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2 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

The Laffer Curve is the output of a mathematical relation between taxation, investment and economic growth.

Not really.  The Laffer Curve is the relationship between the rate of taxation and total tax revenues.  It starts very simply.  If you tax at a rate of zero, your returns will be zero.  Also, if you tax at 100%, your total tax returns will start heading for zero since there will be little economic activity when there can be no profit.  That means that somewhere between zero and 100% there will a point where you get the maximum total returns.  From that, one can ask the question of whether the ideal tax rate is less than or more than the current rate.  As a curve, or graph, it is simply a graphic to illustrate the relationship between rate and total returns.  It doesn't have the factors included that would say what that ideal rate is.

 

9 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

some of the investments or allocations the government makes with taxpayer money can grow the economy.  For example consider the Interstate Highway System,  part of the transportation infrastructure which has promoted economic growth.

You've been listening to progressives, haven't you?  That is what they think.  Here are some thoughts on this.  1.) No one has done a serious job of establishing that the costs of the interstate highway has resulted in a net economic growth.  We don't know what those funds would have done if they hadn't been taxed away into government spending.  2.) The spending on the Interstate system was done by Ike and it was for emergency military transport - he had seen what the Germans did the advantages they had from it. 3.) All government expenditures, by their nature are inefficient.  They should never be called "investments" because they are never assigned target profits, or measured later to see if they actually hit a target profit.  If you could run a dollar though government and get more than a dollar out, we should just have 100% taxes and then redistribute the 100% plus profit.  Only progressives would consider something like that, or fail to recognize how silly it is.

 

17 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Reagan bet cutting the taxes would grow revenues fast enough for him to spend billions on military assets.

No, that's not the way it went.  He considered the Laffer Curve implication that tax rates were too high, and that revenues would increase if the tax rate was lowered.  That was correct.  The rate was lowered and the total revenues increased.  The military spending was because of how far down Carter had let the military go and to meet the threat of the cold war.  Also the increases in military spending were designed to force the USSR to spend itself to death trying to keep up.  That too worked.

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That's what it says at the top of the page.  Your point?  It's not like this thread has devolved into a medley of cat videos.  Yet.  

It is intriguing.  I've been fairly obsessed for about a year with thinking about details.  I find microbiology fascinating. I wouldn't be wise, however, to talk about details.  The schemers are

They see suave, debonair Frisco giving a philosophically deep money speech, or John Galt taking over a radio presentation and addressing the audience in the manner of a professor. If they don't see th

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Just now, SteveWolfer said:

Not really.  The Laffer Curve is the relationship between the rate of taxation and total tax revenues.  It starts very simply.  If you tax at a rate of zero, your returns will be zero.  Also, if you tax at 100%, your total tax returns will start heading for zero since there will be little economic activity when there can be no profit.  That means that somewhere between zero and 100% there will a point where you get the maximum total returns.  From that, one can ask the question of whether the ideal tax rate is less than or more than the current rate.  As a curve, or graph, it is simply a graphic to illustrate the relationship between rate and total returns.  It doesn't have the factors included that would say what that ideal rate is.

 

You've been listening to progressives, haven't you?  That is what they think.  Here are some thoughts on this.  1.) No one has done a serious job of establishing that the costs of the interstate highway has resulted in a net economic growth.  We don't know what those funds would have done if they hadn't been taxed away into government spending.  2.) The spending on the Interstate system was done by Ike and it was for emergency military transport - he had seen what the Germans did the advantages they had from it. 3.) All government expenditures, by their nature are inefficient.  They should never be called "investments" because they are never assigned target profits, or measured later to see if they actually hit a target profit.  If you could run a dollar though government and get more than a dollar out, we should just have 100% taxes and then redistribute the 100% plus profit.  Only progressives would consider something like that, or fail to recognize how silly it is.

 

No, that's not the way it went.  He considered the Laffer Curve implication that tax rates were too high, and that revenues would increase if the tax rate was lowered.  That was correct.  The rate was lowered and the total revenues increased.  The military spending was because of how far down Carter had let the military go and to meet the threat of the cold war.  Also the increases in military spending were designed to force the USSR to spend itself to death trying to keep up.  That too worked.

