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Re: Random Thoughts

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das_boot
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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by das_boot » 15 Mar 2023, 12:45

I mean honestly you’ve taken what I said and expanded upon it, and I don’t disagree. I think from my more right leaning friends, it’s absolutely the incompetency that’s the issue. I don’t see that there’s an easy fix beyond dismantling everything we know about politics and starting again from the ground up which is absolutely not a feasible solution nor an ACTUAL easy fix. I really do feel like public trust in our elected representatives is at an all time low.

We have a Tory MP in my constituency which is WILD to me considering I wouldn’t even say a lot of my area is working class— I would say a lot of my area is benefits/poverty class, but the constituency covers a wide area including areas that are actually pretty affluent— for reference, house prices in my area can be anywhere between £70k-120k, while other parts of the constituency houses can easily go for £200k+. Our MP likes to post on social media that he’s doing stuff like cleaning road signs or having overgrown hedges cut back in the affluent areas, meanwhile not three streets down from me there’s a food bank that routinely runs out of packages within a couple of hours of being open for the day, and he does NOTHING to look after this part of his constituency. All this has done has highlighted that he’s happy to look after the richer parts of the area he’s supposed to be supporting, and ignoring the areas where crime and poverty is rife.

Ughhhhh. I honestly hate our current political system because you’re right, a vote for Labour at the moment would be more of the same but I absolutely cannot bring myself to vote for any of the alternatives.
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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by tokenBG1009 » 16 Mar 2023, 04:46

Poor conservatives are weird. It's always religion or some nostalgia for an age they actively work to make impossible again. Then you have those who are basically "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" that think their time is coming or just want to be superior to someone. It's a very "crabs in a bucket" thing
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 16 Mar 2023, 09:46

tokenBG1009 wrote:
16 Mar 2023, 04:46
Poor conservatives are weird. It's always religion or some nostalgia for an age they actively work to make impossible again. Then you have those who are basically "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" that think their time is coming or just want to be superior to someone. It's a very "crabs in a bucket" thing
I won't say I'm 'poor' but I certainly came from a lower-income household, and I've always veered slightly to the right economically. I think socialism doesn't work. Never has, never will.

I definitely think there's a role for state support for the desperate and some levers the state should be pulling to avoid monopolies, ensure a free market and generally raise living standards to a minimum (free healthcare and basic education is essential - we well as continuous national housebuilding initiatives) but generally, I feel leftist economic policies strangle innovation, strangle aspiration and prohibit class mobility. It's why I've always hated the phrase 'the poor' as if it is a frozen, homogenous group. It isn't. I know the UK, economically at least, veers more left than the US, but even then I think we're still too much of a high-tax society with a far too large public sector.

Unfortunately, policies that are there to 'support' the poor, too often don't provide the mechanisms / motivation to people on an individual level to escape poverty. No-one wants a life on benefits, but the benefits that are provided are not enough of a difference between working full-time to motivate to do so, and even if they do pay at the minimum wage is so low, in large parts of the country it's almost impossible to survive as a single person on minimum wage. It's why whole generations of families can get trapped in essentially becoming economically inactive. It's insane.

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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by das_boot » 16 Mar 2023, 10:57

I mean… as someone who works within the UK benefits system? That’s not true at all. I honestly don’t know how some people live on benefits
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Spectral Knight
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 16 Mar 2023, 11:02

The problem I see is if you're entitled to one set of benefits, seemingly others also become available, like free hours at nurseries, free school dinners, married tax allowances (how we still don't have household taxation which would be MUCH fairer is beyond me*) etc.

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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by das_boot » 16 Mar 2023, 17:01

So, I’m honestly not sure how much I’m allowed to talk about publicly, so I’ll leave it at the following

-Free/subsidised nursery places are supposed to be for parents going back to work— NOT just for anyone claiming benefit who aren’t working, but are able to.

-free school meals also apply to a lot of other folk, like children of military parents and “blue light” workers.
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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 16 Mar 2023, 18:09

das_boot wrote:
16 Mar 2023, 10:57
I mean… as someone who works within the UK benefits system? That’s not true at all. I honestly don’t know how some people live on benefits

That’s just one of those narratives that’s used to justify why you shouldn’t have any benefits.

