I could keep going, but the idea that Iceland is a utopia or is experiencing amazing performance is simply unfounded. Was a country that just experienced a depression supposed to keep contracting forever? Have progressives never heard of the business cycle? Do progressives really think that all bad investments can be avoided?
Good evening comrades, it’s time for another round of glorious pictorial propaganda to celebrate Citizen Senator Sanders. The fun never stops at Economic Illiterates for Bernie Sanders 2016. After Bernie is inaugurated next year he will usher in a new era of utopia not seen since the Great Depression. Total government spending will go up from approximately 35% of GDP to double or raise to even greater heights and fully snuff out the private sector. The conversion of the United States of America to the United Socialist States of America will be complete and the last vestiges of capitalism will be purged from society. We will truly live in a paradise. Forward!
Continuing on from my last post concerning Safe Spaces we’re going to take a look at the Safe Spaces that are provided at the University of Pennsylvania. Let’s take a look at how progressives are accelerating the Balkanization of the United States:
Who’s allowed in your safe space? More importantly, who’s not allowed in your safe space? Obviously, critical thinking is not allowed on safe spaces at Mizzou.
Remember, you don’t have the right to take photos in a public space according to progressives. The First Amendment (and the Constitution in general) is not important to progressives. Freedom and liberty do not matter, just you giving up your money for their demands. I’ll respect their space, with a sledgehammer…
Here are some quotable quotes:
“I know that you better back up…”
“My name is ConcernedStudent1950…”
“I’m gonna call the police on you…”
“I need some muscle over here!”
I think that I’ll declare February to be German History Month. Who’s with me?
Don’t you just love it when Proud Party Progs ask about who would build the roads without socialism? Let’s look at what one Ms. Ellen McPhretes had to say on the issue:
I’ll have more to add later about the glorious comments of Ellen, but for now lets talk about roads maintained by the government. In case you haven’t heard, the El Niño Southern Oscillation is bringing some heavy rainstorms to North America. San Diego (along with the rest of Southern California) doesn’t seem to deal very well with rain. I happen to live in the Midway District and was greeted with a couple feet of water on Midway Drive due to a storm that dropped a half inch of rain.
I just can’t be impressed enough with the job that the City of San Diego is doing with the roads; it’s another shining example of government efficiency. Compared to many other roads in San Diego though, Midway wasn’t that bad and at least passable in a truck with decent ground clearance. Miramar Road and Kearny Mesa Boulevard were covered in four feet at some spots.
“The City Council’s Environment Committee Wednesday unanimously called for the city of San Diego to declare a state of emergency to help get storm channels cleared before the brunt of El Niño storms arrive.
The committee members pointed to Tuesday night’s lightning-punctuated rainfall as an example of what this winter’s climate conditions might bring. According to the National Weather Service, 1.09 inches of rain fell at Lindbergh Field, a record for the date and already surpassing the November average.
Because of environmental concerns, it’s a laborious process for San Diego to acquire the permits needed to remove vegetation and debris from the city’s 133 miles of storm channels. At a news conference before the committee meeting, Councilman David Alvarez said the State Regional Water Board can take two years to process permit applications for scheduled storm channel maintenance.”
Two years to receive permission to clear some garbage, plants, and animals from storm drains. The Democratic People’s Republic of Kalifornia (DPRK) has some amazing laws doesn’t it?
“In emergency situations, such as when a major storm is imminent, the city can go to the Army Corps of Engineers to get the necessary permits, the councilman said. However, that has to happen a few days before a storm hits.
He said an emergency declaration could help the city obtain a blanket permit to clear out the most clogged channels well in advance of dangerous storms.”
This just keeps getting better and better. Can’t risk killing a random animal right?
“David Gibson of the water board said the governor is considering such a declaration, but it’s unknown when it would be issued. He said the agency has expedited city requests in the past and invited San Diego officials to submit permit applications.
