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Author Topic: Immigration and Amnesty
Seneca
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I hadn't seen a thread on this so I thought I'd get one rolling.

Curious if anyone saw the CBO report yesterday? What's crazy is the "gang of 8" in the Senate actually believes this report supports their Amnesty bill.


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/19/estimate-shows-wages-would-drop-under-senate-immigration-bill-despite-economic/


The report indicated that wages of US workers would fall over the next 12 years, and that the bill would only reduce illegal immigration by 25%.

The bill would also allow certain illegal alien criminals to stay in the US if they had below a certain number of misdemeanors and it also allows Janet Napolitano to waive many requirements.

I have yet to hear anyone address why this bill would do anything positive where the 1986 Amnesty bill, which is incredibly similar, failed to do so?

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D.W.
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Maybe it's not disinterest but rather most here don't believe it will have a positive effect that explains why you havent heard anything?
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Pyrtolin
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Seems like the report suggests that a fair part of the apparant dip will actual come from off-the-record workers with low wages coming on the record and a general increase in workers making ow end wages, which would move the average without actually lowering anyone's pay.

The other part of the problem- excess people in the labor pool without the necessary leverage to negotiate for equitable compensation is one that we've already been dealing with for about 40 years and will be a drag on us whether or not we fix our immigration rules; instead we need to put more effort into assuring full employment so that unemployment can't serve as a drag factor in the first place.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Seems like the report suggests that a fair part of the apparant dip will actual come from off-the-record workers with low wages coming on the record and a general increase in workers making ow end wages, which would move the average without actually lowering anyone's pay.

The other part of the problem- excess people in the labor pool without the necessary leverage to negotiate for equitable compensation is one that we've already been dealing with for about 40 years and will be a drag on us whether or not we fix our immigration rules; instead we need to put more effort into assuring full employment so that unemployment can't serve as a drag factor in the first place.

How can you lower the average without affecting anyone? More people competing for the same job means lower wages for that job, supply and demand. The only thing holding up the floor on that is the minimum wage which everyone can agree is not and was never meant to be a living wage.

I disagree that it's inevitable either. If you enforce current laws, deport everyone you find and make it tough on employers, you'll either catch them all or force them to leave when they can't find work.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
How can you lower the average without affecting anyone?
The reality is that illegal immigrants are currently being paid off the books. The belief here is that they will be paid on the books once they are not expected to be complicit in hiding from labor laws, but that their wages will not appreciably increase. This is expected to result in tens of thousands of low-income people suddenly appearing -- with no additional cost to society, mind, since they're already here -- on our records, thus driving down the average without actually changing anything.
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AI Wessex
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I listened to a news report the other day that said that US automakers get 51% higher productivity out of their workers today than they did in 2000, while wages have declined by about $2,500/year per worker in adjusted terms.

That means that even if companies produced as many cars as we used to at the peak of the industry with US labor they will need far fewer workers to build them. This kind of progress in manufacturing is literally killing our economy and decimating our workforce. Who will buy what workers make if only half of the workers are producing the goods and earning the money to buy them?

But it's actually worse than that, since much of the US brand auto production has moved to Mexico or elsewhere, so very often the cars we buy aren't benefiting the workers left in the US at all.

Consider an historical analogy. In 1960 about 95% of the clothes you bought in the US were made in the US. Now, the number is close to 1%.

Of course US wages will continue to fall over the coming decades. It will be a miracle if the US is able to maintain the standard of living we now have, which today requires 2 wage earners per household, compared to 1960 when it was rare or even in 1980 when it was still relatively unusual for there to be 2.

The only way to keep us ahead of the rest of the world in our ability to produce quality goods is for government to make huge investments in education and do everything it can do to ensure that as many people as possible are employed.

Regrettably, we're heading in exactly the opposite direction. By restricting or gutting federal spending we're ensuring that the next generation will be poorer and less well educated than ours, and ours isn't proving to be the best we've ever had, either...

