Sunday, August 07, 2011

Charts of the Day

For U.S. only (1970 to 2005):
Source: Heritage Foundation (here and here).

78 Comments:

At 8/07/2011 8:58 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

According to the Census Bureau Median and Average Square Feet of Floor Area in New Single-Family Houses, the Median Square Feet of Floor Area in New Single-Family House peaked in 2007 at 2,277, and Average Square Feet also peaked in 2007 at 2,521.

 
At 8/07/2011 9:04 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Census Bureau Highlights of Annual 2010 Characteristics of New Housing

88% of all single-family homes completed had air-conditioning.

By region, the proportions were 77% in the Northeast, 88% in the Midwest, 99% in the South, and 64% in the West.

 
At 8/07/2011 9:08 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

It should be noted, U.S. houses typically have much bigger yards than in Europe.

 
At 8/07/2011 9:25 AM, Blogger bix1951 said...

Poverty just ain't what it used to be.
Seriously, instead of poverty we should hear about actual deprivation.
After getting all sorts of help with rent and food stamps and free medical etc. most "poor" people have pretty decent standards of living in the USA

 
At 8/07/2011 10:00 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

bix1951, that might be true, but I don't want to trade places with them. Do you?

 
At 8/07/2011 10:20 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

i think you are missing the point a bit.

it's not a question of "would you trade places with them" is a question of "are we providing enough of a safety net".

when the us poor live in bigger homes with more amenities than the european middle class, i think that pretty much defaltes the argument that "we need to be doing more for the poor", no?

i don't have a real issue with a wealthy society making sure people do not live in deprivation, but i do resent being told i need to pay more taxes to buy them a third flat panel TV.

that seems to me to be well past the goal of "making sure they don't starve".

 
At 8/07/2011 12:33 PM, Blogger Darren said...

To the foot, my house is about the size of the US poor house. I wonder if I should reevaluate my placement in the middle class!

 
At 8/07/2011 2:13 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Perhaps sympathy is misplaced either on the poor or the wealthy. Both groups are living much better than ever before.

But sniveling and whining has become the national pastime.

 
At 8/07/2011 3:27 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

I don't think a comparison between housing size in Europe and the U.S. is a direct measure of living standards. It's quite possible a bigger house is not part of the "European Dream." In fact, my house is not much larger than the poor household size on the chart (1450 sq. ft.). I'm fine with that. With the negative cash flow of a personal house, and the need for basic shelter no matter where you live, I don't consider my house an asset any more than the food and water I need to sustain my life.

I think the best thing we can do for the poor is to teach them how not to be poor. It is not always a matter of income. Financial literacy seems to be lacking in a lot of families and households. I agree the poor are much better off than in the past, but it still sucks to be poor :)

 
At 8/07/2011 4:30 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Bill Whittle puts the Heritage study into perspective

 
At 8/07/2011 5:22 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Walt says: "It's quite possible a bigger house is not part of the "European Dream.""

What about smaller autos, or riding bicycles, and buying fewer and smaller other goods?

 
At 8/07/2011 5:38 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Idle resources and employing resources inefficiently make people poorer.

 
At 8/07/2011 5:49 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The stock market is severely short-term oversold (e.g. the daily $NYMO on stockcharts.com), and yet futures are way down at this time:

http://money.cnn.com/data/premarket/

 
At 8/07/2011 6:02 PM, Blogger Craig said...

Walt said:

I think the best thing we can do for the poor is to teach them how not to be poor.

I agree wholeheartedly, but that's a tough lesson. Most of us, for example, learned about getting up in the morning and going to school. We carried that over into our working lives eventually.

After having managed a supermarket in downtown Buffalo, I can tell you that this particular lesson doesn't sink in when not reinforced at home. Employee turnover was atrocious -- each day we had a list of "no-shows", employees who simply didn't show up. The first time I encountered this (I was from the suburbs, you see), I said, "Well, we fire them then, don't we?"

My assistant manager looked shocked and accused me of being crazy. Most of them will show up tomorrow, or the next day. It's too hard to find good help to just fire them.

And, sure enough, some of them did come back as though nothing had happened. Some didn't and so it went. Long story short, my time spent in the inner city convinced me that we can provide the opportunity for an education, food, shelter, some spending money and health care, but the culture of poverty is overwhelmingly difficult to break and we probably can't change it.

I'm over feeling sorry for these people. They actually do know exactly what they're doing. I've started to consider it just another form of big-government intrusion to tell them to stop.

 
At 8/07/2011 6:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"After having managed a supermarket in downtown Buffalo, I can tell you that this particular lesson doesn't sink in when not reinforced at home. Employee turnover was atrocious -- each day we had a list of "no-shows", employees who simply didn't show up."

And yet, some people wonder why so many inner city neighborhoods are food deserts.