The proposed emergency declaration was met with some reluctance from the mayor’s office because of previous litigation.
‘Five years ago, the city declared a state of emergency to clear the Tijuana River Valley and was sued, resulting in years of litigation that postponed maintenance work,’ mayoral spokesman Matt Awbrey said.
‘Doing so again could open up taxpayers to more lawsuits, fines and actually end up delaying work further,’ Awbrey said. ‘We are unable to move faster than state and federal regulations will allow, so the mayor is asking regulators for relief so we can take all necessary actions to prepare San Diego in the event of an El Niño storm event.’
Alvarez and committee member Marti Emerald said the city might get sued, and lose, but in the meantime would be protecting property.”
There’s no winning for San Diego; if you clean the storm drains you get sued by the DPRK and lose. If you don’t clean the drains, there’s millions in property damage. Maybe by the time the next El Niño hits the clogged stormed drains will be clear? The drains that are currently clear will probably be clogged though. With the way that the DPRK is currently going I’m pretty certain the only way to win is to leave the state.
A constant refrain that I hear from progressives is that the United States had 90% taxes during the 1950s and the country was still prosperous. Progressives seem to believe that it is a golden era that we need to emulate in all economic facets…
I wonder how many of these proud Party members have actually taken the time to think about what caused the United States to be the world’s pre-eminent economic power during the 1950s. Is it possible that 90% income tax rates on the wretched and vile “1%” led to economic prosperity (or at least didn’t hinder it) or is there something more to the story? Let’s start by taking a look at what taxes were paid to the Federal Government in the post WWII years (I bet WWII took a while to pay off also). A publication produced by UC Berkeley in 2007 entitled “How Progressive is the U.S. Federal Tax System? A Historical and International Perspective”provides much insight into what the “1%” actually paid in taxes in the 1950s. Let’s take a look:
“The 1960 federal tax system was very progressive even within the top percentile, with an average tax rate of around 35 percent in the bottom half of the top percentile to over 70 percent in the top 0.01 percent. This finding illustrates the theme that it is important to decompose the top of the income distribution into very small groups to capture the progressivity of a tax system. Although very top groups contain few taxpayers, they account for a substantial share of income earned, and an even larger share of taxes paid.
Interestingly, the larger progressivity in 1960 is not mainly due to the individual income tax. The average individual income tax rate in 1960 reached an average rate of 31 percent at the very top, only slightly above the 25 percent average rate at the very top in 2004. Within the 1960 version of the individual income tax, lower rates on realized capital gains, as well as deductions for interest payments and charitable contributions, reduced dramatically what otherwise looked like an extremely progressive tax schedule, with a top marginal tax rate on individual income of 91 percent.”
So the actualized income tax rate for the rich was 31%, not really much different from where it stands today. That is a most interesting point to come to terms with. Such results also show that Sandroids don’t actually know what they’re talking about when they claim that the United States had a 91% income tax rate.
“The greater progressivity of federal taxes in 1960, in contrast to 2004, stems from the corporate income tax and the estate tax. The corporate tax collected about 6.5 percent of total personal income in 1960 and only around 2.5 percent of total income today. Because capital income is very concentrated, it generated a substantial burden on top income groups. The estate tax has also decreased from 0.8 percent of total personal income in 1960 to about 0.35 percent of total income today. As a result, the burden of the estate tax relative to income has declined very sharply since 1960 in the top income groups.”
“Second, the composition of top incomes has changed substantially. Figure 2 shows the breakdown into wage income, business income, capital income (including imputed corporate taxes), and realized capital gains. In the 1960s, top incomes were primarily composed of capital income: mostly dividends and capital gains. The surge in top incomes since the 1970s has been driven in large part by a steep increase in the labor income component, due in large part to the explosion of executive compensation. As a result, labor income now represents a substantial fraction of income at the top. This change in composition is important to keep in mind, because the corporate and estate taxes that had such a strong effect on creating progressivity in the 1960s would have relatively little effect on labor income.”
