All Forums > General Discussion > Non-Sports > What really eats me up...
11/30/2012 8:18 AM
Of course it's a "stretch".  Your intellectual dishonesty stems from a clear refusal to acknowledge that there is almost ALWAYS a difference between theory and practice, especially when dealing with human behavior.

It's not a stretch at all because it's NOT theory. The elements are shown to work IN PRACTICE. That's what you're not getting. They simply haven't been combined in a real life scenario as you seem to suggest is the only thing that matters, which isn't true.
The fact that you don't even recognize your communication style as "arrogance" shows a pathological lack of self-awareness.

Perhaps you should consider that your personal interpretation of my alleged arrogance is an ASSUMPTION on your part. Assuming anything leaves you open to drawing incorrect conclusions, as you've done here.

I'm merely presenting information in a logical manner. If you want to add things in on your own, assume information that isn't there, make assumptions and jump to conclusions, it's on you when you're incorrect, as you are here. There is no arrogance - only your assumption that it exists because it conveniently fits the mold you want to use to attack me.

Try addressing the actual issues instead of focusing on an agenda of personal attack and you might not make those kinds of mistakes.
Just for kicks, tell us all about a time in recorded history where an economic theory worked perfectly within a given population.
No economic theory works perfectly, and I've never suggested that it would. I'm simply saying the proper form of socialism would be much better than the current form of modern American capitalism, which isn't a difficult conclusion to come to if you know anything about economics (especially considering the problems with modern American capitalism right now).
That's never happened. Even the US is a blend of capitalism and socialism.
In a very broad sense, yes, socialism is mixed into modern American capitalism. However, its effects on the whole system are very small, as the wealthy still have all the power to use their wealth to gain more wealth and stay in power.
You've presented a number of statements as "fact", but when those statements are questioned, or you are asked to provide some evidence to back up your statements, you either dismiss the questions as (a) irrelevant, or (b) having already been answered but that the respondent is not capable of understanding your answers because of intellectual inferiority. 


NO. Go back and read the thread. There are several instances where I've given specific pieces of information, some of which were specifically asked for, and yet there has been no response to it at all (as I've said, how convenient). You're doing it again right now.
You keep chiding me and others for personal attacks against you.  Yet you continuously keep pointing out your superior knowledge (and everybody else's inferior knowledge) on the subject at hand.  Your arrogance is a personal attack on everybody who dares question or challenge you.  Pot, meet the kettle.

I am merely stating the facts about my own background and knowledge.

You are ASSUMING I think it means I'm superior, which is incorrect.

You are ASSUMING I think everyone else is inferior, which is incorrect.

You are INFERRING arrogance from those ASSUMPTIONS, making it an incorrect inference.

None of those things actually exist except in the minds of those who would rather attack me than have a real debate.
You have continuously refused to answer direct questions with direct answers throughout this thread.  Yet you have claimed "victory" from your series of unsubstantiated statements and unproven theories..

When I have given direct answers to direct questions, they are ignored in favor of personal attacks, as you are doing right now yet again. I grow tired of the foolish and childish nature of it all, yet like a passerby who looks at a car wreck, I can't help but be oddly entertained by it all.
The effect of incentives on human behavior are almost impossible to ignore.
That's what we've been talking about (those of us still interested in a real debate, anyway). The incentives are stronger in a proper socialist system so that all workers at a company or organization want to see it succeed because it means more for their own bottom line than in modern American capitalism where only the higher ups in large companies or the owner of a small company sees any real gain from the harder work of those below them. I discussed that at length and even provided a detailed hypothetical example that was completely ignored. If you're interested, it's still there.
11/30/2012 2:43 PM (edited)
Cutting back to the chase a bit.

 

Over and over and over, you claim to have given direct answers.  I have read this thread over many times so telling me to read it again doesn't make your answers any more logical. 

As one the participants, who was interested because of your claim that wealthy people don't pay their fair share and need to have their taxes raised, I have asked one of the direct questions as a result.

