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Forum Post: Why a flat tax costs the poor more

Posted 5 years ago on Oct. 12, 2011, 11:22 p.m. EST by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Say Person A makes $20,000 and Person B makes $200,000 if both pay a 10% income tax Person A pays $2,000 and Person B pays $20,000. Under a progressive tax system Person A would have paid 5% income tax for a total of $1,000 and Person B would have paid 20% income tax for a total of $40,000. For Person A that $1,000 was the difference between paying for food or clothing while Person B it was the cost of vacation. [Economics terminology would be utility, the satisfaction one gains from the consumption of a good] So, for Person A he has a higher utility on those $1,000 dollars while Person B has a lower utility for his $20,000 taken because as we accumulate more money extra extra dollar means less to us.

In essence, Person A is taxed more because he valued his $1,000 more than Person B valued his $20,000.

[I made up the tax brackets for this hypothetical case]

61 Comments

61 Comments


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[-] 2 points by ConcernedEconomist (67) 5 years ago

Forget the example, people are lazy and don't like math. Here's a video on the concept: http://www.youtube.com/user/mjmfoodie#p/c/F2A3693D8481F442/26/lafDykKJ_9I

[-] 1 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

Thanks for that :)

[-] 2 points by MikeyD (581) from Alameda, CA 5 years ago

The poor pay 7% payroll tax plus 10% income tax for a total of 17% in income taxes.

The "rich" pay 35% + 7%(payroll) on income, and 0 - 15% on long term capital gains. The problem is, the rich make most of their money on capital gains, yielding most of them a net tax rate of 17%.

The middle class pay around 25%+ 7%(payroll) on income, and 0 - 15% on long term capital gains. The middle class make most of their money on income, yielding them a net tax rate of 32%.

Poor: 17%

Rich: 17%

Middle Class: 32%

Any questions?

[-] 1 points by occupiedwallstreet (105) 5 years ago

Don't forget the corporate tax rate. Any taxes taken for capital gains are on top of any taxes already paid at the corporate level. So it is possible, but rarely happens, that money earned on long-term capital gains is taxed at 50%. In reality, that money is on average taxed around 35-40%.

So its more like:

Poor - 17%

Rich 37- 42%

Middle Class - 32%

My only question is why don't we just get rid of the payroll tax. That's a great idea and should be one of our platforms. People should be allowed to keep that money and invest it or spend it.

Poor

[-] 1 points by MikeyD (581) from Alameda, CA 5 years ago

How misleading. I can buy GE stock at a 10$ a share, and sell it at $20 a share 6 months later, and pay 0-15% capital gains on the profit without GE paying a dime in federal taxes(which they don't).

[-] 1 points by occupiedwallstreet (105) 5 years ago

Right, GE is a corporate monster. They badly abuse the green tax credits to pay that 0% tax, as well as the offshore credits. Its a good thing that not every corporation is GE though. Most corporations don't have the lobby power or the size to take advantage of the tax credits GE does. So, that mid-cap corporation is paying closer to 35% in taxes than 0%. And thats where most of corporate America is. Mid-size.

Also, not that many stocks double in six months, or in a year. It takes more like 5 years. So, its not misleading. If you know if these stocks, please point them out. We should all be buying them so we can fund this movement longer.

[-] 1 points by MikeyD (581) from Alameda, CA 5 years ago

Every corporation takes advantage of tax loopholes. Not all are as efficient at it as GE (hell, Obama appointed their CEO as a "jobs" advisor), but they all do it. Most of the fortune 500 is nearly as good at it

Google : 3% effective federal tax rate

The 35% corporate tax rate is really just a discouragement for the faint of heart, and a jobs program for CPAs and attorneys. Cain's simple 9% flat tax rate for corps would do wonders, but all this is off topic.

17%. That is the magic number most wealthy people pay... period.

[-] 1 points by occupiedwallstreet (105) 5 years ago

Here is Treasury Department Data. 27% is the effective corporate tax rate. That means all corporations in the U.S., on average, pay 27%. So, based on this data, it means the average rich person is paying about 40% on long-term capital gains because of double taxation. 13% that they see, 27% that is taken out of their profits before they even realize them in the form of stock increases or dividends. I'm happy to look at contradictory data. All I'm saying is that we need to educate ourselves before we are made to look like fools.

http://www.smartmoney.com/invest/markets/high-corporate-tax-rate-is-misleading-22463/

The income not squired away overseas or channeled to the personal returns still enjoys protection in the form of various tax breaks that depress the effective rate to 27%, according to the Treasury Department. Such breaks are expected to cost the Treasury $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, reducing the corporate tax revenue by 25%.

