The Problem With Taxing the Rich

Silvanus

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Trade wars do hurt. But what else can (should?) we do about things like China's currency manipulation?
Exclude them from federal contracts, and leverage soft power. Negotiate treaties if it becomes a major issue.

But "currency manipulation" is a bit of a nebulous term. Governments influence the value of currency all the time; doing so was the very basis of monetarism in the 80's, under Thatcher and Reagan. Whenever a government engages in quantitative easing, it's intervening in the value of currency. To some degree it's an accepted power for a domestic government to have.

So where's the cut-off, for when this becomes harmful? It's up to debate. But the power of a government to influence currency value is not disputed. Which makes launching international trade wars around it a morally-dubious thing to do. You can't point to any rules broken, because they didn't break any rules; they just did something your current government didn't like much. How do you frame that in a diplomatic setting?

Whatever the case, if your specific concern is the wellbeing of American workers, you absolutely don't pursue a course of action which hurts American workers far more. And that is precisely what Trump did.
 
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Gergar12

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I feel like we need to talk about automation. Because I look around on Reddit, and the only people talking about this are people who are in favor of it. Well, we need to compete with China, it's always been there, and people need to adapt. Adapt how?!?!! Do we all become programmers, this is insane.

We are about to lose millions of white-collar, and blue-collar jobs like trucking, and even those neoliberal accountant jobs, and our solution to this is basically let's wing it, and see what happens. The answer I am hearing is it's great mostly for people who are insulated from this.

Kyle Kulinski of Secular talk mentions giving people a robot which is great until the possible AI Singularity but that's too far out anyway. Some people like Yang want UBI, but I doubt the companies will allow it to happen, and if they do it will be too low. NI or negative income taxes is better but needs a giant bureaucracy.

I feel like progressives are always one step behind tech companies, banks, and investors, and generally neoliberals. We are reactive while they are proactive.
 

Elijin

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Why would companies oppose UBI? Governments, sure. But companies? A UBI mobiles the entire population to have spending power, unless it's done as stamps or some other form of non-currency. UBI is a win for companies who are unconcerned about losing employees, which in this example they already did that too automation.
 

Seanchaidh

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Why would companies oppose UBI? Governments, sure. But companies? A UBI mobiles the entire population to have spending power, unless it's done as stamps or some other form of non-currency. UBI is a win for companies who are unconcerned about losing employees, which in this example they already did that too automation.
Why would the owners of companies want to have themselves taxed, or their fortunes devalued due to inflation, just to provide a market for goods that they may or may not be the ones to satisfy? Why not instead manage the decline of the population while retaining their vast wealth?
 

Agema

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I feel like progressives are always one step behind tech companies, banks, and investors, and generally neoliberals. We are reactive while they are proactive.
I think this is the way it has to be.

Society is full of people driving forward and innovating in their own way. In order to get ahead of them (from the central position of someone wanting an overall regulation of society), one would effectively need to understand the end point of their innovations which is all but impossible, or to throttle innovation which is both controlling and liable to induce stagnation.

I feel like we need to talk about automation. Because I look around on Reddit, and the only people talking about this are people who are in favor of it. Well, we need to compete with China, it's always been there, and people need to adapt. Adapt how?!?!! Do we all become programmers, this is insane.
The assumption must be that as jobs are lost, creativity finds new ways to employ them. Maybe we all need to become Instagram influencers. Nevertheless, I share a concern that as simple jobs are increasingly taken over by automation, necessarily the people who will be most threatened are low skill workers (although as many may note, automation is beginning to eat into higher skill jobs, too).

It's an interesting question where this ends up. Let's say automation replaces the jobs of 20% of the population, and it turns out that either we can't create new jobs, or the jobs are more degrading and provide workers with less dignity. UBI might salve some of the problems of immediate harship, but living on handouts is a deeply unsatisfying way to live, never mind being constantly attacked as worthless welfare leeches. The end result is likely to be societal disorder.
 

Silvanus

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The assumption must be that as jobs are lost, creativity finds new ways to employ them.
In the short and medium term, sure. But in the long-term we could also decouple the notion of basic income from employment.

If our system is one which requires a huge proportion of people to work, and there simply isn't that much work that needs to be done (in the future, of course), then something needs to be rethought. Jobs should exist as a response to demand; they shouldn't just exist because we need to put people somewhere.
 