 
At 8/07/2011 6:48 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Walt: "I agree the poor are much better off than in the past, but it still sucks to be poor"

Perhaps for you it does. But my experiences lead me to believe that many if not most of the "poor" in America are perfectly content with that choice. I've met far too many drunks who are fine with their existence. I've known far too many "poor" folks who are simply lazy, and have no desire to exert any energy toward improving their lives. And, of course, as long as our nation allows them to survive this way, they will continue to do so.

As for the bleeding hearts in this country who continue to vote to take from the productive and give to these parasites - they are pathetic and disgusting.

 
At 8/08/2011 5:54 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Craig and Jet Beagle,

I agree you will never have a 100% success rate helping people help themselves. I think you have to give a 100% effort on the ones you can and just let the others go. Experience will teach you which one is which even though often there is only a glimmer of a chance of success.

Focusing on the hopelessness of ones you cannot help instead of the ones you can is using their mindset instead of ours. Leaders find ways to make others into winners even if they don't think they can do it. Are you in a leadership role in your life or profession?

 
At 8/08/2011 6:42 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Walt G: " I think you have to give a 100% effort on the ones you can and just let the others go."

Not clear what you mean by "give a 100% effort on the ones you can".

If you want to help someone - with either your time or your money - that's fine with me. When I get boiling mad is when liberals want to force me to give my hard-earned money to help someone they believe should be helped.

So, Walt, do you believe in voluntary charity or in "forced charity"?

 
At 8/08/2011 6:44 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Oh, yeah. I forgot one more point, Walt. I get pretty pissed off at liberals who tell me I should be willing to share the fruits of my labor - even those who are referring to voluntary charity rather than forced redistribution.

 
At 8/08/2011 7:30 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Jet Beagle,

I teach as a part-time job, counsel students, and I have trained apprentices, too. My idea of helping is more on the personal level than the national level. I have over 500 former and present students who have my email address and cell phone number. I do what I can, where I can, when I can.

I find many governmental outlays questionable; including direct charity, but for some reason the charity amount is an emotional trigger for a lot of people that exceeds the amount of attention it deserves percentage wise of any budget. I have better use of my time than getting pissed off about it. I think if you look deeply, a lot of “charity” is disguised as something else anyhow (tax deductions for interest on houses, student loan subsidies . . .).

 
At 8/08/2011 8:28 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

people trot out that "europeans just don;t want big houses" trope all the time, but i think it's nonsense.

they are just poor and live in old cities with tiny dwellings.

i have lived there a couple times.

people wanted more space, they just couldn't afford it, the same way they wanted to have kids and couldn't afford that either. seen their birthrates?

then, they come to the US and marvel at home sizes.

i just had some guests from holland who were stunned at the size of the houses here (my neighborhood averages about 7000 ft, and i live in more like 9k).

far from not wanting such things, i heard "wow, i wish we had a house like this" over and over.

the "they just don't want them" argument gets trotted out all the time, but i doubt you can substantiate it. it's just rationalization of relative poverty.

i guess they just don't want aircon or dishwashers or dryers either? they prefer cramped, crappy kitchens?

900 ft is TINY. that wouldn't make a good 1 BR. the only place you find such diminutive places in the US is manhattan, and they are NOT happy about it there either. everyone wants more space, but like the euros, few can afford it.

 
At 8/08/2011 8:30 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"I agree the poor are much better off than in the past, but it still sucks to be poor :)"

if you think it sucks to be poor in the US, then it must also suck to be middle class in the EU...

 
At 8/08/2011 8:50 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

It sucks to be poor anywhere.

I don't have any desire for a 9,000 sq. ft. house. I don't know exactly how big is big enough, but I know I have it. Wishing for something and wanting to pay for it and maintain it are not the same thing.

 
At 8/08/2011 9:24 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"After getting all sorts of help with rent and food stamps and free medical etc. most "poor" people have pretty decent standards of living in the USA"...

That's the mult-trillion dollar question that bix brings up...

Just how many of those amenities the poor have are financed by extorting from the wealth of the 'not poor'?

 
At 8/08/2011 9:26 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Morganovich: What is your household staff?

 
At 8/08/2011 9:30 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

it sucks a lot less to be poor here than pretty much anywhere else.

being poor here sucks less than being middle class in mexico or even upper middle class in china.

i'm glad you like the size of your house, but that says zero about what europeans want.

also note that your house is 60% bigger than their average.

i suspect if you had to live in 900 square feet instead and not have a dishwasher, dryer, or air conditioning, you might sing a different tune about how satisfied you are with your space.

 
At 8/08/2011 9:45 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

I'm not following any of this.

Poor people may have AC and pay for rit themselves. There seems to be an assumption in this thread that all poor people are on some kind of dole (as if the rich are not).