What is a fair share?  How do you define it?  You still haven't come anywhere close to defining it.  [EDIT:  For those with the patience to read this post, bis's comments are in green, my interjections are in blue and tec's comments are in red)]

You started with this (on page 6):
 

I'd be in favor of making ALL taxes income taxes and streamlining the process so that you pay a certain percentage based upon your income (with the wealthy paying MUCH more than the middle and lower classes).  [You don't define how MUCH more] This would also include the elimination of most or all deductions and other ways to artificially lower your tax rate. You pay the percentage no matter what. That would make sure everyone pays their fair share. [You don't mention whether or not tax revenues and share of the burden will change and in what direction (I've given you many hints and references along the way).  This is very important context to your suggestions]

tec responded [with specifics] with this (page 13 - 2 posts):
 

How much is enough?
The source of the 38% number (my bad, it's actually 36.73% as of 2009) is the Internal Revenue Service.

Top 1% pays 36.73%
Top 5% pays 58.66%
Top 10% pays 70.47%
Top 25% pays 87.30%
Top 50% pays 97.75%
Bottom 50% pays 2.25%

You responded with this (page 13):
 

Regardless of your numbers, the rich should be paying more than they are right now. They can afford it.  [Again - you won't define how much more - only that they can afford it]

and this:
 

"They can afford to" IS a valid reason to expect the government to make them pay their fair share.  [AGAIN:  What the h*** is that?] There is no reason people who struggle to get by should pay taxes that put them in more financial peril when there are those who can easily afford to absorb more of those taxes. The rich should be paying more than they are now, that is for certain.  [Um, okay - that settles it then.  It's "for certain"]

 

I responded with a post outlining that you can't tax at 0% or 100% to obtain maximum revenue and that rates don't correlate postively with treasury revenues and at some point between the two and that raising taxes would likely not increase revenues to the treasury in the first place (which is the goal of taxation).  Our historical evidence suggests an inverse correlation.

Your "logical defense"?
 

The numbers actually indicate the wealthy are NOT  paying anything close to their fair share. Take Mitt Romney, for example. He paid less percentage wise than many middle class Americans, and yet he made $20 million or so last year. That's not his fair share at all[This is one of the many errors in your argument.  Trying to hit that "percentage-wise" number does not correlate to increasing share of the burden for the rich.  This has been demonstrably true simply by looking at the IRS tables of burden versus rates - readily available in downloadable csv format]

Fair share is also a perfectly reasonable phrase, much to MikeT23's dismay, as is "they can afford to".

Fair share is only a moving target based upon economic factors including inflation (when you're talking about total money).

They can afford to because they have the money to pay for taxes others can't afford. The idea you can afford to do things but choose not to is irrelevant because what you choose to do has nothing to do with the tax rate.

The reason they can afford to is reasonable is because the idea is to lower the taxes on those who CANNOT afford to pay them, and the easiest and most direct way to do that is to compensate for a loss of revenue from the lower classes who can't afford those taxes by making the wealthy who can afford them pay more
. [The other MAJOR fallacy of your argument.  As I point out in the reference to the other thread, raising taxes on the wealthy would likely have the opposite effect of lowering them.  The effect of lowering rates - across the board to include the wealthy has had the effect of BOTH 1) increasing tax revenues, and 2) increasing the share of the wealthy in those revenues.  I have the numbers to back that up.  It's not a zero sum game.  A growing economy provides a multiplier effect by broadening the tax base.  It also broadens the number of upwardly mobile taxpayers, meaning an even greater percentage of the burden is paid by the rich.  (Which is what I thought you wanted)]

There isn't a shred of specificity in your posts.  You claim they are not paying there fair share.  "Fair share" is undefined in your argument.  Therefore asking them to pay more is irrational because you can't even define what you want. 

