General Question

chelle21689's avatar

Why are many minorities Democrat?

Asked by chelle21689 (7289points) May 5th, 2012

Also, why are many people that have less $ Democrat? Is it true Republicans tend to help out rich people?

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71 Answers

janbb's avatar

Because the Democrats are seen as the party with the most interest in helping the poor and minorities.

Jaxk's avatar

The democrats will always hand out more ‘Free Stuff’. If you’re not paying taxes, whether they go up or down has very little impact on you. If your struggling, the Democrats will always tell you, ‘it’s not your fault’. It’s because that rich guy has taken what is rightfully yours. Basically Republicans are about equal opportunity and Democrats are about equal outcomes.

Fly's avatar

There are several reasons why minorities would vote for the Democratic party. Firstly, Democrats are generally more tolerant of minorities. Secondly, they generally support laws that make legal immigration and citizenship easier to achieve. However, “minorities” is really too large of a generalization- I would not necessarily say that even a full 50% of all minorities combined vote for the Democratic party. Beyond the reasons that I have given above, the values, religions, etc. of the individual cultures have a large influence on the voting patterns of different minorities. If you wanted to learn more about that, I suggest that you look up the voting patterns of individual minorities.

Regarding those who have less money, there are two major reasons. One: Democrats are more sympathetic to the poor and support many more social programs (i.e. Welfare and Medicaid) that help out the poor. Two: Democrats believe in higher taxes for the wealthy and lower taxes for the poor and those with lower income.

Is it true that Republicans tend to help out rich people? Yes and no. They do help the rich much more than the poor, but they believe that they are eventually helping the poor as a result. They support free enterprise and little to no government regulation of businesses, which generally benefits the rich business owners and does not benefit and/or negatively effects the middle and lower classes. They also support tax cuts for the wealthy and incentives for business owners. In addition, they reject many if not most social programs, as Republicans believe that the poor should find a way to help themselves, and that they have worked for their money and therefore deserve to keep it and the poor don’t deserve it. Republicans believe in trickle-down economics. Essentially, they believe that the money that the business owners will save as a result of fewer government regulations, more tax cuts, and more incentives will “trickle down” to the lower classes. In theory, this would eventually help the poor; However, there is significant evidence that shows that trickle-down economics are ineffective, but Republican continue to think that this will help out the poor despite the strong evidence that it does not.

Please note that @Jaxk‘s response is based on political opinion rather than fact.

wundayatta's avatar

Republicans represent those with economic power. They represent those with military power. They represent those who believe they have the right to tell others what to do, like religious leaders who believe they have the right to control women’s bodies.

Democrats stand in opposition to a lot of that, and thus minorities, who do not want to be dominated by majorities, tend to swing democratic. Democrats stand for equality and a level playing field. They put the customer equal with the producer or seller. They fight for rights for those who are unfairly discriminated against. Republicans do not seem to make these things much of a priority. Indeed, often they don’t see minority rights as something that are being hurt.

Jaxk's avatar

@Fly Interesting analysis. I especially like the last sentence that is intended to give your self more credibility, with or without any facts to back you up. For instance, Democrats want lower taxes for the poor. Hell, half the country already pays no federal income tax. How can they pay less, they’re already at zero. And hows that ‘Great society’ war on poverty doing for you. We’ve spent $8 trillion on the war on poverty and we have more poverty now than when it started. Free handouts don’t work, they only create generational poverty. But hey, we’re not interested in what works, only what looks good on a campaign slogan.

Your rhetoric is intended to inflame rather than inform. That really is what the democrats are all about. Tell the minorities who to blame and promise more free stuff. That’s how you get votes.

Fly's avatar

@Jaxk I did not include that sentence to strengthen my argument whatsoever. I almost did not include it at all because I suspected that you would react this way. However, it is clear that the OP is uninformed on this subject and is looking for concrete information, and I felt that she should be aware that your response is based on your political opinion. She asked for proven reasons and facts, not your opinion on “government handouts” and poverty. Not everything has to be a political debate.

If you’ll notice, I tried to keep my response fairly unbiased, which you fail to do. I presented both sides and I did explain that Republicans believe that they are helping the poor, despite the fact that I don’t necessarily buy that. You are also taking poor to an extreme generalization- not everyone who is below the poverty line and considered poor is a beggar on the streets who takes all of these ineffective government handouts that you continue to harp on. (Please, feel free to provide me with some concrete proof that conclusively shows that they do not work. And no, your opinion does not count.) Furthermore, the Democratic party in no way says that the poor are not to blame for their situation. Rather, they do not feel that blame is relevant at all and feel no need to place blame. You are welcome to share your personal political convictions on an appropriate thread about political views or in social, but it was not warranted in this general question from a user who was seeking genuine facts.

bkcunningham's avatar

Who keeps fair stats on the voting patterns of individual minorities? I can’t find any.