That is just a restatement of the Hilbert Nullstellensatz.   It is of no use if it cannot compute the optimal tax rate.  

Given any continuous function f on t he closed interval [a,b]  there exist a  point  c in [a,b] such that |f(c)| is maximal on the interval.  That is elementary calculus.  Now, how does the genius Laffer calculate what the optimal tax rate should be.  Does he make that calculation?  

By the way if the tax rate is zero, we  have no military,  we are conquered and the GDP goes to hell.  

Mr. Laffer's theories underwhelm me. 

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1 minute ago, BaalChatzaf said:

It is of no use if it cannot compute the optimal tax rate.

Wrong.  It tells you that there may be an optimal tax rate.  That is the first step.  They proved that the lower rate that Reagan got passed generated greater tax revenues.  That was a fantastic use of this simple little graphic that illustrated a simple economic principle.

3 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

By the way if the tax rate is zero, we  have no military,  we are conquered and the GDP goes to hell.

Did you so badly misread my post as to think that I was advocating a zero tax rate?

 

4 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Mr. Laffer's theories underwhelm me. 

That's alright, I'm guessing that your response to them would underwhelm him.

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1 hour ago, SteveWolfer said:

Wrong.  It tells you that there may be an optimal tax rate.  That is the first step.  They proved that the lower rate that Reagan got passed generated greater tax revenues.  That was a fantastic use of this simple little graphic that illustrated a simple economic principle.

Did you so badly misread my post as to think that I was advocating a zero tax rate?

 

That's alright, I'm guessing that your response to them would underwhelm him.

He is not all that gungho ho on the idea.  He says Ibn Khaldun thought of it first.  Now if you look at it,  it is a totally trivial mathematical theorem.  It says that if f is a bounded function on the closed interval [a, b]  there must be a point x in [a,b] for which |f(x)| is maximal.  That is trivial.  A first year calculus student can prove that without breaking a sweat.   Second,  why is maximizing government revenue even an important issue.  Government is not a for-profit enterprise and maximizing its income is not the important thing.  The important thing is how well is the government protecting the lives and property of its citizens.   So who care at  what tax rate government revenue is maximized.  The real question is what is the least expense necessary to guard the lives and property of the citizens sufficiently.  The Laffer Curve (so-called) is really a distraction,  not an important issue. 

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7 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

analyzing the latest comment of Trump's about Russia finding Hillary's lost e-mails:

It is funny that democrats would choose to interpret (or pretend to interpret) Trump as ASKING Russia to hack Hillary's email.  That is so insane.  It was clear that he was talking about the 30,000 she deleted.  That is taking dishonesty to such a high level in order to deflect from Hillary deleting, Hillary putting stuff on an unsecure server, and the likelihood that foreign powers have already hacked that server, that they are willing to pretend they don't understand what was said, and turn their misunderstanding into an attack on Trump for what he DIDN'T say.

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1 minute ago, BaalChatzaf said:

That [the Laffer Curve] is trivial.

Not if paying attention to this simple concept means people pay less of their own money to the government, yet the government ends up with more revenues overall.  Wouldn't you rather give 28 out of every 100 dollars to the government, than given them say, 58 out of every 100 dollars?

 

5 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

why is maximizing government revenue even an important issue.

What is important is that tax rates could be lowered without diminishing government's total revenues.

 

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I have a friend on Facebook who is rabidly anti-Trump. He took one of those online tests that tell you about yourself. This test was supposed to tell you which candidate you were most like politically.

He came in as a Trumper and he's inconsolable.

:)

But that got me to thinking.

There are certain people who get Trump right off the bat. And there are others who don't, even though they hold many of the same views. I've wondered about this a lot because, to me, their argument seems to come down to them not liking Trump's style of human. Then something occurred to me. I started looking at their lives (and, admittedly, I haven't looked much so far), I haven't seen typical unapologetic productive American-style alpha-males in their orbit. You know, the ones who swagger. This is certainly true of my Facebook friend.

