ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2020 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A befuddling mystery of decline

Zerohedge republishes Michael Snyder's recounting of the way in which the city of Detroit has changed in only 53 years:

1 - Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, and in 1960 Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation.
2 - Over the past 60 years, the population of Detroit has fallen by 63 percent.
3 - At this point, approximately 40 percent of all the streetlights in the city don't work.
4 - Some ambulances in the city of Detroit have been used for so long that they have more than 250,000 miles on them.
5 - 210 of the 317 public parks in the city of Detroit have been permanently closed down.
6 - According to the New York Times, there are now approximately 70,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit.
7 - Approximately one-third of Detroit's 140 square miles is either vacant or derelict.
8 - Less than half of the residents of Detroit over the age of 16 are working at this point.
9 - If you can believe it, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.
10 - According to one very shocking report, 47 percent of the residents of Detroit are functionally illiterate.
11 - Today, police solve less than 10 percent of the crimes that are committed in Detroit.
12 - Ten years ago, there were approximately 5,000 police officers in the city of Detroit.  Today, there are only about 2,500 and another 100 are scheduled to be eliminated from the force soon.
13 - Due to budget cutbacks, most police stations in Detroit are now closed to the public for 16 hours a day.
14 - The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City.
15 - Crime has gotten so bad in Detroit that even the police are telling people to "enter Detroit at your own risk".
16 - Right now, the city of Detroit is facing $20 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities.  That breaks down to more than $25,000 per resident.
It is, of course, a baffling mystery and no one has any idea what could possibly have accounted for the transformation of this once-great American city.  Perhaps one day, a future Gibbon will be able to decipher the great conundrum of Detroit's decline and fall.  But in the meantime, we can at least take heart in the knowledge that the innocent and suffering denizens who live amidst the wreckage are, thanks to the effects of the housing crash on house prices, now finding it possible to move to suburbs such as Southfield that have thus far escaped the general decay of the city.

Thank St. Diversity that those poor, but totally civilized Detroit residents, who are without question absolutely capable of maintaining a self-sustaining and technologically advanced society as well as every other collection of humans on the planet, have been able to flee that inexplicably cursed geography.  I have no doubts at all that this change of location will also completely alter what can only be described as their coincidental misfortune of the last five decades.

Celebrate Diversity!

Labels: ,

281 Comments:

1 – 200 of 281 Newer› Newest»
Anonymous Toby Temple June 18, 2013 9:09 AM  

So Detroit is the worst place in the US right now?

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 9:18 AM  

Must be close, there are some places in NJ and CT that might give it a run for the money. And then of course the West-coast slums to consider.

It's sort of neck and neck at the bottom.

Anonymous Daniel June 18, 2013 9:20 AM  

That was my only complaint about Gran Torino: not enough cynicism.

Anonymous Douglas June 18, 2013 9:21 AM  

Arnold Alhert writing at Frontpagemag.com said the fall of Detroit is due to Democrat policies. It always amazes me how people fail to see there are several socialist and Democrat run places that are doing well with a different cultural population.

Anonymous Pete June 18, 2013 9:22 AM  

Paul Kersey writes of the problem of "diversity" that is destroying America's cities. Here is a recent article - http://www.stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2013/06/its-time-for-divorce.html

Anonymous Josh June 18, 2013 9:25 AM  

Unions and diversity good, racis bad!

Anonymous Porky June 18, 2013 9:27 AM  

It's sort of neck and neck at the bottom.

But we built 'em a safety net so your leftist conscience is clear, right dh?

Anonymous wEz June 18, 2013 9:27 AM  

Celebrate diversity indeed.

Last week while driving to the grocery store I drove by a group of about 20 teens of a particular race walking together. Im sure they were just out for a stroll, right? Sure enough on my way back home I saw a couple enraged talking to a cop who was taking notes, a block later 7 were lined up on the curb; Just coincidence though I assume, even though it walked and talked like a duck. Besides, dont wanna be raccist!!!!

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 9:29 AM  

"So Detroit is the worst place in the US right now?"

It always has been.

Anonymous DaveD June 18, 2013 9:30 AM  

Douglas, where are these areas? California? Nope. Illinois? No. DC? Nuh-uh. Portland? No. Atlanta? Bzzt. I can't think of one major city or state that has been run (almost) exclusively by Democrats for more than 20 years that's doing "well".

DD

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 9:33 AM  

DaveD

Can you name a city that hasn't been run almost exclusively by democrats for 20 years?

City = Liberal.

Period.

Blogger Shimshon June 18, 2013 9:34 AM  

It's a similar story with entire countries. Argentina used to rival the US in its wealth and standard of living, before the likes of Peron turned it all to crap.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 9:36 AM  

But we built 'em a safety net so your leftist conscience is clear, right dh?

You mean, am I happy that the 60% of kids living in poverty aren't literally starving to death? Quite happy.

The conservative approach is to let the kids starve, so they can bootstrap themselves up and out of poverty. But, if VD's proposition that they aren't fully civilized, or even equally up to the challenge because of genetics, then they will surely fail. And then what? They also starve. All roads lead to massive starvation.

I am more than happy to pay the 48%-50% of my income, net, to support a social safety net. There are other aspects I would like to trim back, but if we stayed at 50%, I would be fine with that.

Anonymous Konstantinos June 18, 2013 9:40 AM  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynY2begPzoM

Anonymous Invid June 18, 2013 9:44 AM  

" am more than happy to pay the 48%-50% of my income, net, to support a social safety net. There are other aspects I would like to trim back, but if we stayed at 50%, I would be fine with that."

dh,
You are welcome to do with your money pretty much whatever you want.
My problem is that society is putting a gun to my head and taking what is mine to give to others (while keeping lots for themselves and their friends)

Anonymous Josh June 18, 2013 9:44 AM  

I am more than happy to pay the 48%-50% of my income, net, to support a social safety net. There are other aspects I would like to trim back, but if we stayed at 50%, I would be fine with that.

Commie

Anonymous bluto June 18, 2013 9:45 AM  

dh,
The idea is if they starve, they're gone; allowing people who earn enough to meet basic needs can move there and rebuild. People who are too dumb to read, earn their food/shelter needs will die out, it's just a matter of how long it will take.

Anonymous zen0 June 18, 2013 9:45 AM  

In the last diversity thread, the question of what defines a civilization. The ability to build and maintain cities is the main one.

Anonymous Clay June 18, 2013 9:46 AM  

DH is backsliding again.

Anonymous Porky June 18, 2013 9:48 AM  

The conservative approach is to let the kids starve

Lol! Somebody gets their news exclusively from MSNBC!

The conservative approach is the historical approach. The poor are helped by the church.

Leftists can't stomach the church so they've replaced the church with Government.

Detroit is an example of leftist compassion in action. Wasn't it you who said you were content to let these people drink and abort themselves into irrelevance? You've gotten your wish.

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 9:48 AM  

look...its fine to point at diversity and laugh. its fine to point at unions and laugh.

But neither is singularly to blame for the fall of detroit. Neither chased the jobs away.

The lawyers did.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein June 18, 2013 9:48 AM  

You mean, am I happy that the 60% of kids living in poverty aren't literally starving to death? Quite happy.

The conservative approach is to let the kids starve, so they can bootstrap themselves up and out of poverty. But, if VD's proposition that they aren't fully civilized, or even equally up to the challenge because of genetics, then they will surely fail. And then what? They also starve. All roads lead to massive starvation.

I am more than happy to pay the 48%-50% of my income, net, to support a social safety net. There are other aspects I would like to trim back, but if we stayed at 50%, I would be fine with that.


Damn, dh, you must have been saving up all of your wrong, just to dump it in this one post.

Anonymous VD June 18, 2013 9:49 AM  

But, if VD's proposition that they aren't fully civilized, or even equally up to the challenge because of genetics, then they will surely fail. And then what? They also starve. All roads lead to massive starvation.

Well, there is also mass slaughter. You see, that's the outcome that the equalitarian philosophy always leads to. If Nigeria had been left alone, the population would have stayed at around 50 million. But it has oil, so Europeans, Americans, and Chinese developed an interest in it and began propping it up with oil money, advanced medicine, and food imports.

Nigeria will probably hit peak population somewhere between 200 and 250 million before 150 million to 200 million die. This will be a human tragedy writ much larger than if they had simply been left to their own devices and, one hopes, to gradually develop towards sustainable civilization.

And if the USA population demographic ever reaches that projected by 2050, it will rapidly go the way of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. However, that is unlikely, because the great collapse should start before 2033.

Anonymous redsash June 18, 2013 9:50 AM  

Detroit failed for two reasons. (1) During the 70's, 80's and 90's Japan built better cars. (2) Whites got the hell out and Detroit became Africa.

Anonymous TheExpat June 18, 2013 9:54 AM  

Porter Stansberry, writing about the decline of Detroit (and why) and tying it to the future of the U.S.:
http://whiskeyandgunpowder.com/detroits-socialist-nightmare-is-americas-future/

Anonymous Wendy June 18, 2013 9:57 AM  

But the train station and other areas make for great post apocalyptic filming.

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 9:58 AM  

(1) During the 70's, 80's and 90's Japan built better cars. - Actually no. They didn't. In the 70s jap cars started being imported and they were WAY cheaper than american cars. When people bought them they were like.. crap... I better take care of this piece of shit or it won't last at all. They actually did things like... change the oil. See people today don't realize it but before the 80s... most people didn't change their oil at all. It was viewed as a myth or a scam that dealers used to get money. Routine maintenance was extremely rare in american cars. The jap cars ended up lasting longer because people were actually doing the maintenance. Note that american quality went through a resurgence in the late 80s... right around the time folks finally bought into the whole routine maintenance schedule.

History is never as simple as people think it is.

Anonymous Godfrey June 18, 2013 10:00 AM  

Detriot is evidence. Thus the story of Detriot is ignored.

Ideology (i.e. psychology) trumps reason. External evidence is ignored if it runs counter to the fantasy one serves.

Anonymous Wendy June 18, 2013 10:03 AM  

Detriot is evidence. Thus the story of Detriot is ignored.

Actually, Detroit isn't all that diverse now. If one wants to be pedantic about it...

Anonymous Anonymous June 18, 2013 10:04 AM  

It always amazes me how people fail to see there are several socialist and Democrat run places that are doing well with a different cultural population.

At iSteve there's a discussion going on about how Sweden is doing, with several Swedes (and Americans living in Sweden) chiming in. One topic was their welfare and health care systems, which are frequently offered as proof that socialism can work. But people there said that the benefits aren't nearly as good as they were a generation ago; you can still get free health care and payment for going to school, but not as much as you used to get, and the product isn't very good.

Socialism may last longer with a homogeneous population of reasonably intelligent people with a good culture than it does with a multi-racial, multi-cultural population with large numbers of low-IQ people with poor future time orientation. That doesn't mean it's sustainable in the long run.

Anonymous VD June 18, 2013 10:06 AM  

At iSteve there's a discussion going on about how Sweden is doing, with several Swedes (and Americans living in Sweden) chiming in.

Sweden is also considerably more diverse than it was a generation ago. The rape rates are so bad that the police won't report them anymore.

Anonymous Edjamacator June 18, 2013 10:07 AM  

Must be close, there are some places in NJ and CT that might give it a run for the money. And then of course the West-coast slums to consider.

Yeah, Camden in NJ for one. Guess who lives there, too?

I am more than happy to pay the 48%-50% of my income, net, to support a social safety net. There are other aspects I would like to trim back, but if we stayed at 50%, I would be fine with that.

MONEY FIXES EVRYTING!!!1!11!

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:08 AM  

Well, there is also mass slaughter.
That's true.