Fly's avatar

@bkcunningham I know that the Census Bureau does this as I have used their statistics in the past, but I can only seem to find voter registration and turnout rates by race at the moment.

bkcunningham's avatar

It tells how many people are registered, @Fly. It doesn’t say what party they are registered with or how they vote.

Jaxk's avatar

@Fly

Actually I’m able to share my personal opinions any time I wish. As are you. You obviously were very aware of the implications of that sentence and you choose to take a shot anyway. Nothing in your post can even remotely be considered factual and your attempt to be unbiased was really rather pathetic.

I can’t believe that even you would think that the Free handouts are anything but pandering to special voting blocks. As far as proof, if the $8 trillion expenditures and higher poverty than when it started doesn’t fit that bill, you’re obviously too wrapped around your ideology to evaluate anything.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Fly, please note the last sentence in this information from the US Census Bureau: “Information on reported voting and registration by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics is collected for the nation in November of Congressional and Presidential election years in the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPS is the primary source of information on the labor force characteristics of the U.S. population. The voting supplement does not provide estimates of partisianship, such as what candidate a voter supported or what political party a voter aligned themselves with.”

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/

Ron_C's avatar

Republicans previously represented business owners both in the middle class and the extreme upper class. Today’s republican party seems only interested in financial institutions and international corporations. If you are not in the top 10% in income, they no longer seem interested in you. I expect there are a number of Cubans in southern Florida that are doing exceptionally well so they are still in the republican party.

The rest of the ethnic groups aren’t doing so well. Some portions of the republican party seem interested in punishing the poor for not working and immigrants for not being rich. It is a little crazy but the most vocal members of the republican party seem to fear and possibly hate any ethnic group that isn’t white and protestant. So if you are not white or are a Mormon, Catholic, or Jewish you are on their list at “non-productive” population. Ryan’s budget and by default, Romney’s budget aims to make sure that everyone, including the poor pay income taxes. The money gained by taxing poor people will aid in reducing taxes for the wealthy. I would guess that most of the republicans expect to, someday, be rich. They want to make sure that when they become millionaires, they don’t pay too many taxes. What other reason would a poor person have to be a member of that party. If you are black or Hispanic, or gay, there is no reason for a sane person to be a member of the constantly regressing party of the right.

Jaxk's avatar

Here’s a good example of my point. Video by Alexandra Pelosi.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk So you are saying that all welfare recipients are like that? Or are you just looking for confirmation of preconceived notions?

Yes, there are some people like that, but there are also many that are not. So I am going to challenge you to go up to someone who really needs help, look their starving kid in the eye, and tell them that you don’t want them to eat because of some lazy people you saw on a Youtube video.

I

Dare

You

Fly's avatar

@Jaxk You are correct in that you are free to express your view at any point, but it is very misleading to someone who is asking for general information to present your political views as fact. Please enlighten me, which specific parts of my original answer were incorrect? You continue to talk about government handouts, but my original post did not even mention my view on these government handouts.

There is absolutely no reason to imply that I am inferior to you because of our differing political views; that is insulting and unnecessary. As a Democrat, no, I absolutely do not believe that social programs such as Welfare are “pandering to special voting blocs.” Those below the poverty line have some of the lowest voter turnout rates, so it is illogical to think that the $8 trillion in expenditures that you continue to cite are a ploy to get the poor vote. In addition, in no way does an amount of expenditures and higher poverty rates constitute evidence that these programs are unsuccessful. It is only natural that poverty rates would increase as population increases exponentially, and it is only natural that there will be waves of higher poverty as the programs struggle to keep up with increased population. I do agree with your post on another thread that there should be additional programs to help people become self-sufficient, but that does not mean that the current programs have not been successful or cannot be successful when used for their intended purposes. I can assure you, I am not “too wrapped around my ideology to evaluate anything.” I am attempting to have an open and civilized conversation with you; I have addressed everything that you have said and I even agree with you on some of it, but you fail to address any of the points that I have made. You are much more concerned with touting your political agenda and demeaning my own beliefs than you are with an actual, factual discussion.

@bkcunningham As I said, those are only voter registration and turnout rates by race, as that is all I can find at the moment. I have used textbooks and resources that list partisanship tendencies and cite the U.S. Census Bureau as their source, but I am unable to find these statistics online. Perhaps they originated from a different source.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Fly, I couldn’t find any either and I turned to the US Census Bureau first. It does seem odd though that there doesn’t seem to be any sources easily found.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

Real cute. It’s an example of how democrats buy votes.

wundayatta's avatar

@Fly and @bkcunningham The Census is not going to track opinions. The CPS is a monthly survey with different topics each month. They might ask about party affiliation, but that would surprise me.

For voter turnout by race, you need tracking polls and exit polls. Those can be found at Roper and Pew and gallup and Rasmussen and other political polling organizations. The Census will not have those data.

Check out RealClearPolitics. They track all the polls. They might have links to what you are looking for.

