Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Anti-Keynesian Supply Side Tax and Spending Cuts in Sweden, and the Finance Minister Behind It


From the U.K. Spectator's report on the amazing success of supply-side economics in Sweden, and finance minister Anders Borg, the man behind it:

"When Europe’s finance ministers meet for a group photo, it’s easy to spot the rebel — Anders Borg (pictured above) has a ponytail and earring. What actually marks him out, though, is how he responded to the crash. While most countries in Europe borrowed massively, Borg did not. Since becoming Sweden’s finance minister, his mission has been to pare back government. His ‘stimulus’ was a permanent tax cut. To critics, this was fiscal lunacy. Borg, on the other hand, thought lunacy meant repeating the economics of the 1970s and expecting a different result.

Three years on, it’s pretty clear who was right. "Look at Spain, Portugal or the UK, whose governments were arguing for large temporary stimulus," he says. "Well, we can see that very little of the stimulus went to the economy. But they are stuck with the debt." Tax-cutting Sweden, by contrast, had the fastest growth in Europe last year, when it also celebrated the abolition of its deficit. The recovery started just in time for the 2010 Swedish election, in which the Conservatives were re-elected for the first time in history.

All this has taken Borg from curiosity to celebrity. The Financial Times recently declared him the most effective finance minister in Europe.

"Everybody was told 'stimulus, stimulus, stimulus'," he says — referring to the EU, IMF and the alphabet soup of agencies urging a global, debt-fueled spending splurge. Borg, an economist, couldn’t work out how this would help. "It was surprising that Europe, given what we experienced in the 1970s and 80s with structural unemployment, believed that short-term Keynesianism could solve the problem." Non-economists, he says, "might have a tendency to fall for those kinds of messages."

He continued to cut taxes and cut welfare-spending to pay for it; he even cut property taxes for the rich to lure entrepreneurs back to Sweden. The last bit was the most unpopular, but for Borg, economic recovery starts with entrepreneurs. If cutting taxes for the rich encouraged risk-taking, then it had to be done. "In most cases, the company would not have been created without the owner," he says. "There would be no Ikea without [Ingvar] Kamprad. We would not have Tetra-Pak without [Ruben] Rausing. They are probably the foremost entrepreneurs we have had in the last few decades, and both moved out of Sweden."

But they were not rich, I say, when they were starting out. "No, but they were becoming rich. If you have a high wealth tax and an inheritance tax, people emigrate because it becomes too costly to own a company. Ownership is a production factor. Entrepreneurs are a production factor. Yes, these people are rich and you can obviously argue that we want to encourage social cohesion. But it is also problematic if you drive out entrepreneurs from your country, because they are the source of job creation."

Update: The chart below displays constant dollar GDP growth rates for Sweden vs. the U.S. from 2002 to 2011, and shows that Sweden's economy has outperformed the U.S. economy over the last ten years by 0.8% per year on average (OECD data here).  Over the last two years (2010 and 2011), Sweden's real GDP growth has averaged 5%, or more than twice the U.S. average of 2.35%, and provides evidence that Sweden's supply-side approach to the 2007-2009 recession has been more successful than the demand-side Keynesian approach in the U.S.


132 Comments:

At 5/08/2012 4:01 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Only in Sweden could they get a away with a (male) cabinet minister with a ponytail. :-/

 
At 5/08/2012 4:03 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I thought I was looking at Penn Jillette for a moment.

This guy's great.

Paul Krugman will not be pleased.

Which makes Swedish Penn even better.

 
At 5/08/2012 4:05 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5/08/2012 4:05 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I thought I was looking at Penn Jillette for a moment.

Hahaha so did I!

 
At 5/08/2012 4:07 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"Scandinavian socialism" remains the absolute ideal for every bright-eyed OWS-er and college student in the US today. Reality, however, never was so rosy.

 
At 5/08/2012 4:19 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Let's see, rich people need more money to motivate them, and poor people on welfare are getting dismotivated because they get too much money, is that how it works?

 
At 5/08/2012 4:24 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yeah, Hydra. people on welfare can reach their desired level of consumption without scraping their asses off the couch, then they're probably not going to, you know, become motivated to volunteer to go to work.

If a producer works his ass off and the harder he works, the more risk he takes the less of it he gets to keep, he's probably going to be unmotivated to keep working, investing, innovating.

What do you find so confusing about that, Hydra?

 
At 5/08/2012 4:55 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Hydra's comment is very interesting to see actually written out. It's odd to me that, through his sarcasm, he's saying that all people are motivated equally by identical stimuli...I'm guessing at some point in the last few years he's probably made statements urging others (that he considers to be ill-informed) to respect one's unique individuality.

I've always wanted to know how big a group needs to be before the Hydras, Jons and Larrys start to think we should coddle the lazy. In other words; on an island after a shipwreck with 10 able-bodied people, and one does nothing (or very little) to help, even they would be unlikely to treat the motivationally-challenged person equally with those that work hard....right? Even they would know that couldn't last long before mutiny. Why does an increasing number of people change this attitude?

 
At 5/08/2012 5:23 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I think you got me in the wrong group there Mike.

I do not believe in coddling anyone and believe that hard work is what gets rewards and success.

but I do believe in govt and I recognize that when you live under a govt that is elected by a majority - that you get things you do not like or agree with.

the fact that many of the things that you rail about here are common across virtually all govts on earth does make me wonder who is not dealing with the realities at times.

Some who inhabit these pages seem to be obsessed with what they see as bad, wrong govt as if the govt was some monolithic force for evil rather than the folks all around them that outvote them at elections.

Mr. Paul got 10% of the Conservative vote.

that pretty much sums up the strength of the libertarian voting bloc.

In a representative govt - that's the extent of your influence.

if you want to win - you have to convince more people AND you have make some serious compromises.

you're simply not going to get rid of the entitlements... ain't going to happen and I'll agree with you up front that we have too many slackers sucking on welfare.and unemployment benefits..and yes Medicare and MedicAid.

 
At 5/08/2012 5:26 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

here's something that should warm the cockles of your libertarian hearts...

:-)

The Greek Solution - No Govt

 
At 5/08/2012 5:27 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Sweden, more importantly, is also practicing nominal GDP targeting though its central bank.

Sweden is a winner.

 
At 5/08/2012 5:33 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Nice link, Marmico. I passed it on to Russ Roberts at Cafe Hayek.

I do notice gov't spending as a percentage of GDP is declining over the years in Sweden, though.

Out of curiosity, how much would Swedish Penn have to cut to attain "Rock Star" status? Are there any other levels on the way to full "Rock Star"? Maybe he's working his way up.

 
At 5/08/2012 5:43 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Larry,

I actually considered deleting the post and re-writing it without your name in it after I slapped it up here. You and I don't agree on too much, but I shouldn't have put your name in there. You don't strike me a crazed welfare-hugger and I apologize for insinuating as much.

However, I'm not sure why I can't disapprove of something without being thought of as unrealistic. To paraphrase Thatcher, we're about to run out of other people's money...so people had better start behaving 'unrealistically'.

 
At 5/08/2012 5:50 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Mike - thanks. I just think we can talk about these things and possibly learn and understand each others positions better without getting into name calling and worse.

I think you CAN DISAPPROVE and I would actually AGREE with you on a lot of it but I also look downstream as to how some of this might be resolved and that's when I look at some of what is being proposed and think.. "there ain't no way this is going to happen"..

I tend to be a realist in terms of what actually plays out verses what folks believe or have an ideology about.

but I do appreciate your sentiments and enjoy discussing issues with you...

 
At 5/08/2012 6:15 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Larry,
We all believe we can foresee and judge based on beliefs of predicted behavior. I think what we all need to understand is that experiences in different communities within the same country (of this size) can be vastly different and one size doesn't fit all.

Having worked in broadcasting for over 20 years, I feel like I have slightly different perspective than some....not because of the business end, but because the business tends to force employees to be very transient and very active in communities that aren't our own....and then figure out what makes them tick. It's different in every city I've worked. I think this makes my outlook somewhat different and, in some cases, probably difficult for others to understand why I think the way I do....I'll admit, sometimes it doesn't help that I have a hard time putting these thoughts into brief paragraphs. Maybe that bio will help you understand me a little better.

 
At 5/08/2012 6:42 PM, Blogger Mike said...

BTW, Larry...

I think it was J. Murphy who posted, " I don't understand where the leap from 'limited' to 'no' government comes from...." (or something similar).
I'm not an anarchist. I don't believe in "no" government. Strong rule of law is cornerstone of a healthy economy and civilization.

Re: your Greek post....I sorta like gridlock from opposing views when things are going well....this is probably not the time for the Greek to have polar opposite, radical newcomers to run that dump through near-violent inaction.

 
At 5/08/2012 7:31 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Mike - I appreciate you sharing your background/perspective....and look forward to further discussions.

 
At 5/08/2012 7:31 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"I've always wanted to know how big a group needs to be before the Hydras, Jons and Larrys start to think we should coddle the lazy. In other words; on an island after a shipwreck with 10 able-bodied people, and one does nothing (or very little) to help, even they would be unlikely to treat the motivationally-challenged person equally with those that work hard....right? Even they would know that couldn't last long before mutiny. Why does an increasing number of people change this attitude?" -- Mike

If we held an election and Jon could secure the vote of the six laziest people by promising to redistribute the product of the four hardest workers, while assuaging any guilt by insisting that they have more than they need or are entitled to, well, you get the gist.

""Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner." -- James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994)

I think the answer is three.

 
At 5/08/2012 7:44 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I wonder if in the USA people realize what a supply side policy would entail.

