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Poverty Rate Rises to 12.7 Percent

Poverty Health Care 2005

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#21 Spectacles

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 05:36 PM

Yep, I just want to be real clear that I wasn't intending to demonize the wealthy by pointing out that they've done quite well. It's true that they have. It's also true that some of the coolest people I've ever known are rich. :)

And I don't object to people's becoming rich. Not at all. My beef is that the working class and middle class are increasingly becoming squeezed. Real wages are stagnant--or declining in some sectors. Many of the new jobs created in this recovery are low-paying jobs. Essentially, it seems to my pessimistic eye, we're seeing the evolution of an economy in which American workers are competing globally with lower-wage workers for jobs. This is great for business because it means profits increase. This is bad for working/middle-class folks.

Every semester, I have my students write a really easy essay at the beginning of the term just to give me a sense of their writing ability. The topic I gave this time was "write about something that worries you." I was struck by the number of students who worried about their fathers because they worked two jobs. Their mothers work, too, of course. But their fathers had low-wage jobs and, being "breadwinners"  therefore had to work sixty to eighty hours a week. One girl said her dad works from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., comes home for an hour and then goes to his next job from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A boy wrote about his dad's schedule, which was similar, and said that he saw his father on Thursday afternoons. The rest of the time, his father was at work.

So, having read that, the bit about the decline in head-of-household wages stood out to me. With wages stagnant or declining and prices increasing, real income is down. So I guess more folks are working two jobs, though I haven't seen the figures and would be interested if anyone comes across any.

And it's also true that in this economy, those with wealth already have been able to grow it quite well. Stating that isn't demonizing them. It's just that, it seems to me, policies have stimulated growth of already-existant wealth. But the "trickle-down" hasn't happened outside the creation of lower-wage jobs.
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#22 FnlPrblm

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 08:07 PM

In reaction to Spects. first article:  We're (MO) ONLY fourth!  YAY! :)  :hehe:

No-Child-Left-Behind doesn't work, funded or not.  My sister did a massive college research paper on it.

Just a few throw outs here (I am in no way taking sides either way).

The last statistic I had heard was 68% of those in the wealthy brackett had gained it through inheritance.  20~% had gained it in stocks and investmets.  The other 12~% gained it through other means (building up a company and/or simply working).

Don't forget tax-shelters too.  This limits the amount of taxable/tangable money people have.
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#23 Anarch

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 12:53 AM

Godeskian, on Aug 31 2005, 09:27 PM, said:

Yes, they have dared and they have won, and as a 'reward' they get to bleed for it.

FWIW, effective tax rates -- that is, the percentage of total income actually paid in taxes -- are roughly constant across all incomes, peaking (and it's been a while since I looked at the numbers so these numbers are ballpark) in the 45k income bracket at around 21% and decreasing to around 16% (?) in the upper income brackets.  Ain't no-one "bleeding" in the way you're suggesting.

#24 eloisel

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 12:10 PM

With all the depressing news and my current situation with change in benefits (much higher health insurance costs) I had to do a check on my finances.  My bills are current again.  Yeah.  My house is worth much more than I paid for it.  Yeah.  My employment 401k and retirement accounts are doing very well.  Yeah.  And my separate stock portfolio is doing most excellent.  Yeah and yeah.  My debt is less than my assets.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  I'm not rich and I can't retire yet.  Having an illness requiring hospitalization scares the poop out of me.  Other than that, I'm doing better than I thought.

#25 Natolii

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:04 AM

Apparently there is a bill in Congress now to Repeal the Estate Tax...
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#26 eloisel

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:10 AM

Natolii, on Sep 3 2005, 02:04 PM, said:

Apparently there is a bill in Congress now to Repeal the Estate Tax...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That will be good news for my inheritor, might actually be something left of my estate for her to inherit.

#27 Spectacles

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:49 AM

I heard a rightwing talk jock talking about the need to repeal the estate tax so that middle class Americans and family farmers can pass along what they've earned to their children without giving a bite to the federal government. Well, that sounds good until you find out that the estate tax does not affect anyone below the top 2%. In other words, this commentator was either misinformed or deliberately misinforming his listeners.

http://www.irs.gov/b...=108143,00.html

Quote

...only total taxable estates and lifetime gifts that exceed $1,000,000 will actually have to pay tax. In its current form, the estate tax only affects the wealthiest 2% of all Americans.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#28 eloisel

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:54 AM

Spectacles, on Sep 3 2005, 02:49 PM, said:

I heard a rightwing talk jock talking about the need to repeal the estate tax so that middle class Americans and family farmers can pass along what they've earned to their children without giving a bite to the federal government. Well, that sounds good until you find out that the estate tax does not affect anyone below the top 2%. In other words, this commentator was either misinformed or deliberately misinforming his listeners.

http://www.irs.gov/b...=108143,00.html

Quote

...only total taxable estates and lifetime gifts that exceed $1,000,000 will actually have to pay tax. In its current form, the estate tax only affects the wealthiest 2% of all Americans.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, then the news is still good for my inheritor.  While I'm worth considerably more dead than I am alive, I still wouldn't be worth a million or more so no taxes on my estate.  Time to rejoice!

