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  #646  
Old May 7, '12, 9:49 am
LisaA LisaA is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by Holly3278 View Post
Personally, I do agree with taxing the rich more than the poor are taxed.
Given the poor (and a lot of others!) pay ZERO income taxes that's kind of a moot point isn't it? If nearly half of Americans don't pay income taxes, either half of America is poor or there are a lot in higher income brackets who aren't paying either. One of the inconvenient truths about the Bush tax cuts is that it took many lower income people OFF the rolls completely and reduced the lowest bracket by a third. I just don't think the tax rate on poor people is even relevent since it's non-existent.

Oh and don't go into SS and medicare tax. They are not the same and unlike income taxes you get at least part of it back.

Lisa
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  #647  
Old May 7, '12, 9:55 am
LisaA LisaA is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by Eugenius View Post
.Better use than he would? Or than the government would?

I don't think he is being disingenuous. He is pointing out that things could be different. The tax rate obviously changes over time and in the past the wealthy have paid much more. People are always going to complain about paying taxes.
Sorry, I should have clarified, he said the Gates Foundation would do a better job of using the money than would the Treasury.

As to your second statement, reiterating the obvious isn't really a response to the charge that Buffett is being disingenuous. He COULD pay more. He doesn't. You state the wealthy have paid more. Well they have also paid LESS. And your point iis?

BTW I saw Buffett intereviewed at length this morning and of course the Buffett rule came up. He was AGAIN asked "Since you specificially structure your income to take advantage of lower rates on investment income, if you think this is too low of a tax rate then why don't you simply take more in salary?"

Habada habada habada....no answer. Sort of a "well this is the way the corporation and the board structures my compensation" as if he couldn't set it up another way.

He was asked again why he doesn't write a check to Uncle Sam if he feels he's undertaxed, instead giving money to the Gates Foundation. He repeated the same answer, that the Gates Foundation would do a better job with the money. He then said if people want to pay less in taxes I suggest they make donations.

Sorry Eugenius..that dog don't hunt. Buffett has taken advantage of every loophole or tax advantage and then piously tells the REST of us we should pay more...

Lisa
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  #648  
Old May 7, '12, 11:48 am
Persuader Persuader is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by LisaA View Post
Please post the quote where I said a majority of Walmart Women were 'drug addicted crazies' I am not sure why you keep beating this dead horse. At any rate the term ad hominem refers to your attempt to degrade the quality of my argument (that there is no justification for confiscating from the successful) by claiming I think all Walmart Women are lunatics.
I am beating the horse because you are not owning up to what you have said. You seem to be very into poor people taking personal responsibility, perhaps you should do so yourself? Take responsibility for the things you say. I have quoted your statements, and we have analyzed their purpose in your argument. Unless you have some critique of the substance of my previous point, you need to recognize the point. Did I try to degrade your general argument? Haven't we just discussed decision-making fairly thoroughly despite your characterization? Yes, we have.

Now you say that there are no justification for taxing what you call the “successful” (I don't think I would call rich people successful without qualification. Sounds like money-worshiping to me), which would imply that you are against taxes. But you said you are for progressive taxation. I don't understand how that is consistent.

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Originally Posted by LisaA View Post
Very few people are on government assistance without contributing to their own fate.
What does that even mean? And can you justify it? Sounds like speculation to me.

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Originally Posted by LisaA View Post
I have no idea why you've turned delayed gratification to conscientiousness since the two are not the same.
Oh, I assumed you were familiar with the research. The more generalized issue is conscientiousness (being one of the Big Five personality traits), and the studies revolve around different measures related to that trait.

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Originally Posted by LisaA View Post
Given that we have generations of children who have grown up with parents who are apparently not doing this, the task may fall to school teachers but unfortunately teachers cannot undo poor parenting.
Well, teachers and other role-models can step in where parents fail, but it seems to me that correlations are present from a young age, indicating that intervention needs to happen early. In any case, better parents would be preferable, and we get better parents by doing what?

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Originally Posted by LisaA View Post
As to what WE can do to motivate men to stay with the mothers of their children...again shifting individual responsibility to someone else or some organization or government program. Really?
What did I suggest? I thought I suggested higher wages, not government programs. How is it that you continue to misrepresent my position?

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Originally Posted by LisaA View Post
Good old fashioned shame might come in handy as these men think nothing of having mulitple children and dancing away after the oats are sowed.
So your hypothesis is that if we simply shamed those men (how do you think we can do this, by the way?), they would improve behavior? Is that the same logic they use in prison to rehabilitate people? Treat them like animals and shame them and they will improve (hint: it doesn't work very well)? We improve behavior by positive reinforcement, not negative.

