14 January

Honestly, folks, it’s a lot like 13 Jan, just with a cleaner condo.  But I still haven’t spent stupid money on anything.  I picked up some more milk on the way home from the grocery yesterday.  The stock market went down again, and I didn’t bother to sell the stock yet.  I guess I’m operating under the assumption there will be another meaningful rally in the next 3 months… but there isn’t any decent evidence of that.  It’s just a hope.  Still haven’t drank anything.  It’s nice to wake up in the morning and just feel normal.

the $1.6B dollar was drawn last night.  I didn’t have a ticket.  3 people won.  There will be another huge jackpot before too long…

This doesn’t matter just because the math is so off. In an era of deepening income inequality, those people in the top 5 percent who are being classified as middle class are pulling further away from the rest of us. Americans at the bottom or in the middle have experienced five years of falling or stagnating income; those in the top 5 percent have generally seen their incomes increase. Between 1967 and 2014, median household income went up by $9,400 while those 5 percenters are now making $88,800 more, all adjusted for inflation.

A policy response should give those who are sliding backward a hand up, most likely funded by the people who are doing so well. But under Mrs. Clinton’s pledge, some of the well off won’t be called on to help out, and are in fact lumped in for receiving a boost. (I should note that my spouse works on the technology team for the Clinton campaign, but is not involved in policy.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/28/opinion/campaign-stops/250000-a-year-is-not-middle-class.html

Does giving people more money help them earn more money?  Is giving people money an incentive for them to earn more… or just spend more?

Originally, income taxes were only on the super rich.

Congress enacted an income tax in October 1913 as part of the Revenue Act of 1913, levying a 1% tax on net personal incomes above $3,000, with a 6% surtax on incomes above $500,000. By 1918, the top rate of the income tax was increased to 77% (on income over $1,000,000, equivalent of 15,300,000 in 2012 dollars[20]) to finance World War I. The average rate for the rich however, was only 15%.[21] The top marginal tax rate was reduced to 58% in 1922, to 25% in 1925 and finally to 24% in 1929. In 1932 the top marginal tax rate was increased to 63% during the Great Depression and steadily increased, reaching 94% (on all income over $200,000, equivalent of 2,500,000 in 2012 dollars[22])in 1945. During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments.[23]

But the money is basically a drug, and the government keeps clawing for more and more.  The public never would have approved an income tax at the current tax rates.  But time and payroll withholding has allowed them to boil the frog.

Person A makes $50k.  Person B makes $100k.  Those numbers aren’t the same!  So we must take person B’s money and give it to person A!

Nevermind that Person A might be less motivated to earn money, or they might be younger, with less experience.  Because middle class is defined by an earning and (presumed) spending level, no attention is ever paid to the fact that a family making $50k can live quite well… if they paid attention to efficiently spending the money.

Bryce Covert, the author of the article, is an white female who graduated with an English degree from Brown.  What are the chances she’s from a well off family and didn’t feel the pressure to earn?  Is her problem, as an English major, that she’s not being given my money?  Or is it that she chose a career of writing whiney articles instead of creating more efficient solar panels?  Should we be taking money from solar panel engineers and giving it to whining English majors?

The government already takes about half the money I earn.  How is the government pressuring people to work harder?  More efficiently?  Or is the government’s only role to undercut motivation with free stuff?  It’s certainly easier to get elected offering people “free” money than telling them to work harder and spend less.

 

 

 

 

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