You see, that's the outcome that the equalitarian philosophy always leads to. If Nigeria had been left alone, the population would have stayed at around 50 million. But it has oil, so Europeans, Americans, and Chinese developed an interest in it and began propping it up with oil money, advanced medicine, and food imports.
I am not sure how that's relevant to Detroit, except maybe as simile.

Nigeria will probably hit peak population somewhere between 200 and 250 million before 150 million to 200 million die. This will be a human tragedy writ much larger than if they had simply been left to their own devices and, one hopes, to gradually develop towards sustainable civilization.
I would like to just point out that this is where those on the right-side of the scale start screaming about Agenda 21, about the UN, about environmentalists wanting to make us all live in caves, etc. I do happen to agree with this. The is, largely, what most left-liberals want to achieve with environmentalism. Once you weed out the ones who want to keep nature pretty because they think the world should look like the picture from a puzzle box, this is the goal. To harmonize development with what is sustainable in the environment we live. Ballooning a population to 4x what the civil, government, and environmental resources can handle is exactly what environmentalism seeks to avoid. And it's also usually used as a cudgel to beat liberals with.

And if the USA population demographic ever reaches that projected by 2050, it will rapidly go the way of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. However, that is unlikely, because the great collapse should start before 2033.
I have it on my calendar so I can happily start telling you were wrong. But maybe I will forget because we have no electricity and so it won't turn on.

Anonymous Godfrey June 18, 2013 10:08 AM  

The fourth largest city in the Empire collapses into ruins. The collapse is ignored because the reasons for the collapse are inconsistent with the “progressive” myths disseminated by the cultural elites.

Blogger Converting Dollars into smoke June 18, 2013 10:10 AM  

One third of Detroit is vacant. I think I just figured out what to do with all the Syrian Jihad monkeys that the Obama administration wants to re-locate to the U.S.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:11 AM  

The conservative approach is the historical approach. The poor are helped by the church.

Leftists can't stomach the church so they've replaced the church with Government.

I would be happy to support this approach. But we all know that it won't fly when the demographics are so upside down. Once it hits that level, there is demand too great for any church to meet.

I meant what I posted yesterday, I would happily see the renewal of Christian charity. I am not Christian or religious, but I still find a lot of solace in the power of charity, and I still do whatever small part I can.

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 10:12 AM  

"Once it hits that level, there is demand too great for any church to meet. "

Bzzt.

This is incorrect. Detroit is paradise compared to Dublin in the bad years. Guinness saved the whole town. Not a church... one family... living their christianity.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:17 AM  

MONEY FIXES EVRYTING!!!1!11!

We can all laugh about it, and it's probably going to collapse, but the same safety net that conservatives promised us could never, ever be sustained has prevented the elderly and disabled from starving to death, from living on the streets, and has basically worked as intended.

Before the 90's, the welfare state handed out cash. That was ended. Now it hands out food benefits/stamps. And the effect is as intended. People don't starve to death in this country.

I am all up for better ways to accomplish the goal. I am coming around to VD's racialist theories. They are close to what I already thought. But it doesn't mean I think that in the meantime everyone just gets to die if they are too stupid, poor, elderly, disabled or genetically enfeebled to make it on their own.

Anonymous MendoScot June 18, 2013 10:19 AM  

Shimshon opined:

It's a similar story with entire countries. Argentina used to rival the US in its wealth and standard of living, before the likes of Peron turned it all to crap.

And yet, Argentina doesn't have any Detroits.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:19 AM  

This is incorrect. Detroit is paradise compared to Dublin in the bad years. Guinness saved the whole town. Not a church... one family... living their christianity.

Happy to run an experiment. There are 1.8 million food stamp recipients in Michigan. What percentage do you think really need the help?

Anonymous VD June 18, 2013 10:21 AM  

Ballooning a population to 4x what the civil, government, and environmental resources can handle is exactly what environmentalism seeks to avoid. And it's also usually used as a cudgel to beat liberals with.

Except that isn't true. Environmentalists FAVOR open immigration because they were corrupted by Sierra Club donors. The white American population has been flat for 20 years and is only up 12 percent since 1970, when the environmental movement began.

To the extent there is a "population" problem, both in the USA and elsewhere, it is a non-white one. Encouraging white girls to get PhDs and remain barren will do precisely zilch for the environment.

Anonymous Josh June 18, 2013 10:23 AM  

But it doesn't mean I think that in the meantime everyone just gets to die if they are too stupid, poor, elderly, disabled or genetically enfeebled to make it on their own.

And when did that happen before ths welfare state was instituted?

The biggest impediment to people making it on their own is debt and inflation. Always has been.

Blogger Res Ipsa June 18, 2013 10:24 AM  

"move to suburbs such as Southfield"

FWIW, Southfield has a lot of Jews.

"So Detroit is the worst place in the US right now?"

It always has been.


Thats why so many folks from TN, KY, and GA moved there and stayed till they retired.

Michigan is the only place in the world where they name freeways after union leaders. One of the reasons for the gun control act of 1968 was the race riots in Detroit. Detroit's problems are their own fault and both parties are to blame. Yes the blacks are to blame, nobody wants to say it but its true. 20 years ago it wasn't safe to go below 6 mile after dark today its not safe to go into the city at all.

Anonymous VD June 18, 2013 10:24 AM  

We can all laugh about it, and it's probably going to collapse, but the same safety net that conservatives promised us could never, ever be sustained has prevented the elderly and disabled from starving to death, from living on the streets, and has basically worked as intended.

No one ever claimed it couldn't work until the resources ran out. All that the "safety net" has done is time-shift the problem and make it bigger and more catastrophic. That was always the point.

You're attempting to claim that a Ponzi scheme is mathematically sound right up to the point that it isn't. But the failure is guaranteed; it's built right into the structure.

Anonymous Daniel June 18, 2013 10:24 AM  

Nate's right. I owned a '79 Datsun 280zx, a '77 Mazda GLC, and an '85 Toyota Camry. Paper thin wisps with brakes that occasionally fell off that looked as if they'd taken critical hits from a rust monster by the end of winter 1. Very fun (except the GLC. I got it for $25, though.) to drive because of two things: the prospect of a spectacular death, and cheapness.

If you think I'm just harping on broken down used cars, all I will say is that ten years after I bought those cars, I bought a Ford LTD, a Chevy Cavalier, a Mercury and a Buick, all of which were supposed to be made during the "Japanese Inferiority complex era", and every last one of them was superior in every grade (except speed on the 280zx, although I wouldn't have put it past that '72 LTD, had I ever been crazy enough to try to max out both.) for years longer than any of the Japanese models.

It was a price thing, that's all. No one had thought of making crappier but cheaper cars before as a general practice. Crappier cheaper cars had always been an experimental "discount" line before that.

I did have a Ford Escort wagon that was the first U.S. Car I owned where I said - Aha, a japanese car! It threw a rod within 3,000 miles, no warranty, kaput.

Japanese cars had decent gas mileage that tended to improve over time because the cars got lighter and lighter as they rusted through.

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 10:24 AM  

"Happy to run an experiment. There are 1.8 million food stamp recipients in Michigan. What percentage do you think really need the help?"

Its not help. So none.

Anonymous TheExpat June 18, 2013 10:26 AM  

When you subsidize something, you get more of it.

When you remove the need for a people to be responsible for themselves, you end up with an irresponsible people.

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 10:27 AM  

"Happy to run an experiment. There are 1.8 million food stamp recipients in Michigan. What percentage do you think really need the help?"


wait... let me try this again... I didn't understand the question... and responded like an idiot.

Let's try this again.

I have no idea how many actually need help. I couldn't even make an estimate. The numbers are to useless to make sense out of.

Anonymous Steveo June 18, 2013 10:28 AM  

I am more than happy to pay the 48%-50% of my income, net, to support a social safety net. There are other aspects I would like to trim back, but if we stayed at 50%, I would be fine with that. - dh

DAAAYYYYAAAAMMMMMMMNNNNN

If you can document that you have willingly given 48-50% of your net income to social safety nets BEFORE being forced by government violence I'll write an article about you! Daaaayyyammmmmnnn.

Or are you ready to claim Detroits' results on the consequences of policies you advocate?

TontoBubbaGoldstein was right.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:29 AM  

You're attempting to claim that a Ponzi scheme is mathematically sound right up to the point that it isn't. But the failure is guaranteed; it's built right into the structure.

The problem is you can't be trusted. Your side said it was Ponzi scheme in the 30's. In the 40's. In the 60's. The 70's. The 80's. All through the 00's.

How many decades does it have to work before it's not a Ponzi scheme? The goal is to cost shift retirement onto present day workers. How nice of a retirement that provides can change. How much the retirement consumes of earnings can change. But the goal is itself is not impossible.

Saying "we should have saved more during the boom times" goes without saying. Maybe we have to scale back our empire, or cancel it, but there is not reason that we can't make it through to the next boom times.

Anonymous Desiderius June 18, 2013 10:30 AM  

dh,

"The conservative approach is to let the kids starve, so they can bootstrap themselves up and out of poverty."

You seem like a bright fellow.

Consider the truthfulness of the widespread belief (around these parts, at least) that the leftist approach is to breed the maximum number of poor, and to keep the maximum number in poverty, in order to maintain their own power. Does that characterization ring true to you? Or would you suspect it was somewhat self-serving on the part of those who hold it?

Now, consider again your view of the conservative approach. Can you name five actual, breathing conservatives you personally know who actually advocate that view? Hold it in the bitter recesses of their minds?

Note: I'm not a conservative. I cannot.

I know thousands who do not believe it prudent or wise to pay people to bear children they cannot support, protect, nor raise (literally, raise them from savagery to civilization, not having been raised themselves), and who tend to choose the most predatory genes they can find in the natural hope that those children can change their fortunes.

The Left needs a reboot on such questions.

Conservatives suffer other shortcomings, but not the one you (mis)identify.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:30 AM  

If you can document that you have willingly given 48-50% of your net income to social safety nets BEFORE being forced by government violence I'll write an article about you! Daaaayyyammmmmnnn.

I suppose you could have access to my Quicken file. That's a pretty typical net tax burden.

Probably most people don't track it down to the level I do.

Anonymous AlteredFate June 18, 2013 10:32 AM  

Problem with relying on the charity of churches in modern times is, as pointed out by Karl Denninger, the fact they have actively supported and endorsed every government welfare program for the last hundred years in this country.

Christendom is part of the Harlot of Babylon, whoring herself out to whoever is in power and pursuing an agend at odds with the will of God. When the earthly governments in the form of the wild beast finally turn and devour her, so discusting that God will not destroy her Himself, the world we be rid of one of Satan's most insidious tools.

Anonymous Jake June 18, 2013 10:33 AM  

Dh,

$1 of church/individual charity >= $100 paid in taxes to fund government "charity".

Firstly because by the time all the money goes through layer upon layer of bueracracy only a fraction of funding for "safety net" type programs actual makes it into the hands of poor folks. Most of it funds the machinery that directs what little funding comes out the other end.

Secondly because the money generally comes with strings attached that, intentionally or not, make the poor person remain poor. The myth is "these people need a boost to get back on their feet" the reality is "we pay them not to try to provide for themselves".

Thirdly (and probably least importantly) is simple quality control. Bottom-up charity, i.e. individuals and small groups like churches providing aid can be selective, can set requirements on a case-by-case basis to motivate the aid seeker to improve his standing and capabilities, they can much more effectively filter out the moochers and focus on those in need. The government cannot do this. It's selection criteria, whatever they are, have to be consistent and predetermined. They are virtually defenseless against people gaming the system to their own benefit. The government is also beholden to political pressure, thus you have welfare not intended to feed starving children but to buy a voting bloc, pay off a well-connected friend, etc.