Then you come up with this nugget:
 

I already explained the rational behind "because they can afford to", but I'll summarize for you once again:

Every tax dollar paid by someone who is incredibly wealthy can represent one less tax dollar which must be paid by someone who can't even afford to pay their heating bill....
  [At what point does someone owe taxes and have a stake?  When is it fair?  You appear to be advocating that the poor pay zero tax because the wealthy can "afford to pay it for them".  Okay, at what point do someone begin to pay?  If your goal is to take that dollar from the rich, how do you know that if you raise their tax rates that you'll actually get that dollar you want?  Answer:  you DON'T know.  Escpecially since evidence suggests lowering those rates will take more dollars from them.  Again you refuse to address this]

This is the only post in this thread where you come anywhere near answering the question (basically by refusing to totally answer it, but again leave out the important aspect of human behavior):
 

I'm driven entirely by logic, not by emotion. It makes LOGICAL sense that those who earn more should pay more.  [I actually agree with this - except that this is already the case - as tec pointed out.]

It would take a rather extensive fiscal and economic analysis to determine exactly what those numbers should be[I agree with this too - gasp - however it avoids the question.  A fairly simple analysis would be to look at history and find out when our best growth rates have occurred, determine our tax revenue as percentage of GDP and set that as a target.  Look at the what the percentage of the burden paid by the wealthy is (hint: you'll see that it is higher when their rates are lower and the GDP is high.  If you set your target somewhere near there, that's probably about the most you're going to be able to get from the wealthy without having the human reaction factor in and begin to reduce government revenue due to their investment (and wealth) going elsewhere] 

However, my suggestion is to get rid of loop holes, deductions, and other nonsense in the tax code and turn it into straight line system based upon income brackets, i.e. if you make between $100,000 and $200,000 you pay X percentage, and there is no way for you to reduce this amount or get out of it, that's simply what you pay, period. The percentages would obviously increase as you get into higher income brackets, with the percentage for the very highest being correspondingly high, and the percentage being close to zero for those who make, say, less than $20,000 each year.  [This is a nice theory but it does ignore the consequences of human reaction to variables - like how much wealth gets generated (or not generated) based on opportunities risk versus return.  It also does not address the likelyhood that 1) The burden of tax revenues may shift AWAY from the rich (see the percentages paid by income levels before the Coolidge/Harding and Kennedy tax cuts and that 2) because of the possibility of reduced GDP government revenues would likely fall].
 



For someone who claims the "won" a debate you have given far less concrete answers than a simpleton inferior intellect like me.  Tec and I are the ONLY ones in this thread to bring up anything concrete.  It is you who has asserted that the wealthy don't pay their share.  Yet it is you who steadfastly  refused to define what that even means.  It is you who has ignored what your own proposals will likely do if they were even enacted.
 

Oh and BTW, you haven't stated anything about your background and knowledge (despite claiming you have stated facts about your background and knowledge) - only that you have knowledge.  You have also inferred that others need economic education or can't keep up with you in debates.  

 

11/30/2012 3:28 PM (edited)
Over and over and over, you claim to have given direct answers.  I have read this thread over many times so telling me to read it again doesn't make your answers any more logical. 

The answers are there, and they were logical to begin with. You can choose to address them or ignore them, but you cannot claim they do not exist.
[You don't define how MUCH more]

It isn't a precise amount, which is something I have stated several times. More data and research would need to be done to come anywhere close to determining a precise amount, and I have neither the time nor the desire to do that right now.
You don't mention whether or not tax revenues and share of the burden will change and in what direction

Tax revenues would remain relatively unchanged. The idea is that every tax dollar paid by the wealthy replaces a tax dollar the poor or middle class have to pay so that revenues remain relatively constant.
This is one of the many errors in your argument.  Trying to hit that "percentage-wise" number does not correlate to increasing share of the burden for the rich.


If you pay a higher percentage on the portion of your income above X dollars, then you pay a higher total percentage of your income than someone who makes less than X overall. You simply have to do the relatively simple calculations to figure out the weighted average and you can know what you pay and see that it is more overall. I'm not going to give a sample problem using weighted averages - you can look that up on your own if you need to do so (judging by other things you say, you probably don't).
 

