White House has settled in

dajo9
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drizzlybears brother said:

iwantwinners said:

Unit2Sucks said:

calbear93 said:


So, it is not about greed or selfishness. It is about different opinions on capital and asset allocation in a world with finite resources.
Why can't it be about both?

We just awarded the wealthiest people in America a massive tax cut (largest in history according to the president) at a time when they least needed it. It's amazing to me that after all we've learned from the numerous economic cycles in the last century +, that at a time when the economy is nearing the end of a boom we combined a massive decrease in taxes with a massive increase in spending. I say it's amazing but not at all surprising since I said that this is exactly what would happen and I don't say that to take credit for by prescience but merely to indicate how utterly predictable it was. I don't know what it's going to take to save this country from itself but I have no faith in the current establishment to do it and even less faith in the anti-establishment populist types that appear to be the alternatives.
It's anecdotal, but I know AT&T and Starbucks announced raised/bonuses for virtually all their employees when tax law was finalized. Surely it is partly PR for these companies to do this (and announce it) and most are probably not, but it illuminates how allowing corporations to keep more of their profits doesn't just enrich the bigwigs and stockholders, it can contribute to wage increases and/or free up capital for reinvestment, growing business that will always benefit the richest more in pure dollars than it's lower end employees. Forced added costs to business (taxes, raising wages) will almost always be passed on to the consumer. I reject the assumption that giving the government more earned income = helping the poor or middle class. The government can sustain poverty, but it cannot sustain the escape from poverty. In this society, only an individual's decisions can.
We agree on the idea that corporate taxes are simply a cost passed to consumers.
The idea that companies simply pass costs (including taxes) onto consumers is one of the great common fallacies. Companies charge for a product what supply and demand will allow them to charge. If they can charge higher for a product, they will, regardless of the tax rate.

In a perfectly competitive market (such as wheat) the effect of the higher cost will find its way into the price (because of shrinking supply), but there are not a whole lot of perfectly competitive markets out there. But ultimately, the cost has to be so onerous that it affects the supply of a product. If the supply is unchanged, the cost change will not impact the price of the product.
drizzlybears brother
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dajo9 said:

drizzlybears brother said:

iwantwinners said:

Unit2Sucks said:

calbear93 said:


So, it is not about greed or selfishness. It is about different opinions on capital and asset allocation in a world with finite resources.
Why can't it be about both?

We just awarded the wealthiest people in America a massive tax cut (largest in history according to the president) at a time when they least needed it. It's amazing to me that after all we've learned from the numerous economic cycles in the last century +, that at a time when the economy is nearing the end of a boom we combined a massive decrease in taxes with a massive increase in spending. I say it's amazing but not at all surprising since I said that this is exactly what would happen and I don't say that to take credit for by prescience but merely to indicate how utterly predictable it was. I don't know what it's going to take to save this country from itself but I have no faith in the current establishment to do it and even less faith in the anti-establishment populist types that appear to be the alternatives.
It's anecdotal, but I know AT&T and Starbucks announced raised/bonuses for virtually all their employees when tax law was finalized. Surely it is partly PR for these companies to do this (and announce it) and most are probably not, but it illuminates how allowing corporations to keep more of their profits doesn't just enrich the bigwigs and stockholders, it can contribute to wage increases and/or free up capital for reinvestment, growing business that will always benefit the richest more in pure dollars than it's lower end employees. Forced added costs to business (taxes, raising wages) will almost always be passed on to the consumer. I reject the assumption that giving the government more earned income = helping the poor or middle class. The government can sustain poverty, but it cannot sustain the escape from poverty. In this society, only an individual's decisions can.
We agree on the idea that corporate taxes are simply a cost passed to consumers.
The idea that companies simply pass costs (including taxes) onto consumers is one of the great common fallacies. Companies charge for a product what supply and demand will allow them to charge. If they can charge higher for a product, they will, regardless of the tax rate.

In a perfectly competitive market (such as wheat) the effect of the higher cost will find its way into the price (because of shrinking supply), but there are not a whole lot of perfectly competitive markets out there. But ultimately, the cost has to be so onerous that it affects the supply of a product. If the supply is unchanged, the cost change will not impact the price of the product.
That makes textbook sense dajo, but here in Seattle where we've been boosting our minimum wage, I'm starting to see the price of low end meals going up. It feels like a labor cost influencing the price more than any change in supply.
drizzlybears brother
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iwantwinners said:

What is the appropriate tax rate for each segment of earners in order for it to be "just" and "fair"? I want a number that I can hold you to so that when we hit that threshold, I can be assured you won't come back to me asking for more of my sh*t. Let's get to brass tax, since all I hear is that certain people are paying too much or too little. What is it like 40% of Americans -- the rich and the poor -- effective tax rate is zero or negative, they pay no taxes.
That cuts both ways. What number can you be held to for a "just" and "fair" rate that you won't go below? Because my entire adult life has been largely defined by tax cuts ever since Reagan.

More importantly, you need to get over the idea that it's all your sh*t. As though you can earn any of that sh*t without the rest of us here to create a market, and without the robust investment in the infrastructure that you require to make your sh*t.

If maximizing your sh*t is your ultimate goal, then what you need is for the very bottom of the pyramid to be flush with cash (independent of whether it was earned or not). You treat it as zero sum, but it's possible that more taxes on the upper end can actually lead to more wealth to the upper end if by doing so we increase the economy's velocity.

But independent of your sh*t accumulation, how best to measure the wealth of a nation? Would we be best off with a single multi-trillionaire with the rest of us bumping along near poverty? What's the point of raising a nation's wealth if we're stepping over bodies in the gutter to earn it?
dajo9
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drizzlybears brother said:

dajo9 said:

drizzlybears brother said:

iwantwinners said:

Unit2Sucks said:

calbear93 said:


So, it is not about greed or selfishness. It is about different opinions on capital and asset allocation in a world with finite resources.
Why can't it be about both?

