Greedy Goblin

Friday, September 21, 2012


US president candidate Mitt Romney had a speech on a fund-raiser event which became (in)famous as the "47% speech". Please watch it.

When I saw it, I said that I'd vote for this guy despite his other flaws if I was American. It turned out - just as he used to - he had the numbers wrong and probably didn't know the details what he was talking about. The largest fail is that the 47% who don't pay federal tax still pay various taxes and this percentage jumped up when some republican president cut taxes. Ronald Reagan was proud of increasing this very percentage.

However Romney being prepared and knowledgeable as Sarah Palin does not change the value of the idea he was talking about. Something I was talking about for years. Let me rephrase what he said, you'll see that I did not change the meaning, just clear it up:
  • There is a large group of people who are dependent on the government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that the government has responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That's an entitlement, the government should give it to them.
  • These are the people who don't pay tax or contribute to upkeeping the country in any other meaningful form. So the message of lowering taxes or spinning up the economy doesn't connect. They will actually take these messages as "more money for the rich".
  • We can never convince them to take responsibility and care for their own lives.
  • This group will vote for a socialist government, no matter what
Almost the same as he said, except now it makes sense. I'm not sure that Romney would be a good president. However bringing up this idea in public, taking it to the spotlight is important. It alone explains why Greece, Hungary, Spain, Italy and such are in deep trouble. Here this group is way over 50% of the electorate. The prime minister of Hungary told that the IMF (who has terms for a loan) must understand that the topic of pensions (about 20% of the budget) are a matter of democracy, we can't afford the elderly to turn away from democracy (and vote for neo-nazis or communists). In the troubled European countries the only way of deficit decrease that the majority of voters accept is raising taxes and firing government employees (soldiers, firefighters, teachers, people who do useful work). These of course decrease the GDP, decrease tax income, increase the unemployment, therefore the number of welfare leeches.

What to do? Romney stumbled upon the solution: "My job is not to worry about these people." But how can you not worry about voters? Soon we'll see if Romney could afford to ignore them, but he has the theoretical chance to win an election against these people. In Europe (and in 5-10 years in the US), it isn't possible even if every single taxpayer vote as one. The only way to not worry about their opinion is the way we don't worry how kids feel about the election: they shouldn't be able to vote. The non-taxpayers should have equal rights as children. This is what I found after evaluating lot of data, 3 years ago. Of course this is directly incompatible with democracy. Well, this system had two good centuries and nothing lasts forever.

PS: PvP isn't boring at all if you find the fitting way for you. Here is me, answering the call on Jabber calling exactly for the ship I fly, PvP-ing 10 hours straight, clearing a whole system from -A- Citizens all by myself, while being asleep because I'm so good in PvP:
(explanation, I picked a -0.8 system, which was busy)

Friday morning report: 155.3B (5.5 spent on main accounts, 3.8 spent on Logi/Carrier, 3.2 on Ragnarok, 2.6 on Rorqual, 2.4 on Nyx, 2.8 on Dread, 17.4 sent as gift)


Anonymous said...

Some facts that may (or may not) influence your now-revised opinion about the fragment of the speech you saw.

(1) There is no Federal sales tax in the US. Sales taxes are levied by states and municipalities only. That is, these funds are not paid into the general Treasury for the Federal government to disburse.

(2) FICA witholdings are earmarked to pay Social Security. If you believe the amusing accounting story of the Social Security "lockbox", then these funds also are not available for disbursal as they are used to pay for SS benefits.

In actual practice, they are used to buy T-Bills, which means future income tax receipts will be required to replace the money confiscated via FICA witholdings plus interest.

So the only people who are paying for the Federal government's expenditures are those people who pay Federal income tax.

Anonymous said...

If being a slacker and mooching off the government provides decent benefits for little to no work, then any rational would take advantage of that to the fullest extent. Case in point, take a loo at the shoddy services provided by the major US corporations versus the amount of tax breaks they're receiving.

Anonymous said...

I naturally (econ grad student) don't agree with your comments rgd the economy - the fundamental problem of any depression is that people who *want* to find work are unable to find it even at low wages.

People who are not actively looking for work usually don't even make it into the unemployment statistics these days.

Especially Spain can't really be put into the same sentence as Greece etc as the situation there is vastly different - they had a very good time 2000-2007 during which they had relatively low unemployment and even ran at a surplus (2004-2007).!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=edp_b9_pc_gdp&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country_group&idim=country:es&ifdim=country_group&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

Following your interpretation Spain collectively decided to become lazy in 2008 - "we have worked so hard for the past 7 years, let's take a break and live the next 10 on government handouts!"