Cruiser's avatar

“Z@Fly I cannot in good conscious sit back and let your ignorant vitriol stand as unbiased commentary….To quote your words…

“There are several reasons why minorities would vote for the Democratic party. Firstly, Democrats are generally more tolerant of minorities.”
Really??? And what might these non-political reasons of yours be??

“Secondly, they generally support laws that make legal immigration and citizenship easier to achieve. However, “minorities” is really too large of a generalization- I would not necessarily say that even a full 50% of all minorities combined vote for the Democratic party. Beyond the reasons that I have given above, the values, religions, etc. of the individual cultures have a large influence on the voting patterns of different minorities. If you wanted to learn more about that, I suggest that you look up the voting patterns of individual minorities.”

Congratulations as that is the most convoluted string of verbiage I have yet had the privileged to read here or at Answerbug or wherever.
[snip]
“Regarding those who have less money, there are two major reasons. One: Democrats are more sympathetic to the poor and support many more social programs (i.e. Welfare and Medicaid) that help out the poor.”

Yay more of my conservative tax dollars put to work all the while other wealthy conservatives pump millions of dollars towards benevolent efforts that are independent of Federal tax dollars!

“Is it true that Republicans tend to help out rich people? Yes and no. They do help the rich much more than the poor, but they believe that they are eventually helping the poor as a result. They support free enterprise and little to no government regulation of businesses, which generally benefits the rich business owners and does not benefit and/or negatively effects the middle and lower classes.”

You could NOT be more wrong as more income for businesses means not only more taxes paid but more JOBS silly!

Please note that @Fly ‘s response is based on political opinion rather than fact.

ETpro's avatar

Republicans firmly believe that is you help the poor it demotivates them. The only way to help the poor, according to today’s GOP, is to cut them loose and let them fend for themselves. Taking what little they have will make the poor work harder.

Never-ending tax breaks and loopholes for the rich, on the other hand, make them work much harder. Even the super rich, who stuff every available dollar into offshore accounts in tax shelters, will work much harder and create jobs if only we give them enough money. Of course, this is absurd and has never been shown to work. But apparently reality only matters to the right when it reinforces their ideology. If it speaks against their ideology, then reality is obviously wrong or poorly understood, or overruled by some single outlying data point taken out of context.

Jaxk's avatar

@Fly

Let’s try to get to the nut of the issue. You made a lot of unsubstantiated claims about what Republicans want. Then went on to say that my post was opinion with the clear implication that yours was fact. Yours is in fact hype and opinion.

You brought up Welfare and medicare. I pointed out that the welfare was not lifting anyone out of poverty but was in fact increasing it (as a percentage of the population). It is in fact a way to buy votes rather than fixing the problem. You also said that the democrats are for lowering the taxes on the poor. I responded by saying that 50% of the population already pays no federal income tax and that they can’t pay less, they already pay zero. Saying you want to lower thier taxes is emty rhetoric but it sounds good. Good enough to buy some votes? Maybe.

Basically your whole post is a conglomeration of myths and talking points promoted by the Democrats to foster class warfare. Class warfare is the cornerstone of buying minority votes. “Those guys don’t care about you, see what I give you”. That’s how you buy thier votes and my hats off to you guys, you’re very good at it. And that’s how Democrats keep the minorities in thier camp.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Ah, the class warfare Big Lie. I don’t deny that class warfare is going on, just that it isn’t the poor or the Democratic Party doing all the shooting and looting. Let’s look at some statistics to see who has claimed the greatest umber of casualties in this so-called Class War the Democrats are waging against America’s poor, underprivileged millionaires and billionaires.

Taxes from Reagan forward—who got the big breaks?
Where did the income increase really go?
What does GOP Budget Chairman Ryan want?
Household income over time.

Fly's avatar

@Jaxk You fail once again to mention anything I said that was actually incorrect, and you have ignored my responses to the two things that you have already brought up. I will not address the things that I have already responded to, but I will respond to the rest. You’re right, I did bring up social programs, stating only that they are one of the reasons that those below the poverty line tend to vote for Democrats, which IS a FACT. You have completely missed the point of the OP’s question- nobody asked whether or not you think that they work, what matters is whether or not the voters in question think that they work, which they do. I never once inserted my opinion as to my beliefs on them, because they do not matter. I did not even give my opinion on trickle-down economics in my original answer, stating only that there is significant evidence that it is ineffective (which is, once again, a FACT). I also find it extremely ironic that you accuse me of stating only talking points and myths, but you then bring up class warfare, much of which is entirely myth.

@Cruiser Are you sure about that?

monorob's avatar

Welfare voting can’t be the main factor. There are about 89 million blacks & hispanics in the country. 31 million of those minorities are on welfare & 4 million are in prison. What about the other 54 million that are not in either category?

@Fly,

Everyone of those links to cruiser are lies and can easily be debunked due to the fact that all corporate data is public record. They all pay taxes and a lot of it. For example, General Electric Yearly Financial Records Just change the symbol to any Corporation and you will find the same public data.