And I should be precise, it’s a narrative only pointed at people a society deems are unworthy of benefits. All the other tax write-offs we have (homeowners, for certain kinds of income, etc) are never really brought up, just the stuff for the poor and working classes.
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
-Cly

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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by EphemeristX » 16 Mar 2023, 18:14

Agreed. I can't speak for the UK, but the number of calls for the government to bail out the investors affected by the Silicon Valley Bank collapse is ridiculous given how much conservatives tell the poor to pull themselves up by their bootstraps or that they're a drain on society.

The fight against welfare programs is just another example of class warfare.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 16 Mar 2023, 19:35

Blackcyclops wrote:
16 Mar 2023, 18:09
That’s just one of those narratives that’s used to justify why you shouldn’t have any benefits.

And I should be precise, it’s a narrative only pointed at people a society deems are unworthy of benefits. All the other tax write-offs we have (homeowners, for certain kinds of income, etc) are never really brought up, just the stuff for the poor and working classes.
I think you've missed the nuance a little here - in that I feel that there needs to be a social support network BUT wages and conditions should be high enough so that such benefits act as a security fallback and people don't live off them. Essentially there needs to be a big enough distinction between being out of work and in work for the latter to be essential to minimise state dependence.

I fundamentally believe low income households working full time on minimum wage, or very close too it, are the most screwed in our society. They are working their bollocks off and often failing to keep their head above water, and due to the lack of a joined up economic and social support network, there are people living on benefits who whilst are not "comfortable" - are still being funded for not working. It doesn't make sense.

And there's a whole host of reasons why, but one of the most fundamental is the cost of housing (for the UK at least, don't know how relative housing costs in other countries) and I can write an essay on where we've got things wrong there. Another is an absolute lack of investment in secondary industry in the UK - everything is orientated around services and the assumption of completing higher education (at a cost to the individual) but for a large part of the population this isn't appropriate. For working class people without an academic background, you used to be able to get a manufacturing job essentially for life but due to offshoring most secondary industry these jobs don't exist in the volume they used to and we become exposed on a macro economically.

I think I see a HUGE philosophical need to separately segment the working classes from the economically inactive classes rather than referring to them all as "the poor". I want people who are striving under god awful circumstances to be better rewarded. I also want to minimise state dependence.

I think both can be achieved and it'd need state intervention but it shouldn't be centred in welfare programmes. What it needs is a radical growth strategy aimed at creating opportunities in the private sector. Corporation tax is too high, there's too much red tape, import duty doesn't protect/encourage our industries, theres too many tax loopholes to allow companies to divert earnings offshore (motivated in part because of those high corporate tax rates), restrictive building policies and NIMBYism, a geographic bias towards London and the SE all amount to the situation we're in.

The problem with this is it's not a vote-winner in the short term so repeated Governments have tried sticking plaster approaches, and we're in a slow dive.

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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 16 Mar 2023, 21:23

EphemeristX wrote:
16 Mar 2023, 18:14
Agreed. I can't speak for the UK, but the number of calls for the government to bail out the investors affected by the Silicon Valley Bank collapse is ridiculous given how much conservatives tell the poor to pull themselves up by their bootstraps or that they're a drain on society.

The fight against welfare programs is just another example of class warfare.
To be fair, the SVB situation is more complicated than alot of the angry voices online say it is.

With SVB, there is definitely room for scrutiny on the Trump Era Congress loosing banking regulations so that what happened with SVB could happen (and by scrutiny, I mean they completely effed up and people said so at the time). Similarly, there are definitely something to be said about what the bank itself did (although honestly, them investing in long term bonds wasn’t a bad/dumb decision at the time. It just became bad once interest rates starting rising and then Tech bros started getting scared) in terms of over leveraging themselves…but broadly, yeah you’re right.
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
-Cly

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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 16 Mar 2023, 21:34

Well I was addressing Das’s point about the aforementioned narrative about the poor people who do receive govt benefits having a negative connotation on them while other govt benefits for the corporations and the rich (something like being a home owner deduction for example) that aren’t seen the same.