I do not buy the idea that poor people are satisfied with being poor. As MJP has pointed out many people do change their status, and most poor people would jump at the chance, if they have one.

Nor do I buy the idea that every poor person has a chance, or could make one if they try hard enough. Some people are simply in a trap, and just because they are not rattling the door, does not mean they like it. Unlike Jet Beagle, they know better than to waste their energy on some things.

As for Europe, at least in England all development rights were nationalized after the war. The bureaucrats there have worked for decades to maintain the green belts around their cities, and one result is a shortage of larger homes and gardens (yards in the us). Also their mortgage situation is different, and they work less than we do. I don't see what any of that has to do with how Americans classsified as poor live.

You pay your money and take your choice. Yes, I know some people who would be classified as poor, who might do better but have chosen not to make a strong, long term, effort to change it for one reason or another: location, parents, kids living with another parent.

But to simply blame all of this on a) laziness of the poor, and b)liberal policies in favor of stealing strikes me as lazy thinking and poor observation: the truth is more complex than that.

 
At 8/08/2011 9:47 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

hydra-

staff?

none really.

i have house cleaners who come every 2 weeks and a guy who does the hot tubs.

why would i need/want a staff?

 
At 8/08/2011 9:49 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"it sucks a lot less to be poor here than pretty much anywhere else."

I agree, but I doubt the poor people in the U.S. will. We tend to measure ourselves to what we see around us. A lot of people could not find Europe on a map unless it was labled.

We would all be a lot better off if we celebrated what we do have instead of what we don't have. I'm going to take my own advice and not watch the stock market today :)

 
At 8/08/2011 9:50 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

it sucks a lot less to be poor here than pretty much anywhere else.

being poor here sucks less than being middle class in mexico or even upper middle class in china.


And that is a reason for us to do less to make the poor better off? What better way to make the rich better off, than to ensure the poor can buy more stuff from them?

As it stands now the wealthy are gaining a bigger and bigger slice of a bigger and bigger pie. Where will their money come from when they eventually have substantially all of it already?

 
At 8/08/2011 10:01 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"There seems to be an assumption in this thread that all poor people are on some kind of dole (as if the rich are not)."

most are hydra. the definition of "poor" used here is the government's definition.

if the government calls you "poor" you get food stamps, medicaid, and possibly welfare.

you pay no income taxes.

so yes, in the terms used here all poor people ARE on the dole.

and what is this rich dole of which you speak? i don't seem to get my checks.

i do know that the rich in the US pay a higher % of taxes relative to % of income than any other developed country and routinely get told we are not paying our "fair share', which is a factually inaccurate as it is flawed thinking.

if you and i buy a cheeseburger from mcdonalds, we expect it to be the same price. that is fair.

when we buy government, you get it for free, and i pay outlandish amounts.

that's fair?

then you go on to rant about being poor not being the poor's fault.

we have the highest social mobility of any nation in the world.

over a 20 year period, 70% of the bottom 20% of americans move up to a higher quintile.

that seems like pretty glaring counterevidence.

if nearly 2/4 of people, many of them recent immigrants can do it, it's hardly an insurmountable obstacle.

but again, the real point here is that we have barely any poor people in america. "poor" people here are better off than the upper middle class in most of the world.

if you've ever seen real poverty (haiti, outskirts of cairo, rural china, zambia) you'd know that by world standards, there is no poverty here.

 
At 8/08/2011 10:06 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

hydra-

staff?

none really.

i have house cleaners who come every 2 weeks and a guy who does the hot tubs.

why would i need/want a staff?

============================

You must be a magician. Your house is almost twice the size of mine, and mine is more than I can properly care for, by myself.

You actually mow your own grass and do the gardening, or is that handled by the HOA? What about maintenance like painting and gutters, and exterior cleaning.

Granted, we are operating a farm as well as a house, so we have activities you do not, but I have to think a place that size must eat up a lot of your time, if that is all the help you have.

 
At 8/08/2011 10:11 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"and what is this rich dole of which you speak? i don't seem to get my checks."

Are you subsidized by the U.S. taxpayers for the interest on your house? A lot of "charity" is just something else with a different name.

 
At 8/08/2011 10:54 AM, OpenID retire05 said...

n/t

 
At 8/08/2011 11:01 AM, Blogger retire05 said...

Walt, you seem to think that people who are sucking off the taxpayer teat are not content to do so. That is so far from the truth it cannot be stretched to meet reality.

Why should anyone want to improve their lives when they can live in taxpayer funded housing, get free food (via food stamps), be paid for having another kid with a missing father (who is never made responsible for that child), and allowed to buy such luxuries as furniture, electronics and such off cards provide like the Lone Star card? Given a choice, knowing that you can sit around all day smoking and watching Oprah, or busting your butt 10 hours a day, what do you think most would choose?