Fly's avatar

@monorob Firstly, the social programs being a reason was in response to the OP’s second question, “Also, why are many people that have less $ Democrat?”.
Secondly, yes, you are correct in that they did technically pay taxes. But the tax returns that they claimed outweighed the amount of taxes they paid, so they effectively did not pay taxes.

monorob's avatar

@Fly,

Point me out a non-partisan source that shows their tax return outweighed the amount of taxes paid.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Actually, it could be argued that Republicans also buy votes; look at the relationship between corporate money flowing in and corporation-friendly legislation coming out. That is how Republicans keep their campaign coffers full.

Of course, since there is plenty of proof that facts don’t matter (much of that proof coming from Republicans; things like ”>90% of Planned Parenthood’s funding goes to abortions!” when the actual figure is <2%), any position can be argued and, thanks to the internet, all sorts of “proof” can be given to back up any assertion.

Fly's avatar

@monorob Everything is partisan.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

Good post. That is an excellent example of how Democrats fix the message to gain the illusion that Republicans represent big money. By saying it over and over, it begins to seem like it’s true. Of course if anyone takes the time to really look at what’s happening, it’s completely false. But of course we’re not interested in what’s real or imagined, only what you can sell to the voting public.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk That last sentence is the true essence of politics :)

Jaxk's avatar

@Fly

Just a note on the so called myth. Rick Bookstaber, who currently serves on President Obama’s Financial Stability Oversight Council, posted on his personal blog in response to the class warfare issue “I am not picking sides in this, but I believe such a “war” can be justified, and indeed ultimately is inevitable.”

It seems the administrations believes there is a war. I also find it pertinent to note that he also goes on to quote Karl Marx. Not surprising.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk I agreed there is a war. That reference seems a particularly poor one if you with to cliam is doesn’t exist. The Karl Marx reference is beneath even your partisan rhetoric. It smacks of claiming that anyone who uses the word, “forward” is clearly a commie. Right out of Joe McCarthy’s putrid playbook.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

I couldn’t care less about his ‘Forward’ campaign. You seem obsessed but I am not. The comment about Marx is directly aimed at his statement about class warfare. Marx may not of invented class warfare but he certainly promoted it. And not just verbal warfare but the real swords and pitchforks kind. I find it disturbing for Obama’s advisers to be using that kind of rhetoric.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk You are not obsessed. Riiiiight. Marx certainly did promote class warfare. The current GOP has just found out how to one-up him. The winners and loosers over the last 10 years of trickle down economics make that abundantly clear.

I have asked you on MANY occasions how great the income and wealth disparity in the US must get before you think the richest 1% have enough. You have never even acknowledged that I asked that, much less given an answer Trickle down has driven the top 1% from controlling 25% of the nation’s financial wealth to 42%.

So one more time. Must the top 1% have 50%? Will 60% be enough. Is it 80%? Will it be unfair and class warfare on the part of the middle class and poor until the top 1% have it all? How badly do the “warriors” have to get raped and pillaged before you are happy that war is no longer necessary?

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

Well let’s see. In Marx’s dream world nobody owns anything. It’s all provided by the state. The 1% have nothing and the 99% have nothing. Probably not the best scenario. In most dictatorships the dictator has everything. Probably not the best scenario either. But in between those extremes you find people with varying degrees of ambition or talent or luck that propel them to varying levels of success. With that success they will acquire very different things. I don’t really care what they acquire. The 1% you all so desperately despise is an ever changing group. The millionaire of yesterday becomes the hundredaire of tomorrow. I don’t believe his success or failure really affects me.

If Trump buys a building in NYC for a $million, holds for it for a few years and sells it for a $billion, he made a ton of money. But I don’t care. I just can’t buy into this argument that because he was wise enough to buy it, he doesn’t deserve the profit. We should take it away because he has too much. Hell, it was the same building, on the same lot, how does that diminish anything I have or hope to have?

I can sympathize with the guy that takes out $100K student loan to get himself a liberal arts degree with the intention of saving the world and then winds up working at McDonald’s. But do we need to take the money from Trump to give to him. Maybe we could fund a hundred of those poor schleps with liberal arts degrees, put them in a room and let them do liberal arts stuff. Make Trump pay for it because they certainly won’t be producing anything. I don’t mean to make fun of liberal arts but that’s the degree you get when you can’t think of anything useful to do.

Anyway, I’m rambling. Your question is the same question asked by pundits all the time. How much is too much. How much should a person be able to keep of their own wages. How much of my labor belongs to me and how much belongs to the government. I have no problem with the graduated tax scale (personally I’d go a different route) but it is what we have. When you try to cap earnings, you deter ambition. And quite frankly the definition of rich by this administration is ridiculous. I can’t make anyone rich or I’d be rich myself. So how much is enough is above my pay grade.

monorob's avatar

@Fly

In 2011, Walmart paid 7.9 billion in taxes (32.6% tax bracket).

How much tax return do your partisan sites claim Walmart got back in 2011?

janbb's avatar

Is it too late to break out the popcorn?