The effect of lowering rates - across the board to include the wealthy has had the effect of BOTH 1) increasing tax revenues, and 2) increasing the share of the wealthy in those revenues.


Your statement may be true on the surface, but by digging deeper, we can see its flaws. Lowering rates for everyone including the wealthy benefits the wealthy the most. Again, this is simple mathematics. If the wealthy pay more to begin with, they stand to save more when rates are lowered (in terms of total dollars). You can't get around the math on that. Now, you can argue that this is perfectly acceptable in your view, but you can't say it doesn't work that way as the math says it does.

Following that, if the wealthy are saving more money, there are very few scenarios in which they could also be paying a larger share of the total money. The math would have to work out correctly such that a the wealthy's total dollars paid goes down and yet their percentage share of dollars paid rises within the set of those who pay taxes. You cannot argue that this would always occur unless the tax code is specifically designed to make certain that is the case. If the tax codes does that, then I concede lowering taxes across the board would probably do as you suggest.
 

A growing economy provides a multiplier effect by broadening the tax base.  It also broadens the number of upwardly mobile taxpayers, meaning an even greater percentage of the burden is paid by the rich. 

The economy will not grow unless consumer spending rises. The way things function right now is the middle class drives consumer spending (and therefore the economy). This is because the lower classes do not have the disposable income to spend and the wealthy stop spending once they reach a certain point and begin to invest instead (and the positive effect on the economy is exponentially less from investing than from consumer spending). 

Following that, there are two ways to boost the economy.

First, you can increase the number of people who are middle class. I suggested giving employers incentives to provide more people with full time jobs with benefits featuring family sustaining wages, which are the hallmark of the middle class.

Second, you can encourage the wealthy to spend more (either as direct consumers themselves or on efforts that will trickle down to consumer spending). I suggested giving the wealthy incentives that would discourage investing and other incentives to spend.

Increasing the total number of wealthy individuals may increase total tax dollars paid by the wealthy, but it doesn't increase how much each wealthy individual pays. I do, however, acknowledge your point that more wealthy individuals would broaden the tax base.
 

You appear to be advocating that the poor pay zero tax because the wealthy can "afford to pay it for them".  Okay, at what point do someone begin to pay?


Again, it would take more data and research to determine an exact dollar figure.

For the sake of argument, let's say those who make below X dollars per year do not pay any income tax (and it should be much higher than it is now), with the tax dollars they pay under our current system being shouldered by the wealthy. 

My point is that a wealthy individual whose annual income is let's say 100X will not be burdened at all if they take on, say .1X dollars in taxes (the ten percent income tax the poor individual now pays in this hypothetical). That would amount to 1/1000 of their annual income, or .001 percent.

Now, I know there are far more poor people than there are wealthy individuals. Still, let's assume every wealthy individual paid for the tax burden of 10 poor people, meaning they now pay X more in taxes. That's still just one percent of their total income in increased taxes, while it would represent an entire year's wages for the poor person.
 

If you set your target somewhere near there, that's probably about the most you're going to be able to get from the wealthy without having the human reaction factor in and begin to reduce government revenue due to their investment (and wealth) going elsewhere]


Now we're getting somewhere, because I agree with you. Yes, I said I agree with you on this.

I simply think the government needs to either give strong incentives for people not to allow their money to go elsewhere or find ways to absolutely prevent it from happening. Either encourage or if necessary legally restrict those who want to invest offshore from doing so. If absolutely necessary, hand out stiff prison sentences to those who break the laws by illegally investing outside the U.S. 

This would serve to artificially prevent tax evasion tactics such as this, and probably should already be in place.
This is a nice theory but it does ignore the consequences of human reaction to variables - like how much wealth gets generated (or not generated) based on opportunities risk versus return.


Again, I think the proper incentives need to be put into place to restrict the ability of human reaction to affect the outcome. That's why most laws exist - to restrict human reaction so society can function. I am in favor of more restriction on the ways the wealthy (or I suppose anyone for that matter) can invest their money.