However, I am really glad to hear that you enjoy your 0.0 experience so far!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the use of jabber in the HBC by the way - when I was in TEST I had Psi configured to automatically log me in whenever I started my computer and the "available 24/7 (minus sleep/work) but mostly play other games and only log into EVE for pings" playstyle has to look pretty strange for someone coming from a WoW background (?).

Anonymous said...

I am American, 49 years old and I am voting for Romney.

You're right on a lot of the things you say. Air is free to breath, everything else in life you need to earn. If you want something bad enough, (like food or shelter or medicine) work your ass off until you can afford to go get it.

btw, it'll be about 270 years. At about that time we will either go bankrupt or be in the midst of another civil war. The war won't last long though. It'll be everyone who gets off their ass against everyone who sits around waiting for "the government" to take care of it.

Our way may not be perfect, but it is light years ahead of Socialism or any Socialist Democracy Ponzi Scheme that currently exists.

Anonymous said...

As long as you're watching hot new political videos, here's some more, this time from a middle class explaining why he sides with the M&S, and how American M&S view big government.

Anonymous said...

In this country, only about ~60% of the electorate shows up to vote. It goes without saying that the 40% no shows are the same poor/uneducated demographic that you refer to as welfare leaches.

Assuming every present or past tax payer (53%+++) votes, you see a neat overlap between the voting and taxpaying populations. That is, the taxpayers currently make up the overwhelming majority of those exercising their right to vote. Care to comment?


dobablo said...

The numbers lie. That 47% are not non-tax paying adults. They are adults that don't pay income tax. 61% of those still have a payroll tax (@15.3%). So now we are down to 18% M&S. Exclude pensioners and the figure drops even further to 8% of eligable adults that pay no form of tax.

Anonymous said...

I turned 16 well let's just say before most of EVE's player base was born. At that time I could not wait to leave my parents and strike out on my own. A car and the dream of freedom. A lack of home video gaming systems helped. Then you had to leave your house to play.;)

I see so many today that don't seem to even want a job. Maybe it's part of this sense of entitlement that has taken such a hold on many Americans. These kids want to be rock stars or turn in their skate videos to get a sponsor. Many are too good to work. They would rather stay at home and put up with mom and dad. This equals a loss of freedom.

What many can't see is that the socialization of America, this set of entitlement programs that are there to 'help the poor guy' are equal to a loss of freedom. Be it a government agency that instructs them what they can and can't eat on a food stamp program to asking how many jobs you looked for this week before we give out your unemployment. Now it will be health care only if you run the gauntlet of regulations put forth.

Worst of all has this group lost it's willingness to be something more than taken care of? Manning up means very little today it seems.

Socialism the idea sounds rather giving and looks great on paper but as Margret Thatcher once said,
Socialists cry “Power to the people”, and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean—power over people, power to the State.

Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them.
Google if you still can in your country.:p

TLDR; I want to introduce a new frigate to the 'sand box'. The "Apathy" given out this winter expansion. It will have a special built in covert cloak that is always on plus non-targeted interdiction nullifier. F1 brings up the petition window. F2 the bug report window. Other hot-keys bind able to your favorite blogs.
-Andy Roid

Azuriel said...

You sort of acknowledged Romney's fail, but it is worth reiterating that the percentage of people not paying "federal tax" is actually 17% in 2009, which itself was an anomalous year due to the economic downturn that lowered wealth almost across the board. In 2007, it was 14%. And the majority of those people are elderly, disabled, or students. Nevermind State/Local taxes, sales tax, excise tax, etc etc.

By the way, considering how 83%+ of working adults make less than $100k (97%+ less than $250k), it is a great surprise any Republican voter is dumb enough to care about tax breaks or "spinning up the economy" (achieved by... tax breaks?).

These are the people who don't pay tax or contribute to upkeeping the country in any other meaningful form.

I get that you are trying to "clarify" these remarks, but it is asinine anyway. Even if you set aside the psychopathy needed to reduce the human experience to numbers, the fact remains that this "wasted" money is getting funneled back into the US economy at a far higher ratio than it would sitting in a Swiss Bank account. Nevermind the social costs in terms of disorder/anarchy it would cause to go back to the Middle Ages with your Plutocracy fantasy.

Unknown said...