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Originally Posted by LisaA View Post
THe rise in out of wedlock births and use of social services has increased steadily through booms and busts. It's not simply a matter of not having a job, it's also a matter of knowing Uncle Sam will pay so why should you?
No, it hasn't. There has been a significant increase in usage of social services in conjunction with the recession, which is generally the case when it comes to recessions (higher unemployment and so on). Now, I didn't say that the historical increase(recent decades) in single parenting has been caused by a lack of jobs per se. Other issues are obviously historically linked, like I have already mentioned (gender equality, economic productivity forcing both parents to work, urbanization etc.). But I don't think much can, or should, be done about gender equality (perhaps something can be done about decreasing the need for economic productivity, although I doubt you're getting any of your tea-party pals to agree).

Nevertheless, when it comes to minorities, which is what we have focused on in this context, decreased mobility seems relevant . Minority men can't see real opportunities, so they give up on trying (you'll see that the numbers are worse the more economically depressed the area is).

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Originally Posted by LisaA View Post
So that's your answer to all of society's ills...take more from the successful and give to those you (or your agents) think are more deserving.
That is not what I think. I think (and it's also a fact about income inequality) that the economy has grown in a manner that has benefited the rich enormously. So, if government needs to raise revenue, that revenue will come from the people who have benefited from the economic system being as it is (it's not a given that it should be like this). I would be just as happy to raise more money from the lower brackets if the income growth had been more evenly distributed. But it hasn't been, so we work with what we have. And I have never said that government transfer are the solution to all ill's. I have made some suggestions (raise wages, empower unions, improve education, invest in R&D etc.), only some of which might need an increase in government revenue.
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  #649  
Old May 7, '12, 12:03 pm
Persuader Persuader is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by ishii View Post
In short, you answer is "pay higher taxes".
No, that is not my answer. I have given several suggestion, only some of which would require government funds. Now, what is excessive taxation? Is it a specific number? Is it culturally determined (which means we can change it through a change in mindset)?

So you think if we raise taxes, then people will not invest. I want evidence that this is true, because I know that, according to mainstream economics, the reality is not what you imply it is. Investment is largely driven by demand (if it wasn't, innovation and investment would be dead in northern Europe due to "higher" taxes), and demand can be increased by higher wages or even government transfers like food stamps. Taxes do play a role, but in the current climate, where taxes are at a historical low, lowering them further will not result in much of an improvement (Bush tax cuts is a great example) but could come at a significant societal cost. Other measures can result in improvements, like government investment in R&D and higher wages to increase demand.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the tax-system is in sore need of a revision. But the issue here is complex. Large corporations, through the use of donations and lobbyists, have a lot of sway in Washington, and have managed to gain loopholes, exemptions and subsidies for themselves – loopholes, exemptions and subsidies they are unlikely to want to part with. Thus, I predict little will happen before campaign finance reform and other measures are successful. Basically, get money out of politics.

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Originally Posted by ishii View Post
If you want to go to college, find a way to pay for it.
I gave reasons for why I think people should be subsidized. Are you going to argue with that or state your opinion? I have no interest in an opinion without an argument.

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Originally Posted by ishii View Post
People are already taxed high enough - including the rich.
Taxation is at a historical low. This is a well-known fact. So, no, if revenue is needed, raising taxes is acceptable. It would have been better to do it in the years before the recession (didn't need Bush tax cuts, for instance. They didn't provide much in terms of jobs), but we work with what we have. Basic economic theory says to save when the economy is doing well, and spend when it's doing bad. The US didn't save during the good times, which is less than ideal, but it is what it is.
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  #650  
Old May 7, '12, 12:44 pm
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Suudy Suudy is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by Persuader View Post
Taxation is at a historical low. This is a well-known fact.
This I find confusing. What part of "[t]axation is at a historical low"? Tax rates? Tax revenues? Absolute (real) dollars? Percentage of GDP?

Based on this table, taxes as a percentage of the GDP have hovered around 19% since 1944. And this is significantly higher than 1934-1944, where it was less than 8%.

Even when the top marginal rates were 91%, we didn't see tax revenues (as a percentage of GDP) rise with them. Rather, we see a rise in revenue when we see a rise in GDP. So it seems the issue here is how do we get our GDP to grow (and by extension, our tax revenues)? A focus on tax rates is irrelevant. Hence the Buffet rule isn't about revenue.
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  #651  
Old May 7, '12, 2:39 pm
stinkcat_14 stinkcat_14 is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by Suudy View Post
This I find confusing. What part of "[t]axation is at a historical low"? Tax rates? Tax revenues? Absolute (real) dollars? Percentage of GDP?