You’ll probably never be able to convince, at least right now, that taxes on corporations or the rich are too high. I’ve matured from a more libertarian view that I used to have.
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
-Cly

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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by BardicOne » 16 Mar 2023, 21:50

Starting my ten day staycation. Mental Health break from work and getting some more house organizing done. Of course I get a cold but I tend to bounce back fast so I'll still enjoy myself. Heck I might even break out some old comic books and just spend a day reading. Nextwave is always fun to re-read
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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 17 Mar 2023, 15:56

Blackcyclops wrote:
16 Mar 2023, 21:34
You’ll probably never be able to convince, at least right now, that taxes on corporations or the rich are too high. I’ve matured from a more libertarian view that I used to have.
Again, I think this might be something where our economies are different. But if I take corporation tax - for me it's a necessary evil that if you want corporations to invest in your economy that tax rate has to be appealing.
We have a situation where our next door neighbour (ROI) offers significantly lower tax rates than the UK, resulting in shifting of revenues and profits (and consequently, tax receipts). At the very least, in a competitive landscape, shouldn't corporation tax be...competitive?

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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 17 Mar 2023, 17:20

Spectral Knight wrote:
17 Mar 2023, 15:56
Blackcyclops wrote:
16 Mar 2023, 21:34
You’ll probably never be able to convince, at least right now, that taxes on corporations or the rich are too high. I’ve matured from a more libertarian view that I used to have.
Again, I think this might be something where our economies are different. But if I take corporation tax - for me it's a necessary evil that if you want corporations to invest in your economy that tax rate has to be appealing.
We have a situation where our next door neighbour (ROI) offers significantly lower tax rates than the UK, resulting in shifting of revenues and profits (and consequently, tax receipts). At the very least, in a competitive landscape, shouldn't corporation tax be...competitive?
Our tax rates used to be really high…like really high (during our biggest growth period too). Now? Our tax rates are pretty low and the tax rate for individuals are low comparatively to you guys in Europe. Plus we have loophole after loophole…and given that we have so many incentives/rebates/write-offs for the rich, they benefit the most from government but pay in the least.
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
-Cly

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 17 Mar 2023, 17:41

So very different to the UK, where the top 10% of earners contribute 60% of (individual) tax income.

EDIT - hold on, so is this incorrect re: US data? https://taxfoundation.org/publications/ ... me%20taxes.

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Crutey Anth » 17 Mar 2023, 20:39

Royal Mail just released their X-Men anniversary stamps- I’m tempted…just don’t know whether to get the base set of 17 stamps (including villain sheet) or buy the 12 set including Prof X coin

https://shop.royalmail.com/special-stam ... lsrc=aw.ds

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by das_boot » 17 Mar 2023, 21:59

Crutey Anth wrote:
17 Mar 2023, 20:39
Royal Mail just released their X-Men anniversary stamps- I’m tempted…just don’t know whether to get the base set of 17 stamps (including villain sheet) or buy the 12 set including Prof X coin

https://shop.royalmail.com/special-stam ... lsrc=aw.ds
Duh, both 🤷‍♂️
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by tokenBG1009 » 18 Mar 2023, 16:10

Spectral Knight wrote:
17 Mar 2023, 17:41
So very different to the UK, where the top 10% of earners contribute 60% of (individual) tax income.

EDIT - hold on, so is this incorrect re: US data? https://taxfoundation.org/publications/ ... me%20taxes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXCGbAv8YPw

This is a video I saw a while back that explained it a bit better. It boils down to that the PURE income tax of the top 10% is relatively high, but when you start adding the things that we all pay for (payroll taxes, social security, medicare, etc) then the top 10%'s percentages really starts to drop. So it's less income tax vs % of income being taxed. The top earners are paying more income tax when they actually earn an income, but the % of their money going to taxes is lower than the low income people.

Donald Trump's taxes were made public earlier this year and it was staggering how little he paid in taxes. You can see that here.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 18 Mar 2023, 17:27

tokenBG1009 wrote:
18 Mar 2023, 16:10
Spectral Knight wrote:
17 Mar 2023, 17:41
So very different to the UK, where the top 10% of earners contribute 60% of (individual) tax income.

EDIT - hold on, so is this incorrect re: US data? https://taxfoundation.org/publications/ ... me%20taxes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXCGbAv8YPw

This is a video I saw a while back that explained it a bit better. It boils down to that the PURE income tax of the top 10% is relatively high, but when you start adding the things that we all pay for (payroll taxes, social security, medicare, etc) then the top 10%'s percentages really starts to drop. So it's less income tax vs % of income being taxed. The top earners are paying more income tax when they actually earn an income, but the % of their money going to taxes is lower than the low income people.

