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Elephants and Jackasses...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nettdata, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. downndirty

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    I have been to some of the poorest countries on Earth. It scares me how similar their government and ours operates. Also, what is this logic: your life in America sucks, but it could be worse if you were Somalian! How is this an actual comfort or a solution to problems we as a society have?

    Oden, by your logic you would ensure your kids start off the way you did. How does that feel? I mean, ensure that they had exactly the same resource and were forced to make the same choices, the "worked my ass off , made hard choice and went without". Why? What's the benefit there? Fairness? I'm genuinely asking, here.

    Also, your perspective discounts how much of success is blind luck. I don't know about your personally, but there have been dozens of forks in the road that I lucked out by taking/not taking (how many times would your life have unravelled differently if you'd had a DUI in college or knocked someone up at 19?). I have to call bullshit on this "I did it all myself" in 2017. John Galt is fictional, and anyone successful needed help, advice, support or protection along the way. That being true does not detract from your success or accomplishments in any way, but there are legions of people that helped make it POSSIBLE. That's how society works. The fact that you didn't die in childhood attests to the fact that we're improving and our society as a whole is working: safer, smarter, healthier as a whole than any time in our history.

    It's interesting, because in some of the shitholes I've lived in (Honduras, Indonesia for a sample), there WAS free healthcare and free college, or at least dramatically subsidized care/school.

    I agree it's not about higher taxes, that's a hard sell for anyone. It's about more effective government, ensuring that everyone has a fair shot, regardless of race, parents' wealth, or circumstance. Your "bad choice" is at it's heart condescension. You knew how to put a condom on to avoid getting someone knocked up, you knew what degree was going to pay off and you knew how to go out and find a job. Good! But, how did you know those things? It's likely someone took the time to teach you, or help you distinguish between what's really going to help you and what's bullshit. I know plenty of kids who were told "it doesn't matter what degree" because that's what their parents knew. Or kids who were told condoms are 90% effective, so why bother (thanks, abstinence-only education!). I don't know anyone who's a fan of taxes, but I think if you believe the money you spend in taxes is taken out of your pocket, versus a fair price of admission, you'll be resentful. Your "bad choice" was someone else's "I didn't know any better" or someone else's "I didn't HAVE a choice", and at a certain point they shouldn't be damned to poverty because of it.

    My last point is that we know we will have to live together. The more we're in it together, the better. This is true for wages (the people who make enough to live on don't depend on government programs and they BUY WHAT YOU SELL), this is true for health (people who are educated take care of themselves) and it's true for people who believe society helped them. Again, the people who actually contribute less than they receive are an incredibly rare minority, and even they (Warren Buffet, for example) would pay higher taxes than they currently pay. It's a far better bargain to pay your fair share at this point in your life and be taken care of later than skimp and have to clean up the fucking mess we are in. Think about the healthcare costs of the obesity epidemic, the ridiculous amount of work it will take to un-fuck our public education mess (the contentious "argument" over evolution, for example), and the effort in re-developing crime-ridden areas. In other words, paying into a fair and equitable system is a far better investment than balking at taxes and then having to spend MORE on healthcare, education and public safety over time.
     
  2. Jimmy James

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    The old "American poor people are better off than poor people everywhere else" argument. What's the point of bringing this up? To make American poor people feel guilty for not being as skeletal as a Somali? This is no different than pointing out to a black dude that, yes, you're in prison on some bullshit, but at least slavery isn't legal.

    That healthcare is a for-profit business is morally repugnant. That there are executives that get rich on the ability of sick people to pay or not to continue living is fucking awful. That's a start.

    Congratulations on working hard. No snark. My mom did the same thing and had two kids to raise while speaking little to no English for a while. As to the "taxed to death" part of this, I can't help your feelings, but statistically speaking, taxes are at their lowest pretty much in US history. You feel demonized because (I'm assuming ) you are upper-middle class and people in charge want to keep cutting taxes for people like you. The same taxes that help pay for cops, roads, and healthcare for those not fortunate to have ended up like you. When those that are at a lower socio-economic level than you that have to depend on those taxpayer services see that people in your tax bracket are getting tax cuts, golden parachutes and record corporate profits, of course they're going to be pissed. Especially when a guy like Warren Buffett is saying he isn't being taxed enough. Seriously, think about that for a second.

