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December 30, 2012
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Fiscal Cliff?

:iconcherryblossomgeisha:
CherryBlossomGeisha Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I'm not really understanding what the whole concept of the fiscal cliff is. Can someone clarify?
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:iconhjsman:
hjsman Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
You have received quite a few poor responses on the fiscal cliff on this thread. The lack of understanding amongst the various members of DA is utterly shocking but in a way does not surprise me at all. Sorry, that is my little rant about the responses you have been receiving.

I will now answer your question.

The "fiscal cliff" is the term used to describe the US governments maximum debt that it is legally allowed to accumulate. Think of it like a credit card limit. The goverment spends a lot more than it receives in income, therefore it must borrow. However once it's "credit limit" or "fiscal cliff" is reached, it must stop spending or legislate to increase the debt ceiling or "credit limit". Without that legislation further borrowing would be unconstitutional. Current US debt is currently over 16 trillion dollars. In order to spend more a consensus in congress must be reached.

I hope that helps....

....and I am truly sorry that you must endure all the conspiracy theories and other tripe which so often appears in these forums.
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:iconmgonzales041090:
mgonzales041090 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
That's not what the fiscal cliff is. That's what the debt ceiling is. The fiscal cliff is a series of tax hikes and spending cuts which were likely to plunge the US into another economic recession. The term was coined by Ben Bernanke, Chair of the Fed.
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:iconhjsman:
hjsman Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
You are correct. The fiscal cliff refers most directly to the instance of simultaneous tax hikes and spending cuts which were to occur on January first. I should have been more clear. The primary battle however is its relationship to our ever growing sovereign debt. Which now sits around 16 trillion plus and how to best resolve the problem. There are some who want this debt to reduce. There are those who want the economy to grow through the expansion of this debt. The question is how long can we continue to do that.

Think of it this way...

Imagine you are someone who has ...

Income of $23,000 per year

Spends $38,000 per year

And

Has a credit card with a balance of about $160,000 in total

Add a bunch of zeros to those figures and you basically have the United States fiscal situation. It is a cliff because the law only allows for so much debt accumulation. They may have agreement right now. But they still haven't agreed on the debt ceiling.

Looking at it this way it may not have been so bad to go over the cliff. (Except for the tax hikes, but that is just my philosophy) but we would have seen a very rapid decline in the budget deficit. And I am aware it would impact the economy and various social programs before I get called out on that. But it is already making its impact and as the problem swells it could implode one day. Some may think that impossible but time and history march ever forward and it still has a long way to go.

Now you can keep growing this debt as long as your income grows as fast or faster than it. However lately the debt has been growing much more rapidly.
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:iconmgonzales041090:
mgonzales041090 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I know how the debt ceiling works. As for the cliff, it actually would have been better to go over and allow both the spending cuts and tax hikes. That being said, the crux of the fiscal cliff had to deal with the damaging tax hikes added to the end of employment insurance which decreased the overall spending power in the economy and lowered the GDP by .5%, according to the CBO. The likelihood was to be another recession. Spending cuts only got put on the table by Republicans who wanted to play with spending as a bargaining-ship for extending taxes for everybody. The President's goal was to extend the Bush tax cuts to 98% of Americans, while the GOP wanted them extended for everybody and, instead, wanted spending cuts to offset that revenue. The debt limit was just part of what the negotiations MIGHT have included. Instead, the debt ceiling argument is being saved for another day.


Here's another thread I wrote up on it which examined the numbers and the benefits of going over. You can read about it here. [link]
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:iconcherryblossomgeisha:
CherryBlossomGeisha Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
wow, thank you so much. I was able to understand that a lot. ^_^
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:iconmgonzales041090:
mgonzales041090 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
His answer was incorrect btw.
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:iconcherryblossomgeisha:
CherryBlossomGeisha Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
how?
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:iconmgonzales041090:
mgonzales041090 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Mci021 has the most accurate answer. It's automatic spending cuts and tax hikes.
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:iconmiletich2:
miletich2 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The fiscal cliff is an illusion. It's all a ploy by the GOP to encourage recall campaigns against President Obama.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
In the US system Congress is the only body with the power to enact a budget. The executive (president and co) act within that budget. There is something called the "debt ceiling", this is the maximum the executive can borrow to finance the budgets. When it hits that ceiling, it isn't allow to borrow any more. This means in order to keep government running they need to be able to provide all the funds for spending without any borrowing. The US government passed a bill some time back saying what would be done to balance the budget if the ceiling was reached without any deal being made. That is the fiscal cliff, it is forcing the government to balance to books so it can fund itself. As the US government currently runs by borrowing lots of money, this means it needs to cut spending and raise more revenues to have a balanced budget.

It's essentially a slash and burn solution.
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:iconmci021:
mci021 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
As I understand it, and I may be wrong, the fiscal cliff is a deadline set by our lawmakers by which a certain number of solutions to various problems have to be made. If that deadline isn't met, certain consequences ensue. A series of tax hikes and spending cuts automatically kick in, leading to what some economists and other smarty pants people seem to believe will launch the country back into recession.

Personally, I think the media enjoy the gloomy-doomyness of the phrase "fiscal cliff" and want to milk it for all its worth, knowing that most of us don't really know what it is or why we should be worried.
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:iconsynapticboomstick:
SynapticBoomstick Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's apparently not as big a deal as Congress has been making about it or they'd have put more effort into coming up with an agreement on it before today.