We just awarded the wealthiest people in America a massive tax cut (largest in history according to the president) at a time when they least needed it. It's amazing to me that after all we've learned from the numerous economic cycles in the last century +, that at a time when the economy is nearing the end of a boom we combined a massive decrease in taxes with a massive increase in spending. I say it's amazing but not at all surprising since I said that this is exactly what would happen and I don't say that to take credit for by prescience but merely to indicate how utterly predictable it was. I don't know what it's going to take to save this country from itself but I have no faith in the current establishment to do it and even less faith in the anti-establishment populist types that appear to be the alternatives.
It's anecdotal, but I know AT&T and Starbucks announced raised/bonuses for virtually all their employees when tax law was finalized. Surely it is partly PR for these companies to do this (and announce it) and most are probably not, but it illuminates how allowing corporations to keep more of their profits doesn't just enrich the bigwigs and stockholders, it can contribute to wage increases and/or free up capital for reinvestment, growing business that will always benefit the richest more in pure dollars than it's lower end employees. Forced added costs to business (taxes, raising wages) will almost always be passed on to the consumer. I reject the assumption that giving the government more earned income = helping the poor or middle class. The government can sustain poverty, but it cannot sustain the escape from poverty. In this society, only an individual's decisions can.
We agree on the idea that corporate taxes are simply a cost passed to consumers.
The idea that companies simply pass costs (including taxes) onto consumers is one of the great common fallacies. Companies charge for a product what supply and demand will allow them to charge. If they can charge higher for a product, they will, regardless of the tax rate.

In a perfectly competitive market (such as wheat) the effect of the higher cost will find its way into the price (because of shrinking supply), but there are not a whole lot of perfectly competitive markets out there. But ultimately, the cost has to be so onerous that it affects the supply of a product. If the supply is unchanged, the cost change will not impact the price of the product.
That makes textbook sense dajo, but here in Seattle where we've been boosting our minimum wage, I'm starting to see the price of low end meals going up. It feels like a labor cost influencing the price more than any change in supply.
Have you considered a demand push driving up higher prices because minimum wage workers have more money to buy fast food?
mikecohen
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iwantwinners said:

Unit2Sucks said:

calbear93 said:


So, it is not about greed or selfishness. It is about different opinions on capital and asset allocation in a world with finite resources.
Why can't it be about both?

We just awarded the wealthiest people in America a massive tax cut (largest in history according to the president) at a time when they least needed it. It's amazing to me that after all we've learned from the numerous economic cycles in the last century +, that at a time when the economy is nearing the end of a boom we combined a massive decrease in taxes with a massive increase in spending. I say it's amazing but not at all surprising since I said that this is exactly what would happen and I don't say that to take credit for by prescience but merely to indicate how utterly predictable it was. I don't know what it's going to take to save this country from itself but I have no faith in the current establishment to do it and even less faith in the anti-establishment populist types that appear to be the alternatives.
It's anecdotal, but I know AT&T and Starbucks announced raised/bonuses for virtually all their employees when tax law was finalized. Surely it is partly PR for these companies to do this (and announce it) and most are probably not, but it illuminates how allowing corporations to keep more of their profits doesn't just enrich the bigwigs and stockholders, it can contribute to wage increases and/or free up capital for reinvestment, growing business that will always benefit the richest more in pure dollars than it's lower end employees. Forced added costs to business (taxes, raising wages) will almost always be passed on to the consumer. I reject the assumption that giving the government more earned income = helping the poor or middle class. The government can sustain poverty, but it cannot sustain the escape from poverty. In this society, only an individual's decisions can.
Ever heard of the G. I. Bill?
mikecohen
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iwantwinners said:

drizzlybears brother said:



Wealth redistribution is the single most important thing the government does. I could not disagree with you more.

Separate question, how much of my paycheck did I earn all by myself
?
Agree on the first point. The second is a bogus question, and I suspect you know it.
How much of our paychecks are supported by the numerous things that government does that are unaffordable for most individuals: e.g., public education, police, fire, military, public health, public parks, public utilities (which majorly out-perform Investor-owned utilities), Medicare (which operates on 2% overhead), compared with private insurance, which costs tons more (some 30%, because of profit margin and shareholder payouts alone) - not to mention the extraordinary extra burden healthcare providers each of whom, separately, need to establish their own major bureaucracies to deal with the SEPARATE requirements of each medical insurance companies - not to mention the healthcare distortions created by the commercial, non-healthcare-related needs of the corporations, such as automatic denials (forcing patients who could be benefited into either unaffordable legal action or non-treatment possibly leading to worsening and/or death) and other bad faith conduct too numerous to mention, for which only legal action (a government function) offfers any hope of redemption.
mikecohen
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iwantwinners said:

What is the appropriate tax rate for each segment of earners in order for it to be "just" and "fair"? I want a number that I can hold you to so that when we hit that threshold, I can be assured you won't come back to me asking for more of my sh*t. Let's get to brass tax, since all I hear is that certain people are paying too much or too little. What is it like 40% of Americans -- the rich and the poor -- effective tax rate is zero or negative, they pay no taxes.
The point is that, as with life in general, any system, to be successful, has to constantly deal with the contradictions within and without it. So that the issue of public vs private power is (in fact, no matter what the ideology) a constant tug of war in which there never has been and never will be a point of stasis. I think the current 99 to 1 ratio (although not entirely, but largely reflective of political vs. corporate power) is, to put it mildly, unsustainable.
mikecohen
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drizzlybears brother said:

iwantwinners said:

Unit2Sucks said:

calbear93 said:


So, it is not about greed or selfishness. It is about different opinions on capital and asset allocation in a world with finite resources.
Why can't it be about both?

We just awarded the wealthiest people in America a massive tax cut (largest in history according to the president) at a time when they least needed it. It's amazing to me that after all we've learned from the numerous economic cycles in the last century +, that at a time when the economy is nearing the end of a boom we combined a massive decrease in taxes with a massive increase in spending. I say it's amazing but not at all surprising since I said that this is exactly what would happen and I don't say that to take credit for by prescience but merely to indicate how utterly predictable it was. I don't know what it's going to take to save this country from itself but I have no faith in the current establishment to do it and even less faith in the anti-establishment populist types that appear to be the alternatives.
It's anecdotal, but I know AT&T and Starbucks announced raised/bonuses for virtually all their employees when tax law was finalized. Surely it is partly PR for these companies to do this (and announce it) and most are probably not, but it illuminates how allowing corporations to keep more of their profits doesn't just enrich the bigwigs and stockholders, it can contribute to wage increases and/or free up capital for reinvestment, growing business that will always benefit the richest more in pure dollars than it's lower end employees. Forced added costs to business (taxes, raising wages) will almost always be passed on to the consumer. I reject the assumption that giving the government more earned income = helping the poor or middle class. The government can sustain poverty, but it cannot sustain the escape from poverty. In this society, only an individual's decisions can.
We agree on the idea that corporate taxes are simply a cost passed to consumers. But the examples of bonuses in response to the cuts actually prove the point that it's not taxes depressing wages. Look at the percentage of the windfall that went to labor compensation - a tiny fraction yet again. If it were real, what little did go to comp would have been permanent, not bonuses.