    You scratched your way up, so I'm assuming you know what it's like to have no money. It doesn't at least irritate you that one of the richest people in the fucking world says he doesn't pay enough in taxes? Those same taxes that could have paid for job training, better infrastructure or whatever it is that you could have needed?


    Where are you seeing "all these people"? Are there multitudes of college graduates with student loans and teenage mothers just milling around your house?

    Seriously though, just because you managed to do all of those things you said you did doesn't mean you should have had to have done it. That you already have done it doesn't mean other people should have to do it. Making other people work, what looks to me like a fucking insane amount, for what exactly? Some kind of satisfaction that strangers you will never meet met your nebulous level of work ethic? Or that they suffered like you did? If we all followed that line of thinking, we'd still have children with missing fingers working in factories for bowls of soot-laced gruel.

    There is a deeply fucked up and pervasive thought process among conservatives that poor people take some kind of joy in being shiftless layabouts. Nobody likes being poor. Nobody likes being told that because they are poor, that they matter less than people that have more money. It's really great that you managed to make a comfortable living for yourself. Again, no snark, you are the type of person more people should aspire to be like. But a lot of the people that aspire to be in a place that you are in now are not hetero white dudes that have parents that apparently cared for them. But expecting those people that didn't have your circumstances to do as well as you when deck is stacked more against them than it ever was for you is unrealistic. And blaming them instead of the fucked up system that made it happen in the first place isn't particularly helpful.

    If I were a lawmaker, the extra money I would get out of taxes from the better off, would go towards prevention of our societal ills and not the symptoms. You want less crime? Hire more cops. You want less teenage pregnancy? Teach sex ed in schools that isn't abstinence only and provide free birth control and condoms. You want college graduates with less student loan debt? Provide universal education. All of these cost taxes.

    I'm not naive enough to believe that every government program works. However, people and corporations are sitting on billions of dollars that are doing essentially nothing. For example, Apple has more than $250 billion in cash. It's time that those that have benefited from the system paid back into it.
     
  3. ODEN

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    These two sentences encapsulate what I am trying to say. Rich folks with hearts like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates say they aren't taxed enough and should be taxed more all the time. You know what they don't do? They don't mail in extra to the US Treasury beyond what their division-sized elements of corporate accountants can get the number stripped down to. Instead, they take all of that money and donate to charity or create charitable organizations. They seem to understand very well that they can do it better than the Government, the same thing I continue to try to say with my posts. Our Government is not any good at Social programming and is basically pissing money away.

    To address the rest of what you are saying and Jimmy James as well: My point has never been that people shouldn't be taken care of, they should. My point is that we need to first develop a better way of doing it than what our Government currently does because right now we do not have smart enough people in control of a very complex system that stretches across multiple Government organizations, programs, etc. Until we figure out a way to make what we have work, I'm not interested in throwing more money at it. To some degree, I don't know if there are smart enough people or people actually interested in public service to make the changes necessary as they are so wide-ranging and complex in nature. I view the system as unfixable in it's current state because it is all tied up in political wrangling, lobbying and greed. That is kind of nebulous but as an example: If the Government is going to guarantee college loans then they need to make requirements for the degrees sought, such as STEM now and have industrial advisory committees where the marketplace tells the Government what their needs in the labor force are and then make those the required degree fields. Kids then have a chance of making it, it takes shitty parenting and decision making away from the individual in a smart way. America is smarter than what we are showing but instead of doing smart things we are lazy and allowing lobbyists to control the decisions we make. Still, a fix this simple seem insurmountable in the face our Government's ability to operate and this is not meant to be a partisan statement. That is meant to be a statement of what the last 30 years of politics has produced.
     