One of the other things that Progressives seem to forget about when discussing post WWII economic conditions is WWII. The United Kingdom had here cities heavily bombed and ended the war nearly bankrupt, France was occupied for four years and also suffered heavily; Germany lost millions, lost Prussia, and was rent in two; the Soviet Union lost 27 million people and had many of its cities decimated, the Chinese lost over 20 million fighting the Japanese and shortly thereafter underwent a Communist revolution; Japan lost millions, had its cities destroyed, and two nukes dropped on it. The only major power left without any massive loss of live or widespread destruction wrought in its homeland was the United States. The destruction of industrialized countries allowed the United States to produce the majority of the world’s economic output for a time without contest. When progressives say that the 1950s were a good time for the U.S. economy they have no understanding as to why.
Why is it that evil RethugliKKKans and KKKonservatives, and Losertarians continue to oppose Shillary Hillary? How could fiends even as wretched as those individuals possibly oppose such an enlightened progressive? Why haven’t these losers looked at Hillary’s voting record and television interviews to see just how much she pushes the progressive agenda from the Wrar in Iraq, to marriage, the TPP, and to the evil gender wage gap. Let’s take a moment to look at the stunning achievements that Hillary has championed, shall we?
Remember, as a proud and loyal Party member you must partake in the “two minutes of hate” every day against Bill Cosby. Any defense given by him or his lawyer must not be accepted. The charges are simply too serious to do otherwise.
The Republican War on Womyn™must be fought and their will broken.
I suppose that Hillary and the President won’t talk about the religious angle of the shooting. They’ll talk about “common sense” gun controls laws. But of course, Dear Leader hasn’t actually said during his speeches what such legislation would look like. He just complains that Congress isn’t doing what he wants it to and that the majority of citizens want “common sense” gun control laws.
Let’s hear Dear Leader Obama discuss his thoughts on the shooting:
Let’s break down some of what the President had to say about this matter:
“It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America,”
“Somebody somewhere will comment and say, ‘Obama politicized this issue,'” and “This is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.”
At least this part of his speech is honest. Is the President going to politicize the gunman’s hate for Christians? Silly thought, only Muslims and persecuted LGBT party members receive such consideration from progressives.
“The notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens, and criminals will still get their guns – it’s not borne out by the evidence,” and “We know that other countries in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings.”
Of course, Dear Leader doesn’t take the time to cite any evidence. I wonder how citizens of Chicago feel about this? In 1997 Australia enacted the National Firearms Agreement in response to the Port Aurthur massacre. There were actually “mass shootings” in Australia prior to In the years immediately following the extremely tight (though not complete ban) gun control laws, violent crime didn’t go down. Perhaps the reasons for crime are more complex than simply allowing citizens to carry guns?
Let’s take a look at some of what is written in this document:
“Because of the large proportion of violent crime that is unreported (that is, what criminologists call the “dark figure of crime”), the dramatic increases observed in violent crime as measured by the police may be directly related to improved effectiveness and efficiency with which the police record crime. In other words, the police may be recording more crimes of violence because they are recording crimes that in previous times would not have been recorded. Increases in police records of violent crime might reflect the shrinking of the dark figure of crime rather than an increase in underlying violence in the community.”
So with better technology and better enforcement crimes are simply being reported more often? Seems reasonable enough.
“Furthermore, the increase that did occur between the 1951-70 period and the 1971-88 period is most likely explained by the changing demography of the Australian population. The proportion of the population accounted for by young males was at an historically low ebb during the middle part of the century and the resurgence in the strength of this sector is the most conservative explanation for the observed change in the homicide rate.”
People commit crimes, not guns. People can commit crimes with blunt objects, knives, vehicles, or make bombs with common chemicals. Crime occurred before the advent of handguns, shotguns, and “assault rifles”. One needs to look at why people are committing crimes, not just say that they did so because they had guns.
