Fiscal Cliff Primer....

User Forum Topic
Submitted by flu on November 8, 2012 - 8:54pm

...So if you're wondering what is such a big deal about the fiscal cliff, this primer actually isn't a bad start....(And this is a condensed version of what I've seen)

Highlighted bold items are the ones concerning income/investments for the lazy...

Now, as some have mentioned, each small tax change is "just incrementally small"..Well it is....By itself... But look at all the nickel and dime items that are cropping up...Added up, it's not so small.....

Yes, everyone is gonna pay higher taxes.....Whether they are in denial or not....

Morale of the story.. If you were planning to realize gains in after tax investments, this year is probably gonna be a much better year than others years that follows...which is why I think you'll have a selloff all for the remainder of the year...Although it is unlikely everything will expire, a lot of it will...

Happy new year!
---------------------------------------

http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/08/news/eco...

What's in the fiscal cliff?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The fiscal cliff is a man-made disaster waiting to happen.
It starts to take effect in January and includes $7 trillion worth of tax increases and spending cuts over a decade.

\
While that might seem like a deficit hawk's dream come true, it's anything but.

(snip)

*Automatic spending cuts

Since Congress failed last year to reach a bipartisan debt-reduction deal, the Budget Control Act requires automatic spending cuts to commence on Jan. 2 that will amount to $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years.

*Defense: $55 billion will be cut in 2013 from projected levels of discretionary defense spending. That translates into at least a 10% cut to every program, project and activity that's not explicitly exempt.

*Nondefense: $55 billion will be cut from projected levels of nondefense spending, which includes things like education, food inspections and air travel safety. Budget experts estimate the cuts will result in at least an 8% cut to programs, projects and activities.

*Bush tax cuts

*Income tax rates: Rise to 15%, 28%, 31%, 36% and 39.6%, up from 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35%.

*Capital gains rate: Rises to 20% from 15% for most filers.


*Qualified dividend rate: Rises to one's top income tax rate, up from 15% for most filers.
(Yes, that's right... taxed at income rate)


*PEP/Pease limitations: Restored. High-income households may not be able to take some itemized deductions and personal exemptions in full.

*Child tax credit: Falls to $500 per child from $1,000. The refundable portion also reduced.

*American Opportunity Tax Credit: Expires. The lesser value HOPE tax credit for college tuition is reinstated. Several smaller education tax benefits also expire.

*Earned Income Tax Credit: Expansion of eligibility for the credit expires.

*Marriage penalty relief: Expires. Effectively that means a low- or middle-income two-earner couple will owe more to the IRS than they would if they were single making the same income.


*Estate tax: Parameters revert to pre-2001 levels. The exemption level falls to $1 million from $5 million; and the top tax rate on taxable estates rises to 55%, up from 35%.
(Don't die in 2013)


* AMT patch
Expired already for 2012. Income exempt from the Alternative Minimum Tax in 2012 -- for which taxpayers will file returns next year -- falls to $33,750 for individuals and $45,000 for married couples. That's down from $50,600 and $78,750, respectively, if the exemption amounts had been adjusted for inflation.
As a result more than 30 million people will be hit by the so-called "wealth" tax, up from 4 million to date.


* Payroll tax holiday
Expires. The Social Security tax rate reverts to 6.2%, up from 4.2%, on the first $110,100 in wages. Effectively, someone making $50,000 will pay another $1,000 in payroll taxes next year.

* Unemployment benefits extension
The federal extension expires. That means workers who lose their jobs after July 1, 2012, will only receive up to 26 weeks in state unemployment benefits, down from as many as 99 weeks in state and federal benefits that had been available until recently.
By one estimate, more than 2 million claimants will lose their benefits by January.

* Tax extenders
A host of smaller individual and business tax breaks will have expired. A bipartisan bill from the Senate Finance Committee proposes to extend many of them, but it has not passed the Senate or House yet.


* Medicare doc fix
Expires. Medicare payment rates for physician services drops by 27%.


*Other (Medicare surcharge)

Some budget experts count as part of the fiscal cliff the onset of a new Medicare surtax on high-income households under health reform.
But unlike the other fiscal cliff tax provisions, the new tax was not written into law as a wink-wink "temporary" provision. It is, however, included to reflect the magnitude of tax increases set to take effect simultaneously in 2013.
A 0.9% surtax will apply to wages on earned income over $200,000 ($250,000 if married). That's on top of the 1.45% Medicare currently owed on all wages.
Those making between $200,000 and $500,000, for instance, will only pay about $633 extra while households making $1 million or more would pay another $11,242 A 3.8% Medicare surtax will also apply for the first time to at least a portion of high-income households' investment income.