[-] 0 points by MikeyD (581) from Alameda, CA 5 years ago

You don't have to sell me on the need to lower the corporate tax rate. We just need to close the loopholes. I can't speak for all corps, but a large percentage of small C corps are not profitable, or declare very little profit. Many of the people who run those corporations run a large chunk of their revenue out the door to "legitimate" write offs bringing their AGI down to a level that represents a fraction of their overall income. The remainder is massaged through a variety of tax refunds that bring the rate down a bit. Nevertheless, the smaller the company (read small business), the higher tax rate they are likely to pay.

Either way, applying corporate taxes to capital gains is misleading, incorrect, and off topic. When I pay sales tax on a used car, I don't add the sales tax the previous three owners paid and call it 24% sales tax. It is factually incorrect.

[-] 0 points by occupiedwallstreet (105) 5 years ago

I'm sorry. That's a bad example. You see, the tax rate that corporations pay directly effects the dividends and stock price increases realized by those that own the stock.

The tax that an owner from a previous car paid, does not have any direct effect on the taxes or the price that you will pay on that car.

Do you see the difference?

[-] 1 points by MikeyD (581) from Alameda, CA 5 years ago

You think the price I ask for my car when I sell it isn't effected by the total out of pocket costs paid for it including sales tax?

[-] 0 points by occupiedwallstreet (105) 5 years ago

Let me ask you this.

If you are a corporation and your stock price is based on your profits and you make $10, but $2 is taken away in taxes, thus cutting your profits to $8, do you think that the stock price will not match the amount of profits you make? Thus, you think the stock price increase will be the same regardless of whether your corporations is making $8 or $10. If you do believe that, then yes, I see why it would be hard for you to understand why the long-term capital gains are double taxed.

[-] 0 points by occupiedwallstreet (105) 5 years ago

Maybe the price you ask, but definitely not the price you will get (on average). That's determinded by supply and demand, externalities placed on the car, location.

[-] 1 points by MikeyD (581) from Alameda, CA 5 years ago

I think it's safe to say we are off topic here. I don't think, I know you understand exactly what I am getting at. I've run more than a few businesses in my time, two of which paid taxes as C corps. Everyone who has been there understands what we are talking about. The rest of the sheep will simply have to decide whose version of the 'facts' they will chose to believe. Better to stick with a chicken in every pot on that front.

[-] 1 points by occupiedwallstreet (105) 5 years ago

Cool, get me your proof on the average tax rate paid by corporations and I'll agree with you.

Btw, putting "period" at the end of something doesn't make it factual. Just an FYI.

Thanks!!!

[-] 1 points by occupiedwallstreet (105) 5 years ago

So? 12 corporations do not make up the whole of corporations. Again, the average tax paid by corporations in the U.S. is 27%. That's from the Treasury Department.

[-] 1 points by MikeyD (581) from Alameda, CA 5 years ago

True. And to be fair, one cant paint everyone with the same brush. Buffet pays 17%, but Huffington pays nothing. In 2004, Bush paid 24% Kerry paid 14%. One would really need everyone to disclose what they pay to know what they pay, but I think you are getting the idea.

[-] 1 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

Hahah that works too. My post is more theoretical. :)

[-] 2 points by Lork (285) 5 years ago

Amen!

http://occupywallst.org/forum/flat-tax-is-a-scam-fight-the-infiltrators-with-som/

I also linked your post in there too.

EDIT - WILL link. Stupid "Please wait..."

[-] 2 points by atki4564 (1259) from Lake Placid, FL 5 years ago

Taxes are a secondary issue, what we most immediately need is a comprehensive strategy, and related candidate, that implements all our demands at the same time, and although I'm all in favor of taking down today's ineffective and inefficient Top 10% Management System of Business & Government, there's only one way to do it – by fighting bankers as bankers ourselves. Consequently, I have posted a 1-page Summary of the Strategic Legal Policies, Organizational Operating Structures, and Tactical Investment Procedures necessary to do this at:

http://getsatisfaction.com/americanselect/topics/on_strategic_legal_policy_organizational_operational_structures_tactical_investment_procedures

Join

http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/StrategicInternationalSystems/

if you want to be 1 of 100,000 people needed to support a Presidential Candidate – such as myself – at AmericansElect.org in support of the above bank-focused platform.

