Liberals' biggest myth: Unions and high taxes caused the post WWII economic boom

Sep 2014
4,504
1,332
South FL
#71
Let's not confuse terms. "Corporate welfare" is when government gives advantages to corporations (usually through tax policy). I've never heard the fact that so many Walmart workers get social welfare called "corporate welfare." It seems obvious, though, that Walmart benefits from the fact that their employees' incomes are supplemented by taxpayers.
They don't benefit from it though. They actually pay more in wages than they would but for those programs.
 
Sep 2014
4,504
1,332
South FL
#72
The narrative from the institutional left wing is that high marginal taxes on the rich coupled with strong unions "created America's middle class" and was the cause of the U.S. economic prosperity between 1945 and 1980. The starting point is credited to FDR's liberalism and the New Deal, high top marginal tax rates, and "strong unions," and the end of it is pinned exclusively on the inaugurations of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

That is the left wing gospel. It shall not be questioned or challenged. No other explanation is valid or welcome. And this narrative is continuous from the left wing. It is referenced constantly.

The narrative is a lie. A myth.

If High Taxes In The '50s And '60s Produced Good Growth, Then Let's Have High Taxes Again
50s also had 2 recessions and recessions in 1949 and 1960. While it wasnt WW2, Korean War made defense spending gargantuan compared to today's standards. Overall though taxes were still much lower than they are today. Yes there were a couple of high rates that were marginally relevant to a very small percentage of the population, but even here the tax code was 10,000 pages of loopholes to get around them. Mayer, one of the M's from MGM got a $2mn bonus. He should've paid 90% on those amounts over the 90% bracket, right? Wrong, he didn't, there was a loophole and he paid 20%. In that loophole you see how the exception swallows the rule.
 
Feb 2011
16,337
5,682
Boise, ID
#73
50s also had 2 recessions and recessions in 1949 and 1960. While it wasnt WW2, Korean War made defense spending gargantuan compared to today's standards. Overall though taxes were still much lower than they are today. Yes there were a couple of high rates that were marginally relevant to a very small percentage of the population, but even here the tax code was 10,000 pages of loopholes to get around them. Mayer, one of the M's from MGM got a $2mn bonus. He should've paid 90% on those amounts over the 90% bracket, right? Wrong, he didn't, there was a loophole and he paid 20%. In that loophole you see how the exception swallows the rule.
I recall you mentioning this before. Not disputing it but do you know of any data/literature that documents the effective rates paid during this oft-referenced period of time?
 
Feb 2011
16,337
5,682
Boise, ID
#75
Okay, but I don't know how our lack of a gold standard affect these things, nor do I know what you mean by "re-thinking." Should we just ignore massive inequality and call it a natural state? I'd oppose that. In short, what are you really saying here?
No.

Except that we (at least I'm) not arguing that everything we've done over the last 40 years is wrong.
Liberals are much more likely than conservatives to say the country has been moving in the right direction for many years, with conservatives typically saying the opposite.

Let's not confuse terms. "Corporate welfare" is when government gives advantages to corporations (usually through tax policy). I've never heard the fact that so many Walmart workers get social welfare called "corporate welfare."
Come on now. Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, Exhibit D...

Okay, but that's a straw man. I've never suggested that we carbon copy Denmark or even that we raise marginal rates to 1959 levels. And arguing that EVERYONE won't benefit from a policy isn't an effective argument against that policy. It will help lots of people. And we were talking about the MIDDLE CLASS, not people who aren't considered in the labor force.
It wasn't a straw man. I wasn't claiming you suggested that, I was using a hypothetical to remind that tax and labor policies don't help those outside the labor force because they neither pay taxes nor earn wages. The legislature would still have to be willing to ramp up welfare spending in order for the real world glaring inequality to be reduced. The real-world inequality is evident not so much by how unusually great the rich live, or by how meager some of their lowest-paid workers have it, the dramatic inequality is between the affluent/rich and the tens of millions of inter-generationally poor with no wealth and no jobs.

This country doesn't seem willing to ramp up welfare spending. Conservatives say "aw hell no," and liberals say it amounts to "corporate welfare" because they for some reason think businesses should be paying directly for social welfare expenditures.

Well, I think we should discuss a guaranteed minimum income for starters. But I'd also like us to consider getting rid of the many legal ways that our economic system makes very poor people even MORE poor. Pay day loans, for example. The use of debit cards (that charge substantial fees) in order to pay people is another. The cash bail system is another. There are many ways that we punish the poor simply because it's profitable for some of the rich. All of these elements are subject to the law--we could get rid of them tomorrow.
It'd be refreshing if liberals, Democrats, progressives, whatever would start making these things part of their narrative/platform.