Submitted by spdrun on November 8, 2012 - 9:02pm.

Not crying about the fact that the military-industrial parasites will lose $55 billion per year.

Submitted by flu on November 8, 2012 - 9:09pm.

spdrun wrote:
Not crying about the fact that the military-industrial parasites will lose $55 billion per year.

It won't happen...But, the tax increases is astonishing....And this is the short list.....

I'm curious if any of you folks actually looked at it before.....

Submitted by spdrun on November 8, 2012 - 9:14pm.

Meh. It's basically a return to 1990s tax policies. You know, when this country was actually doing decently and had a balanced budget. Pity we won't be doing anything about the Pigs in the Pentagon. Eisenhower (a General I may add) was right in his farewell speech.

Submitted by flu on November 8, 2012 - 9:18pm.

spdrun wrote:
Meh. It's basically a return to 1990s tax policies. You know, when this country was actually doing decently and had a balanced budget. Pity we won't be doing anything about the Pigs in the Pentagon. Eisenhower (a General I may add) was right in his farewell speech.

....with 2012 inflated dollars and generally weakened purchasing power...

I guess someone starting out really doesn't need to invest anymore, because wow... just wow... for younger people starting out now, they aren't gonna be able to accumulate wealth anywhere close to what some of us older folks have been able to.... Pity....

Submitted by SD Realtor on November 8, 2012 - 9:58pm.

Yeah FLU quit worrying about it. Things are going to be just fine. Just keep moving along.

Submitted by all on November 8, 2012 - 10:02pm.

There be a deal that will be limited to a year or two. Also, there be no built in adjustments for inflation. That way all the recurring issues can keep coming back and the pols can keep dealing and entertaining.

Submitted by deadzone on November 8, 2012 - 11:48pm.

I'll be ecstatic if they actually roll back the Bush tax cuts. Mostly affects wealthy individuals, so it is about time.

So long term capital gains tax from 15% to 20%, big effin deal. Like investors are going to cash out their investments and hide all their money under their mattress due to the exra tax, give me a break. Estate taxes from 5 million to 1 million.. cry me a river, you just inherited over a million dollars in which you didn't do a god damn thing to earn. Quite whining you spoiled trust fund babies!

Submitted by citydweller on November 8, 2012 - 11:55pm.

flu wrote:
spdrun wrote:
Meh. It's basically a return to 1990s tax policies. You know, when this country was actually doing decently and had a balanced budget. Pity we won't be doing anything about the Pigs in the Pentagon. Eisenhower (a General I may add) was right in his farewell speech.

....with 2012 inflated dollars and generally weakened purchasing power...

I guess someone starting out really doesn't need to invest anymore, because wow... just wow... for younger people starting out now, they aren't gonna be able to accumulate wealth anywhere close to what some of us older folks have been able to.... Pity....

flu, it seems like you've been able to accumulate wealth, but I get the sense that you are not happy. You seem to have a lot of complaints about the world we live in.

I personally have not accumulated a lot of wealth, but I have learned to be happy with what I have. I do not begrudge any of the money I pay in taxes. I appreciate that the taxes I have paid during my working years have provided me with this incredibly amazing country we live in.

Every day I can flip a switch and my lights come on, I turn a faucet and clean water comes out, I eat at restaurants and have never gotten food poisoning, I make money and put it in the bank and none of it has ever disappeared, I make monthly payments on my condo and I have never had to defend my right to be here. I could go on and on. It frustrates me that some people can live in this incredible abundance and security that we have in the U.S. and still complain because they think we should have MORE!

Submitted by paramount on November 9, 2012 - 12:17am.

citydweller wrote:
flu wrote:
spdrun wrote:
Meh. It's basically a return to 1990s tax policies. You know, when this country was actually doing decently and had a balanced budget. Pity we won't be doing anything about the Pigs in the Pentagon. Eisenhower (a General I may add) was right in his farewell speech.

....with 2012 inflated dollars and generally weakened purchasing power...