[-] 1 points by randallburns (211) from Washougal, WA 5 years ago

The big problem with flax taxes: even if they have a hefty deduction, they tend to his the middle hard. The very wealthy have all kinds of ways to shelter or hide income.

If you want to tax the rich, tax assets. This is what Huey Long wanted to do in the 30's:

put a tax on the assets of the upper 1% above some level.

This makes some sense because we've seen in recent years the very wealthy have exceptional returns on their investments.

If we tax the upper 1% more-then we can reduce taxes on middle income folks-particularly those that are attempting to save.

[-] 1 points by DirtyHippie (200) 5 years ago

Many people like the sound of a flat-tax but beware. Its main feature is that it would reduce taxes for the wealthy and place the burden on those who can least afford it at the bottom of the income scale. That’s a bad idea. People who earn less spend all of it and their dollars go directly back into the economy which is a benefit to everyone. A tax reduction for the wealthy is a windfall that is more likely to be hoarded instead of circulating through the economy.

[-] 1 points by occupiedwallstreet (105) 5 years ago

Most flat tax proposals by the right, such as Paul Ryan, exempt the first 60k or so of income. So in your scenario, person A would pay 0 in taxes. It helps to have the facts so people don't come on here and call us ignorant.

[-] 1 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

If that was so then we would have far less revenue coming in under Paul Ryan's plan. Therefore, the cuts to government spending would be severe including all the social programs that is by far very popular such as social security and medicare. Since the people would not have those cut Mr Paul Ryan's plan is dead on arrival.

[-] 1 points by classicliberal (312) 5 years ago

What if it were a flat sales tax? A poor person could buy used stuff tax free, or in some cases, not at all and never pay taxes.

[-] 1 points by jastb1 (5) from Little Rock, AR 5 years ago

If the tax code could be that simple, it would have never been changed from what was initially enacted. Taxes are complex and many aspects of our tax code is fair, but there are many parts that range from ludicrous to borderline illegal. Tax reform is needed but needs to be thought through very carefully by many money minded individuals. 9-9-9 is a total fricking joke which would amount to an all you can eat buffet for the 1%, and the U.S. treasury would be as broke as every person in America in about 2 months.

[-] 1 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

I agree that 9-9-9 is a joke. Unfortunately, many people are taking it serious.

[-] 0 points by Danimal98367 (188) from Port Orchard, WA 5 years ago

So, Person B should have to pay more for the same government system than Person A, even though they are a part of the same system? Enjoying the same benefits (or, arguably Person B is getting less than Person A if A is using Medicaid or other low income services)?

[-] 1 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

You can argue Person B got the most of the system so they should put more into it.

[-] 0 points by Danimal98367 (188) from Port Orchard, WA 5 years ago

So because Person B did better with the same opportunity they should have to support Person A. Got it.

[-] 1 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

not support Person A give opportunities to Person A to maximize what they too can get out of the system.

[-] 0 points by Misguided (373) 5 years ago

That's why a Fair tax (consumption based tax) is much better than a flat tax.

[-] 1 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

Also incorrect a consumption tax would be behave in similar manner to a flat tax as Person A more often than not will consume all his income therefore it would be as if it were a flat tax while Person B would be more willing than not to save his money and skirt the tax.

[-] 0 points by Misguided (373) 5 years ago

Not if the tax did not apply to everyday commodities such as gas, eggs, milk, and clothing. Besides person B spends way more money just via their lifestyle so there is no comparison between who will pay more tax. The damn electric bill in person B's house is probably more than most person A's rent.

[-] 2 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

If the tax didn't tax those items you mentioned it wouldn't be a true consumption tax :) Nice try though. Yes Person B would pay more nominally but he doesn't value his money as much as Person A. Therefore you are hurting Person A far more.