Based on this table, taxes as a percentage of the GDP have hovered around 19% since 1944. And this is significantly higher than 1934-1944, where it was less than 8%.

Even when the top marginal rates were 91%, we didn't see tax revenues (as a percentage of GDP) rise with them. Rather, we see a rise in revenue when we see a rise in GDP. So it seems the issue here is how do we get our GDP to grow (and by extension, our tax revenues)? A focus on tax rates is irrelevant. Hence the Buffet rule isn't about revenue.
Actually if you look at the data, when Reagan cut tax rates, individual income tax revenue as a percentage of GDP went down. When Clinton raised tax rates, individual income tax revenue as a percentage of GDP went up. The economy grew during both time periods. So the relationship between tax rates and tax revenues is variable.
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  #652  
Old May 8, '12, 3:30 am
Eugenius Eugenius is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by LisaA View Post
Education factoids:
Increasing dollars spent on education has NOT improved the standing of American students vis a vis the rest of the world.
Billions have been spent on Head Start. Every study has indicated it makes NO difference
Half of college graduates are unemployed or are making Machiato's at Starbucks with their Masters' in Sociology
Lisa
I'm confused about your negativity towards education. The video I referenced did not mention head start, although I would be interested in supporting details for what you said. I do not know much about the head start program. In the video the President talks about employee training to transition people from dead jobs into other fields. In my career I know too many hard-working people, through no fault on their part, whose jobs were displaced by their jobs going to China (a communist country, don't forget) or India. These jobs were sacrificed in the interest of higher profit for the company and higher pay for the executives. If more jobs were created, they were not in America. Those displaced people are willing to work and jobs are available to people with the right skills, so it benefits everyone to invest in those people and provide education opportunities. It's that old saying about "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
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  #653  
Old May 8, '12, 5:47 am
Ridgerunner Ridgerunner is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by Persuader View Post

So you think if we raise taxes, then people will not invest. I want evidence that this is true, because I know that, according to mainstream economics, the reality is not what you imply it is. Investment is largely driven by demand (if it wasn't, innovation and investment would be dead in northern Europe due to "higher" taxes), and demand can be increased by higher wages or even government transfers like food stamps. Taxes do play a role, but in the current climate, where taxes are at a historical low, lowering them further will not result in much of an improvement (Bush tax cuts is a great example) but could come at a significant societal cost. Other measures can result in improvements, like government investment in R&D and higher wages to increase demand.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the tax-system is in sore need of a revision. But the issue here is complex. Large corporations, through the use of donations and lobbyists, have a lot of sway in Washington, and have managed to gain loopholes, exemptions and subsidies for themselves – loopholes, exemptions and subsidies they are unlikely to want to part with. Thus, I predict little will happen before campaign finance reform and other measures are successful. Basically, get money out of politics.



I gave reasons for why I think people should be subsidized. Are you going to argue with that or state your opinion? I have no interest in an opinion without an argument.



Taxation is at a historical low. This is a well-known fact. So, no, if revenue is needed, raising taxes is acceptable. It would have been better to do it in the years before the recession (didn't need Bush tax cuts, for instance. They didn't provide much in terms of jobs), but we work with what we have. Basic economic theory says to save when the economy is doing well, and spend when it's doing bad. The US didn't save during the good times, which is less than ideal, but it is what it is.
While this is not the evidence you require, it's pretty obvious that I can't invest a dollar that I have to pay in taxes. And it might be noted in passing that Northern Europe isn't looking too good right now.

And saying that government spending necessarily improves an economy really can't be sustained. Even Keynes said it doesn't work unless government has a surplus of money. Has nothing been learned through the 2006 and following "bubble", when at least a portion of economic activity was fueled by borrowing? One cannot borrow and spend oneself rich. A very troubling aspect of the current situation is that, while individual debt levels are slowly (and painfully) being reduced, the government is using our credit cards for us. Right now, every man, woman and child in the U.S. owes the government bondholders $140,000. I''m not a rich guy, so $140,000 is a big burden to me. I have four children. When my wife and I die, our kids will each owe $210,000 even if the government stopped borrowing tomorrow.

I don't think one can conclude that the Bush tax cuts were without merit. Certainly, the deficit increased early on in his administration. Of course, there were two wars going on as well. But at a point, the deficit began to decrease and hit its low in 2007 in which there was a deficit of something like $163 billion. Not great, but a far cry from the deficits we have now. Even 2008 was better than now.

And, during most of the Bush administration, employment was greatly higher than it is now, and was even in 2008.

