frontier of currently untaxed income is in the economies.  In 1903, income taxes only applied to the top 1% of income earners.    All the while...gov't has been driven by the reality of where taxable currenly untaxed income is.  (It is not piled up in the few ancecodotes of a tiny handfull of rich people earning alot; a] there aren't enough of them and b] ... they are already paying alot of tax; that income doesn't get taxed twice.   To tax new income , and to geenrate alot of new taxes, then currently untaxed income needs to be taxed...and that is where it is.    Hence, the employer 'half' of FICA,   the latest ACA stealth tax on the middle class, and so on.   


An insatiable government has to make political noise about 'taxing the wealth' so as to distract the middle class from the fact that, as a class(not individually) they will slowly be picked clean(distracted by the fact that the goverment is at least promising to flay a hadnful of those earning more even worse, but not their source of fresh new taxes...)   Individually, the wealthy already pay alot of taxes; collectively, they also already pay alot of taxes-- which means, collectively, they are -not- fertile ground for finding the vast untaxed frontier of new 'revenue' for an insatiable profligatge political process that will, if not already, very soon be pitting folks earning slightly more that $50k against those earning slightly less than $50k, etc. as this out of all control 51%/49% political process inevitably slides down that hill towards '0'.


It is all they know how to do, to divide the nation in order to rule it, and in so dividing. also diminishing it.




Post 4

Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 7:48amSanction this postReply

Fun with graphs and statistics


There is another lefty plot making the rounds of a similar concept, but they've been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, so to speak,


Instead of the plot I describe, imagine the following plot:  sort everyone by income, and then, line everyone of them up on the X-axis.   Above their head, draw a vertical line representing their income.    That would be a visual representation of income 'distribution.'


Simple, right?


Not so fast.   There are over 300 million of us, with maybe half that amount -- say 150 million -- earning income.   So how do you actually draw that plot?   How 'thick' do you draw each vertical line on your graph?  You do intend to represent each of them equally on the x axis, don't you????


If you make each line 0.001" wide, then that plot would be ... 150 million times 0.001" = 2.4 miles wide.    (How thin can it be made, and still be represented as a graphic on their website???  HD=1920 pixels wide, so knock yourselves out with that one. View it on a 50inch wide monitor == 1920 pixels; each pixel is 26 mils wide, and would represent 78000 people out of 150 million...) 


As well, there are alot of people earning a little, and few people earning alot; if we 'fairly' drew everyone with the same width, then we would never even see the few anecdotes of Bill Gates, etc. at the far end of the plot, smooshed into that single column of pixels with 78000 others....


So here's what they did; in order to 'fairly' represent the high end, they draw that end a little 'thicker' per person, and to not bore us with the miles and miles of folks earning around 50k yr, they compress them, to make the whole plot fit on a graph 2.4 miles wide, but much smaller -- maybe 50 inches on your massive monitor in the extreme-- , and they represent that skewed plot as reality in the nation.


And, they get away with it, because America can't reason out the graph they are presented with.   Another example of 'yes, it is a lie, it is a propaganda, but the morons won't be able to figure it out and it is for their own good.'


We are lied to all the time in politics, sometimes complete with graphics, and treated with contempt.


AWI is $45k/yr in America.  To believe the left, that is ten guys earning 675 billion each and 150 million earning 0, and much worse, sell the whole concept as if this was 150 million people playing a poker game with a fixed set of poker chips, and not 150 million people circulating value as often and as strenuosly as they wish, with 'income' simply being a running tally total of the value that has flowed by their individual value counting meters..


The left puts the 'gin' in gini.  As in, ginned up.    Their 'gini' maldistrubutuion nonsense is not measuring the maldistribution of rain falling unabetted from the skies, but the amount of slacking going on in the economies.    They present it as an indictment of those not slacking off.   Nonsesne, it is just the whining politics from the bottom of the hills.




Post 5

Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 11:22amSanction this postReply

Or you can just break it down by quintiles or smaller chunks, since trying to represent 300 million discrete data points on a graph is basically abusing the reason that graphs exist, which is to summarize data meaningfully.


Post 6

Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 1:16pmSanction this postReply



Waving quintiles in front of Fred????   INCOMING!


My absolute favorite graph.


Let incomes vary across the population.  More so, constrain those incomes to vary absolute uniformly between 0 and MAX_INCOME.