[-] 0 points by Misguided (373) 5 years ago

Oh I didn't realize that people only bought food and clothes. Our society and economy is based on consumption. Nominally it would allow for person a to choose when he or she pays a tax or saves their money and allows them to keep all of their wages. So it does not hurt person A at all yet it takes advantage of the lavish lifestyles of the person B type.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 5 years ago

But you as the small businessman get fucked by flat consumption taxes too. For you to create a business that can make it to the top you have to sell a product to people. This means that people have to buy your product. If there's a big fat tax on spending your money and no taxes on saving it or investing it or gambling with it, then people will by a lot less stuff and think a lot more carefully before they open their wallet to you. This means almost no impulse buys of your product, and far fewer sales in general. Fewer sales = less profit= a harder road to the top for the little guy. In effect, the Fair Tax comes out of the small businessman's pocket 90% of the time through reduced consumption.

[-] 1 points by Misguided (373) 5 years ago

The plus side of that is that business transactions of wholesale goods or raw materials are not subject to the tax either. Plus with the increased value of the dollar within a system like that it makes goods more likely to be purchased because you will be getting great value since less money buys more product on both sides of the business. The money might flow a bit slower but it's increased value should compensate for that issue. Besides when has consumer spending really dropped drastically? Even in the times we are in now people are still buying cars and tv's and Ipads and android phones so it's certainly workable.

[-] 2 points by Lork (285) 5 years ago

Ha - more like decreased value.

With a system like this we'd better be damn good liars. Cause we're going to have to borrow a whole -LOT- more from other countries for this unsustainable system to "work"...

Also - If the poor and middle class are still equated into this flat consumption tax then you are INDEED punishing the poor for being poor and trying to displace the middle class.

[-] 1 points by Misguided (373) 5 years ago

Please explain. You made assumptions but gave no reasoning.

[-] 2 points by Lork (285) 5 years ago

Do you have...like...absolutely -no- understanding of how anything works?

(Alright so I said I would leave Crazytown but it keeps chasing me. Meh)

You said the value of prices would go down. So let's say consumption tax would be 20%. You just decreased the revenue by lowering the price. Because the amount gained from that rate depends on that price.

You say that you want to get rid of the capital gains and dividends tax. Do you realize that the uber rich make their income PRIMARILY from those two things?

You say you want to get rid of the income tax. Even if the rich cheat there are still a few rich (50 out of 400 according to npr) who pay through the income tax.

http://www.npr.org/2011/09/19/140599307/does-buffett-rule-add-up-for-obama-deficit-plan

(Yes it was a previous link explaining the hidden trick of the Buffett Rule)

If this also INCLUDES the middle and poor classes...well...just read the original post of this thread by scrolling all the way up.

You are also incorrect in your assumption that "the rich have higher consumption than we do". There are rich people out there right now who live like either an average joe like you or me or live very poorly and cheaply. They are the parasites, they are not giving back to the economy as much as they take from it. That is BAD for a country with demand going down the drain called "Free" Trade. And now you just made their job of hoarding much much MUCH easier.

To sustain this country the government will have to borrow MORE from other countries and government will have to OFFICIALLY be corporate funded just to run basic infrastructure. Social programs...run by corporations. Trade policy...OFFICIALLY under corporate control. And then we can all turn into third worlders whoop dee doo! You get what I mean.

THIS IS NOT A SUSTAINABLE TAX SCHEME. How old are you? I know Jeff Block is like 50 or 60 and I'm 20. How does anybody past the age of teenybopper think this joke of a "tax layout" or whatever is sustainable?

The real issue is that we need to stop burdening the already taxed middle class and the poor. The REAL issue is that we need the rich to pay their taxes. AND I MEAN RATES.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/flat-tax-fair-tax-and-9-9-9-oh-my/#comment-85819

[-] 1 points by Misguided (373) 5 years ago

I couldn't even follow your first sentence about pricing, it made no sense. It's not surprising that you are 20 and if I may make an assumption are not working yet. Not that that really matters except for the fact that you don't have a grasp on the reality of our economy. It's based on consumption....We make nothing here. Aside from all that why do you assume that we would have to borrow money to continue running basic infrastructure while denying that anyone with money has to spend it to maintain their own infrastructure. Hording cash is done sure but by a tiny minority and you keep mentioning capitol gains and income when they are non factors in a consumption based tax system. Spending is all that matters. Spending is a need everyone must do it just to maintain their existence. Besides the secondary goal of a consumption based tax system is to give the power to fund or not to fund government ventures to the people.

[-] 2 points by Lork (285) 5 years ago

Okay genius. Let me spell it out for you.

(EDIT - By deflation I think you meant that corps can lower their price because "regulations and taxes" are gone. But it's only going to be noticeably low if all Americans worked under Chinese or South American slave labor conditions. But I'm just pretending that the deflation thing is still relevant.)

