The Problem With Taxing the Rich

XsjadoBlayde

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We'll see. He's still doing things like justifying slavery and genocide in China. Example:
Oh come on, with all due respect, since when have right-wingers given a single solitary fuck about Muslim safety? That is a uniquely sordid take on literal virtue signalling if ever I seen one.
 
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Seanchaidh

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We'll see. He's still doing things like justifying slavery and genocide in China. Example:
weird to care about what's happening in China when there's plenty of awful shit happening in your own country.
 

Silvanus

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I don't recall ever writing that only Trump, by himself, with no one else, deserves 100% of the credit for the economy we got rather than the one they warned us about.
OK, but you consistently credited Trump for the great performance, and you don't do the same for Obama, under whom the same trend was clearly in evidence. You're being wildly inconsistent.


Did Trump exacerbate class division? I thought, through rising wages and jobs, those division were closing for the first time in 50 years.
The division is not closing; it's decidedly growing. In 2018, the wealthiest 20% of Americans had more money than the remaining 80% combined. The top 0.1% of earners as a group, in 2018, earned more than nine times as much as the entirety of the bottom 90%.

This trend isn't new, either, of course: inequality has been growing in the US for decades, under both Democrats and Republicans. But the growth in inequality was at its highest peak under Trump. Between 1990 and 2015, the gap between the highest and lowest income brackets grew by an average of 7% annually; under Trump, it grew by 9% annually.

Trump's most prominent economic initiative was the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Trump talked up the huge cut in corporation tax, claiming that it would also benefit employees; research has shown that benefitting companies simply didn't increase wages, and that workers scarcely benefitted at all. Companies merely increased their margins and shareholders made more money.

It also cut taxes for individuals. But the Tax Policy Centre estimates that the cuts benefit those in the lowest 60% by less than $1,000... and benefit those in the top 1% by $51,000 on average. So, the Act further exacerbates the difference in earnings, and primarily benefits the exceptionally wealthy and those who derive their income from corporate profit (major shareholders).
 

gorfias

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No he's contextualizing, here he's not cut on the "right moment":

He clearly says afterwards there will be repercussions...
Also your source says this: “Joe Biden just said the Uyghur genocide is just a Chinese cultural norm and reminded Americans that China has been victimized by the West in the past These are direct CCP propaganda lines,”
Nononono, Biden said "the outer world" not "the west". You should really stop reading these extremely biased sources. And what he did is remind Americans of the Chinese Rationale behind these actions, his words clearly show he does not consider that proper justification.
Your sources are clearly trying to spin facts...
Thank you for the longer clip. I see a lot of dissembling in it. It sounds like he'll make the right noises, ie, there will be repercussions, while doing what his corporate owners want him doing which is to crush US independence and liberalism in favor of tyranny while hollowing out the US economy, etc. I say dissembling because he still makes apologetic language for tyranny in China.

Oh come on, with all due respect, since when have right-wingers given a single solitary fuck about Muslim safety? That is a uniquely sordid take on literal virtue signalling if ever I seen one.
It isn't right winger concern for Muslim safety but evidence that there is a globalist elite that would have US workers competing with slaves. This will be bad for US workers.
weird to care about what's happening in China when there's plenty of awful shit happening in your own country.
See above to XsjadoBlayde.

Again, you appear to be writing that the pre-covid economy wasn't that great. It appeared to be going in the right direction with record unemployment lows and rising wages for the first time since the Immigration and Naturalization act of 1965 kicked in. Democrats openly worried pre-covid if Trump was a shoo in for reelection in that economy.
 
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gorfias

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Making belligerent noises at China will have no effect either way.
And that's kind of what I'm writing about Biden. While rambling about slavery and genocide being a cultural things and then babbling that there will be repercussions, I think this is all talk. Biden will not engage in real market protection, IP theft, deal the Chinese currency manipulation, etc. He'll just sell out the US and have Hunter go collect billions in kickbacks from them. I hope I am wrong.
 

