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December 30th, 2011, 13:08
The local newspaper comes up with an interesting look on the matter :

Because being a Senator and doing an election campaign costs very, very, very much money, the possibility is higher that rich people become Senators - because poor ones simply wouldn't be able to do an election campaign simply because of the horrendous costs.

And because the higher likeliness that richer persons actually succeed in election campaigns simply becuse of the horrendous costs - rthe result of this is that Senators are - in a tendency - rather rich people.

And this is the perfect explanation of something I have suspected for a long time now :

Why is the congress against taxing of richer people ?

Because these higher taxes would affect the Senators themselves !

They have a reason to be against taxes affecting higher incomes. A hard reason.
Because taxes of higher incomes would affect the Senators themselves - and that would mean losses. Decline of their income.

Now, the most cynical take on this is, that the American Congress has become a "Selbstbedienungsladen", s we say here, a "self-service shop".

The Washington Post and one Peter Schweizer are cited in the article, with Schweizer being cited (fropm a book he has apparingly written) that Senators often use their inside knowledge of upcoming laws (which THEY decide upon) to gain profits from speculations with stock.

If this is true (and I believe it could be very true, because in other nations there are similar things going on), then this reminds me of the structures of Mafia. Only working for themselves, exploiting holes in the system(s) for their favour(s), forgetting about the rest of the population.

It's always the same old story - and here history truly repeats itself - : The upper classes get into the legislation processes which they - slowly, but steadily - twist to work one day into their favour. Not only Berlusconi, or Mugabe or South American Dictators - now, even within out "western countries" ! - But - what makes the corruption within the so-called "western democracies" so much different is that they work much, much, much, much more silently - and implicitely … Through Lobbyists, for example.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 30th, 2011, 18:02
So according to that theory the democrats are against taxing the rich as well?

And I always thought that in the US the elections were predominantly payed by external parties and not by using their own money. I would think that the one who is most convincing to others (or makes the best promises) will get the most money, but to be honest I don't know. I'm sure there is someone else who can shed a light on this.

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December 30th, 2011, 18:13
Major campaigns are definitely run with outside money. Local level candidates often self-fund, but once you get to the big leagues it takes outside money to compete.

There's 2 real reasons why rich folks have better access to running for office. First, campaigns take a lot of time. If you're a working stiff, you don't have as much time to campaign so you're already behind the 8-ball. Second, rich people are socially connected to other rich people. Where does outside money come from? Other rich people. It's certainly easier to convince Thurston and Lovey Howell (and the large corporation they own) to donate to your campaign if you're already on a first name basis with them.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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December 30th, 2011, 19:17
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
So according to that theory the democrats are against taxing the rich as well?

And I always thought that in the US the elections were predominantly payed by external parties and not by using their own money. I would think that the one who is most convincing to others (or makes the best promises) will get the most money, but to be honest I don't know. I'm sure there is someone else who can shed a light on this.
From what I understand, you often spend your own money up front. I had a former boss that spent $1MM of his own cash on a failed Congressional run. Once you get some momentum though, that's when you start getting money from other people. Not that you couldn't start that way, but its a lot harder.

Plus there is the whole thing that once you get a elected, it is very, very easy to start making a lot of money on the side, whether its sitting on the boards of companies, getting access to deals (not necessarily insider type stuff, just exclusive access) or trading on (governmental) inside info, which unfortunately is perfectly legal for them.

So even if you don't start our rich, you can get there very quick.

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December 30th, 2011, 19:35
So you admit that USA is on the fast track to Plutocracy BN?
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December 30th, 2011, 19:44
In many respects, it's been there since day 1, Z. The founding fathers themselves were "gentleman farmers". And that's not just an American phenomenon, either.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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December 30th, 2011, 20:30
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
And that's not just an American phenomenon, either.
That's true enough…
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December 30th, 2011, 21:46
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
So you admit that USA is on the fast track to Plutocracy BN?
Not exactly, though I agree with DTE. The voting public is still made up of massive amounts of morons. The people in the middle are the ones that really get screwed. The rich get taken care of by the politicians because they fund the campaigns. The poor get taken care of just enough to keep them voting for the politicians. Everyone in the middle gets the shaft.

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December 30th, 2011, 22:15
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Everyone in the middle gets the shaft.
And, since the middle seems to be contracting?
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December 30th, 2011, 22:25
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
And, since the middle seems to be contracting?
It's contracting because they get the shaft! When it contracts enough, then the real revolution comes. I hope our politicians are smart enough to realize that, but I'm not that hopeful.

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December 30th, 2011, 22:41
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Because these higher taxes would affect the Senators themselves !
Yes, this is not really a mystery, I believe most voters are aware that the majority of these guys are very wealthy.

And it's not necessarily that higher taxes would affect the Senators, but that these taxes would affect all of the wealthy people who finance their election campaigns.