People might pay the payroll tax and not income tax, however there are people who get refund (and/or direct welfare $$$) in excess of their income tax liability which largely offsets any payroll taxes they might have paid.

The 47% number may not be totally accurate, but its not that far off.

I say this as someone who thinks both of the top two candidates are equally incompetent.

Mr Obvious said...

You forget about one thing. Your well being depends on your neighbours. Without any government help you would have huge areas of poor people, slums. Its "great" place for spreading crime and diseases that will finally affect "the rich". Sorry but not everyone got same chance to start or is so strong to support himself.

Aureon said...

Only, the number in America is way lower: Among prime-age adults, the number of payroll-tax payers is a shiver less of 90%.
( )
Factoring that we're in a depression, and about 8% is unemployed but searching for work, and about 1% is disabled, the number of nothing-doers is around 3-5% for prime age adults.
A good amount of those are probably non-legally employed, or live off inheritance, or from investments alone (that wouldn't figure in either; Romney is actually in the "47%" he talks about, since he does not pay Income tax, just capital tax)
For how a depression really works, some economics wouldn't hurt. There's unemployed people, and not for choice.
There's some (in some countries of Europe, since as an Italian i guarantee you it's impossible to live off the government handouts).

Also, feedback numbers are important: Food stamps boost the economy of about 1.2$ per dollar invested, while high-end tax cuts of about 0.4$ per dollar invested.

Aureon said...

> I see so many today that don't seem to even want a job
This is ridicolous. In a crisis of overproduction, your claim is "people don't want a job".
Freaking mcdonalds had 250k openings, and got 2m applicants for it.
Eight to one. For rolling burgers.
I understand that your nostalgia-filter is on, but you should not ignore facts.

There's millions of people actively seeking ANY job, and can't find it.
There's people with STEM degrees unemployed, despite seeking work.

Gevlon said...

@Aureon: but McDonalds still have 250K openings. How come that they are not filled?

The wannabe employees either:
- live away from jobs and refuse to move
- don't have qualifications (even to flip burgers you must be able to read instructions, not be criminal and so on)
- don't want to accept the salary
- they only "seek jobs" because it's needed for unemployment aid, they purposefully screw up the interview

N said...

We're actually controlling the M&S problem pretty well in the US - about 8% of the population is actually hypothetically able to work (the disabled representing an unknown subset of that group, probably a higher rate than in the general populations) and instead stays on welfare. It's a problem, but not a huge problem.

I have worked with a couple of organizations which provide services to the poor, and my overwhelming impression is that three things are holding that 8% back - drugs, lack of basic necessities like transportation, and, frankly, impenetrable stupidity. Social programs which aim to address these problems would be, in my opinion, more beneficial than an expansion of the programs which treat the symptom, which is poverty.

Anonymous said...

"Without any government help you would have huge areas of poor people, slums."

When government subsidizes something, the supply of that thing inevitably increases. When government subsidizes agriculture, you get more farming. When it subsidizes higher education, you get more college applicants. And when it subsidizes unemployment or welfare, you get more people who are unemployed or on welfare.

Johnicholas Hines said...

Your privileged anger at the poor is unjustified. I recommend these articles:

Being involuntarily unemployed for a medium to long term is incredibly corrosive, damaging health, sanity and employability. Castigating people suffering unemployment as "slackers" is thoughtless and unjust.

Vesoom said...


It's also really funny that getting more back from the federal government than you pay in can still be considered contributing. It's humorous that getting more back than you pay in, meaning getting someone else's money because you didn't make enough, can be called a "refund" or a "tax credit".

Anonymous said...

I think you're misunderstanding the point about McDonalds. The point you made would only work if after going through the 2million applicants they still had openings.

McDonalds probably has high turn over. Entry level jobs do.

A better example is precision manufacturing, which has openings they cannot file. Not enough workers with the skills they need. In my state they start at 35k but still can't fill the jobs. Not enough students heading to trade schools, 2 year programs and other places that train in this.

Not going to college is considered being a loser, but these jobs pay a lot more than the jobs requiring masters degrees in social work.

Aureon said...

Actually, no.
What i'm talking about is that some times ago, McDonalds issued a "challenge" to the "unwilling to work", by opening 250k jobs. They were all filled.

And those were mostly openings in MiddleOfNowhere, AZ. So, there's people who actually RELOCATED FOR A MCDONALDS JOB..
That's about as not lazy as you can get.
That's one of the parts.