  4. downndirty

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    The two guys you're mentioning have donated more than $4B at last count and the Gates foundation sets the standards for high-functioning non-profits. Don't hate the player, hate the game. Also, the commonly-held belief that keeping their taxes low somehow benefits the rest of us is fucking nonsense, and both of those guys would be just as productive under the current tax rate as they would have been under the 95% tax rate in 1947 (Seriously...95%, in the so-called "golden years"). The hypocrisy behind the conservatives if somewhat baffling: so many hallmarks of that time period, like the nuclear family, jobs for life, American pre-eminence in technology, space, manufacturing, and so little acknowledgement of the infrastructure and government of the time that made it work. I agree with you: if they aren't taxed enough, they should mail in the excess.

    To your second point, that's not how government works, certainly not in a democracy. It's not really even how nature works. You can't scrap it and start over. It's done by small incremental changes in response to our environment. Money in our government is something of a cancer, as it corrupts how resources are supposed to flow. It can always get better, in counterpoint to your "it could always be worse" comment. It's our job, in a democracy to pay attention, vote, participate and pay taxes to ENSURE it gets better. It requires effort, and this disengagement is dangerous. I completely agree that there are parts of our government that can be more effective and parts that piss money away. It sucks, and it deserves our attention. However, it doesn't mean we ignore their purpose or what they set out to do. It also doesn't mean that we assess a dollar value and privatize it. Why? Because it almost always results in corruption of that purpose. See: for profit prisons.

    I can't understand this logic: you're saying the government should only allow loans for certain majors? There are protections like this in place (accreditation, standards to receive loans, etc.) and they are often under-enforced. Again, this seems to be a recurring theme: the laws exist, they aren't enforced, so it seems the system doesn't work, and the reality is so much of that grunt work the system depends on isn't getting done. I struggle with the notion at any level that the government gets to tell adults what they can and can't study, according to industries. That's a dangerous precipice to stand on.

    I agree with you: our leadership sucks. We have incredibly smart people, but they are focusing on manipulation and fuckery, not making things actually better. Climate change, for me, is the bell weather issue here: an overwhelming scientific consensus, but our representatives are hell bent on denying it and will come up with incredible feats of logic to perpetuate that denial. I think the worst part of our system is an absence of leadership. Does anyone believe that someone like FDR is in the wings, ready to help the common man despite being a fucking Roosevelt? That's leadership and our current system just doesn't have it. We don't elect it, and when we do it's often ground to a pulp.

    By starving what we have of money or resources, we ensure it doesn't work. We're seeing this now: Baltimore has a murder rate like a Rambo movie, because there's no enforcement. Education is a shit-show, because the teachers have no power or resources and we're forced to pay them less than minimum wage. Our institutions decay because they don't have funding to do their fucking jobs. If you pay no taxes, you end up with higher costs, but you also end up with no investment into society. Your taxes ensure you're invested and you behave on that investment (read about social capital, or check out "Bowling Alone"). I think it's far more common for people to disconnect and when you do, you only see the monster swamp in the news, not Mayberry out the window.

    Our system is indeed broken, and it won't be solved by disengagement. At any level.
     
  5. ODEN

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    I think you are missing my point or I am missing yours. I take their position as saying that they know better how to spend their money to help people than the Government and that is why they don't mail in anything more than what is required by law. The other part of what you are saying in terms of tax rates and Government function; I would say that you have to look at the era. We just came out of a World War where all resources were mobilized toward a single goal that we all had in common. It worked, yet the tax rate was continually lowered from that point forward for a reason. Today all resources are marshaled toward thousands of goals that nobody agrees upon. The population in America was also one-third of today's as well and we had all of the infrastructure and world-wide manufacturing. Today we are busily de-industrializing (the jobs that create things and with it real GDP) as fast as we can and the EPA is ensuring it continues to just offshore the pollution. In essence, it is a different world today than it was then.

    Maybe they only guarantee loans on certain majors. Or maybe they only fund tuition for certain majors, if we go that route. If little Johnny or little Debbie want an Art History degree or degree in Sanskrit, mommy and daddy have to pay for it. We should be funding things that benefit society and the individual who needs the help, not pissing money down holes. This isn't telling anyone what to do, this is saying if you want to make a mistake, use your money doing it, not the taxpayers.
     