[ June 20, 2013, 02:08 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
How can you lower the average without affecting anyone?
Average of 10,6 = 8
Average of 10,6,5 = 7

10 and 6 weren't affected, but since 5 had been off the books (actually making 3 before minimum wage protections bumped it up to 5) the nominal average went down.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
How can you lower the average without affecting anyone?
Average of 10,6 = 8
Average of 10,6,5 = 7

10 and 6 weren't affected, but since 5 had been off the books (actually making 3 before minimum wage protections bumped it up to 5) the nominal average went down.

Much fewer jobs had been "off the books." When these people are all legalized they will begin competing for jobs they previously had not attempted to get, and thus employers will see the larger competition for those jobs and lower the wages for them. You do not see how this logic works?

Also, I have yet to see anyone address the massive social welfare costs that we will incur such as Obamacare and expanded welfare programs.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
When these people are all legalized they will begin competing for jobs they previously had not attempted to get
Interestingly, the same arguments were used at the beginning of every major nationalization of immigrant labor in this country. It seems to me that, as someone who very loudly proclaims both his belief in Freedom! and the Free! Market!, you would be in favor of improved efficiency.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Much fewer jobs had been "off the books." When these people are all legalized they will begin competing for jobs they previously had not attempted to get, and thus employers will see the larger competition for those jobs and lower the wages for them. You do not see how this logic works?

That will be offset by the extra need for employment that will come from increased consumer demand driven by better low end income.

In general, though, we're already having that problem, so rather than resorting to more bad policy to cover it up, we should address the issue directly by shoring up people's ability to insist on proper compensation rather than allowing such wage suppression to occur in the first place.

quote:
Also, I have yet to see anyone address the massive social welfare costs that we will incur such as Obamacare and expanded welfare programs.
BEcause those bogeymen are largely made up with no actual basis in reality.
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LetterRip
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Pyrtolin,

quote:
That will be offset by the extra need for employment that will come from increased consumer demand driven by better low end income.
What evidence do you have that that will occur? My understanding is that a lot of this off the books income is sent back to the individuals home country. So while Mexico might see increased consumer demand, the boost in US consumer demand could be modest.

Also unless the consumer demand in the US is for services or for strictly US manufacturing, a big chunk of that money would also go overseas.

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Seriati
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quote:
That means that even if companies produced as many cars as we used to at the peak of the industry with US labor they will need far fewer workers to build them. This kind of progress in manufacturing is literally killing our economy and decimating our workforce. Who will buy what workers make if only half of the workers are producing the goods and earning the money to buy them?
This has been bothering me for a while, and I mean really bothering me. We're heading for a place where the amount of workers we need is far far less than the amount of workers who'll need jobs. How exactly is this going to work?

Communism failed where the efforts of all were needed to give everyone a decent life style because of the free rider problem. Will it be the answer when the efforts of few or even none are required to provide a decent life style?

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Pyrtolin,

quote:
That will be offset by the extra need for employment that will come from increased consumer demand driven by better low end income.
What evidence do you have that that will occur? My understanding is that a lot of this off the books income is sent back to the individuals home country. So while Mexico might see increased consumer demand, the boost in US consumer demand could be modest.

Also unless the consumer demand in the US is for services or for strictly US manufacturing, a big chunk of that money would also go overseas.

I guess Western Union will see some booming business...


quote:
BEcause those bogeymen are largely made up with no actual basis in reality.
Kind of like how this is made up?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/28/food-stamp-president-enrollment-70-percent-under-o/

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LetterRip
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Seriati,

quote:
This has been bothering me for a while, and I mean really bothering me. We're heading for a place where the amount of workers we need is far far less than the amount of workers who'll need jobs. How exactly is this going to work?
Many economists have considered this issue - essentially it comes down to 'basic income support'

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

I've never seen research on impact of remittance on US economy. Didn't find anything relevant either in a quick google search. The papers all seem to focus on the impact on the country receiving the remittance.