Something else occurred to me. When typical unapologetic American-style alpha-males (productive or not) are portrayed in our culture, they are either villains, vigilantes, rappers, highly troubled protagonists with some nasty hidden flaws, etc. It's hard to see someone swagger anymore the way Trump does and think of him as an all-around good guy. You only get that in the culture in old Hollywood films like Westerns that people now think are corny. And that's not the fault of anyone except, maybe, the culture producers. 

I have no problem seeing Trump as a good guy because I know good guys like him, warts and all. I think anti-Trump people who essentially agree with him, but detest him, predominately know alphas in their lives who are scumbags. And when they look at the culture, there's nothing good to see about alphas unless they are troubled brooding souls. And Trump doesn't brood or feel sorry for himself. And that sets off their inner warning bells.

I'm just musing right now, but I'm going to ponder on this for a bit.

Michael

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...their argument seems to come down to them not liking Trump's style of human

 

I know lots of people who don't like Trump but liked Mohamed Ali - even back when he a loud-mouth Cassius Clay.

 
Quote

When typical unapologetic American-style alpha-males (productive or not) are portrayed in our culture, they are either villains, vigilantes, rappers, highly troubled protagonists with some nasty hidden flaws, etc.

But that is the same way that heroes are often portrayed: American-style unapologetic alpha-males. 

 
Quote

 

It's hard to see someone swagger anymore the way Trump does and think of him as an all-around good guy.

 

I like the style.  I want some one that projects strength.  I liked it when Reagan got angry (or faked it) on that debate.  A president needs to be strong and needs to be confident.  I have nothing against swagger unless it from someone who can't back it up in any way.

There may be some strong culture/psychology tie in, but I don't think this formulation describes it.
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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Now if you look at it,  it is a totally trivial mathematical theorem.

Ba'al, you can't take human behavior out of economics and call it math.  There are economic concepts and principles underneath that make it economics.

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42 minutes ago, SteveWolfer said:

Not if paying attention to this simple concept means people pay less of their own money to the government, yet the government ends up with more revenues overall.  Wouldn't you rather give 28 out of every 100 dollars to the government, than given them say, 58 out of every 100 dollars?

 

What is important is that tax rates could be lowered without diminishing government's total revenues.

 

The question is (or should be) what is the lowest tax rate such that the government can fulfill its primary function of protecting the lives and property of the citizens...  Government is not a for profit business.  It has another function.  

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34 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I have a friend on Facebook who is rabidly anti-Trump. He took one of those online tests that tell you about yourself. This test was supposed to tell you which candidate you were most like politically.

He came in as a Trumper and he's inconsolable.

:)

But that got me to thinking.

There are certain people who get Trump right off the bat. And there are others who don't, even though they hold many of the same views. I've wondered about this a lot because, to me, their argument seems to come down to them not liking Trump's style of human. Then something occurred to me. I started looking at their lives (and, admittedly, I haven't looked much so far), I haven't seen typical unapologetic productive American-style alpha-males in their orbit. You know, the ones who swagger. This is certainly true of my Facebook friend.

Something else occurred to me. When typical unapologetic American-style alpha-males (productive or not) are portrayed in our culture, they are either villains, vigilantes, rappers, highly troubled protagonists with some nasty hidden flaws, etc. It's hard to see someone swagger anymore the way Trump does and think of him as an all-around good guy. You only get that in the culture in old Hollywood films like Westerns that people now think are corny. And that's not the fault of anyone except, maybe, the culture producers. 

I have no problem seeing Trump as a good guy because I know good guys like him, warts and all. I think anti-Trump people who essentially agree with him, but detest him, predominately know alphas in their lives who are scumbags. And when they look at the culture, there's nothing good to see about alphas unless they are troubled brooding souls. And Trump doesn't brood or feel sorry for himself. And that sets off their inner warning bells.

I'm just musing right now, but I'm going to ponder on this for a bit.