10% of 1 = .1. 10% of 10 = 1. 10% of 100 = 10 and so on.

The revenue gained depends on the rate. The number you GET from the rate depends on THE ORIGINAL PRICE.

"We make nothing here" - Of COURSE WE DON'T! We NEED some form of protectionism if we don't want this place to turn into a demandless neo-feudal hellhole! (Clue = Try working in a right to work state and see what I mean.) You know...like the ones that the other countries have on us.

We would have to keep borrowing because -like I said- this would DRASTICALLY REDUCE TAXES on the rich. This would get RID of capital gains tax and dividends tax which composes the majority of their income. Not to mention it would get rid of the federal income tax, of which they pay their lion's share in (by burden). This would also get rid of corporate tax (which they cheat us in with Double Irish and Dutch Sandwich I know) meaning we are letting them win.

As for taxing spending ONLY...are you out of your mind? Do you just think that all other taxes are irrelevant and that only consumption taxes matter? We NEED protectionism to take back and KEEP our jobs. We NEED to crack down on the corporations and get them to pay their goddamn taxes. We NEED to get the rich to pay their taxes....Pre-Reagan and Post-Hoover rates. Those tax cuts were only possible by borrowing from the Social Security fund.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/flat-tax-fair-tax-and-9-9-9-oh-my/#comment-85819

You want no government in your life? Go move to Somalia or some other Third World shithole. The rule there is "Just stay in your hovels, do as your masters tell you to do and you'll all be fine." You know how you got that clean water? Government. You know how you have indoor plumbing and a sewer system? The government. Most likely you got a public school education...from the government. Internet...government. Anti-discrimination laws? The government. The highway system? The government. I can go on and on.

We need to TAKE BACK our government not destroy it and pave the way for a full blown corporatocracy.

And besides...we need to do more than just tax spending. We need to make SURE that the money WE spend goes BACK to the US and not some thuggish country like China. (Although we are no better but hey.)

Before we even TALK about tax reform we NEED to talk about Financial Terrorism committed by the Top 1% at the global (aka multinational) level.

[-] 1 points by Misguided (373) 5 years ago

Dude you are utterly clueless and stuck in it apparently. Please do much much much more reading. I can't even talk to you anymore you are way too lost. Do yourself a favor and find some new sources of information and expand your mind. Whoever is guiding you has you so lost.

[-] 1 points by Lork (285) 5 years ago

Misguided why don't you link me YOUR sources then? I linked mine let's see yours!

Even if you -did- exempt the poor how would you even measure income? IT'S AN EFFING SALES TAX! Do the poor need to "hold out some card"? What if the rich buy cards? What if the rich hide their income through some other means to "legally qualify"? How the HELL is this shit even enforceable let ALONE sustainable?

And don't kid yourself. 20% sales tax on consumption WILL discourage consumption from the middle class. (Because you said the poor would be exempt) Which is totally happening right now. Unless you -also- fought for better wages of course. Oh! But then - the value of goods will go up too wouldn't it? And they'll just outsource again!

EDIT - Also - water and air cleanliness - EPA! (Government) Sorry.

[-] 1 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

ok, if you want to go with that approach here's a swing for you: if demand depends on how much the American people consumes and the consumption taxes just that consumption then wouldn't people be encouraged to not spend therefore decreasing demand and therefore leads to lower profits and higher unemployment?

[-] 0 points by Misguided (373) 5 years ago

But lower profits don't necessarily mean lower value of income earned because deflation (don't be scared of it it just means the increase of the value of our currency) would occur in that situation thus meaning that even though people might be earning less numerically it would actually mean a rise in the value of real wages for the first time in about 70 years. I think the only time you would see a severe drop in consumer spending though is when the people get fed up (as we are now) and don't want to fund government (wars and the like) and then we would actually have a viable real time tool to effect government.

[-] 2 points by Lork (285) 5 years ago

Unless the flat consumption tax replaces other taxes like the capital gains and dividends taxes. And you forget - as much as the government right now serves the 1% the government also provides basic social services, ensures some basic human rights, etc.

You said earlier that this tax would exempt people who made less than $60k a year. (Or maybe it was someone else I dunno) How would you determine who is high mid or low income? My point is - Most of the uber rich make their income through capital gains and dividends. Remember the whole "CEOs get $1 an hour!" phenomena? They still made money off the stocks from their bailed out companies. There are many ways for a person to hide income and qualify as "poor".