Choose MAX_INCOME to be any value you think is reasonable.     Pick any number you want.  $100.    $4 Trillion.  Makes no difference.   Pick a number.


OK, now, via force(as would be necessary) arrange things so that the exact same number of people were at each and every intermediate income level.   The same number of folks earned '0' as '1$' as '2$' as ... all the way to MAX_INCOME.    A perfectly flat 'distribution' of income.


What would your quintile plot look like?


This is easy to figure out: the average income of the lowest quintile would be 10% of MAX_INCOME.    The average income of the highest quintile would be 90% of MAX_INCOME.


The ratio of the highest to lowest quintile would be exactly 9:1.     A horror of injustice, brought about by the cruel fact of ... allowing incomes to vary uniformly from 0 to MAX_INCOME.


What is the before taxes ratio in your plot?   Er....about 9:1  (54:6 would be 9:1)    


What about the highest to lowest decimile?   Exactly 19:1  (95/5%). 


Oh, the Tyranny of Magnitude!   It is bringing us something called 'social injustice!'


What about the highrst percentile to the lowest percentile?   Exactly 199:1 (99.5% to 0.5%)   It just keeps getting worse and worse!


And, all because we 'allow' incomes to vary from - to MAX_INCOME.


So, for the mathematically inclined, what is the remedy to this Tyranny of Magnitude?   How do we get off of this endless, unsolvable 'quintile ratio' argument hamster wheel that the Left forever attempts to weld mankind onto?  The remedy is: do not allow incomes to vary:  income = constant = AVERAGE INCOME.   My sons when they were 14 yr old part timers, my youngest son the special needs kid working at the local hot dog shop cleaning up, a brain surgeon, a bus driver, the president of corporation, the janitor who cleans up... income = constant = AVERAGE INCOME.   The Marxist dream of absolute equality and the dearth of all income gradients.   No more hills!  Better yet, no more hills to climb!  No wonder 'pure endowment economies' are the darlings of Marxist economic modelers.



But until we get there, the hamster wheel remains, so we are told, it is not really the ratio of the upper to lower quintile (huh? else what is the point of quintile graphs?) but the -shape- of the population income distribution curve that is important.    So, 'bell curve' vs. flat, or whatever; we all have extra sensory organs that somehow sense the 'shape' of these curves at Census when we go about our daily lives.    Imagine if Census never prepared the charts-- then how would we sense this distribution?


And still, with all of these 'quintile' statistics and arguments, my 1040 still says INDIVIDUAL at the top in big letters.  And, so does yours.    Shouldn't we all be filing QUINTILE reports, if there is something to these QUINTILE based arguments?


When I've been presented with QUINTILE arguments in the past(for decades) I've always asked just one question, which must be answered before I understand the point of the curve; can anyone on earth either name, or make up, or imagine a single activity that any human being does primarily or even secondarily or in any imagined fashion as a member of a quintile, acting as an economic actor, so that I can finally understand the economic or moral basis for such a plot?


Anything at all would do.   I am so desperate, I would even accept a lost episode of Star Trek.   It doesn't have to be any more real than the purely mathematical concept 'quintile.'  


Twenty plus years of asking, when confronted with quintile plots, and not a single answer in all that time, reasonable or otherwise.   Not even a 'made up' answer.   No attempts at all.     You would think it would be easy to make something up, because these plots show up all the time in political debate.  Turn over a rock, and there is another 'quintile' plot.   Apparently, undefendable with actual argument.   There must be some implicit truth in 'quintile' plots that does not require reason or argument to see.


I've even tried to help.


Imagine there are five freight trains, and once a year, we all show up at the train station, sort ourselves by income, and then get on a freight train.  Then, a conductor comes along, adds up all the income reported on each freight train, and sends the numbers to Census.   Then, the folks at Census look at those five numbers and help to shape national policy aimed at managing the ratio of those five numbers.


As the years go by, and we get older, and our lives change, we might find ourselves getting on different freight trains.   We are told that not only the sum of the reported income on each train is of vital national tribal interest, but the ratio of those numbers is of vital importance.    How or why is never explained, but we shrug and get on and off the freight trains every year, and then go back to living our lives and struggling up our individual hills and so on in our respective economies.


Quintile arguments are kind of like that, except for one thing:  not even the freight trains are real.   We don't even do so much as -that- as members of a quintile.