Michael

MSK,

This is my 500th post on the forum and wanted to use it for this moment:

GO TRUMP!!

:lol:

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9 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

The question is (or should be) what is the lowest tax rate such that the government can fulfill its primary function of protecting the lives and property of the citizens

I agree.  But government should have a budget.  And a budget should specify a total revenue stream that is adequate to meet that primary function's costs.  And to create that total revenue stream there are some tax rates that are better than others.  And government has an obligation to tax as little as possible (so long as they fulfil that primary function).  You don't know what tax rate to choose without knowing what is the relationship between tax rate and total revenues.

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

The question is (or should be) what is the lowest tax rate such that the government can fulfill its primary function of protecting the lives and property of the citizens...  Government is not a for profit business.  It has another function.  

The government's "primary function":

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, KorbenDallas said:

MSK,

This is my 500th post on the forum and wanted to use it for this moment:

GO TRUMP!!

:lol:

Korben

Good stuff!

:) 

btw - Drudge is saying Bernie Sanders left the Democrat Party.

He went back to being a registered Independent.

President Obama did one hell of a good speech at the GOP convention just now. Seriously... This guy can do a speech.

If only it were based in reality...

At the moments of greatest poetry and ringing words, I kept thinking of Cash for Clunkers.

:) 

Michael

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3 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Second,  why is maximizing government revenue even an important issue.  Government is not a for-profit enterprise and maximizing its income is not the important thing.  The important thing is how well is the government protecting the lives and property of its citizens.   So who care at  what tax rate government revenue is maximized.  The real question is what is the least expense necessary to guard the lives and property of the citizens sufficiently.  The Laffer Curve (so-called) is really a distraction,  not an important issue. 

Government ought to be to protect rights as Ayn Rand says. But that is just philosophy. In the real world, government exists to exploit the people. The relationship between government and the governed is like the relationship between a farmer and his cattle. The farmer wants the cattle to do well -- be well fed, free from disease, even happy -- but all this is to prepare them for slaughter.

Experience has shown that the best system to exploit the people is not capitalism and not socialism but some kind of mixture; enough freedom to produce wealth, enough tyranny to steal it. Somewhere on the continuum between freedom and tyranny is maximum loot for government.

Reality does not conform to Objectivist political theory.

 

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Korben

Good stuff!

:) 

btw - Drudge is saying Bernie Sanders left the Democrat Party.

He went back to being a registered Independent.

President Obama did one hell of a good speech at the GOP convention just now. Seriously... This guy can do a speech.

If only it were based in reality...

At the moments of greatest poetry and ringing words, I kept thinking of Cash for Clunkers.

:) 

Michael

Then there's this wall the Dems were delivering their speeches behind :) :

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49 minutes ago, jts said:

Reality does not conform to Objectivist political theory.

Objectivist political theory says what ought to be.  Reality is where we are.  The entire purpose of knowing where we ought to be is so we can adopt the proper goals.  One hopes that people use their reason, and rational standards, to formulate goals in their lives that will let them flourish.  The same principles apply to being purposeful about our government.

Philosophy matters because ideas matter.  Ideas are the product of reason and human flourishing without reason isn't possible.  Right now, politically, things suck.  And it is likely to get worse.  But it has been far worse in the past, and it is possible for it to become much better.... if reason, and objectivist ideas and philosophy prevail.

I try to be realistic about the present, am somewhat pessimistic about the near future, but feel optimistic about the more distant future.  Each of those arise, for me, from reasoning and it is reasoning from Objectivist principles.

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1 hour ago, KorbenDallas said:

Then there's this wall the Dems were delivering their speeches behind :)

The have such disdain for (and fear of) the masses they desperately want to control, the masses they need to get elected, the masses they will prey on and live off of.  The more successful they are in fooling their followers, the less respect they have for them.

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5 hours ago, SteveWolfer said:

I agree.  But government should have a budget.  And a budget should specify a total revenue stream that is adequate to meet that primary function's costs.  And to create that total revenue stream there are some tax rates that are better than others.  And government has an obligation to tax as little as possible (so long as they fulfil that primary function).  You don't know what tax rate to choose without knowing what is the relationship between tax rate and total revenues.

