Income Inequality & tax policy

David Cay Johnston and Beth Shulman get it - http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/332/index.html.
I saw this great piece on NPR last weekend. It fully described the transfer of wealth in the US to the richest and how the middle class is now getting squeezed. Tax policy is the US helped create the middle class & since Reagan wealth has been going away from the middle
class to the richest. Most importantly, people are starting to get that the Republican tax (and other) policies are screwing them & leaving them with no safety net.

Listen & read the NPR report. It articulates fully this transfer of wealth.

I love this quote by Johnston:

<!–QuoteBegin>

QUOTE
BRANCACCIO: But where are we on the arc of understanding about the—this state of affairs? We’re sort of not headed toward any near-term, solutions. Are we?

JOHNSTON: Well, I—I—my view about that’s changed recently. I do a lot of—radio shows where people call in. And I noticed something—recently. I’ve gotten very few hostile callers.

BRANCACCIO: And you’ve had them in the past.

JOHNSTON: Oh, (LAUGHS) oh. Goodness—you should see my mail. I’ve been promised, come the revolution, I’ll swing—from a tree. Just for reporting the government’s official numbers. But I—there’s no—there’s a shift going on.

I think enough people, now, are seeing that they’ve played by the rules. They’ve worked hard. And things aren’t working out the way they heard, that they’re beginning to say, “Wait a minute.” And some people have said to themselves already, “Well, I’ve been sold a bill of goods.” I think it’s very clear that a growing number of people believe that the rules are not fair. They don’t understand what happened. But I think there’s a lot of hunger to find out about that.

Ugh… yes the middle-class (me) is getting squeezed. There is no doubt about it. Do I blame Republicans? Not really. I blame the whole lot in Washington. I also blame all the dead beat losers who are capable of supporting themselves but don’t. They want ME to do it.

I’ll stop there… my BP is too high already… :)

D

PS How’s it going Mike? New digs working out good for you? A move all the way across the country… man that must have been rough.

<!–QuoteBegin>

QUOTE
Ugh… yes the middle-class (me) is getting squeezed. There is no doubt about it. Do I blame Republicans? Not really.

Good! The first step is to agree that it’s happening. The next step is to understand how US tax policy helped to create the middle class in the first place (it did). The next step after that is to understand how the Republicans, starting with Reagan, changed to tax policy to favor the rich & the corperations. To understand that, just listen (or read) the piece that I cited. Then you will blame the Republicans.

<!–QuoteBegin>
QUOTE
PS How’s it going Mike? New digs working out good for you?

Everything is working out well - thanks! My family & I love living back in New England. We love the slower pace, the country, the temperature, and everything in general.

<!–QuoteBegin>

QUOTE
The next step is to understand how US tax policy helped to create the middle class in the first place (it did).


Hmmm, interesting idea; but it fails to explain the generation and rise of the middle class in Europe, and its subsequent import into the colonies.

So, wrong as I may be, may I humbly suggest an alternative explanation? :)

Firstly, skilled workers, who didn’t fit neatly into the feudal system. They were neither serfs nor overlords, but instead freemen, who were able to travel freely and sell their skills wherever they wanted.

Secondly, merchants, cattle drovers, and other entrepreneurs, who again had freedom of travel, and the freedom to deal with whomever they wanted. (Incidentally, the origins of most British banks stemmed from Welsh cattle drovers who not only drove the cattle to London, but carried the cash back with them).

It’s very possible that the emergent middle class was the primary factor in the demise of feudalism, but whether they were or not, the fact remains, that we’ve had them ever since.

But, I’m not sure what part the American tax system had in creating the late medieval (and continuing) middle class.

Did the vikings start it by importing wigwams (at 50% markup) from Vinland or something? ???

:D

First off…I blame Diogenes. It’s all his fault. And please…all those lazy people who steal your money…what a whiner. First, you probably don’t pay enough in taxes to matter and second, the republicans have pissed off more money since Ronald, with nothing to show for it, than all the monies spent in the entire life span of the US. Your kids will pay the price.

Second…Spambot…Please! The true middle class did not appear as a true class that wielded true power till after Franklin Roosevelt. Europe benefited by example and by trade. America is done and the next ruling class will go back to where it started…China. Probably in you lifetime if the Republicans have their way.

Third, watch for a huge financial collapse…(world wide)…coming to a theatre near you. SOON.

Praise Jesus. Amen.

KF

<!–QuoteBegin>

QUOTE
The true middle class did not appear as a true class that wielded true power till after Franklin Roosevelt.