The thing is that in economy, for someone to earn, someone else must spend. There's no way around it.
If everyone wants to save, rather than spend, no one earns. And that's how we got in the liquidity trap and refuse to get out of it.

The leeches are there, but they're not predominant.
And if we're rationals, we should not go after them if stopping them requires more resources than letting them be - We care about efficiency, not about abstract "justice".

Chaos Engineer said...

The problem with the argument is here:

There is a large group of people who are dependent on the government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that the government has responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.

I hope you're trying to describe people who are able to work but choose not to.

I mean, of course you're not counting people who want to work but can't - either because they're too old, or disabled, or they're searching diligently for a job but can't find one. And you're certainly not counting people who are working full-time jobs for low wages and need a little extra help to support their families (a lot of people in Mitt's 47% fall into that category).

Oh, and there's also stay-at-home parents who are fully supported by their partners, but don't file a joint tax return for whatever reason. People in that category don't owe Federal taxes on their individual returns.

So instead of 47%, the number of true parasites is more like 1%. I've only met a couple of them in my entire life (in the US), and I think at least some of them had an undiagnosed mental disability.

It would be nice if there were no parasites at all - but I don't think it's good if we focus so much on punishing them that we wind up hurting people who have a legitimate need for help.

Now, I don't know what things are like in Europe, but (like I said back on the other thread) there's still a huge amount of racial resentment in American politics. That causes people to have conversations like this:

A - I don't know a lot of people who refuse to work. If this is such a big problem, where are they?
B - In the ghetto!
A - I see, so we can go to this "ghetto" place and you'll introduce me to some of them?
B - Are you crazy? If I go near the ghetto, the animals that live there will kill me!
A - Wait, if you haven't been to the ghetto, how do you know the number of parasites that live there?
B - The radio told me!
A - (listens to radio program) You know, this sounds kinda racist.
B - How dare you call me a racist! I'm always really careful not to say the N-word!
A - (facepalm)

[Just to clarify: I don't think Mitt Romney is a racist, because the "47%" number doesn't make sense in the context of racial resentment. In his case it's class resentment; he doesn't understand why the "commoners" won't give him the respect he's entitled to and it makes him mad. But I do think he's trying to exploit other people's racial resentment to get them to vote for him.]


but McDonalds still have 250K openings. How come that they are not filled?

The laws of supply and demand, of course!

Maybe these stores are in areas with high employment, or they're in a expensive area and the salary won't cover any reasonable combination of rent/commuting costs, or maybe management is so toxic that employee turnover is high and the positions are usually vacant.

If McDonalds is so desperate to fill these openings, then why don't they raise the salaries?

Anonymous said...

just implement a BIG and everything will be fine ;)

Leeho said...

The question is not about is it bad or good that there are lots of people who don't provide enough usefulness to pay taxes. The question is what to do to actually make current situation better and not worse. And AFAIK republicans haven't got any proven ideas for that matter.

And by the way, it was republican idea for that law proposal in Texas, where they wanted to get critical thinking banned from school education. A way to go, i suppose.

Unknown said...

First, why do you believe of that this large group of people exist? For instance, in the past the unemployment was 4-5%. Now that it is over 10%, are we to believe that we suddenly gained 10% M&S over 10 years and that all the people who lost jobs don't want to work? I believe your belief of this gigantic group of people is completely unfounded.

Second, so you believe in trickle down economics? Because it sure doesn't seem to work. I don't know about you, but my tax rate was 25%. Yet, Romney pays 14%. Even his vice presidential candidate who earns less than 1/10 of what he makes pays 23%. Seems to me he just wants to cut taxes to himself and increase the cost of my medical insurance.

Leeho said...

And about McDonalds and it's 250k openings - do you suppose that a company with this size can go even a day without people leaving and getting in? Every company permanently seeks for people, and have amount of openings proportional to it's size.

Well, i wrote this and then i checked google, and found that they only have 750k people employed. Are they going to grow for 1/4, or is this number just made up? More likely it's the number taken from how many they hire, say, in a some period of time. And in the same Aureon comment it's likely being compared to the amount of people who applied for them. So those jobs are already taken and burgers are being flipped.

I don't like it how people today, even you, Gevlon, just toss numbers around without trying to think critically about meaning of them and source of them. Started from example in your post and continuing in comments, that just makes your conclusions flowing in the air without any support. You can't start with 47%, and then continue with something like "ok, it's actually 15%, but the point stands", cause the point doesn't stand like that any more.