You say you'd happily pay 50% taxes to see poor kids not starve... That could be done for probably less than what is raised by a 1% income tax. Lots of leftist like to justify big government by pointing to things like welfare, or how they IMAGINE welfare to work. That is, at best, a justification for a very small government.

Providing for the poor just isn't a problem that should require massive taxation, even setting aside the question of how many ways is the government actively MAKING people poor in the first place.

Anonymous Godfrey June 18, 2013 10:33 AM  

@Josh June 18, 2013 10:23 AM
"The biggest impediment to people making it on their own is debt and inflation. Always has been."


Key point here by Josh. A man cannot work his way out of poverty if he cannot build wealth (i.e. capital). Inflation destroys accumulated capital.

Capitalism requires sound money.



@VD June 18, 2013 10:24 AM
"All that the "safety net" has done is time-shift the problem..."


Exactly.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:35 AM  

Consider the truthfulness of the widespread belief (around these parts, at least) that the leftist approach is to breed the maximum number of poor, and to keep the maximum number in poverty, in order to maintain their own power. Does that characterization ring true to you? Or would you suspect it was somewhat self-serving on the part of those who hold it?

I know several who think this, though flowered up in terms that are nicer.

Now, consider again your view of the conservative approach. Can you name five actual, breathing conservatives you personally know who actually advocate that view? Hold it in the bitter recesses of their minds?

I don't know five, I know several.

But let's be adults. We are talking about consequences. No one hoped to cause the death of 150 million Nigerians. But someone will be responsible for it. Or some group of people. Not every bad thing is attributable to one event or person.

Conservatives suffer other shortcomings, but not the one you (mis)identify.

I disagree. They have a mean streak. There is a definite push to punish people who make bad decisions, for the sake of the punishment.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:39 AM  

Firstly because by the time all the money goes through layer upon layer of bueracracy only a fraction of funding for "safety net" type programs actual makes it into the hands of poor folks. Most of it funds the machinery that directs what little funding comes out the other end

I know this is the popular myth, but when you look at the big name brand welfare programs, like say Social Security or SNAP, the overhead is very low. The whole program runs less than 1% overhead. So you'll have to explain your theory more. Unless your fraction is 99%.

Anonymous Vidad June 18, 2013 10:40 AM  

On the whole "Christian charity" idea: when government takes over welfare, it defers problems in ways that aren't often evident at the onset.

It's not about taking the "conservative" position of "letting people starve," it's about getting people to take some responsibility for themselves - and I don't even mean in the common talking-point way of "pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and gettin' a job."

No! Church charity usually wasn't just a hand-out. It required a little reciprocal action. Attendance at a sermon, relationship, joining a congregation, etc. Government welfare requires almost no accountability or relationship. It's a cold hand-out.

Take away government welfare and what would happen? People would need to get back in touch with their families... or join a church... or have children and raise them as a bulwark against an uncertain future... or stay married...

There's not even a friendly face in the church soup line and a "how are you doing today, sir!" There's a plastic card and an empty disconnected existence.

Failed people, living and dying alone on a pittance from some agency.

Anonymous Desiderius June 18, 2013 10:41 AM  

dh,

"Maybe we have to scale back our empire, or cancel it, but there is not reason that we can't make it through to the next boom times."

We, kimosabe?

The emperors and their minions will make it through fine, scale-back or no. Selling one group of people into slavery without their consent to keep another group living in the manner to which they've grown accustomed is not unprecedented in history.

Those without children are the ones who overwhelming support your schemes. Those with more and more against. When those schemes consist of selling future generations into slavery without their consent, it should not be too difficult to figure out what is in fact happening.

Some Progress.

That such a scheme could claim itself to be Left-wing, let alone Liberal, is remarkable.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:42 AM  

Or are you ready to claim Detroits' results on the consequences of policies you advocate?

I am not sure what caused Detroit's problems. I haven't really followed it closely. The theories here seem sound. I am sure manufacturing decline of the US didn't help. I am sure the corruption doesn't help.

Anonymous Desiderius June 18, 2013 10:44 AM  

The average Medicare recipient receives three times what they put in the system. Real dollars. This from the Urban League via the WaPo. I can find the link if you are unable.

There is no sense in which these programs can remotely be considered Left-wing.

Blogger CarpeOro June 18, 2013 10:45 AM  

From someone born in Detroit in 1965, here are a few facts. A white democratic mayor failed to control the riots of 1968. In 1974 one of the rioters, a black communist (ran as a Democrat, not much difference) proceeded to reign in Detroit for twenty years, creating a graft machine of immense power that still influences elections today. He whipped up anti-white racism on a regular basis (though most of the police on his protection detail were white) and ran up taxes on corporations, driving the majority out of the city. There had been considerable wealth in the city at one time so it took awhile before Detroit became the black hole it is today, dragging down the rest of the state.
My family moved out in 1968 to the outer most fringe of the metro area. Since my father died three decades ago I can't ask what all the reasons were (the subdivision we moved to was supposed to have a private golf course and a marina on a fair size lake. Neither were given, the marina was built by residents). My family very rarely went into Detroit. As Detroit fell apart everything fled to the suburbs that didn't leave the state.

I did a year of Grad school at Wayne State and got my greatest exposure to the city then. I regularly escorted female grad students from an evening seminar to their cars because of a series of rapes occurring in the parking decks and around campus. One of the most historic auto plants was on my route in, with a plaque being the only thing to make it different from other broken windowed factories with weeds growing through the cement. Shops still open along Woodward for one stretch usually had bars on the windows. The "vibe" was very much what I'd expect to find in a sub-Saharan city. At most I stopped once on the way to campus to get gas.

Anonymous DonReynolds June 18, 2013 10:46 AM  

Vox, you could easily take this same essay and simply change "Detroit" to "California".....and it would be equally relevant and correct. It is like watching a bridge fall into the river in slow motion, carrying with it a passenger train. (Did the passenger train cause the bridge to fall into the river? No.)

Anonymous Desiderius June 18, 2013 10:47 AM  

"I know several who think this, though flowered up in terms that are nicer."

Yes. Exactly. The question is - are they right? Or have the mischaracterized the motives of the opposition to flatter themselves? Are you doing likewise?

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:48 AM  

Yes. Exactly. The question is - are they right? Or have the mischaracterized the motives of the opposition to flatter themselves? Are you doing likewise?

sorry you lost.

Anonymous ThirdMonkey June 18, 2013 10:49 AM  

There are 1.8 million food stamp recipients in Michigan. What percentage do you think really need the help?

How many of those 1.8 million are selling their childrens' food stamps at $0.50 on the dollar to support their drug habit?

In the past, we used to have barn cats. We never fed them, and they took care of themselves, and kept the rodents and rattlesnakes at bay. A compassionate relative who lived in town thought it would be a good idea to set food out for the cats. This attracted the neighbors' cats, who then made my barn their new home. Which resulted in kittens. And then the kittens matured and had incestuous relations with their siblings and cousins. And then they became mean when I stopped feeding them, at which point it became intolerable. And because it was my barn, my rules, they felt my wrath.

That's the problem with socialism. People will do something FOR the "unfortunate" without taking into account what they are doing TO them.

To quote another member of the Ilk, when you subsidize stupid behavior, "everybody just does whater pleases them because doing so doesn't lead to you starving to death like it would have 200 years ago." Subsidizing a lifestyle that embrases drugs, alcohol, out-of-wedlock births, and general thuggery, you get a feral society.

Here's another experiment: Of the 1.8 million food stamp recipients in Michigan, what percentage are single-mother households? What percentage of those voluntarily spread their legs and fornicated themselves into poverty? Why would we want to reward a behavior that is obviously bad for them?

Blogger Leni Dog June 18, 2013 10:50 AM  

Not that my EE dad was a sage or anything, but he used to note that Silicon Valley is, in a way, the modern Detroit, but without the good blue collar jobs. A real technological marvel. Today, it's merely as vibrant and colorful as a Cholera culture slide.

N5

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 10:51 AM  

> It is, of course, a baffling mystery and no one has any idea what could possibly have accounted for the transformation of this once-great American city.

tis a puzzlement. :)

> But, if VD's proposition that they aren't fully civilized, or even equally up to the challenge because of genetics,

VD's stated position is only the first half of that sentence. There is a chance that the second half may be true, but it has not been conclusively demonstrated.

> I am more than happy to pay the 48%-50% of my income, net, to support a social safety net.

And no one's stopping you from paying whatever you want. We just object to you forcing the rest of us to pay. Personally, I think about 16% would be far more reasonable (combined federal, state, and local). In point of fact, my income marginal rate is 28% federal, 6% state, no local (by choice), and of course the SS/Medicare withholding of 15.3%. Which, amazingly enough is 49.3%, almost exactly what you wished for. That doesn't include sales tax, property tax, or the myriad of other assorted taxes on everything I do or purchase, of course.

Anonymous Jake June 18, 2013 10:52 AM  

The whole program runs less than 1% overhead. So you'll have to explain your theory more. Unless your fraction is 99%.

I'd suspect that's more a sign of typical government accounting practices than remarkable efficiency. I know I've seen figures that would strongly disagree, but I can't dig them up on command. I'll table that particular paragraph, the rest does not rely on statistics and stands.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:52 AM  

How many of those 1.8 million are selling their childrens' food stamps at $0.50 on the dollar to support their drug habit?

This is a very small amount. It's all electronic, and SNAP/USDA publishes reports on this regularly.

I am asking.. what percentage of those 1.8 million really need it? Take a guess.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:55 AM  

I'd suspect that's more a sign of typical government accounting practices than remarkable efficiency. I know I've seen figures that would strongly disagree, but I can't dig them up on command. I'll table that particular paragraph, the rest does not rely on statistics and stands.

I suppose someone could find a way to hide billions, but these direct transfer payment programs are fairly good at transferring money from bucket A to bucket B. I suspect you are thinking of other programs like in housing, medical, etc.

Anonymous Desiderius June 18, 2013 10:55 AM  

"I disagree. They have a mean streak."

We all have a mean streak. It's the human condition. If we didn't, we'd have been dinner for some tiger or have caught some Mongol arrows, etc... and no longer been here typing.

The question is what to do with it and how to transcend it once it is productively engaged.

Anonymous Luke June 18, 2013 10:58 AM  

Nate, I'll bet the vast majority of those 1.8 million "hungry" routinely spend money on one or more of beverage ethanol, tobacco, lotto, illegal recreational chemicals, cable/satellite TV, pet animals, dating, cosmetics, body piercings, and the like. No one is really desperate while they still have dough for any of those.

Blogger Shimshon June 18, 2013 10:59 AM  

However, that is unlikely, because the great collapse should start before 2033.

No revision to this estimate since you first published it?

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:01 AM  

And no one's stopping you from paying whatever you want. We just object to you forcing the rest of us to pay. Personally, I think about 16% would be far more reasonable (combined federal, state, and local). In point of fact, my income marginal rate is 28% federal, 6% state, no local (by choice), and of course the SS/Medicare withholding of 15.3%. Which, amazingly enough is 49.3%, almost exactly what you wished for. That doesn't include sales tax, property tax, or the myriad of other assorted taxes on everything I do or purchase, of course.

I would prefer a voluntary system as well, as to the rate. But your calculation is wrong.

Blogger Shimshon June 18, 2013 11:02 AM  

Regarding Japanese cars...I think some were better than others, even then. However, growing up in snow-free SoCal, I didn't experience the runs problems you describe. I'm pretty sure that Japanese cars also had the advantage of better engine design because their 4 cylinder engines weren't just scaled down 6 or 8 cylinder designs and the like.