    #3865 ODEN, Jul 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  6. Kubla Kahn

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    See it's gotten so heated that you'll eventually see conservatives rail against fairly common things we've agreed upon, roads, schooling (before they were turned into liberal indoctrination centers ha chachacha), the military, etc you end up getting some wierd fringe shit.

    You have to realize that their is a flip side where it is insanely frustrating to hear a greater role in our lives when there are endless examples of goverment bureaucracy and politics mucking up any given subject. The amount of government spending just to justify their budgets. Nightmare red tape and regulations and the cost those add to small businesses. Hell, giving the power to the government to wage a war on drugs. Having to explain economic realities with endless evidence, like the minimum wage, that just don't work in the real world. Day one, finance 101 we learned the minimum wage in the end reduces the buying power of the low skilled through various forces, increased cost of goods, decreased earning power through reduced hours, etc.

    The whole reason America stood out when it came to founding our constitution was how heavily we limited the goverment and left decision making up to the states, or if not specified, to the people. The Bill of Rights being almost entirey focused on what the government couldn't do to the individual. Religion was an entity of power they wanted limited in the government so there is no federal state sponsership of any particular religion, no religous test to gain office, and the government can't prohibit the free excersice of any religion (a check on their powers to regulate religion). The seperation of powers and how each branch had a different election or appointment process. State reps were elected directly from their district by popular vote, Senators were appointed by state legislatures (until the constitution was amended), SCOTUS was appointed by the Executive and confirmed by the Senate, and the president being elected by the electoral college system. It was all structured to limit the goverment from becoming too powerful and in the end effecting the individual. While I think we can agree that the idea of the social contract enforced by an elected goverment has its purposes. The extent we agree to and the amount of force we allow the goverment to have, I think, should be framed in preserving individual freedoms and responsibilities through limiting government and not the government IS the answer.

    The big elephant in the room has become big business and it's power to influence the goverment more than the people that actually vote to be represented by it. We've basically turned the right to petition the government into a clearing house for the biggest donors to get what they want through "lobbying." Hardcore conservatives use dergulation as the be all end all only answer, which just won't work if the lobbying power is still there. We need major legislative changes to lobbying as petitioning the government and campaign finance reform.


    edit: Fuck I hate writing these wall of text post only to see that there were half a dozen more I should have put responses to that were posted in the interim.
     
    #3866 Kubla Kahn, Jul 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  7. Clutch

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    This is entirely anecdotal, but I've noticed a pattern among the people I know where the people who are more successful than their parents tend to be much more conservative, while the progressives tend to be people who are at best still in the same socioeconomic level they were born into. I grew up poor white trash in a rural area. Some of my classmates are now homeowners with families. Others decided to buy a new truck with payments higher than their rent. A lot of times both of these groups were represented in the same family.

    This highlights the actual failure of trickle-down economics. We've gone about it half-assed. We've been letting the wealthy keep their money, but they haven't been spending it. I say we need more people like Donald Trump, a guy who wasn't actually all that rich, but whose ego required gold leaf on a 20ft statue of his own name. There was a time when the Vanderbilts and Carnegies founded universities in dick-wagging contests. Let's do that again.

    The biggest problem with the current system is that the government guarantees all student loans and treats them exactly the same. Imagine a car dealership where you are guaranteed a loan for the full purchase price of either a Ford Focus or Cadillac Escalade, bearing in mind that the Escalade will cost 3x as much to fuel and maintain. Do you still feel bad for the people underwater on their Escalade loans? Even if you excuse people making bad decisions because they had bad information, you have to at least condemn the people enabling that bad decision making, right?
     
  8. Kubla Kahn

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    Im with Oden in that the means of delivery for our safety nets is the problem. At some point with AI and automation we'll have to have some sort of negative income tax or universal basic income for large segments of the population that won't be able to ever find work. Im hopeful in the Star Trek outlook kind of way, in that some point we'll have enough technology to allow us to pursue life outside of providing for oneself with a career. Others think it's all distopian class warfare battles until the computers launch Judgement Day. Until then.....