Also - The rich already have everything they need. And this would encourage hoarding of wealth you have ignored that. And don't say MTV Cribs again please. They are the highly loud and visible minority of America.

And how would deflation occur? I'll pretend you said that the prices will go down. Well - how is any real revenue going to be collected? Especially since we just eliminated all taxes on the rich? (See - Millionaire Misers. They take and take and take...but they never give back to the economy.)

If anybody under $60k income were exempt (which I doubt) and "certain necessities" weren't taxed, then it would not be a true flat or a true sales tax. However if you meant that everybody pays...well just scroll up to the OP's post.

Also - if you just had this flat consumption tax over every other tax it would be the most incredibly regressive tax scheme ever, because this whole country will go flat broke.

[-] 1 points by Misguided (373) 5 years ago

The consumption tax would have to replace all other federal taxes yes. It would not work otherwise. It wouldn't matter what your income was because the tax is not progressive and there is no tax on income. The rich may have everything they need and MTV cribs has nothing to do with it but I don't know too many rich people who live in my neighborhood and I'm in a middle class one. The cost of just running my home, oil, electric, internet, cable, cell phones and all the other miscellaneous trash that I and my neighbors by to run our households is a major expense. The rich spend much much more just to live. That on top of the fact that discretionary income in rich homes is much higher than that of the middle class means that they will being paying the bulk of the tax burden. I don't understand how someone goes broke when they are only taxed on what they spend as opposed to having taxes taken from you prior to ever seeing the money you earn. That to me means there is a real problem with personal responsibility not with a proposed tax system that gives you the option to pay taxes.

[-] -1 points by cheeseus (109) 5 years ago

One of the better ideas is a flat sales tax. You have exemptions for non-prepared food, life dependent medicine and housing. The poor person wouldn't need to pay anything. Taxes end up being voluntary depending if he chooses to buy things he needs or buys things he wants. If he buys a bag of beans he isn't charged extra. If he instead buys a new ipod he paid taxes. The rich guy who buys the $100k car pays bigtime.

The issue is not so much about poor versus rich. It's about why the poor have a difficult time in our society. Much of it is due to government actions. Government taxes, fees, mandates, regulations and restrictions make it difficult to be poor. Government handouts end up keeping people poor. It rewards irresponsibility. Capitalism provides incentive. Being poor should not be taboo. It should be an individuals choice. Capitalism provides them many choices. Marxism and governemnt forces it's choice and makes all of us pay for it.

[-] 2 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

I disagree. You claim that poor people decide to be poor. I live in a poor neighborhood that's a bunch of bullshit and a completely ignorant remark. It's not because the government has given incentives to be poor but rather they don't have the skills for higher paying jobs. The government can fix that. Capitalism though praised and by far still the best economic system it is by also a system quite fallible. We are prone to booms and busts and it is the government's job to ease the busts with regulation. They do not cause poverty that's just your simple excuse for smaller government.

[-] 0 points by cheeseus (109) 5 years ago

No, I said if an individual chooses to be poor it should be a choice and in a free society they would have that option and government wouldn't have burdens for choosing poverty over materialism. At the same time some people do end up poor because of bad choices they have made in life. They bitch about the rich while it was themselves that are mostly responsible. If they get a handout it should be temporary until they reform their lives. If they choose to keep being poor then government shouldn't be paying for their survival. Let the do-gooders of the world throw in their money and resources. Most of the junk OWS is demanding can already be done if the protesters did something about it. You don't need government to feed the homeless. You yourself need to get off your butt and cook them a meal.....The busts you mentioned are usually caused from bubbles the government created. In a free market busts is the regulation. It's more effcient than any regulation government could do as it's organic....

[-] 2 points by Lork (285) 5 years ago

lol - you are as deluded as my father.

So I guess someone who has looked for a job with no results for years is "asking to be poor"? I guess the law school graduates "asked to have no job" when they came out of law school with no opportunity? I guess Joshua Persky, a former investment banker, decided to be unemployed? I guess he also quit his job when he finally got a job after his "Sign Board" stunt, but then the firm had to lay people off anyway?

http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/01/pf/joshua_persky/index.htm

SO I GUESS A WHOLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE....blue collar and white collar...right wing and left wing...high school diploma to college diploma...man and woman...young and old...