December 31st.

You know.

The end of the year.

This whole year has been a load of gloom and doom bullshit. :unimpressed:
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Sorry, I'm laughing that you assume whether or not our current Congress puts effort into something depends on how big a deal it is.
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:icondutchconnaisseur:
DutchConnaisseur Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
The USA has not enough money.
If they don't get more money, some automatic spending cuts will be made coming month.
The democrats wants to get money one way, the republicans want something different.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The fiscal cliff is a myth cooked up by the conservatives to justify fucking over the poor and middle class to benefit the rich.

(And that's actually not really hyperbole: [link] [link] [link] )

The irony is that the conservatives could get all the budget balancing they want by cutting the military substantially, cutting all subsidies to companies making a profit, raising minimum wage to no longer have to pay out any assistance to people working, raising taxes on the rich, raising the cap on Social Security taxes, and similar measures that would solve the problem by removing spending from things that can afford to lose the spending yet wouldn't touch anywhere the spending is actually needed. It would even help boost the economy by increasing demand substantially and decreasing private debt.

But they'd rather cut taxes on people already swimming in money, raise taxes on people already hurting, remove the benefits from people already hurting, and basically try to balance the budgets on the backs of the poor, by taking money from the people who can least afford it and giving it to the people who least need it. In a way that will thus utterly crush the economy by tanking demand even farther down than it already is.

Thus proving they actually don't care about balancing the budget. They only care about filling the pockets of the rich at the expense of everyone else.
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:iconmicorasol:
micorasol Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
by cutting the military substantially

... and therefore firing thousands of troops, who would became unemployed (oh, it didn't crossed your mind, did it?)

cutting all subsidies to companies making a profit

... and therefore those companies would rise prices (gas prices in particular) what would lead to massive unemployment and poverty, since people wouldn't be able to afford workers/their current standard of living (oh, it didn't crossed your mind, did it?)

raising minimum wage to no longer have to pay out any assistance to people working

... so that prices would be higher so people with higher wages and higher prices wouldn't feel any difference (oh, it didn't crossed your mind, did it?)

raising taxes on the rich

... so that the rich would leave the country with their money and the budget would be screwed as it happens in France right now (oh, it didn't crossed your mind, did it?)

raising the cap on Social Security taxes

If by that you mean higher tax on Social Security for all people, I can agree.

The problem with you, the liberals, is that you think your solutions are great because they sound great but you constantly 'forget' to wonder what would happen if your ideas are used in practise.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"... and therefore firing thousands of troops, who would became unemployed (oh, it didn't crossed your mind, did it?)"

Since we will have kept the benefits that will help them stay afloat until we grow the private sector enough to employ them again, we'll be fine. Or we can remploy them in sectors of the government that will have them doing things actually needed.

But, you're changing your tune and saying cutting wasteful government spending is bad now? Or is unemployed government workers A-OK when it's anywhere other than the military?

"and therefore those companies would rise prices (gas prices in particular) what would lead to massive unemployment and poverty,"

And thus they hand a PR coup over to the liberals on a platter, since they get to show that the companies are being greedy and raising prices to maintain their profits. Not only that, but fossil fuel prices rising suddenly makes it super-easy to sell everyone on the idea of energy efficiency and renewable energy, yet another PR coup. And it actually leads to lots of jobs to meet the sudden need for implementing all those changes, and reduces poverty due to both the increased jobs and everyone saving money on using less fuel.

...wow, you really, really failed at presenting this as a bad thing.

Plus, I thought you were against government handouts? Why are you suddenly defending them?

"since people wouldn't be able to afford workers/their current standard of living (oh, it didn't crossed your mind, did it?)"

Something that provably won't happen didn't cross my mind, no. Seeing as how the facts show companies across the board are making fantastic profits, including the majority of the companies that pay minimum wage, so they can very easily afford to start paying their workers sustainably without government handouts.

And a business that can't afford the costs of its labor without handouts was an unsustainable business to begin with, and should make way for new businesses that will be run sustainably. I thought you conservatives loved how the free market weeds out poorly-run, uncompetitive businesses?

For that matter, I thought you were against government handouts? Why are you suddenly defending them?

"so that prices would be higher so people with higher wages and higher prices wouldn't feel any difference"

Which is why wages would be tied to raise with every cost of living increase, forcing companies to fund the wage increase by lowering CEO and upper management salaries and stockholder payouts and distributing profits more evenly.

"so that the rich would leave the country with their money and the budget would be screwed as it happens in France right now"

And go where? The developed countries which all charge higher taxes than we do? The third world countries where their businesses would be put under tight government control and/or have to deal with backwards infrastructure? Meanwhile, the business people still here in the States will be very happy to take their abandoned place.

"If by that you mean higher tax on Social Security for all people, I can agree."

Nope. Raising or eliminating the cap on how much you earn before you don't pay into Social Security. Right now if you earn more than $110,100 you don't pay in.

"The problem with you, the liberals, is that you think your solutions are great because they sound great but you constantly 'forget' to wonder what would happen if your ideas are used in practise."

No, our great asset is that we think our solutions are great because we remember to think about what would happen if our ideas are used in practice, by accounting for all factors and what actually happens in real world results.