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AI Wessex
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"This has been bothering me for a while, and I mean really bothering me. We're heading for a place where the amount of workers we need is far far less than the amount of workers who'll need jobs. How exactly is this going to work?"

Yes, generalizing this, everything you buy that is made elsewhere is money that someone else in this country doesn't have to buy the same things. I know this is offset by the export side of the trade, but because our labor force is expensive we export high end products and import low end ones. Cars are the most expensive consumer item we make, and we make less of it than before.

We make fewer refrigerators and washing machines that we used to, too. Over time more and more of our manufacturing base will slip away to other countries. This is not a political problem, but a global economic trend that we are powerless to resist. In turn we buy lots of cheap consumer goods made in countries with less expensive labor forces.

We may have no choice but to lower wages, and by lowering wages we will lose our ability to sustain the standard of living that we think we are entitled to.

The only alternative I can think of is to adequately fund government so that it can "shore up" the marketplace. The only ways I can see to do that are with investment in infrastructure, education and worker/non-worker security. However, Republican-controlled Congress is intent on doing the opposite, which will do nothing to stop the slide and may accelerate it. Don't blame immigrants for our own mess.

I'm as concerned about this trend as you are.

[ June 20, 2013, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Pyrtolin,

quote:
That will be offset by the extra need for employment that will come from increased consumer demand driven by better low end income.
What evidence do you have that that will occur? My understanding is that a lot of this off the books income is sent back to the individuals home country. So while Mexico might see increased consumer demand, the boost in US consumer demand could be modest.

Where they disappear into a black hole? Even if that happens, the people receiving those dollars will use them to invest or buy things (or trade them for local currency with other people looking to use them to invest or buy things that they need dollars for) the life cycle of a dollar keeps running until it's cancelled out by paying a federal tax obligation or fee. What does it matter that it takes a trip through the accounts of some people in other countries on the way?

But even without that you're missing the fact that, at the low end of the income spectrum a small absolute change in disposable income is a large relative change.

For example: $100 income. $75 goes to living expenses, $20 goes home, $5 is disposable

Bump that up to $110, $75 for living expenses (basically a static cost), now, using the same split for the rest, you'd get $28 going home and $7 disposable. That's a 40% increase in available funds, even though it's a small absolute change.

Even without assuming any kind of proportionality, and still ignoring that the money sent home technically counts as disposable income, just a little further down the velocity scale.

quote:
Also unless the consumer demand in the US is for services or for strictly US manufacturing, a big chunk of that money would also go overseas.
Rather, the money goes into US accounts held by those foreign entities, where it's either used for those companies' US purchase and investment needs, exchanged for balances in other currencies with other people that need US dollars to spend, or put into bonds as a last resort or if savings are needed.

(Keep in mind, also, that US manufacturing output, despite a recession related drop, still continues to increase steadily; the only decline in that area is in the number of people required to produce a given level of output)

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
That means that even if companies produced as many cars as we used to at the peak of the industry with US labor they will need far fewer workers to build them. This kind of progress in manufacturing is literally killing our economy and decimating our workforce. Who will buy what workers make if only half of the workers are producing the goods and earning the money to buy them?
This has been bothering me for a while, and I mean really bothering me. We're heading for a place where the amount of workers we need is far far less than the amount of workers who'll need jobs. How exactly is this going to work?

Heading for? We're already well past that point, but sitting in firm denial and trying to apply scarcity-based economic policies to a surplus world. A large part of the problem is that we've undercut labor unions to the point where they can't properly serve their most important function of helping negotiate equitable compensation and policies to better distribute the available demand for labor; the rest of the non-unionized market has directly suffered from the lack of backstop that they should be providing.

We've lagged well behind where we should be in keeping the standard work week small enough to help offset that trend (the ACA definition of full time as 30 hours is a promising step toward putting better pressure on that particular rationing measure. We'd do well to couple it with requiring overtime kick in at that level, including for non-executive salaried positions.