The "poor" in America are not poor if you consider the in-kind contributions the taxpayer makes to them.

Proverty needs to be addressed, but not through the government's theft of the wages of productive citizens. When charity was actually handled by organizations that operated on private contributions, people did not become comfortable in their poverty, which is now what we have.

 
At 8/08/2011 11:17 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

When charity was actually handled by organizations that operated on private contributions, people did not become comfortable in their poverty,.......

===========================

So we do a better job of ameliorating the effects of poverty when those in poverty are uncomfortable?

Aren't you saying that we are doing a better job now than when it was handled by private charity? that private charity was proven to be insufficient?

Or is this merely projecting your work ethic on others? For me, there are a lot of people on charity that the last thing
I want is them working - we are better off paying them to sit home than paying them to screw things up and get in the way.

 
At 8/08/2011 11:19 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

if the government calls you "poor" you get food stamps, medicaid, and possibly welfare.

you pay no income taxes.

===============================

Not necessarily. But your assumption is a common one.

 
At 8/08/2011 11:27 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

when we buy government, you get it for free, and i pay outlandish amounts.

that's fair?

================================
Yes, the services government provides are more valuable to you than they are to the poor.

If the US is taken over in armed conflict you lose everythig and they have little to lose. You have a larger stake in defense. Etc.

 
At 8/08/2011 11:39 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

retire05,

We are all sucking off the government teat. Some of the subsidies and tax write-offs just sound better than charity/welfare. I am not saying direct charity is not a problem; it just needs to be kept in perspective of the overall national and state budget outlays. Too many emotional topics such as welfare and abortion keep us from focusing on the bigger picture.

 
At 8/08/2011 11:48 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

If the US is taken over in armed conflict you lose everythig and they have little to lose. You have a larger stake in defense. Etc.

What crap! It is the productive capacity of taxpayers which allows the "poor" to eat. Parasites have the most to lose if the economic might of the U.S. is taken over or destroyed.

 
At 8/08/2011 11:53 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

B.S., Walt.

Those who get the largest mortgage tax deductions are only getting a small part of their tax burden reduced. You're trying to equate a reduction in an enormous tax burden with the free ride that the parasites are getting. That's a garbage argument.

 
At 8/08/2011 12:17 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Jet Beagle,

Garbage arguments are when you start calling people names such as parasites. A much stronger argument would be comparing the housing interest tax deduction (or other) to charity in dollars.

Welfare and abortion do not lend themselves well to a rational debate. Pitting people who should be working together against each other rarely solves problems.

 
At 8/08/2011 12:27 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Yes, the services government provides are more valuable to you than they are to the poor"...

Well now hydra is making sure that everyone knows that he's NOT been paying attention to reality for quite some time now...

That statement is absolute nonsense...

Means testing comes into play for folks who get SNAP, utilities help, housing assistance, and on and on and on...

From the WSJ: High-Earning Households Pay Growing Share of Taxes

 
At 8/08/2011 12:50 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Garbage arguments are when you start calling people names such as parasites.

From the Free Online Dictionary:

Parasite - an organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of it's host

Recipients of welfare - in its many forms - are exactly described by the word "parasite".

A reduction in taxes in not welfare, Mr. Newspeak.

 
At 8/08/2011 12:57 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Pitting people who should be working together against each other rarely solves problems.

I've got news for you, bleeding heart. The welfare parasites in this nation have absolutely no desire to "work together". Rather, they want the productive to work to provide them food and shelter.

The only "problem" I have is the fools who believe the lies of the parasites. That's the problem we need to solve.

 
At 8/08/2011 1:07 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

It turns out that singles with income in excess of €50,000 a year have on average uncompensated labour-supply elasticity of 0.14; for couples with incomes larger than €100,000 the corresponding elasticity is 0.18. The income effects are, respectively, -0.06 and -0.02

++++++++++++

if the income threshold for taxation at the top rate is set at €50,000 (€100,000 for couples), the optimal top tax rate on income is about 56 % if one merely considers wage income and it is 60% if one also considers professional income. For both income concepts, the optimal tax rate converges to a level of about 2/3 at an income threshold of roughly €350,000. Therefore, setting the top marginal tax rate at 67% for yearly incomes in excess of €350,000 (€700,000 for couples) seems to be optimal from the viewpoint of public finances.

++++++++++++++

That finding suggests that actual taxation of top incomes in Germany is far from the optimal level associated with the maximum of the Laffer curve. In 2005, the top marginal tax rate in Germany, including the so called solidarity surcharge ("Solidaritaetszuschlag"), was about 45% and started at an income level of about €50,000 for singles and €100,000 for couples. Since 2007 there is an additional tax surcharge ("Reichensteuer") for incomes above €250,000 (€500,000 for couples); the resulting top marginal tax rate is about 48%.


