(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-11 09:54 pm (UTC)
zesty_pinto: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zesty_pinto
The belief that we're all either lazy or inconvenienced billionaires is what helps these folks get away with trash like this.

God bless this Reagan era garbage!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-16 12:59 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
Hm. You may not realize this, but a lot of talk about tax and spending is used to gin up racial resentment. It's not "OMG, I'll have to pay a 39.6% tax rate when I'm pulling down hundreds of thousands of dollars a year!" but "and the government spends ALL THAT MONEY to help the unworthy poor!"

Income inequality is chalked up to "they're smarter and work harder!" which is frequently untrue. But you are right - a lot of this does come from Reagan era tax policy. Reagan made it so that each person hired ended up costing an employer far more money An increase in the tax rates would make that cost lower - though today, it would be assumed that the tax rate hike would be temporary.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-16 01:27 am (UTC)
zesty_pinto: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zesty_pinto
I totally believe you. The guys on top shave the cream from the top to put the rest of the profits into paying the stock investors, and when there's no money for bonuses, they blame someone else aside from the people who perpetuate this system. Since the racial divide is getting smaller (albeit still godawful), everyone else is fighting for what fewer positions can pay for a family and kids. It's freaking ridiculous. It's no wonder unions are given such hated status when they're holding out on one of the few places where Joe Lunchpail can still make money for doing a regular job.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-11 11:24 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Yeesh... are you sure society isn't being run by vampires?!

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-08-11 11:38 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Yeah, that figures... one way or another. Either living the rich life stunts their emotional growth if they're born into it, or it takes being a vampire to claw their way up to being in the upper 0.1%

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-08-11 11:48 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
There's a few that buck the trend, but yeah, not surprised.

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-08-12 04:02 pm (UTC)
thewayne: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thewayne
Excellent way of putting it. I think everyone has a certain amount of rectal haberdashery inherent, it's a question of how well they control it. The more power/money they have, the more they can let it fly. Witness how our Beloved Supreme Leader gets away with reneging on contracts for construction of his properties or paying overtime with his staff.

On Rachel Maddow last night, her A Block talked about a profit-sharing agreement that he entered in to with the City of New York for a tax abatement for him to take over and refurb an old hotel property. One year the City was expecting a tax payment under the plan of $3.x million, they got a check for $6xx thousand. The investigation took years, but showed that he was keeping two sets of books solely to maximize his take and to screw his contract partners, the City of New York.

Rectal haberdashery.

Personally...

Date: 2017-08-16 01:01 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
...I think "psychic" lets many of them off too easily. (Though this may depend on one's point of view, and one's thoughts about psychic vampirism.)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-25 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] cissa
Definitely economic vampires.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-12 12:20 am (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
I remember reading somewhere (unfortunately, I forget the source) that the reason many staunch Republicans idolize Reagan is that he was president during what they remember as the last era of prosperity... and that the reason that's the last era of prosperity is that Reagan was largely responsible for dismantling the social infrastructure that gave us that security:

It was during the Reagan presidency when Tax Cuts went to the wealthiest people, when the banks and other corporations got deregulated, and all the unions got busted.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-12 10:30 pm (UTC)
conuly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] conuly
Yeah, well, it's hardly our fault if they can't see a clear causal relationship there.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-13 01:10 am (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
No.

But it is Alice-through-the-looking-glass levels of weird that the Party leaders who most devoutly pay homage to Reagan as a Great Leader are turning a blind eye to Trump colluding with a former member of the KGB in order to get elected.

I'm surprised there hasn't been an uptick in earthquakes since Inauguration Day, 'cause Reagan must be rolling in his grave something fierce.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-13 01:22 am (UTC)
conuly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] conuly
Have you ever read The Authoritarians?

It looks weird when you put it that way, but when you consider the RWA values (such as they are) it's... not.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-13 10:27 am (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
I'm familiar with the basics of authoritarianism, but I've not read that specific book about it.

And yes, when I look at America's Right Wing, I can see that's what they are, and that is what their motivations have always been.

But it's still like stepping through the looking glass because I lived through the Reagan era, and the absolute terror of Mutually Assured Destruction as the backbone of our foreign policy (and the Iran Contra affair, and the AIDS die-ins, and the defeat of the E.R.A). And now, it's like all of those memories are just a figment of my imagination.

And these senators and congressmen -- the senior members of those bodies, at least -- who also through that time, btw, are just carrying on with straight faces and placid indifference with their support of their leader and party above all else.

And even the Democrats, "learning their lesson from Reagan's election" have drifted toward the Right.

It's just so frustrating... like trying to sweep fog into a bucket.
Edited (fixed typo) Date: 2017-08-13 10:28 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-13 02:56 pm (UTC)
conuly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] conuly
It's free to read: https://theauthoritarians.org/options-for-getting-the-book/

And even the Democrats, "learning their lesson from Reagan's election" have drifted toward the Right.

Yeah, that's infuriating.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-13 03:04 pm (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
Thanks for the link!

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-08-13 08:31 am (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
My aide is a Trump voter... so I at least know a small sample up close and personal.
> __ <

And the frustrating thing for me is that she, while intelligent on an intellectual level, she also suffers from extreme confirmation bias. If a source of information tells her what she wants to hear (such as Cholesterol is actually good for you), she's very good at dismissing critical questions about that source (okay, is this information coming from the pork lard and tallow federation?).

Meanwhile, she'll openly smirk at reports coming from NPR which are playing when she gets me up in the morning.