Now you’ve contradicted yourself. First you blamed it on Tim, now you’re saying it was Roosevelt!

Franklin? I thought his name was Eleanor or something, the first Transsexual president? ???

Or was his/her name Teddy, ??? JFK’s brother or something? You know, the one who used to go around murdering stuffed toys (and bridges).

Buggrit, I’m lost. How do you Americans keep up with it all? :(

No no no…try and keep up.

Roosevelt created it…Dio killed it.

:p

KF

<!–QuoteBegin>

QUOTE
Roosevelt created it


Oh dear, now it gets worse. :(

If it wasn’t bad enough arguing whether it a God or a Darwin who was the creator, now I’ve got an American president who doesn’t know who he is, to worry about too! :(

And, speaking of Bush… :D

<!–QuoteBegin>

QUOTE
First off…I blame Diogenes. It’s all his fault.


OK so I’ll do something none of our politicians are willing to do… accept full responsibility… I’ll fix it too. Just as soon as I finish my wifes new floors, stairs, bathroom… etc… ad nauseum.

D

<!–QuoteBegin>

QUOTE
Hmmm, interesting idea; but it fails to explain the generation and rise of the middle class in Europe, and its subsequent import into the colonies.

Does it? First of all, I didn’t mean to say that it was only tax policy that help create the middle class. It is tax policy & social programs that helped to create the middle class. I would guess that many countries in Europe put both of those things in place (but that’s just a guess).

Also, comparing the creation of Europe’s middle class to America’s middle class might not be a fair comparison, i.e., different forces may have contributed to this.

BTW - this idea about the creation of the middle class is not my idea; economists talk about this.

Ok boys and girls…listen up…

Unions created the middle class. FDR got them off their rear ends and helped them out. The Unions in Europe and America pulled EVERYONE up the ladder…not just Union members.

The sliding tax scenereo spurred investment. Ronald killed that. Todays rich and upper middle are unlike rich of the past. They are exceptionally lazy. The flat tax is a ruse to get rich people out of having to work money. None of them actually paid the full rate of the bracket they were in…they invested to create tax shelters. Wake up and smell your impending poverty.

Social programs are one of the definers of a civilizations progress toward civility. A society that ignores, shuns, degrades etc. it’s less fortunate can hardly be called civilized or Christian or Muslim.

Not all I have to say…but all I have time for right now…

KF

Well, you never said you were only talking about America’s middle class.

See! There I go again, making the mistake of assuming that this is an international community forum. :(

<!–QuoteBegin>

QUOTE
BTW - this idea about the creation of the middle class is not my idea; economists talk about this.


Yeah, they seem to talk about little else; an economist or accountant is always ready to bore your arse off about that stuff.

I suppose it’s because no-one ever bought them a guitar as a kid and taught them Smoke on the Water! :D

Ok KF, but I think you’re being unfair to Ronald (Reagan I assume?)

This wikipedia article proves my point…

Wikipedia:Ronald Reagan

WHAT other countries have a middle class?

After you list them give a definition of middle class as a European defines it.

BTW…I don’t put much weight in an Economists views…without any experience (actual Work) they are seldom right as are the analysts on Wall Street or Fox News!

KF

Without going to Wikipedia, which, by the way, is not the definitive view on any subject…

Ronnie killed real estate almost immediatly after his tax code change took effect. He buried the S & L crisis till after his re-election and then instead of fixing it he destroyed it for the benifit of the Banks and that plastic card in your pocket. Those in construction were left holding the bag when projects closed abruptly due to S & L failings…and this is directly due to how Reagan handled the problem. We’re talking large sums of money BTW.

KF

Yes - I did say I was talking about the middle class in the US.

I agree with KF - unions did indeed also help create the middle class but it wasn’t the only thing. Tax policy helped (progressive income, mortgage deduction, etc)., Social Security helped, etc., etc.

I also agree about the flat tax being a ruse. In fact, the whole trickle-down, supply side stuff was a ruse; the whole notion that liberals & the government are bad are ruses.

Listen to the NPR piece. People are going to smarten up because they’re realizing that they are getting screwed. They got screwed in the Great Depression (caused somewhat by Republican policies at that time) & that left Democrat’s in power for 40 years. I bet it will happen again.

Please do click on the link KF.

I assure you, this is as definitive as it gets!

Oh Spambot…that was priceless!

I looked up George Jr…priceless too!

Don’t know where you found that but I saved it for future arguments on other forums.

Gracias Amigo…

KF

Glad you liked it KF, here’s another one 'specially for you. :D

http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Arizona