That is only part of it.  There is also the relation between tax rate  and rates of investment and innovation.  It is well known that taxes can distort markets. 

In a relatively free market   taxes become expenses passed on to the purchasers of goods and services.  Private business in effect  become tax collection entities.  Also  investments made government from the revenues collected have an effect on the economy.  Some investments actually promote growth that would not have happened in the absences of government tax collecting.   For example  the development of reactors for both power and weapons.  Private firms never had nearly the funds to build such on a large scale.   The idea of a privately built Oak Ridge  Uranium refinery or a Hanford (State of Washington)  factory for turning out fissiles.  This required the power of the Grand Coulee Dam  which no private firm or consortium would have ever built. 

Most government allocation of funds is not beneficial because it is politically driven,  but some government allocation is good news to the economy. 

If fusion reactions ever become a  major source of power  it will be only by way of government taxation. No private firm or consortium could ever afford it.

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4 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

That is only part of it.  There is also the relation between tax rate  and rates of investment and innovation.  It is well known that taxes can distort markets. 

In a relatively free market   taxes become expenses passed on to the purchasers of goods and services.  Private business in effect  become tax collection entities.  Also  investments made government from the revenues collected have an effect on the economy.  Some investments actually promote growth that would not have happened in the absences of government tax collecting.   For example  the development of reactors for both power and weapons.  Private firms never had nearly the funds to build such on a large scale.   The idea of a privately built Oak Ridge  Uranium refinery or a Hanford (State of Washington)  factory for turning out fissiles.  This required the power of the Grand Coulee Dam  which no private firm or consortium would have ever built. 

Most government allocation of funds is not beneficial because it is politically driven,  but some government allocation is good news to the economy. 

If fusion reactions ever become a  major source of power  it will be only by way of government taxation. No private firm or consortium could ever afford it.

If taxes and regulations inhibit the accumulation of capital or take capital away from private parties this is not an argument for the necessity of government. National defense is. You are mixing up your categories.

--Brant

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2 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

If taxes and regulations inhibit the accumulation of capital or take capital away from private parties this is not an argument for the necessity of government. National defense is. You are mixing up your categories.

--Brant

No. I am talking about the -effects-  government operation has on the society and particular the operation of the economy.   That is only one government and there are many effects.  Some beneficial,  most not beneficial.   If we had a government which mostly  operated to keep domestic order,  guard our shores and did little else,  we would all be better off economically  but we might not be so advanced technologically.   If we have a less  intrusive government we would all be better off on the average economically,   but we would be somewhere in the 1970s or 1960s  technologically.   We are not all that advanced  from that time technologically (about 40  years)  but  our society is the worse because of government intervention in the nooks and crannies of our lives. 

 

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Man, is Cenk Uygur worried.

At the very end, he tells Hillary Clinton not to take the donor money because it's not doing any good anyway and that gesture will be seen that she really means what she says.

He really said that.

He really said for a Clinton NOT to take money from political insiders.

And he was serious.

I stand in awe...

:)

Michael

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This is in the Trump thread because it is about a black Trump supporter.

The video below has a lot of yelling in it, but that dude, by God, out-yelled organized communists.

In the name of capitalism, too.

Dayaam!

But what else can you do with thugs who are just forming? Reason with them? They're yelling. 

If people like this guy don't stand up, those pre-thugs yelling against capitalism will eventually get organized, get guns and then everything will get worse.

So, for as hard as it is to watch something like this, I believe we have to celebrate it.

I wish I knew who this guy was so I could shake his hand.

Also, it's a hoot near the end. A dorky communist protester said he was exercising his right to free speech, and this dude bellowed in his face, "In a communist country, there is no free speech, you fucking moron. Hey! Go to China. Hey! Go to China and talk about Tiananmen Square and see where it gets you. Dead! The Chinese government will kill you and oppress you, you fucking retard!"

:)

Michael

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