Donald Trump's taxes were made public earlier this year and it was staggering how little he paid in taxes. You can see that here.
Also for comparison's sake:
https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefin ... nationally
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
-Cly

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 18 Mar 2023, 22:18

tokenBG1009 wrote:
18 Mar 2023, 16:10
Spectral Knight wrote:
17 Mar 2023, 17:41
So very different to the UK, where the top 10% of earners contribute 60% of (individual) tax income.

EDIT - hold on, so is this incorrect re: US data? https://taxfoundation.org/publications/ ... me%20taxes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXCGbAv8YPw

This is a video I saw a while back that explained it a bit better. It boils down to that the PURE income tax of the top 10% is relatively high, but when you start adding the things that we all pay for (payroll taxes, social security, medicare, etc) then the top 10%'s percentages really starts to drop. So it's less income tax vs % of income being taxed. The top earners are paying more income tax when they actually earn an income, but the % of their money going to taxes is lower than the low income people.
But the high income groups are still paying the most tax, no?

Their tax burden (% of income taxed) is lower but they still pay the most in actual dollars (or GBP, as the same applies in the UK)

That tells me to raise tax revenues you're better of developing policy that makes people (on the whole) richer. You don't do that by penalising corporations that drive capital earnings by having stringent tax rates - you want to be hitting the sweet spot in the peak of the Laffer curve to maximise tax revenues with as low taxation as is affordable.

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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 19 Mar 2023, 00:05

So wealth individuals can pay the most in dollars overall but more times than not it’s a lower percentage of their income…thus making the tax system actually regressive. And as Token has shown (as well as the Paradise papers, I believe or was it the Panama Papers? I forgot which one) many of those uber-rich pay little or no taxes at all.

As somebody else said, it’s incredibly for disingenuous for conservatives to be against support for the working poor while the uber-wealth are the beneficiaries of more government help than anyone.
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
-Cly

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by tokenBG1009 » 19 Mar 2023, 00:29

Spectral Knight wrote:
18 Mar 2023, 22:18
tokenBG1009 wrote:
18 Mar 2023, 16:10
Spectral Knight wrote:
17 Mar 2023, 17:41
So very different to the UK, where the top 10% of earners contribute 60% of (individual) tax income.

EDIT - hold on, so is this incorrect re: US data? https://taxfoundation.org/publications/ ... me%20taxes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXCGbAv8YPw

This is a video I saw a while back that explained it a bit better. It boils down to that the PURE income tax of the top 10% is relatively high, but when you start adding the things that we all pay for (payroll taxes, social security, medicare, etc) then the top 10%'s percentages really starts to drop. So it's less income tax vs % of income being taxed. The top earners are paying more income tax when they actually earn an income, but the % of their money going to taxes is lower than the low income people.
But the high income groups are still paying the most tax, no?

Their tax burden (% of income taxed) is lower but they still pay the most in actual dollars (or GBP, as the same applies in the UK)

That tells me to raise tax revenues you're better of developing policy that makes people (on the whole) richer. You don't do that by penalising corporations that drive capital earnings by having stringent tax rates - you want to be hitting the sweet spot in the peak of the Laffer curve to maximise tax revenues with as low taxation as is affordable.
This is basically trickle down economics and it has never worked because the "free market" exists and it's treated as near sacred as the Bible. You can't legislate people out of poverty. Universal Basic Income would be the closest you'd get to that, but you'd also need to implement legislation that makes it illegal to make the cost of living go up because of UBI. Except then you're messing with the "free market" and that's bad! So you fix taxes so that everyone is paying a more equitable amount based on their income. An actual progressive, not as in liberal, tax system.

It should also be noted that the more money you make the more money you can spend to not pay taxes.
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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 19 Mar 2023, 05:32

Blackcyclops wrote:
19 Mar 2023, 00:05
So wealth individuals can pay the most in dollars overall but more times than not it’s a lower percentage of their income…thus making the tax system actually regressive. And as Token has shown (as well as the Paradise papers, I believe or was it the Panama Papers? I forgot which one) many of those uber-rich pay little or no taxes at all.
Oh yeah, don't get me wrong, I think the tax avoidance schemes/loop holes that exist are fundamentally wrong. They need fixing. I wouldn't disagree with that in the slightest.