The problem with you, the conservatives, is that you base your ideas on fantasy worlds with shallow strawmen understandings of things that bear almost zero resemblance to what actually happens and really just are flimsy excuses to fuck over everyone who's not rich.
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:iconmicorasol:
micorasol Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Since we will have kept the benefits that will help them stay afloat until we grow the private sector enough to employ them again, we'll be fine. Or we can remploy them in sectors of the government that will have them doing things actually needed.

Oh yeah, dismissing people from work (where they do feel needed and useful for the country) to give them the same money but not requiring them to work is something that will definitely benefit the society. Please, define what is 'actually needed' in your opinion.

But, you're changing your tune and saying cutting wasteful government spending is bad now? Or is unemployed government workers A-OK when it's anywhere other than the military?

See above.

And thus they hand a PR coup over to the liberals on a platter, since they get to show that the companies are being greedy and raising prices to maintain their profits. Not only that, but fossil fuel prices rising suddenly makes it super-easy to sell everyone on the idea of energy efficiency and renewable energy, yet another PR coup. And it actually leads to lots of jobs to meet the sudden need for implementing all those changes, and reduces poverty due to both the increased jobs and everyone saving money on using less fuel.

Oh dear, how naive (and stupid) can you be?
Oil companies do 8 cents profit per gallon (btw, the government does 13 cents) which is barely a margin to keep stable. Most of the Americans use their brains (unlike you) and they know companies need to make profit, it's the basics of the society, after all. Americans won't blame companies for rising prices, they'll blame the government. It's not an assumption, it's the everyday-being in Europe.
Darling, you forgot rising prices would affect green energy too.
Summary: nothing really changes in the matter of energy, more people are unemployed and more people are angry.

Plus, I thought you were against government handouts? Why are you suddenly defending them?

I am, mainly. It's just I'm not an idiot and I know it takes a century to reorient the country from oil to green energy (as it happened with reorienting the country from horse-based economy to oil economy), it will happen naturally (no government actions needed) and shocking therapy is not something you'd benefit from.

Something that provably won't happen didn't cross my mind, no. Seeing as how the facts show companies across the board are making fantastic profits, including the majority of the companies that pay minimum wage, so they can very easily afford to start paying their workers sustainably without government handouts.

And what makes you think those companies would sacrifice their profits?

And a business that can't afford the costs of its labor without handouts was an unsustainable business to begin with, and should make way for new businesses that will be run sustainably. I thought you conservatives loved how the free market weeds out poorly-run, uncompetitive businesses?

Oh, we do! That's why your assumption is wrong at the beginning, since minimal wage is a factor that destroys the whole idea.

Which is why wages would be tied to raise with every cost of living increase, forcing companies to fund the wage increase by lowering CEO and upper management salaries and stockholder payouts and distributing profits more evenly.

You forgot CEOs and upper management are employees too, so their wages would be tied to raise with every cost of living increase too.

And that, as I've said, wouldn't change anything. I mean, use your brain:
Mrs Smith owns a grocery. She spends $300,000 yearly on products she buys and sell them having $50,000 profit a year. She works there herself one shift and hires Mr Gonzales for the second shift, who she pays $25,000 a year, so she has $25,000 left - her own income. Suddenly, prices are up 10% so Mrs Smith has to spend $330,000 yearly on products for her grocery. She would be making just $20,000/year now so she either fires Mr Gonzales and works two shifts on herself or raises prices by 10%, so (according to your 'brilliant' idea) she needs to raise Mr Gonzales's wage too, so her expenses are higher so she needs to raise prices so she needs to raise Mr Gonzales's wage, so...

And go where? The developed countries which all charge higher taxes than we do? The third world countries where their businesses would be put under tight government control and/or have to deal with backwards infrastructure? Meanwhile, the business people still here in the States will be very happy to take their abandoned place.

Cayman Island, Bermuda, Cyprus, Ireland, even in Canada taxes for the rich are lower. Besides, you forgot in current times there is absolutely no problem in officially living in Bermuda and having a company in the USA.

Nope. Raising or eliminating the cap on how much you earn before you don't pay into Social Security. Right now if you earn more than $110,100 you don't pay in.

Raising this seems legit to me.

No, our great asset is that we think our solutions are great because we remember to think about what would happen if our ideas are used in practice, by accounting for all factors and what actually happens in real world results.

Yeah, perhaps it's your accounting that fails then. Obama's solutions were all 'though what would happen if his ideas are used in practice, accounted for all factors and what actually happened in real world results', yet he fails at every field. Oops!

The problem with you, the conservatives, is that you base your ideas on fantasy worlds with shallow strawmen understandings of things that bear almost zero resemblance to what actually happens and really just are flimsy excuses to fuck over everyone who's not rich.

Yay, because conservatives are so rich! I mean, look at all those poor Democrats on Upper East Side, Essex County, New Canaan and other poor places while the rich bastards Republicans sit on golden chairs in Wyoming.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"Oh yeah, dismissing people from work (where they do feel needed and useful for the country) to give them the same money but not requiring them to work is something that will definitely benefit the society."

So, you now agree with the Democrats that cutting government spending is bad, since it would require laying people off, correct?

"See above."

Which doesn't answer my question, so let's try this again:

You're changing your tune and saying cutting wasteful government spending is bad now? Or is unemployed government workers A-OK when it's anywhere other than the military?