Jackthemaniac said...

Nice speculation Gevlon, as baseless as can be. I am certain you could have found better answer on Google:

Even so, I would like to hear the reply of the guy who mentioned the 250 mcdonalds openings, in order to understand the true reason behind constant 250k,openings.

Gevlon said...

About the "but most of them are elderly/disabled... and not lazy bums": I know that. But why should they have more votes than children? It's not their fault to be unable to work, but similarly it's not the fault of the children to be children. I don't say "burn them", I just say they shouldn't decide the fate of the country.

About: "people suffer from unemployment": I don't question that. I don't even question that he want a job. But he still makes some obvious mistake (which isn't obvious for him) that makes him unemployable, like illiteracy, mood swings (cursing, shouting), lack of personal hygene and so on.

kacper said...

Hah, finally a topic I have something to say about.

It's good that there is some country in the world where there still is some meaningful politics going on. Up here in Poland it's the incompetent Brussels-serving mafia VS the God-fearing socialists. Boring.

By the way, Obama's presidency looks like Jimmy Carter come again, we're all just waiting for a giant swimming rabbit to attack him (seriously, look it up). And if you are a sane person and want Obamacare repealed it has to be now. So there doesn't seem to be much of a choice.

Romney's right of course, though, as he himself admitted, he wasn't very articulate about it. All democracies have to inevitably implode because of welfare. If 51% of people can vote to rob the remaining 49% of their money, then why wouldn't they? The additional problem is that once you start redistributing people's wealth, they stop producing it (Thomas Sowell). So the only thing you end up redistributing is poverty.

The truth of big government is, of course, a little more complicated. Stuff like child tax credit was increased by G.W. Bush by a lot. So you know, it's a major success for fiscal conservatives that Romney is the nominee. Further, the welfare leeches are only part of the problem. The other is government workers. Look at the teachers protesting in Chicago. Their wages are about twice as high as the average wage in the area, but of course they need a raise. What do they want? More! One government employee buys you a few votes from his friends and family, not to mention an activist that will promote whoever will promise him the highest benefits. And we all know the reputation of the USA schools.

I can't believe I didn't challenge your doomsday prophecies when you wrote them I guess I was busy. So just shortly: why would technological progress make people jobless? The industrial revolution brought an unprecedented increase in living standard, mainly for the lower and middle classes. And look at all the jobs lost for farmers when their labor was automated! People find ways to keep themselves busy if they have to.

The welfare problem still stands, though. And your solution looks good but is incomplete. There is still the problem of government employees voting benefits for themselves.

Me, I prefer the "one man, one vote" system. The king is the man, and he has the vote. Simple and elegant. While there are bad monarchs, there are no good democracies. Even ones designed as brilliantly as the American one will fail eventually. The democratic abomination will eventually die of inefficiency.


Anonymous said...

What about the folks who paid federal income tax for many years, had their job downsized due to companies like Romney's Bain Capital who serve only to make a profit for investors, and thus no longer earn enough to pay federal income tax?

How does Mitt factor them into his equation?

Jackthemaniac said...

I don't understand how you can make the claim they can't get jobs because of illiteracy, bad hygiene or mood swings. That's baseless. What you said are assumptions. Could almost call 'em excuses that you make up to protect your point to the very end even though there are flaws in it.

I thought that you sought the reality and the solutions and you were not biased to follow beliefs that could be flawed.

Also, many poster here have posted various links showing that welfare leeches as you call 'em a re very very small percentage of the population, smaller than you make them out to be.

Jackthemaniac said...

Your reasons for job lacking are bad hygiene, cursing, mood swings?


That's quite a baseless claim. There was no survey o

Sounds like you're making excuses to protect your beliefs to the end.

Face reality and adapt instead of protecting flawed reasoning. The objective facts, and working solutions for a better world for everyone where everyone pitch in, is what is wanted.

You're holding us back as it is. It's been proven your welfare leeches make up a very small percentage of the population, like under 20% if not under 10%.

I'm not calling for socialism either, just to find a solution so we as people can be productive and have decent lives.

whatever said...

Romney made his money through sweet-heart government deals got through his dad's connections and gross abuse of "corporations are people" law. That is illegal and quasi-legal behavior.

But let's be fair. I believe he should ONLY be punished as I would be punished for not paying taxes on his tax fraud scam. Just one of many scams of course.Multiplied by the amount he stole as compared to what would get me 10 years in jail. Well, that will be over a 1000 years in jail.