Anonymous Desiderius June 18, 2013 11:03 AM  

"sorry you lost."

As a Whig, not a Conservative, I've been losing for most of my lifetime, whether the brain-dead Tebows or the Mad Scientist Modern Left (sic) is in the ascendant.

I have difficulty grasping the relevance of that fact to the question I've asked you.

See Haidt's work on the Left's mismeasure of Conservative motives for a synopsis of what I'm asking you.


Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:03 AM  

Nate, I'll bet the vast majority of those 1.8 million "hungry" routinely spend money on one or more of beverage ethanol, tobacco, lotto, illegal recreational chemicals, cable/satellite TV, pet animals, dating, cosmetics, body piercings, and the like. No one is really desperate while they still have dough for any of those.

The poverty level for a family of 4 is about $20k. I would wonder what the distribution of those funds looks like for a family on SNAP.

Anonymous FP June 18, 2013 11:04 AM  

"It always amazes me how people fail to see there are several socialist and Democrat run places that are doing well with a different cultural population."

No. Its not that simple. In the short term they're better but its just a slower burn. Oregon has been run by democrats out of Portland/Eugene for the last 30 years. Portland relies far too much on fed support and wasting cash on the typical liberal make work projects.

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 11:06 AM  

DH
Let us say that all 1.8 million need help.

I submit that one man could start one factory... run with christian principles of loving one's neighbors... and change the whole city in a few decades.

They need jobs.

Food stamps and your "safety net" programs are not real solutions. Its like treating a herniated disc with pain medicine. It stops the pain but it doesn't heal the damage.

one could even argue that by reducing the pain, you reduce the urgency to get to the real solution long term.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 11:07 AM  

> The problem is you can't be trusted. Your side said it was Ponzi scheme in the 30's. In the 40's. In the 60's. The 70's. The 80's. All through the 00's.

It was. Are you upset that it's taken 80 years for it to play out? I would have thought you would have been happy that it lasted this long.

> How many decades does it have to work before it's not a Ponzi scheme?

Forever. This isn't hard dh. It's grade school math. A plan which requires a continually growing base of payees is a Ponzi scheme, pure and simple. A sustainable system doesn't need that.

> The goal is to cost shift retirement onto present day workers.

We have plans to do that. They're called 401K's and IRA's. And if used properly, they work. Yes, the initial generation had to be paid for by present day workers. No one objected to that. But the plan was sold as a savings plan, not a Ponzi scheme.

Anonymous Desiderius June 18, 2013 11:08 AM  

Medicare (where the real money is) is vastly different from SS which is in turn very different from the myriad Welfare programs.

The Medicare money goes to Corporate bureaucracies outside the State proper, SS directly to individuals crowding out traditional, organic means of caring for one another, Welfare to bureaucracies within the ambit of the state.

None of this healthy. All ripe for abuse and corrosive of social cohesion.

Anonymous Luke June 18, 2013 11:11 AM  

Dh, why should the broke breed to have families in the first place? Everyone knows where babies come from. Even those opposed to contraception cannot say that their religion forbids celibacy, and that's free.

Anonymous hardscrabble farmer June 18, 2013 11:12 AM  

I know that this is considered anecdotal, but in my case I provide and care for the needs and requirements of a multigenerational family by working countless hours in farming. Our family take zero dollars in benefits from the FedGov- no compensation of any kinds whatsoever. As a side benefit to my community, and the State I produce a surplus of healthful goods from the land, I provide stewardship of the forest, the soils and the watersheds that lie upon my property. I produce my own energy needs- a surplus in fact that is fed back to the grid with no monetary compensation. I pay my property taxes that are used to maintain the roads I use and for the schools other people's children attend (we home school). The cost of all this is my labor, my time, my experience and my knowledge, something that would be hard to quantify but would be worth something at least equal to a minimum wage income which I certainly do not earn. In fact were it not for our near independence and self sufficiency we would be in far worse shape than the most destitute Detroit resident yet we are expected- at the threat of siezure and imprisonment- to contribute to a people who are not only alien to us in our worldview, i.e. "unemployed", but in terms of any genetic relationship.

Can you not understand why there is a sense of resentment on the part of people such as myself who actually does lift myself up by my own bootstraps every single day in order to make the world a better place just so I can be compelled to contribute to the criminality, indolence and needs of people who haven't got the basic drives to provide for their own offspring?

Nations work when there is a commonality, not only of stock, kith and kin, but of outlook, values and morality. I have traveled throughout this country and I have seen first hand the differences between people and the environments that they inhabit. Cities like Detroit and Camden suffer because of the inhabitants, not the geography. It may be an unpleasant truth, but truth it is and no amount of money on earth will ever alter the outcomes of how specific peoples behave. Almost 80% of NFL players are BROKE within 5 years of retirement- we're talking about people who earn more in a single year than I have seen in my entire lifetime. These are almost exclusively the same race as the people of Detroit. Give them enough to survive or a hundred million dollarsand the end result is destitution. This, as they used to say in the Army, is a personal problem, not an equipment failure.

I understand people like DH who wish to see the world in aspecific way and I would never try and make him live the kind of life I have chosen, nor do I wish to be compelled to work for the benefit of others who cannot or will not even begin to care for themselves. He mentions "children starving" but that is the responsibility of the parent first and foremost, not a stranger. If we cannot force a parent to care for his own child, what right do we have to compel another citizen to do the same thing, it's utterly illogical.

Cities,nations,empiresfail not because of their physic allocation, but because of their inhabitants. Detroit- and eventually the US- is doomed to failure based on a policy of dysgenics.

Sad, but true.


Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 11:14 AM  

> But your calculation is wrong.

I did say marginal rate, dh. 28+6+15.3=49.3, as confirmed on by the calculator. Or do you take exception to one or more of the figures?

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:14 AM  

It was. Are you upset that it's taken 80 years for it to play out? I would have thought you would have been happy that it lasted this long.

I am happy it has lasted this long. But you can't be trusted that it can't sustain. If we had of listened to you (your side) all along, we would have never had the system, or it's benefits. None of the firm estimates for when it would fail have come forward. Minor adjustments now will push the projected failure date out several more decades.

Claiming that something inevitable will happen in the future doesn't make you a prophet.

Forever. This isn't hard dh. It's grade school math. A plan which requires a continually growing base of payees is a Ponzi scheme, pure and simple. A sustainable system doesn't need that.

What is the basis for assuming that you need a growing base of payees? Secondly, even if this was true, the grade school math would be when the growing base exceeds the actual growth of the base. Correct? If math said it requires 5% more people each year, and the average growth rate exceeds 5%, is that in your view a sustainable program?

We have plans to do that. They're called 401K's and IRA's. And if used properly, they work. Yes, the initial generation had to be paid for by present day workers. No one objected to that. But the plan was sold as a savings plan, not a Ponzi scheme

A savings plan? I don't think anyone thinks they are personally saving funds.

As far as the trust fund goes, I would be in favor of the death penalty for any politician who decided to use short-term surplus to fund other spending. That's just stupid.

Anonymous the bandit June 18, 2013 11:15 AM  

I am asking.. what percentage of those 1.8 million really need it? Take a guess.
Well, depending on how one defines "really needs," I figure either side of the 80/20 rule would be a good guess.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:17 AM  

I did say marginal rate, dh. 28+6+15.3=49.3, as confirmed on by the calculator. Or do you take exception to one or more of the figures?

Actually perhaps I am wrong and have to revisit my calculations. Typically your State rate, for example, is after your Federal rate. Is that not the case?

So, start with $100. Fed's take 28%. That leaves $72. State takes 15.3%. That leaves $60.99. In your calculation that's 43.3%. In mine, it's 39.01%. Right?

Anonymous Science is a bitch June 18, 2013 11:22 AM  

"The conservative approach is the historical approach. The poor are helped by the church. Leftists can't stomach the church so they've replaced the church with Government."

Or is it that the State wants people poor and dependent?

Don't you see this is the End Game of the elite? There are too many of us on "their planet" ... they want us poor and stupid for easy extermination.

The black race was their first target, and I must say, they are exterminating them with great efficiency.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:22 AM  

Can you not understand why there is a sense of resentment on the part of people such as myself who actually does lift myself up by my own bootstraps every single day in order to make the world a better place just so I can be compelled to contribute to the criminality, indolence and needs of people who haven't got the basic drives to provide for their own offspring?
I do understand it. I also feel it.

He mentions "children starving" but that is the responsibility of the parent first and foremost, not a stranger. If we cannot force a parent to care for his own child, what right do we have to compel another citizen to do the same thing, it's utterly illogical.
I also think it's the parent's responsibility first.

I think we only agree what happens when the parent fails. Does the child starve if no charitable person comes to the rescue?

Anonymous the bandit June 18, 2013 11:22 AM  

The 15.3% would be FICA.

Anonymous the bandit June 18, 2013 11:23 AM  

Or, rather, self-employment.

Anonymous Stilicho June 18, 2013 11:25 AM  


Before the 90's, the welfare state handed out cash. That was ended. Now it hands out food benefits/stamps. And the effect is as intended. People don't starve to death in this country.


No, people were not starving in any greater numbers in this country before welfare/food stamps than they are since the introduction of those handouts. But if you want to present evidence to the contrary, we'll take a look. As for working, ponzi schemes always "work" for a while, but you cannot escape the simple math of the collapse. You want to be compassionate, but the form of your compassion condemns those you wish to help to permanent poverty. Teach a man to fish and all that. Problem is, your sort has been running things for so long that most of those who should be taught to fish, must first be taught that it is even possible to fish. Meanwhile, leftists keep the light on and the chitlins warm at the plantation.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:25 AM  

The black race was their first target, and I must say, they are exterminating them with great efficiency.

Doubtful. A properly motivated state during World War II was able to exterminate about 5 million persons in about 36 months. That's about 138k per month.

There are about 40 million blacks in the US. At Nazi like efficiency that's 24 years. Technology and automation has improved, I would imagine if we put our minds to it we could do it least twice as fast.

Anonymous wEz June 18, 2013 11:25 AM  

DH: "I am more then happy to pay 48-50% of my income.."

Lol. Thanks man, I needed a good laugh today. Enjoy being bent over btw.

I believe in charity not theft. Tell your fascist, ideolog brethren to quit stealing my money for their own causes and instead recoup more money from the likes of you.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:28 AM  

Meanwhile, leftists keep the light on and the chitlins warm at the plantation.
Wait are we against paternalism now?

Problem is, your sort has been running things for so long that most of those who should be taught to fish, must first be taught that it is even possible to fish.
I am all for that, I think it's important. I don't think you are being accurate in determine whats to do after the left overs.

If VD is right, then we have a permanent under class. They are never going to be able to civilize to the degree that is needed to function.

What to do with the underclass?

I would also point out, that the former middle class, not just the permanent under class, uses the welfare state for not a lifetime of indolence, but for rough spots caused by poor planning or externalities they did not anticipate.

Anonymous Revan June 18, 2013 11:30 AM  

2 Thessalonians 3:1-18

If you don't work, you don't eat.

Anonymous Jake June 18, 2013 11:30 AM  


So, start with $100. Fed's take 28%. That leaves $72. State takes 15.3%. That leaves $60.99. In your calculation that's 43.3%. In mine, it's 39.01%. Right?


at the risk of joining in the folly, I think you're both wrong.

$100
less 15.3% FICA = 84.70
less 28% federal on what's left = 60.98
less 6% state on what's left = 57.32

effective tax rate= 42.68%

By the time you add in property tax, sales tax, taxes on things like energy, communications, etc. it'd probably be easily 50%.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:31 AM  

Nuts. Time to board. SYD to LAX.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:31 AM  

Jake--

I think you've got it. You can't add the rates to get a cumulative percentage. They are not additive. That was my point, poorly made.