I guess someone starting out really doesn't need to invest anymore, because wow... just wow... for younger people starting out now, they aren't gonna be able to accumulate wealth anywhere close to what some of us older folks have been able to.... Pity....

flu, it seems like you've been able to accumulate wealth, but I get the sense that you are not happy. You seem to have a lot of complaints about the world we live in.

I personally have not accumulated a lot of wealth, but I have learned to be happy with what I have. I do not begrudge any of the money I pay in taxes. I appreciate that the taxes I have paid during my working years have provided me with this incredibly amazing country we live in.

Every day I can flip a switch and my lights come on, I turn a faucet and clean water comes out, I eat at restaurants and have never gotten food poisoning, I make money and put it in the bank and none of it has ever disappeared, I make monthly payments on my condo and I have never had to defend my right to be here. I could go on and on. It frustrates me that some people can live in this incredible abundance and security that we have in the U.S. and still complain because they think we should have MORE!

Wow, you're really self-righteous.

IMO it's largely because of people like flu that we in fact enjoy abundance.

Submitted by citydweller on November 9, 2012 - 12:28am.

I agree, it is thanks to people like flu, who really care about what is going on, that we enjoy abundance. My point was that flu does not seem to be enjoying this abundance we have. Instead, he is worrying about the "future". I had a very wealthy grandfather but he never enjoyed his abundance and died worrying about the financial well being of his children and grandchildren. I wish I could go back in time and tell him "hey gramps, I'm doing fine, the world did not collapse, relax and enjoy".

Submitted by flu on November 9, 2012 - 12:37am.

citydweller wrote:

flu, it seems like you've been able to accumulate wealth, but I get the sense that you are not happy. You seem to have a lot of complaints about the world we live in.

I personally have not accumulated a lot of wealth, but I have learned to be happy with what I have. I do not begrudge any of the money I pay in taxes. I appreciate that the taxes I have paid during my working years have provided me with this incredibly amazing country we live in.

Every day I can flip a switch and my lights come on, I turn a faucet and clean water comes out, I eat at restaurants and have never gotten food poisoning, I make money and put it in the bank and none of it has ever disappeared, I make monthly payments on my condo and I have never had to defend my right to be here. I could go on and on. It frustrates me that some people can live in this incredible abundance and security that we have in the U.S. and still complain because they think we should have MORE!

Lol. Actually, I'm pretty happy. Contrary to popular belief, I'm frustrated because I care. But I'm learning not too....

It frustrates me that people have shitty work ethics and shitty entitlement mentality in this country, because it means our younger generation doesn't have a frickin chance...It surprises me that our younger generation doesn't seem to care about what's in store for them... It frustrates me that the solution to any problem is this country is to spend more on credit under the guise that it is necessary, and that increasing taxes alone on some faction of our society will solve the fundamental problem we have (deficit spending)..

..... and that even on this forum, despite everyone saying/agreeing and calling for more fiscal responsibility and on the concern of the lack of moral hazard we were all talking about during the eye of the real estate meltdown, I get the impression that either (a) people have gotten use to this and don't care..... or worse (b) somehow some people really think there isn't a problem anymore.

It has nothing to do the actual political "parties"...Who cares about the political parties... I'm sure if you had a supermajority GOP in CA government or Fed government, they'd be equally horrendous and fvcked up.... It has everything to do with runaway spending... Have we all forgotten about that? Or have we all just given up? It's an interesting observation...Because I tend to believe that on piggs, at least from the original members most people were on the same page on what a wrong direction we're headed...What happened?

It's also an interesting observation that despite everyone's idealogy of calling for fiscal responsibility... When push really comes to shove, very few people do the very things that everyone else is being asked to do... The analogy is like we're about to go to war with another country, and everyone's supportive and cheering for it...But when they need soldiers, the same cheerleaders run for cover and the mentality is "yeah, I think your son should go to war and fight for us for the greater good and possibly die...But I'm not sending my own son there"....

Submitted by CA renter on November 9, 2012 - 12:42am.

spdrun wrote:
Meh. It's basically a return to 1990s tax policies. You know, when this country was actually doing decently and had a balanced budget. Pity we won't be doing anything about the Pigs in the Pentagon. Eisenhower (a General I may add) was right in his farewell speech.

+ 1 million

Submitted by flu on November 9, 2012 - 12:42am.

citydweller wrote:
I agree, it is thanks to people like flu, who really care about what is going on, that we enjoy abundance. My point was that flu does not seem to be enjoying this abundance we have. Instead, he is worrying about the "future". I had a very wealthy grandfather but he never enjoyed his abundance and died worrying about the financial well being of his children and grandchildren. I wish I could go back in time and tell him "hey gramps, I'm doing fine, the world did not collapse, relax and enjoy".