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Who said anything about the government handing out everything? I expect people to but their own flatscreen TV and pay their own cable bill. And if I’m paying, they sure as Hell ain’t eating Filet Mignon; they’re getting hamburger meat. Give the minimum and a chance, and let them earn the luxuries.

Cruiser's avatar

@jerv Sorry but that made me laugh, cringe and cry. My friends daughter is a single mom living with the sperm daddy who makes $40,000/yr. and bought a nice new flat screen with the welfare check she gets every month for being an unemployed single mom who also has a smartphone and all the other nifty toys I don’t even have and actually made the comment over how her daddy must be proud of just how well they are doing.

jerv's avatar

@Cruiser My wife and I combined make about $40k/yr; maybe we should get on welfare so that we don’t have to pay the bill on our smartphones :D

Fly's avatar

@Jaxk Must you take everything to an extreme? I specifically said that much of class warfare is myth, which is, once again, true. There are certainly elements of truth to it, but much of the controversy surrounding “class warfare” is, in fact, myth.

monorob's avatar

Progressive taxation is blatant class warfare. It takes a class of people (rich) and puts a different tax law on them. This isn’t any different than charging a rich person $1 million for an apple because he makes more. The argument being that the person makes more so (s)he can afford/should pay more.

On the other side, Tax loopholes and subsidies is also blatant class warfare too, but a fair counter point as long as progressive taxation exists.

Jaxk's avatar

@Fly

Wow, I’m not sure I see the subtleties in class warfare. There’s certainly nothing subtle about Obama. I’m pretty simple. It seems he’s either pitting the classes against each other or he’s not. If you point is that he hasn’t run anyone through with a broadsword yet, I’ll give that point. But it’s still early in the campaign. Otherwise I have no idea what myths you claim are or are not facts.

jerv's avatar

@monorob Consumption-based taxation is also blatant class warfare in that it makes life far more expensive for low-earners but doesn’t even touch the upper tiers. Flat taxation runs into the same problem unless you allow a certain amount of exemption, but once you introduce exemptions, you open the opportunity for the system to be gamed.

The top tiers have all sorts of ways to hide their money, so their base tax rate has to be unnaturally high to compensate. The lower tiers make too little to tax unless you are willing to either give them something back in order to pay for their food and shelter or are willing to violate the UDHR in ways that you only see in corrupt regimes and impoverished Third World nations.

That means that the real class warfare is against the middle class; guess who pays the taxes that the others dodge? Guess who gives the largest share of our income to Uncle Sam? That’s right; the people rich enough to pay taxes but not rich enough to buy a loophole to shelter our money.

However, there is one key difference; going after rich people hurts their prosperity, but rarely endangers their very survival. Taking an extra million from Warren Buffet won’t cause him to starve on the streets the way taking an extra thousand would for millions of Americans.

So, which would you rather deal with, unfair taxation, excessive government spending on subsidizing the poor, or us joining parts of Africa and India? Tough call, but I personally would prefer unfair taxation; that allows for the possibility of smaller government, and fewer people would suffer (or die).

@Jaxk Politicians on both sides are good at obfuscation. The more people hate your enemies, the less they hate you. Of course, neither side is innocent on that one; look at the hatred towards Mexicans, Atheists, Socialists, and such.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

C’mon, you know better than that. If a Mexican breaks into my house, I don’t hate him because he’s Mexican, I hate him for breaking into my house. I feel the same way about my country. Don’t break in. We allow a million aliens into the country legally every year. More than all other countries combined. No one is objecting to immigration, we just don’t like the break ins. Atheists aren’t disliked because they’re atheists. They’re disliked because they’re assholes. Stop being an asshole and no one will care about your religious or lack of religious beliefs. Socialists are a pure issues debate. What I want for my country is contrary to what they want. Irreconcilable differences politically. None of these equate to class warfare. IMHO

monorob's avatar

@jerv,

The rich have the ability to hide their money because of the loopholes. The loopholes are tools to fight back against the unfair progressive taxation. If you close the loopholes and keep the progressive taxation than the wealthy simply leave the country to a more free-market environment.

For example, in another thread, others and I pointed out that as of 2000 there have been more than 400,000 wealthy french citizens leaving France to Britain, Luxembourg, Switzerland, North America, and Brussels to avoid the high progressive taxation. In 2006, when the wealth tax was passed, 843 left the first year which took away 2.8 billion. The following years thousands upon thousands fled to Britain and other places. France doesn’t have loopholes like we do.

And now look at the new Socialist president elected in France who promises a 75% bracket for the wealthy. For the past 6 months the wealthy have been leaving to the same locations mentioned above and now that its official, it’s rapidly increasing.

Even in the U.S, despite the loopholes, a lot of our Corporations have been going to Hong Kong for the same reasons as the wealthy french. Currently, Hong Kong is the most deregulated and low tax environment in the world and has been for like 18 years in a row.