“A number of criminologists have argued that it is police productivity and not real increases in violence that explain increases in police recorded violence. For example, and most recently, O’Brien (1996) examined the differences between police records and victimisation survey findings in the United States. As in Australia, it is only the police figures that are suggesting increasing levels of violence, both the homicide rate and victimisation survey findings suggest the level of violence has not changed over the last 20 years.“
As stated earlier in the publication, changes in data collection and police enforcement can also affect crime statistics.
“Compared with other similar western countries such as New Zealand and Canada, Australia’s homicide rate is moderate, suggesting the prominent role of socio-cultural factors rather than any particular or peculiar aspect of Australia’s policy, practice or population.“
Progressives would apparently disagree with this statement. According to them, we could stop murder if we could just pass some laws.
“Australia’s homicide rate increased by a third between the 1951-70 period and the 1971-88 period. Similarly, between 1955 and 1971 the proportion of Australia’s male population that was aged 18 to 24 increased by a third. It is interesting to note that throughout the 20th century the proportion of Australia’s population accounted for by this sector has been steady or falling slightly.”
I’m OK with blaming rises in crime on baby boomers.
“Gartner and Parker’s analysis is important in illustrating that violence is not the result of a single cause or even a single category of causes. Rather, the rate of violence, as reflected in the homicide rate, is an expression of multiple factors and complex interactions. The pressure to conceptualise violence as the result of simple or singular phenomena needs to be resisted. Some of the relevant factors may be changing in such a way as to reduce violence while others are pushing in the opposite direction.“
Someone needs to inform the President of this. I would think that a college educated man would’ve heard that “correlation doesn’t prove causation” at some point. That’s not important when you need to politicize something before you have any facts though.
“This brief consideration of trends in violent crime in Australia has emphasised the complexity of the task and the inadequacy of the data. The limitations discussed point to the need for cautiousness in interpreting the rates. Certainly, and most importantly, the popular understanding that violence in this country has increased dramatically and consistently in recent years is unfounded. “
Really, someone needs to inform Mothers Demand Action about this. I guess that reason and logic aren’t as important as emotion though.
Back to what the President has to say though.
“I would ask that news organizations put facts forward, have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who have been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who have been killed by gun violence; and post those side by side on your news reports. This won’t be information coming from me it will be coming from you.”
Why would the President care to present his own data or evidence on this matter? He’ll get the media to do it for him. I’m sure that MSNBS will be more than happy to comply.
“If you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views. And I would particularly ask America’s gun owners who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt, for sport, for protecting their families, to think about whether your views are properly being represented by organizations that suggested speaking for you.”
Considering that the Democratic Party did horrible in the 2014 election, I think that it’s safe to say that the Republican gains in Congress were a refutation of the policies Obama has instituted and wants to enforce upon the American people. I’m still wondering what “modest” gun control would look like to the President?
OK comrades, the fine Kommissars over at Economic Illiterates for Bernie Sanders 2016 have come up with some more Party propaganda to enjoy and spread amongst your progressive friends. But don’t be afraid to share them with your Neo-Kulak friends like: KKKonservatives, Losertarians, and RepubliKKKans who don’t believe in Communism Socialism. Don’t be afraid, any who oppose the will of the Party will be purged in the coming Cultural Revolution. Have fun proles citizens!