Your gramps made it easier for you so you didn't have to grow up in a third world country.

I don't want my kid's kid growing up asking me why my generation made this country into the richest third world country and why they were enslaved into mounds of debt from birth...

Submitted by flu on November 9, 2012 - 12:43am.

.

Submitted by CA renter on November 9, 2012 - 1:06am.

flu wrote:
citydweller wrote:
I agree, it is thanks to people like flu, who really care about what is going on, that we enjoy abundance. My point was that flu does not seem to be enjoying this abundance we have. Instead, he is worrying about the "future". I had a very wealthy grandfather but he never enjoyed his abundance and died worrying about the financial well being of his children and grandchildren. I wish I could go back in time and tell him "hey gramps, I'm doing fine, the world did not collapse, relax and enjoy".

Your gramps made it easier for you so you didn't have to grow up in a third world country.

I don't want my kid's kid growing up asking me why my generation made this country into the richest third world country and why they were enslaved into mounds of debt from birth...

Your kid is far more likely to live in a Third World country if we continue on the trajectory we're on, thanks to "supply side" economics. The tremendous wealth/income gap is what distinguishes Third World countries and collapsing economies from more more developed nations.

Don't take my word for it, do the research yourself instead of listening to the right-wing talking points (that have absolutely no data at all to back them up, BTW).

Submitted by flu on November 9, 2012 - 1:09am.

deadzone wrote:
I'll be ecstatic if they actually roll back the Bush tax cuts. Mostly affects wealthy individuals, so it is about time.

So long term capital gains tax from 15% to 20%, big effin deal. Like investors are going to cash out their investments and hide all their money under their mattress due to the exra tax, give me a break. Estate taxes from 5 million to 1 million.. cry me a river, you just inherited over a million dollars in which you didn't do a god damn thing to earn. Quite whining you spoiled trust fund babies!

Oh my....Are you serious?

Do you have a family?

Hypothetical situation... Let's say you have a wife and kid(s)... Let's say tomorrow you get hit by a bus and die....Hopefully you were smart enough to plan ahead and had some sort of life insurance policy so that you wouldn't leave your widowed wife and kid hanging... Because if you did't that would be completely irresponsible on your part.

Let's say you're 30.....Do you really think $1million is enough to replace your income, juggling between maybe a mortgage, maybe some student loans, maybe oh I don't know, college tuition of your kids?
Or do you expect your widowed wife to fend for herself and your kid to just "have to deal with it"... Now, let's put this in perspective...Let's just say estate taxes takes half of your life policy... Did you think about that?

I don't think folks are getting this... People who already planned/accumulated before any of these new rules/restrictions are ok...All these new rules is going to make it a hell of lot harder for anyone else that need to do something there after. These things are not "mostly issues for rich people"...
These issues in the majority affect the working middle class. It's limiting YOUR ability to accumulate wealth, whether you have chosen to or not...It won't be an option for YOU moving forward...YOU are at a disadvantage versus people who already have accumulated wealth or have started much earlier than you. Someone who already has wealth accumulated can move to different instruments because as many correctly points out it's easy(ier) to generate money when one has money...

Of course older people on pensions have no issues with these changes...Because they have a guarantee (or they think they do)...YOU don't have that luxury...

Do the math yourself. Take whatever you think would have been a reasonable return (say 8-10%) and than of that tax that at 15% for a few years..Do the same thing, except tax that at your income rate (probably 25%ish)...Tell me what sort of dent that will put into your bottom line 8,14,20 years down the road.

And then if you're trying to buy a home for the first time, and you don't have enough down, you know where it went...

Submitted by CA renter on November 9, 2012 - 1:12am.

Whine, whine, whine.

You do realize, flu, that workers who do all the productive work in society, and who are taxed at far higher rates, have a much harder time "accumulating wealth" than the capitalist parasites who do nothing productive for society, right? Which should we incentivize more: productive work, or speculation?

No capital has ever created itself. ALL capital was first created by labor except for the rights to certain natural resources, but even those must be extracted or improved upon **by labor** if their full value is to be realized. Without labor, there is nothing for capital to trade or bet on.

Submitted by flu on November 9, 2012 - 1:41am.