Also, as was pointed out in the other thread, for 7 years in a row Texas has been ranked the best place to do business while California and New York were ranked the worst place to do business. What separates the two? Texas emulates Hong Kong. A deregulated environment with no state income tax as oppose to California which is highly regulated and has high taxes. In California, 3.9–5.4 businesses leave per week.

As you can see, you’re not going to win this battle against the rich. Just to mention, Hong Kong has a flat tax of 15% with no loopholes, and some states have no income or sales tax and very low property tax. Alaska, for example.

Note that most Corporations in the U.S pay taxes in full (couldn’t pull-off all the loopholes) as I gave an example with Wal-Mart. They nearly paid the full 35% Corporate tax bracket.

In short, progressive taxation = counter productive.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk I was referring to Arizona, Santorum, and the fact that polarization has intensified from ideological debate to ideological warfare. You are correct that those are not class warfare between rich and poor as has been discussed elsewhere, but it is warfare between a different set of classes,

@monorob Look at China’s record on the environment and human rights. That is your idol?

I moved from NH (no income or sales tax but high property taxes) to WA (no income tax, absurd sales tax (9.5% in King and Snohomish counties), haven’t checked property taxes) and trust me, each has their own problems. NH has a ridiculous cost of living mostly due to property taxes while WA… let’s just say that there are always downsides. Of course, those only affect “the little people”, so who cares, right?

Also note that the alternative taxation schemes are also counter-productive, if not outright harmful, just in different ways. As always, it’s a choice between the least of all evils. With taxes, it’s all about who you hurt and how you spread it around. Again, I prefer to spread the pain in a way that leads to the fewest people living in squalor and starving to death even if that means that a few people can only afford six mansions instead of seven. I have nothing against rich people, nor do I wish to penalize success, but I would rather steal from them than bring actual physical harm to a far larger group.

But if you want to really solve the issue, how about ditching the trickle-down theory that was discredited over a century ago, letting arising tide lift all boats, and spreading the prosperity of recent years to push people like me into higher tax brackets.

Would you rather:

1) Have many living on the government dime and others scraping by, barely surviving and earning too little to pay taxes, thus shifting the tax burden upwards.

2) More people living self-sufficiently enough to reduce the government’s need for revenue, working people getting their share of the rewards and thus both more able to pay taxes, better able to spend (more demand for goods and services, thus more need for people to produce said goods/services, therefore lower unemployment), and more likely/able to invest.

One answer leads to Third World status, the other is something we haven’t tried yet because some feel that it is unfair for money to go anywhere except upwards.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk You still won’t answer my question. The answer doesn’t require paragraph upon paragraph about the ideas of Karl Marx. I’m asking you for a simple number. It’s going to be somewhere between 0 and 100. So what number do you think works best for the nation?

@monorob You claim that progressive taxation = counter productive. Please explain, then, why the longest and largest sustained growth in GDP in all of US History occurred when taxes were the most progressive, and the stagnation we have seen over the past 30 years began when we made taxes much more regressive. This is factoring for inflation, moving the GDP curve into constant dollars.

monorob's avatar

China is 1 country with two different governing systems which is why I specifically only mentioned Hong Kong since it emulates social and economic freedom, not communism. Three points on environment. The first is that environmental issues are global. Secondly, according to the recent news and leaks, all this global warming talk is a sham. 1000 private emails of scientists were leaked two years ago on the internet and another 5000 emails leaked last year. In the emails, new package appears to show systematic suppression of evidence, and even publication of reports that scientists knew to to be based on flawed approaches. And not only do the emails paint a picture of scientists manipulating data, government employees at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are also implicated

In addition to that, Global warming started over 100 years ago’: New temperature comparisons using ocean-going robots suggest climate change began much earlier than previously thought

The third point (assuming environmental damage) can easily be resolved by having the government set proper parameters on a Corporations private property. Pollutants would have to be contained on the private property or else they face the consequences. This would force companies to rethink their methods on how to produce a quality product without harming the environment or anyone else’s boundaries. You save hundreds of billions of dollars in regulation spending with this method.

Hong Kong doesn’t have human right violations. It has very similar social freedoms as us and far better economic freedoms.

As I mentioned in the previous reply, Alaska should be good for you. No sale or income tax and nearly non-existent property taxes. Your only burden will be on the federal level. Yes, it does have a downside, the state isn’t as business friendly (overly regulated). At least 30 other are ranked better.

I think you missed my point. Even If you end up setting up the tax system the way you want it to be, in the end you still won’t get it. You will be stuck in the same position, actually, even worse off. You can close the loopholes and keep the progressive tax, but then you won’t have any wealthy people to progressively tax because they’re going to leave, like they did in France and here in the America. State level too (California). The only way you’re going to get them to stay is by being competitive with the low taxes and deregulation (or offer all the loopholes like we have now).

The trickle-down effect is garbage, but because there is progressive taxation in this country, the trickle effect is a good method for the rich to fight back against progressive taxation.