Silvanus

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Again, you appear to be writing that the pre-covid economy wasn't that great. It appeared to be going in the right direction with record unemployment lows and rising wages for the first time since the Immigration and Naturalization act of 1965 kicked in. Democrats openly worried pre-covid if Trump was a shoo in for reelection in that economy.
You haven't addressed a single damn thing I said.

Inequality was rising more rapidly under Trump than it was before, and his 2017 Act exacerbated the issue and further increased the discrepancy between the richest and poorest. The gap was at the highest it's ever been in 2018. This is how he exacerbated class division.

The growth in job numbers which occurred under Trump was already occurring under Obama, but you're solely crediting Trump for it.
 

gorfias

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You haven't addressed a single damn thing I said.

Inequality was rising more rapidly under Trump than it was before, and his 2017 Act exacerbated the issue and further increased the discrepancy between the richest and poorest. The gap was at the highest it's ever been in 2018. This is how he exacerbated class division.

The growth in job numbers which occurred under Trump was already occurring under Obama, but you're solely crediting Trump for it.
Where did I give him sole credit? That tax cut had to be passed by someone.
Reviewing your other assertion about class division.
EDIT: from what I'm reading, question.

The 1% go from a median income of $1 million a year to 10. 10 fold increase.
The bottom 99% go from a median income of $30k to $90k. 3 fold increase.

That is an increase in class division I suppose. But I don't see much happening for the top 1% here. Rich is rich. But going from $30K to $90K is a major life style change. Maybe reducing class division is the wrong term. I wouldn't want to be "eliminating poverty" to be the goal either. As we see human productivity skyrocket, we should aim a heck of a lot higher than that.
 
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Silvanus

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Where did I give him sole credit? That tax cut had to be passed by someone.
I didn't say you gave him sole credit. I said you gave him credit that you don't give to Obama. Which is quite obviously true from the way you talk about the two of them; you describe Obama's performance as "ok", and then consistently refer to how great Trump's performance was, when they both oversaw the same trend in job creation.

Reviewing your other assertion about class division.
EDIT: from what I'm reading, question.

The 1% go from a median income of $1 million a year to 10. 10 fold increase.
The bottom 99% go from a median income of $30k to $90k. 3 fold increase.
The vast, vast majority of that increase is among the highest 10%-or-so; still the exceedingly wealthy. That "3-fold increase" isn't evenly distributed among the 99%; it's concentrated almost entirely at the top, while the poorest get next-to-nothing.

Essentially: the median for "the 99%" is only that high because you're lumping people on 100k in with people on 20k, and calculating the median from that aggregate. Pretty much all the benefit is felt by the former.
 

Agema

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It's because of Olivier Blanchard who first outlined how governments shouldn't stare themselves blind on the national debt which have then gotten traction by former hedge fund manager Warren Mosler and his 'modern monetary theory' that theorizes the amount of debt doesn't matter only the cost of debt. Mosler also had contact with Rumsfeld. It's a school of thought that also wormed itself into the central banks since the covid crisis and one of the reasons why they are suppressing the interest rates so much.
Maybe, but I think it's more just political convenience.

The Republicans never cared that much when they ran up national debt in the 80s under Reagan with ill-advised tax cuts, they crucified Bush Snr. for trying to control the deficit, they sat idle whilst Bush Jnr. ran debt up even more with military spending sprees, and they were perfectly happy for Trump to pile even more national debt on when it was a perfect opportunity to pay it off. But I'm willing to bet you, the right wing media is going to be cranking out lots of articles about the debt very, very soon.
 

Agema

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Thank you for the longer clip. I see a lot of dissembling in it. It sounds like he'll make the right noises, ie, there will be repercussions, while doing what his corporate owners want him doing which is to crush US independence and liberalism in favor of tyranny while hollowing out the US economy, etc. I say dissembling because he still makes apologetic language for tyranny in China.
Again, what's the real complaint here? The USA spent decades making occasional tutting noises over Tibet, but mostly did nothing. Why are people who turned a blind eye to Tibet suddenly getting upset about the Uighurs?

What's happening to the Uighurs is certainly an abomination, but let's not pretend this supposed concern is anything but a manifestation of domestic politics. China is the new bad guy, so their sins need to be amplified for PR. And then after that the good old standby that Democrats are weak on defence, so they're going to be soft on China. It's all so... boringly formulaic.