The best immediate things we can do would be to eliminate the minimum wage and replace it with the combination of a Basic Income Grant that ensures that everyone has a baseline income sufficient to keep them out of poverty (Make it unconditional, and it can be almost completely automated; just a biweekly or monthly deposit made to appropriately registered accounts.) and a ready labor pool that provides a fixed baseline wage and benefit package to anyone that signs up, and assigns the people to non-profit entities, internship programs, and other baseline community based work programs as needed.

Between the two of those, we can significantly lower the net cost of private labor while backstopping income and effectively eliminating unemployment, with the added benefit of using a far more reliable buffer stock approach to baseline pay than price fixing.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
How exactly is this going to work?
Honestly? If you look at the numbers, the entire productivity increase of the last 30 years has gone to the richest 2% of Americans. That means that people are working harder for the same pay, and the profits of their labors are going to the person who owns the company for which they work and not them. The way this will work is that, in about fifteen years, people will start to riot against the rich. And those riots will be brutally suppressed. And two generations later, we will see some kind of regulation that addresses capital gains again.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
BEcause those bogeymen are largely made up with no actual basis in reality.
Kind of like how this is made up?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/28/food-stamp-president-enrollment-70-percent-under-o/

More like how it's disingenuous to try to suggest that evidence that evidence that our automatic support system is at least partially kicking in like it's supposed to compensate for a severe economic downturn is even remotely relevant to the issue at hand.

People are out of work because of the recession, and thus relying on the systems designed to keep them afloat until the economy picks up again. That says nothing at all about immigration policy.

Food stamps, in particular are absurd to point to as a problem, because every dollar that's spent through those programs represents a dollar of revenue to food sellers and everyone up the chain from them that they have to hire people to handle and produce goods and services to capture.

Even in the most pathological case that there is a brief spike in reliance on social services somehow (though there's absolutely no evidence that such would occur) the problem is self correcting by the very nature of the fact that those programs, by their very nature help increase the overall demand for labor to meet the demand they fund.

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Seneca
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Illegal aliens got food stamps by the "vanload"

quote:
For decades the U.S. government has knowingly given illegal immigrants food stamps, according to a former certification case worker who denounced the costly practice back in the 1980s but was essentially ordered to keep a lid on it.

The retired assistant case manager, Craig McNees, was in charge of vetting food-stamp applicants in north Florida and Indiana in the ’80s and says the program was infested with fraud and corruption that was perpetually ignored by management. “Illegals would come in by the vanload and we were told to give them their stuff,” McNees said. “Management knew very well they were illegal. It was so rampant that some employees would tell their illegal relatives to come get food stamps.”

McNees contacted Judicial Watch after reading documents obtained by JW from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) detailing how the agency is working with the Mexican government to promote participation by illegal aliens in the U.S. food stamp program. The effort includes a Spanish-language flyer provided to the Mexican Embassy by the USDA ensuring that Mexicans in the U.S. don’t need to declare their immigration status to get financial assistance from Uncle Sam.

The documents ignited outrage considering the nation’s food stamp program has exploded under President Obama, who claims there are too many “food insecure households” in America. To correct the problem the administration has spent millions on ad campaigns promoting food stamps and has rewarded states with multi-million-dollar bonuses for signing up recipients. It’s been quite effective because American taxpayers spent an astounding $80.4 billion on the program in 2012 and a record number of people—46 million and growing—get free groceries from Uncle Sam.

The retired case worker who contacted JW says in the three years he worked in a Sarasota food-stamp office, he found more than 500 cases of fraud but management ignored them all instead pushing a yearly quota. “They just said that if we don’t give out as many as last year, we don’t get our money,” McNees said. “It was crazy, like a three-ring circus; like the inmates were running the asylum.”

Decades later it seems little has changed as Obama promotes the program like there’s no tomorrow. In fact, last summer a federal audit revealed that many who don’t qualify for food stamps receive them under a special “broad-based” eligibility program that disregards income and asset requirements. That means American taxpayers are getting stuck with a multi-million-dollar tab to feed hundreds of thousands who can well afford to feed themselves.