Anonymous Science is a bitch June 18, 2013 11:35 AM  

"Doubtful. A properly motivated state during World War II was able to exterminate about 5 million persons in about 36 months. That's about 138k per month."

What happened to this state again? What happened to those running this state? Oh yes, they were exterminated too.

Your arguments always stink like dog-shit, dh.

Blogger IM2L844 June 18, 2013 11:36 AM  

What to do with the underclass?

The argument is that without government interference there would be a whole lot fewer of the truly needy and the local altruistic individuals and organizations would step up and care for them.

Anonymous ThirdMonkey June 18, 2013 11:40 AM  

How many of those 1.8 million are selling their childrens' food stamps at $0.50 on the dollar to support their drug habit?

This is a very small amount. It's all electronic, and SNAP/USDA publishes reports on this regularly.

I am asking.. what percentage of those 1.8 million really need it? Take a guess.


The director of USDA-FNS, which administers SNAP, admitted to the House Ag. Committee that SNAP fraud was a 2% "problem", which comes out to $1.5 billion. Bear in mind, this is a grossly conservative figure provided from one politician to another. Take into account those actually convicted of SNAP fraud, and it's more of a 10% "problem". If you come to the overly generous assumption that half of the people who don't really need it aren't committing fraud or haven't been caught, you're still talking about a $15 billion problem.

80% of all SNAP benefits are processed by major grocers. Who benefits from SNAP? Publicly traded "evil" corporations and their shareholders. SNAP subsidizes the behaviors that keep poor people poor for the benefit of "Big Grocery." Additionally, JP Morgan gets a cut from each eletronic SNAP transaction. Wal-Mart and the banks are getting rich off the backs of the poor. Which publicly traded corporation needs SNAP?

None of the 1.8 million need it as it exists in its current predatory form. Government preys on the needy to enrich the greedy.

Anonymous jay c June 18, 2013 11:42 AM  

0% of government "welfare" recipients need it. Just like 0% of people who require supplemental oxygen to survive need to take oxygen from me in order to have it.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 11:43 AM  

> But you can't be trusted that it can't sustain.

The system as currently (and historically) designed can't be sustained. I've known that since I was a teenager in the 1970's.

Our population is no longer growing except through immigration. We're living longer. More payout with fewer payees. The math doesn't work. And yes, this was obvious even in the 70's.

> Claiming that something inevitable will happen in the future doesn't make you a prophet.

No. But it does make you right.

> Minor adjustments now will push the projected failure date out several more decades.

Yes. But they won't fix the problem. The math still doesn't work. An eventual collapse of the system is inevitable without a continually increasing paying base or a declining payout.

> What is the basis for assuming that you need a growing base of payees?

Do you or do you not have a continually increasing number of people receiving payments? If you do, you need an increasing number of payees. Unless you're going to assume that incomes will miraculously increase by an equivalent amount. That hasn't been true for over 40 years now. Incomes have barely kept up with inflation.

> Typically your State rate, for example, is after your Federal rate. Is that not the case?

No, it's not. The state tax is on your overall income. That's been the case in all three states where I've lived.

However, to be fair, I'm counting both the personal and employer contribution into my SS/Medicare payment. I think that's a reasonable thing to do, but some may disagree. And if I were doing the math all the way through, I'd have to add their contribution on to my income also. So it's somewhat lower than noted above. The calculator says 45.8% to 3 figures.

> In mine, it's 39.01%. Right?

Probably, but see above.

Anonymous Stilicho June 18, 2013 11:45 AM  

Wait are we against paternalism now?

That IS leftist paternalism. Keep working on your Engrish.


What to do with the underclass?


Simple: they can exist only to the extent they can support themselves.

I would also point out, that the former middle class, not just the permanent under class, uses the welfare state for not a lifetime of indolence, but for rough spots caused by poor planning or externalities they did not anticipate.

Irrelevant. They should have planned and prepared for themselves. If they were middle class, then they had the resources to do so. Besides, all of your excuses for your leftist behavior assume that poverty is a permanent condition. Wrong again. People move in and out of poverty (and relative levels of wealth) all the time and have throughout history. This movement is based upon externally imposed conditions to some degree, but is mostly based upon the actions of the people themselves. Bad decisions lead to bad results.

Anonymous the bandit June 18, 2013 11:46 AM  

$100
less 15.3% FICA = 84.70
less 28% federal on what's left = 60.98
less 6% state on what's left = 57.32

effective tax rate= 42.68%

No, no, no. All of those taxes are off the gross. It's correct that the overall effect is not cumulative because of state income tax and self-employment tax deductions, but cumulative will be MUCH closer than this extremely mistake calculation.

Anonymous the bandit June 18, 2013 11:47 AM  

I can typing, too.

Anonymous Lorem Ipsum June 18, 2013 11:47 AM  

Detroit, section 8 housing, and the use of the passive voice in news reports dealing with all things(but especially violence) showcase the fundamentally primitive mindset progressives have towards reality.

For them, causality doesn't exist; bad things "just happen" or are the result of the evil nature of a certain geographic region, and we're helpless to change the circumstances of our existence.

This might be an acceptable mindset for a Kalahari bushman, but not an inhabitant of a presumed first world society.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 11:48 AM  

> less 15.3% FICA = 84.70 ... less 28% federal on what's left = 60.98 ...
less 6% state on what's left = 57.32

Nope. All three are on total income, not what's left. Your Social Security is taxed when you pay in. That's why Social Security payments were originally tax free. That may not be the case in all states, but it is true in MD, VA, and WV.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:49 AM  

Do you or do you not have a continually increasing number of people receiving payments?

Waiting to take off... I don't think this is the case. The number of people will not continue to increase. We are in the demographic bad spot now of decreased workers with increased retirees. The demographic changes that happened after the boomers have not worked through the system. We need a lot of them to die off. This is where an actual trust fund would have been helpful.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:51 AM  

No, no, no. All of those taxes are off the gross. It's correct that the overall effect is not cumulative because of state income tax and self-employment tax deductions, but cumulative will be MUCH closer than this extremely mistake calculation.

I will have to revisit my net % calculation then, I believe I usually make it incorrectly then. I know Federal deductions are not-cumulative, but the others (State, Loca, Sales and property tax) are all "after tax", as in after Federal tax. Or least i thought i knew.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:54 AM  

Simple: they can exist only to the extent they can support themselves.

Elsewhere on this thread I was basically told that your point of view is not really held by any right/conservatives. It's a caricature. But I know several who have this opinion, and I agree, it's a valid one. I just can't go along with it.

This is helpful to understand. The alternative to the welfare state is essentially mass depopulation, by death - starvation, freezing to death in cold climates, unrestrained pandemonium, etc. No transfer payments. I am sure some percentage will be able to rise out it (as they do now, to some degree), and the rest will either be cared for by the few with means, or they will die. Is that a fair assessment?

Anonymous Josh June 18, 2013 11:55 AM  

This is where an actual trust fund would have been helpful.

There never was a trust fund. That was a lie.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:57 AM  

There never was a trust fund. That was a lie.

True. There was a cash surplus but that been taken into the federal budget mess for the last 25 years.

Anonymous VD June 18, 2013 11:57 AM  

The problem is you can't be trusted. Your side said it was Ponzi scheme in the 30's. In the 40's. In the 60's. The 70's. The 80's. All through the 00's.

It's not about trusting me, it's about trusting math. It was, and is, a Ponzi scheme, hence the vast quantity of outstanding debt. Keep in mind, Communism lasted 70 years too, that doesn't mean it is sustainable.

Anonymous Josh June 18, 2013 11:57 AM  

The alternative to the welfare state is essentially mass depopulation, by death - starvation, freezing to death in cold climates, unrestrained pandemonium, etc. No transfer payments. I am sure some percentage will be able to rise out it (as they do now, to some degree), and the rest will either be cared for by the few with means, or they will die. Is that a fair assessment?

No, that is not a fair assessment. You won't havemillions of people starving on the streets. If you just gave leftover food from grocery stores and restaurants, you would probably be able to feed the destitute.

Anonymous Stilicho June 18, 2013 11:58 AM  

We need a lot of them to die off

Indeed. And then you'll need a lot of Gen X to die off, then a lot of Millenials to die off and so forth. Or you could alternate generations by having a big one (like Boomers) that supports a smaller prior generation (WWII generation) and give birth to a smaller one (X) which could only support a fraction of the Boomers, so a mass die-off of Boomers would be needed. That way, you'd only need mass die-offs every other generation. The wages of leftism are always death, though.

Anonymous Josh June 18, 2013 11:59 AM  

Keep in mind, Communism lasted 70 years too, that doesn't mean it is sustainable.

No, see, it just wasn't done correctly.

Anonymous wEz June 18, 2013 11:59 AM  

Having a low iq doesnt mean one cant civilize, dh. Hell, Im very civil for a white, racist, homophobic, bigoted, sexist, non-scientific Theist with a marginal iq. I work at a grocery store and also with autistic young men- Anyone could do what I do intellectually with a bit of desire and work ethic.

So the welfare state is fineeven though it encourages laziness, sloth and cradle to grave mentality for many; especially within minorities.
Most of the issues in black and hispanic areas of higher pop % are self inflicted problems with themselves to blam, and one that could internally within each person be self corrected. Sin, blameshifting, excuses, and the so called assistance of the welfare state has all compounded the problem. If these programs ceased, I bet many would become way more able-bodied, and take employment, family, responsibility, and life much more seriously.

Anonymous Nathanael June 18, 2013 12:01 PM  

Liberal white atheist communities are safer to live in than Christian black communities.

http://faithandheritage.com/2012/02/a-tale-of-two-cities/

But let's just ignore those unpleasant facts and focus on voting Republican, that'll fix everything.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 12:01 PM  

It's not about trusting me, it's about trusting math. It was, and is, a Ponzi scheme, hence the vast quantity of outstanding debt. Keep in mind, Communism lasted 70 years too, that doesn't mean it is sustainable.

You have this definition of sustainable which apparently means "infinite". I don't follow that.

I have to study up on the outstanding debt. Are you talking about the program, or the federal debt as a whole?

Anonymous Stilicho June 18, 2013 12:02 PM  

This is helpful to understand. The alternative to the welfare state is essentially mass depopulation, by death - starvation, freezing to death in cold climates, unrestrained pandemonium, etc.

That's a bold assertion, Cotton, let's see how it works out for you. Please demonstrate that the alternative to the welfare state is "mass depopulation, by death - starvation, freezing to death in cold climates, unrestrained pandemonium, etc."

Anonymous the bandit June 18, 2013 12:03 PM  

The problem is that the tax code is so complicated with various deductions that it's impossible to determine what James Dixon's effective rate is without knowing absolutely every dollar and cent detail of his income.

But here's what I come up with:
1. The 15.3% self-employment tax gets a deduction which effectively makes it 14.13%.
2. There's deductions on the Federal rate for the state income and the self-employment, reducing the rate by 7.65 and 6 percent, from 28 to 24.18%.
3. Then the 6% state income tax. I'm not familiar with any state income tax deductions because my state is sales tax only.

So, 14.13 + 24.18 + 6 = 44.3%. Apparently I was wrong about just cumulative being "MUCH" closer.

Do note that this back-of-the-envelope calculation does not factor in standard deductions, exemptions, the effect of the progressive tax schedule, the fact that Mr. Dixon is over the Social Security limit, or the decrease in deductions available to Mr. Dixon in his tax bracket.