"Oil companies do 8 cents profit per gallon (btw, the government does 13 cents) which is barely a margin to keep stable."

Wrong.

"Most of the Americans use their brains (unlike you) and they know companies need to make profit,"

Wrong x2.

"Americans won't blame companies for rising prices, they'll blame the government."

Wrong x3.

"Darling, you forgot rising prices would affect green energy too."

Wrong x4.

"Summary: nothing really changes in the matter of energy, more people are unemployed and more people are angry."

Wrong x5.

Plus, I thought you were against government handouts? Why are you suddenly defending them?

"I am, mainly."

Ah, I see. Handouts to people who'll starve on the streets without them = bad. Handouts to companies who are engaging in R&D to advance our technology and help us to do more with less = bad. Handouts to companies that are making a profit already and are keeping fuels artificially low compared to supply and environmental impact = good. Correct?

"It's just I'm not an idiot and I know it takes a century to reorient the country from oil to green energy"

Wrong x6.

"it will happen naturally (no government actions needed)"

Not soon enough to deal with climate change before it's too late.

"And what makes you think those companies would sacrifice their profits?"

They'll have to, since they'll be blocked from simply raising prices, and if they take their businesses overseas other companies will just happily take their place.

"Oh, we do!"

Then why are you supporting the government propping up businesses that would be unsustainable if they had to pay the full true cost of their labor by themselves without help? Why are you against companies being expected to pay the full costs of their labor themselves?

"since minimal wage is a factor that destroys the whole idea."

Nope, minimum wage is part of what forces companies to pay the true cost of their labor, by not allowing them to pay below the true cost and forcing the government to pick up the slack. Of course, even the current minimum wage doesn't actually reflect the true cost of labor, since it's still below the living wage, thus still forcing the government to pay the rest of the true cost.

"You forgot CEOs and upper management are employees too, so their wages would be tied to raise with every cost of living increase too."

Well, yes, they'd gain a couple dollars or so per hour to match the increase.

And that, as I've said, wouldn't change anything. I mean, use your brain:

I'm using my brain and failing to understand how your scenario proves anything, since it involves a non-existent raise in prices out of nowhere and doesn't address a raise in wages at all. (Well, and it also fails in other ways, but that's the main one.)

"Cayman Island, Bermuda, Cyprus, Ireland, even in Canada taxes for the rich are lower."

Cayman Island, Bermuda, and Cyprus do not have the infrastructure needed to handle all the incoming first world businesses on the same level as the US would. And, uhm, no, Ireland and Canada do not have lower taxation, lol.

"Raising this seems legit to me."

So we apparently have a second thing you agreed with the Democrats on.

"Yeah, perhaps it's your accounting that fails then."

Wrong x7.

"Obama's solutions were all 'though what would happen if his ideas are used in practice, accounted for all factors and what actually happened in real world results', yet he fails at every field."

Wrong x8 & 9.

"Yay, because conservatives are so rich! I mean, look at all those poor Democrats on Upper East Side, Essex County, New Canaan and other poor places while the rich bastards Republicans sit on golden chairs in Wyoming."

Lolstrawman, loldodge.
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:iconmicorasol:
micorasol Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
So, you now agree with the Democrats that cutting government spending is bad, since it would require laying people off, correct?

Nope. Try again.

You're changing your tune and saying cutting wasteful government spending is bad now? Or is unemployed government workers A-OK when it's anywhere other than the military?

A little bit better.
Giving people money for not doing anything (like you desperately want to do) is bad. Too many people employed by the government is bad. Troops are good.

Wrong.

Says an expert in running a company... or wait, you haven't achieved anything in your entire 32-year-old life, right? So how do you know if 8 cents per gallon is a lot or a mere?

Wrong x2.

So you say Americans don't use brains (which is sad) or companies don't have to make profit (what is plain wrong)?

Wrong x3.

Tell me more please about blaming farmers for rising food costs. I haven't seen it, have you?

Wrong x4.

Oh, because as all we know, resources needed to built solar panels are free and people who'd manufacture them are working for free.

Wrong x5.

Hm, you keep claiming the Republicans are so obsessed of fulling their pockets with more and more money and they'll do anything to make more money, right? So, giving this assumption, why do Republicans reject to implement your theories? I see two answers here: either they're wrong (which is unlikely since they were right for the latest century - that's why they're rich, after all) or you're wrong (which is quite likely since you haven't achieved anything in your life and therefore you're poor).

Ah, I see. Handouts to people who'll starve on the streets without them = bad. Handouts to companies who are engaging in R&D to advance our technology and help us to do more with less = bad. Handouts to companies that are making a profit already and are keeping fuels artificially low compared to supply and environmental impact = good. Correct?

Not really. Try again, babe.

Wrong x6.

Oh yeah, please tell me more how are you planning to manufacture all solar panels and wind batteries needed to fulfill the lack of fossil fuels, how do you plan to solve the problem of freight capacity (i.e. transporting products from one side of the US to another) when cars are no longer gas-powered (electric cars' range is 200 miles max right now) and do you plan to increase electricity production (since private vehicles would be electric), what to do with all that people laid-off from work (like miners in Appalachians) and where to find money for all of this.

Not soon enough to deal with climate change before it's too late.

Same was said about horses one hundred years ago.
Here where I live, wines had been produced in medieval times and now (for the latest 200 years) it's too cold for grapes to grow. So where is all this climate change?