We do nothing in our economies acting as 'quintiles.'   We don't vote as quintiles, we don't offer our services as quintiles, we don't pay taxes as quintiles, we don't purchase as quintiles, we don't sell as quintiles, we don't worship as quintiles, we don't travel as quintiles....   We do nothing as quintiles.  


What is the point?   If quintile statistic distributions.ratios are of import as actors in our economies, then what organ is used to sense them as we go about our business?  Close your eyes right this very minute, and try to sense the current quintile distribution of income in America.   (Turn down MSNBC while trying to sense it on your own; the screaming about it coming from there is also without explanation.).   


Dr. Laura D'Andrea Tyson, in a talk at UCal/Berkely in Nov 1997(video is online at C-Span, Making Economic Policy), made the following personal observation, paraphrased:  those ratios are not important in the least, or else remedy could be found simply by penalizing the upper quintile; what is important to a compassionate nation is, what is the condition of the lowest quintile, and what can be done to ameliorate the conditions of the lowest quintile.    It doesn't matter how rich the richest persons in America are as long as the poorest are cared for with reasonable compassion.   That old school Democratic Party position has been replaced by an extreme radical assertion that there is significance in the ratio, no matter what the condition of the two color TV lowest quintile is, based simply on tribal unrest caused purely by ratcake envy; hand over the goods or else we riot.


To which I say, riot away, if tribal envy is the only justification..




Post 7

Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 2:20pmSanction this postReply

fun with graphs


A prime example of fun with numbers on graphs as pure political propaganda.


Look closely at the units on the graph X axis.


There are 42 'groups'.


40 of the 'groups' are composites over $5000 subranges.


The 41st 'group' is a composite over a $50,000 subrange ($200,000 to $250,000)


The 42nd 'group' is a composite over a massive subrange:   $250,000 to whatever the MAX_INCOME reported is.




Now, imagine what this plot would look like if you could actually see it plotted out in equal $5000 increments all the way out to MAX_INCOME.



It would look exactly like the trend apparent in the first 40 'groups' -- trailing off to approaching the X-Axis the farther out in income you went to increasingly rare anecdotes at the high end.


Divide that 41s group into 10 diminishing ht groups and plot them to the right. That is easy to imagine.  Now, continue on with the 42nd group in equal 5000 increments.  WHat we would see would be a skinny line approaching the X-Axis the farther we went out in income-- the exact visual opposite of the skewed axis data presented here.   To which I say: Census Social and Economic Supplement" is completed busted; these are aparatchik propagandists playing fast and loose with the graphics, totally unafraid to do so because of their massive contempt for the 3% of the electorate that will ever actually even see this graph, except maybe flashed by in some newspaper, magazine, or web article without a second thought other than "Gee, look at those greedy bastards in those two top 'groups.'


Hey, all these jacking with data on misleading graphs is for the boobs own good, so it's all good.


We'd all be yawning at such a plot, fairly presented on a consistent basis.


Instead, what is aimed directly at our reptilian medullah oblongata is those massive two groups at the high end, scarfing up all the income like greedy capitalists.    Complete nonsense.


But here is what we can imagine on this same plot, after having fixed it: superimpose the highest marginal tax rates.   This would show us the current 'untaxed' frontier -- a pile of taxable currently untaxed income.    Our government is fully aware of that plot; it is what really (must) drive tax policy.   Like bank robbers, if they want more money, they must go where the currently untaxed income is.


And,  such a plot shows exactly where that is.    And so...the stealth middle class tax increase that is ACA(when more and more employees are being shepherded from a state of having their HI premiums paid for from their pre-tax earnings to a state of paying for their HI out of after tax income.)


As well as, in the 30s, 'the employer half of FICA.'  Complete boob bait for boobs; of course employers understand the 941 when they negotiate wages with employess, even if, by law, the government tells employers to write out a single check to their CPAs and print a little story on the paystubs for the employees.   It is their earnings that are taxed at the full FICA rate...


And that very plot explains why, even with the monkeying with the axes at the far end.




Post 8

Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 2:45pmSanction this postReply

Let's say in that plot from Census that the MAX_INCOME reported is 300 million dollars(conservatively; the average for the 'top 400' that our IRS keeps track of might be something like that.)


That means, on the scale of the plot above, to actually show the plot in constant units of $5000 per 'group', the plot would need to run out to something like 1500 times its present width, and across that entire width, the last column would need to be 'distributed'.