I watched the video from Token, and the producers' conclusion was actually the tax system was relatively flat albeit for the top 400 individuals, and that is a tiny tiny percentage of the US population as a whole, and even a tiny percentage (~0.001%) of the top 10% of earners - these aren't just rich, they have unimaginable wealth, but those 400 are included within the top 10% anyway so its not changing the overall trend. It's a statistical anomaly used out of context. They essentially can't consume enough of such astronomical income to raise their tax burden.

The top 10% were still paying the most tax on their income and oddly enough it was the middle percentiles who had the lowest burdens.
As somebody else said, it’s incredibly for disingenuous for conservatives to be against support for the working poor while the uber-wealth are the beneficiaries of more government help than anyone.
I think it very much depends what you mean as help. I fundamentally believe wealth generation across the board will raise living standards for everyone. And pro-industry, pro-growth policy is the best way of doing that.
tokenBG1009 wrote:
19 Mar 2023, 00:29
This is basically trickle down economics and it has never worked because the "free market" exists and it's treated as near sacred as the Bible.
Not really. I think there is a misconception that the growth of a healthy private sector penalises the working classes. It doesn't. It drives employment, consequently productivity, consequently income.

I don't believe the free market has to be as sacred as you imply - I even referenced in an earlier post how the state should be using levers to minimise monopolies and drive investment. You can have a middle ground where there is state intervention in the areas that offer the most growth opportunity. I also believe protectionism can be justified, particularly in offshore industries where ESG policies are... questionable. If lower cost goods are being produced with a moral or environmental detriment, is this the supply we want to be encouraging?
You can't legislate people out of poverty. Universal Basic Income would be the closest you'd get to that, but you'd also need to implement legislation that makes it illegal to make the cost of living go up because of UBI. Except then you're messing with the "free market" and that's bad! So you fix taxes so that everyone is paying a more equitable amount based on their income. An actual progressive, not as in liberal, tax system.
UBI is fundamentally silly and unfundable on scale (at least at the moment). It's great in a (relatively) closed circle economy but I can't see how it'd work in a macro-competitive global economy.

Tax as a % of income is a red herring if you're trying to make it equitable because the living costs for lower income groups are much higher as a % of their income than a high earners.

Fundamentally, wouldn't it make much more sense to try to grow living standards and disposable income across the board?
It should also be noted that the more money you make the more money you can spend to not pay taxes.
Yeah, this is a problem. I think a number of these avoidance schemes are dodgy as. I think some tax relief on cap-ex investment makes sense, but some of the schemes that exist are near criminal, particularly those that offshore.

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 19 Mar 2023, 15:25

Oh yeah, don't get me wrong, I think the tax avoidance schemes/loop holes that exist are fundamentally wrong. They need fixing. I wouldn't disagree with that in the slightest.
Then I’m confused about the rest of your reply.

You cite Token’s video and then use that as evidence that my point was wrong. But my entire point is that yes, on paper, our tax system would be progressive and the richest Americans pay the highest marginal tax rate (and as I said before, it’s still less progressive than other OECD countries…we also have higher levels of relative poverty than those countries too and lower on alot of other metrics as well) but things like avoidance and all the loopholes lobbied into our tax system brings the tax rate down for them. This is of course ignoring the OTHER taxes we have that are actually regressive (Social Security, Excise Taxes, etc).

So perhaps I wasn’t clear and was too broad saying the ENTIRE tax system is regressive. It isn’t. But it isn’t as progressive as it looks at first glance or as progressive as it was during our biggest boom times (for all and not just tech bros/ladies) or as comparable countries.
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
-Cly

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Re: Re: Random Thoughts

Post by tokenBG1009 » 19 Mar 2023, 17:51

I still just can't see a world where a "healthy private sector" is healthy without strong government intervention. Policies enabling a "healthy private sector" just result in those at the top maximizing their wealth while minimizing costs. You have to directly invest in the working class. Not by helping their employers but by helping them either in education or just direct cash infusion. We KNOW that putting money in the pockets of the lower 90% will put more money into the economy.
"Sometimes I do feel like I'm a failure. Like there's no hope for me. But even so, I'm not gonna give up. Ever!" -Izuku Midoriya

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