Regarding your concern for taxation used to combat poverty, what do you think is the point of wealth redistribution?
Corporate taxes are not passed onto consumers if business competition (which is supposed to be one of the virtues of capitalism) operates to keep prices down and force the corporations to create greater productivity despite the higher taxes. This has actually happened; but, instead of keeping prices down, it's just balooned corporate profits up, with the further detriment of failing to meaningfully increase investment into job-creating endeavors, some of which could improve our crumbling infrastructure (which it does not benefit most corporations enough to cause them to make such investments instead of just piling up cash).
FuzzyWuzzy
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mikecohen said:

drizzlybears brother said:

iwantwinners said:

Unit2Sucks said:

calbear93 said:


So, it is not about greed or selfishness. It is about different opinions on capital and asset allocation in a world with finite resources.
Why can't it be about both?

We just awarded the wealthiest people in America a massive tax cut (largest in history according to the president) at a time when they least needed it. It's amazing to me that after all we've learned from the numerous economic cycles in the last century +, that at a time when the economy is nearing the end of a boom we combined a massive decrease in taxes with a massive increase in spending. I say it's amazing but not at all surprising since I said that this is exactly what would happen and I don't say that to take credit for by prescience but merely to indicate how utterly predictable it was. I don't know what it's going to take to save this country from itself but I have no faith in the current establishment to do it and even less faith in the anti-establishment populist types that appear to be the alternatives.
It's anecdotal, but I know AT&T and Starbucks announced raised/bonuses for virtually all their employees when tax law was finalized. Surely it is partly PR for these companies to do this (and announce it) and most are probably not, but it illuminates how allowing corporations to keep more of their profits doesn't just enrich the bigwigs and stockholders, it can contribute to wage increases and/or free up capital for reinvestment, growing business that will always benefit the richest more in pure dollars than it's lower end employees. Forced added costs to business (taxes, raising wages) will almost always be passed on to the consumer. I reject the assumption that giving the government more earned income = helping the poor or middle class. The government can sustain poverty, but it cannot sustain the escape from poverty. In this society, only an individual's decisions can.
We agree on the idea that corporate taxes are simply a cost passed to consumers. But the examples of bonuses in response to the cuts actually prove the point that it's not taxes depressing wages. Look at the percentage of the windfall that went to labor compensation - a tiny fraction yet again. If it were real, what little did go to comp would have been permanent, not bonuses.

Regarding your concern for taxation used to combat poverty, what do you think is the point of wealth redistribution?
Corporate taxes are not passed onto consumers if business competition (which is supposed to be one of the virtues of capitalism) operates to keep prices down and force the corporations to create greater productivity despite the higher taxes. This has actually happened; but, instead of keeping prices down, it's just balooned corporate profits up, with the further detriment of failing to meaningfully increase investment into job-creating endeavors, some of which could improve our crumbling infrastructure (which it does not benefit most corporations enough to cause them to make such investments instead of just piling up cash).
Mike, you make many excellent points in your last several posts but let me explore one which you touch on above: corporations, despite ballooning profits, are not incentivized by market forces or other forces to invest in job-creating endeavors. This is going to be one of the great challenges of our, and the next, generation. At one time you had a manufacturing company that employed 100 people. Now with automation it produces the same amount using 2 employees, a highly educated engineer and a highly educated businessperson. That sounds like a great thing, right? It would be one thing if, say, we all worked less to produce (and earn as income) the same amount of domestic product. But instead, the same amount of income from the enterprise gets concentrated into many fewer hands. 98 people are out of work and taking opioids and two are working very hard and making a lot of money. How can we fix this problem? It seems so inefficient to artificially incentivize corporations to create "make work" jobs.

Switzerland had a referendum not too long ago for a - I forget the term - basic minimum income? I do not think that is the answer either. The 98 might not starve but having them sit around with no work is not good for society, IMO. It is almost as if our technology has gotten too productive for our own good.
Anarchistbear
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A guaranteed income doesn't mean you can't work. It means you survive.
calbear93
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FuzzyWuzzy said:

mikecohen said:

drizzlybears brother said:

iwantwinners said:

Unit2Sucks said:

calbear93 said:


So, it is not about greed or selfishness. It is about different opinions on capital and asset allocation in a world with finite resources.
Why can't it be about both?

We just awarded the wealthiest people in America a massive tax cut (largest in history according to the president) at a time when they least needed it. It's amazing to me that after all we've learned from the numerous economic cycles in the last century +, that at a time when the economy is nearing the end of a boom we combined a massive decrease in taxes with a massive increase in spending. I say it's amazing but not at all surprising since I said that this is exactly what would happen and I don't say that to take credit for by prescience but merely to indicate how utterly predictable it was. I don't know what it's going to take to save this country from itself but I have no faith in the current establishment to do it and even less faith in the anti-establishment populist types that appear to be the alternatives.
It's anecdotal, but I know AT&T and Starbucks announced raised/bonuses for virtually all their employees when tax law was finalized. Surely it is partly PR for these companies to do this (and announce it) and most are probably not, but it illuminates how allowing corporations to keep more of their profits doesn't just enrich the bigwigs and stockholders, it can contribute to wage increases and/or free up capital for reinvestment, growing business that will always benefit the richest more in pure dollars than it's lower end employees. Forced added costs to business (taxes, raising wages) will almost always be passed on to the consumer. I reject the assumption that giving the government more earned income = helping the poor or middle class. The government can sustain poverty, but it cannot sustain the escape from poverty. In this society, only an individual's decisions can.
We agree on the idea that corporate taxes are simply a cost passed to consumers. But the examples of bonuses in response to the cuts actually prove the point that it's not taxes depressing wages. Look at the percentage of the windfall that went to labor compensation - a tiny fraction yet again. If it were real, what little did go to comp would have been permanent, not bonuses.