SO I GUESS THEY JUST DECIDED TO BE POOR HUH?

This place is turning into Crazytown. Just had a convo with that Jeff Block guy earlier, then Misguided, some other person and then you. Now if you'll excuse me I'll just walk away now, because I need my sanity back.

[-] 0 points by cheeseus (109) 5 years ago

Education is speculation. You go to college hoping you will be able to capitalize on your degree(and hopefully actual knowledge). If the economy is good and you have a needed skill odds are you will be hired. How much will you earn? You might have to take less than you speculated you could get. If the economy is bad your speculation to go to college was a bad bet.

The unemployed should have had a nestegg for emergencies. Now they have learned an important life lesson and will put away money for the next economic downturn.

And yes, some people choose to be poor. When a 15 year old girl sees she can get pregnant and then get free food, cash assistance, and section 8 housing, what motivation is there to seek employment when she can game the system? Some of us are dreamers and invest our time thinking we will be part of the 1% who become musicians, movie stars and sports heros. They chose to ignore the risks of that "sure bet" and now have no resume of job experience. It's the business man who had a good business and then got cocky and invested too much when business was declining. He took out too many loans. Now he is poor because of unwise decisions.....Life is full of choices. Many of those choices can make you poor.

[-] 2 points by Lork (285) 5 years ago

Alright Crazytown - quit chasin me!

"And yes, some people choose to be poor. When a 15 year old girl sees she can get pregnant and then get free food, cash assistance, and section 8 housing, what motivation is there to seek employment when she can game the system? Some of us are dreamers and invest our time thinking we will be part of the 1% who become musicians, movie stars and sports heros. They chose to ignore the risks of that "sure bet" and now have no resume of job experience. It's the business man who had a good business and then got cocky and invested too much when business was declining. He took out too many loans. Now he is poor because of unwise decisions.....Life is full of choices. Many of those choices can make you poor."

First off - ignorance is not a choice. Nobody CHOOSES to be scammed or to be born fucked anyway.

Second off - Yes I do know there are welfare leeches. Yes I do know that some actually -do- choose. The Quiverfulls are a good example of welfare parents. Christian Chandler is a good example of someone who relies solely on his disability check.

But do you know what? Those benefits pay less than a job at McDonalds! And guess what? Not everybody who is either unemployed or poor -gasp- qualify for such social benefits! Also - have you heard of a new category called "discouraged" to hide the unemployed?

But ask yourself this right now. It should be clear by now that such people who REALLY choose to "be poor" are...misguided. Most likely...nobody is hiring them.

Ask yourself - Do any of the TRUE "choosers" fit the profile of someone who will lift even one finger to change their lives? Because that is what OWS is doing right now, even if many don't know what they want, even if they're running out of food and facing violence, even if they have to live outside instead of in a comfortable home to protest, even as they get fucking Obama and the media making them look bad and even as they get infiltrated everyday by people like you.

[-] 0 points by cheeseus (109) 5 years ago

Again, having a child is speculation. If your kids is messed up, sadly it becomes a burden for the rest of your life. It's personal responsibility.

It should be obvious from my pen name that I don't regard christians, nor relgion in a high regard.

Minimum wage is a ceiling for many employees who are new or unskilled....I am aware of the discouraged. That was President Clintons sneaky trick. He also changed the way we calculate inflation which masks the rabid increases in prices the working class are facing.

I respect any human who wants to help another. They are heros. I'm not preventing you and your like minded to go right now and do something to help. I just don't want you to have government force me to help by stealing from me. It should be an individual choice and it's a choice that can be done this moment without government.

[-] 1 points by TruePatriots (274) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

You assume Presidents make these changes on purpose. I believe it is the Bureau of Labor Statistics that made both those changes because they saw some inaccuracies. A discouraged worker is person without a job not looking for a job...if that person isn't looking for a job why include them in the labor force? They are like retirees who don't work and aren't looking for a job and are not counted in the labor force. CPI (Inflation index) has always been tricky to calculate I'm not sure what they changed.

If the government didn't do it there's no way enough people would have been coordinated or funded well enough to do what the government has done. And guess what we routinely give them permission to do so because we the people like those programs. Welfare isn't intended to be lived on it is intended to be a safety net when we hit rough times. By far that is how those funds are used: when we fall.