CA renter wrote:
Whine, whine, whine.

You do realize, flu, that workers who do all the productive work in society, and who are taxed at far higher rates, have a much harder time "accumulating wealth" than the capitalist parasites who do nothing productive for society, right? Which should we incentivize more: productive work, or speculation?

Look CAR... I didn't take this personal, and if you take it that way, that's you're problem. I don't mind if you add me to your ignore list.

And i didn't respond to you until now...You made this statement about how unions benefited people blah blah blah... Oh please... Let's be even more ridiculous along your line of reasoning...

You benefit from my ancestors who came her from china to lay railroads so that the U.S. could become an industrial nation, basically as slaves and indentured servants... So show some respect and buy some goods made in china. Because if it wasn't for my relatives, we wouldn't have had railroads in this country....

Also, please return some of the land back to some of the japanese-americans that was illegally confiscated during WW2...If it wasn't for them forcefully surrending land all over California, you wouldn't be enjoying that nice SFH of yours in San Diego...Please pay up principal + interest that has been compounded for the past 50+years.

Thank you.

If you want to turn back the clock and tell about how one faction or society has contributed to America, then please do so without being selectively partial. You keep dwelling about past contributions of unions. That's nice.. But please, look at where we are now...Because past contributions doesn't give a license to egregious behavior in present day. You seem to think it does.

Also, there has come a point in time in which one group/faction has helped build this nation.....and even wall street and bankers that you seem to be so hell bent railing against.

BTW: your pension is a wall street financial product.....Go ahead and "punish" wall street...Let's see what happens to your nest egg.

Submitted by flyer on November 9, 2012 - 1:52am.

Regardless of who is to blame, we are where we are in this country. Sorry to say it, but IMO, it's every person/family for his/her/themselves from this point forward.

Whether we're rich, poor, or in the middle, we can spend the rest of our lives analyzing each "side's" faults. Someone might call me a "capitalist," (by the way, I consider that a compliment), and I might call them something I'd rather not mention, but how is that going to change the outcome of anyone's life?

We can say it's all fair, unfair, or anything else we want to say. We can lay on the ground and kick and scream, but--don't kid yourself--no one is listening--on either side.

Regardless of who wins any election, IMO, no one really "wins" in life, unless they are living their dreams, and that's all each of us can try to do in our own lives.

Wonder how many recent voters can honestly say they are living their dreams? Now, that's a poll I'd really love to see. No "whining" allowed.

Submitted by CA renter on November 9, 2012 - 3:24am.

flu wrote:
CA renter wrote:
Whine, whine, whine.

You do realize, flu, that workers who do all the productive work in society, and who are taxed at far higher rates, have a much harder time "accumulating wealth" than the capitalist parasites who do nothing productive for society, right? Which should we incentivize more: productive work, or speculation?

Look CAR... I didn't take this personal, and if you take it that way, that's you're problem. I don't mind if you add me to your ignore list.

And i didn't respond to you until now...You made this statement about how unions benefited people blah blah blah... Oh please... Let's be even more ridiculous along your line of reasoning...

You benefit from my ancestors who came her from china to lay railroads so that the U.S. could become an industrial nation, basically as slaves and indentured servants... So show some respect and buy some goods made in china. Because if it wasn't for my relatives, we wouldn't have had railroads in this country....

Also, please return some of the land back to some of the japanese-americans that was illegally confiscated during WW2...If it wasn't for them forcefully surrending land all over California, you wouldn't be enjoying that nice SFH of yours in San Diego...Please pay up principal + interest that has been compounded for the past 50+years.

Thank you.

If you want to turn back the clock and tell about how one faction or society has contributed to America, then please do so without being selectively partial. You keep dwelling about past contributions of unions. That's nice.. But please, look at where we are now...Because past contributions doesn't give a license to egregious behavior in present day. You seem to think it does.

Also, there has come a point in time in which one group/faction has helped build this nation.....and even wall street and bankers that you seem to be so hell bent railing against.

BTW: your pension is a wall street financial product.....Go ahead and "punish" wall street...Let's see what happens to your nest egg.

But you did try to make it personal (even though your assertions are totally wrong), on a couple of occasions. You and I both know what I'm talking about. And I don't have to put anyone on my "ignore" list because I'm not the least bit intimidated by what others have to say. I can back up everything I post with plenty of data...can you?