=============================

I do not believe it is true that it is true the rich in the US pay a higher % of taxes relative to % of income than any other developed country, and in any case it misses the point about income elasticity made above.

By including the "Share of market income of richest decile" the table published by the tax foundation creates a bogus ratio that normalizes nothing.

 
At 8/08/2011 1:15 PM, Blogger retire05 said...

Walt, you fail to remember that our government was built on "equality." You complain about those who can use a mortgage deduction but not one lousy word about those who use April 15th as payday due to the EIC. What is equal about that?

Why should ANYONE get more back from the IRS than they actually paid in? Why should seniors have to pay taxes on their Social Security when welfare recipients don't have to pay taxes on the in-kind income they realized from housing, food stamps and free health care?

You object to the term "parasite", yet what do you call someone who so screws up their own lives with drugs, children out of wedlock, leaving school before the 12th grade that they wind up having to live off the benefit of the labor of others? Would you perfer the term "leech" since a leech attaches itself to its host, sucking all the blood it needs to sustain its life, and contributes nothing to the host but pain?

People have choices. You seem to assume that because they made bad choices early in life that we should pay them to continue making bad choices.

I resent that when the politicians in D.C. talk about "entitlement" reform, it is always about just those "entitlements" that affect seniors WHO PAID FOR THOSE ENTITLEMENTS THEIR ENTIRE WORKING LIVES.

How about refusing to give welfare to anyone who has drugs, alcohol or cigarette smoke in their system? Kick them off. End the gravy train. If they have kids, take those kids away from them since they have already proven they are unfit parents by their inability to support those children.

Our system of the Great Society is a Great Failure. Time to bring it do its deserved end and end welfare as we know it. Allow charities to help those who need a hand up and end the system of generational welfare of hand outs.

 
At 8/08/2011 1:15 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Parasites have the most to lose if the economic might of the U.S. is taken over or destroyed."

=============================

You actually believe that? In this doomsday scenario both parties lose everything, true enough, but the poor welfare parasites have the most to lose? Really?

 
At 8/08/2011 1:16 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Welfare and abortion do not lend themselves well to a rational debate"....

Walt isn't the real problem here that much if not most of the money spent on federal services for welfare services and even abortion services are financed from extorted tax dollars?

The irrational part as I personally see it is there's nothing in the Constitution that mandates the federal government to steal from the productive in order to pander to the parasitic...

I have yet to see those who think these services are necessary for the, "poor" willing to shovel out more of their own personal wealth to finance these services but have no problem using the federal government to steal from everyone else in unequal shares...

 
At 8/08/2011 1:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"So we do a better job of ameliorating the effects of poverty when those in poverty are uncomfortable?"

Who is "we"?

Not the effects, but the willingness to remain in poverty. Being uncomfortable includes an amount of shame in accepting charity from neighbors and members of your community, who you know as individuals. Accepting handouts from a faceless, impersonal government bureaucracy carries less stigma. Incentives matter.

"Aren't you saying that we are doing a better job now than when it was handled by private charity? that private charity was proven to be insufficient?"

No, he isn't. Helping people in need is a good thing. Providing a level of support that allows them to be satisfied with their condition is not.

"Or is this merely projecting your work ethic on others? For me, there are a lot of people on charity that the last thing
I want is them working - we are better off paying them to sit home than paying them to screw things up and get in the way.
"

Your inner collectivist is shining through. Who are you to judge such things? You are perfectly free to pay people to stay home if you use your own money. Don't assume that "we" should all do so, or force others to do so.

Don't you think individual employers are better able than you to determine who is or isn't employable in any capacity?

Your elitism is disgusting.

 
At 8/08/2011 1:18 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I do not believe it is true that it is true the rich in the US pay a higher % of taxes relative to % of income than any other developed country, and in any case it misses the point about income elasticity made above"...

Well then you have no one to blame for your inability to understand this basic fact than yourself hydra but you chose not to...

 
At 8/08/2011 1:18 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

what do you call someone who so screws up their own lives with drugs, children out of wedlock, leaving school before the 12th grade that they wind up having to live off the benefit of the labor of others?

=================================

What do you call someone who winds up on welfare through no fault of their own? Or don't you believe there is such a thing?

 
At 8/08/2011 1:27 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"What do you call someone who winds up on welfare through no fault of their own?"...

Loser argument! That needs a lot more definition...

Even now when companies aren't hiring people $20+/hour there are still lots small companies hiring at $10 or less/hour...

One wonders if you think that if a person is 'physically' capable of working shouldn't if it doesn't pay what that same person was making previously...

I know I would be damned unhappy if I lost my present job and had to take work at the minimum wage but I would...

My pride would allow nothing else...