It's not irrational to keep employers from amassing huge fortunes and sucking up all the new wealth for themselves.
It is, actually, for two reasons. First of all, it's irrational to say employers "suck up all the new wealth for themselves." Sprinkling in these dramatic exaggerations do nothing to help your arguments. Secondly, it's irrational to try to prevent wealth accumulation if those efforts result in negative overall economic effects and living conditions for the country than the alternatives.

Thus my suggestion that we should consider a guaranteed minimum income. To the extent I understand what you're saying, I'd be fine with that. What's disabling is that wealthy people largely control both the economic and political systems and wouldn't allow such a thing.
I'm not convinced the disinclination to do a guaranteed minimum income is because all the treasury secretaries and central bankers are "controlled by the wealthy who oppose it." Sounds like a conspiracy theory sans-evidence. What I think is that even the smartest and foremost macroeconomists are skeptical that 1) the gains wouldn't quickly erode to inflation or 2) that legislatures will be unable, politically, intellectually, to adapt tax policy accordingly to a new paradigm like that, and thus the perceived cost of the program would get brutally attacked, especially by people who still think monetarily sovereign national governments should be balancing their budgets.
 
Apr 2012
57,332
42,148
Englewood,Ohio
#76
The narrative from the institutional left wing is that high marginal taxes on the rich coupled with strong unions "created America's middle class" and was the cause of the U.S. economic prosperity between 1945 and 1980. The starting point is credited to FDR's liberalism and the New Deal, high top marginal tax rates, and "strong unions," and the end of it is pinned exclusively on the inaugurations of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

That is the left wing gospel. It shall not be questioned or challenged. No other explanation is valid or welcome. And this narrative is continuous from the left wing. It is referenced constantly.

The narrative is a lie. A myth.

If High Taxes In The '50s And '60s Produced Good Growth, Then Let's Have High Taxes Again
Guess you had to be there. Watching Union members fight,walk a picket line,suffer violence to get decent wages. Not just for Union members, but for all.

It is clear you were not. I wish I could say I feel sorry for you and the others, but I do not. You did it to yourselves
 
Apr 2012
57,332
42,148
Englewood,Ohio
#77
What a stupid mutherfucker. Slayer of strawmen.


The high tax rates came from funding depression era work programs and funding the war.

Post war boom came from war era industries transitioning to domestic goods and services. High taxes kept in place until the Kennedy administration helped fund GI bills in education and home ownership.

Higher taxes alone does nothing to put all the pieces back into position to replicate post WWII America.
He don’t know DD. They wallow in their ignorance.
 
Apr 2012
57,332
42,148
Englewood,Ohio
#78
the "myth" you speak about is a partial truth. there were many contributing factors involved here. some have been discussed, others have not. yes, we had the resources and the manpower to spare. we had an undamaged infrastructure. but, the aggressive policies of FDR to curb the Great Depression was also a factor - and a testament to his sales expertise. we spent money to arrest the effects of that depression earlier than other countries - and it cost us a bundle. this was paid by increasing taxes and restraint on other issues. many factors were involved as to how this happened which probably will not be repeated.
Under Dwight D Eisenhower we had a rebuilt, modernized Infrastucture patterned after the German Autobahn.

Since then it has been patched, our bridges and roads allowed to deteriorate, thanks to a do nothing Congress. A huge difference. Our Education has been neglected, the gluttony of the war machine rules all.
 
Sep 2014
4,504
1,332
South FL
#79
I recall you mentioning this before. Not disputing it but do you know of any data/literature that documents the effective rates paid during this oft-referenced period of time?
I just rolled off I-95 yesterday. I'll point you to some things this evening because its a bit more intense than a phone will allow.
 
Feb 2011
16,337
5,682
Boise, ID
#80
Guess you had to be there. Watching Union members fight,walk a picket line,suffer violence to get decent wages. Not just for Union members, but for all.
You didn't "have to be there." Unionism was a blunt instrument deriving from Marxist sentiments in response to an era in which the nation's laws allowed monopoly power to practically overtake the nation. Unionism itself relies on monopoly power, so it was a method of trying to fight fire with fire.

That indicates nothing about the current or future importance of unions.

Since then it has been patched, our bridges and roads allowed to deteriorate, thanks to a do nothing Congress. A huge difference. Our Education has been neglected, the gluttony of the war machine rules all.
Where do you obtain such false notions?

"In fact, public investment in higher education in America is vastly larger today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than it was during the supposed golden age of public funding in the 1960s. Such spending has increased at a much faster rate than government spending in general. For example, the military’s budget is about 1.8 times higher today than it was in 1960, while legislative appropriations to higher education are more than 10 times higher.

In other words, far from being caused by funding cuts, the astonishing rise in college tuition correlates closely with a huge increase in public subsidies for higher education. If over the past three decades car prices had gone up as fast as tuition, the average new car would cost more than $80,000." LINK