Anonymous Jack Amok June 18, 2013 12:05 PM  

I have no idea how many actually need help. I couldn't even make an estimate. The numbers are to useless to make sense out of.

I know how to find out. Stop handing out EBT cards and open up work farms with soup kitchens.


As to DH, you're deluded dude. Well, sure, we all know you've admitted to being a liberal, and the heart of the well-intentioned liberal, the thing that leads you into ruin, is emotional selfishness and the self-delusions required to keep from admitting it. DH, your are profoundly selfish, and feel profoundly guilty about it.

So you seek to assuage your guilt through liberal programs. The highest calling becomes creating "charity" programs for whatever group of "unfortunates" you become convinced need your help. But it's not your help, not your charity. Because you are still selfish, so instead of voluntarily giving your time and money, you get together with your fellow liberals and abuse society's contentions and institutions to steal everyone else's money so you can give it away and feel the moral smugness that comes with "doing good."

Our money, our civilization, our future is what you're shooting up, what you're using as the oxytocin to ease your emotional pain. But just like someone addicted to pain killers, overusing the drug just makes the problems you think you're fixing worse. Your precious fucking safety nets have destroyed millions of lives, the very people you thought you were helping, while at the same time hamstringing the prospects of everyone else. You do realize, don't you, that the condition of the average black person in the US is objectively worse today than fifty years ago? That hundreds of years of social progress among blacks in America, much of it paid for by the indignities of slavery, has been utterly wiped out by your idiotic, selfish, guilt-ridden policies?

All so you don't have to feel bad when you go to bed at night.



Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 12:06 PM  

> ..but the others (State, Loca, Sales and property tax) are all "after tax", as in after Federal tax. Or least i thought i knew.

If you itemize deductions, you can write your state and local taxes off of your income. That may be what you're thinking of. I've never been in a position where itemizing deductions was cost effective.

> I don't think this is the case. The number of people will not continue to increase.

You may be correct about the long term future, but in the short term they will, and there are too many for the system to survive.

> We need a lot of them to die off.

Exactly. Fortunately, Obamacare will take care of that for us.

> Is that a fair assessment?

Only if you ignore charity. What percentage charity can take care of is a fair question. And what tax level is appropriate to support the rest is another fair question. You say 48-50%. I'm more in the 15-20% camp. There are tradeoffs to each.

Anonymous the bandit June 18, 2013 12:07 PM  

It also doesn't factor in that the income tax deduction only counts if itemized deductions are greater than standard. If they aren't, it's 25.86 + 14.13 + 6 = 46%.

Anonymous Makaro June 18, 2013 12:09 PM  

I live outside Ann Arbor and the areas in Ypsilanti and the surrounding cities are starting get more and more thugs as Detroit begins to implode the leeches are looking for new hosts.

Anonymous Jack Amok June 18, 2013 12:10 PM  

You have this definition of sustainable which apparently means "infinite". I don't follow that.

Invest in a dictionary then. What the hell else would "sustainable" mean? Anything less than infinite means it eventually runs out. Or are you using liberalspeak, where "sustainable" means "lasts until I'm gone and don't have to worry about it, someone else can clean up the mess I left?"

Anonymous Josh June 18, 2013 12:10 PM  

Liberal white atheist communities are safer to live in than Christian black communities.http://faithandheritage.com/2012/02/a-tale-of-two-cities/But let's just ignore those unpleasant facts and focus on voting Republican, that'll fix everything.

How is a community where less than a third go to church considered Christian?

And most of us aren't republicans and don't even vote.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 12:10 PM  

> ...that it's impossible to determine what James Dixon's effective rate is without knowing absolutely every dollar and cent detail of his income.

Agreed. Which even I don't have readily available. :) Which is why I used marginal rates.

Anonymous Josh June 18, 2013 12:12 PM  

Only if you ignore charity. What percentage charity can take care of is a fair question. And what tax level is appropriate to support the rest is another fair question. You say 48-50%. I'm more in the 15-20% camp. There are tradeoffs to each.

15-20%?

Holy crap dude, that's still way too high.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 12:14 PM  

You do realize, don't you, that the condition of the average black person in the US is objectively worse today than fifty years ago?

I don't think you can sustain this claim. Feel free to try. Overall, is this about liberal guilt? Perhaps.

It doesn't make one a bleeding heart however to say that those, who are also open about their ideology, who have no solution or even direction to offer to the millions of people they condemn to death are promotion policies that will lead to death of millions.

We are where we are. We are heading where we are heading. Sayings that the policies I support only "prolong the inevitable" is self-fulfilling. If there is "evil" or pain to be faced, I have no problem putting it off as long as possible. It is not brave or noble to wish death on those who must logically die today, instead of tomorrow.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 12:14 PM  

> You have this definition of sustainable which apparently means "infinite". I don't follow that.

That is the normal meaning of the term, dh. Even in leftist circles that's what they mean when they talk about sustainable agriculture.

> ...the fact that Mr. Dixon is over the Social Security limit, or the decrease in deductions available to Mr. Dixon in his tax bracket.

Actually, no I'm not.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 12:16 PM  

> Holy crap dude, that's still way too high.

Possibly, Josh. But since it's better than what we have now I'd be willing to take it. It's like our discussions on abortion where I'll take no 3rd trimester abortions over what we have now.

Anonymous History Major June 18, 2013 12:19 PM  

Remember when everyone died before the welfare state? Yeah, that sucked.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 12:19 PM  

Invest in a dictionary then. What the hell else would "sustainable" mean? Anything less than infinite means it eventually runs out. Or are you using liberalspeak, where "sustainable" means "lasts until I'm gone and don't have to worry about it, someone else can clean up the mess I left?"

I mean that the people, who from 1984-1986, argued we should just stop Social Security because it would fail within a decade were wrong. The people who argued in 1933-35 that it was a cruel joke, that would never pay anything to workers, were wrong.

People claiming now that it can't be sustained for another X years are wrong. Yes, payouts may have to be lowered. Yes, tax rates may have to go up. Taxation policy and all sorts of other adjustments/changes/revisions/radicial ideas may have to be implemented. So what. It doesn't mean it can't be sustained another generation, another two generations, etc.

Nothing man-made lasts forever. At what point is it good enough?

Anonymous VD June 18, 2013 12:19 PM  

You have this definition of sustainable which apparently means "infinite". I don't follow that.

pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse. able to be maintained or kept going, as an action or process.

What you're failing to understand is that the system has not maintained its own viability. If the worker-recipient ratio had not fallen drastically, you'd have a point. But it has, so you don't. Remember, we're talking in terms of civilization here, which requires the production and investment of surplus. That which reduces surplus is necessarily counter-civilizational.

It all comes down to time-preferences in the end. You're revealing that your perspective is more towards the shorter side.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 12:20 PM  

Remember when everyone died before the welfare state? Yeah, that sucked.

Yes. It was common. The elderly did not have a dignified retirement. They died working. And widows - they died working. Or starved. Or lived on the streets. Or begged. Or lost the farm. Or all of the above.

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 12:21 PM  

"I mean that the people, who from 1984-1986, argued we should just stop Social Security because it would fail within a decade were wrong. The people who argued in 1933-35 that it was a cruel joke, that would never pay anything to workers, were wrong."

The fact that they folks in 1984 never dreamed that we would be stupid enough to go into debt to this extent doesn't mean they were incorrect about the prognosis.

You're basically eating your own children and saying that you don't need to bother farming... because you have survived just fine this long.

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 12:22 PM  

"Yes. It was common. The elderly did not have a dignified retirement. "

Myth.

Families cared for their elderly. There is no dignified retirement now anyway. Go to a nursing home then tell me about dignity.

You're selling bullshit.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 12:23 PM  

What you're failing to understand is that the system has not maintained its own viability. If the worker-recipient ratio had not fallen drastically, you'd have a point. But it has, so you don't.

This ratio is not fixed. In 25 years, the boomers will be dead. (Can I get an amen?) The demographics of post-boomer America is quite different.

There is no reason to not adjust the benefit scale to fit the realities of the worker-recipient ratio. Or the age which you collect benefits. Or any of the other variables which have unbalanced the system.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 12:26 PM  

> Nothing man-made lasts forever. At what point is it good enough?

When the math indicates that it will work. Governments tend to last hundreds of years, no tens. You have to plan on at least that scale, and not be any worse off than you were when you started. Social Security never passed that test.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 12:28 PM  

Myth.

Families cared for their elderly. There is no dignified retirement now anyway. Go to a nursing home then tell me about dignity.

You're selling bullshit.


Nursing homes are about frailty or illness. Not exactly age but close.

Nate, we get it, you have a rural point of view. Rural America was a different, and often great place, but it's over, by and large. Happy to hear ideas how we can unwind the cities.

Before the creation of Social Security, a few Americans had private pensions or savings, but most supported themselves into old age by working. The 1930 census shows about 60 percent of men over 65 still in the workforce. Now, the number is less than 20 percent. That's what this means. It means not working until the day you die.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 12:30 PM  

When the math indicates that it will work. Governments tend to last hundreds of years, no tens. You have to plan on at least that scale, and not be any worse off than you were when you started. Social Security never passed that test.

Nothing is planned for hundred of years. A hundred, maybe. Disagree. Social Security has worked well for 70 years.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 12:30 PM  

Okay.. i guess i will get tasered unless i shut it down.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 12:31 PM  

> There is no reason to not adjust the benefit scale to fit the realities of the worker-recipient ratio. Or the age which you collect benefits. Or any of the other variables which have unbalanced the system.

And when enough boomers die, you may be able to do so. Until then they are will outvote you.

However, note that current government policies are dealing with the matter. Can't afford to increase Social Security payouts to match inflation? Just claim there's no inflation. Can't afford to provide health care for all of them? Nationalize health care and ration it so they can't get any. Why, one would think our kind liberal leadership had this all planned out in advance.

Anonymous ctd June 18, 2013 12:32 PM  

"There is a definite push to punish people who make bad decisions, for the sake of the punishment."

No. This is a very wrong, and very malicious, slander upon fellow citizens.

Most people make bad decisions for an attractive reason. To eliminate the natural consequences of those bad decisions is to reward the attraction, and to encourage repeat behavior. To eliminate those consequences by compelling others to sacrifice is to not eliminate consequences but to redistribute them to otherwise uninvolved innocents. To wit: you're punishing others and rewarding those who make bad decisions - a very screwed up social policy.

The push isn't to punish people for making bad decisions, but to not reward bad behavior: let them feel the consequences of their own actions, and let them motivate themselves into NOT making such bad decisions again.

Why work if idleness garners a living wage? (Not a great life, but no effort involved!)
Why not procreate, if procreating is fun and free of consequences?
Why not do whatever you want, making any bad decision you like, if the only ones suffering consequences are people you don't know?

Nobody is advocating punishment for sake of the punishment. That's stupid, and stupid to impute upon others.

There is a distinction between helping someone out of a bad spot, vs. facilitating them staying there. Leftists don't see the difference, and as such reward bad behavior and confuse refusing reward of bad behavior with punishing for the sake of punishing.

Conservatives do not advocate "punishing" those making bad decisions, they advocate people receiving the consequences of their actions as a self-correcting process. When someone is digging themselves deeper into a hole, we don't want to give them a better shovel - we want to give them a ladder, but only if they'll stop digging.

Blogger Hacked acctount 2018/19? hcaacked! June 18, 2013 12:35 PM  

Diversity, multiculti and immigration must be celebrated even when and if sad realities like this surface.

Those poor people, hopefully with some hope, change and communities pulling together this all be turned around by 2016!

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 12:36 PM  

> Nothing is planned for hundred of years. A hundred, maybe.