When he gets out he can run for president.

Hivemind said...

"About the "but most of them are elderly/disabled... and not lazy bums": I know that. But why should they have more votes than children?"

Because we limit children from voting because they are incapable of making a rational, informed choice when casting their vote, not due to any value they have added into or drawn from the government/country.

Unless you are arguing that being unemployed makes you incapable of rational thought (and given your "obvious mistake (which isn't obvious for him) that makes him unemployable" list, I'm not entirely certain that you aren't), saying "We don't let children vote, why should we let those not paying tax?" makes no sense.

Chaos Engineer said...

About the "but most of them are elderly/disabled... and not lazy bums": I know that. But why should they have more votes than children? It's not their fault to be unable to work, but similarly it's not the fault of the children to be children. I don't say "burn them", I just say they shouldn't decide the fate of the country.

Why not? They might be dependent on others, but that doesn't mean they have bad judgement. And some people that are self-supporting have incredibly bad judgement (*cough*Mitt*cough*)

As to your point about children...obviously children don't have the experience they'll need in order to learn good judgment. This is why we call them "children".

Anyway, what's the difference between a rich person who votes his narrow self-interest at everyone else's expense, and a poor person who does the same thing? If anything, the rich person would be doing more damage to society-as-a-whole. Rich people already have a lot of ways to defend their interests and it seems unfair to take away one of the few tools that poor people can use to protect themselves.

There's also the whole "social unrest" problem. If society tells you that you're a second-class citizen, then why should you want that society to continue to exist? In the US, we had a lot of problems with protests and riots in the 1950's and 1960's (Due to, guess what, racial resentment again!) One of the things we did to fix this was to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which abolished a lot of arbitrary restrictions that had been used to prevent people from voting.

george said...

The problem with limiting the voting class further is where do you stop. How about we just skip straight to landowners with an annual income of at least $5m. Children are not given the right to vote because they lack the ability to reason logically, even more so than the average adult. If IQ tests were worth a crap there might be an argument in limiting the right to vote to some score but ultimately you end up disenfranchising a large chunk of the population. It's best to just leave them with the vote and rather safely bet on them not bothering to exercise their right.

In cases where someone makes so little that they don't pay any income taxes they are still indirectly contributing in many ways. They buy goods, services and provide dirt cheap labor to someone that is paying taxes. And in fact they will probably spend more than 100% of their net income.

So far as federal workers goes there is some very strong evidence that they aren't over compensated. For instance the GS pay scale is subject to locality pay and they are constantly conducting wage surveys in the private sector. The whole point of which is to try and get the federal pay scales in line with the private sector, and so far they have been far behind for decades. In fact they've had their cost of living raises frozen for two years now I think. The only federal workers that I know which might be over paid for their regular hours would be armed services people, but they have the constant threat of being sent to a war zone for repeated tours of duty, at which point the money is crap. Even then when I separated I more than doubled my pay and benefits taking the first low balled contract offer that came my way.

Anonymous said...

Right, so do you actually do any research or just assume that anyone who agrees with your prejudices is correct? Mitt the Twit, you have to love the Brit press sometimes, is doing nothing more than displaying the historic and economic illiteracy of his class. Read some actual statistics, or talk to people in the real world before pronouncing your wisdom.

The elderly, the ill, and the disabled are not incompetent, the basis for excluding the vote from children. I have to admit that you are much less nuanced than most of your class - no need to listen for a dog whistle, you just come right out an scream to disenfranchise the poor. Why people who add no productive value to society (the financial class) seem to believe that they are owed reverence and the right to trample anyone not as wealthy as they is beyond me.

Finally, you really need to look in the mirror before screaming about socialism. When the hideous risks taken by the financial class came back to bite them they took the uber-capitalist approach of demanding the public they had just defrauded bail them out - and then get out the way so they could turn the wealth-pump back on and continue taking stupid risks. Nothing like knowing the government will always be there to bail you out, right. But really, who could doubt that the CEO of a brokerage wasn't far more important than some veteran starving to death on the street. After all, if the vet were worth anything he would be pulling down a $5M bonus for losing his company $50M a quarter.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: I'm making exactly that point, if your ability to contribute to the country is as little as a child does, DESPITE you are not a child, you need to be dumber/lazier than a child. Being old is no excuse for not earning, Warren Buffet and Clint Eastwood earn millions way over 70. About being disabled read

Anonymous said...