But a question, why is it okay to tax the wealthy and not the poor on what they leave their children?

#29 Godeskian

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:55 AM

Haven't you heard? The wealthy are evil crooks. :rolleyes:

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#30 Spectacles

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:58 AM

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Gode: Haven't you heard? The wealthy are evil crooks. :rolleyes:

Wow. Did I say that? I must need another cup of coffee.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#31 eloisel

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:00 AM

Godeskian, on Sep 3 2005, 02:55 PM, said:

Haven't you heard? The wealthy are evil crooks. :rolleyes:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Then, I shall aspire to be an evil crook.  Considering I lean more to the right, I'm already evil, and supposedly crooked too.  Time to rejoice again.  Wealth must just be right around the corner for me!!  Woo Hoo!!

#32 Godeskian

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:01 AM

Spectacles, on Sep 3 2005, 03:58 PM, said:

Quote

Gode: Haven't you heard? The wealthy are evil crooks. :rolleyes:

Wow. Did I say that? I must need another cup of coffee.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Nah, you didn't say that. It's just an attitude I find depressingly common.

Defy Gravity!


The Doctor: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles... and that's a theory. Nine hundred years and I've never seen one yet, but this will do me.


#33 Godeskian

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:02 AM

eloisel, on Sep 3 2005, 04:00 PM, said:

Godeskian, on Sep 3 2005, 02:55 PM, said:

Haven't you heard? The wealthy are evil crooks. :rolleyes:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Then, I shall aspire to be an evil crook.  Considering I lean more to the right, I'm already evil, and supposedly crooked too.  Time to rejoice again.  Wealth must just be right around the corner for me!!  Woo Hoo!!

You know how it goes

Knowledge is power
Power corrupts
Study hard, be evil

(cheerfully stolen from someone elses sig)

Defy Gravity!


The Doctor: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles... and that's a theory. Nine hundred years and I've never seen one yet, but this will do me.


#34 eloisel

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:02 AM

Spectacles, on Sep 3 2005, 02:58 PM, said:

Quote

Gode: Haven't you heard? The wealthy are evil crooks. :rolleyes:

Wow. Did I say that? I must need another cup of coffee.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I know for certain I need another cup of coffee.  Been up all night doing the good deeds and now I can't sleep because it is freaking daylight!  Another cup of caffeing and I ought to be bouncing off the walls real good.  Maybe I'll go out and mow the yard, trim the bushes, trim the edges, sweep the drives, wash down the porch and repot all the plants, clean out the dog kennel, and repaint the shed.

#35 Spectacles

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:03 AM

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Eloisel: But a question, why is it okay to tax the wealthy and not the poor on what they leave their children?

I think it goes back to an old American notion that inherited privilege isn't a good thing. Not saying I agree or disagree, but that's part of the reasoning behind it. That's what I've read echoed by billionaires who actually oppose repealing the estate tax, especially these days considering we have a massive national debt, a war--and now we can add to that the worst natural disaster this country has faced in many, many years if not ever.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#36 eloisel

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:04 AM

Godeskian, on Sep 3 2005, 03:02 PM, said:

You know how it goes

Knowledge is power
Power corrupts
Study hard, be evil

(cheerfully stolen from someone elses sig)
Ha, ha, ha, ha ...
ha, ha, ha ....

I'll remember that when my boss enrolls me in another paralegal class.  Do they want me sweet and compliant (that is sarcasm) or evil?

#37 Godeskian

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:06 AM

Spectacles, on Sep 3 2005, 04:03 PM, said:

That's what I've read echoed by billionaires who actually oppose repealing the estate tax, especially these days considering we have a massive national debt, a war--and now we can add to that the worst natural disaster this country has faced in many, many years if not ever.

Most rich peopel I know don't mind paying taxes, they don't mind doing their part for society, both in taxes and charity, but they would be less than human if they didn't resent being gouged.

And I apologise for my snark, it wasn't intended towards you.

Defy Gravity!


The Doctor: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles... and that's a theory. Nine hundred years and I've never seen one yet, but this will do me.


#38 Spectacles

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:11 AM

Quote

Gode: And I apologise for my snark, it wasn't intended towards you.

Apology accepted and much appreciated. :)
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#39 eloisel

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:29 AM

I do find the article interesting in that it points out how many wealthy people do not pay income taxes while not reporting the number of poor people who also do not pay income taxes.  

Just a note, 27 cents on each dollar of income for a person with a $200,000 income is a $54,000 income tax bill.    This group of income earners accounted for 53.5% of all income taxes paid by Americans.  This is also a group that is least likely to benefit from many of the programs their tax dollars pay for.  Hmmm... is that anything akin to taxation without representation?

#40 Natolii

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:32 AM

Considering that when I was working, 1/3 of my paycheck went to Taxes, it will be shifting the tax burden unto the backs of those that can ill-afford it to begin with.

Think about that for a moment.

$1 Trillion dollars shifted unto the backs over everyone else.

And I am proof that the latest Unemployment figures are bogus... I'm one of those that has fallen through the cracks because I cannot collect unemployment. So in order to make sure I have food on the table, I have to apply for Welfare until I find a job...

I am currently living at the opposite end of the spectrum and let me tell you it SUCKS!
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