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

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
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#82
They don't benefit from it though. They actually pay more in wages than they would but for those programs.
Do they? Would they really be able to pay people less if they were beggared? First, I can't believe you are callous enough to make such an argument (well, maybe you really are that callous). And why wouldn't people who don't have enough to eat or a roof over their heads just die rather than work at Walmart for wages that wouldn't feed or house them?
 
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Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
67,972
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valid location
#83
Nice denial, but without more it's hard to take seriously
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.
I've never seen anything that breaks down that polling question by party or ideology.
So now Bernie Sanders is the standard for what all liberals think?
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.
And yet here in the US we put a lot of emphasis on being productive. People who are productive deserve to be compensated for it. We don't have more disabled people who can't work than ever before--we do have massively different compensation for those at the lower end of the job spectrum.
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.
I think businesses should be paying the real cost of the labor they receive. That makes perfect sense to me. This question is like any other externality, any other method by which businesses try to foist their costs on others. It doesn't matter to me whether we counter that with environmental regulations that prevent companies from dumping waste into the environment (reducing their own costs by creating costs borne by everyone) or paying employees so poorly the collective conscience of the country compels us to make up the difference. This is multiplied by the very fact that our collective conscience isn't very strong.
It'd be refreshing if liberals, Democrats, progressives, whatever would start making these things part of their narrative/platform.
Then you should become one and suggest it.

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.
It maybe dramatically said, but it's not irrational because it's provably true. The great majority of new wealth created in our present economy has gone to a very small portion of the population. You think I'm wrong to be angry about it and for that anger to seep into my prose? Screw that.
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.
The overall economic effect isn't negative, it's positive. Giving money to people who will spend it has a better effect than letting it flow to people who will horde it or move it overseas. This idea that letting corporations have more wealth results in investment is simply wrong--they use it to buy back stock.

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.
I think it's pretty intuitive to suggest that the people who would bear the costs of something would rather not do anything and thus incur no costs. Do we really need evidence for that? How, indeed, would we find any that would convince you?
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.
To the second part, sounds like you've simply said the same thing I said in different words.

It's quite possible that a GMI would result in inflation, but that's because the GMI provides no additional productivity to make up for its costs. But today we have the opposite circumstance: productivity has been going up but the benefits of it have gone almost entirely to owners rather than workers.
 
Feb 2011
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Boise, ID
#84
I've never seen anything that breaks down that polling question by party or ideology.
Post 65 and 67.

So now Bernie Sanders is the standard for what all liberals think?
Kind of, yeah.

And yet here in the US we put a lot of emphasis on being productive. People who are productive deserve to be compensated for it. We don't have more disabled people who can't work than ever before--we do have massively different compensation for those at the lower end of the job spectrum.

I think businesses should be paying the real cost of the labor they receive. That makes perfect sense to me. This question is like any other externality, any other method by which businesses try to foist their costs on others.
The real cost ends up getting paid by a different group of people (whoever the company’s customers) than those who pay taxes. If I want to eliminate food and farm subsidies, food prices go up, which has a regressive affect compared to what we currently do, which is federally subsidize.
 
Feb 2011
16,224
5,624
Boise, ID
#85
The overall economic effect isn't negative, it's positive. Giving money to people who will spend it has a better effect than letting it flow to people who will horde it or move it overseas...
Do you just shifted off the point. “Preventing wealth accumulation“ is very different than giving money to people who will spend it. Giving money to people who will spend it does not prevent wealth accumulation. Policies purported to prevent wealth accumulation do not cause that money to be given to people who will spend it. They are totally different thoughts. You had just suggested preventing wealth accumulation. There’s no conceivable way to do that in a way that isn’t economically harmful.

This idea that letting corporations have more wealth results in investment is simply wrong—they use it to buy back stock.
I’m not putting forth an “idea to let corporations have more wealth,” as if the alternative to that idea is they somehow don’t have more wealth. Corporate taxes don’t work though. We can tax (including progressively) in ways that don’t suck as bad as corporate taxes suck.

It's quite possible that a GMI would result in inflation, but that's because the GMI provides no additional productivity to make up for its costs.
Is very inconsistent to clamor for higher wages with the argument that it results in more money in workers’ pockets which they spend which increases demand which increases jobs...

...but abandon that rationale for a GMI.
 
Sep 2014
4,488
1,325
South FL
#87
Do they? Would they really be able to pay people less if they were beggared? First, I can't believe you are callous enough to make such an argument (well, maybe you really are that callous). And why wouldn't people who don't have enough to eat or a roof over their heads just die rather than work at Walmart for wages that wouldn't feed or house them?
The issue is the reserve/reservation wage. There's no question welfare programs mostly increase that wage. The one very good counter example is the EIC.

You can see this in action with unemployment benefits. If people lose a job, often times there is some period of frictional unemployment while they are looking for another job. So, they collect unemployment. Good times and bad, there are millions of people collecting unemployment. Those people are not working at Walmart, McDonalds, etc, employers of 'last resort'

If you lost your position, you'd surely find another and even when you do there might be a delay until the start of the semester or some such. CA max unemployment is $450. Would you cashier at Walmart until you started? You'd be a complete idiot to do that because you'd have less money.

In fact the LIBERAL position for the UBI is twofold: 1. Its a safety net and 2. It increases the reservation wage giving employees greater bargaining power with employers.

As an aside, the UBI, from my pov it already exists, but you even have Friedman proposing things like a negative income tax.

In essence, the debate really isn't about whether there should be a UBI, but rather HOW best to implement it.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2014
4,488
1,325
South FL
#88
I’m not putting forth an “idea to let corporations have more wealth,” as if the alternative to that idea is they somehow don’t have more wealth. Corporate taxes don’t work though. We can tax (including progressively) in ways that don’t suck as bad as corporate taxes suck.
Of course there's absolutely nothing wrong with stock buybacks. It doesn't really matter how corporations employ their non-taxed retained earnings. Indeed, the thing about corporate taxes that people is that they are easily avoidable. Don't form one. People see the Elon Musks of the world, the top tier entrepreneurial A-Team. What they don't see are the more mundane C-Team entrepreneurs like myself who innovate on a much smaller scale. We avoid C corporations like the fucking plague and we remain satisfied on the other side of the LLC/S Corp 'tax cliff' and whether I'm in single-A or double-AA baseball I could care less.

Indeed the problem with corporate taxation is really the corporations that will NEVER happen.
 

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