Are you saying people who outsource jobs shouldn't be allowed to vote?

Anonymous said...

As already mentioned, the 47% includes pensioners, disabled, and troops in active warzones.

They could always do what some corporations in the UK do, there is a requirement for "free" work for some unemployment claimants, so, the corporations get free full time employees, while people get to yell about the numbers on benefits.

I have this bizarre idea that, if you need a job done, even temporarily, instead of getting benefits people to do it, why not employ them ^^ If you are working, you should be getting a wage. Even the "lets get the unemployed to clean the streets" should be "oh, we need more street cleaners, lets pay people a wage to do it".

Anonymous said...

Romney *MAY* be a moron, but Obama *IS* a socialist... so, the choice of any rational should be obvious.

Hivemind said...

I'd have to disagree with you on your claim that you have to be "dumber/lazier than a child" to be unable to find work, and I challenge you to find solid evidence to support that claim.

Even if it is the case, you're still making my point for me when you say "lazier than a child" - once again, we don't stop children voting because they're poorly motivated, we do it because they're incapable of comprehending the consequences of their action. What is it about lazy people that makes them poor candidates for having the vote?

A couple other observations about your "No votes for the unemployed" concept:
- Under your system, someone who is in their final year of a degree in political science would be unable to vote because they wouldn't pay tax. A manual labourer working 12 hour shifts and barely having time to commute home and have a meal before sleeping would be able to vote. While employment is definitely laudable, in what way is the manual labourer who has no spare energy or time to follow politics more capable of choosing a sound leader than the politics student?
- Due to circumstances beyond their control, the company employing Gevlon Goblin is forced to downsize and leave him unemployed (freak act of god simultaneously harming the company's income and removing the need for Gevlon's post). Naturally Gevlon immediately sets out to find work and will succeed, but the process of job hunting, submitting applications, attending interviews/shortlisting etc takes a week or two. During the middle of this process there is an election. In spite of having been gainfully employed and supporting the state through tax for years up until the previous week, devoting all his energies since then to finding employment and being about to resume employment and taxation the following week, as well as being a responsible adult of sound mind and body (presumably, I don't know you that well), Gevlon Goblin is unable to participate in the election.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: there will be a full post about that, but in preview, I'm debating that the guy who is studying political sciences (but never worked as one) is better voter than the manual laborer (see 68 student riots).

The second case is technical, as the criteria would be positive tax balance. If I paid enough tax for a year to be above the threshold (another post) I'm fine, even if I'm unemployed for some time.

kacper said...

Dear Gevlon,
I see people here are attacking your solution because you're limiting the right to vote. I say that you are not limiting it enough, but at least you are moving closer to the right number. I think that it is in everyone's best interest to be governed well. Being able to vote is a pointless fetish.

Let's look at this twentieth century superstition we call democracy.

In order to make a good decision one must possess some intelligence. Children are excluded from voting, yes, but idiots aren't.

But assume that the voter is not an idiot. Thinking takes time and energy, so the voter has to be motivated somehow to take the time and spend the energy, that he could use for something more beneficial to him.

But assume that he is motivated. When the voter thinks about the available options to choose from, he might notice (admittedly, not always), that some are beneficial to him, but detrimental to the society.
I think everyone can agree that there are populist politicians out there who wish to bribe voters with some sort of special benefits.
So the voter must be virtuous to resist the temptation.

But assume that he is virtuous. Social reality is so complex, and changes so quickly, that it is easy to be under a misapprehension, even for an intelligent person making an honest effort to make a good choice. Socialism, for example, seduced many brilliant and sincere people.

So in order to promote democracy you have to believe that at least 51% of the voters are *at once* intelligent, motivated, virtuous, and lucky enough to stumble on the right solution. It is a wager that I would not make.

Oh, and this, Gevlon:
"I'm debating that the guy who is studying political sciences (but never worked as one) is better voter than the manual laborer (see 68 student riots)."
Welcome to the conservative movement, where we value experience more than articulated reason.

Steel H. said...

Good job on your PvPing. AFK camping is a fine art, and it's all about psychological manipulation. I believe that as a member of TEST, you can get access to the goonwiki and some forums you should definitely get there if you can. The goonwiki in particular has a wealth of information that you won't find anywhere else

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time it wasn't strange for people to not have enfranchisement if they didn't own property. About the same time that that changed, Senators lost accountability to state legislatures through uniformatization of voting rules.