They'll have to, since they'll be blocked from simply raising prices, and if they take their businesses overseas other companies will just happily take their place.

How will they be blocked?
Yeah, please tell me more what new companies are taking Apple's place right now. Oh, none? So let me remind you Apple produces everything overseas.

Then why are you supporting the government propping up businesses that would be unsustainable if they had to pay the full true cost of their labor by themselves without help? Why are you against companies being expected to pay the full costs of their labor themselves?

The next sentence explained it.

Nope, minimum wage is part of what forces companies to pay the true cost of their labor, by not allowing them to pay below the true cost and forcing the government to pick up the slack. Of course, even the current minimum wage doesn't actually reflect the true cost of labor, since it's still below the living wage, thus still forcing the government to pay the rest of the true cost.

How do you define true cost? Let me remind you, Bengali woman says 'true cost' of her work is $1 per day and American woman says 'true cost' of her work is at least $7.25 per hour. So whose costs is truer?

Well, yes, they'd gain a couple dollars or so per hour to match the increase.

So they'd be richer too. So, where are you finding that extra money?

I'm using my brain and failing to understand how your scenario proves anything, since it involves a non-existent raise in prices out of nowhere and doesn't address a raise in wages at all. (Well, and it also fails in other ways, but that's the main one.)

It's not out of nowhere raise. Let's say there was a drought this year so crops are lower = prices are higher. But well, thanks for proving my point even more. In my example there was no initial raise of wage but in yours Mrs Smith had to raise Mr Gonzales wage and raise prices and then it goes on and on.

Cayman Island, Bermuda, and Cyprus do not have the infrastructure needed to handle all the incoming first world businesses on the same level as the US would. And, uhm, no, Ireland and Canada do not have lower taxation, lol.

They do, actually.
Canada's tax rate for the richest is 29%. US's tax rate is 35%.

Wrong x8 & 9.

So Obama didn't thought before using in practice? :D
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"Nope. Try again."

So you agree that your comment that military folks will get laid off is thus completely irrelevant, since it's not a valid argument against my suggestion?

"Giving people money for not doing anything (like you desperately want to do) is bad. Too many people employed by the government is bad. Troops are good."

So, basically, giving people money for not doing anything is bad, except when were giving money to troops for not doing anything, then it's good.

Too many people employed by the government is bad, except when it's troops that are the too many people, then it's good.

So to sum up, according to your logic, wasting money and employing unnecessary employees is bad in all other branches of government, but wasting money and employing unnecessary employees is good in the military.

"Says an expert in running a company..."

Says someone who doesn't understand the difference between expenses, profit, and taxes.

"or wait, you haven't achieved anything in your entire 32-year-old life, right?"

Says the 19 year old who still lives at home with mommy and daddy, has them pay for all or most of his needs, and has very little work experience. Meanwhile, by your age I was living on my own, and had been working officially for 4 years already and been expected to help with the bills and pay for all of my own needs with my job money during the years I was still at home, and had earned money via odd jobs in the years before that, and, indeed, never received any money I hadn't worked for in some way other than birthdays and Christmas.

"So how do you know if 8 cents per gallon is a lot or a mere?"

I know that stat is only a single factor in fossil fuel profits, and thus useless for making an actual informed conclusion about the matter.

"So you say Americans don't use brains (which is sad) or companies don't have to make profit (what is plain wrong)?"

Nope, neither.

"Tell me more please about blaming farmers for rising food costs. I haven't seen it, have you?"

We were discussing fossil fuel companies, not farmers.

(But to throw you a bone mainly because your question turns out to be irrelevant to the convo, it's actually the speculators to blame for rising food costs: [link] [link] [link] [link] So neither the farmers nor the government are being blamed.)

"Oh, because as all we know, resources needed to built solar panels are free and people who'd manufacture them are working for free."

They're as free as the resources needed to mine and process fossil fuels, and less of them are needed.

"So, giving this assumption, why do Republicans reject to implement your theories?"

Because they're in the pockets of the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel magnates who desperately don't want to see the energy companies take over their place. And who, for some reason I admittedly don't understand, haven't decided the actual smart thing to do would be to diversify into the new fields to future-proof their business in a manner that actually jives with their libertarian philosophies, rather than the decidedly non-libertarian manner of trying to bribe the government to prop up their business that's on the way out.

"either they're wrong (which is unlikely since they were right for the latest century - that's why they're rich, after all)"

They are indeed wrong, because companies are notorious for thinking short-term rather than long-term, and for being resistant to change when a once-profitable model no longer is profitable.

Case in point: The media companies are equally guilty of all this, where their model is becoming obsolete so they keep trying to bribe the government rather than adapting and innovating. The difference is that the media companies get (justifiably) attacked for the behavior by both sides, while the fossil fuel companies get lauded and defended by conservatives for the same behavior.

"or you're wrong (which is quite likely since you haven't achieved anything in your life and therefore you're poor)."

Read: I can't dispute the point on its own merits, so I'll just make unproven personal attacks against you.

"Not really. Try again, babe."

So, OK, all handouts are good, since if it's OK for a company to get handouts even as it rakes in profit from not having to pay all its expenses, it's logically OK for someone who cannot afford to live without their handouts to receive them.

"Oh yeah, please tell me more how are you planning to manufacture all solar panels and wind batteries needed to fulfill the lack of fossil fuels,"

Uhm. By, you know, a-dur, manufacturing them the same way we manufacture everything else.

"how do you plan to solve the problem of freight capacity (i.e. transporting products from one side of the US to another) when cars are no longer gas-powered (electric cars' range is 200 miles max right now)"

Gas vehicles have a range of about 300 miles; not a large gap to overcome. We also could revamp and modernize our cargo rail system to use maglev-style technologies and take on more of the transport burden.

"and do you plan to increase electricity production (since private vehicles would be electric),"

Of course.

"what to do with all that people laid-off from work (like miners in Appalachians)"

Put them to work doing jobs in the new energy fields, which will still require some mining, and will also require an influx of technicians, engineers, installers, and similar labor.

"and where to find money for all of this."

By cutting subsidies to fossil fuel companies, by upgrading and modernizing our infrastructure to be more efficient, and by cutting other actual wasted spending.

"Here where I live, wines had been produced in medieval times and now (for the latest 200 years) it's too cold for grapes to grow. So where is all this climate change?"

[link] [link] [link] [link] [link]

"How will they be blocked?"

Minimum wage will be tied to the cost of living index, so if one raises then the other will also raise.

"Yeah, please tell me more what new companies are taking Apple's place right now. Oh, none?"

Because, of course, Apple is the only company that produces computing products.

"The next sentence explained it."

Nope, it didn't address it at all.

"How do you define true cost?"

What it costs for a worker to survive in a way that keeps them mentally and physically able to perform their job duties satisfactorily, keeps them able to groom to dress codes, keeps them able to communicate with and transport themselves to the job requirements.

"Let me remind you, Bengali woman says 'true cost' of her work is $1 per day and American woman says 'true cost' of her work is at least $7.25 per hour. So whose costs is truer?"

I don't know what the true cost of affording to work in Bengail. I do know that nobody is saying $7.25 per hour is the true cost of an American woman's work, because there's very few places in the US that $7.25 is an actual living wage.

"So they'd be richer too. So, where are you finding that extra money?"

The same place we find the money to pay them millions of dollars in raises each year now.

"Let's say there was a drought this year so crops are lower = prices are higher."

Then you go out of business unless you had a means to compensate for an off-year. Just like every other business on the planet.

"In my example there was no initial raise of wage but in yours Mrs Smith had to raise Mr Gonzales wage and raise prices and then it goes on and on."

Nope, she just had to raise Mr. Gonzales's wage, and then either reduce her own wages or receive less profit. No price raise is required unless her business was already unable to meet expenses no matter what, in which case she was already screwed.

"They do, actually."

Nope. The lack the space, just for starters.

"Canada's tax rate for the richest is 29%."

And then there's all the taxes other than income tax...

"So Obama didn't thought before using in practice?"

Loldur retardedly totally missing why you were wrong loldur. :D
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:iconmicorasol:
micorasol Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
So you agree that your comment that military folks will get laid off is thus completely irrelevant, since it's not a valid argument against my suggestion?

Still wrong.

So, basically, giving people money for not doing anything is bad, except when were giving money to troops for not doing anything, then it's good.

Well, if troops are not doing anything in your opinion then I see no point in talking with you.

Too many people employed by the government is bad, except when it's troops that are the too many people, then it's good.

Troops ensure your safety. Useless clerks don't.

So to sum up, according to your logic, wasting money and employing unnecessary employees is bad in all other branches of government, but wasting money and employing unnecessary employees is good in the military.

No, according to my logic, clerks are useless while people employed in military are useful.

Says someone who doesn't understand the difference between expenses, profit, and taxes.

Oh, you I see you've tried to be wise but you failed :D
In this particular example government taxation is government's profit.

Says the 19 year old who still lives at home with mommy and daddy, has them pay for all or most of his needs, and has very little work experience. Meanwhile, by your age I was living on my own, and had been working officially for 4 years already and been expected to help with the bills and pay for all of my own needs with my job money during the years I was still at home, and had earned money via odd jobs in the years before that, and, indeed, never received any money I hadn't worked for in some way other than birthdays and Christmas.

Well, I don't live at home anymore, to be precise.
And as I've said before, the liberals here forbid people under 18 to work.

We were discussing fossil fuel companies, not farmers.

Farmers are just the same, they just product different things.

They're as free as the resources needed to mine and process fossil fuels, and less of them are needed.

Yeah, but our case was about rising price if fossil fuels are no longer subsidized/taxed more/prohibited. In that case, green energy price would rise skyhigh.

Because they're in the pockets of the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel magnates who desperately don't want to see the energy companies take over their place. And who, for some reason I admittedly don't understand, haven't decided the actual smart thing to do would be to diversify into the new fields to future-proof their business in a manner that actually jives with their libertarian philosophies, rather than the decidedly non-libertarian manner of trying to bribe the government to prop up their business that's on the way out.

I know it would be hard for you to understand, since you don't understand how capitalism works.

Rephrasing my question: if green energy is cheap, nice and easy to adapt, why Koch brothers and other fossil fuel magnates don't turn green? The answer is simple: green energy is neither cheap, nor easy to adapt.

They are indeed wrong, because companies are notorious for thinking short-term rather than long-term, and for being resistant to change when a once-profitable model no longer is profitable.

For you (the undereducated woman whose biggest achievement was being a secretary) that might seem this simple but it is not. Companies are thinking long-term and they change much before their once-profitable model is no longer profitable. Otherwise, they'd just bankrupt. There is four product-life phases and companies are changing their models in third part (it's actually time when their product is most profitable!)

So, OK, all handouts are good, since if it's OK for a company to get handouts even as it rakes in profit from not having to pay all its expenses, it's logically OK for someone who cannot afford to live without their handouts to receive them.

Nope. Keep thinking.

Uhm. By, you know, a-dur, manufacturing them the same way we manufacture everything else.

In case you haven't noticed, building a power plant system took your country a century (and there are still electricity shortages). You want to replace that system in few years so I'm asking: how?

Gas vehicles have a range of about 300 miles; not a large gap to overcome. We also could revamp and modernize our cargo rail system to use maglev-style technologies and take on more of the transport burden.

Personal vehicles, you mean. How about those huge trucks?
Do you realize cargo rail system works on either electricity or fossil fuels? So you'd need to produce more electricity (which would be quite impossible) or use that awful fossil fuels. Moreover, producing solar panels and wind batteries would require so much power now (and power now is fossil fueled) that I believe you'd really poisoned the planet.

Put them to work doing jobs in the new energy fields, which will still require some mining, and will also require an influx of technicians, engineers, installers, and similar labor.

Wasn't it you who said changing job type is so hard? It's pretty naive to expect those simple miners to become engineers or high-tech workers.

[link] [link] [link] [link] [link]

Yay, great. But you know what, I wouldn't take liberal journalists and some scientists serious because sometimes they're really stupid (and you don't know when is that sometime, right?). Just one example. Al Gore, your liberal hero who drives a SUV and Nobel Prize winner wrote in once of his books about my area this words: "We learned, for example, that in some areas in Poland, children are regularly taken underground into deep mines to gain some respite from the buildup of gases and pollution of all sorts in the air. One can almost imagine their teachers emerging tentatively form the mine, carrying canaries to warn the children when it’s no longer safe for them to stay above the ground."
LOL.

Minimum wage will be tied to the cost of living index, so if one raises then the other will also raise.

There is one problem though: companies would simply fire some people and burden the others with their responsibilities.

Because, of course, Apple is the only company that produces computing products.

Oh right, the other companies producing laptops are: Asus (Taiwan), Samsung (Korea), Acer (Taiwan), Dell (American producing in Asia) and HP (same as Dell).

What it costs for a worker to survive in a way that keeps them mentally and physically able to perform their job duties satisfactorily, keeps them able to groom to dress codes, keeps them able to communicate with and transport themselves to the job requirements.

In other words: for you, true cost includes nice house, good food, a car or good public transportation, social welfare, two days off a week and clothing. For Bengali woman true cost includes a bed in a dorm and food.

I don't know what the true cost of affording to work in Bengail. I do know that nobody is saying $7.25 per hour is the true cost of an American woman's work, because there's very few places in the US that $7.25 is an actual living wage.

See above. Bengali women are becoming attractive for companies!

The same place we find the money to pay them millions of dollars in raises each year now.

But they keep their rises, dear.

Then you go out of business unless you had a means to compensate for an off-year. Just like every other business on the planet.

Except it doesn't work this way in any place on this planet (otherwise farmers and groceries wouldn't survive single season, since food prices rises every year).

Nope, she just had to raise Mr. Gonzales's wage, and then either reduce her own wages or receive less profit. No price raise is required unless her business was already unable to meet expenses no matter what, in which case she was already screwed.

For most small companies profit = owner's wage.
Her business was able to meet expenses. It's your policy that ruined that poor Mrs Smith.

Nope. The lack the space, just for starters.

Monaco is second smallest country in the world and hosts 2,000 millionaires and 50 billionaires.

And then there's all the taxes other than income tax...

Same in the US.
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(1 Reply)
:iconrandomxeno:
RandomXeno Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Canadian revenu taxes don't work that way =P
[link]
•15% on the first $42,707 of taxable income, +
•22% on the next $42,707 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $42,707 up to $85,414), +
•26% on the next $46,992 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $85,414 up to $132,406), +
•29% of taxable income over $132,406
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:iconmicorasol:
micorasol Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm aware of that :) I just made a logical shortcut but you're right, that might have been confusing ;) In the US (and every other country, I believe) it works the same.

As for provincial taxes, states in the US have their own taxes too ;)
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:iconrandomxeno:
RandomXeno Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
And that for the federal level; there still the provincial level to pay too =P
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:iconmgonzales041090:
mgonzales041090 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
raising the cap on Social Security taxes

Speaking of that, why is it every single candidate in the Democratic primaries says they're going to lift the tax cap, but never do? Fucking dumb. The GOP bitch about Social Security solvency, but are blind to one of the most obvious fixes (one even Ronald Reagan did). Raise retirement age, adjust amount to under the costs of living, etc. Just mind boggling. I don't mind the Pubs using it as a ploy to bring about entitlement reforms, I just wish the Dems would get serious about it too when they say they're going to.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Because:

1. The Pubs aren't really blind. They want to wipe out Social Security completely, but can't do that without instantly turning their big elderly base against them. So they have to invent fake crises to justify it, hoping everyone's dumb enough to buy that there's no way to solve it other than cutting benefits. (Sadly they're probably right, outside of a few savvy folks like you and I.)