I put some pictures up from actual Bernie Sanders’ supporters. Don’t lie, you couldn’t tell the difference between reality and satire. Remember, we don’t need freedom. What we need as proles citizens is central government control of the economy to ensure that all citizen’s needs are met just like in: Detroit, Zimbabwe, Rhode Island, or Venezuela. Once the government controls political speech and spending, all will be fair in our elections. Indeed, it will be a true progressive utopia. Let’s close this post out with an actual debate with a Bernie supporter:
One of the least thought out memes that I’ve come across lately comes from a lady who calls herself The Bitchy Pundit. Here are her thoughts on how the U.S. Federal Budget is spent:
There are some easy ways to counter the sheer stupidity of this picture. The Congressional Budget Office produces plenty of fine information about the state of the U.S. Federal budget. I’ll be citing some data from the following publication: The Budget and Economic Outlook:2015-2025. On page 66 it is shown that for FY 2014 the total budget was about $3.5 trillion, with Mandatory spending taking up about $2 trillion. Such spending covers programs like: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance subsidies. Discretionary spending was about $1.2 trillion; of that about $600 billion went to Defense spending while the other approximately $600 billion went to miscellaneous funding such as: transportation and infrastructure, education, and various research programs, amongst many other projects. The discretionary spending data can be found on pages 82 and 83.
So, unless there’s a $10 trillion item on the budget specifically meant for corporate subsidies that isn’t mentioned in the CBO report (or in any budget document for that matter), this number is not actually based on real data and is just some statistical hyperbole. There are two sources mentioned at the bottom of the picture, one from the White House’s website and the other from a progressive website called CommonDreams. Let’s take a look at what’s there.
Based upon this picture, no single item actually reaches $4,000 and corporate subsidies are not listed anywhere on the webpage. I’m also not certain how Bitchy Pundit acquired her numbers for Medicare (2.9% tax, half paid by the employee), the Military, or really any spending since they don’t seem to match up to what is listed by the data on the White House tax receipt webpage. It seems safe to say that this citation is at best, severely distorted by Bitchy Pundit.
Moving on the to CommonCommunismCommonDreams article by Paul Buchheit leads an article that claims the average household pays about $6,000 every year in corporate subsidies. Once again, the data presented on the picture isn’t the same as it is in the citation. In this case, it’s supposedly even worse but let’s take a few minutes to analyze the claims in this article. Here’s the first claim that the author makes:
“The Cato Institute estimates that the U.S. federal government spends $100 billion a year on corporate welfare. That’s an average of $870 for each one of America’s 115 million families.”
“It does include payments to 374 individuals on the plush Upper East Side of New York City, and others who own farms, including Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Ted Turner. Wealthy heir Mark Rockefeller received $342,000 to NOT farm, to allow his Idaho land to return to its natural state.”
Enough of making fun of that no-talent hack Springsteen, lets move onto the next part of the argument:
“It also includes fossil fuel subsidies, which could be anywhere from $10 billion to $41 billion per year for research and development. Yet this may be substantially underestimated. The IMF reports U.S. fossil fuel subsidies of $502 billion, which would be almost $4,400 per U.S. family by taking into account “the effects of energy consumption on global warming [and] on public health through the adverse effects on local pollution.” According to Grist, even this is an underestimate.”
I took a look at the IMF publication and it’s very apparent that the half-trillion figure is for the entire world, not the U.S. specifically. This is made apparent throughout the paper, but here are some screenshots for those who aren’t interested in reading the entire report:
I’m not certain how the author came up with a figure of $502 billion. The author either made up the number and didn’t actually read the report or is simply lying. Next!
“The subsidies mentioned above are federal subsidies. A New York Times investigation found that states, counties and cities give up over $80 billion each year to companies, with beneficiaries coming from …”
The Koch Brothers would agree, the market should actually be free rather than manipulated by the government. That being said, a subsidy can simply be a company paying less in taxes and not just the government giving money or land away. The Bitchy Pundit is conflating what your tax bill is with what she wants corporate taxes to be, which is simply dishonest. What if the government just lowered (or eliminated) many taxes, got rid of subsidies, and simply spent less money. Clearly, government distortion and command of the economy is a real winner. Let’s take a look at the next excerpt from this article:
“According to the Huffington Post, the “U.S. Government Essentially Gives The Banks 3 Cents Of Every Tax Dollar.” They cite research that calculates a nearly 1 percent benefit to banks when they borrow, through bonds and customer deposits and other liabilities. This amounts to a taxpayer subsidy of $83 billion, or about $722 from every American family”
I took a look at the Huffington Post article and it’s another obfuscation of the data. The $83 billion figure is not a direct subsidy, the banks mentioned aren’t actually getting tax breaks. One part of the Huffington Post article is a bit more pertinent though:
“Let’s start with a bit of background. Banks have a powerful incentive to get big and unwieldy. The larger they are, the more disastrous their failure would be and the more certain they can be of a government bailout in an emergency. The result is an implicit subsidy: The banks that are potentially the most dangerous can borrow at lower rates, because creditors perceive them as too big to fail.