 
At 8/08/2011 1:32 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Jet Beagle,

I can't argue with that chip on your shoulder.

retire05,

You have a great emotional argument, but I think the problem goes much deeper and wider than direct charity. I'm more inclined to take juandos' line of thought with a few adjustments for the 21st century.

 
At 8/08/2011 1:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You actually mow your own grass and do the gardening, or is that handled by the HOA? What about maintenance like painting and gutters, and exterior cleaning."

While a 9000 sq. ft. house,is large, it isn't exactly the size of the Pentagon. How much "staff" do you think is needed do do exterior cleaning, gutters, and painting?

How much "staff" do you have dedicated to such activities full time? If it's any number over 1/4, you may be employing some of those people you think should be paid to stay home.

Learn to think logically.

 
At 8/08/2011 1:55 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Well then you have no one to blame for your inability to understand this basic fact

===========================

If it was a fact, then I coud most likely undertand it. The table that statement seems to be based on simply creates a statistic which it then proclaims proves a preconcieved notion.


Never mind that what is paid is diifferent from the nominal rates, consider the situation in Australia, according to the tax foundation table: the richest decile pay 36.8% of taxes but they only earn 28.6% of the income. they are therfore POORER by comparison to the top decile of aAmericans, who make of with 33.5% of the income. Of course they pay less, they are poorer.


The ONLY place,according to the table where one can earn a higher proportion of the national income and pay less in taxes is Italy.

But I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that in that top decile, the median earner in the US would be unwilling to trade incomes with the median earner in Italy.


It is not a question of blame, Juandos, it is merely a question of what is a fact and what is not. I'm not here to sell anything or make points, I'm just telling you I am not convinced by the evidence presented.

You can tell me I am stupid because I cant see the facts, but that does nothing to make your presentation of them any better.

 
At 8/08/2011 2:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I'm not following any of this."

And I understand why. Your strong statist notions keep you from understanding human nature.

"Nor do I buy the idea that every poor person has a chance, or could make one if they try hard enough. Some people are simply in a trap..."

Whether that's true or not, do you believe money should be ripped from my pocket to support them?

"Yes, I know some people who would be classified as poor, who might do better but have chosen not to make a strong, long term, effort to change it for one reason or another: location, parents, kids living with another parent."

If people choose to be poor for any reason,, they shouldn't be eligible for government support and others shouldn't be expected to help pay their way.

 
At 8/08/2011 2:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt G.

"I agree, but I doubt the poor people in the U.S. will. We tend to measure ourselves to what we see around us."

While this is true, what is your point? Do you believe others should be forced to support poor people so they won't be envious?

They are entitled to any opinion they like, as is everyone. If their perception makes them unhappy, it's not my job to change it by handing them money.

 
At 8/08/2011 2:14 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

How much "staff" do you think is needed do do exterior cleaning, gutters, and painting?

==============================

I don't know, that is why I asked.

My house is less than half the size of yours, and money aside, is is about all I can handle. I can only guess that something that much bigger must require a lot more work, which either you do or someone else does. Somehow I don't see someone who can afford that huge a place being interested in the housework that maintains it.


I recently saw an ad for a farm manager for a place of only fifty acres, and part of the requirements was the ability to manage a staff of twenty, which I thought was incredibly high.

I also know people with large beautiful homes that are always immaculate and always trimmed, but it seems to me thay have created a showplace they can sit in, but not much else.

Different strokes for different folks, I was only curious.

 
At 8/08/2011 2:20 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

If their perception makes them unhappy, it's not my job to change it by handing them money.

===============================

Maybe not, but you will probably be handing them money until some perceptions change. I think you can do a better job of changing them.



The perceptions of environmentalists make them unhappy, and they have been successful at passing bills and legislation that cause other people to pay money. If it is not your job to change their perception by handing them money, would you say you have no interest and no obligation for caring for the environment you live in?

 
At 8/08/2011 2:27 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Do you believe others should be forced to support poor people so they won't be envious?

================================

I believe we have not yet got to the point where we refuse to help people truly in need. That money will have to come from those not in need. From what you say, it sounds as if you think you should have or do have the right to refuse help to people in need.

Phrasing this as help "so they won't be envious", suggests that there are two issues here. a) how much help is sufficient, b) whether helping is mandatory.

 
At 8/08/2011 2:28 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"And that is a reason for us to do less to make the poor better off? What better way to make the rich better off, than to ensure the poor can buy more stuff from them?"

Wait, wait! How about some economic reality here. How are the rich better off if they give money to poor people so they can buy stuff from them?

 
At 8/08/2011 2:29 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"What do you call someone who winds up on welfare through no fault of their own?"...

Loser argument!

==========================

It is a direct restatement of the opposite argument, which must also be a loser by analogy. You are correct that it is a loser argument, and so is the other one.

 
At 8/08/2011 2:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Not necessarily. But your assumption is a common one."