I'm not talking about what unions have done in the past; I'm talking about what they're doing today to protect workers and their families from the powerful onslaught brought about by those who hold all the power and wealth in this country (and world), and who still want ever more power and wealth.

If labor were to suddenly disappear tomorrow, the entire system would crash, and it would never recover until that labor was replaced. If Wall Street speculators were to suddenly disappear tomorrow, things would certainly contract for awhile, but labor could fend for itself, and we would be able to rebuild again in a far more productive and egalitarian way (until new capitalists entered the picture and tried to take control of everything created by labor, again).

Believe me, I'd much rather return to the days when public pension funds were run by in-house employees who only invested in a very limited number of extremely safe bonds. I hate what Wall Street/speculation has done to this country, not once, but twice in less than a century (more, if you count the lesser bubbles in between the Great Depression and "Great Recession").
-----------------

Capital vs. labor: where do you stand?

The made-in-China model, on the other hand, has carried no such social benefits, either in Apple's home country or in the People's Republic. Last year, Apple built up cash reserves of $100bn – more than the US government. Indeed, it was so much money that the company was stumped how to dispose of it. Tim Cook, who is now CEO of Apple, announced a few weeks ago that he would begin buying back shares and paying dividends to investors. Among other people who benefited from this arrangement was Cook himself, who was awarded $376.3m in Apple stock when he took over last year. That pile of shares is now valued at around $634m. The people who win from the made-in-China model are big investors and top executives.

In the case of Apple, outsourcing manufacturing is not about keeping costs to customers down – they are still paying huge prices for the latest handset or tablet computer. Nor is it about the company's survival: it would still do tremendously well were it to bring those factories back home. No, in the case of Apple, moving jobs offshore has become a way of directing ever more money to those at the top of American society.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/201...

Submitted by flu on November 9, 2012 - 7:25am.

CA renter wrote:
flu wrote:
CA renter wrote:
Whine, whine, whine.

You do realize, flu, that workers who do all the productive work in society, and who are taxed at far higher rates, have a much harder time "accumulating wealth" than the capitalist parasites who do nothing productive for society, right? Which should we incentivize more: productive work, or speculation?

Look CAR... I didn't take this personal, and if you take it that way, that's you're problem. I don't mind if you add me to your ignore list.

And i didn't respond to you until now...You made this statement about how unions benefited people blah blah blah... Oh please... Let's be even more ridiculous along your line of reasoning...

You benefit from my ancestors who came her from china to lay railroads so that the U.S. could become an industrial nation, basically as slaves and indentured servants... So show some respect and buy some goods made in china. Because if it wasn't for my relatives, we wouldn't have had railroads in this country....

Also, please return some of the land back to some of the japanese-americans that was illegally confiscated during WW2...If it wasn't for them forcefully surrending land all over California, you wouldn't be enjoying that nice SFH of yours in San Diego...Please pay up principal + interest that has been compounded for the past 50+years.

Thank you.

If you want to turn back the clock and tell about how one faction or society has contributed to America, then please do so without being selectively partial. You keep dwelling about past contributions of unions. That's nice.. But please, look at where we are now...Because past contributions doesn't give a license to egregious behavior in present day. You seem to think it does.

Also, there has come a point in time in which one group/faction has helped build this nation.....and even wall street and bankers that you seem to be so hell bent railing against.

BTW: your pension is a wall street financial product.....Go ahead and "punish" wall street...Let's see what happens to your nest egg.

But you did try to make it personal (even though your assertions are totally wrong), on a couple of occasions. You and I both know what I'm talking about. And I don't have to put anyone on my "ignore" list because I'm not the least bit intimidated by what others have to say. I can back up everything I post with plenty of data...can you?

I'm not talking about what unions have done in the past; I'm talking about what they're doing today to protect workers and their families from the powerful onslaught brought about by those who hold all the power and wealth in this country (and world), and who still want ever more power and wealth.

If labor were to suddenly disappear tomorrow, the entire system would crash, and it would never recover until that labor was replaced. If Wall Street speculators were to suddenly disappear tomorrow, things would certainly contract for awhile, but labor could fend for itself, and we would be able to rebuild again in a far more productive and egalitarian way (until new capitalists entered the picture and tried to take control of everything created by labor, again).

Believe me, I'd much rather return to the days when public pension funds were run by in-house employees who only invested in a very limited number of extremely safe bonds. I hate what Wall Street/speculation has done to this country, not once, but twice in less than a century (more, if you count the lesser bubbles in between the Great Depression and "Great Recession").
-----------------

Capital vs. labor: where do you stand?