Regarding your concern for taxation used to combat poverty, what do you think is the point of wealth redistribution?
Corporate taxes are not passed onto consumers if business competition (which is supposed to be one of the virtues of capitalism) operates to keep prices down and force the corporations to create greater productivity despite the higher taxes. This has actually happened; but, instead of keeping prices down, it's just balooned corporate profits up, with the further detriment of failing to meaningfully increase investment into job-creating endeavors, some of which could improve our crumbling infrastructure (which it does not benefit most corporations enough to cause them to make such investments instead of just piling up cash).
Mike, you make many excellent points in your last several posts but let me explore one which you touch on above: corporations, despite ballooning profits, are not incentivized by market forces or other forces to invest in job-creating endeavors. This is going to be one of the great challenges of our, and the next, generation. At one time you had a manufacturing company that employed 100 people. Now with automation it produces the same amount using 2 employees, a highly educated engineer and a highly educated businessperson. That sounds like a great thing, right? It would be one thing if, say, we all worked less to produce (and earn as income) the same amount of domestic product. But instead, the same amount of income from the enterprise gets concentrated into many fewer hands. 98 people are out of work and taking opioids and two are working very hard and making a lot of money. How can we fix this problem? It seems so inefficient to artificially incentivize corporations to create "make work" jobs.

Switzerland had a referendum not too long ago for a - I forget the term - basic minimum income? I do not think that is the answer either. The 98 might not starve but having them sit around with no work is not good for society, IMO. It is almost as if our technology has gotten too productive for our own good.

That is so dead on. We are not even at cusp of where this is going. People glamorize all the tech companies on the coasts, have all of these people vilify Wall Street and oil companies when the main reason for our imminent dystopian society will be from the tech companies that most of you guys work at and are always saying do no evil. Corporations are seeking for automation to reduce costs, and tech companies are gladly providing the means to create greater wealth gap while enriching themselves. As companies reduce cost, there is a smaller number of highly capable people who can create value from all of the data generated, which will allow machines to learn and automate with even less people needed. The few people who can create the new tech, can generate algorithms that can make machines smarter, etc. will take away the jobs from the middle class and create more poverty while the society has more wealth (congregated at the CEOs, lawyers, engineers, etc). It isn't that some wealthy people with assets are trying to screw the poor. It is people like those here who work for tech companies that generate the means by which blue collar workers will soon become non-workers. They are the reason why companies can pay engineers, data scientists, project managers, etc. obscene amount of money while eliminating jobs. You think you would have made the same 10 years ago? No,. it is because what your tech companies do (not pointing fingers at anyone in particular - just the tech industry) that enable companies to do with less jobs, allow Russian agents to manipulate the population, allow idiot president to send out random tweets, and allow people to be even more disengaged while becoming more self-absorbed. It is the way of life created by your tech companies, and I doubt you will quit your jobs in protest. When I hear from the top tech leaders on where the tech is going with artificial intelligence, I realize that our society will become comprised of even very few haves having more and too many have nots. No amount of government intervention, short of disincentivizing tech companies from seeking profit and paying engineers insane amount of money, will solve it.
iwantwinners
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drizzlybears brother said:

iwantwinners said:

drizzlybears brother said:



Wealth redistribution is the single most important thing the government does. I could not disagree with you more.

Separate question, how much of my paycheck did I earn all by myself
?
Agree on the first point. The second is a bogus question, and I suspect you know it.
what do you consider bogus about it?

My intention is to counter the point, taught by conservatives, that somehow the taxes removed from my paychecks are some form of theft
. As though even a single penny of that earning is possible without the robust infrastructure required to earn it.

For those who truly feel it's theft, they're welcome to go find that country where taxes are minimal and see the kind of wealth they can earn in that market.
Agreed on first point 100%. It's a dishonest argument used to support the idea of "lower taxes". I despise when that is used. It strays away from a legitimate discussion to be had: what is the appropriate ("fair" or "moral") income tax rate for specific income brackets and why, when, and for what?
iwantwinners
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Anarchistbear said:

A guaranteed income doesn't mean you can't work. It means you survive.
Correct, but it certainly incentivizes NOT working or not working AS MUCH to earn, no?

What is the incentive for somebody to get a job when their welfare benefits (cash, food, medical) are similar or higher than the $1,500 full-time job at Walmart? The more this person earns, the fewer benefits they receive. The counter argument to that is minimum wage is too low. I get that, and it is. But what, for example, is Walmart doing in CA as a result of minimum wage going to $15/hr by 2020? They're eliminating position titles completely in some cases, and hiring less full time hourly associates, more part-time associates. I reckon there is no easy answer here, regardless of what one's ideology and political and economic priorities are.
iwantwinners
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calbear93 said:

FuzzyWuzzy said:

mikecohen said:

drizzlybears brother said:

iwantwinners said:

Unit2Sucks said:

calbear93 said:


So, it is not about greed or selfishness. It is about different opinions on capital and asset allocation in a world with finite resources.
Why can't it be about both?

We just awarded the wealthiest people in America a massive tax cut (largest in history according to the president) at a time when they least needed it. It's amazing to me that after all we've learned from the numerous economic cycles in the last century +, that at a time when the economy is nearing the end of a boom we combined a massive decrease in taxes with a massive increase in spending. I say it's amazing but not at all surprising since I said that this is exactly what would happen and I don't say that to take credit for by prescience but merely to indicate how utterly predictable it was. I don't know what it's going to take to save this country from itself but I have no faith in the current establishment to do it and even less faith in the anti-establishment populist types that appear to be the alternatives.
It's anecdotal, but I know AT&T and Starbucks announced raised/bonuses for virtually all their employees when tax law was finalized. Surely it is partly PR for these companies to do this (and announce it) and most are probably not, but it illuminates how allowing corporations to keep more of their profits doesn't just enrich the bigwigs and stockholders, it can contribute to wage increases and/or free up capital for reinvestment, growing business that will always benefit the richest more in pure dollars than it's lower end employees. Forced added costs to business (taxes, raising wages) will almost always be passed on to the consumer. I reject the assumption that giving the government more earned income = helping the poor or middle class. The government can sustain poverty, but it cannot sustain the escape from poverty. In this society, only an individual's decisions can.
We agree on the idea that corporate taxes are simply a cost passed to consumers. But the examples of bonuses in response to the cuts actually prove the point that it's not taxes depressing wages. Look at the percentage of the windfall that went to labor compensation - a tiny fraction yet again. If it were real, what little did go to comp would have been permanent, not bonuses.