And the exceptions are....what?

Explain it to us. What's the REAL story?

 
At 8/08/2011 2:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You actually believe that? In this doomsday scenario both parties lose everything, true enough, but the poor welfare parasites have the most to lose? Really?"

Yes. Really. Didn't you understand Jet's comment?

Ignoring the loss of freedom, a more serious loss than the financial one, in my opinion, The poor who cannot or will not fend for themselves, would lose their livelyhood. The rich would find ways to survive, as they have always done.

 
At 8/08/2011 2:57 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

If people choose to be poor for any reason, they shouldn't be eligible for government support

=====================
What if the reason is to care for a family member that would require even MORE government support without their assistance?



The people I know of don't get any obvious government support. I'm sure there are all kinds of hidden benefits, just as there are for rich people.

But now suppose one of these working poor, gets hit with some financial catastrophe not of their making. Would they now be ineligible because they "chose" to be poor?

 
At 8/08/2011 3:15 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

How are the rich better off if they give money to poor people so they can buy stuff from them?

=============================

Who said anything about giving them money to buy stuff?


Your argument seemingly says, look, If I have everything already, how am I better off by giving some of it away, just so it can come back again.

If that is the case, what are you worried about? How wold you even know it was gone temporarily?



The question is whether the rich are better off leaving poor people to their own devices and likely to remain poor, or whether there is some level and some kind of investment that will pay back to the rich more than it costs.

Given that some kind of investment will be made, whether it is a "good" private enterprise investment or a "bad" government one, there is little doubt where the money won't come from: it won't come from peple that don't have it.




That is OK for the investments that pay off. What about the others?

What do you propose we do with people that have no income, and no hope of ever having one? You have already argued that thwy are too well off under government programs, so now you want to throw them back on voluntary charity and have them be worse off?

 
At 8/08/2011 3:23 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Ignoring the loss of freedom, a more serious loss than the financial one, in my opinion, The poor who cannot or will not fend for themselves, would lose their livelyhood. The rich would find ways to survive, as they have always done.

========================

Boo Hiss, you can do better than that.

The poor who cannot fend for themselvs have no livliehood: that is the whole problem. They have nothing to lose in this regard.


SOME of the rich will survive. But as Dr. Perry points out the rich are not always the same people. The rich of the invading army will survive, but we have many examples in which the entire native population was wiped out. I don't t think you seriously want to make the argument that the rich in the native population shoul not have paid more taxes for defense, just because the rich in the invading army become richer.

And who exactly will lose their freedom here? The poor will still be poor, washing the dishes and picking up the garbage and digging the dishes. It will be the rich that lose the most freedom, and the most freedom has to offer.

 
At 8/08/2011 3:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"How much "staff" do you think is needed do do exterior cleaning, gutters, and painting?

==============================

I don't know, that is why I asked.
"

Well, how much staff do you require to do only those tasks at your house?

This is really a silly subject, and OT, but I'm enjoying it.

 
At 8/08/2011 3:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If it was a fact, then I coud most likely undertand it."

Don't be so quick to make that claim. You have missed a lot of them in the past.

 
At 8/08/2011 3:46 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

hydra: What do you propose we do with people that have no income, and no hope of ever having one?

There may be a hundred thousand such people in the U.S. who are in such a situation and who have no relatives who can support them. Private charity can easily take care of these rare cases.

Minimum wage laws - and bleeding hearts such as you - stand in the way of almost all the poor people in the U.S.

 
At 8/08/2011 4:12 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Maybe not, but you will probably be handing them money until some perceptions change. I think you can do a better job of changing them."

You are correct. I will probably be robbed until people like you realize that stealing from those who are productive to give to those who aren't, is counterproductive.

"The perceptions of environmentalists make them unhappy, and they have been successful at passing bills and legislation that cause other people to pay money. If it is not your job to change their perception by handing them money, would you say you have no interest and no obligation for caring for the environment you live in?"

That's not a valid conditional statement.

My job is to replace those in office who pass legislation that causes other people to spend money, with those who will not pass such legislation.

My interest in and obligation to the environment I live in is what I determine it to be, not what someone else thinks it is, and what I must pay for.

 
At 8/08/2011 4:26 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What do you call someone who winds up on welfare through no fault of their own? Or don't you believe there is such a thing?"

I believe there are so few of those people, that their family, friends, community, and charitable organizations are more than enough help. There is no reason to steal from other to help them.

If people suffer a catastrophe through no fault of their own, then whose fault is it? If fault can be determined, the sufferer has recourse. If there is no fault, then why do you believe I should be forced to pay as if it was my fault?

Your socialist views don't follow logic.

If you know someone you feel deserves help, feel free to help them as much as you wish. Ask others to help if you want. Hold a fund raiser if it seems like the right thing to do.