Lately, economists have tried to pin down exactly how much the subsidy lowers big banks’ borrowing costs. In one relatively thorough effort, two researchers — Kenichi Ueda of the International Monetary Fund and Beatrice Weder di Mauro of the University of Mainz — put the number at about 0.8 percentage point. The discount applies to all their liabilities, including bonds and customer deposits.”
I took a look at the IMF Working Paper referenced and no specific U.S. banks are mentioned. That means the government controlled loan giants of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac counted towards this bailout/implicit subsidy figure. The Huffington Post article claims: “The top five banks — JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. – – account for $64 billion of the total subsidy, an amount roughly equal to their typical annual profits …“. The Huffington Post article is making a claim that’s not substantiated by the data in the IMF Working Paper or presented in the article at any point. Besides, since when did progressives oppose bailouts? I wonder if Mr. Buchheit would support ending the Federal Reserve?
Our fine author then goes on to call bank and retirement fund fees a subsidy:
“This was a tough one to calculate. Demos reports that over a lifetime, bank fees can “cost a median-income two-earner family nearly $155,000 and consume nearly one-third of their investment returns.” Fees are well over one percent a year.”
I don’t understand how bank fees can be construed as a subsidy that taxes support. If you don’t want to pay excessive trading fees, don’t be a day trader. If you don’t want to spend money on actively managed mutual funds, pick stocks yourself or buy a mutual fund that is not actively managed. Fees associated with your accounts will be listed in the terms and if you don’t like them find a cheaper investment. I wonder if the author is in favor of a low Capital Gains Tax? Might reduce the fees that Mr. Buchheit is decrying so much.
In the next bullet point, the author calls patent laws a tax subsidy:
“According to Dean Baker, “government granted patent monopolies raise the price of prescription drugs by close to $270 billion a year compared to the free market price.” This represents an astonishing annual cost of over $2,000 to an average American family.
OECD figures on pharmaceutical expenditures reveal that Americans spend almost twice the OECD average on drugs, an additional $460 per capita. This translates to $1,268 per household.”
Point six is just a repeat of the first bullet point in the article:
“We’ve heard a lot about tax avoidance and tax breaks for the super-rich. With regard to corporations alone, the Tax Foundation has concluded that their “special tax provisions” cost taxpayers over $100 billion per year, or $870 per family. Corporate benefits include items such as Graduated Corporate Income, Inventory Property Sales, Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, Accelerated Depreciation, and Deferred taxes.”
Then there’s the progressive plan of convincing companies to keep their money in the U.S. by taxing them at 39% is an idea that surely wouldn’t backfire:
“U.S. PIRG recently reported that the average 2012 taxpayer paid an extra $1,026 in taxes to make up for the revenue lost from offshore tax havens by corporations and wealthy individuals. With 138 million taxpayers (1.2 per household), that comes to $1,231 per household.”
“Overall, American families are paying an annual $6,000 subsidy to corporations that have doubled their profits and cut their taxes in half in ten years while cutting 2.9 million jobs in the U.S. and adding almost as many jobs overseas.
This is more than an insult. It’s a devastating attack on the livelihoods of tens of millions of American families. And Congress just lets it happen.”
I think that I’ve shown that such statements are false. Mr. Buchheit’s lies and misrepresentation of the data is an insult to my intelligence.