I do not claim that demonstrates cause and effect. I'm not sure anyone can do that, definitively. But it is simply unfactual to say it's a slam dunk certitude that the Bush tax cuts were without beneficial economic effect.
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  #654  
Old May 8, '12, 5:54 am
Ridgerunner Ridgerunner is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by Eugenius View Post
I'm confused about your negativity towards education. The video I referenced did not mention head start, although I would be interested in supporting details for what you said. I do not know much about the head start program. In the video the President talks about employee training to transition people from dead jobs into other fields. In my career I know too many hard-working people, through no fault on their part, whose jobs were displaced by their jobs going to China (a communist country, don't forget) or India. These jobs were sacrificed in the interest of higher profit for the company and higher pay for the executives. If more jobs were created, they were not in America. Those displaced people are willing to work and jobs are available to people with the right skills, so it benefits everyone to invest in those people and provide education opportunities. It's that old saying about "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
The underlying assumption here is that our current educational system provides the right kind of training. One might argue that if it were not for the fact that we also import workers to this country, both through legal immigration and illegal immigration. The H1B visas are for highly skilled workers. Where are the well-educated Americans who would otherwise have taken those jobs?

I really believe job creation is being stifled in this country by government policies that discourage hiring and investment. One does not have to know very many small business and manufacturing people to know that they are not hiring or investing because they can't figure out future costs in a number of ways, all of which are government-determined.
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  #655  
Old May 8, '12, 6:06 am
Ridgerunner Ridgerunner is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by Eugenius View Post
In my career I know too many hard-working people, through no fault on their part, whose jobs were displaced by their jobs going to China (a communist country, don't forget) or India. These jobs were sacrificed in the interest of higher profit for the company and higher pay for the executives. If more jobs were created, they were not in America. Those displaced people are willing to work and jobs are available to people with the right skills, so it benefits everyone to invest in those people and provide education opportunities. It's that old saying about "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Something worth thinking about in all of this "job exporting" business. We are running huge balance of trade deficits. No question about that. Still, all money has to return at some point to its country of origin, or it becomes worthless. Unfortunately, we are giving our trading partners an "out" by running budget deficits. They can buy our debt instruments that our citizens have to pay out of their earnings. If that was not available to them, our trading partners would be forced to buy American goods and services with their dollars, or otherwise invest their dollars here.

We would create jobs with our own trade dollars by not running government deficits. But nobody wants to talk about that. It is the combination of foreign competition in trade AND the deficits that allow foreign countries and companies to "import" American jobs without creating offsetting employment here.
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  #656  
Old May 8, '12, 7:17 am
JMJSHJ JMJSHJ is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

Oops!!

http://nation.foxnews.com/warren-buf...s-buffett-rule
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  #657  
Old May 8, '12, 10:08 am
LisaA LisaA is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Originally Posted by Eugenius View Post
I'm confused about your negativity towards education. The video I referenced did not mention head start, although I would be interested in supporting details for what you said. I do not know much about the head start program. In the video the President talks about employee training to transition people from dead jobs into other fields. In my career I know too many hard-working people, through no fault on their part, whose jobs were displaced by their jobs going to China (a communist country, don't forget) or India. These jobs were sacrificed in the interest of higher profit for the company and higher pay for the executives. If more jobs were created, they were not in America. Those displaced people are willing to work and jobs are available to people with the right skills, so it benefits everyone to invest in those people and provide education opportunities. It's that old saying about "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
You have COMPLETELY misrepresented my comments. I am very pro education. My parents were college professors and education was a near god in our home. And FWIW I got a college education on my own dime because I valued education enough to live in squalor for a number of years. So do not conclude that because I think wasting money is a bad thing that I don't value eduation.

As to Head Start even the GOVERNMENT has admitted it has no long term benefits and costs billions. I am not saying ignore early childhood education but why keep dumping money into a program that DOES NOT WORK. Why must they stay stuck on stupid in Washington? Oh yea...all those people with cushy government jobs.

But as Bill O'Reilly stated so well President Obama needs to quit chasing leprechauns. Assuming everyone should go to college, assuming someone else should pay so that everyone goes to college is totally unrealistic. Not everyone is willing to invest the time and effort, nor quite frankly is everyone capable of graduating from college. Getting a college education from a financial aspect has NEVER been easier. Obama has exploded the number of Pell Grants and loans are sadly too easy to obtain resulting in a huge student loan debt bubble. Finally after all is said and done, college graduates are facing a terrible job market. Isn't it more important that we increase growth so that whatever program, college, training or apprenticeship is completed, the graduates have some possibility of being employed?