Regarding your concern for taxation used to combat poverty, what do you think is the point of wealth redistribution?
Corporate taxes are not passed onto consumers if business competition (which is supposed to be one of the virtues of capitalism) operates to keep prices down and force the corporations to create greater productivity despite the higher taxes. This has actually happened; but, instead of keeping prices down, it's just balooned corporate profits up, with the further detriment of failing to meaningfully increase investment into job-creating endeavors, some of which could improve our crumbling infrastructure (which it does not benefit most corporations enough to cause them to make such investments instead of just piling up cash).
Mike, you make many excellent points in your last several posts but let me explore one which you touch on above: corporations, despite ballooning profits, are not incentivized by market forces or other forces to invest in job-creating endeavors. This is going to be one of the great challenges of our, and the next, generation. At one time you had a manufacturing company that employed 100 people. Now with automation it produces the same amount using 2 employees, a highly educated engineer and a highly educated businessperson. That sounds like a great thing, right? It would be one thing if, say, we all worked less to produce (and earn as income) the same amount of domestic product. But instead, the same amount of income from the enterprise gets concentrated into many fewer hands. 98 people are out of work and taking opioids and two are working very hard and making a lot of money. How can we fix this problem? It seems so inefficient to artificially incentivize corporations to create "make work" jobs.

Switzerland had a referendum not too long ago for a - I forget the term - basic minimum income? I do not think that is the answer either. The 98 might not starve but having them sit around with no work is not good for society, IMO. It is almost as if our technology has gotten too productive for our own good.

That is so dead on. We are not even at cusp of where this is going. People glamorize all the tech companies on the coasts, have all of these people vilify Wall Street and oil companies when the main reason for our imminent dystopian society will be from the tech companies that most of you guys work at and are always saying do no evil. Corporations are seeking for automation to reduce costs, and tech companies are gladly providing the means to create greater wealth gap while enriching themselves. As companies reduce cost, there is a smaller number of highly capable people who can create value from all of the data generated, which will allow machines to learn and automate with even less people needed. The few people who can create the new tech, can generate algorithms that can make machines smarter, etc. will take away the jobs from the middle class and create more poverty while the society has more wealth (congregated at the CEOs, lawyers, engineers, etc). It isn't that some wealthy people with assets are trying to screw the poor. It is people like those here who work for tech companies that generate the means by which blue collar workers will soon become non-workers. They are the reason why companies can pay engineers, data scientists, project managers, etc. obscene amount of money while eliminating jobs. You think you would have made the same 10 years ago? No,. it is because what your tech companies do (not pointing fingers at anyone in particular - just the tech industry) that enable companies to do with less jobs, allow Russian agents to manipulate the population, allow idiot president to send out random tweets, and allow people to be even more disengaged while becoming more self-absorbed. It is the way of life created by your tech companies, and I doubt you will quit your jobs in protest. When I hear from the top tech leaders on where the tech is going with artificial intelligence, I realize that our society will become comprised of even very few haves having more and too many have nots. No amount of government intervention, short of disincentivizing tech companies from seeking profit and paying engineers insane amount of money, will solve it.
Wow, everything in this thread is indeed spot on. Great points about tech, and it never gets talked about (it seems)
Anarchistbear
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A guaranteed income doesn't imply that welfare benefits are the same, that they can't make marginal income or that people are "unproductive" IMO working for Facebook is no more productive than not working for Facebook. What you do with your life is what matters not what you are paid. Humans survived many centuries without the concept of wages and their needs were met. People may do more "productive" or creative things.
FuzzyWuzzy
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Anarchistbear said:

A guaranteed income doesn't imply that welfare benefits are the same, that they can't make marginal income or that people are "unproductive" IMO working for Facebook is no more productive than not working for Facebook. What you do with your life is what matters not what you are paid. Humans survived many centuries without the concept of wages and their needs were met. People may do more "productive" or creative things.
Human survived without wages because they were hunting, gathering, cultivating, caring for children, or doing something. They had to do those things to survive. But with a basic minimum income, they don't have to. My guess is that if you pay people for doing nothing, most people will sit on their butts, cash their checks, lose self-esteem and cause a lot of trouble for society. They will probably have more kids just to get another check. Just trying to be real, here.

Refundable earned income tax credit sounds better than guaranteed income benefit.
Anarchistbear
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Walmart employs 1.4 million people in the US. Facebook employs 25,000. If you live in the Bay Area and work at Walmart you can't survive without public assistance. Figure it out, $15/ hr =$2400 a month gross which is all to rent. In my volunteer work people work 2-3 jobs and families 4-5. It's a tremendous toll on families and health

sycasey
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calbear93 said:

FuzzyWuzzy said:

mikecohen said:

drizzlybears brother said:

iwantwinners said:

Unit2Sucks said:

calbear93 said:


So, it is not about greed or selfishness. It is about different opinions on capital and asset allocation in a world with finite resources.
Why can't it be about both?

We just awarded the wealthiest people in America a massive tax cut (largest in history according to the president) at a time when they least needed it. It's amazing to me that after all we've learned from the numerous economic cycles in the last century +, that at a time when the economy is nearing the end of a boom we combined a massive decrease in taxes with a massive increase in spending. I say it's amazing but not at all surprising since I said that this is exactly what would happen and I don't say that to take credit for by prescience but merely to indicate how utterly predictable it was. I don't know what it's going to take to save this country from itself but I have no faith in the current establishment to do it and even less faith in the anti-establishment populist types that appear to be the alternatives.
It's anecdotal, but I know AT&T and Starbucks announced raised/bonuses for virtually all their employees when tax law was finalized. Surely it is partly PR for these companies to do this (and announce it) and most are probably not, but it illuminates how allowing corporations to keep more of their profits doesn't just enrich the bigwigs and stockholders, it can contribute to wage increases and/or free up capital for reinvestment, growing business that will always benefit the richest more in pure dollars than it's lower end employees. Forced added costs to business (taxes, raising wages) will almost always be passed on to the consumer. I reject the assumption that giving the government more earned income = helping the poor or middle class. The government can sustain poverty, but it cannot sustain the escape from poverty. In this society, only an individual's decisions can.
We agree on the idea that corporate taxes are simply a cost passed to consumers. But the examples of bonuses in response to the cuts actually prove the point that it's not taxes depressing wages. Look at the percentage of the windfall that went to labor compensation - a tiny fraction yet again. If it were real, what little did go to comp would have been permanent, not bonuses.