•Consumption taxes, and progressive consumption taxes to finance the military (alal Milton Friedman)
•Wipe out the ethanol program.
•Radically curtail military-homeland security and VA outlays. Put vets on vouchers, wipe out military pensions for cash buyouts.
•Pollution taxes
•Eliminate the vast federal subsidy of rural areas, now a $100 billion a year boondoggle of fat.
•Cut welfare spending (although it is not a large part of federal outlays).
•Raise Social Security retirement age
•Adopt euthanasia for Medicare patients who are terminally ill and aged
•Opening up our borders to immigrants

An even tougher nut to crack are various obstructive state and local governments, who insist on licensing professions and trades, regulating whole industries such as alcohol, and limiting real estate development.

In short, the likelihood of structural impediments being quickly torn down is zero. These are sacred cows of out political parties. As you can see, the GOP may even be worse than the D-Party.

Below is list of largest federal agencies, by employment, that financed by income and capital gains taxes. Where should we cut?



Defense 3,200,000
Veterans Affairs 240,000 

Homeland Security 200,000
Treasury 162,119 

Justice 124,870 

USDA 100,000 

DOT 100,000
Health and Human Services 62,999 

Interior 57,232 

Commerce 41,711 

NASA 19,198 

EPA 18,879
State 18,000 

Labor 16,818 

Energy 14,000 

GSA 14,000

 
At 5/08/2012 11:10 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Ben: Every freakin thing.

 
At 5/08/2012 11:10 PM, Blogger Pulverized Concepts said...

Some who inhabit these pages seem to be obsessed with what they see as bad, wrong govt as if the govt was some monolithic force for evil rather than the folks all around them that outvote them at elections.

Those are the people that have managed to reverse a lifetime of statist propaganda. A good example of which is the vile novel and disgusting movies made from it, "Lord of the Flies", enormously popular in statist schools because it preaches that it's impossible for humans to interact without the guiding hand of the state.

 
At 5/09/2012 6:24 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Larry G: "I recognize that when you live under a govt that is elected by a majority - that you get things you do not like or agree with."

This nation was not built on a simplistic idea of majority rules. The majority was not allowed to run over the rights of the minority. People who "believe in government" tend to forget that.

Our founding fathers clearly enacted a constitution which limited the power of the federal government. People who "believe in government" today do not realize how unlimited the power of that government has grown over the past 240 years.

The "realties of the times", Larry, are the tramplings on individual liberty. That such tramplings are happening all over the earth does not make them any more just or any less dangerous.

 
At 5/09/2012 6:25 AM, Blogger marmico said...

how much would Swedish Penn have to cut to attain "Rock Star" status

I dunno. Borg entered office in 2006 when spending was 52.7% which declined to 51.3% of 2011 GDP.

How about the 2011 EU27 average of 49.1%? He's less than half way to rock star status by that measure and the Swedish economy might be in recession (2 quarters of negative GDP growth) when the Q12012 GDP accounts are released later this month.

 
At 5/09/2012 6:42 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" This nation was not built on a simplistic idea of majority rules. The majority was not allowed to run over the rights of the minority. People who "believe in government" tend to forget that."

the rights of the minority are protected but not articulated like the rights for all are and the reality is we have a govt set up to be selected by the majority and that includes SCOTUS opinions.

Most people here and in all other industrialized countries WANT a government that regulates and protect and help those who need it.

We vote for social insurance every time we have elections and few if any politicians run on a plank of promising to get rid of social insurance.

Again - do not confuse my pondering of how we operate with my opinion of how we should. Just because I try to explain what I think is the situation does not mean I'm trying to justify it. I'm pointing out what I think is a clear reality.

No industrialized country leaves it's elders fortunes to the free market. Every single one of hose countries have VOTED to provide health care to elders.

these are the undisputed facts.

you can go down the list of "statist" concepts that are:

1. - in place in most countries
2. - kept in place by a majority of voters.

we have a statist govt here and around the world because a majority of govt want it.

 
At 5/09/2012 7:07 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

I expect Krugman to attack those right wing extremists in Sweden any day now. He will claim that if the Swedes ran a deficit and increased taxes their growth would be even higher.

 
At 5/09/2012 7:09 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Well, Marmico, it's not so easy cutting entitlements once they're in place. Note Medicare.

However, cutting tax rates and refusing to spend more ("stimulus") is what makes Borg a "rock star".

You can't expect him to scrap almost everything in Club Sweden and remake the entire country in six years.

 
At 5/09/2012 7:10 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Some who inhabit these pages seem to be obsessed with what they see as bad, wrong govt as if the govt was some monolithic force for evil rather than the folks all around them that outvote them at elections.

Government takes from some by the use of force or threat and gives to others. It claims the right on the monopoly use of the initiation of force and uses that right. Isn't stealing and killing evil?

 
At 5/09/2012 7:13 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Isn't stealing and killing evil?

Only when Pinochet does it.

 
At 5/09/2012 7:17 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

marmico: Government spending in Sweden rolls along at 50%+ of GDP. A rock star of supply side anti-keynesian Borg ain't.

Which shows that a country with a large social welfare sector, but robust markets, can still grow. Add to your comments a flexible exchange rate, which allowed the Krona to devalue during the crisis, spreading the pain through the economy and stimulating the export economy.

 
At 5/09/2012 7:21 AM, Blogger Ed R said...

A permanent tax cut is pure Keynes. (How quickly they forget).

Sweden (which has its own currency and central bank) also devalued (which the EZ countries cannot do) which stimulated its exports.

Sweden is more 'socialist' (i. e. more govt spending) than most of the EU.

 
At 5/09/2012 7:24 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Government spending in Sweden rolls along at 50%+ of GDP."


ahhh..that pesky truth... keeps coming right back....

 
At 5/09/2012 7:27 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Which shows that a country with a large social welfare sector, but robust markets, can still grow.

If it happens to have homogenous population of around 8 million people. That's key. And grow relative to what? the pre-1990's stagnant Sweden with its confiscatory tax rates that drove businesses and businessmen to neighbouring countries and necessitated free-market reforms to allow for the provisioning of services that the welfare state couldn't adequately provide even for a small group of homogenous people?

Hardly the bar to clear. And you simply cannot assume that even in the presence of capitalist institutions a huge welfare state will work anything like the inadequate one in Club Sweden for a diverse population 33x the size of Sweden's.

 
At 5/09/2012 7:32 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Tax-cutting Sweden, by contrast, had the fastest growth in Europe last year, when it also celebrated the abolition of its deficit. "

A welfare state that actually balances the budget?

HERESY!

Net social expenditureRank 1 Sweden 30.6 % of GDP

 
At 5/09/2012 7:33 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

A permanent tax cut is pure Keynes. (How quickly they forget).

Sure. But, Keynes didn't prefer it because you can't trust "the people" not to save the tax cut. So, while he said you could cut taxes, he much preferred government spending to tax cuts.

Keynes was an elitist underconsumptionist who strongly believed you needed a posse of poncy Cambridge men like himself to lead the unwashed masses by the noses.

 
At 5/09/2012 8:04 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Methinks: And grow relative to what?

Read the the original post, including the update.

 
At 5/09/2012 8:12 AM, Blogger AtlantaDude said...

What were Sweden's tax rates before and after the rate cuts? My guess is that they were extremely high.

Rate cuts would seem to make sense at those levels, or at the levels we had prior to the Kennedy at Reagan rate cuts. However, I think even the most ardent (knowledgeable)supply sider would agree that rate cuts' impact diminishes at lower rates. Given that top marginal rates are currently at/near post WWII lows, are we to assume that rate cuts now will be so stimulative for the U.S.?

This is my problem with current Republican thinking. They have a hammer that worked on a particular nail in 1981, so they keep insisting/assuming it will work on a completely different nail in 2012.

 
At 5/09/2012 8:17 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Larry G: "the rights of the minority are protected but not articulated like the rights for all are"

I don't think you understand the U.S. Constitution. It was written to limit the power of the federal government, not to "articulate" the rights that government will allow

 
At 5/09/2012 8:20 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Larry G: "We vote for social insurance every time we have elections"

"We" do not vote for an expansion of social insurance and an expansion of government every time we have elections. That was clear in 1994 and again in 2010.

 
At 5/09/2012 8:21 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" I don't think you understand the U.S. Constitution. It was written to limit the power of the federal government, not to "articulate" the rights that government will allow "

Again, let me emphasize that I'm looking at the realities here not what some perceive to be the intent of the Constitution.

If you really think the Constitution was written to limit the power of the Federal Govt, what happened?

not only here but in every other industrialized country in the world who operate pretty much like this country does.

arguing about what the Constitution "intended" verses how we actually are seems to be a backward-looking perspective.

we're not going to undo what we've done unless a majority of people want to.

agree?

 
At 5/09/2012 8:23 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" "We" do not vote for an expansion of social insurance and an expansion of government every time we have elections. That was clear in 1994 and again in 2010."

but we DO vote to keep it and not get rid of it.

right?

what politician has run on a plank where he/she promises to dismantle Social Security?

Not even Ron Paul or Paul Ryan have advocated that.

How do you get rid of things like Social Security if there are no politicians that run on that plank?

 
At 5/09/2012 8:25 AM, Blogger earltp said...

maybe this has something to do with the fact that Sweden nationalized its banks in the 90's to clean them up....they aren't zombies controlling the govt and sucking us dry...http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/business/worldbusiness/23sweden.html?pagewanted=all

 
At 5/09/2012 8:50 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Larry: "we're not going to undo what we've done unless a majority of people want to.

agree?"


Regardless of what the majority of people want, the U.S. Supreme Court should strike down the idividual insurance mandate of the Health Care Act of 2010.

The Supreme Court has nullified other legislation enacted by the people's representatives. The most recent case was Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

So, no, I do not agree with your statement.

The Supreme Court occasionally does limit the power of the federal government. Not as much as almost all Republicans wish. If Obama gets to replace one of the conservatives on the court, I will fear even more for our personal liberties. That's why the election of the next president is so important.

 
At 5/09/2012 8:54 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Larry: "How do you get rid of things like Social Security if there are no politicians that run on that plank?"

This discussion bores me, but I'll go ahead and answer one more question.

Politicians have advocated a phasing out of Social Security. If the jerks in Washington would stop wasting so much money, it would be possible to phase out Social Security or to privatize it.

Of course, you are correct that a large portion of the electorate wants someone else to take care of them. i suspect you do. I do not understand how such people can look in the mirror every day.

 
At 5/09/2012 8:58 AM, Blogger Jeffrey Scott said...

I sell oil. I just got this months prices from Russia with a 40% increase in prices. This is what happens when governments reach the point where printing money becomes acknowledged as an untrustworthy act.
Get ready for inflation. Get ready for unrest as the Keynesian bankers have driven social spending into unsustainable levels in order to buy votes. The populous has no idea what is going on for the last 20 years. They will not understand why their welfare has to be cut, especially at a time when prices are rising quickly.

 
At 5/09/2012 9:16 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" If Obama gets to replace one of the conservatives on the court, I will fear even more for our personal liberties. That's why the election of the next president is so important."

so you are admitting here that the majority vote does rule, right?

You are correct about Citizens United but the issue is far from settled in my view and there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat.

The problem is the lack of transparency as to where the money comes from - whether it is business or union.

this again gets to the purpose and role of govt.

should govt be able to require full disclosure of campaign money - because at the end of the day - if people KNOW that businesses are donating money they are also free to vote with their feet.

I notice that WalMart and others just bailed on ALEC once they were "outed" as stealth supporters.

I would think the same thing would happen with any businesses that is directly and publically tied to these PACs that run attack and swiftboat Ads - left and right.

People are sick of this and are ready to boycott businesses that want to play this way.

that's "liberty" also, right?

 
At 5/09/2012 9:24 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Of course, you are correct that a large portion of the electorate wants someone else to take care of them. i suspect you do. I do not understand how such people can look in the mirror every day."

Well I don't see Social Security that way. I see it as a protection from others requiring me to pay for their care because they did not set aside money for the future.

I see it as an individual mandate to to require a level of personal responsibility so that other taxpayers don't end up paying later on.

But the most amazing thing to me is that Social Security has virtually no impact on the current budget deficit.

Social Security is funded from payroll taxes not income taxes.

I realize there is a debate about that also but the point is that SS is not what is behind our current fiscal problems.

the opposition to SS is mostly on a philosophical basis....and again I point out that this is not a US-only issue as virtually every industrialized country in the world - has individual mandates funded from payroll taxes.

I see no country held up for it's fiscal success that eschews social insurance.

We have no real world examples of it on a planet of over 200 countries.

surely there ought to be one or two existing countries that don't have individual mandates/payroll taxes and are better off economically as a result.

again.. separate what I argue in terms of my beliefs/philosophy and what I point out is the reality.

I just don't know of any countries that don't have an individual mandate that I'd like to live in... most seem to be much worse off than the industrialized countries.

 
At 5/09/2012 9:40 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

to a certain extent, it is precisely that sweden has been so high tax and government spend that makes it easy for them to grow now by abandoning those policies.

there is a ton of low hanging fruit and pent up business opportunity which has long been suppressed.

the direction in which the trend is moving tends to affect growth more than absolute levels in the short run.

but all in all, this really drives home a simple fact: stimulus does not work. you get growth by encouraging economic activity, not crowding it out and running up debt.

 
At 5/09/2012 9:47 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Get ready for inflation. Get ready for unrest as the Keynesian bankers have driven social spending into unsustainable levels in order to buy votes. The populous has no idea what is going on for the last 20 years. They will not understand why their welfare has to be cut, especially at a time when prices are rising quickly.

The problem is that many people 'prepare' by using way too much leverage and wind up being right but losing purchasing power.

 
At 5/09/2012 9:50 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

how does Sweden get away with such high levels of social spending and still not "crowd out" or go into debt?

Isn't the conventional wisdom that social spending will bankrupt the country?

how does Sweden escape this fate?

 
At 5/09/2012 10:10 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

how does Sweden get away with such high levels of social spending and still not "crowd out" or go into debt?

It doesn't.

 
At 5/09/2012 12:03 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> Let's see, rich people need more money to motivate them, and poor people on welfare are getting dismotivated because they get too much money, is that how it works

Cranium{------}Rectum

Much more distance is called for. Direct contact is no way to go through life.

>>> Yeah, Hydra. people on welfare can reach their desired level of consumption without scraping their asses off the couch, then they're probably not going to, you know, become motivated to volunteer to go to work.

Exactly. As the classic idea goes -- if you pay for something, you get more of it.

This includes sitting around doing nothing and getting paid for it.

The only way to improve the economy is not to hand out stuff to the lower class, but to give EVERYONE things to do and reward them WELL for doing it WELL.

I grant, that last part doesn't always occur, but it's the real goal, and there's no shortcuts around that.

 
At 5/09/2012 12:09 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> I do believe in govt and I recognize that when you live under a govt that is elected by a majority - that you get things you do not like or agree with.

This is not the same thing as Bread and Circuses, Larry. The problem with any warm-bodied democracy is the issue of authority vs. responsibility, as it is with almost everything in the universe. Authority with no Responsibility is an invitation to disaster, and that's what the "majority rules" of a warm-body democracy devolve down to in the end.


Allow me to restate your position more succinctly:

"You!! Give us your money!! No, it doesn't matter how hard you worked for it. We're a bigger group than you are, and we demand you give it to us. Don't like it? Tough!"

So, your "you get things you do not like or agree with." basically says "Might makes Right!"

Really? Is THAT what democracy is really all about?

Or are there supposed to be checks and balances to prevent that kind of thing? Because it's clearly wrong and unjust.

And it's really quite sad-sick-hilarious that the OWS people are demanding injustice be used to create "Social Justice".

 
At 5/09/2012 12:11 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

...when you live under a govt...

The phrasing is telling. A window into the mind of a willing serf.

 
At 5/09/2012 12:14 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

a very popular choice among people's of the earth, eh?

I mean we have a good number of 3rd world and developing world countries for the true believers to flee to but it appears that most of them are more mouth than actual principles....

sorta of like beggars bitching about the alms, eh?

 
At 5/09/2012 12:36 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>>> If you really think the Constitution was written to limit the power of the Federal Govt, what happened?

"If you really..."?

Are you utterly, stupidly, abysmally IGNORANT of EVERYTHING in American history that there is a QUESTION?

a) This was NEVER supposed to be a "Democracy". It was a REPUBLIC.
Go read up on the #^%$^$ difference.

b) It was never supposed to be a "warm body" voting system -- voting was tied to RESPONSIBILITY. If you were demonstrably a productive individual, you were given the vote.

>>> not only here but in every other industrialized country in the world who operate pretty much like this country does.

Name one country which used our model as a basis, Larry. The vast majority used the English Parliamentarian model, since England was the pre-emminent world power at the time of their creation. Not saying they don't exist, just that they are few and far between.

>>> Some who inhabit these pages seem to be obsessed with what they see as bad, wrong govt as if the govt was some monolithic force for evil rather than the folks all around them that outvote them at elections.

Larry, government IS a large, monolithic force for evil. That's what you and your ilk Just Don't Get.

It is all about using RAW NAKED FORCE to achieve a result. It is given a direct MONOPOLY on such by social contract. As a result, it generally DOES EVIL. It's just a question of whether the EVIL would be worse without government than with it. The presumption is that government is the LESSER EVIL. Not that it's anything BUT evil.

All government power derives from force. "Do this" it says. If you don't, they will send agents out to confiscate your property or your actual person. If you resist, they will shoot you. If you resist too much, they will kill you.

So, as P.J. O'Rourke put it, the real question you have to ask -- "Would I shoot my Grandmother to make this happen?" The answer to all too many things today is "WtF? Hell, no!!"

And as far as the incremental nature of how things have changed, well, that's hardly trivial, either.

Things have been perverted by slow, inevitable action over time, as individual and group and electorate were convinced by charlatans, quacks, and demagogues that "this" (pick your poison) was something to be solved by exercise of government power.

And those who were selected to be the guardians against misuse of that -- rarely a majority since we're usually talking about the SCotUS -- failed to act as they should responsibly have... most likely because they did not truly see the full ramifications down the line, rather than because of any malicious intent of their own (in a few cases, such as the Corrupt Bargain, there may well have been clear fraud)

>>> Larry: "we're not going to undo what we've done unless a majority of people want to. Agree?"

No, there's lots of stuff that really requires certain responsible individuals to do unpopular things at the risk to the longevity of their careers. Majorities aren't going to "fix" many of the problems short of revolution -- because in a lot of cases the problems are no longer elected individuals but a collusion between those and unelected bureaucrats to stonewall any kind of reforms no matter how the majority feels.

The issue of Obamacare is a clear example of that -- it was very clear that a majority of the public did not approve of it, and it got passed anyway.

It's equally true that it's not at this point approved of by the majority, yet Congress isn't acting forthwith to repeal it. We all hope that the SCotUS does its job, and tears it down. But it should be clear that THE MAJORITY is against its implementation.

 
At 5/09/2012 12:41 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"If you really think the Constitution was written to limit the power of the Federal Govt, what happened?"

The Progressive movement in the early 1900's got the ball rolling. Then FDR came along and smashed the system we had known up until the New Deal.

"But the most amazing thing to me is that Social Security has virtually no impact on the current budget deficit."

It absolutely does. First, the original entitlement "surpluses" were used by big spending politicians to mask the deficit, allowing new government programs. Second, the taxes I pay for SS are taxes I cannot pay towards the deficit. You can only squeeze so much money out of me.

"..few if any politicians run on a plank of promising to get rid of social insurance."

Though many like Paul Ryan and the House GOP run on a plank to reform the entitlements so they don't bankrupt the country.

 
At 5/09/2012 12:44 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> I see no country held up for it's fiscal success that eschews social insurance.

We have no real world examples of it on a planet of over 200 countries.


Larry, are ya just STUPID?

This argument by proxy that "just because no one has done it, means it must not work" is ridiculous.

First off, there are LOTS of nations that don't have a social assistance program combined with modern industrialized medicine to pay for.

Second off, gee, "here's something free. you want to vote for it?" is not going to find a lot of resisters. It requires a special kind of self-responsibility to make that choice based on long-term considerations, to say nothing about the rightness or wrongness of it at its heart. It's essentially a variant of conscription:

"You!! Pay me some money for my health care!!"

That IS what's happening there. YOU are ripping off someone ELSE of their hard-earned money in order to save YOU from having to pay out of your own pocket for health care.

That's what TAXATION and GOVERNMENT SPENDING IS. Money taken at gunpoint: "Pay up, or else, said the man from the IRS..."

The last PotUS who Really Got It, as far as I can see, was Grover Cleveland (from the wiki):

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

In 1887, Cleveland issued his most well-known veto, that of the Texas Seed Bill. After a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, Congress appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for farmers there. Cleveland vetoed the expenditure. In his veto message, he espoused a theory of limited government:

I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.
====================================================

 
At 5/09/2012 12:50 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> Isn't the conventional wisdom that social spending will bankrupt the country?

how does Sweden escape this fate?


a) Yes, it is.
b) That doesn't mean it happens overnight -- there no more than here.
c) It won't escape it anymore than we will. You cannot endlessly spend more than you make. That's so freaking OBVIOUS one has to wonder what can possibly be so wrong with your brain that you can't see it. At some point, the piper comes, and if you don't -- or worse still, can't -- pay the bill, there go the children.

 
At 5/09/2012 1:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I guess I'd think that if the current social spending is so bad and so bankrupting of countries that the countries without it would have prevailed economically.

It has not happened. Virtually every single country that has social insurance is better off than countries without it.

these are facts.

Instead of going bankrupt, Sweden has actually balanced it's budget and it ranks first in social spending.

How can Sweden be ranked first in social spending and instead of being bankrupt it has a balanced budget?

Again - I keep reminding here...

I'm not arguing in favor of this.

I'm pointing out the obvious realities all around us.

Even Singapore and Hong Kong have payroll taxes, individual mandates and universal health care.

I know of no modern country that does not have social insurance that can be shown to be superior economically to the countries that do.

 
At 5/09/2012 2:21 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Are you utterly, stupidly, abysmally IGNORANT of EVERYTHING in American history that there is a QUESTION?

Yes, he really is utterly, stupidly, abysmally IGNORANT of EVERYTHING. But his ignorance is not just limited to American history but to most subjects.

 
At 5/09/2012 2:23 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The Progressive movement in the early 1900's got the ball rolling. Then FDR came along and smashed the system we had known up until the New Deal.

Actually, it started long before the progressive movement. The coup took place when the Constitution was written to replace the Articles of Federation. The rest was inevitable.

 
At 5/09/2012 2:25 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Though many like Paul Ryan and the House GOP run on a plank to reform the entitlements so they don't bankrupt the country.

Ryan is a charlatan. His proposed budget makes no material cuts and keeps running deficits into the future. What the US needs are real cuts immediately, not another set of promises that cannot bind a future Congress.

 
At 5/09/2012 2:47 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Instead of going bankrupt, Sweden has actually balanced it's budget and it ranks first in social spending"...

ROFLMAO!

A Rebuttal to the Praise of Scandinavian Socialism

A list of everyday items we can still have access to that didn't exist in Sweden during my last trip there June 2010...

1) quick-shops...

2) gasoline for less than $9.00/gal

3) milk for less than $4.00/gal

4) bread for less than $3.00/loaf

5) ground chuck for less than $5.00/lb

6) peanut butter

7) laptop computer for less than $1,000

8) instant oil change shops

9) toilet paper that didn't feel like #34 sandpaper

10) mp3 player for less than $25.00

There's a whole lot more...

All hail to the welfare state...

 
At 5/09/2012 2:51 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"The coup took place when the Constitution was written to replace the Articles of Federation. The rest was inevitable"...

Well vangeIV now that might be a bit questionable but I get your point...

You really could also consider when the federal government first exceeded Article One - Section Eight of the Constitution and no one threw down the gauntlet...

 
At 5/09/2012 3:26 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Paul Krugman will not be pleased"...

Yeah well Krugman could use a laxative...

He's not pleased with the amount of 'compassion' we waste in this country...

From Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute: The American Welfare State: How We Spend Nearly $1 Trillion a Year Fighting Poverty--And Fail

 
At 5/09/2012 3:46 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Ryan is a charlatan. His proposed budget makes no material cuts and keeps running deficits into the future"

indeed.

well.. he says that tax cuts will yield enough revenues to pay for DOD without cutting it but it will take until 2037 or thereabouts to do it.

:-)

 
At 5/09/2012 4:23 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Well vangeIV now that might be a bit questionable but I get your point...

You really could also consider when the federal government first exceeded Article One - Section Eight of the Constitution and no one threw down the gauntlet...


The structure set up by the Constitution made everything that we see inevitable. Liberty is not determined by the character of the people who are in power or the way they come to power. It is determined by the limits placed on their power. Given the fact that the Constitution has a mechanism that permits the expansion of federal power liberty seems to be in a secular bear market.

 
At 5/10/2012 3:20 AM, Blogger marmico said...

Nice link, Marmico. I passed it on to Russ Roberts at Cafe Hayek

This is the best that Roberts can do. The Slashed Spending of European Governments

The Kochtopolous at GMU is losing its grip. They would be better off directing corporate money elsewhere

 
At 5/10/2012 3:21 AM, Blogger marmico said...

click on the revenue side of the ledger. Ain't no austerity there.

 
At 5/10/2012 6:36 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yes, Marmico. Roberts has once again shown himself to be a far superior scholar to Krugman. Of course, this is not a new revelation.

Krugman is once again shown to be nothing more than a shill. Maybe he should do less yoga and more research before babbling in the NYT. He doesn't even bother to glance at data before he begins screaming about what has been proved to work or not work.

What a disaster.

 
At 5/10/2012 12:32 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> I guess I'd think that if the current social spending is so bad and so bankrupting of countries that the countries without it would have prevailed economically.

It has not happened. Virtually every single country that has social insurance is better off than countries without it.

these are facts.


Irrelevant facts and or distorted facts, perhaps.

Or perhaps you hadn't noticed that the one such nation where socialized medicine hasn't yet had much of a foothold is the WEALTHIEST?

Y'know, the one that, up until about five years ago, had had its economic growth take it through the roof, to the extent where there was the non-socialized medicine economy, the top EIGHT other economies (all socialized), and the rest of the world... each of which represented one THIRD of global production...?

So,

Industrialization + NSM ==33% of world production from 1/20th of world population

Industrialization + SM == 33% of world production from 1/3rd of world population

Minor industrialization + (doesn't matter state of SM) == 33% of production from a bit less than 2/3rds of world pop.

Ergo, non SM substantially increases production.

THAT's the FACT, jack.

Sorry to abuse your little false treatise there by spiking it into a 6' hole in the ground.

In actual fact, the meme above is faulty, in that it presumes cause and effect, but it's the cause and effect you were expressly claiming as somehow "proving" something.... I'm only pointing out that, by your specious cause-and-effect "reasoning" (see GIGO), it's the actual fact to be derived, not the one you attempted to blow past everyone hoping no one would spot the rather blatant and stupid error in it...

 
At 5/10/2012 12:34 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Larry G:

Sweden has actually balanced it's budget

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

Just noting it for the Doc to add to his list.

 
At 5/10/2012 12:39 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> Below is list of largest federal agencies, by employment, that financed by income and capital gains taxes. Where should we cut?



In regards to your diatribe, how about it gets cut after "I wonder..."

That's about the right extent of your bloviations to cut at, Benny.

 
At 5/10/2012 12:41 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> A good example of which is the vile novel and disgusting movies made from it, "Lord of the Flies", enormously popular in statist schools because it preaches that it's impossible for humans to interact without the guiding hand of the state.

Heh.

The anti-Lord of the Flies

 
At 5/10/2012 12:46 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> Yeah well Krugman could use a laxative...

I'd suggest Krugman could use a trepanning, but that's already been done, pretty clearly.

No, the only thing that would really improve Krugman's existence would be an ounce of lead, giver or take, traveling at around 1kft/sec or more, applied directly to the cranial orifice.

 
At 5/10/2012 12:47 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Or perhaps you hadn't noticed that the one such nation where socialized medicine hasn't yet had much of a foothold is the WEALTHIEST?"

Medicare, MedicAid, EMTALA, TRICARE,SCHIPS, ????

how about comparing countries that have NO socialized healthcare at all with the ones that do including the US?

According to the "theory", the less socialized programs a country has, the better it's economic prospects, right?

One would think the least fettered countries would become the most powerful economically, right?

but out of 200 countries on this earth, not a single country that has no social programs has challenged ANY of the countries that do have it.

list out the countries that don't have social insurance that you considered the top competitors to the countries who do have social insurance.

Again - do not confuse advocacy for any of this with the mere statement of the realities.

I'm only pointing out what appear to be the realities and asking for you to find/point out data that contradicts.

are we talking about theories here or realities?

 
At 5/10/2012 8:57 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"According to the "theory", the less socialized programs a country has, the better it's economic prospects, right?"...

WRONG!

But you're used to that larry g...

Socialized anything is wealh redistribution from the productive to the parasitic...

Now if YOU think the parasitic need whatever it is you think they need, then you and your fellow travelers should be more than willing to put these slugs on your collective back and carry them through life...

Meanwhile people who have thought about it and observed it will understand that the money wasted so far - $14,848 for every poor man, woman, and child in this country was a bad bet and move onto something else...

 
At 5/11/2012 4:50 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" "According to the "theory", the less socialized programs a country has, the better it's economic prospects, right?"...

WRONG!"

so... socialized programs are good or bad for the economy of a given country?


A country that does not have social programs is:

A - better off economically

B - worse off economically

what is your answer?

 
At 5/11/2012 7:57 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

A country that does not have social programs is:

A - better off economically

B - worse off economically

what is your answer?


Poor countries have trouble justifying social programs because they are not affordable. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Brunei, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, and Oman have large welfare states while Yemen and Eritrea do not. Europe has had a large welfare state philosophy for a long time and is now facing the consequences as most economies are on the verge of collapse.

 
At 5/12/2012 8:33 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"so... socialized programs are good or bad for the economy of a given country?"...

"Good' or 'bad' are the wrong terms to use, socialist programs are unworkable, unwieldy, and prone to incompetence and corruption due to their very sizes...

I can't think of a country were 'nation wide' socialist programs have helped any country...

 
At 5/12/2012 8:41 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" I can't think of a country were 'nation wide' socialist programs have helped any country.."

that's not your claim though.

your claim is that socialist programs HURT these countries economically and that the countries would be better off economically without them.

I'm asking you to cite some examples of where this is true.

 
At 5/12/2012 1:32 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"your claim is that socialist programs HURT these countries economically and that the countries would be better off economically without them.

I'm asking you to cite some examples of where this is true
"...

Well larry g just how often do you need country names like the United States, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, etc, etc repeated to you?

All countries hurt with economies that have either crashed and burned or on the bleeding edge of that situation?

There have been plenty of linked articles from Zero Hedge, the Economist, CNBC, and so on for your elucidation...

What else does it take?

 
At 5/12/2012 1:46 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Name some countries that DO NOT have social programs and as a direct consequence, have superior economies. What are those countries?

I do not see any but perhaps you do.

how could we have two hundred + countries and not a single one that actually has a superior economy because they do not have social programs?

You'd think there would be at least one or two, no?

I keep asking this question and invariably someone will name a country that DOES have social programs... like Singapore or Hong Kong or Argentina..but all of those countries DO have social insurance.

so how about naming some that do not have any and because they do not have them - they have better economies without that "drag"?

It sure look like you are advocating a theory rather than anything real.

 
At 5/13/2012 8:16 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Name some countries that DO NOT have social programs and as a direct consequence, have superior economies. What are those countries?

Countries with good economies create social programs because they can afford to. Once they create them the social programs reduce growth, increase dependence, and ruin the economies.

 
At 5/13/2012 8:40 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

are there ANY countries with GOOD economies that DID NOT create social programs or that got rid of them later after they were created?

If we KNOW that once a country becomes economically capable that they inevitably implement social programs that, in turn, ultimately drive the country to bankruptcy then why have no countries chosen to not implement social programs or eliminate the ones they do have?

If social programs are put in place because people want them then how would we ever expect to have the same populace that wanted them to start with to agree to get rid of them?

I just don't think countries will eliminate social programs without support of the citizens no matter how strong the advocacy to do so is from some citizens.

Most people fundamentally want the social programs and they'll choose draconian reforms to rein them in over outright elimination.

Just look at the current crop of politicians... less than a handful support outright elimination while the vast majority of even the hard core fiscal conservatives favor reforms.

 
At 5/13/2012 9:58 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

are there ANY countries with GOOD economies that DID NOT create social programs or that got rid of them later after they were created?

I can't think of any. Can you?

 
At 5/13/2012 7:22 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jet: "I don't think you understand the U.S. Constitution."

LOL!! That's the finest understatement of the problem I've read in a long time.

Thanks, Jet, You've made my day.

 
At 5/13/2012 8:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I keep asking this question and invariably someone will name a country that DOES have social programs... like Singapore or Hong Kong or Argentina..but all of those countries DO have social insurance."

You certainly do, Larry, and you aren't likely to get an answer you like because you are asking a meaningless question. It isn't social programs that make a country wealthy, but a country being wealthy that allows social programs supported by taxpayers to exist, just as it isn't lack of social programs that make a country poor, but being poor that precludes the existence of social programs.

The question you might consider is whether you think government programs can better help those in need than the help their own families, friends, communities, and voluntary associations can provide.

Your advocacy of income redistribution is misguided and not economically sound, not to mention immoral.

 
At 5/13/2012 8:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Well I don't see Social Security that way. I see it as a protection from others requiring me to pay for their care because they did not set aside money for the future."

So you prefer others require you to pay for their care as protection against having to pay for their care?

"I see it as an individual mandate to to require a level of personal responsibility so that other taxpayers don't end up paying later on."

Personal responsibility is what happens in the ABSENCE of coercion. You have that backwards. Compassion and generousity cannot be forced.

With SS, of course, you are required to pay for the care of others now, and other taxpayers WILL be required to pay for you later. What are you even talking about?

 
At 5/13/2012 8:52 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"According to the "theory", the less socialized programs a country has, the better it's economic prospects, right?"

I'm unaware of any such theory. Are you making stuff up?

What I AM aware of, is that the more you allow productive people to produce, without disincentivising them by taking big chunks of their earnings to redistribute to the less productive or non productive, the better off we all are.

 
At 5/13/2012 9:34 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I mean we have a good number of 3rd world and developing world countries for the true believers to flee to but it appears that most of them are more mouth than actual principles...."

And you continue to ignore dozens of previous comments by others explaining to you that 3rd world countries typically do NOT have only minimal government, or protection of liberties and property rights that most people consider to be the only legitimate roles of government.

And that is why they are 3rd world countries. It isn't because people in those countries aren't smart or something, it's because they have bad government.

I, for one, believe the US is one of the best countries in the world to live in, and as far as I know,
not even Socialist Jon feels strongly enough that it isn't, to move to one of the workers paradises he praises so highly.

The ever growing size and reach of US government, however, is a threat to those of us who prize liberty.

 
At 5/14/2012 1:31 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I mean we have a good number of 3rd world and developing world countries for the true believers to flee to but it appears that most of them are more mouth than actual principles...."

And you continue to ignore dozens of previous comments by others explaining to you that 3rd world countries typically do NOT have only minimal government, or protection of liberties and property rights that most people consider to be the only legitimate roles of government.

And that is why they are 3rd world countries. It isn't because people in those countries aren't smart or something, it's because they have bad government.

I, for one, believe the US is one of the best countries in the world to live in, and as far as I know,
not even Socialist Jon feels strongly enough that it isn't, to move to one of the workers paradises he praises so highly.

The ever growing size and reach of US government, however, is a threat to those of us who prize liberty.

 
At 5/14/2012 5:32 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" So you prefer others require you to pay for their care as protection against having to pay for their care?"

I do not pay for their care - they do by setting aside money in payroll taxes.

"I see it as an individual mandate to to require a level of personal responsibility so that other taxpayers don't end up paying later on."

Personal responsibility is what happens in the ABSENCE of coercion. You have that backwards. Compassion and generousity cannot be forced. "

but we know that a good number of others would not buy auto or health or retirement insurance and let you and I pay for their costs. We have laws to require people to be financially responsible.

Those laws can be characterized as individual mandates.

 
At 5/14/2012 5:39 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: social insurance, 3rd world countries and the "theory".

certainly the "theory" that social insurance "hurts" a country's economy is repeated so many times in so many different ways in CD as to make the head fly.

every country that has social insurance is said to be on it's way to financial disaster but the reality is that countries without social insurance (and one would think without that terrible "drag" on their economy) do not catch up and pass countries that have that social insurance "drag".

Now we are told that ALL countries in the world that DON'T have social insurance are also not better off financially because ALL OF THEM have "BAD" govt.

we say this at the same time we say that the US and other countries with social insurance also have "BAD" govt but apparently a different kind or "bad" in different ways....

I think the idea that countries with social insurance are worse off economically that they'd be without it is not really grounded on anything in the real world.

it's yet another "concept" for which there are no real world analogs.

but why would we advocate for something for which we don't really have any examples of to start with?

it's more "experiment" than anything else.

 
At 5/14/2012 10:24 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"If social programs are put in place because people want them then how would we ever expect to have the same populace that wanted them to start with to agree to get rid of them?"...

Simple larry g, the parasitic bastards that want these programs aren't paying them...

They're depending of the federal government to extort even more personal wealth to cover these corrupt boondoggles that are being foisted off as some sort of social program for the betterment of society...

What happens when more and more of the people with personal wealth decide to move away?

When these people decide to leave the country they're not only taking their money with them but their intellectual talents that allowed them to become wealthy in the first place...

 
At 5/14/2012 11:42 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" decide to move away?"

to where?

if all the "good" countries have social programs that they pay for by extorting the rich... wouldn't you have to find a country that did not do that?

but you're somewhat confusing "extortion" for mandated payroll taxes ... so you collect from the same people who will need it later - rather than "extorting" from others.

the less of the two evils?

 
At 5/14/2012 12:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I do not pay for their care - they do by setting aside money in payroll taxes."

Geez, after all that previous discussion of SS being a pay-as-you-go system, and now you claim money is set aside. Which is it?

Don't you think your contributions are paying for current benefits?

"but we know that a good number of others would not buy auto or health or retirement insurance and let you and I pay for their costs. We have laws to require people to be financially responsible."

I guess, then, that it's impossible to convince you that personal responsibility is not something that can be forced. What I would call compliance, you call personal responsibility.

"Those laws can be characterized as individual mandates."

Yes, I suppose in your world they can.

Larry, it's just impossible to have a meaningful discussion with you.

 
At 5/14/2012 12:56 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Geez, after all that previous discussion of SS being a pay-as-you-go system, and now you claim money is set aside. Which is it?"

it's mandated pay-as-you-go insurance... nothing mysterious or contradictory

"Don't you think your contributions are paying for current benefits?"

yup. the very same way my auto insurance premiums are paying for other people's wrecks. are you opposed to insurance?


"but we know that a good number of others would not buy auto or health or retirement insurance and let you and I pay for their costs. We have laws to require people to be financially responsible."

I guess, then, that it's impossible to convince you that personal responsibility is not something that can be forced. What I would call compliance, you call personal responsibility.

" is auto insurance - "compliance"?


"Those laws can be characterized as individual mandates."

Yes, I suppose in your world they can.

it's your world also. IN fact, it's the world of every industrialized country in the world.

Larry, it's just impossible to have a meaningful discussion with you.

only because you cannot reconcile your own views with the way the world really works.

around the world, millions of people are mandated to set aside money for their future needs - that's a fact.

you do not agree with the reason why but it does not change the facts.

I'm simply acknowledging the facts here... while you argue that they are wrong.

the "meaningful" aspect is amusing, I agree but perspectives vary here.

I accept the realities guy... and I do find that "meaningful", yes while you rail again... the reality.


the bottom line is that most people in the world AGREE with and WANT the individual mandate. It's not "imposed" on them...they WANT IT, they VOTE FOR IT!

not a single country out of the more than 100 - has rejected the individual mandate.

why? don't you find that "meaningful"?

 
At 5/14/2012 1:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"certainly the "theory" that social insurance "hurts" a country's economy is repeated so many times in so many different ways in CD as to make the head fly."

That's usually written as: "head spin".

How can you complain about others not being willing to instruct you when you write stuff like that?

Anything you don't like must be a theory, and not consistent with reality - what ever that is for you.

You must think you're engaged in a debate here, but you're not. You are just writing nonsense so you can believe you are debating.

And you wonder why people lose patience with you.

 
At 5/14/2012 1:14 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

1. ""I do not pay for their care - they do by setting aside money in payroll taxes."

2. "it's mandated pay-as-you-go insurance... nothing mysterious or contradictory."

How do you reconcile those two statements?

"Set aside" and "pay as you go" are mutually exclusive terms.

If we can't agree on the meaning of words, how can we discuss actual concepts that require a basic agreement on what terms like "set aside" mean?

 
At 5/14/2012 1:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"" decide to move away?"

to where?
"

Did you even move your mouse pointer toward the link provided? The article explains that they are already living elsewhere. the reference is to "moving away" their wealth and tax liability.

 
At 5/14/2012 1:22 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"but you're somewhat confusing "extortion" for mandated payroll taxes"

More trouble with the meaning of words?

"Give me your money or I will imprison you." Sounds a lot like extortion to me.

 
At 5/14/2012 1:29 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

That's usually written as: "head spin".

orthodoxy?

How can you complain about others not being willing to instruct you when you write stuff like that?

"instruct" on what? that the reality is not?


Anything you don't like must be a theory, and not consistent with reality - what ever that is for you.

100 countries with social insurance is a reality you do not like so it cannot be?


You must think you're engaged in a debate here, but you're not. You are just writing nonsense so you can believe you are debating.

there is no debate, you are correct.

refusing to acknowledge the realities is not a debate.


And you wonder why people lose patience with you.

it's a real problem for sure but perhaps not in the way you and others "impatient" presume.

I believe in the free market but I also believe in reality. that's a real problem apparently.

My view is HOW does the market get "free- er" ? how does that happen?

that's why it's important to acknowledge the realities even if you think they should not be.

they are where we are - and the question is how do we get better?

advocating killing all social programs outright - gets you now where. you just isolate yourself.

I'm basically a "half-loaf" guy that believes that ideologues are enemies of change.

did you catch the drift?

we get to where we need to go in "half loafs" not revolution or certainly not revolution when you have a representative government and 75% want social insurance.

you simply cannot "instruct" your way out of that... you'll need a lot more "patience" that you currently display.

 
At 5/14/2012 1:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"the bottom line is that most people in the world AGREE with and WANT the individual mandate. It's not "imposed" on them...they WANT IT, they VOTE FOR IT!"

They are voting to impose it on others, Larry, no one votes to mandate something they want to do anyway.

 
At 5/14/2012 1:33 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Did you even move your mouse pointer toward the link provided? The article explains that they are already living elsewhere. the reference is to "moving away" their wealth and tax liability."

some have.. not many... .001% or so... 1780 out of 300 million? that's the mass exodus? :-)

REAL CHANGE means a mass abandonment not just with this country but all those other nasty socialist countries.

no such movement is in evidence.

the horrible truth is that opportunities and "property rights" are much better protected in the socialist countries...

 
At 5/14/2012 1:38 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" They are voting to impose it on others, Larry, no one votes to mandate something they want to do anyway."

they vote to support the individual mandate of payroll taxes for social insurance that applies to everyone including themselves.

your portray this as one side imposing on the other.

it's not a tie vote... more than 70% support social security...

not only here.. but in 100 other countries...

not a single country has voted to get rid of the mandated part of social insurance...

again.. one might debate on the merits but not on the realities.

there may be one or more countries that have rejected the individual mandate for social insurance.

in this country - we have rejected it for health care but not social security or Medicare or MedicAid.

no other country that I know of has voted to rid itself of social insurance paid for with payroll taxes.

 
At 5/14/2012 2:10 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

people make a choice.

Do they want to have to pay for people who did not set aside money for their retirement?

I know you'll say that they don't have to but the truth is a majority of people are not going to let senior citizens live in cardboard boxes and die on ER steps so they vote for the alternative which is to have everyone set aside money so that no one later on will have to pay for those that would not set aside money.

this is not unlike the young person who will not buy health insurance but then expect others to pay for his illness when he gets a serious disease.

this is the same young person who would not buy auto insurance if he was not forced to.

so people support laws that require you to buy auto insurance even though it applies to them also.

you seem to think that people are voting to impose this ONLY ON OTHERS.

no. they do recognize that it's unfair to make others get insurance but not themselves so they pick the option that applies to everyone but they do it to protect themselves from those who would be scofflaws without being told what they have to do.

you think that people who are not going to be responsible should suffer the consequences.

the problem is that hardly anyone will really do that.

When a pregnant mom without insurance is going to die without treatment - few people are going to turn their backs and walk away.

When a 4-year old is going to die a horrible death without treatment - no one is going to walk away... even if his Dad was an irresponsible jerk for not providing for his son's care.

that's the problem that we have.

the libertarian solution of "let them die" is not realistic in terms of the way that most people really are.

it fails to do with the realities.

people do not like the idea of payroll taxes for insurance but they hate the idea of paying for care for the irresponsible even more.

Again - this is not some small isolated viewpoint. This is the predominate viewpoint of the vast majority of people in the US and in every other industrialized country in the world.

The "let the irresponsible die" philosophy is totally out of touch with the realities.

 
At 5/14/2012 3:57 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

if all the "good" countries have social programs that they pay for by extorting the rich... wouldn't you have to find a country that did not do that?

Most countries do not tax their citizens on foreign earnings. Someone who lives in Singapore or HK only has to pay taxes on earnings in country. If you set up an IBC in a friendly jurisdiction there is no income tax until you repatriate it but even that should be easy to handle for rich people with lots of lawyers.

And many people choose a place like Singapore because everyone pays his/her own way. When you work you set your own money aside in your own health care plan. When you use health care you take money out of your own plan funded by your own contributions. That is far more palatable than having the rich pay a disproportionate amount.

 
At 5/14/2012 3:59 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

"Set aside" and "pay as you go" are mutually exclusive terms.

Only if you are rational. Not if you are Larry, Walt, or Bunny.

 
At 5/14/2012 4:39 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: "set aside" and "pay as you go".

an annuity is a pay as you go plan that is set aside until you retire.

it's something you can buy.

re: personal savings accounts

...that are mandatory.....

don't confuse a rule that says you must - with the kind of plan.

an life annuity will let you receive benefits no matter how long you live - but when you die you have no fund to pass on.

a fund that you own is yours no matter what but if you do not set enough aside, you could outlive the fund.

even in places that have individual funds - the issue is how much you need to set aside.

both the mandate aspect and the amount aspect are "imposed" on you the same way it is with an annuity fund.

it's the "mandate" that is the same.

 
At 5/14/2012 7:21 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"some have.. not many... .001% or so... 1780 out of 300 million? that's the mass exodus? :-)"

More trouble with numbers. There aren't 300 million very rich people in the US. These are people who pay huge amounts of tax to support the 50% who pay nothing. You should be concerned about losing that government revenue.

"re: "set aside" and "pay as you go".

an annuity is a pay as you go plan that is set aside until you retire.
"

More trouble with words.

No, Larry, pay as you go is pay as you go. an annuity may be "save as you go", but there is no spending until draw on it.

You have often described SS as pay as you go. Current retirees are supported by current workers. There is nothing set aside. Are you forgetting your own previous comments? Do you just say what sounds good to you at the moment, so as to be able to disagree with what others have written?

 
At 5/14/2012 7:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"your portray this as one side imposing on the other.

it's not a tie vote... more than 70% support social security...
"


It IS one side imposing on the other. In your example, 70% imposing on the other 30%.

The 70% already wants to save for retirement so no voting or mandating necessary. Only because they wish to impose their plan on the other 30% against their will, is a government mandate necessary.

"not only here.. but in 100 other countries..."

Irrelevant.

Tyranny of the majority is tyranny of the majority. That it's widespread isn't a good recommendation.

 
At 5/14/2012 7:34 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

You have often described SS as pay as you go. Current retirees are supported by current workers. There is nothing set aside. Are you forgetting your own previous comments? Do you just say what sounds good to you at the moment, so as to be able to disagree with what others have written?

The answer is obvious. Our friend does not learn or even try to learn. He does not even remember his own previous statements and arguments and goes with whatever bit of nonsense is convenient at the time. And speaking of time, you are wasting yours.

 
At 5/14/2012 7:40 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"some have.. not many... .001% or so... 1780 out of 300 million? that's the mass exodus? :-)"

More trouble with numbers. There aren't 300 million very rich people in the US. These are people who pay huge amounts of tax to support the 50% who pay nothing. You should be concerned about losing that government revenue. "

1780 out of a few million? still not a big ding...


"re: "set aside" and "pay as you go".

an annuity is a pay as you go plan that is set aside until you retire."

More trouble with words.

No, Larry, pay as you go is pay as you go. an annuity may be "save as you go", but there is no spending until draw on it.

the money you pay into it is paid out to others... that is what "pay as you go" means guy. Virtually all insurance works that way and many annuities are insurance products not funds.


You have often described SS as pay as you go. Current retirees are supported by current workers. There is nothing set aside. Are you forgetting your own previous comments? Do you just say what sounds good to you at the moment, so as to be able to disagree with what others have written?

what? SS is described as "pay as you go" by SS. It's "not" my definition. do you pay attention to reality guy?

what "others have written" is based on ignorance of what SS really is and categorized as such by most credible organizations.

Virtually ALL insurance takes premiums from subscribers and uses that money to pay benefits to others.

do you actually know what a life annuity is or how it works?

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/lifeannuity.asp#axzz1utVhFC3O

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_annuity

notice the word "insurance" guy.

 
At 5/14/2012 7:42 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" The answer is obvious. Our friend does not learn or even try to learn. He does not even remember his own previous statements and arguments and goes with whatever bit of nonsense is convenient at the time. And speaking of time, you are wasting yours. "

your "friend" does not "learn" your ideological tripe.

you refuse to recognize simple, easily verifiable facts and insist on looking at things through your own convoluted lens of the world you do not like.

 
At 5/14/2012 7:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"don't confuse a rule that says you must - with the kind of plan."

LOL

Don't worry, Larry, I'm not.

"an life annuity will let you receive benefits no matter how long you live - but when you die you have no fund to pass on.

a fund that you own is yours no matter what but if you do not set enough aside, you could outlive the fund.

even in places that have individual funds - the issue is how much you need to set aside.
"

None of that is anything like SS, which includes no money set aside, but pay as you go to current retirees. There is no SS money set aside, and no one is entitled to any benefit. It is a tax and a welfare benefit program. Nothing more.

"both the mandate aspect and the amount aspect are "imposed" on you the same way it is with an annuity fund.

it's the "mandate" that is the same.
"

You forgot that an annuity is voluntary. I can chose one or not, I can choose the type, amount, and amount I contribute. I can change my mind and quit contributing if I wish. Although there can be costs involved in cancelling my contract, they are nothing like the long prison term I'm faced with if I quit contributing to the one-size-fits-all government plan the majority forces me to take.

 
At 5/14/2012 7:53 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"None of that is anything like SS, which includes no money set aside, but pay as you go to current retirees. There is no SS money set aside, and no one is entitled to any benefit. It is a tax and a welfare benefit program. Nothing more."

it's a insurance annuity with a disability and survivor benefit.

you can buy the same type of thing on the private market but it will likely cost you more and you'll have to trust the company to be around and solvent when you get around to collecting your benefit.

it's "insurance" guy. mandated insurance. It works that way in virtually all the 100 countries that have it.

it's "insurance" because when you die - there is no residual fund.



"both the mandate aspect and the amount aspect are "imposed" on you the same way it is with an annuity fund.

it's the "mandate" that is the same."

You forgot that an annuity is voluntary.

an annuity is a type of insurance that the govt has chosen to mandate.

"I can chose one or not, I can choose the type, amount, and amount I contribute. I can change my mind and quit contributing if I wish. Although there can be costs involved in cancelling my contract, they are nothing like the long prison term I'm faced with if I quit contributing to the one-size-fits-all government plan the majority forces me to take."

the reason the govt mandates it is because a clear majority of people prefer it to having to pay for the indigent out of their taxes.

it's a choice that the majority made to NOT have to pay for people who would not be responsible for their own responsibilities.

young people especially would not save for their retirement or buy auto insurance if they were not forced to by those who would ultimately have to pay for their losses ....

you have a choice too.

if you do not like it you can go to other countries that do not have it.

I'd say you are not a man of principles in that regard. If you were.. you'd not stay here and whine about others "forcing" you to do something when there are clear alternatives for you to put your money where your mouth is.

 
At 5/14/2012 8:06 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

If you had an individual fund that you were saving into - like a 401K or a IRA - if you became disabled for life - ..say that happened in your 30's.. what would happen to you or your family for the rest of your life?

You'd end up needing welfare and expecting others to pay for you.

Social Security mandates that you buy insurance that will pay you benefits if you become disabled and pay your family and kids if you no longer can work or die.

those things are insurance - mandated insurance.

if you just were saving up into a fund and became disabled WHO would have to pay for you?

your response to this is to let him and his family live with the consequences of his risky planning.

but the majority of people in this country will not agree to have him and his family thrown onto the streets and starve or die on the ER steps.

Your "solution" is not acceptable to the majority of taxpayers.

that's why they support mandated insurance... for disability, death and retirement over having to pay taxes for the indigent.

it's a choice that people make - not only here but in 100 other countries.

you disagree ... but then you say, in effect, that all these folks are "not capable of learning or understanding" when you include me in that description.

But my friend.. I am with the majority on this and it is YOU that is out of touch and won't "learn".

It is the way it is because the vast majority of people who vote want it this way and you find yourself in opposition to that and it's apparently you that won't "learn" that reality.

 
At 5/14/2012 8:41 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"f all the "good" countries have social programs that they pay for by extorting the rich... wouldn't you have to find a country that did not do that"...

larry g just where is this Disney Land that have all these social programs?

"if all the "good" countries have social programs that they pay for by extorting the rich... wouldn't you have to find a country that did not do that?"....

People with money are moving to Hong Kong, Singapore, various Caribbean islands and so on to escape the extortionist practices of the present US government...

"but you're somewhat confusing "extortion" for mandated payroll taxes ... so you collect from the same people who will need it later - rather than "extorting" from others"...

There's apparently only confusion on your part larry g...

The people who need it later aren't paying their own way, they're all expecting someone else to pay for it...

Hence we have a Ponzi scheme that is being foisted off as Social Security but in reality is just another tax as an example...

When the larry gs and the juandoss start paying the exact amount of dollars in taxes as the top 5% of the earners in this country do then we can say we're paying our own way...

 
At 5/14/2012 9:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

last time I checked Singapore and Hong Kong BOTH had mandated payroll taxes and mandated health insurance.

There may well be some places that don't have them but most places like that are classified as 3rd world or developing world.

I do not doubt that if one has enough money they can find a place that does not have mandated payroll or income taxes but they probably also don't have many of the things that such taxes pay for either.

that's a choice that is available.

I notice though people don't go to those places to take advantage of opportunities to make their fortunes...they go there AFTER they have made their money - usually in those nasty countries that have payroll and other kinds of taxes.

but you have to renounce your US citizenship because you're still subject to US tax laws..no matter where you live unless you renounce your citizenship.

those 3rd world countries are the perfect libertarian paradises where people who don't plan for their futures do die in the streets ... so the folks who say that's their ideal world but stay here and whine... seem to be not real men of principles... just complainers who want the US to become a 3rd world country er.. I mean .."libertarian"..

they just can't seem to accept the reality that 3/4 of Americans are not buying what you are selling... another nasty consequence of the Constitution granting citizens the right to vote....

 
At 5/14/2012 11:09 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"ast time I checked Singapore and Hong Kong BOTH had mandated payroll taxes and mandated health insurance"...

Check again larry g and see who's in it and what the real world is all about vs something written in a book...

"I notice though people don't go to those places to take advantage of opportunities to make their fortunes"...

Then you need to do a better job of noticing...

I'm in the midwest and I know dozens of people my age who's grown children have gone down there with just enough cash to rent or buy a place so that they can sell or rent goods and services mostly to tourists...

Some make it, some don't...

Regardless the ones that don't can't stand in line waiting for a SNAP card because they're aren't any...

"those 3rd world countries are the perfect libertarian paradises where people who don't plan for their futures do die in the street"...

Why do you have a problem with that?

People die in the streets everyday even in countries that supposedly have some sort of socialist safety net...

"they just can't seem to accept the reality that 3/4 of Americans are not buying what you are selling"...

That's because they're NOT paying for all the socialist goodies they want and for some bizzare reason expect larry g...

I tell you right now amigo if everyone had to pay the same exact amount for these government services and instead of paying an income tax got a monthly itemized tax bill instead you'd see a very big change of attitude...

 
At 5/15/2012 2:35 AM, Blogger gaisgeach said...

The views of qualified but non-stablishment economists, myself amongst them, who disliked and distrusted the stimulus solutions were suppressed and ignored. Jillette was not alone!

 
At 5/15/2012 5:49 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " That's because they're NOT paying for all the socialist goodies they want and for some bizzare reason expect larry g.."

but they ARE. they VOTE...FOR a payroll tax on everyone including themselves.

Singapore and Hong Kong have what is known as Provident Funds - funded by hefty payroll taxes on everyone.

you boys live in a dream world here where you believe places like Hong Gong and Singapore are free-market nirvana without individual mandates and payroll taxes and universal health care and the truth is the opposite.

I think it's funny you keep citing places like Singapore and Hong Kong that are just as "socialist" as US and Europe and not cit real places that have no such mandates and payroll taxes.

Those places do exist in the world but few people re-locate there with their money....unless they are on the lam from the law or some such.

Here's the reality.

A significant majority of people support the mandate to pay payroll taxes that comprises a minimal safety net for your old age.

Most people want to have more than that but what they don't want is to be taxed to pay for benefits for people who chose not to save.

Yes.. the other option is to not pay and let them die in the streets but ...the vast majority reject that option and choose the payroll tax for all option.

You folks keep portraying this as people being "forced" or "extorted" into paying payroll taxes for SS - when the reality is that they VOTE for this. Every time we have an election, they are free to vote for those who say they will kill the payroll tax and SS and every election these candidates get laughed out of town.

the people have WILLINGLY chosen the mandated payroll tax for all - as the less of the two evils - the first evil being - having to pay taxes to keep granny from living and dying in a cardboard box - they prefer to make granny (everyone) pay payroll taxes instead.

they vote for this.

 
At 5/15/2012 7:05 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"but they ARE. they VOTE...FOR a payroll tax on everyone including themselves"...

Wrong again larry g, that so called vote you talk about is people voting themselves the contents of someone else's personal wealth...

Do you really believe that the FICA and medicare deductions from your paycheck would actually cover the real costs of those socialistic programs?

"Singapore and Hong Kong have what is known as Provident Funds - funded by hefty payroll taxes on everyone"...

Are you wallowing in wiki again larry g?

"You boys live in a dream world here where you believe places like Hong Gong and Singapore are free-market nirvana without individual mandates and payroll taxes and universal health care and the truth is the opposite"...

You are wallowing in wiki again!

"A significant majority of people support the mandate to pay payroll taxes that comprises a minimal safety net for your old age"...

Well of course they support, they're not paying for it...

"Yes.. the other option is to not pay and let them die in the streets but ...the vast majority reject that option and choose the payroll tax for all option...

Again its because 'they' aren't paying for it...

Progressive taxation/extortion is making the other guy pay for it...

"You folks keep portraying this as people being "forced" or "extorted" into paying payroll taxes for SS - when the reality is that they VOTE for this"...

So according to you if the majority votes to steal from someone else then its O.K. because now that someone else is is 'voluntarily' paying for it instead of the government using the threat of force to take it from that someone?!?!

Good one!!

Gee! Why didn't I think of that?!?!

"the people have WILLINGLY chosen the mandated payroll tax for all"...

Really?!?!

When was the last time federal income tax was part of the national vote?

 
At 5/15/2012 7:09 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

but they ARE. they VOTE...FOR a payroll tax on everyone including themselves.

Seniors or people on welfare don't pay payroll taxes. They vote for them because taxes are one source of their transfer payments.

 
At 5/15/2012 7:19 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Well of course they support, they're not paying for it..."

" Seniors or people on welfare don't pay payroll taxes. They vote for them because taxes are one source of their transfer payments. "

ya'll are confusing payroll taxes that everyone DOES PAY to pay for SS and Medicare Part A.

A majority of people SUPPORT this payroll tax and SS; they support THEMselves paying this tax.

they choose this over them having to pay taxes for welfare for people who did not save for their retirement.

re: WIKI

Juandos:

http://www.vandine.com/cpfa.htm

http://www.mpfa.org.hk/eindex.asp

why do you work so hard to deny reality guy?

do you REALLY want to live in a world of what you want to believe rather than what really is?

why does that seem to be a habit with you guys?

It's not WIKI - it's your own refusal to understand that Wiki relates the truth and you can separately verify the truth if you are so inclined.

the truth is that both Singapore and Hong Kong have significant mandated payroll taxes just like we do.

 
At 5/15/2012 7:27 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

ya'll are confusing payroll taxes that everyone DOES PAY to pay for SS and Medicare Part A.

A majority of people SUPPORT this payroll tax and SS; they support THEMselves paying this tax.

they choose this over them having to pay taxes for welfare for people who did not save for their retirement.


Nonsense. Seniors do not pay this tax. They support it because it lets them get a lot more out of the system than they paid into it. Young people do not support it because they know that they will not collect very much from a pay as you go system that is broke. Even older workers would not support it if they were not hoping to get back some of their contributions. You give them that money back and they would opt out very quickly.

 
At 5/15/2012 7:33 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Nonsense. Seniors do not pay this tax."

Seniors paid payroll taxes their entire working careers, guy.

"They support it because it lets them get a lot more out of the system than they paid into it. "

it's a life annuity. You can buy that product on the market. They will pay you a monthly benefit for as long as you live.

"Young people do not support it because they know that they will not collect very much from a pay as you go system that is broke."

A system that generates a trillion dollars a year in revenue is not "broke" by a long shot.

"Even older workers would not support it if they were not hoping to get back some of their contributions. You give them that money back and they would opt out very quickly."

nope.

A majority of people STILL choose mandatory payroll taxes for everyone over them being taxed to pay for those who did not save.

people do not choose the "let them die in the streets" option.

 
At 5/15/2012 8:38 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"ya'll are confusing payroll taxes that everyone DOES PAY to pay for SS and Medicare Part A"...

LOL! If you really are naive enough to believe that SS, Part A, and income tax aren't really one and the same (government extortion) then you have a crying need for more education...

There really is NO SS trust fund regardless of what the bureaucratic parasites at SSA put in the yearly fliers they mail out to the chumps every year...

Its all sitting in the general fund...

"why do you work so hard to deny reality guy?...

LMAO!

I'm not the one that believes in these government sponsored fairy tales...

I've been to Singapore a half dozen times since 2002 and that so called fund that's mandated looks real good on paper and that health care that it supposedly pays for would give Cuba's health care a run for its money...

No, the only really good health care in Singapore is health care paid for by real money...

 
At 5/15/2012 8:50 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

the "trust fund" is largely irrelevant as a supposed source of funding.

" Its all sitting in the general fund."

no it's not.. that's patently false guy.

The funding for SS comes from the FICA payroll taxes which generate almost as much as income taxes do.

this is no "fairy tale" in recognizing that FICA is a payroll tax that funds SS.

re: Singapore

the reality is that Singapore has a MANDATORY PAYROLL TAX - no matter what you think of the quality of the program.

the point here is that it has a mandatory payroll tax just like we do - for the very same reasons which is to ensure that everyone pays towards their eventual retirement and other taxpayers don't have to pay for the indigent who failed to set aside money for their retirement.

It's the SAME APPROACH and I have yet to see ANY country that has mandated payroll taxes - do away with those taxes even if they allow individual retirement funds rather than SS type plans.

ALL industrialized countries in the world - mandate payroll taxes to pay for retirement and health care needs INSTEAD of letting some people not pay and rely on taxing others for their needs.

You totally confuse the individual mandate with "extortion".

Extortion is what happens if you don't have a mandated payroll taxes and voters realize this and choose to have mandated payroll taxes on everyone rather than being subject to paying taxes to support those who did not save.

People CHOOSE THIS approach when they VOTE.

No country's citizens have voted to do away with mandated payroll taxes. That's not extortion. That's free choice.

 
At 5/15/2012 9:11 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

here's what the Hong Kong folks say about their mandatory payroll taxes:

" Ageing Population

Hong Kong has a rapidly ageing population. In 2010, the proportion of the population over the age of 65 was around 13 percent, but by 2039 this is projected to rise to 28 percent. This is due to both a low birth rate and increasing life expectancy in Hong Kong. Life expectancy is now much greater than the global average: over 86 for women and almost 80 for men. It is expected that, by 2039, life expectancy at birth will increase to 90 for women and almost 84 for men. The number of working age adults for each person over 65 will drop from around six now to close to two by 2039. This ageing population means the working population of the future will have a much larger number of retirees to support.

Before the implementation of the MPF System, only about one-third of the Hong Kong workforce had some form of retirement protection. Such retirement protection arrangements included statutory pensions and provident funds for civil servants and school teachers, and retirement schemes set up by employers voluntarily for their employees. It was becoming clear that these arrangements were inadequate to provide for the entire ageing workforce over the long term."

why.. these folks sound like a bunch of socialist commies...don't they?

LORD! and Juandos keeps holding them up as Free Market Leaders!

Juandos - I thought these guys were your heroes...

;-)

 
At 5/15/2012 9:32 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

and Singapore... my GOD! they're SOCIALISTS also!

" From its inception, the emphasis of the CPF scheme was on providing for old age. Despite calls from unions to allow workers to withdraw their savings should they fall ill or become unemployed, the CPF Board adhered to the rule that CPF savings could only be withdrawn upon retirement. This stand prevailed for over a decade until the government came to adopt the view that financial security could take many forms, and need not be restricted to a monetary payoff each month. When Lee Kuan Yew was the Prime Minister, it was revealed that the government was studying ways to see if CPF savings could help members to buy Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats. The first move towards liberalization came in September 1968, when the home ownership scheme was introduced to allow members to finance the purchase of HDB flats with their CPF savings.

Since then, the CPF has been slowly liberalized to meet the changing needs of an increasingly sophisticated and educated people, and give them a stake in the nation. Today, members can use their CPF savings for a host of schemes, including those for retirement, home ownership, investments, health care, insurance or college loans. But the most salient features of the scheme have not changed since 1955: it is compulsory,"

Jesus Juanos... what the heck is going on with these folks?

"compulsory"... "extortion", sounds WORSE than the US and you cite Singapore as more "free" than the US?

how about picking a REAL country that does not force/extort it's people to save?

name the countries that you admire that do not "mandate" their citizens to save for their old age....

and no more claiming that countries that actually do mandate....don't... I'm checking on you... Wiki is on to you!

 

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