    I think from a psychological standpoint the individual responsibility route of running your life creates better results in the long run than relying on outside entities to support you in everything that could be seen as a struggle. You take home ownership as an example. A person that has spent years working and diligently paying off a mortgage is going to want to keep the house in good working order, wants to keep the equity in it. With public housing it become part of the broken window theory. They have no reason to keep it up, no connection to it outside of a government check. Do we want to just give people housing or find some way to incentivize the own their own house? Im not against safety nets, just have to be focused in a way that provides the right incentives for the users to become self sufficient. As a delivery system this is why I support things like pell grants as it is more along the lines of teaching a man to fish instead of just giving him a fish.
     
  9. zzr

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    This argument always stands out to me. Did you know that food companies also produce food for a profit? In addition, energy companies sell various forms of energy to supply heat to homes, also at a profit. On top of all that, clothing companies make huge profits selling things that are required for people to go out in public. Should all of these things be supplied at-cost for everyone, since they are necessities? If you believe that, who would be in a business that makes no profit when there are other businesses that do make a profit? I think you lack a basic understanding of economics.

    If you want society to pay for everyone's medical care equally, then state that, but don't demonize anyone for providing a service and expecting to be paid market rates for it. You are welcome to provide your services at-cost any time you choose.
     
  10. Nettdata

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    Just about everything you've mentioned (other than healthcare) has some sort of competition or government price control to keep it affordable by people, even if they're on welfare.

    Clothing can be had for a few bucks from the local Walmart.
    Energy is price controlled by most governments due to the lack of competition and common infrastructure required to deliver it.

    Healthcare is something that has very low competition, and is something that you can't pick up from Walmart for a few bucks.
    The insurance companies and healthcare industry have insane markups and restrictions on their policies to ensure profits.
    Take a look at the Epipen... price bumped over 450% after they bought politicians who legislated it to be the only allowed solution in public schools, etc. That shit should be illegal, but nope, the exec who did it got a 700% raise out of the deal after he pulled it off.

    I am not against people or corporations making a profit... but when they rig the system against the community in order to legislate that monopoly and the profit that follows, that's wrong.


    I do not believe that you can trust corporations to do the right thing... they need to have some sort of oversight.

    Net neutrality is a prime example... there are serious monopolies in place and the FCC is doing their bidding in rolling back the consumer protections that were put in place... all in the name of making the ISP's and monopolies more money.

    In the end, I firmly believe that global health care is something that should be a basic right of any member of a country, and the country should do things as close to break-even as possible to achieve that... it's in the best interest of the country to keep their citizens healthy.
     
  11. audreymonroe

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    There's been a couple of times public housing has come up here or in the other thread that's shown people think that public housing is free and that the buildings aren't well kept because the tenants don't put any effort into it. I'm only familiar with a couple housing markets, but in none of them is public housing free. The rent is, more or less, based on a percentage of the household income which ends up being lower than market value and the landlord is subsidized by government funds. (I think in NYC if not everywhere there's also some kind of rent assistance program that covers a portion of the rent for low-income families not living in public housing too, but is also at least typically not 100% covered.) And, just like with every other rental, it's the building management that's responsible for upkeep of the building, not the tenants, and the reason it's not great is because they don't have enough resources for maintenance slash who cares since it's just a bunch of poor people. Is that...not how it works everywhere?
     
  12. Jimmy James

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    Anybody with a weapon can kill an animal, eat it and make clothes with their skin while using fire to do it. What a person cannot do is give themselves a transplant or any number of complicated medical solutions to life threatening diseases and injury. Comparing the production of goods and the profiteering of people's misery is disingenuous at best and callous stupidity at worst.

    In addition, I will absolutely demonize people that decide who gets to live or die based on their ability to pay. We live in a world where insurance companies actively work on denying people coverage for life saving procedures and medicines because it might affect their stock price. Why should some limp dick executive with more money than he could spend in ten lifetimes be allowed to that?

    It is outrageous to me that people either can't or won't see that by having universal health care is a net positive and would save money in the long run.
     