Regarding your concern for taxation used to combat poverty, what do you think is the point of wealth redistribution?
Corporate taxes are not passed onto consumers if business competition (which is supposed to be one of the virtues of capitalism) operates to keep prices down and force the corporations to create greater productivity despite the higher taxes. This has actually happened; but, instead of keeping prices down, it's just balooned corporate profits up, with the further detriment of failing to meaningfully increase investment into job-creating endeavors, some of which could improve our crumbling infrastructure (which it does not benefit most corporations enough to cause them to make such investments instead of just piling up cash).
Mike, you make many excellent points in your last several posts but let me explore one which you touch on above: corporations, despite ballooning profits, are not incentivized by market forces or other forces to invest in job-creating endeavors. This is going to be one of the great challenges of our, and the next, generation. At one time you had a manufacturing company that employed 100 people. Now with automation it produces the same amount using 2 employees, a highly educated engineer and a highly educated businessperson. That sounds like a great thing, right? It would be one thing if, say, we all worked less to produce (and earn as income) the same amount of domestic product. But instead, the same amount of income from the enterprise gets concentrated into many fewer hands. 98 people are out of work and taking opioids and two are working very hard and making a lot of money. How can we fix this problem? It seems so inefficient to artificially incentivize corporations to create "make work" jobs.

Switzerland had a referendum not too long ago for a - I forget the term - basic minimum income? I do not think that is the answer either. The 98 might not starve but having them sit around with no work is not good for society, IMO. It is almost as if our technology has gotten too productive for our own good.

That is so dead on. We are not even at cusp of where this is going. People glamorize all the tech companies on the coasts, have all of these people vilify Wall Street and oil companies when the main reason for our imminent dystopian society will be from the tech companies that most of you guys work at and are always saying do no evil. Corporations are seeking for automation to reduce costs, and tech companies are gladly providing the means to create greater wealth gap while enriching themselves. As companies reduce cost, there is a smaller number of highly capable people who can create value from all of the data generated, which will allow machines to learn and automate with even less people needed. The few people who can create the new tech, can generate algorithms that can make machines smarter, etc. will take away the jobs from the middle class and create more poverty while the society has more wealth (congregated at the CEOs, lawyers, engineers, etc). It isn't that some wealthy people with assets are trying to screw the poor. It is people like those here who work for tech companies that generate the means by which blue collar workers will soon become non-workers. They are the reason why companies can pay engineers, data scientists, project managers, etc. obscene amount of money while eliminating jobs. You think you would have made the same 10 years ago? No,. it is because what your tech companies do (not pointing fingers at anyone in particular - just the tech industry) that enable companies to do with less jobs, allow Russian agents to manipulate the population, allow idiot president to send out random tweets, and allow people to be even more disengaged while becoming more self-absorbed. It is the way of life created by your tech companies, and I doubt you will quit your jobs in protest. When I hear from the top tech leaders on where the tech is going with artificial intelligence, I realize that our society will become comprised of even very few haves having more and too many have nots. No amount of government intervention, short of disincentivizing tech companies from seeking profit and paying engineers insane amount of money, will solve it.
I think a lot of this is true, but there's no need to place a moral component on it. Tech innovation is neither good nor bad, it simply is. It's a thing that has always happened and will continue to happen. People learn to organize their lives around the new technology.

It may well be that the latest advances are rendering manual work so obsolete that the old economic model won't work anymore. I don't think that means there are no answers to the problem, but it may mean we have to start thinking differently about what we do for the people whose jobs are no longer necessary.
Anarchistbear
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The automation revolution won't just be blue collar but white collar and professional. We'll all be sitting on our asses
drizzlybears brother
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Anarchistbear said:

The automation revolution won't just be blue collar but white collar and professional. We'll all be sitting on our asses
Absolutely. Last year Bill Gates wrote an essay where he argued for taxing the productivity of automated labor. It anticipates the declining need for manual labor, and his idea is to put those revenues toward augmenting pay for activities for which humans are uniquely qualified like teaching, daycare and healthcare. I thought it odd that he didn't see personal computers as essentially a similarly disruptive force.

Given the growth in technology will only continue, it's likely just a matter of time before we have to address the impact of the declining demand for human labor on a free market economy.
iwantwinners
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Anarchistbear said:

Walmart employs 1.4 million people in the US. Facebook employs 25,000. If you live in the Bay Area and work at Walmart you can't survive without public assistance. Figure it out, $15/ hr =$2400 a month gross which is all to rent. In my volunteer work people work 2-3 jobs and families 4-5. It's a tremendous toll on families and health


I don't understand why minimum wage or the concept of a "fair" wage is ever tied to the COL in the most expensive cities in the country. Nobody is entitled to live in any particular regions of the country. If you want to be mad at somebody for it, direct it towards the high earners who are pricing the poor and middle class out, and the high paying business sectors that attract them.
mikecohen
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FuzzyWuzzy said:

mikecohen said:

drizzlybears brother said:

iwantwinners said:

Unit2Sucks said:

calbear93 said:


So, it is not about greed or selfishness. It is about different opinions on capital and asset allocation in a world with finite resources.
Why can't it be about both?

We just awarded the wealthiest people in America a massive tax cut (largest in history according to the president) at a time when they least needed it. It's amazing to me that after all we've learned from the numerous economic cycles in the last century +, that at a time when the economy is nearing the end of a boom we combined a massive decrease in taxes with a massive increase in spending. I say it's amazing but not at all surprising since I said that this is exactly what would happen and I don't say that to take credit for by prescience but merely to indicate how utterly predictable it was. I don't know what it's going to take to save this country from itself but I have no faith in the current establishment to do it and even less faith in the anti-establishment populist types that appear to be the alternatives.
It's anecdotal, but I know AT&T and Starbucks announced raised/bonuses for virtually all their employees when tax law was finalized. Surely it is partly PR for these companies to do this (and announce it) and most are probably not, but it illuminates how allowing corporations to keep more of their profits doesn't just enrich the bigwigs and stockholders, it can contribute to wage increases and/or free up capital for reinvestment, growing business that will always benefit the richest more in pure dollars than it's lower end employees. Forced added costs to business (taxes, raising wages) will almost always be passed on to the consumer. I reject the assumption that giving the government more earned income = helping the poor or middle class. The government can sustain poverty, but it cannot sustain the escape from poverty. In this society, only an individual's decisions can.
We agree on the idea that corporate taxes are simply a cost passed to consumers. But the examples of bonuses in response to the cuts actually prove the point that it's not taxes depressing wages. Look at the percentage of the windfall that went to labor compensation - a tiny fraction yet again. If it were real, what little did go to comp would have been permanent, not bonuses.

