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Old 06-26-2013, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
Yep. Why, someday, we might even catch up to the tax rates paid by the rest of the developed world -- which are typically much much higher those in the U.S. and California. Imagine that.
A lot of us are not interested in "catching up" with the rest of the developed world. The U.S. is not Scandinavia or Switzerland...It is more like France or Greece, where the tax money is siphoned off either through blatant corruption or ineptitude.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Easy to say, but will these issues get fixed? Most likely not.
Because, though the state and world have faced far far far worse challenges over the past 10,000 years or so, this time all will be different ... humanity will fail to rise to the occasion with ingenuity ... all out ... cupboard is bare ... this is the end?
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
A lot of us are not interested in "catching up" with the rest of the developed world. The U.S. is not Scandinavia or Switzerland...It is more like France or Greece, where the tax money is siphoned off either through blatant corruption or ineptitude.
I sure would be interested to read your evidence of this.

Start here on the corruption angle:
Corruption Perceptions Index - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The World's Most Corrupt Nations, 2012 | Infoplease.com
The World's Least Corrupt Nations, 2012 | Infoplease.com
Hint: out of over 200 countries in the world, the U.S. ranks at 19th least corrupt.

Now, about the ineptitude? Hard to measure statistically, but one may deduce nicely from the fact that America is -- and has been for a very long time -- the world's top economy, leading in creative innovations of all kinds. China and India may be impressive in their growth but they're really a long ways back still.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Yes it is, even though damn few of us have retirement packages that even come close to the one in question. Alas, where humans are involved there are always excesses.
This is true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Us little people actually did pay into our pension funds. Stupid us!
This is a half truth, at best. The employee typically pays for only half or less of the pension cost out of his/her paycheck. The employer pays the rest. And ultimately, the taxpayer pays for all of it even though almost none of them get any kind of pension at all in private employment (as you conceded).
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
I sure would be interested to read your evidence of this.

Start here on the corruption angle:
Corruption Perceptions Index - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The World's Most Corrupt Nations, 2012 | Infoplease.com
The World's Least Corrupt Nations, 2012 | Infoplease.com
Hint: out of over 200 countries in the world, the U.S. ranks at 19th least corrupt.

Now, about the ineptitude? Hard to measure statistically, but one may deduce nicely from the fact that America is -- and has been for a very long time -- the world's top economy, leading in creative innovations of all kinds. China and India may be impressive in their growth but they're really a long ways back still.
You need to be among the lowest 3 or 4 in terms of corruption in order to make a high tax system work and not be corrupt, and even the least corrupt countries still have issues.

The U.S. is creative and innovative mostly in spite of the tax and corruption issues, IMO. I never said anything about China & India, so your bringing them up seems to be a distraction.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
Because, though the state and world have faced far far far worse challenges over the past 10,000 years or so, this time all will be different ... humanity will fail to rise to the occasion with ingenuity ... all out ... cupboard is bare ... this is the end?
Sure, things ultimately work themselves out. Things in Greece are working out...just not the way I would want things to "work". My point is that humanity almost always chooses the (much) harder road by putting off the tough choices because that's what's easier in the short run. The evidence for this is overwhelming.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
This is true.



This is a half truth, at best. The employee typically pays for only half or less of the pension cost out of his/her paycheck. The employer pays the rest. And ultimately, the taxpayer pays for all of it even though almost none of them get any kind of pension at all in private employment (as you conceded).
Actually, the lion's share of pensions are ultimately developed from investment of contributions to a fund for that purpose. The guarantee of the pension is the public responsibility. But if the investment succeeds as intended ... well ...
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Sure, things ultimately work themselves out. Things in Greece are working out...just not the way I would want things to "work". My point is that humanity almost always chooses the (much) harder road by putting off the tough choices because that's what's easier in the short run. The evidence for this is overwhelming.
Yes, agreed: humanity does generally take the easy short term decision route ... it's called opportunism ... a definer of natural law everywhere in everything.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
You need to be among the lowest 3 or 4 in terms of corruption in order to make a high tax system work and not be corrupt, and even the least corrupt countries still have issues.

The U.S. is creative and innovative mostly in spite of the tax and corruption issues, IMO. I never said anything about China & India, so your bringing them up seems to be a distraction.
I have no idea where you get this. And the U.S. is not a "high tax system".

As for the "least corrupt countries [having] issues" --- ummm, yeah, so? Nothing you are saying here negates the truth of what I wrote earlier.

And, you didn't say anything about China and India ... true ... I did ... I used them as examples of the oft-cited horses in the race for overtaking the US economy ... but, even as China grows exponentially, its own problems and limitations build to stall them. Point being as I wrote before: the U.S. is not "inept", thus not losing anything more than anywhere else in the world to "siphoning off" tax dollars.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
Actually, the lion's share of pensions are ultimately developed from investment of contributions to a fund for that purpose. The guarantee of the pension is the public responsibility. But if the investment succeeds as intended ... well ...
The problem with that is they assume relatively high rates of return. I think the state of CA's is 7.5% for PERS. It probably will get that rate averaged over long periods of time (like decades), but when you're in drawdown mode because of the Boomers retiring and when the investment markets tank as they did in 2008, that is like a quadruple whammy, mathematically speaking. San Jose's return averaged 10% in 2012, but because so many people have retired, its asset base is still shrinking.

I think it was also unfair and unreasonable of the unions to push for better benefits around 1999-2001. They and the politicians who signed onto them knew the costs would go on for decades, long after said politicians and union leaders were long gone.
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