ETpro's avatar

@monorob You may finally top @Jaxk at not responding to a comment, but rather launching into a discussion of unrelated “facts”. What does global warming have to do with this? But at the risk of veering off topic, the “exposed” email faux controversy has been fully debunked. What sounded to a layman like tweaking data was nothing more than scientific jargon. No data was tweaked, and the data that was finally presented included only the most conservative data points. Those under discussion were excluded form the final report.

As to Hong Kong. You set up a tiny city state with a population of about 7 million. Give it a fantastic natural deep harbor and designate it as the financial gateway to 1.2 billion people. Wonder of wonders! It prospers. Comparing Hong Kong to the USA, which is still the world’s largest economy and has a population of 330,000,000 people, is like comparing an apple not to an orange, but to a corn field.

Now, to that actual point, progressive versus regressive taxation. We already ran this experiment so there is no need to dream up what happens. We made PLENTY of millionaires from the end of the Depression till the end of fairness. It was called the post-war boom. It built a vast number of fortunes, and the world’s first large middle class. If you factor for inflation, we made more millionaires before Reagan and the end of fairness than after. What we are doing now isn’t making lots of new millionaires, it is further enriching the existing millionaires and VASTLY enriching the billionaires. We are on track to become a banana republic, with all the third world misery that implies. Regressive taxation is the way to the banana republic, and the more regressive, the faster you get there.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro The sad part is that I saw our becoming a Third World nation coming over thirty years ago and for pretty much the same reasons it’s happening now; it’s even sadder when you consider that I am still a few years shy of 40 :/

monorob's avatar

@ETpro,

It was related if you paid attention. He was talking about environmental damage, I assumed global warming.

Debunked by who-where-how? And how do you explain the second link which new data points to global warming occurring 100 years ago?

Population has nothing to do with it. You can see the same phenomena in other countries, such as Australia (population 23 million) or Canada (population 35 million) or look at it on a state level which is why I mentioned Texas and California.

I’ll talk to you about post-world-war-II economic conditions in America later on. I just wanted to finish up with @jerv right now.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro It’s not his fault I distracted him.

ETpro's avatar

@monorob :Here’s a reference”:http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/debunking-misinformation-stolen-emails-climategate.html on the stolen emails.

Climate science is complex. It does not lend itself to knee-jerk analysis. The Earth went through a Little Ice Age form the 15th through the 19th centuries. That ended circa 1850. The natural thermostat of the Earth kicked in, and temperatures began to rise back to those more normal for an Interglacial, which we are in. So it is only reasonable to expect that temperatures began to warm from 1850 forward. What isn’t normal is man now adding 26 gigatonnes of CO2 per year to the atmosphere. At current levels, it takes 17 to 20 years for half of this CO2 to be reabsorbed on Earth. But we keep adding 26 gigatonnes of CO2 per year more every single year. It doesn’t require a raft of degrees to see that this created an imbalance which the Earth was never designed to self correct. In fact, MIT now projects that if we do not deal with CO2 emissions, Earth’s average temperature will increase by 41.18 °F or 5.1 °C That level of warming would lead to massive extinctions, enormous sea level rise, mass migrations and starvation on a global scale.

There is a vast array of disinformation and junk science on the web, and in political circles that are funded by oil, coal and gas because the fossil fuel industry nets $40 trillion per year. What you are seeing is a measure of how many people are willing to mortgage their own children’s future for more time at the tasty feeding trough. But Big Tobacco already demonstrated that principle.

monorob's avatar

Ok, fair enough. Well I explained to jerv my solution on how to avoid environmental damage. The answer isn’t through regulations, but property rights.

ETpro's avatar

@monorob I am very open to a issues-driven debate on how to solve the problem of pollution. As a small-business owner, I am definitely not anti business. But having lived in LA when the air there was often dangerous to breathe, and people died in the streets, I amdefinitely committed to a clean environment.

monorob's avatar

Ok, I’m going to sleep.

The short and simple answer for the post-war boom is that no one paid those tax brackets, not even close. There were a lot more loopholes and especially deductions during that time than we have now. Furthermore, people don’t understand how the marginal tax bracket worked. Short Explanation on Marginal Tax In addition, Roosevelt died and the conservative dominated congress at that time rejected a lot of the regulations demanded by Keynesian policy such as various price controls. Hence you ended up having a deregulated market with no one paying those high progressive tax brackets.

Also, look at it in a different light. On top of my answer, ask yourself why is it that the wealthy, according to you, after 30 years of tolerating those high progressive taxes have ever since become vehemently intolerant of progressive taxation? From the end of that period till modern day, wealthy people/Corporations are constantly running away, battling, and exploiting progressive taxation.