  13. Juice

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    Its not a fix-all bandaid though, and it needs to be applied incrementally. Otherwise, you'll have the glaring shortcomings of Obamacare. At the very least, health insurance should be reformed to where it functions like every other kind of insurance. Remove the third-party payers and intermediaries from the process and start to close the gap between patients and providers. Clear the path for inter-state market exchanges. Protect the consumer from pre-existing coverage denials and ageism policies. Any payments that are made are from patient-to-doctor and not patient >> insurance >> ? >> ? >> provider. Prices will be driven down, insurance companies will not be able to afford the back-end premium charges for things like coverage of specialty pharmacies, etc.
     
  14. ODEN

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    A good friend of mine went deep in to debt to buy multiple multi-family buildings in Wisconsin. So far in debt in fact that he was forced to come work with me in Iraq for a while and his wife was forced to run his business and maintain the properties. He bought the properties with the plan to rent them as Section 8, which is the rental assistance program you are speaking of. It was really quite amazing. He always made money at it but that wasn't what was most striking about it to me. It was how he made money at it. He was lucky that the properties cash-flowed when you did the math of what the mortgage was and what the Government would pay monthly for rent. Where he really made the money was in the repairs. You see, as part of Section 8, the Government guarantees that if you maintain the property to their standards, they will pay the repairs for any damage done by their tenants. This is where the money really was. You had to jump through their hoops and get three competitive bids for the repairs and then the Government would cut you a check to have the repairs done. So he would take the money and do the repairs himself then re-rent the property after it passed Government inspection. Good for him, he made money, profit isn't a dirty word, right? Well, the bad part of all of this was listening to how poorly his property was treated by the tenants, how often he had to go in and do random inspections and find his property being destroyed. His words, not mine; but he would state that the tenants didn't care it wasn't theirs and they knew that someone else would pay. As a taxpayer, that bothers me.
     
  15. downndirty

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    My central tenet of this has been the Conservative party of my life simply hasn't made it better. I don't pay lower taxes, I am not more "free", and I'm much more susceptible to things like medical bankruptcy, exploitation by a corporation, terrorist attack, and it's apparent to me that the conservative movement in general is literally pointless. They have no platform to solve our social issues, and run on vague notions of "liberty", tax cuts that somehow almost always accumulate to the wealthy, and increasingly combative moral stances predicated on religious nonsense. They happen to be the party of racism, intolerance and discrimination, and I can't critique them for that, but they increasingly court the fringe elements. Over the course of my adult life, the decline in the economic prospects of the average person can be attributed to, in large (but not universal) swaths, the Republican party.

    I think making it easier for corporations to make money is a game with losers: us. I'm all for personal responsibility (God knows I could have used unemployment a time or two), but ultimately I'm not seeing it as a handout, I'm seeing it as levelling the playing field. Unions, anti-trust, breaking up monopolies, labor protections (including the fucking minimum wage), health care that functions, etc. are all things that shouldn't be considered entitlements, or some kind of privilege, it should be how things work.

    Why? Because we've learned our lessons from the alternatives of not having them in the 1930's. Our government should serve the people, not the corporations, and it should function. In engineering, regulation is done to ensure it meets specifications: it's not punitive, and it's likely retroactive to some inane fuckery that should have never taken place to begin with (see: OSHA laws that are terrifyingly specific, because they are literally written in blood). We have proven that people can be convinced to work 7 days a week for absolutely paltry sums by giant corporations and we as a society agreed that's not how we want to live. At a certain point, the government makes quality of life for all better, instead of "liberty" and low taxes for a minute handful. That's fair, that's the price you pay for living in an equal society and if you don't approve, you should join a feudal state or declare yourself king of "Fuckistan".

    The common ground is I think we collect enough taxes. It's just not done effectively. I think the stats are for single payer, it would be like $420 billion as compared to the $518 billion we're paying now (I can't for the life of me find this link, but there are plenty of stats out there that suggest single payer would be cheaper than our current quagmire). I also think it's far too easy for corporations to wiggle out of paying taxes, and far too difficult for individuals to avoid it. I have no problem paying into Social Security, because I view that as "my" money...eventually. I think funding programs like that will work far more effectively than what we're doing now: why is my check funding the Goddamned F-35?