2. The Dems have no spine.
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:iconmgonzales041090:
mgonzales041090 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
2. Dems have no spine. FUCK! >:{

This is why I wanted Dennis Kucinich. This guy tried to impeach George W. Bush. He remained critical of the ACA for being an insurance company's wet dream. He's got a fucking spine! *throws computer in rage*
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Dude, if the Dems grew a spine, and the liberals grew a sense of pragmatism/practicality, this country would be a utopia by now. Seriously, seeing as how they have the good ideas and, ironically, the public support.

The Republicans literally only win because they play the game better. How else could they successfully pass bills even their own constituents don't like, fail to pass bills they do like, and do utterly batshit things while still having everyone say both sides are at fault or even blame the Democrats? It's like watching someone boxing with Marquess of Queensberry Rules while the other person brings in a howitzer.

I'm telling you. Bottle the Republican PR and support machine, forcefeed it to the Dems, and watch the country be fucking awesome the next day.
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:iconmgonzales041090:
mgonzales041090 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Pleased as I am with Obama's administration, he doesn't have as big a backbone when it comes to social policy as I had hoped. I have to agree with your evaluation of the right. They're so good at propaganda. Take this for an example. The Republican Party can convince its constituents to be against a single payer system when those very constituents are Medicare recipients. Part of me thinks it's just a loyalty thing, more than anything else. The other issue they're better is how well they can push constituents to get out to vote. Democrats, consistently, reign in younger members. People in this age group just don't vote as much. So, the right's propaganda machine adding to the left's inability to get the vote out equals an unreachable utopia.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Bingo, basically.

Ironically this tangent probably did a better job of explaining why I get so frustrated with the left than my ranty note did. It's like, if the Dems/lefties could just be willing to take a few pages out of the Pubs' playbook, we could accomplish so damn much.

But the irony is that the same mindset that leads to liberalism often leads to kind of an inherent hipsterism that rejects playing the system the way you need to. That's why it's so hard to get the young and the left in general to vote; they don't want to give into the man, they're convinced they can't affect the system, it's too polished and professional, etc.

It affects things like loyalty, too. A conservative who disagrees with the current Republican candidates will likely still vote for them anyway, since it's still better than the other side getting in that they don't agree with either. (Bonus points if they ironically actually would agree with them if they didn't have a D in front of the name.) Because the Republican mindset encourages conformity, belonging, sticking by your fellows. It's like dealing with a pack of wolves or dogs.

A liberal who disagrees with the current Democrat candidates will likely just stay home or vote for a third party, because they don't want to vote for the lesser evil and are willing to let the other side get in so long as they send their own side a message to shape up. The liberal mindset encourages iconoclasm, individualism, sticking it to the man, accepting every halfway progressive philosophy and goal under the sun, debating the hell out of everything. It's like herding cats.

And finally, the facts. The conservatives directing the discussions tend to ignore facts if they contradict with truthiness. The liberals directing the discussions tend to focus so much on facts speaking for themselves that they forget that truthiness is a problem you have to work around. The conservatives are much better about image, too.

Because let's face it, what's the main types of liberals, according to the stereotypes, at least? Hippies, the dirt poor, the creative folks, and the well-educated. What are the four groups of people most likely to fail horribly at explaining things in a gut-instinct-readable sort of way, and/or fail to present an image relatable to the working class and middle class? Yeah.

(This is a big, big part of why climate change did so poorly, by the way. The way science actually works clashes horribly with the truthiness perception of how science should work, and they focused too much on the negative reasons for combating climate change while ignoring many of the very sellable positive sides of combating it. Any time you can manage to fail to convince people that saving money and upgrading their shinies is a good thing, you really, really fucked up your PR.

Actually, it's part of why social justice fails so badly too, but, let's move on before we're here all day...)

So how do we improve the liberal side of things? ...that's going to take some work.

We may want to look to NASA on the science side of things; they've actually done a good job of managing to utilize things like social media and offline community-building measures to engage public interest in, effectively, rocket science.

And on the social side of things, I think the left might benefit greatly from embracing and acknowledging the Religious Left more often. Softening the "atheist versus religious" aspect of the divide and showing how religion can be used to justify liberal ideals would go a long way towards defanging some of the influence of the Religious Right on politics, and might help encourage some of the solidarity and belonging that the left struggles with compared to the right.

An outreach to make the young feel more like their vote matters and their voice will be heard would do wonders, too. Obama engaging with Reddit was a step in the right direction; basically, youth want to be loud and proud and heard and paid attention to; the Democrats should whenever possible create venues where young folks feel like they can say their minds and have someone in power actually listen. Not only that, but it looks good for the cameras; people get warm and fuzzy about stuff involving kids.

And... geez, this is a fucking essay.
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:iconno-doves-fly-here:
no-doves-fly-here Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
This idiot at one of my jobs was talking about the "phsyical cliff" the other day, in this pompous know-it-all tone. It was all I could do not to piss myself.

But yeah the fiscal cliff is basically the presumed effects of exceeding our debt/spending/taxation threshold; an economic depression.
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:iconcherryblossomgeisha:
CherryBlossomGeisha Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
lol
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:iconno-doves-fly-here:
no-doves-fly-here Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
*physical

fuck
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