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#208983 - 11/16/10 03:22 AM Re: My Daughter got a Masters Degree! but wait... [Re: Anne Holmes]
DJ Offline
Member

Registered: 11/22/02
Posts: 1148
Loc: Maryland
B61 -- I completely sympathize with what you're saying. My son just got laid off, and another of my kids is struggling mightily. I'm very sad about the trials the younger generation is going through, and sadder still about what my grandkids are living through.

While I appreciate all the advice that's being given, I don't think the situation these days is the same as when we were younger. The evidence is all out there staring at us -- having unregulated markets only helps the big bankers with millions to play with and also rewards them with a ridiculously low tax rate. I'm sorry, but I think the more one rakes in, the more one should contribute to the common weal.

I've been reading a great deal about the financial crisis and just watched a Frontline movie about how the big guys -- Alan Greenspan, especially -- wouldn't listen to a woman named Brooksley Born, chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission who tried during the '90s to regulate the derivatives market that finally caused the crisis of 2008 (and there was a smaller one in 1998). Back in the '70s, we didn't have this problem. It has been growing since the '80s, and really mushroomed in the '90s, and it's still lurking out there. We should all be demanding regulation! There are 5 Wall Street lobbyists for every single Congressperson, and the Congresspeople tend to think that the lobbyists are "experts" so they cave in to them.

Now we know, though, that even the bankers who were selling derivatives didn't fully understand them. And even the grand wizard himself, Alan Greenspan, said that his entire life philosophy based on Ayn Rand's teachings of "let the market regulate itself", admitted that he'd been wrong all his life. A sad thing for him to say, but good that he admitted it.

I too have struggled, lived with nothing, scraped by, and now live fairly comfortably. But I have to say, the world was simpler back in the 70s. The deck wasn't stacked against the average person the way it is now. There were still small, local banks, and friendly neighborhood local stores that hadn't yet been bought out by multinational corporations with headquarters in Hong Kong or Frankfurt or wherever, so you knew that the money you spent would circulate in the neighborhood. There were still locally owned radio and TV stations, whose owners lived in the communities. There were still local farms growing local food that wasn't raised in salmonella-producing conditions. We're all guilty of allowing ourselves to be bullied by these greedy wolves who are destroying our children's chance at decent lives.

I think we're on a page that hasn't been written before and are finding our way. There are no precedents for what's going on right now.

I don't plan to retire for quite some time (I enjoy my job too much anyway) and stand ready to help my children in any reasonable way.
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#208984 - 11/16/10 12:43 PM Re: My Daughter got a Masters Degree! but wait... [Re: DJ]
Edelweiss2 Offline


Registered: 09/09/08
Posts: 779
Loc: American living in Germany
I think the whole disaster started with globalization. The world is every big company's market. Instead of concentrating on the local business, as you mentioned, it's all being swallowed by big world businesses. Then came the banks to add to the greed.

But I don't agree that printing money is the answer. That will lead to an even greater disaster. People have to think more modestly. Sort of like after a war. Everyone is in the same boat, and everyone has got to bake smaller bread loaves to make ends meet. People should just buy at their local stores, and not over internet anymore. And people need to help their neighbours that aren't so well off. Pull this through for the next 10 years, and I think the economy could be saved.

Okay...just fell off my podest.
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#208985 - 11/16/10 02:56 PM Re: My Daughter got a Masters Degree! but wait... [Re: Edelweiss2]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2447
Loc: Arizona
I agree that buying local keeps more money in the local economy - something like 70cents vs 30 cents buying at national companies. I don't remember the exact amount. There is a big push here to 'buy local'. We do whenever possible.
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#208992 - 11/17/10 05:10 AM Re: My Daughter got a Masters Degree! but wait... [Re: yonuh]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3160
Loc: Illinois
I've got nothing against buying local. I live in a small community where the only big box store is a Walmart. We are in an area that is mostly farmers and businesses which cater to tourism... without those small businesses our Main St. would be shuttered. And I shudder to think what that would mean.

Lots of validity in the discussion about the economy and what caused the mess we are in. And I DO believe that it is the small entrepreneurs who are going to pull us out of this...

But I'm not an economist, so I will let those of you who know more about this continue the discussion...


Edited by Anne Holmes (11/17/10 05:12 AM)
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#209002 - 11/17/10 02:54 PM Re: My Daughter got a Masters Degree! but wait... [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9954
Loc: New York State
I'm not an economist either. But I do know the wealthy are paying from 50 to 60% and sometimes more in taxes and seems
more than a reasonable contribution. If the people in charge
of distributing what's paid in taxes, would cut waste'n graft,
it seems those may be good ways to dissolve the national debt.
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#209003 - 11/17/10 02:57 PM Re: My Daughter got a Masters Degree! but wait... [Re: jabber]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2447
Loc: Arizona
Actually the rich aren't paying near that much in taxes. There are so many 'loopholes' that their money is mostly safe from taxes. And corporations aren't paying their share either as most of them have 'tax havens' where their money can't be taxed. I say do away with all the ways to get out of paying taxes then everyone can pay their fair share.
_________________________
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#209005 - 11/17/10 03:06 PM Re: My Daughter got a Masters Degree! but wait... [Re: yonuh]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9954
Loc: New York State
yonuh,
I like you gal, but the rich are paying that much and more. I agree that major corporations and religious groups and on and on
get off without paying their fair share. But individuals who've
worked their hands to the bone pay plenty!
_________________________
Throw me to the wolves and I'll come back
leading the pack.
Grace O'Malley

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#209008 - 11/17/10 05:41 PM Re: My Daughter got a Masters Degree! but wait... [Re: jabber]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2447
Loc: Arizona
There are some interesting graphs and tables here:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/250.html
_________________________
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http://newbeginningsgratitudejournal.wordpress.com/
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#209012 - 11/17/10 06:16 PM Re: My Daughter got a Masters Degree! but wait... [Re: yonuh]
Edelweiss2 Offline


Registered: 09/09/08
Posts: 779
Loc: American living in Germany
Yonuh, is right. Because of all the loopholes, the rich don't ever pay 50-60% taxes. On the other hand, because of these loopholes, many charities, new housings, sponsorships, etc. are being supported. The money is doing something, and it's usually something good for the people.
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#209032 - 11/19/10 03:03 AM Re: My Daughter got a Masters Degree! but wait... [Re: Edelweiss2]
DJ Offline
Member

Registered: 11/22/02
Posts: 1148
Loc: Maryland
I have been very, very poor, have worked hard and am pretty comfortable now. It's easier for me to pay taxes now. It may be a higher dollar amount, but it doesn't hurt like it did back then. Why shouldn't I contribute? We all use the roads, my kids went to public schools, and my grandchildren do. I can afford to pay more than my kids can afford. In fact, if I have to pay a higher percentage of my income now that I can afford it, that doesn't seem unfair to me.

All of us were born into a world that others had built with their labor and sweat. They planted trees, built roads and bridges, libraries and schools with their taxes. We all owe something back, none of us did it alone.

These are the tax brackets:
# 10% on income between $0 and $8,375
# 15% on the income between $8,375 and $34,000;
# 25% on the income between $34,000 and $82,400;
# 28% on the income between $82,400 and $171,850;
# 33% on the income between $171,850 and $373,650;
# 35% on the income over $373,650;

If my son is earning $30K a year and has to pay 15% in taxes, that's about 4500, plus social security, which brings down his take-home pay to around 25K. It's pretty tight to live on that when rents are around 1000 a month, plus utilities. Car expenses, food, etc. But if I earned 200K and paid 33% -- or owed that much because I'd hire a good accountant to find shelters for me -- I'd be paying around 60K which is way more than my son, but I think I could live pretty well on 140,000.

But I don't earn that much and have plenty. We live pretty simply but I think we live well even though we aren't extravagant.

The financial crisis has roused a lot of folks to find out where all the money went, and what I've learned makes me sick. Our tax money has bailed out the Wall Street bankers and they're hoarding it. These guys have sent 5 lobbyists per every congressperson to write laws in their favor, which enabled them to make money, while the rest of us don't have lobbyists writing laws to help US make money. One thing we should be able to agree on is that the rich should pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. If you look at that graph, do you really think it's fair that someone who earns up to 8,375 a year should pay as much as 10%??? And do you really think it's going to be a burden for someone earning 250,000 a year to pay 35% Back in the 1950s, they actually WERE paying more like 50% in the higher brackets. And adjusting for inflation, families did better then.
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