“The POINT here is that government ownership of the means of production is entirely different than shared services.”

Agreed. In fact, I never disagreed with that kind of statement.

Then let’s leave it at that.

“What are ‘shared services’? I’ve been talking about ‘redistribution’ — is there any relationship between the two terms?

You may think of them as redistributive services. Rich people don’t write checks to poor people; they are taxed by the government, and the government passes it back to the people, sometimes in money, other time in subsidized services.

I take it, then, that you acquiesce to my statement that it was the right that first began using the word ‘socialism’ to mean ‘any form of redistribution’.

Never argued otherwise.

“…considering that the wealthy already pay such an unusually high (for an OECD nation) percentage of the overall taxes?”

No, they don’t.

Indeed? Prove it. The top quintile pays 95% of the federal income (and usually state income) taxes, most of the property taxes, most of the payroll taxes, most of the sales taxes, and almost all of the capital gains taxes.

The bottom quintile, OTOH, pays a negative 11% in federal income taxes, very little of the property taxes, and virtually no capital gains taxes.

You’re going to have to show your work on that claim.

“If we ever want European-style social services in the US, the tax burden on the middle income and up has to rise substantially. If that were to be suggested, the Democrats would scream that we were lessening the progressivity of the system (true), but it’s the only way we could ever possibly raise the money we need (also true).”

Here we come to the crux of the issue. I think you underestimate the net assets of the wealthy.

I do not. Most assets aren’t taxed; income is. And income is generally UNDERestimated by proponents of large social welfare systems, because they don’t understand how the rich make their money. They think that because so and so CEO got paid $100 million in a year that that’s all taxable; 99M of that is in stock that doesn’t get taxed until it’s sold.

I did this math the other day for some nummy on twitter who thought that a 70% tax on incomes over 1M would pay for the Green New Deal. After I got done spitting coffee on my keyboard in hysterical laughter, I did the math for him:

  • In 2016, 424K tax returns had > $1M AGI.
  • Total income on those tax returns = $1.35T
  • 70% of that = $951B
  • Total cost of Green New Deal = $4T/yr

AND, that assumes that you get the mathematical equivalent of the tax increase, which never happens; you get about 2/3 of what the math says you should get, because people aren’t stupid and change their behavior to minimize taxes. So, when you multiply 951T*.66, you end up with about 16% of the total amount of money for the GND, assuming the 4T a year is real (there are estimates as high as 5.7T a year.)

But the basic point is clear: we could eliminate all income taxes for the bottom 90% of the public, without loss to the government and without confiscatory levels of taxation for the wealthy.

Assets aren’t income. Try again.

It’s called ‘multivariate statistics’. Look it up.

Pfft. I’m a data scientist; you may feel free to go fuck yourself. But, more to the point, YOU don’t know how it works either, so you’re tossing it back on me, coward. :-)

I have thought about this one for years. I have some theories, none of them particularly satisfying, none of them well fleshed out. Perhaps there are a million small reasons, each of them contributing to the reason why GINI did not spike.

Here’s a point on which I think we can agree: the primary driver of increasing inequality is the dramatic rise of the increase in the ratio of value of capital to value of labor in the economy.

Without objection. All you have to do is look at the revenue to employee ratios between a traditional business like Ford and a new business like Facebook.

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Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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