BTW instead of talking about the evil corporations sending jobs overseas, consider that between unions, regulations and taxes, the GOVERNMENT has chased many jobs out of America. You might find John Stossel's books and TV show enlightening. He compared the time it took to set up a business in America vis a vis Hong Kong (not exactly a Third World tin pot dictatorship). Between the EPA, the city, county and federal regulations, the delays for various permits, the tax filings, he said while he was up and running in Hong Kong in a couple of days, in the US the same business would require MONTHS to establish. Meanwhile you're burning up cash. Business people are not stupid. They move out of states that are business adverse and re-locate to states that are far more friendly. There's a reason businesses are leaving California and either moving to their neighboring states like Nevada or all the way to Texas. Wonder why????

Right now there are many jobs in North Dakota for example. These are not high skill jobs in all cases and with the explosion of growth in the energy business (at least the part that Obama hasn't been able to shut down) there are many opportunities. I'm not denying that it's tough and I lived through the Carter years which were shall I say a challenge. But to quote another cliche (since you used one) "The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm." Don't sit and wait for Uncle Sugar to rescue you. He's going to run out of OPM at some point.

Lisa
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  #658  
Old May 8, '12, 1:04 pm
Eugenius Eugenius is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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You have COMPLETELY misrepresented my comments.
I should have said "I am confused by your negativity about Head Start, since I asked for comments about the video, in which Head Start was not mentioned and job training was."

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Originally Posted by LisaA View Post
BTW instead of talking about the evil corporations sending jobs overseas, consider that between unions, regulations and taxes, the GOVERNMENT has chased many jobs out of America.
Actually I have a front row seat with offshoring, but that's all I can say about it. There really are companies outsourcing for the pure reason of increasing their already profitable bottom line and screwing the employees who have gotten them to where they are. Loyalty between employer and employee used to be a lot stronger than it is now. Not to go off on a tangent, but it makes me wonder if the normalization of divorce has had anything to do with that.
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  #659  
Old May 8, '12, 1:33 pm
Eugenius Eugenius is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Something worth thinking about in all of this "job exporting" business. We are running huge balance of trade deficits. No question about that. Still, all money has to return at some point to its country of origin, or it becomes worthless. Unfortunately, we are giving our trading partners an "out" by running budget deficits. They can buy our debt instruments that our citizens have to pay out of their earnings. If that was not available to them, our trading partners would be forced to buy American goods and services with their dollars, or otherwise invest their dollars here.

We would create jobs with our own trade dollars by not running government deficits. But nobody wants to talk about that. It is the combination of foreign competition in trade AND the deficits that allow foreign countries and companies to "import" American jobs without creating offsetting employment here.
I sort of understand what you are saying, I have to admit that economics is not my strong subject.
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  #660  
Old May 8, '12, 1:37 pm
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Suudy Suudy is offline
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Default Re: Obama intensifies push for ‘Buffett Rule’

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Actually I have a front row seat with offshoring, but that's all I can say about it. There really are companies outsourcing for the pure reason of increasing their already profitable bottom line and screwing the employees who have gotten them to where they are. Loyalty between employer and employee used to be a lot stronger than it is now. Not to go off on a tangent, but it makes me wonder if the normalization of divorce has had anything to do with that.
It totally depends on the job. I can say that I have never had a job at any company that sent jobs offshore. I'm a software engineer, and in my field, we have a flood of jobs into the company from overseas. Indeed, the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) strongly opposes the number of H1-B visas being given to foreign nationals (source). So in my field, offshoring hasn't been a problem.

Also, I think that your characterization of employers is unfair. In my experience, company loyalty to an employee is directly related to the employee's performance. And likewise an employee's loyalty to a company is directly related to the employer's benefits and pay. In my field people jump job-to-job frequently for increased pay and better benefits. The employees are no more (or less) loyal to the company than the company to the employee.

I'll speak of my current employer. They've never had layoff. And the only "offshore" employment is 1) field sales and technical people for dealing with international customers, and 2) a small manufacturing plant built specifically to service our largest international customer. 90+% of the employment is stateside. And 95% of manufacturing is stateside. I've been with the company going on 10 years now. And in all cases, the company considers each employee an investment. Happy employees equals greater productivity.

Now, I know some people I went to college with and have worked with since that were part of a big layoff. Interestingly, the company wasn't even a US company, but a subsidiary of a European electronics company. Then the economy took a hit, and medical equipment sales fell, the company shed many US jobs. (Only a few of the top people were offered jobs back in the Netherlands, but they had to relocate at their own cost.) Is this a case of "offshoring"? Taking jobs away from the US to support jobs overseas?
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