Never mind that the argument goes out where we're supposed to believe that Biden wants to start wars for the military industrial complex, and then he gets hammered for not ramping up hostility and friction. Because that is the aim isn't it: set it up so he literally cannot do the right thing. If he dials down tensions he's a weakling, if he doesn't he's a warmonger embroiling the USA in those endless wars it's fashionable for everyone to complain about.

Finally, the USA can do precisely jack shit about how China treats the Uighurs, everyone just needs to accept that. China makes too much stuff the USA relies on.
 

Houseman

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China is the new bad guy, so their sins need to be amplified for PR.
It's nice to see that you understand the concept, but sad to see you don't see how this applies to Trump. It's like, you're so close.
 
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gorfias

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Again, what's the real complaint here? The USA spent decades making occasional tutting noises over Tibet, but mostly did nothing. Why are people who turned a blind eye to Tibet suddenly getting upset about the Uighurs?

What's happening to the Uighurs is certainly an abomination, but let's not pretend this supposed concern is anything but a manifestation of domestic politics. China is the new bad guy, so their sins need to be amplified for PR. And then after that the good old standby that Democrats are weak on defence, so they're going to be soft on China. It's all so... boringly formulaic.

Never mind that the argument goes out where we're supposed to believe that Biden wants to start wars for the military industrial complex, and then he gets hammered for not ramping up hostility and friction. Because that is the aim isn't it: set it up so he literally cannot do the right thing. If he dials down tensions he's a weakling, if he doesn't he's a warmonger embroiling the USA in those endless wars it's fashionable for everyone to complain about.

Finally, the USA can do precisely jack shit about how China treats the Uighurs, everyone just needs to accept that. China makes too much stuff the USA relies on.
But we can, like, arguably, Trump, understand that our trade deals with China are harmful to US workers. That we should not be making US workers compete with slaves in totalitarian hell that doesn't expend resources on diversity, HR, OSHA, etc. Again. We will see how Biden performs. We can hope he is not the sell out whore we worry that he is. May he surprise us.
 

Agema

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But we can, like, arguably, Trump, understand that our trade deals with China are harmful to US workers. That we should not be making US workers compete with slaves in totalitarian hell that doesn't expend resources on diversity, HR, OSHA, etc.
I think we all understand how global capitalism can disadvantage workers.

But Trump's not actually fixing anything. His trade deal can be scrutinised, and it's not bringing manufacturing jobs back to the USA. Trump's real obsession is the trade deficit, but attacking China doesn't resolve it: mostly it will inspire companies to switch their production to other developing world countries (India, Vietnam, etc.) because the target is China, not international trade itself. The biggest benefit the USA could get - and where it has potentially made some progress - is to compel China to open its economy up more to international trade so Americans can export and invest more in return. That's good for US workers, but that's really not addressing the fact China's cheap labour will still completely outcompete US workers and the USA will still have a huge trade deficit.

Nor does it understand the nature of the USA's trade deficit. The trade deficit can be summed up simply by the idea that the USA spends more money that it makes. Much of that reflects the fact that foreign countries invest very heavily in the USA. If all that money pours into the USA, it comes out in the form of Americans spending it. So another way to phrase cutting the trade deficit is "We want to reduce foreign investment in the USA". That's not such an attractive proposition anymore, because investment drives growth. (Trump, we might note, raises a disproportionate amount of his business investment from abroad, although that's mostly because his repeated frauds and cheating of creditors have made him an untrustworthy borrower in his home country.)

Similarly, the USA could instead urge its people to save rather than spend. Increase interest rates?* But the economy is driven by how much people spend: buying stuff creates work that creates jobs. But the USA's imports are only about 10% of its economy, so if Americans save rather than spend, 90% of the reduced American spending will fall on American workers. Is higher unemployment and lower economic growth a win for America's workers?

The economy is incredibly complex, and all politicians sell grossly simplified bullshit. But the reality of Trump is that his actions don't even come close to meeting his rhetoric. It's hot air. He sees the sense of outrage and frustration and wants to tap into it for political gain, but he wasn't prepared to go anywhere near policies truly tackling it. One might note Tstorm's defence of Trump: deep down at the level of policy his presidency was pretty much just a that of a regular Republican president. There's actually a lot of truth in that.