To some degree, however, lower taxes do result in greater investment.
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December 30th, 2011, 23:11
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
It's contracting because they get the shaft! When it contracts enough, then the real revolution comes. I hope our politicians are smart enough to realize that, but I'm not that hopeful.
Exactly! That's what I was leading to. And, seeing how things stand right now, I am not hopeful about the future either.
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December 31st, 2011, 06:12
I've told y'all before that Grandpa DTE predicted almost 20 years ago that the country was headed for civil war in the next 50 years. He felt that the powder keg would be taxation, with a horribly over-burdened middle class finally revolting against the screw job they got from both the top and the bottom. Y'all seem more excited about income differentials, but in many ways the theme is the same.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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January 2nd, 2012, 13:16
Nah, there will be no civil war at your place. People are amazingly stupid, true, but times have changed for certain parts of the world.

Maybe it will turn to shit for a while, but it will be back in place for pattern repetition eventually. I bet in 5-10 years, people will be scrambling for air-money again - because a high number is what happiness is all about.
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January 2nd, 2012, 13:25
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
with a horribly over-burdened middle class
Personally, I'd say the "bottom" will be in it, too.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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January 2nd, 2012, 15:10
@Alrik: The "bottom" is owned by the nanny state. They have no reason to rock the boat outside of a general penchant for mayhem.

@DArt: There's got to be some financial source for the gravy train. We've tried consumer credit already, and Uncle Sam is out of loot. Whence the well?

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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January 2nd, 2012, 15:20
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
@DArt: There's got to be some financial source for the gravy train. We've tried consumer credit already, and Uncle Sam is out of loot. Whence the well?
The well is as empty as it ever was. That it used to be full of imaginary resources doesn't change that.

Under such conditions, everything can change. It's a matter of consensus - and the "civilized" world will eventually realise that it's better not to die than to hold on to debts that are impossible to pay.

That said, I'm sure we will suffer great losses along the way. I'm naturally kinda annoyed that I have to suffer through "harsh" times because of the stupidity and greed of other people - but the damage to my person and those around me is negligible.

I think what bothers me the most, is that I know people won't understand what's wrong with combining "the free market" with human nature - even after all this shit.
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January 2nd, 2012, 15:39
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The well is as empty as it ever was. That it used to be full of imaginary resources doesn't change that.
Completely agree, but there's still got to be some sort of fiscal delusion to backstop the bacchanal. I understand that you're kinda saying "something will be created" but to have such confidence in your prediction I'd think you'd have to have some general ideas about what "something" might look like.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Under such conditions, everything can change. It's a matter of consensus - and the "civilized" world will eventually realise that it's better not to die than to hold on to debts that are impossible to pay.
The people that run the show would shoulder all the pain in a "wipe the slate" scenerio. I just don't see too many altruists among the hoi poloi and the financiers.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I think what bothers me the most, is that I know people won't understand what's wrong with combining "the free market" with human nature - even after all this shit.
It's all about how you apply free market principles, but global governance is far too diverse and WAY too ham-fisted for that sort of thoughtful policy. And as soon as you bring human nature into the picture, you submarine the whole thing since a whole lot of people (including most of your powerbase) are actually deluded into believing that people are innately good and somehow "above" their basic instincts.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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January 2nd, 2012, 19:42
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
It's contracting because they get the shaft! When it contracts enough, then the real revolution comes. I hope our politicians are smart enough to realize that, but I'm not that hopeful.
I'm doubtful this will happen. The middle will just get smaller and smaller as jobs and wages pay less and less. There's going to be more and more competition for jobs and corporations can afford to cut wages or keep them the same even though cost of living goes up. Sure there will still be some people at "middle class" on salaries but not enough to affect any change.

I guarantee a lot of these people at the Wall Street Occupation are middle class or grew up in the middle class families. Now they are on their own and they don't know what to do. They know something is wrong but not what exactly or how to fix it.

It would be nice if they were possibly a third party that represented not just the middle class but moderates on both sides. I think that might actually work and help at least in the short term. I think moderates would be more willing to compromise and listen to reason that would lead to real problem solving. And you could leave the fringe in the other two parties. It would never happen though.
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January 2nd, 2012, 20:07
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
And as soon as you bring human nature into the picture, you submarine the whole thing since a whole lot of people (including most of your powerbase) are actually deluded into believing that people are innately good and somehow "above" their basic instincts.
To the contrary. I think that "powerbase" still considers that (despite evidence to the contrary) they know exactly what they are doing and are in full control. Could it be an effect of overreliance on think thanks, models and algorithms or is it just wishful thinking? Look at (to use only an American example) Bush's administration Iraq campaign or Obama's administration plans for dealing with financial crisis. There is/was no room for margin of error or for unexpected.
The result is that governmental institutions have reached historically low levels of approval among voters. And rightly so! On the one hand we have Obama picking Geithner and Summers for his financial team and, on the other, we have Republicans dedicating themselves to yank threadbare security net from people in tough times. Is it any wonder that we have "Tea Party" movement on the one side and OWS on the other?
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