Shifting focus completely, I like this article by Francis Fukuyama on the two Europes, as differentiated by their approach to clientelism.

Anonymous said...

Quite possibly the most important declaration in the U.S. Constitution is the 10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Unfortunately, that Amendment runs straight into the brick-wall of the "General Welfare clause" in Article 1, Section 8, which reads: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes ... to ... provide for ... the ... general Welfare of the United States.

Too broad an interpretation of what "general Welfare" means allows the Congress to side-step the 10th Amendment by simply stating "this is in your best interests / its for the good of all." In fact, in Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937), the SCOTUS effectively said that Congress can tax and spend for the "general welfare" at its sole discretion. This judicial opinion has never been reversed, and is the predominant leaning in case law.

Hence, the rise of the Nanny State.

whatever said...

Nobody seems to want to argue with my "Lord Romney got his money through criminal behavior I can't do because my daddy isn't important".

If you accept that point, then I'm not really sure what the rest of this nonsense is about.

I'm sure any of the unemployed people would be glad to take the salary that those from "good families" get. Those from "good families" should have salaries as high as they can take. Those from "bad families" should have salaries as low as they can be driven.

And for the mouth-breathers, engineering salaries in the United States are already way, way below sustainable levels and the engineering population is collapsing. And no, I don't much care to wait for when you, mouth-breathing curse-screaming animals, make the bold step to make salaries only 30% below sustainable levels. Mind you, not FAIR levels. Not what we are worth, but the minimum your masters can pay us without not having enough engineers.

Even the Hindu's are going home because America sucks even for them as engineers.

Ha ha. Enjoy your third world hell-hole randoids.

Anonymous said...

@ kacper
if you are a sane person, You Dont want obamacare repealed, since a) most of it is just goverment spending -thats paid for- and the other thing also known as the thing that pays for it, is the individual mandate - and this thing is a bear with me - a REPUBLICAN rigthwing idea - and it will save billions for the country in the long run. Aka if you are snae you dont repealed.
nad i dont know if you are sarcastic or not but of me as a fiscal conservative dont in any way shape or form like romney as the nomine although that has a lot to do with the fact that republicans seems to be insane at the moment, taxes are teh price you pay for a civilised society - (O.W holmes)
the teachers in chicago actualy didnt want a raise they had other issues they were working on, evidenced by the fact they woted Against a 16% wage increase of 5 years, so no it wasnt a money issue.

"there are no good democracies."
of the Top 10 economies in the world 8 are democracies so this is by definition an incorect statement, trust me a dictatorship is Far Far Far more ineficent.

buboe said...

Gevlon, you are consistently insightful in your comments and analysis of ecomomy issues in Wow and Eve. Although I can't agree with everything you say, you have a real talent at drilling down to the point of the issue, and shining a light on it's absurdity.
So I can't understand why you miss the point of this one.
The real number of takers over givers isn't 47% or 21%, or 53%. It's 100%.
Everyone in the US is a net importer of charity from the rest of the world (through the pricing of US treasury bonds).
Just as every one in Hungary (the country you live) is a net importer of charity from (mostly Europe).
Both countrys have roads, schools, governments (and welfare cheats) which are paid for by other places (Mostly China for US, Mostly Germany and France for Hungary).
This is the real problem and it won't be addressed by Romney's or anyone else's government.

Ioana said...

I would recommend you watch a series called "The Newsroom". While it is obviously fictional, it is based on real quotes and real incidents in the US. It might make you think twice.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think that the tiny minority of people on welfare (who may or may not be M&S) are to blame for most problems? Aren't you just looking for a scape-goat?

It's not the poor people who broke our economy by gambling with banks.

Sure, I'd prefer a world without leeches. But I'd rather have a world *with* leeches, but without psychopathic idiots like Romney in power. I value my human rights more than I value my money!
I will gladly pay taxes so the M&S leave me alone! It's called "welfare", because it makes MY life easier than dealing with hungry criminals on the street.

Gevlon, you are falling into the Republican's trap: Talk about irrelevant issues (like those 5% of the population who leech off taxes), and try to not talk about the important issues.

Yaggle said...

I believe Romney was trying to say something which is true, but the number 47% is too high and I think includes children which make the number way too high. Romney has a bad habit of saying things that sound worse than what he is thinking which is not good for a politician. He is not all bad but he is losing for his ineffective speaking. I think his VP Ryan candidate would have made a better candidate. Yes we have leeches but nowhere near 47% and like you said there are many taxes other than income tax that people pay.