Our current government is conventionally counted as 237 years old next month, dh. That's not exactly accurate, of course, but...

> Disagree. Social Security has worked well for 70 years.

And has left us with a debt that will never be paid off. That doesn't count as no worse off than you started.

Yes, I know it itself wasn't responsible, but that doesn't matter. It would still have gone broke before the boomers all died. We should have phased the system out while we had time, starting in the 60's.

Blogger The Deuce June 18, 2013 12:37 PM  

dh:

We can all laugh about it, and it's probably going to collapse, but the same safety net that conservatives promised us could never, ever be sustained has prevented the elderly and disabled from starving to death, from living on the streets, and has basically worked as intended.

This should help.

Blogger Unknown June 18, 2013 12:38 PM  

Nathanial: "Liberal white atheist communities are safer to live in than Christian black communities."

I think you're forgetting the "Low Church/High Church" concept in terms of Christianity.

Blogger Res Ipsa June 18, 2013 12:39 PM  

I’m not trying to pile on or pick a bigger fight with you on this; rather I’m looking for clarification of your position. Please correct me if any of my assumptions are invalid.

It seems to me that your position is basically:
1. Some level of charity/government redistribution/welfare etc by whatever name you want to call it, is needed and a social benefit.
2. It is proper for the government to collect taxes and force the governed to fund these programs.
3. The government does a better job at this than the private sector would if the government was not involved at all.
4. It is proper for up to 50% of an individuals income to go to paying for these government “services”.
5. You do not state it, but it seems to me that you would agree that the level of services provided currently and the price in terms of tax dollars paid form them are in economic equilibrium and a net positive in terms of cost and social benefit.

If my restatement of your position is incorrect please correct me. What I would like to know is, given your position:

1. How do you know that government welfare is indeed a social benefit and not a method of controlling the lower classes, as bread and circuses were in Rome?
2. Going along with #1; why do you believe that lower class “economic stimulus” or a “safety net” is a benefit to those receiving it and not a tool used to control/modify the behavior of the peasant class that receives it?
3. If the premise behind either #1 or #2 was conclusively proven to true, would you still support welfare programs?
4. How do you know that the best level of taxes (50% of income) to welfare (current programs) is producing the best results for all concerned? What if the ideal level was higher (or lower) taxes or benefits, would you support changing the system?
5. What if the “best” level of taxes to social benefit was radically different than what we have in place today, would you be in favor of changing it?
6. Finally what if a radically different social structure/construct than what is currently in place would provide the greatest amount of social good, would you want to change to that system?

Thanks for taking a crack at all of this.

Anonymous Stilicho June 18, 2013 12:39 PM  

Don't worry, we can go comfortably on the dole. dh will voluntarily support us all.

Anonymous Jack Amok June 18, 2013 12:40 PM  

I don't think you can sustain this claim. Feel free to try.

Literacy rates? Incarceration rates? Chronic unemployment? Out of wedlock births? Drug addiction? Family formation?

You don't really want me to go into details on these, do you?

And BTW, yes, all those are down for White Americans too. All part of the congratulations due to liberals for wrecking civilization.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 12:40 PM  

> There is no reason to not adjust the benefit scale to fit the realities of the worker-recipient ratio. Or the age which you collect benefits. Or any of the other variables which have unbalanced the system.

All of which has been proposed, and all of which has been characterized as "letting old folks starve in the streets".

Anonymous Edjamacator June 18, 2013 12:42 PM  

dh, the only ones who have a "mean streak" and want to punish people are those who willing live on welfare believing they "deserve" it. They don't care, and may even enjoy, watching people they don't like have to take two jobs to try and support themselves because the government steals more and more of their money. The willing leeches have no problem taking "their slice" and doing nothing in return for it except maybe getting bored or greedy and victimizing those who work. The ones who feel "entitled" to it are thinking they are above all those who work for what they have because they don't see a need to put any effort into getting those freebies. If you know "conservatives" who want to punish people, it's most likely them being frustrated by watching their paychecks dwindle away while leeches are carrying giant plasma TVs into their homes and popping out bunches of kids no daddy cares for.

You want to support them? Fine. Do direct donations of your income. I don't want my taxes going up and taking money away from my family to feed those who choose not to do a single thing but sit on their worthless asses, play basketball, victimize innocents, and feel they're owed a life of leisure.

Anonymous CLK June 18, 2013 12:45 PM  

dh says "Must be close, there are some places in NJ and CT that might give it a run for the money."

Most dangerous US cities (Forbes) (based on murders I think)

1. Detroit
2. St Louis
3. Oakland
4. Memphis
5. Birmingham
6. Atlanta
7. Baltimore
8. Stockton
9. Cleveland
10. Buffalo

The BI article (based on murder , rape and robbery)

http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-cities-in-america-2013-6#

Interesting that CT cities Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven are on this list being one of the richest states in the country. A closer review shows that these are blk on blk/ gang on gang and drug related deaths. The actual deaths are not that high (<20 each per 100000) but Bridgeport had a over achiever there that committed 250+ rapes so the data got skewed a little.

And no Texas city...

Anonymous Steveo June 18, 2013 12:50 PM  

If you can document that you have willingly given 48-50% of your net income to social safety nets BEFORE being forced by government violence I'll write an article about you! Daaaayyyammmmmnnn. Steveo

I suppose you could have access to my Quicken file. That's a pretty typical net tax burden.

Probably most people don't track it down to the level I do.
- dh

Let's see, from my perspective... 100% of that money is coerced by the threat of violence and actual violence done by the state. Let's try this, go to a 5% simple, flat tax - applied equally on all citizens, no exceptions. NO EXCEPTIONS - we're all equal right? Now you are free to pay 48-50% willingly. Will you do so? If not, why not?

Anonymous jay c June 18, 2013 12:52 PM  

Happy to hear ideas how we can unwind the cities.

Simple: Completely dismantle the welfare state. No tax-paid handouts. People will either start working for a living again or they'll kill each other off or they'll starve to death. Problem solved in any case.

Anonymous jay c June 18, 2013 12:54 PM  

...and by "working for a living again" I mean returning to a more agrarian lifestyle that can support a virtually unlimited population of hard-working people. Motivated people who can't find work will make work.

Blogger Der Hahn June 18, 2013 12:56 PM  

Social Security has worked well for 70 years.

cough*bullshit*cough.

The unsustainabiity of Social Security as initially implemented due to low birthrates, longer life expectancies, and inflation has been well documented since the mid-1970s. It barely lasted thirty years before benefits had to be radically reduced.

Anonymous jay c June 18, 2013 12:56 PM  

And no Texas city...

Texas. Good place, that. I hope we have the wherewithal to keep it that way.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 12:57 PM  

All of which has been proposed, and all of which has been characterized as "letting old folks starve in the streets".

Agree this is shameful. Difference between reducing and eliminating.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 12:57 PM  

The unsustainabiity of Social Security as initially implemented due to low birthrates, longer life expectancies, and inflation has been well documented since the mid-1970s. It barely lasted thirty years before benefits had to be radically reduced.
So what it's been reduced?

Anonymous Porky June 18, 2013 1:00 PM  

The Deuce: "This should help."

I suspect it'll be about as helpful as telling Bernie Madoff that HIS plan wasn't sustainable.

Anonymous Jack Amok June 18, 2013 1:03 PM  

Nothing man-made lasts forever. At what point is it good enough?

When the resources it needs are not consumed faster than they can be replenished. That's sustainable.

When is logging sustainable? When new trees grow at least as fast as the old trees are cut down.

When is a business sustainable? When assets grow at least as fast as liabilities.

When is a government program sustainable? When it doesn't require the government to periodically choose between increasing tax rates, taking on more debt, or cutting the program. If social security was sustainable, it wouldn't have had to raise the payroll tax rate over 700% since the program was created, wouldn't have had to more than double (after accounting for inflation) the maximum income it taxed, and at the very least, after that astonishing tax increase, the program wouldn't have a negative cash flow as of two years ago, with projections to continue going farther and farther negative requiring borrowing approximately 1% of GDP annually to float the program.

Jumping off a skyscraper isn't the same thing as flying, even if you haven't hit the ground yet.

Anonymous Cail Corishev June 18, 2013 1:04 PM  

I am happy it has lasted this long. But you can't be trusted that it can't sustain. If we had of listened to you (your side) all along, we would have never had the system, or it's benefits.

You're making a huge leap of faith here in assuming that A) they are benefits, and B) they outweigh the benefits that would have been produced had government not taken the money from the productive in the first place.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 1:05 PM  

> Agree this is shameful. Difference between reducing and eliminating.

It's the people you've been voting for (as a generality, not any specific person) who have characterized it that way, dh. :(

You can't solve problems if you aren't willing to recognize their true nature. Social Security payments are going to have to be cut and the social security tax is going to have to go up, or the program will have to be abandoned. We won't be able to continue borrowing at our current rate forever. If people would simply admit this and start discussing the proper amount of each (cuts/tax increases), we'd all be better off.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 1:08 PM  

> So what it's been reduced?

The government has been lying about inflation since the late 80's at least. The increases haven't kept up with inflation.

Blogger Scott June 18, 2013 1:10 PM  

Detroit was a joke in the 1970s when Mayor Coleman Young redefined corruption. He could not have been elected (and re-elected) if Detroit's population were not nearly all black by that time. It only took 10 years (from 1960) for Detroit to burn out, and it happens to coincide with White flight.

Anonymous DT June 18, 2013 1:17 PM  

I would like to just point out that this is where those on the right-side of the scale start screaming about Agenda 21, about the UN, about environmentalists wanting to make us all live in caves, etc. I do happen to agree with this. The is, largely, what most left-liberals want to achieve with environmentalism. Once you weed out the ones who want to keep nature pretty because they think the world should look like the picture from a puzzle box, this is the goal. To harmonize development with what is sustainable in the environment we live.

What's sustainable by one demographic is radically different from what's sustainable by another.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben June 18, 2013 1:18 PM  

The fundamental problem with these government programs is the same problem that is inherent to government: once the government takes property from someone it becomes common property and you are faced with the tragedy of the commons type of scenario where there are no incentives to cultivate and grow the value of that property.

Therefore, waste is inherent to government.

Anonymous hardscrabble farmer June 18, 2013 1:19 PM  

Our State publishes an Ag Bulletin weekly and last year there was an article about a program where African refugees who had been resettled in my State were working with "local farmers" to learn how to farm. Normally I wouldn't want to encourage African refugees (why were they being dumped in my cold weather State by the thousandsanyway? Who's brightn idea was that?) but aftermuch thought I decided it was better to have them learn to be self sufficient than to be dependent, so I contacted the person who was quoted in the article to offer a couple of acres of land as well as my guidance to get some of these refugee farmers on the road to independence. It took about a week of daily calls before I finally got in touch with the woman and she declined my offer. She said that they weren't really trying to find any farmers/land for the program but rather they were in need of monetary donations to the program. I asked which 'local farmers" they were working with and was told that she didn't know.

I contacted my Dept of Ag to give them a heads up about the fraud since they had been the ones promoting the alleged program but they basically told me it wasn't their business that they had only printed the article asit had been forwarded to them.

So- no one wants to end entitlement programs, no one wants to encourage independence, no one needs any help unless it's in monetary form and the people who would most benefit from true charity and learn skills that would make them less dependent are instead being used by fake program directors to bring in tax free revenue from good intentioned dupes.

The whole system is a scam.

Anonymous Porky June 18, 2013 1:20 PM  

dh: "Social Security has worked well for 70 years."

Nope. It's been broke for decades. A lockbox filled with useless intergovernmental IOU's that don't even get counted as real debt.