Also, I would like to apologize if I have offended anyone during the course of my postings here in this thread. I understand I often come across more harshly than I intend, and if I have done so, then I am sorry.

12/5/2012 8:30 AM
Typical. I provide the information asked for and get no response. This is one of the main reasons it is impossible to have even a decent debate over issues with a lot of people - if they can't launch personal attacks or use logical fallacies to back up their arguments, they're done with the debate and will simply ignore you.
12/5/2012 8:41 AM
Now you're just being an attention whore.

We let you have the last word.  That wasn't enough?
12/5/2012 10:37 AM
Posted by bistiza on 12/5/2012 8:30:00 AM (view original):
Typical. I provide the information asked for and get no response. This is one of the main reasons it is impossible to have even a decent debate over issues with a lot of people - if they can't launch personal attacks or use logical fallacies to back up their arguments, they're done with the debate and will simply ignore you.
if they can't launch personal attacks or use logical fallacies to back up their arguments, they're done with the debate and will simply ignore you.
 
^^^^^^

Logical fallacy...

You have no idea why someone decides not post in a thread (or even if they're "done" in the first place).  And there you are doing the very thing you constantly falsely accuse others of doing:  making false assumptions.

12/5/2012 10:46 AM
I started to "simply ignore you" because I wasn't reading your long-winded replies anyway.   Blocking you shortened the page length. 
12/5/2012 11:49 AM
We let you have the last word.  That wasn't enough?

People accuse me of not providing information, then when I do, they ignore it. Again, how convenient for them. When your argument can't hold water against mine, just say I didn't provide information. When that fails, bow out without a word.

I don't want the last word. I want either a legitimate response to the information or an admission you are bowing out because you have no further argument. Anything else means you just bowed out since you have no ability to argue and were just too proud to admit you lost.
You have no idea why someone decides not post in a thread (or even if they're "done" in the first place).  And there you are doing the very thing you constantly falsely accuse others of doing:  making false assumptions.

No, I'm not assuming anything. I simply stated the obvious, which is that a response has not been made and my information was ignored.
I started to "simply ignore you" because I wasn't reading your long-winded replies anyway.   Blocking you shortened the page length.
I ceased to care about your ideas of what constitutes "long-winded" quite some time ago. Read or don't read what you want. I don't care.

12/5/2012 12:03 PM
I can't speak for anybody else, but I'll tell you why I bowed out of the discussion.

You're arrogant, and refuse to listen to or respect any opinion or argument that differs from yours.  You present your unsubstantiated arguments as self-evident, irrefutable fact.  When challenged on those arguments for specific details to back up your arguments, you respond that specific answers/data/detail is not currently available because your theories have never been implemented correctly, but if they were, then the truth and accuracy of your statements/theories/arguments would be obvious to all.  Anybody who doesn't understand that is basically uneducated in economics and incapable of participating in intelligent discussion with you.

I guess I've just accepted my inferiority to your supreme knowledge, and deem myself unworthy of further discussion with you.
12/5/2012 12:23 PM
He's also ridiculously long-winded.    If I wanted "expert" opinions on economic issues, I'd do my research on another website.  And I'd allow them to be long-winded.   I have no interest in some dipshit on this particular site claiming to be all-knowing while refusing to present his credentials.
12/5/2012 1:08 PM
You're arrogant, and refuse to listen to or respect any opinion or argument that differs from yours.

I've stated several times I am not arrogant in the least. That is an assumption you are making incorrectly, based upon some idea in your own head. I  believe you WANT me to be arrogant because it makes it easier for you to attack me and even now easier to give up on the argument.  So you can make believe I'm arrogant if you want to justify your lack of ability to argue your own position, but that doesn't make it true.