Doesn’t make much sense, does it? To have such an extreme opposition in after 30 years? That is because they never paid those rates.

jerv's avatar

I think part of the problem is that the taxation progresses wrong. Those earning only $400k/yr aretested the same as those earning $40m/yr, so it isn’t really progressive. In fact, i feel that the merely well-off get a bad rep because they are perceived as no different from the types of people that actually do evade taxes and such. I actually feel sorry for those in the mid-six-figure range, especially since they bear the brunt of the tax burden as well since their income is often earned and thus taxed at more than double the rate of long-term capital gains, the major source of income for the truly wealthy.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

I know your intention is to nail me with some number. Unfortunately, I can’t define the problem. I don’t know how your number is measured nor what it means. I have no idea if the number means we’re shifting our wealth to the top or if we’re shifting our wealth out of the country. For instance the balance of trade has been eating us alive. Is that really the problem and what your looking at only a symptom?

I believe you have a solution in mind and are looking for a problem to use it on. You want me to confirm the problem but I can’t do that.

Ron_C's avatar

If you are worried about the balance of trade, the fact that wealth trickles up not down, and that the bulk of our taxation falls on the middle class and small business then you seriously need to oppose “free trade” pacts, the failure of government to prosecute monopolies, re-institute tariff laws, reduce our dependence on the military to project our power instead of diplomacy, stop the attack on the Post Offices, and stop the privatization of public utilities, prisons, and military functions.

If you support any of the above you are cutting your own throat and speeding the demise of democracy in the United States.

Jaxk's avatar

The lion’s share of our trade problem is oil. The free trade agreements don’t affect that.

Ron_C's avatar

@Jaxk I just looked at the trade data from the department of commerce and we have a positive balance in fuel oil, natural gas and other products. We have been for the past couple of years a net exporter of oil products and an exporter of food oil products also.

Jaxk's avatar

@Ron_C

We import about 11,000,000 barrels per day of crude oil. That works out to about $400 billion per year we are shipping out of the country for oil. Our balance of trade deficit is $550 billion. Most of that is oil.

ETpro's avatar

@monorob Sorry, but these things aren’t subject to idle conjecture. THey are a matter of public record. In 1980, the US tax code was about 22.000 pages long In 2010, it was 71,684 pages long. Tons of loopholes have been ADDED since 1980, not taken away.

The top marginal rate applies only to income over a cutoff point, which fluctuated over the post war boom at between $200.000 and $400,000. In 1960, the top marginal rate of 91% only applied to income in excess of $400,000 per year. $400,000 1960 dollars would equate to $2,911,228.72 2010 dollars. So by today’s standards, those top marginal rates didn’t even apply to people who earn $1,000,000 per year today. What they did do quite effectively is prevent the rapid concentration of extreme wealth in the hands of a small number or already fabulously wealthy people. They prevented oligarchy. They built the strongest middle class the world has ever seen. We are now in the process of dismantling that middle class so multimillionaires and billionaires can have lots more money. In my mind, this is a very bad idea.

@Jaxk Thank you for at least acknowledging that I’ve been asking you this question. I agree our trade imbalance makes the wealth disparity problem worse. It impacts low and middle income families far more than it does the very wealthy, because those of modest means must spend most of what they earn, thus funding the trade imbalance heavily as a percentage of their gross income. A hedge fund manager with an income (with bonus) of $4 billion per year can get by like a monarch just spending 1/100th of 1% ($4 million for the bare necessities) of his annual income on imported goods. If he invests in long term capital gains and keeps his profits in off-shore accounts that are tax sheltered, the balance of trade has virtually no impact on him.

The reason I keep coming back to the income inequality numbers is that they are well on their way to being what the typical banana republic is. The wealthiest 1% owned 40% of the US financial wealth in 1929, just before the Great Depression. The Gilded Age and massively leveraged casino capitalism had vastly broadened the gulf between the wealthiest 1% and the other 99%. The Great Depression leveled that, because the taxpayers of that day did not bail out the Goldman Sachs’ of that day. We let the banks fail. Thanks to doing that, we got a worldwide depression that was so painful and frightening it lead to the rise of Fascism in Europe and 60 million people dying in WWII, many at the hands of their own government.

We’re actually worse than that now. The wealthiest 1% hold 42.7% of the nation’s wealth, and the curve is heading straight up. Another round of huge tax cuts for the rich, coupled with reduced investment in research, infrastructure, and programs to support and educate the poor is not likely to make that inequality get better. It will make it get far worse. No amount of discussion of trade imbalances. global warming, or how great Hong Kong is doing will change that. Where Chairman Ryan, Mitt Romney and the GOP want to take us is where Haiti already is. I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to leave a banana republic for my children and grandchildren.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

There is an article on income inequlity for the OECD countries. It seems they are all going up except Greec and Turkey. Those two are headed down. I’m not sure we want to be Greece.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk I am concerned that the disparity is rising around the world. But the average gini index in all OECD countries is 316 and in the US it is .45 and rising rapidly. In Haiti, it is .7.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk I am sure we don’t want to be Mexico.

chelle21689's avatar

lost me after about 6 paragraphs

ETpro's avatar

@ETpro You idiot. You wrote 316 and meant .316 instead. I don’t know how I manage to live with you.

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