The made-in-China model, on the other hand, has carried no such social benefits, either in Apple's home country or in the People's Republic. Last year, Apple built up cash reserves of $100bn – more than the US government. Indeed, it was so much money that the company was stumped how to dispose of it. Tim Cook, who is now CEO of Apple, announced a few weeks ago that he would begin buying back shares and paying dividends to investors. Among other people who benefited from this arrangement was Cook himself, who was awarded $376.3m in Apple stock when he took over last year. That pile of shares is now valued at around $634m. The people who win from the made-in-China model are big investors and top executives.

In the case of Apple, outsourcing manufacturing is not about keeping costs to customers down – they are still paying huge prices for the latest handset or tablet computer. Nor is it about the company's survival: it would still do tremendously well were it to bring those factories back home. No, in the case of Apple, moving jobs offshore has become a way of directing ever more money to those at the top of American society.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/23/bad-apple-employ-more-us-workers

Here we go again...

Yes, CAR, you did take it personal by responding to me directly... For some reason you took it personal by taking the union versus non-union thing personally. I wasn't even referring to you frankly...

Just like you took it personally last time when I mentioned people in general are hypocrites because they will tell other people they need to pay taxes while simultaneously trying to skirt paying taxes themselves. I went on to say examples of this were small business owners that shutoff their registers half day and other people that play games in various other ways which I don't need to reiterate here. Because I've seen plenty of people do that...Just like personally I've seen people take food stamps and try to cash those in and said friend's convenience stores (which BTW FINALLY the government is starting to crack down on after decades of small biz owners reporting the fraud in)....As well as most recent examples of people shirting unemployment benefits/etc. So it is a fact...there are plenty of people that don't pay their fair share

....And then you jumped on for whatever reason all defensive saying what you did there was nothing wrong.. Did I say you turn off your cash register half-day..... or the likes? Why did you get all defensive again? Guilty conscience, maybe?

Regarding unions. I can not only provide data, and I can provide first hand experiences...

There was a reason why I put on the "fat_lazy_union_worker" handle before. It was my experience when I was an intern at then wonderful tech company with a "M "in Schaumburg, Illinois.... We had two move two desktop computers and a few equipement down two offices to finish a project deadline for china...
We couldn't.... Because apparently "moving heavy items" was not something that non-union people could do. We had to schedule an appointment with the moving people, and when we did the most urgent date was two weeks...I shit you not....Me and co-worker went down to the group, and there were a bunch of people yapping away and stuffing their faces with doughnuts and telling us we can't move stuff, that would be a violation, we can't do this. It would be a violation..And they just didn't give a shit whether you had a project deadline or not...That....And plenty of other ridiculous rules that really prevented people from trying to get their job done...Part of the business went to Lucent, if I recall....Saving jobs? Really? With internal B.S. like that, did you really expect M's heyday to continue... Tell me CAR, justify this is "efficient" and how some union BS crap actually cost a deal and how the people directly responsible didn't even care about it? I don't know which world you are from but there are plenty of examples like this...

BTW: futures are way off this morning.

Down down another 100 points... Eventually it will hit your pension. And if you're in cash, eventually it will eat away at your cash too once we have inflation....

We're down close 500 points in just 1 week....

So you're idea of just sitting there and not actively manage your money ain't gonna work...

Anyway, I'm done responding to you directly....If you don't like what others say, then ignore it..And as a reminder, pay your fair share in income and property taxes.

Submitted by ltsdd on November 9, 2012 - 7:20am.

Can't blame people for being upset that the Govt is taking away the free handouts that they have been enjoying the last 10 years with the generous tax cuts initiated during the Bush administration.

Submitted by meadandale on November 9, 2012 - 8:01am.

ltsdd wrote:
Can't blame people for being upset that the Govt is taking away the free handouts that they have been enjoying the last 10 years with the generous tax cuts initiated during the Bush administration.

I love when someone refers to "keeping your own money" as a "handout".

Submitted by spdrun on November 9, 2012 - 8:25am.

Handouts. Military-industrial-parasite spending has increased massively since 2001 without tax increases to support it. Problem is that the handouts are not going to the average American, but being pocketed by defense contractor companies who are sitting on quite a lot of money. And/or being squandered in the Middle East.