That 42nd 'group' would be distributed across about 1500 groups, each one representing the same $5000 range.


Not all piled into one group, but 1500 such groups trailing off to the right.


A plot that trailed off to near the X-axis, keeping the same scale on the Y-axis, because in a nation of 300 million people, the % of people earning 300 million a year is approaching 0.00000033%, which would be hard to see on that plot, even if that estimate is off by a factor of 100000; still can't see the plot at that scale.


And so... a yawner, unless the aparatchiks cook the plot and pile 1500 such groups all together(after piling ten groups together to form the 41st group) and an uncritical electorate allows them to cook the plot, because tribal politics has such a deep foundation based on reason, after all.




Post 9

Monday, December 29, 2014 - 8:10amSanction this postReply

Left wing politics is instructing the nation to regard such plots as showing us all 'the' distribution of a static 'pie'.  




Income is not a static concept; income is flow of value creation over time.   As in, when you pump on a pump handle, a flow of water out of your pump discharge.   With that now high pressure water, you can divert flow to pay tax, you can immediately spend, you can divert into a static overhead savings tank, you can divert into a static overhead credit tank to restore available spendable credit by repaying past borrowed credit.  (You can also, if you wish, exchange current accounts with an equity holder for a non-guaranteed, compressible equity share in an at-risk effort, modulating your own exposure to risk-reward as you see fit.  'Water' does not leave the system when this happens; what happens is, water moves from the buyers current accounts to the seller's current accounts, 1:1, in exchange for holding an at-risk share of equity in an at-risk venture.  In the old days, that at-risk venture would be in a pump and/or turbine building exercise, whereas today, it could just be a vegas game of betting on the future score kept on a scoreboard for a game played by fewer and fewer actual pump and turbine builders...)


The more efficient the pump, the more income.  The more you pull at the pump handle, the more income that flows past your pump station under your direction.


There is no static 'pie'.   There is water in the system as circulating value proxy.   What limits the flow of water, and thus, total income, is not the amount of water in the circulating pipes, but the circulation of value-for-value.   Income is a dynamic concept, not a static( 'the pie') concept.  (This is the same befuddlement behind most folks understanding of repaying 'interest' when their model of our economies is that of a poker game with a fixed number of chips; interest is also 'flow' not 'static' concept.  Interest can be repaid by diverting future flow and leaves no holes in the circulating 'water.')


The new government stimulus model is not about circulation of value-for-value; the new government stimulus model is about showing up at the government overhead credit tank, pouring in massive amounts of water, and watching it all run downhill without any creation or circulation of actual value.


Along the way, connected politicos can 'spend' that downhill only running water on their pet fave projects, demanding and extracting actual value from what is left of pockets of activity in the economies; but there is no additional value in those economies, just low pressure water that only runs downhill, collecting up in static pools as 'assets' of companies not circulating value, whose stock gets valued in units of 'dollars' for holding 'dollars' that are not moving/circulating.   = 'record stock prices' scored in units of valueless non-circulating water, value-proxies, dollars.


The latest of history's command and control bust 'the economy' running.





(Edited by Fred Bartlett on 12/29, 8:17am)

Post 10

Monday, December 29, 2014 - 8:41amSanction this postReply

In my hypothetical economy with a purely flat distribution of incomes from 0 to MAX-INCOME, the top 4%, with an average income of 0.98 MAX-INCOME, 'get' over twice as much as the bottom 20% with an average income of 0.10 MAX-INCOME.


4% 'getting' over twice what 20% 'get'!!!!!    That isn't 'fair!"


All because we 'allowed' income to vary unoformly from 0 to MAX_INCOME!   We can't allow that, can we?


Better limit MAX_INCOME to $100,000  (The Huey Long solution to the Tyranny of Magnitude.)   Because Huey Long was a complete math idiot, too, like the balance of the nation he and his were leading around by the nose at the time..


I'll tell you what isn't fair; 4% pulling on pump handles twice as hard as 20% in total.   What this plot demostrates is the slacking that is tolerated in this economy.   How do we 'fix' that?   By not permitting slacking to vary;  slacking = constant = AVG_SLACKING.   


Just like its mirror injustice, going to need the same whips and chains to make that work.


Fair Share run amokitis...





(Edited by Fred Bartlett on 12/29, 8:42am)

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