Clearly I have listened to the opinions of others. I've simply argued my own opinion quite successfully. Apparently I'm not allowed to do that lest I be called arrogant and be accused of not respecting others, which is ridiculous.
You present your unsubstantiated arguments as self-evident, irrefutable fact.
If what I have to say is not self evident or irrefutable, then by all means, attempt to refute it. You haven't been able to do so thus far, and neither has anyone else. Now you're saying you aren't even willing to try. That sounds like you're waving the white flag but just don't want to say so explicitly.
When challenged on those arguments for specific details to back up your arguments, you respond that specific answers/data/detail is not currently available because your theories have never been implemented correctly, but if they were, then the truth and accuracy of your statements/theories/arguments would be obvious to all.
 
No. I gave information and examples on how each part of the system would work and how it would all come together. Just because you refused to accept it doesn't mean it wasn't provided.
Anybody who doesn't understand that is basically uneducated in economics and incapable of participating in intelligent discussion with you.
No. If you don't understand something, you can easily do research or even *gasp* ask for clarification or information. If you're unwilling or unable to do that, then say as much and bow out without trying to argue from ignorance. Then when you get called out for arguing from ignorance, suddenly the person calling you out must be arrogant for calling the situation as it is, and that's not true. Educate yourself on something before you try to argue with someone who has already done so. At least do some cursory internet research.
I guess I've just accepted my inferiority to your supreme knowledge, and deem myself unworthy of further discussion with you.
No. What you've done is made a multitude of incorrect assumptions and jumped to some crazy conclusions, some of which are in this sentence right here.

I've never said anything which indicates I believe you are inferior to my knowledge. I have suggested you should learn a bit more about the topic before you try to debate it with someone (me) who is well versed in it, but that in no way means what you seem to be suggesting over and over again.

Stop playing yourself as some kind of martyr who is going up against an arrogant tyrant and argue your real position or admit you can't and/or won't and then end your participation in this discussion.
If I wanted "expert" opinions on economic issues, I'd do my research on another website.  And I'd allow them to be long-winded.   I have no interest in some dipshit on this particular site claiming to be all-knowing while refusing to present his credentials.

First, I don't need to present you with any credentials. I have nothing to prove to you about who I am or what I know.

Second, if you have no interest in it, then don't read the thread and don't respond. It's that simple. Stop your whining and complaining and go away if you don't want to deal with it.
12/5/2012 1:35 PM
Someone please tell me that he just wrote a book explaining how he's not long-winded. 
12/5/2012 2:04 PM
Someone please tell me that he just wrote a book explaining how he's not long-winded.

Please stop whining and complaining about who says what or how "long-winded" you think they are. If you don't like it, don't read it and don't respond.
12/5/2012 2:27 PM
"I've stated several times I am not arrogant in the least. That is an assumption you are making incorrectly, based upon some idea in your own head."

From your post of 11/26/2012, 2:59PM:

"Honestly though I understand how frustrating it is for people to disagree with me on this type of subject and actually argue their points because this is an area where I excel. You think you know what's right in your opinion, and you're entitled to have your own opinion , but it's not going to be easy to argue with someone who has far greater knowledge and experience than you do in that area."

That's not arrogant?

"I've never said anything which indicates I believe you are inferior to my knowledge."

Later, in the same post quoted above:

"So if you can't effectively argue your opinion against someone whose knowledge and experience makes them an expert compared to you . . . "

"Stop playing yourself as some kind of martyr who is going up against an arrogant tyrant and argue your real position or admit you can't and/or won't and then end your participation in this discussion."

I've already ended my participation in this discussion.  Please refer to my post from 12:05PM today.

You also ended your participation in this discussion according to your post from 11/29/2012, 3:59PM:

"I'm done here. It's pointless trying to have any semblance of a real debate with someone who acts like they are five years old."

Yet you resurrect this thread after it had been dormant for five days, looking to continue your "debate" against a thread full of five year olds.

You're a tool.
12/5/2012 2:50 PM
If you've had to state several times that you're not arrogant in the least you're probably wrong.  That should be self-evident, but somehow you're missing it.
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