If you're going to run a war, you need to raise taxes to support it, end of story. Dubya, bright boy that he was, didn't get this idea through his numb skull.

Submitted by ltsdd on November 9, 2012 - 8:28am.

meadandale wrote:
ltsdd wrote:
Can't blame people for being upset that the Govt is taking away the free handouts that they have been enjoying the last 10 years with the generous tax cuts initiated during the Bush administration.

I love when someone refers to "keeping your own money" as a "handout".

If you don't accept that taxation is a part of life here in the U.S. then I agree that it's not a handout. Otherwise, suck it up and accept the reality and be thankful that Bush gave most of us a nice yearly bonus for the last ten years or so.

Submitted by dumbrenter on November 9, 2012 - 8:45am.

paramount wrote:

IMO it's largely because of people like flu that we in fact enjoy abundance.

You mean people who flood the threads with political posts and tax rants are actually contributing to our abundance?

Submitted by Hobie on November 9, 2012 - 9:32am.

DR: Flu is spot on and his threads illustrate what more people need to learn. Especially before they step into the voting booth.

Submitted by flu on November 9, 2012 - 9:42am.

dumbrenter wrote:
paramount wrote:

IMO it's largely because of people like flu that we in fact enjoy abundance.

You mean people who flood the threads with political posts and tax rants are actually contributing to our abundance?

What political post? Why do you think this is about politics. This has nothing to do with politics...It has everything to do with fiscal policy. Same crap if it came out of the GOP ass for all I care.

Have you stopped and think about this...

For the past decade middle class americans had a lot of tools at it's disposal to accumulate wealth besides slaving away at a day job as benefits from a day job/w2 income erodes... However middle class didn't take advantage of the tools when it had them available.

Today, middle class america is in dire situation..It needs those very tools to accumulate/replenish wealth for which it lost....BUT, now those tools aren't available....

Now that you won't have tools available to accumulate wealth besides your day job, and now like most likely your day job's salary is flat to going down to begin with... How do you propose to be ever get out rat race...For instance, how do you ever think you'll be able to afford housing instead of perpetually renting from a landlord...You can't just count on a w-2 job...

Something happened in the mist of our industrial change. Companies and institutions shifted the burden of guaranteed future from pensions that were provided by private and public companies into individuals (401k, self directed retirements, individual investments)...You were on the hook for growing your own money...And at the time, the government provided you a lot of tools to help you get there. That was the key and that was the only shot any middle class american had to get out of the rat hole. It's gone...It's not coming back...

If you're not worried, you should be, especially if your young.

http://www.investinganswers.com/investme...

You think taking a 15 dividend rate isn't going to affect middle class. Let's think about this...

If you were middle class, and you tucked away your savings in a dividend investment that produced 8% return, you were able to accumulate wealth for the past 8 years much faster than if you were taxed at your normal income tax rate (probably 25-30% if you don't have a schedule A deduction)...That would have benefited you directly...(Whether you chose to be financial literate, understand, and do it yourself, that was your decision...)..

If that 15% cap rate is gone, even if you wanted to accumulate wealth now for instance to save up for a primary home, you don't have that option anymore...Gone...You lose, not rich people... You're still stuck at square 1...Rich people still have their expensive accountants and loopholes they can exploit...That's historically what happens all the time...

Submitted by meadandale on November 9, 2012 - 9:42am.

ltsdd wrote:
meadandale wrote:
ltsdd wrote:
Can't blame people for being upset that the Govt is taking away the free handouts that they have been enjoying the last 10 years with the generous tax cuts initiated during the Bush administration.

I love when someone refers to "keeping your own money" as a "handout".

If you don't accept that taxation is a part of life here in the U.S. then I agree that it's not a handout. Otherwise, suck it up and accept the reality and be thankful that Bush gave most of us a nice yearly bonus for the last ten years or so.

I don't accept that every dollar I earn belongs to the government by default and that it is only by the government's generosity that I'm allowed to keep some of my earnings.

That's called slavery.

Yes, we as citizens have to come together as a society and pitch in. That's why we have taxes. However, the things we are now pitching in for are expanding to things that the government should not be involved with and they are sucking an ever increasing amount of our GDP into their giant maw.

Submitted by spdrun on November 9, 2012 - 9:43am.

Considering that buying is cheaper than renting most places these days, why is buying property so implausible, unless you're looking for something in a trophy area where the buy-rent equation is f'ed?

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