And also, because she gets her news from Brietbart and Fox, and their reporting is... internally consistent, she never seems to catch the discrepancies between their reporting and reality (during the Bush years, for example, from the news she was listening to, the Iraq war was a success).

And from her own perspective, she is being motivated by facts. And she considers herself well-rounded because she has both liberals and conservatives on her Facebook feed. She just dismisses what the liberals say because she doesn't trust their sources of information.

I've stopped trying to debate these points with her because it's like trying to run up a down escalator...

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-08-13 10:10 am (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
Something being on the news doesn't make it a fact.

This is true. However, my aide is just as adept at discounting evidence from her own experience as an outlier and/or fluke, if it doesn't fit her worldview.

"It's been getting hotter consistently over the last few years."

"But I remember days hotter than this from when I was a kid, too. This is nothing different!"

"But when I moved here (21 years ago), street flooding only happened during heavy storms; now, there are flood warnings during perfectly clear weather, if the wind is coming onshore during spring tide."

"Well, I've lived here all my life, and there have always been floods."

*rinse, repeat*

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-08-13 10:29 am (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
:-/

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-16 01:07 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
Pedantic point of no real value:
Once it was said that if so-and-so honored deceased person knew of X_Issue, they would turn over in their grave - i.e., even though they're *DEAD*, they'd turn their back on X_Issue in disgust.

With hyperbole, the energy of said turning grew and now, there's a sense that people who are disgusted by something turn into zombie-tops. No, not zombies who take the role of "top" in certain interactions, some of those are fine people - I mean, zombies. I mean the spinning kind. And, of course, the continuity, speed, and sheer violence of the motion has grown.

I'm sure there are many *extremely* frustrated linguists who have turned over in their graves and scandalized by how no one notices that they're doing it *right*.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-12 03:29 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
«Remarkably, President Trump and the Republican leaders in Congress are trying to go in the other direction. They spent months trying to take away health insurance from millions of middle-class and poor families. Their initial tax-reform plans would reduce taxes for the rich much more than for everyone else. And they want to cut spending on schools, even though education is the single best way to improve middle-class living standards over the long term.

Most Americans would look at these charts and conclude that inequality is out of control. The president, on the other hand, seems to think that inequality isn’t big enough.»

T(yrannosaurus) Rump want yooooge inequality, in his favor of course.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-12 03:29 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
It's so frustrating to see this data, and yet when I talk to people face to face, they don't believe it. It didn't come from an Approved News Source(tm) and in one (stinking) case, the relative would rather go back to the 50s... not because inequality was lower then, but for all the other (stinking) reasons.

I don't know how to cross that gap.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-12 03:58 pm (UTC)
thewayne: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thewayne
In the mid '80s, not long after I entered the work force, I was working for an actuarial/pension plan company. Remember that this is shortly after the introduction of the IBM PC. Initially I was working for a computer company that sold the pension company the word processing software. The pension company needed a master contract document set up so they could churn out pension contracts quickly. They didn't have anyone on-staff to do it, so I moonlighted for them and they later hired me full-time.

At that time, the standard for pensions was defined benefit. Your employer was required by contract to put a certain amount of your salary, matched by them, in to a retirement account. That account would be invested responsibly, and when you retired you'd have a decent annuity. A little later a new type of plan came along: defined contribution. These were more insidious. Superficially, they looked about the same: the employer contributed to your retirement account, but in this case the amount specified was not defined in the contract: the contribution was based on profits. I had studied enough accounting to know that it isn't difficult for companies to adjust the books to vary how profitable a company appears to be. So when it comes time to make the contributions to the company's pension funds: "Oh, we weren't very profitable this year, so the contributions won't be very much." Meanwhile, the C-level are raking in bonuses and their pensions are defined benefit plans and vesting faster. (Typical vesting was Sum of 80: you're 100% vested and can retire when years of service to the company plus your age = 80. But if you start working for the company at age 70 and work for 5 years, you'll be vested but won't have much in your fund.)

Soon the company was rolling in business as companies started converting their defined benefit plans to defined contribution. Now plans are all 401(k), where it's in the employee's control, meaning if you don't invest enough, it's all on your head if you have a crappy retirement.

I saw these changes as a way to screw employees and let companies in the form of the owners/executives get richer. And that sees to be about when this nonsense really started accelerating. I also noticed the beginning of the destruction of the education system back then, though it might have started earlier. The one thing that I didn't notice the article that you linked mentioning is that wealth inequality is now beyond that level that launched the French Revolution.

To semi-quote Young Frankenstein, A mob is an ugly thing.... and I think it's high time we had one!

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-08-12 10:32 pm (UTC)
conuly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] conuly
It's starting. It just hasn't gotten that far yet. Be patient. I've already seen one report of an executive who fired a whole factory of people and they mobbed up to attack him. His bodyguards got him out, but his clothing was shredded. That's a very near miss.

Do you have a link? I'd love to read it.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-16 01:12 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
One huge reason for the change was the change in the tax code. When the top rate was 70%, well, the top earners could create a plan where they get more than 30% of the contributions. That makes it a net *benefit*. Rather than take the money home, and pay 70% taxes on it, they have to sock it away for a few years, but it's untaxed until it's given back, and, it can grow tax free.

When the top tax rate became 40%, there was literally twice the incentive to take the money home, and there was no way to game the system so that you got more than *60* percent of the benefits. So defined benefit plans went the way of the dodo.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-25 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] cissa
Thanks for posting this- it's the clearest article I've seen so far.

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