Regarding your concern for taxation used to combat poverty, what do you think is the point of wealth redistribution?
Corporate taxes are not passed onto consumers if business competition (which is supposed to be one of the virtues of capitalism) operates to keep prices down and force the corporations to create greater productivity despite the higher taxes. This has actually happened; but, instead of keeping prices down, it's just balooned corporate profits up, with the further detriment of failing to meaningfully increase investment into job-creating endeavors, some of which could improve our crumbling infrastructure (which it does not benefit most corporations enough to cause them to make such investments instead of just piling up cash).
Mike, you make many excellent points in your last several posts but let me explore one which you touch on above: corporations, despite ballooning profits, are not incentivized by market forces or other forces to invest in job-creating endeavors. This is going to be one of the great challenges of our, and the next, generation. At one time you had a manufacturing company that employed 100 people. Now with automation it produces the same amount using 2 employees, a highly educated engineer and a highly educated businessperson. That sounds like a great thing, right? It would be one thing if, say, we all worked less to produce (and earn as income) the same amount of domestic product. But instead, the same amount of income from the enterprise gets concentrated into many fewer hands. 98 people are out of work and taking opioids and two are working very hard and making a lot of money. How can we fix this problem? It seems so inefficient to artificially incentivize corporations to create "make work" jobs.

Switzerland had a referendum not too long ago for a - I forget the term - basic minimum income? I do not think that is the answer either. The 98 might not starve but having them sit around with no work is not good for society, IMO. It is almost as if our technology has gotten too productive for our own good.

It is the job of liberal arts education to give people the tools to create the new cultural and societal norms that incentivize the creation and expansion of new cultural and institutions necessary to fit the vastly expanded ability of civilization to provide materially for life.

Martin Luther posting his new religious paradigm on the church door comes to mind, as do Steve Jobs and the other visionaries who have exponentially expanded the abilities of masses of people to exercise intellectual and social activities.

Put thusly, the main problems (which have historically led to devastating consequences) have to do with the lagging ability of cultural and social institutions to deal with the reality of these possibilities. Fighting the Civil War, and then WWI, with military tactics woefully out-gunned by the military technology of the times is a particular example of this. The massive and sudden bi-polar crash of the high of new cultural possibilities represented by Woodstock and the summer of love into the utter degradation of addiction, sexual abuse, and Manson, is another.

Things like the subject of the Swiss Referendum have been established in human affairs ever since charity first appeared; and the existence of a paid clergy is an institutionalization of another solution.

Further, the governance and economies of developed countries have massively increased this since at least WWII, such that untold millions of people (somebody on this board recently said something about 40% below the poverty line in this country) actually are able to live while not being "productive members of society" - the problem with that here being that more and more people here don't have anything esteemed to do (although, to a significant extent, the lack of esteem is unwarranted), and they are consequently stigmatized for their endeavors not coming within the narrow range of those applauded by society.

And, in fact, slowly but slowly, new and valuable ways of being are coming into existence - the problem being (which is the subject of this post), in addition to the speed within which such cultural changes occur, is that the valuing of these new ways tend to both lag behind and be super-vulnerable to cultural backlash.

Again: There are endless numbers of meaningful goals, and endless possibilities to help things - all bounded only by narrowness and lack of openness of thought, plus the natural and meaningful resistance of any institution, once formed, to change (after all, the function of an institution is to provide the meaningful degree of stability that human life needs. But institutions, in order to be viable, have to be able to survive necessary changes brought on by the inevitable developments of human life.

So, I don't denigrate experimental ideas, and the identification of their flaws is reason to improve the ideas, not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
BearDevil
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Trump is so focused on his own sexual accusation liabilities that he bends over backwards to protect conservatives accused of similar issues. Surprised he didn't ask for thoughts and prayers for Potter's fist that got injured blacking his ex wife's eye.
BearNIt
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Mishandling of classified information. I remember someone going on and on about how somebody mishandled classified information and how somebody ought to be locked up. Who let this Porter dirtbag have access to to top secret information when he couldn't pass the security clearance?
bearister
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BearDevil said:

Trump is so focused on his own sexual accusation liabilities that he bends over backwards to protect conservatives accused of similar issues. Surprised he didn't ask for thoughts and prayers for Potter's fist that got injured blacking his ex wife's eye.
He will soon enough be bending over forwards in Leavenworth or Attica depending on whether he goes down on federal or state charges.
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BearDevil
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Probable that Kelly gets bounced, but bizarre how clueless and/or slippery Pence is. Became well known nationally when his religious freedom proposal exploded on him in IN. Amazing that he's always conveniently out of the loop on Trump's screwups.

Christie's a POS, but he was a federal prosecutor and at least understands security clearances. Pence replaced Christie in charge of the transition team and should have been on top of who didn't have sufficient clearances.
mikecohen
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bearister said:

BearDevil said:

Trump is so focused on his own sexual accusation liabilities that he bends over backwards to protect conservatives accused of similar issues. Surprised he didn't ask for thoughts and prayers for Potter's fist that got injured blacking his ex wife's eye.
He will soon enough be bending over forwards in Leavenworth or Attica depending on whether he goes down on federal or state charges.
Bearister: Finally, after a fairly steady stream of these pronouncements from you, I have to ask whether you (a) are just papering the future on the theory that doing so actually makes that future more likely, (b) actually know something behind such confident pronouncements that we don't know to the effect that all the evil Republican donors and Fox Newsers won't be able to put Trumpty-Dumpty together again.
bearister
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mikecohen said:

bearister said:

BearDevil said:

Trump is so focused on his own sexual accusation liabilities that he bends over backwards to protect conservatives accused of similar issues. Surprised he didn't ask for thoughts and prayers for Potter's fist that got injured blacking his ex wife's eye.
He will soon enough be bending over forwards in Leavenworth or Attica depending on whether he goes down on federal or state charges.
Bearister: Finally, after a fairly steady stream of these pronouncements from you, I have to ask whether you (a) are just papering the future on the theory that doing so actually makes that future more likely, (b) actually know something behind such confident pronouncements that we don't know to the effect that all the evil Republican donors and Fox Newsers won't be able to put Trumpty-Dumpty together again.


http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-russia-timeline/
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BearNIt
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BearDevil said:

Probable that Kelly gets bounced, but bizarre how clueless and/or slippery Pence is. Became well known nationally when his religious freedom proposal exploded on him in IN. Amazing that he's always conveniently out of the loop on Trump's screwups.

Christie's a POS, but he was a federal prosecutor and at least understands security clearances. Pence replaced Christie in charge of the transition team and should have been on top of who didn't have sufficient clearances.
Kelly is a dead man walking as reports from the White House leak out. Currently reports indicate that those in the White House believe that Kelly lied to them or asked them to lie about when he knew the whole story about Robert Porter. This sounds a lot like the Flynn episode. The only thing now is to wait for the guillotine to drop. Trump angry, must smash! Do I hear another investigation being opened on the who, what when and where of the Robert Porter firing and the mishandling of classified information?

Why were the heads of Russian intelligence agencies in Washington DC a couple of weeks ago? At least one of these guys, the head of the GRU was on a sanction list and shouldn't have been let in. He won't let immigrants in, but he will let the heads of Russian intelligence in without a problem.

Anybody else think that Pence knows way more than he is letting on. As head of the transition team, would he have had knowledge of Personnel chosen to fill key administrative positions. He would have had to know about communications going on during the transition period.
bearister
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BearNIt said:

BearDevil said:

Probable that Kelly gets bounced, but bizarre how clueless and/or slippery Pence is. Became well known nationally when his religious freedom proposal exploded on him in IN. Amazing that he's always conveniently out of the loop on Trump's screwups.

Christie's a POS, but he was a federal prosecutor and at least understands security clearances. Pence replaced Christie in charge of the transition team and should have been on top of who didn't have sufficient clearances.
Kelly is a dead man walking as reports from the White House leak out. Currently reports indicate that those in the White House believe that Kelly lied to them or asked them to lie about when he knew the whole story about Robert Porter. This sounds a lot like the Flynn episode. The only thing now is to wait for the guillotine to drop. Trump angry, must smash! Do I hear another investigation being opened on the who, what when and where of the Robert Porter firing and the mishandling of classified information?

Why were the heads of Russian intelligence agencies in Washington DC a couple of weeks ago? At least one of these guys, the head of the GRU was on a sanction list and shouldn't have been let in. He won't let immigrants in, but he will let the heads of Russian intelligence in without a problem.

Anybody else think that Pence knows way more than he is letting on. As head of the transition team, would he have had knowledge of Personnel chosen to fill key administrative positions. He would have had to know about communications going on during the transition period.

From the Moyer website linked in my earlier post:

JAN.31, 2018
Schumer Wants Answers Relating to Russian Spy Visit to US

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sends a letter to Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, asking him to explain the circumstances surrounding meetings between Sergey Naryshkin, director of Russian's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and US intelligence officials. Schumer notes that the meetings occurred "only days before Congress was informed of the president's decision not to implement the sanctions" against Russia that Congress had passed "with near unanimous, bipartisan support."

Schumer asks Coats to explain how Naryshkin a specifically named individual subject to existing US sanctions against Russia came to be in the United States. He also wants to know what specific policy issues and topics were discusses, including whether any US officials raised any questions about Russia's interference in the 2016 election, congressionally mandated sanctions, ongoing Russian cyberattacks on the US and its allies, and Putin's interference in the 2018 and 2020 elections.
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Cal88
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bearister said:



...
Schumer asks Coats to explain how Naryshkin a specifically named individual subject to existing US sanctions against Russia came to be in the United States. He also wants to know what specific policy issues and topics were discusses, including whether any US officials raised any questions about Russia's interference in the 2016 election, congressionally mandated sanctions, ongoing Russian cyberattacks on the US and its allies, and Putin's interference in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Is the "Russia hacked the elections" still a thing in 2018? I would have thought the gaslighting would have worn out by now.
bearister
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Cal88 said:

bearister said:



...
Schumer asks Coats to explain how Naryshkin a specifically named individual subject to existing US sanctions against Russia came to be in the United States. He also wants to know what specific policy issues and topics were discusses, including whether any US officials raised any questions about Russia's interference in the 2016 election, congressionally mandated sanctions, ongoing Russian cyberattacks on the US and its allies, and Putin's interference in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Is the "Russia hacked the elections" still a thing in 2018? I would have thought the gaslighting would have worn out by now.

Yeah, it is still a "thing."

http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-russia-timeline/
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Cal88
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Instead of using that Bill Moyers link as a crutch, can you state in one or two paragraphs how the Russians affected the 2016 presidential election?
dajo9
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Cal88 said:

Instead of using that Bill Moyers link as a crutch, can you state in one or two paragraphs how the Russians affected the 2016 presidential election?
This is a good time to remind everybody that Cal88's posts have always been super friendly to Russian and he frequently puts up propaganda that is preferred by Russian sources. He is not American and there is no reason to think he has any loyalty to America.

The US intelligence community has confirmed that Russia got involved in our elections. They hacked and arranged the release of material intended to harm the Clinton campaign. They hacked voter rolls in various states and attempted hacks in others. They flooded social media with biased or fake news intended to harm one candidate. This is all known. There may be more that is still classified that we don't know.
bearister
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dajo9 said:

Cal88 said:

Instead of using that Bill Moyers link as a crutch, can you state in one or two paragraphs how the Russians affected the 2016 presidential election?
This is a good time to remind everybody that Cal88's posts have always been super friendly to Russian and he frequently puts up propaganda that is preferred by Russian sources. He is not American and there is no reason to think he has any loyalty to America.

The US intelligence community has confirmed that Russia got involved in our elections. They hacked and arranged the release of material intended to harm the Clinton campaign. They hacked voter rolls in various states and attempted hacks in others. They flooded social media with biased or fake news intended to harm one candidate. This is all known. There may be more that is still classified that we don't know.


I think he also prefers Fox and Friends dumbed down bullet points wrapped in platitudes. Here is additional factual information that he can print out along with the Moyer's information and use it to wrap fish or line a bird cage:

https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf
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