Ladies and gentlemen - this is why dh is not to be taken seriously. He does not even take himself seriously. He's just skillfully playing you for a bunch of idiots.

Anonymous Jack Amok June 18, 2013 1:24 PM  

Happy to hear ideas how we can unwind the cities.

Simple: Completely dismantle the welfare state.


Don't forget to dismantle the regulator bureaucracy along with it.

Blogger David W. Rankin Jr. June 18, 2013 1:26 PM  

First, if anyone on this board wants to argue that a senior currently living solely on Social Security has been sustained, come join my family when we volunteer at the rescue mission or the food bank. By lying about inflation costs and not exempting seniors from property taxes (like "they" promised originally), Social Security is going to provide poverty-level coverage at best now.

dh, you claim that your ~50% taxes are useful because they support government aid programs. Currently, the federal government spends over $60000 per household making under $25000 a year. If we assume that the average household receives approximately $25k per year in assistance (which is hardly true), that is a 42% efficiency rating. If you throw in fraud and more reasonable levels of assistance per household, the efficiency drops back somewhere from 20% to 30%.

The best charities in the country run at an efficiency rating between 80% and 90%. (Charities claiming 100% efficiency are getting other money somewhere else, or are cooking the books.) At 60% or less, the men with suits and guns start investigating for fraud, and usually win.

Let's pretend I gross 100k (nice round number). You're telling me we're better off that I get 50k taken by the government to deliver at most 1k of benefits to someone else, when I could take 5K and instead have someone else deliver at least 4k of help.

No. Sorry. I don't care how much Audrey 2 screams Feed Me, I am not going to willingly stick my own vein.

Anonymous DT June 18, 2013 1:26 PM  

We can all laugh about it, and it's probably going to collapse, but the same safety net that conservatives promised us could never, ever be sustained has prevented the elderly and disabled from starving to death, from living on the streets, and has basically worked as intended.

* What "safety net(s)" are we talking about?

* Are they actually sustainable? Last I checked the big ones, Social Security and Medicare, were not.

* What evidence do you have that said safety net(s) caused a significant reduction in the percentage of elderly and disabled who were starving and/or living on the streets? Please be sure that your evidence distinguishes between the safety nets themselves and the general increase in material wealth due to technological and economic advancement.

Before the 90's, the welfare state handed out cash. That was ended. Now it hands out food benefits/stamps. And the effect is as intended. People don't starve to death in this country.

People weren't starving to death in the U.S. in any significant numbers at any time during the 20th century. (I'm not aware of it happening at any time since the nation was founded, but I'm most familiar with 20th century stats on the subject so I'll stick to that for now.) This includes the Great Depression. Contrast this with multiple, massive 20th century famines in "safety net" nations like the Soviet Union and China.

Welfare has not prevented starvation. What it has done is encourage procreation among those unable to support their children, as well as mass immigration.

Anonymous DT June 18, 2013 1:29 PM  

This is helpful to understand. The alternative to the welfare state is essentially mass depopulation, by death - starvation, freezing to death in cold climates, unrestrained pandemonium, etc.

This didn't happen long before the welfare state when the economic and technological level of the nation was far lower. What makes you think it would happen now?

Anonymous Science is a Bitch June 18, 2013 1:41 PM  

dh can spin all he likes. But Detroit is still a shithole.

Anonymous Stickwick June 18, 2013 1:41 PM  

Nigeria will probably hit peak population somewhere between 200 and 250 million before 150 million to 200 million die. This will be a human tragedy writ much larger than if they had simply been left to their own devices and, one hopes, to gradually develop towards sustainable civilization.

I must've missed this in the discussion, but what will precipitate/cause the deaths of 150-200 million people in Nigeria?

-----

Slightly OT: Just so people don't think "savage" is confined to any particular race, we have some prime examples in Syria. (Warning: disturbing image.) And these are the people U.S. and European governments have decided are worth supporting.

Anonymous the bandit June 18, 2013 1:42 PM  

My bad, James Dixon: I guess I assumed you were married.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 1:44 PM  

You can't solve problems if you aren't willing to recognize their true nature. Social Security payments are going to have to be cut and the social security tax is going to have to go up, or the program will have to be abandoned. We won't be able to continue borrowing at our current rate forever. If people would simply admit this and start discussing the proper amount of each (cuts/tax increases), we'd all be better off.

I agree with this. The budget deficit is only very minimally related to social security, however. It is for the last few years drawing a little bit on the treasury (well, I dont know if thats still true or not.. it may be back out of deficit).

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 1:44 PM  

I must've missed this in the discussion, but what will precipitate/cause the deaths of 150-200 million people in Nigeria?

Up a few posts VD makes the point that Nigeria is over populated and should be stuck around 60 million.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 1:46 PM  

People weren't starving to death in the U.S. in any significant numbers at any time during the 20th century. (I'm not aware of it happening at any time since the nation was founded, but I'm most familiar with 20th century stats on the subject so I'll stick to that for now.) This includes the Great Depression. Contrast this with multiple, massive 20th century famines in "safety net" nations like the Soviet Union and China.


Contrary to your assertion, China and the Soviet Union are not "safety net" nations. In China, there is no national safety net. The Soviet Union did not have a safety net, the just had the net. Or rather, there was no fall back, it was the only thing.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 1:49 PM  

Nope. It's been broke for decades. A lockbox filled with useless intergovernmental IOU's that don't even get counted as real debt.

I agree this is shameful. But even if ignore the special treasuries (IOU's), the program is generating sufficient cash flow to pay for itself (this may be a few years out of date, I remember but can't find that on a cash-flow basis last year they ran a relatively small deficit which had to be redeemed from IOUs, which the Treasury had to borrow to pay). Over the coming decades is when the hurt comes, as that number goes from a fairly small amount to increasingly scary amounts. But it will peak, as the boomers die off.

Ladies and gentlemen - this is why dh is not to be taken seriously. He does not even take himself seriously. He's just skillfully playing you for a bunch of idiots.

It does get old.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 1:49 PM  

> My bad, James Dixon: I guess I assumed you were married.

I am. But the current Social Security limit is $113,700. We don't make anywhere near that much. :(

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 1:51 PM  

This didn't happen long before the welfare state when the economic and technological level of the nation was far lower. What makes you think it would happen now?

Absent a welfare state, the present population cannot probably be supported.

Blogger John Williams June 18, 2013 1:52 PM  

Taking a different tack on Res's approach here. If a political faction was going to create a dependent class who would, in turn, support them, would it look any different than the welfare system we have today?

Anonymous DT June 18, 2013 1:53 PM  

Contrary to your assertion, China and the Soviet Union are not "safety net" nations. In China, there is no national safety net. The Soviet Union did not have a safety net, the just had the net. Or rather, there was no fall back, it was the only thing.

You're playing word games here. The Soviet Union and China claimed to guarantee a minimal existence via communism. They took everything and redistributed it for the very purpose of eliminating poverty, starvation, living in the streets, etc. And instead of eliminating it they subjected millions to it.

Now please back up your assertions that starvation was significantly higher in the U.S. before the safety net(s) (which ones?), and that said nets are primarily responsible for the reduction in starvation.

Anonymous LIBRUL June 18, 2013 1:53 PM  

"Absent a welfare state, the present population cannot probably be supported."

RACIST

Blogger Nate June 18, 2013 1:54 PM  

"Nate, we get it, you have a rural point of view. Rural America was a different, and often great place, but it's over, by and large. Happy to hear ideas how we can unwind the cities. "

Detroit appears to be unwinding itself just fine.

Pull the plug. Stop babying people. Expect them to fend for themselves and they will.

Lots of them are going to die.

That's blood on your side's hands. You're the ones that made retards of out of them.

Anonymous DT June 18, 2013 1:57 PM  

Absent a welfare state, the present population cannot probably be supported.

What is your evidence for this?

I'll agree that an immediate stop to welfare would result in a temporary spike in starvation, homelessness, and crime. But if it were phased out it would mainly result in politicians crying on television, kind of like the recent budget sequester that no one talks about any more.

Anonymous Stickwick June 18, 2013 2:01 PM  

Up a few posts VD makes the point that Nigeria is over populated and should be stuck around 60 million.

Yes, I saw that. I'm curious as to what, exactly, will be the causative factor in these deaths. Will Nigerians simply run out of resources and starve, will disease wipe them out, will there be deliberate massacres, all of the above?

Blogger Guitar Man June 18, 2013 2:01 PM  

Why is rural America no longer a great place?

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 2:02 PM  

I'll agree that an immediate stop to welfare would result in a temporary spike in starvation, homelessness, and crime. But if it were phased out it would mainly result in politicians crying on television, kind of like the recent budget sequester that no one talks about any more.

No, no, long-term you are right. The short-term is what I am talking about. The present population is the one who would be in trouble. (But that's still millions of people).

Blogger hadley June 18, 2013 2:02 PM  

"I am more than happy to pay the 48%-50% of my income, net, to support a social safety net. There are other aspects I would like to trim back, but if we stayed at 50%, I would be fine with that."

I am NOT! I am, however, happy spending 48-50% of my income on overpriced American-made goods so my dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks left-half-of-the-bell-curve black-and-white Americans can have jobs that pay a living, family wage.

That, however, is something the liberals don't want. They need a passive, subjugated proletariat/rabble whose votes and loyalty they can own by giving them bread and circuses.

What the Democrats learned in the 1960s was that blue collar workers hated Marxist nonsense. They were fundamentally conservative (being just one step away from poverty) and didnt cotton to Penis Politics and the like. That is why the liberals dumped the previous generations of poor emigrant workers (aka "white ethnics"), dumped their unions, dumped their jobs, and sought to replace them with middle-class white eminists, homosexual artistes, and the like.

Now they have discovered they can create a permanent dysfunctional client base for employing hundreds of thousands of their bleeding heart white girl social worker managers by importing Third Worlders from some of the nastiest and sumbest cultures around the world--people who show not the slightest capability for living and contributing to a First World culture.

Now that their vision is collapsing (only 6% of 4th Generation Mexicans go to college) their answer is (of course) to keep pissing away money hiring even MORE social workers and opening the borders even WIDER.

They just don't realize that there is no one left to pay for it, and since they abort and contracept all their OWN babies it leading to white extinction in America, it will soon come to a crashing halt.

So, no, you idiot, no more welfare checks. Confess the failure of your neo-liberal offshoring of jobs and importing Mexicans to drive down black wages and do something decent for you own people FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE!

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 2:03 PM  

You're playing word games here. The Soviet Union and China claimed to guarantee a minimal existence via communism. They took everything and redistributed it for the very purpose of eliminating poverty, starvation, living in the streets, etc. And instead of eliminating it they subjected millions to it.

Soviet Union - I think you are right. I am not really up on what life was like daily in the soviet union. In China, that's just not the case.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 2:04 PM  

Now they have discovered they can create a permanent dysfunctional client base for employing hundreds of thousands of their bleeding heart white girl social worker managers by importing Third Worlders from some of the nastiest and sumbest cultures around the world--people who show not the slightest capability for living and contributing to a First World culture.

Take all of your complaints about immigration, and direct them Marco Rubio. Thx.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 2:04 PM  

OK, I see the problem. I just checked the tax tables. When did the 25% tax rate get put in there? Apparently in 2003. Just goes to show how much attention I pay to things I can't change. :(

So my wife and I are firmly in the 25% range, not the 28% I'd been assuming. So let's run the math again. 25+6+15.3=46.3. 46.3/1.065=43.5% to three figures. So counting the myriad of assorted taxes, we're probably close to 50%, but may be slightly under.

1 – 200 of 281 Newer› Newest»

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts