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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:46 PM

Nine words that are an easy way to protect Medicare and Social Security in perpetuity

Make wages rise at the same rate as productivity

That's all it would take

31 replies, 3062 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Nine words that are an easy way to protect Medicare and Social Security in perpetuity (Original post)
Recursion Apr 2012 OP
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #1
Recursion Apr 2012 #2
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #5
Recursion Apr 2012 #6
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #9
Uben Apr 2012 #3
Recursion Apr 2012 #4
ProSense Apr 2012 #12
Recursion Apr 2012 #18
ProSense Apr 2012 #23
Uben Apr 2012 #31
dkf Apr 2012 #7
Recursion Apr 2012 #10
dkf Apr 2012 #15
Recursion Apr 2012 #19
dkf Apr 2012 #26
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #16
saras Apr 2012 #27
ldf Apr 2012 #8
Recursion Apr 2012 #13
kentuck Apr 2012 #11
Recursion Apr 2012 #14
Igel Apr 2012 #17
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #20
Recursion Apr 2012 #21
ProfessionalLeftist Apr 2012 #22
Recursion Apr 2012 #24
jtuck004 Apr 2012 #25
hfojvt Apr 2012 #28
Recursion Apr 2012 #29
hfojvt Apr 2012 #30

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:49 PM

1. +1.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:51 PM

2. Thanks; that was actually the result of our argument the other day

I realized we were talking past each other, and that your point was more important than the one I was making, so I did my best to articulate it here.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:02 PM

5. can you link me? forgot the context. thanks for letting me know, good to know

 

when arguments end in some meeting of the minds.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:03 PM

6. It was you and Romulux

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=609933

There or so... cheers!

(my point was about what to do with money once it was levied; you and Romulux were making the more important point about levying it in the first place.)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:06 PM

9. thanks.

 

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:55 PM

3. I can do it in 10 letters!

t-a-x-t-h-e-r-i-c-h

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Response to Uben (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:57 PM

4. Ah, that's a different way to do it.

I'm not against that, either. But we wouldn't even need to raise taxes on the rich if wages were rising at the same rate as productivity.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:06 PM

12. Well,

"I'm not against that, either. But we wouldn't even need to raise taxes on the rich if wages were rising at the same rate as productivity."

...there would still be the need for Romney to pay at least 30 percent of his income in taxes and the need for all individuals and corporations to pay the appropriate tax.

Revenues are at a 60-year low.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:11 PM

18. Want to know my ideal, dream tax structure?

It's surprisingly flat:

There's an absolute exemption up to the median national household income.

After that, there's a single flat tax levied on all income above that, at say 15% or so.

Beyond that, there's a surtax on income one sigma over the median income, at a rate indexed to the national poverty level. So, if the poverty level is 0, there is no additional tax. If the "job creators" can create an economy without poverty, I am fine with their keeping all their money.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:18 PM

23. You're right

"Want to know my ideal, dream tax structure? It's surprisingly flat...If the "job creators" can create an economy without poverty, I am fine with their keeping all their money."

...that's a "dream," and the flat tax is completely regressive.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 09:25 PM

31. Productivity can be influenced.....

....by technology....as we have seen. TEchnology is responsible for the loss of vast numbers of manufacturing jobs as well as service jobs. The advent of the computer age has only begun to eliminate jobs, IMO. As more and more jobs are lost to technology, I'm not sure how people are going to be able to earn money. Eventually, it seems, we will have to go to some sort of socialism because there simply will not be enough jobs to go around to feed the populace. Of course, the "I've got mine, you get yours" crowd don't give a flip about that, but it will impact them, too, eventually. The rich will continue to get richer and the poor poorer until there is revolt. At that point, all their money will be worthless because it will place a target on their backs.

I'm not jealous of rich people.....I am rather well off, myself. I retired at age 45 and have a coupla million dollars to last me the rest of my life. But, I was a blue collar guy most of my life, and all my friends are blue collar workers, struggling to make ends meet. So I know the need that exists. One doesn't have to be a genius to see where the current system is leading us. The question is, how long can the rich stave off revolt? We have seen the beginnings in the Occupy movement. It is a growing sentiment that will eventually snowball and lead to a complete collapse of the capitalistic economy we now enjoy. In a hundred years, everything will be different. I'm not sure what it will be like, but it will have to change to appease the masses.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:03 PM

7. That isn't as high as you may think.

 

Productivity change in the nonfarm business sector, 1947-2011:

Average annual
percent change
1947-1973 2.8
1973-1979 1.1
1979-1990 1.4
1990-2000 2.1
2000-2007 2.5
2007-2011 1.8


Last updated: March 7, 2012

ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/opt/lpr/nfbbardata.txt

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Response to dkf (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:06 PM

10. Are those figures mean annual or total for the period in question? (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:10 PM

15. Annual.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:12 PM

19. Wow. I'm assuming those are constant dollars?

If so, you're pretty much backing up my point. That level of increased levies would make Medicare and SS flush into the near future.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #19)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 06:00 PM

26. No idea.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:11 PM

16. 1947 to 73 wages tracked productivity. 73 on, they were flat. so those losses are very big.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 06:40 PM

27. That's a graph of the neocon revolution as a whole..but where's the last ten years?

 

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:05 PM

8. rising wages matching rising productivity =

<possible> reduction of bottom line.

what ARE you thinking?

WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA???

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Response to ldf (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:07 PM

13. I hate America because it sent me to Iraq

I'm only half-kidding there. I've sworn an oath of allegiance to the Constitution that I consider very much binding, but I often wish it were not how it is.

But, yes, that shitstorm would start if this were ever brought up in The Media.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:06 PM

11. What about all those lost years of productivity since 1978?


Wages would almost have to double to catch up with the productivity they lost. Jobs that are now $10 per hour would need to be $20 per hour to get back on track.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:08 PM

14. Well, that would be an awesome world, but even if we started tomorrow it would solve...

...the actuarial issues facing our social safety net.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:11 PM

17. Would that be overall, industry by industry, or workplace by workplace or job by job?

Productivity's soared overall, i.e., in the US as a whole.

Should all wages keep pace with this?

I ask, because not all industries have seen increases in productivity. So should just the industries that have seen productivity see pay increases?

The problem is that not all plants or worksites have seen the same increases. This would just drive old plants out of business and help move jobs overseas--or to places where it's cheaper to build new work sites.

So perhaps it should go worksite by worksite? So if the steel mill in Podunk, MI sees increases in efficiency but the one in NoWhere, Georgia, doesn't then the Podunkers see a hefty raise while the NoWherians see nothing.

That seems hardly fair. Moreover, it could be the case that the productivity gains at Podunk are entirely due to just the open hearth. Why spread the wealth when the open hearth workers are doing much more work? So perhaps the pay increases should go job by job at a given workplace.

The problem is that a lot of jobs have seen no increases in productivity. Or you have to figure out how to define productivity.

Take teachers. Colleges have seen just about 0 increase in productivity. My high school's seen an increase because class size has increased--fewer teachers teaching more students. But if class size goes down next year, should we get pay decreases?

Or maybe we count "productivity" as student count x GPA. (In which case, surprise class--everybody gets an A!) Or student count x standardized test scores.

Don't know. But I do know this: The metric for evaluating productivity will suddenly be revised to make sure that the revisers and measurers have triple-digit productivity increases each of the first 3 years its implemented.

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Response to Igel (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:13 PM

20. biggest productivity gains have gone to the biggest players. the ones currently

 

pushing cheap-labor policies and asking for more tax breaks.

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Response to Igel (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:14 PM

21. Great questions! I don't know the answer

But this would be a better topic for all the talented economists and legislative assistants to be discussing than what they discussing now.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:18 PM

22. And remove the cap. n/t

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #22)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:19 PM

24. I'm all for that, but it's not necessary if wages kept rising

Again, this isn't about the best possible policy or what I would do if I were king. I'm simply making the actuarial notice that if wages were rising at the same rate as productivity, SS and Medicare would be fully funded for the next few centuries.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:26 PM

25. How do you pay machines more? And how do you then pay the displaced people?


Not sure how one would do this without manufacturing money as well.

On the other hand, if they get together with their neighbors and start to create assets, they could use the overhead that used to go to CEO's for themselves.


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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 06:43 PM

28. Why not just put a lasso around the moon and give it to me?

That would work too, and would probably be easier.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:07 PM

29. Actually that itself would not work

Unless you had a monetazation plan for the Moon. Which you might. In which case, let's get married.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #29)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:34 PM

30. I guess that would make me a perfect ten

a four with 6 billion dollars.

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