Adding insult to injury, last spring the USDA Inspector General revealed that many food-stamp recipients use their welfare benefit to buy drugs, weapons and other contraband from unscrupulous vendors. Some trade food stamps for reduced amounts of cash, the USDA watchdog told Congress, disclosing that the fraud has cost taxpayers nearly $200 million. None of this surprises McNees, who claims he witnessed so much fraud as a food-stamp case worker that he “could write a book.”


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Seneca
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I'm also curious how people feel about the immoral principle behind amnesty for people who violate the law? This moral principle doesn't bother me personally but it makes me wonder why many of the liberal statists expect us to follow tax laws or gun laws but want it to be OK for illegal alien criminals to have broken our immigration laws.

Also, what message does this send to the people who wait patiently in line and DO follow all of our immigration laws and regulations? That they are chumps and are fools?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
This moral principle doesn't bother me personally but it makes me wonder why many of the liberal statists expect us to follow tax laws or gun laws but want it to be OK for illegal alien criminals to have broken our immigration laws.
Let's see if you can come up with some guesses, since you've been made to wonder. I am genuinely curious why you think this is.

--------

On your "illegal immigrants get lots of food stamps" like: you realize that the article is completely reliant on a letter from an elderly retiree who worked in a food stamp office for three years during the Reagan Administration? And that it simply engages in speculation that, since Obama is promoting food stamps as an efficient solution to hunger and poor demand, the problems one person saw 28 years ago must be even more endemic today?

quote:
the fraud has cost taxpayers nearly $200 million
Over the life of the program. I can solemnly promise you that you will not find a single DoD budget with that little waste and fraud in it annually.

[ June 20, 2013, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

Also, what message does this send to the people who wait patiently in line and DO follow all of our immigration laws and regulations? That they are chumps and are fools?

What kind of message does going out and getting a job send to all those people patiently waiting in line to win the lottery? (There is no "line" to wait in for immigration, just a visa lottery that you have to keep entering)

There isn't a message really, aside from the fact that people will do what they need to to get by if you try to force them to deal with a broken and abusive system that serves little practical purpose.

Keep in mind, also, that being in the US without proper authorization is not a criminal offense, but a civil one. It's disallowed in the same way that speeding or parking in a no parking zone is prohibited; there are penalties for doing them, but we don't call it "amnesty" when a judge forgives a ticket for those, just an acknowledgement that the particular circumstances don't merit fully assessing the penalty upon consideration.

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:

quote:
the fraud has cost taxpayers nearly $200 million
Over the life of the program. I can solemnly promise you that you will not find a single DoD budget with that little waste and fraud in it annually.
Yeah, if it's happening in other departments then it's perfectly ok if it happens here. [DOH]
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
the fraud has cost taxpayers nearly $200 million

Rather, it has put an extra $200 million into the pockets of taxpayers that they wouldn't otherwise have had.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
the fraud has cost taxpayers nearly $200 million

Rather, it has put an extra $200 million into the pockets of taxpayers that they wouldn't otherwise have had.

You really think the people who paid the taxes for this program were the ones who benefited from it? This is just another form of redistribution of wealth. Stealing from makers and giving to takers.
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MattP
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The only place for takers to spend the money is at the makers, who pay other makers for more inventory as well as salaries to additional makers, who spend that money at more makers. The takers spend a relatively short amount of time in possession of the money and it only passes through their hands once.
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djquag1
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Yeah. If I've understood Pyrtolin correctly over the years, he's not saying that the rich will get their taxes back with that two hundred million.

He's saying that the fed would have distributed that two hundred mill whether it was covered by tax deposits or if it created a deficit.

That two hundred million is then put into the general economy. Factorys, farms, workers, whoever, they end up working to get that two hundred million that would not have been there to get in the first place if not for the government. In doing so they produce more then they take in, as that's the entire point of business. Theoretically, that two hundred million is made back and then some by the work that is done to earn the money in the first place, it's just harder to see because now it's spread around everywhere.