Agema

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If our system is one which requires a huge proportion of people to work, and there simply isn't that much work that needs to be done (in the future, of course), then something needs to be rethought. Jobs should exist as a response to demand; they shouldn't just exist because we need to put people somewhere.
Fundamentally, work is good for people.

I don't necessarily mean work to mean "salaried employment", but the simple satisfaction of going out there and doing something productive.

Obvious stuff we could do is go down to three or four day working weeks.
 

Trunkage

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Fundamentally, work is good for people.

I don't necessarily mean work to mean "salaried employment", but the simple satisfaction of going out there and doing something productive.

Obvious stuff we could do is go down to three or four day working weeks.
I would also say that a lot the problem is the mandatory-ness of it all. If I could choose my 40 hrs. Or where. Or just work til a project is done (this one isn't possible for me.) Even being able to choose what I'm allowed to do would be nice
 

Silvanus

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Fundamentally, work is good for people.

I don't necessarily mean work to mean "salaried employment", but the simple satisfaction of going out there and doing something productive.
I can see that. Impetus to meet people, contribute, feel valued etc is all good psychologically. But surely we can find a way to fulfil these basic human needs without obligatory labour.

Obvious stuff we could do is go down to three or four day working weeks.
Absolutely. As well as the increased productivity during the time one is actually at work.
 

Agema

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I would also say that a lot the problem is the mandatory-ness of it all. If I could choose my 40 hrs. Or where. Or just work til a project is done (this one isn't possible for me.) Even being able to choose what I'm allowed to do would be nice
I'd love the idea of going down to four days a week. If I did, maybe then I would only have to work 5 days a week.

Gotta love my contract: I'm paid on the notion I do 37.5 hours a week, but I'm required to work as many hours as it takes to get my job done. Unsurprisingly, my workload is not reasonably doable in 37.5h a week. My employer does have an overtime system, except that it's so hilariously absurd no staff are ever at risk of being able to claim it.
 

Gergar12

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I think this is the way it has to be.

Society is full of people driving forward and innovating in their own way. In order to get ahead of them (from the central position of someone wanting an overall regulation of society), one would effectively need to understand the end point of their innovations which is all but impossible, or to throttle innovation which is both controlling and liable to induce stagnation.



The assumption must be that as jobs are lost, creativity finds new ways to employ them. Maybe we all need to become Instagram influencers. Nevertheless, I share a concern that as simple jobs are increasingly taken over by automation, necessarily the people who will be most threatened are low skill workers (although as many may note, automation is beginning to eat into higher skill jobs, too).

It's an interesting question where this ends up. Let's say automation replaces the jobs of 20% of the population, and it turns out that either we can't create new jobs, or the jobs are more degrading and provide workers with less dignity. UBI might salve some of the problems of immediate harship, but living on handouts is a deeply unsatisfying way to live, never mind being constantly attacked as worthless welfare leeches. The end result is likely to be societal disorder.
If we are innovating towards a world where the rich, and the tech bros own everything, no thanks. I would rather live in a less economically dynamic world or do the German model than let Silicon Valley rule everything. Because people kept saying Hispanics will come for your job, even China, and India coming for your job isn't true.

It's the tech bros in Silicon Valley that steal your job, it's fellow Americans who do it. It's people who major in supply chain management, financiers, and the American Political establishment. we could have easily been like Germany where there are unions, and people on corporate boards who have unions, and sell high-quality products.

The same people who automate, and sold your assembly job to China, and are about to sell your service job to India, and Vietnam, and possibly other countries are the same people who then want to automate the jobs of everyone in the world.

I went to Dayton, and Cleveland Ohio, and what do you see... dead factories, and mills everywhere, shops closed, a dead economic area with no growth. It's easy to point at one, or two foreign countries it's harder to point at someone from your own race, or in your own country.

I am not saying we need to have no automation and free trade, but we need to have limits. Most Gamers who stream YouTubers, and Youtubers, in general, made min wage., and what about the people who aren't good-looking or are introverts. Fuck them right. No jobs for those people.
 

Fieldy409

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Let the rich leave. If their goods or services were needed and there's money to be made another will fill their shoes. If they aren't making money at all, even less money after a tax, well somethings wrong with the tax if its destroyed profitability, but often it wont, just slightly reduce profitability.

If they are just physically leaving but leave their business operations going? I mean you haven't really lost that much in tax then right, just the cost of their food and mansion?
 
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