    I'm not saying we should convert to Norway, and Christ knows the Democrats are laughably bad. But, I've given this some critical thought, and genuinely tried to be open minded to the Republican platform...and I'm just not seeing it.
     
  16. Nettdata

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    My mother is a real estate broker, and before that my parents ran a property management company. Needless to say she deals with the buying and selling of a lot of rental properties, and she figures about 80% of the tenants cause damage to the properties, beyond what is normal wear-and-tear. About 20% of those tenants cause damage that easily exceeds the security/damage deposit.

    Holes in walls that aren't repaired, accumulation of junk/garbage, failure to upkeep the grounds (even just cutting the grass), stoves and fridges that were left so dirty they were damaged and couldn't be repaired so had to be replaced, etc.

    The most frustrating part was when something would go wrong (like a slow water leak) and it wouldn't be brought to the attention of the owner until the move-out inspection, so it was causing more and more damage as time went on. She just did a property inspection for a rental she was putting on the market for the owner and she had to call the property manager because of a leaking upstairs washing machine... water has been leaking down through the walls and ceiling for, "well, 3-4 months, anyway", but the tenants didn't think anything of it and hadn't told anyone... it's going to be almost $40k to fix the resulting rot. If they'd picked up the phone and called it could have been a $5 part.

    Then there was the grow-op she found last month... illegally tapped power, high humidity and condensation, etc. Thankfully that was nipped in the bud (so to speak) before any major damage to the house was found, the guy evicted immediately, and it was a $5k bill to fix and inspect the power tap. They will take the guy to court to recover the costs, but that doesn't mean they'll ever see a dime.

    Word of advice to anyone renting out their properties... don't just cash the cheques, do frequent inspections.


    That being said, there's a big difference for a lot of people between owning and renting... just think about rental cars and the shit that people do to them because, "meh, it's a rental".
     
  17. Kubla Kahn

    Kubla Kahn
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    I think you're kind of proving my point, as along with Odens *and Netts* example. The diffusion of responsibility leads the the end tenant to the apathy in their surroundings. It's just human nature to become indifferent, even openly resentful, to things that are just handed to you. Im not of the mind that there should be no safety net, that the poor have to be cut loose totally or something. Just that reimagining how we provide for them in a way that best maximizes their ability to help themselves. Ive always thought it should start with heavy education on the family planning side of things. Breaking the cycle of unwed teenage pregnancy seems like the most important factor in allowing them to progress into financial security. On one hand you're battling pious religous groups that demand a very narrow and unworkable approach to this. On another hand you have acedemic lead community groups that take any suggestion of changing a culture as a racist affront to minority groups*.

    * I had a college friend who got her masters in social work. Throughout college she worked at serval rehab and community centers. She told me once about the most disturbing incidence to her was the time she had offered some simple financial advice to one of her cases. Basically, don't loan family members large sums of money, focus on saving your own money for things like community college or home ownership, things in the long run will help benifit yourself and your children greatly. She was yanked in her bosses office and admonished for suggesting ideas that were counter to the poor communties' culture. A culture where, while helping family members with money, it left them in perpetual debt to one another.
     
  18. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    This is probably the biggest point, for me.

    I think everyone who says, "we need to run things like a business" is absolutely correct... but not a big business with all that bullshit management and cost wasting, more like a scrappy startup that has to squeeze maximum use out of every penny.

    Having worked with a number of IT departments in provincial and federal governments, they made me angry about how stupid they were with their money.
     
  19. Nettdata

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    100%

    A big part of the problem are the incentives to NOT get off of welfare, etc. Same goes for rent controlled apartments, etc.
     
  20. audreymonroe

    audreymonroe
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    Well, whether or not people who live in public housing or are renters treat their houses with less respect than homeowners wasn't the point I was responding to. It was more the very basics of the program itself. Like, in the places I've lived, public housing isn't "just handed to you." There's rent, it's just lower, and there are various requirements to be eligible for it. But I'm only familiar with the program in a small section of the country. So my actual question was if it's free in other places in the country, because that's how it's been discussed a couple times. (The other part of the question was whether it was the tenant or Landlord's responsibility to fix repairs elsewhere, but that was answered in a roundabout way.)