Without that two hundred million, there are workers and industries out there sitting idle and doing nothing instead of producing something, to the detriment of the economy to tune tune of 200+ million dollars.

Correct me if I got anything wrong, Pyr.

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djquag1
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And MattP is correct in that since the owners (the ones you call "makers,") will get a grossly disproportionate slice of the pie, a piece that gets bigger year after year, they will indeed get their money back.

[ June 20, 2013, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: djquag1 ]

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Pyrtolin
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The only technicality that I'd directly correct is that there's no such thing as "tax deposits"- once money is paid to the Federal government in taxes, it's gone. Scratched off the books so that everything balances out. (If you pay in cash , the cash is shredded, and and instruction is sent to the Fed to decrement the account that all purchases of cash are credited to. If you make it digitally, your account is debited and the Fed's bond accounts are debited the same amount. In either case the money is gone to the same place that all subtracted numbers go)

The $200 million in question didn't exist until Congress appropriated it- they sent an instruction to the Fed (by way of the Treasury) to create a new depository account with them money (along with the rest of the money appropriated for the program) which the Fed did by creating assets (bonds) in equal quantity to the liability (depository account). No pre-existing money was involved in the process in any way.

Per the other comments, there's no redistribution of wealth involved at all. Rather there's creation and distribution of wealth in response to the demand pressure created the presense of the money and the need for its holders to spend it on the food (in this particular case) that they need. There are certainly some black and grey market activities going on around the fringe, which should be addressed on their own merits if they represent criminal or other forms of dangers, but on a purely economic level, they just represent additional velocity for the money (times it changed hands, driving the production of goods and services along the way).

As far as any tax policy is concerned, it should lightly touch the actual makers, such that they have sufficient incentive to carry out their transactions in money and not fall back to barter or secondary currencies, but mostly fall on rentiers (The real takers, not the poor and unfortunate. The latter, in aggregate, do far more to generate profitable employment for makers than the tiny group at the top of the heap could ever manage to muster) such that it helps blunt their ability to use money warp the market in ways that are profitable to them without investing in any real production, or better, acts as an active incentive to divert funds into productive, tax deductible uses and away from financial and political rent seeking behaviors. Even, then, at the Federal level, at least, all of the taxes operate on strictly monetary terms, and mostly on the marginal transaction level at that, no real wealth is taken such that it could be redistributed; people transferring large amounts of money within our defined yearly window for analyzing such transfers just have to pay an excise/transaction fee for the privilege of doing so in proportion to the degree to which the market has failed to properly apply competitive pressures to keep margins tight.

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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
How can you lower the average without affecting anyone?
The reality is that illegal immigrants are currently being paid off the books. The belief here is that they will be paid on the books once they are not expected to be complicit in hiding from labor laws, but that their wages will not appreciably increase. This is expected to result in tens of thousands of low-income people suddenly appearing -- with no additional cost to society, mind, since they're already here -- on our records, thus driving down the average without actually changing anything.
I would wager that the vast majority of illegals are already on the books. That is certainly the case here in eastern Washington State. There is almost no effort to catch illegals, and it is very easy for them to acquire fake paperwork. Local businesses actively look the other way, as it is in their best interest.

At the macro level it is fail, but why worry about long-term consequences?

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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Regrettably, we're heading in exactly the opposite direction. By restricting or gutting federal spending we're ensuring that the next generation will be poorer and less well educated than ours, and ours isn't proving to be the best we've ever had, either...

LMBO!! Yeah, we should go in debt even faster, for the good of the future!! Wow, just wow!

How will more spending on education change our lamesauce, live and vote in the moment, culture??

"It’s been quite effective because American taxpayers spent an astounding $80.4 billion on the program in 2012 and a record number of people—46 million and growing—get free groceries from Uncle Sam."

Keep focusing on the 200 million folks. 80.4 billion! These are not the droids you are looking for.