* Not really feasible with 100% GDP debt.
 
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Agema

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It's nice to see that you understand the concept, but sad to see you don't see how this applies to Trump. It's like, you're so close.
You're right, it does apply to Trump.

You'll also notice I said that China does do terrible things to warrant genuine criticism. The same is also true of Trump.
 

MrCalavera

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But we can, like, arguably, Trump, understand that our trade deals with China are harmful to US workers. That we should not be making US workers compete with slaves in totalitarian hell that doesn't expend resources on diversity, HR, OSHA, etc. Again. We will see how Biden performs. We can hope he is not the sell out whore we worry that he is. May he surprise us.
"CHINA" is the Republican russiagate. Change my mind.
 
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Silvanus

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But we can, like, arguably, Trump, understand that our trade deals with China are harmful to US workers. That we should not be making US workers compete with slaves in totalitarian hell that doesn't expend resources on diversity, HR, OSHA, etc. Again.
Oh, he understands the harm. But his actions did nothing to reduce it.

He just made the right noises, while his actions went in the other direction: precisely what you condemn Biden for. Why do you think Trump paid millions in tax to the Chinese government, and next-to-nothing to the US government? He doesn't give a solitary shit. Its all show.
 

gorfias

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Oh, he understands the harm. But his actions did nothing to reduce it.

He just made the right noises, while his actions went in the other direction: precisely what you condemn Biden for. Why do you think Trump paid millions in tax to the Chinese government, and next-to-nothing to the US government? He doesn't give a solitary shit. Its all show.
Trade wars do hurt. But what else can (should?) we do about things like China's currency manipulation?
 

Agema

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Trade wars do hurt. But what else can (should?) we do about things like China's currency manipulation?
I'm not sure it is (any more).

The yuan is not so free-floating as the dollar maybe, but certainly its value is dependent on the market. China dearly wants to be one of the big boys, including on the currency market. To be big in the market, the market must trust its currency, and the more it manipulates its currency the more it forfeits that trust. Currency manipulators usually work by running a surplus, and using that money to buy foreign currencies. Buying foreign currencies (increasing demand) drives up the value of those currencies, and so keeps the home currency weak. But China doesn't do that. Thus I think the designation by Trump of it as a currency manipulator was just political theatre, whipping up some good old xenophobic sentiment and showing off how tough he was.

Broadly, I have no objections to the USA engaging China in a trade war. It has reasonable grounds to want to rethink things: China does play the system to give itself an "unfair" advantage. However, the presentation of the trade renegotiation by Trump to the USA is a just a load of complete guff. The tariffs are pretty much useless, they're just a bogus attempt to look tough to his domestic audience, too. What the USA really wants is to stop China extracting IP from US companies that do business there, and to reduce China's protectionism, so increasing non-Chinese companies' ability to do business and invest in China. This isn't about benefitting US workers anything like as much as it is benefitting Wall Street. After all, they own the companies hoping to open Chinese operations (in China, thus with Chinese workers, obviously) and they'll be doing the investing.

The irony of course is that Trump wants to hammer China for not playing fair, but Trump's own vision for the USA was that it shouldn't play fair either. This is the nature of the international order: everyone agrees to do things a certain way. As Trump was busy attacking China for not playing by the rules, he was also busy attacking the rules (WTO, UN, etc.) so he didn't have to play by them either. There's a hypocrisy in there, to complain that others are doing what you want to do.

The Trumpian image was the US as a great big unilateral power that would leverage its economic might to secure advantages for itself over weaker trade partners. All very pre-WW2 thinking. What this is mostly likely to end up with is heavy protectionism and trade barriers, slower growth, across the whole world. The concept of the post-WW2 world was that free trade under established rules would forment both peace and faster development, precisely to avoid the sort of problems that occurred after the Great Crash of 1929, where all the countries pulled the shutters down to protect themselves, and mostly just magnified the depression for everyone instead.
 
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