Just don't use coercion to take money from others against their will.

 
At 8/08/2011 4:45 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I believe we have not yet got to the point where we refuse to help people truly in need."

That's correct, and as human beings, we will never get to that point. We will always want to help those in need, and we will do so. But, what we DO object strongly to is the notion held by people like you that money should be forced from us to cover what you perceive the need to be.

"That money will have to come from those not in need. From what you say, it sounds as if you think you should have or do have the right to refuse help to people in need."

That's also correct. We all have the right to refuse to help people in need. Luckily for those in need, there are few people who actually do refuse in every case.

Your flawed notion that everything must be a collective effort that is forced on everyone, blinds you to the important issue of free choice.

 
At 8/08/2011 5:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What if the reason is to care for a family member that would require even MORE government support without their assistance?"

What difference would that or should that make? The phrase "require government assistance" is at the very heart of your failed philosophy.


"The people I know of don't get any obvious government support. I'm sure there are all kinds of hidden benefits, just as there are for rich people."

For instance...

"But now suppose one of these working poor, gets hit with some financial catastrophe not of their making. Would they now be ineligible because they "chose" to be poor?"

First of all, "working poor" is more or less an oxymoron.

They would be ineligible for the same reason one of these working rich would be if hit with some financial catastrophe not of their making, because they "chose" to be rich.

Do you ever think seriously about the things you write?

 
At 8/08/2011 5:49 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Ron H: "The rich would find ways to survive, as they have always done."

Of course we agree. Would you consider that this statement might be improved?

"The productive would find ways to survive, as they have always done."

I want to distinguish between the "rich", a group which includes trust fund heirs and the "productive", which includes many simple but industrious humans.

 
At 8/08/2011 6:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Who said anything about giving them money to buy stuff?"

You did.

Since you don't remember your own arguments, here it is:

"And that is a reason for us to do less to make the poor better off? What better way to make the rich better off, than to ensure the poor can buy more stuff from them?"

"Your argument seemingly says, look, If I have everything already, how am I better off by giving some of it away, just so it can come back again.

If that is the case, what are you worried about? How wold you even know it was gone temporarily?
"

That's not your original argument, and it's even less economic. Your original claim is that the rich will be better off if they recycle their own money. Does this somehow involve that great Keynesian multiplier nobody seems able to demonstrate?

Why should I worry if I'm buying my own product for others using my own money? Oh, gee, I don't know, but there must be a reason.

You really need to learn some economics and some basic math. Math is often the enemy of socialists.

"The question is whether the rich are better off leaving poor people to their own devices and likely to remain poor, or whether there is some level and some kind of investment that will pay back to the rich more than it costs."

Yes there is! Private investments by rich people almost always earn positive returns not only for themselves, but for those who get new jobs and better and cheaper products and services because of those investments.

Keep in mind that people become rich because they consistently produce value for others. They don't become rich at the expense of poor people.

"Given that some kind of investment will be made, whether it is a "good" private enterprise investment or a "bad" government one, there is little doubt where the money won't come from: it won't come from peple that don't have it."

No, it will come from rich people in the form of jobs and better, cheaper products and services for everyone. A much better plan than handing money to unproductive people who haven't earned it.

"That is OK for the investments that pay off. What about the others?"

If an investment doesn't pay off, it must not have been a good idea to begin with. The resources will be reallocated to others who may have better ideas.

Sorry if that's too much real economics for you, all at one time.

"What do you propose we do with people that have no income, and no hope of ever having one? You have already argued that thwy are too well off under government programs, so now you want to throw them back on voluntary charity and have them be worse off?"

We? I don't propose that "we" do anything with them. If you know of someone who you feel needs help, feel free to do whatever you wish. I will do the same. I won't steal money from you for my charity cases, and you won't steal money from me for yours. What could be more equitable?

"Throwing them back on voluntary charity"? How many people do you know of on public assistance who have ever gotten voluntary charity? There is no "throwing them back. And, you have no reason to assume that voluntary charity is less helpful than public assistance.

There is a big difference between preventing people from starving or freezing and making sure they have a dishwasher.

The high levels of public assistance you champion, in fact discourage voluntary charity. Why should I donate to this worthy cause when those poor people can get government assistance that I'm already paying for?

 
At 8/08/2011 10:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jet

"Of course we agree. Would you consider that this statement might be improved?

"The productive would find ways to survive, as they have always done."

I want to distinguish between the "rich", a group which includes trust fund heirs and the "productive", which includes many simple but industrious humans.
"

You are correct, of course: "productive" is a much better word to use than rich.

That is much closer to my actual meaning, and I would have used it myself, if I were a better writer. :-)

My only excuse for using the word "rich" instead, is that I believe it is more grating to the ear of the party I'm responding to.

 

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