[ June 21, 2013, 01:35 AM: Message edited by: DarkJello ]

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djquag1
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What is your alternative proposal? To let people go hungry?

People can be malnourished and underweight, serious health problems in their own right, without outright starving to death. Is someone in that state more or less likely to be able to improve their situation to the point where they can manage to comfortably feed themselves?

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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by djquag1:
What is your alternative proposal? To let people go hungry?

People can be malnourished and underweight, serious health problems in their own right, without outright starving to death. Is someone in that state more or less likely to be able to improve their situation to the point where they can manage to comfortably feed themselves?

I have been on food stamps.

You should see the "food" that is allowed. In fact, you should take a look at the typical "starving" poor person in America. This is yet another money pit government program. It is being abused to a large degree. People want to have cell phones, and fancy shoes, and nice cars, and all kinds of bling... AND they want the government to buy as much of the necessities as possible so they can focus on all the extras. It is lame, wasteful, and all too often criminal.

Politicians are to blame, but we the people are even more to blame. This is yet another example of big government failure.

I believe in evolution. I believe in science. Among many other things. And this suicidal path of big government will only ever lead us to one outcome. But sure, focus on the now instead of building towards true and lasting success for the future. I see this play out ALL the time at my job in a rural health clinic. People that make terrible life decisions are almost guaranteed to get terrible results. "Leading" by the lowest common denominator is the antithesis of progress, but don't let me ruin the partAy.

Venting down for the night, off to bed.

[ June 21, 2013, 03:35 AM: Message edited by: DarkJello ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by DarkJello:
LMBO!! Yeah, we should go in debt even faster, for the good of the future!!

Public debt is private savings, and right now the private savings rate is abysmally low, while private debt obligations are three times as large as public debt obligations. So yes, for the good of the future we should "go into debt" faster- or rather, we should build private savings faster and help reduce the reliance on private debt that a combination of wage suppression and Federal under-spending has caused so we can pass on a healthy, productive economy, instead of one that continues to crash and collapse because it depends on ever increasing levels of private debt to grow.
quote:
"It’s been quite effective because American taxpayers spent an astounding $80.4 billion on the program in 2012 and a record number of people—46 million and growing—get free groceries from Uncle Sam."

Keep focusing on the 200 million folks. 80.4 billion! These are not the droids you are looking for.

That's scope boggling. A number looks big in absolute terms so if you shout it loudly enough, maybe you can scare people just on the basis of difficulty comprehending the context of big numbers.

Record numbers of people are using the program because the recession put record numbers of people out of work within the lifetime of the program, and that's compounded by our gutted welfare system collapsing when we actually needed to lean on it to help bounce us out of a downturn.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by DarkJello:
LMBO!! Yeah, we should go in debt even faster, for the good of the future!!

Public debt is private savings, and right now the private savings rate is abysmally low, while private debt obligations are three times as large as public debt obligations. So yes, for the good of the future we should "go into debt" faster- or rather, we should build private savings faster and help reduce the reliance on private debt that a combination of wage suppression and Federal under-spending has caused so we can pass on a healthy, productive economy, instead of one that continues to crash and collapse because it depends on ever increasing levels of private debt to grow.
quote:
"It’s been quite effective because American taxpayers spent an astounding $80.4 billion on the program in 2012 and a record number of people—46 million and growing—get free groceries from Uncle Sam."

Keep focusing on the 200 million folks. 80.4 billion! These are not the droids you are looking for.

That's scope boggling. A number looks big in absolute terms so if you shout it loudly enough, maybe you can scare people just on the basis of difficulty comprehending the context of big numbers.

Record numbers of people are using the program because the recession put record numbers of people out of work within the lifetime of the program, and that's compounded by our gutted welfare system collapsing when we actually needed to lean on it to help bounce us out of a downturn.

Debt-based currencies are incredibly irresponsible, dangerous and in the long-run unsustainable. You end up chasing inflation with inflation, as Ron Paul used to say. It's a tax on the poor and an ever-worsening game of musical chairs as less money is available to cover greater and greater debt over time.

The US has already been down-graded from AAA status and it doesn't look like we'll be getting it back.

Deficit spending is bad because the money isn't free, and public debt does not always mean private savings as many of our creditors are other governments.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
You end up chasing inflation with inflation, as Ron Paul used to say. It's a tax on the poor and an ever-worsening game of musical chairs as less money is available to cover greater and greater debt over time.

The US has already been down-graded from AAA status and it doesn't look like we'll be getting it back.

We lost our AAA rating because Congress irresponsibly entertained the notion of defaulting on the nation's debts. Those were, of course, debts that they willingly accrued. If you want to pretend that government should run it's House like you run yours, what would it say about you if you simply refused to pay your own obligations?

If the lesson is that by having debt we end up chasing inflation with inflation, where is the inflation? A recent global survey says the US ranks 162nd. That puts us at about the same rate as Sweden and higher than France, Germany and Norway, but lower than the UK, which is the only one of the countries with an aggressive austerity program.

IMO, government spending is helping avoid a deflation crisis, which is much harder to recover from without government intervention.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
You end up chasing inflation with inflation, as Ron Paul used to say. It's a tax on the poor and an ever-worsening game of musical chairs as less money is available to cover greater and greater debt over time.

The US has already been down-graded from AAA status and it doesn't look like we'll be getting it back.

We lost our AAA rating because Congress irresponsibly entertained the notion of defaulting on the nation's debts. Those were, of course, debts that they willingly accrued. If you want to pretend that government should run it's House like you run yours, what would it say about you if you simply refused to pay your own obligations?

If the lesson is that by having debt we end up chasing inflation with inflation, where is the inflation? A recent global survey says the US ranks 162nd. That puts us at about the same rate as Sweden and higher than France, Germany and Norway, but lower than the UK, which is the only one of the countries with an aggressive austerity program.

IMO, government spending is helping avoid a deflation crisis, which is much harder to recover from without government intervention.

The inflation is being artificially kept at bay by the anemic economy and by the fed keeping interest rates at historic lows, which he just signaled a couple days ago will change in the comings months before he retires in January. When it does hit, it's going to be huge.
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AI Wessex
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That's been the claim for years. Bernanke did *not* say he will raise interest rates, but even if he did he would have to raise them by unprecedented amounts to cause the kind of inflation you're talking about. In fact, on June 19 he said interest rates would remain low at least through late 2014, so you have nothing to worry about.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Debt-based currencies are incredibly irresponsible, dangerous and in the long-run unsustainable.
All currencies are fundamentally debt based by the very nature of money. The only question is whether artificial restraints on the accounting are imposed for the benefit of people who hold monopolies on whatever material they can get shoehorned in as required to back that debt.

As for being "unsustainable", that's because of the ultimately transitory nature of human civilizations in general. Nothing lasts forever, and the only currencies that managed to have any longevity beyond their issuing civilization were those that were sufficiently debased that they were good for nothing else but trade tokens that had some amount of cultural inertia.

Money that's honest about it's fiat nature has, across the board been more stable than metal backed currency; it certainly hasn't motivated centuries of war over the limited resources used to back the currency. The worst that can be said of the destructive nature of fiat currencies is when the English Parliament building was accidentally burned down when they retired the tally stick system. You have to ignore the fact that any given metal backed currency lasted, at most, about as long as the sovereign who issued it lived, before being cried down by his successor (and usually less often than that)

quote:
You end up chasing inflation with inflation, as Ron Paul used to say. It's a tax on the poor and an ever-worsening game of musical chairs as less money is available to cover greater and greater debt over time.
Inflation comes from expressed demand in excess of current ability to produce; it's completely tangential to debt or commodity backing, the only difference is whether the power to manage it lies in the hands of elected officials, as it does in a representative government, or in the hands of private monopoly holders on the commodities in question.
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