U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:19 AM
 
6,827 posts, read 4,420,233 times
Reputation: 11973

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pub-911 View Post
People who cannot see beyond narrow self-interest should not participate in public decision-making. We routinely disqualify jurors for such shortcomings after all.
Jurors are in a particular position of tensely focused decision-making, with enormous consequences for the affected parties. Feeling specially selected to undertake special responsibility, there is natural tendency -
unless we're psychopaths - to disembody oneself, thinking instead about the situation at hand, rather than what's best narrowly for oneself. But even then, what juror would convict a defendant, whose motivations and life-circumstances and rationale, happens to closely mesh with that of the juror?

Daily life can't possibly be so tensely focused; otherwise we'd go insane. I don't purport that all decision-makers are perfidious charlatans. But human nature being what it is, I gather that there really are two kinds of people: those who admit that they're liable to putting self-interest before the common good, and those who are unwilling (or unable) to admit this.

The US military has "core values", that include, among other things, "service before self". Really? Sure, there are cases of heroism and noble self-sacrifice, whether heralded or unsung. But on a daily level, who would voluntarily crave a lowering of the self, for a raising of the communal? These aren't "values"; they are abstract ideals, much as the ideals of religion. They're idealizations towards which to strive, and not a competency-test to daily pass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
... Funny how, despite yielding incredible social benefits, government bureaucrats don't just stop wasting the oxygen in the atmosphere. I guess they put what is personally beneficial to them above the social good.
Like I said: who among us, does NOT put personal benefit above the social good? Those who have not done so, didn't get to reproduce; or if they reproduced, their offspring didn't survive. We are not the progeny of altruistic ancestors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
Unfortunately, the inside-the-beltway bureaucracy is convinced it knows best. ...
Yes, they're convinced. So are corporate managers. And lowly employees. And business-owners. And retires. Investors who hold long-positions, and investors who hold short-positions, are simultaneously convinced about the exact opposite thing. The administrator is so convinced, as is the workman, and all of the middlemen in between. And so it will be, unless humans become machines.

Last edited by ohio_peasant; 08-15-2017 at 08:52 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,685 posts, read 9,447,497 times
Reputation: 14950
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pub-911 View Post
It's always fun to hear reports from the far side. In the real world of course, there are many who are able to put their personal interests aside and consider social and other broader interests instead. This may be especially true among the public service professionals you are so consistently and mysteriously driven to berate and despise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pub-911 View Post
You were doing better when whining over the long list of charities that throw 91% of revenue into compensation.
LOL! You're so cute when you resort to ad hominem attacks instead of, you know, contributing to the discussion. I eagerly await any thoughtful, cause & effect arguments
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,685 posts, read 9,447,497 times
Reputation: 14950
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
Yes, they're convinced. So are corporate managers. And lowly employees. And business-owners. And retires. Investors who hold long-positions, and investors who hold short-positions, are simultaneously convinced about the exact opposite thing. The administrator is so convinced, as is the workman, and all of the middlemen in between. And so it will be, unless humans become machines.
There is a difference, of course. Competitive forces and the profit motive in the private sector provide strong incentives to perform well. No comparable force exists for public sector employees.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:56 AM
 
4,229 posts, read 1,909,438 times
Reputation: 3787
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
Jurors are in a particular position of tensely focused decision-making, with enormous consequences for the affected parties. Feeling specially selected to undertake special responsibility, there is natural tendency - unless we're psychopaths - to disembody oneself, thinking instead about the situation at hand, rather than what's best narrowly for oneself. But even then, what juror would convict a defendant, whose motivations and life-circumstances and rationale, happens to closely mesh with that of the juror?
We routinely empanel juries from random names on voter rolls. No special requirements exist. The big disqualifying factors for jury duty are just the sorts of bias and predisposition that you claim to be universal. Perhaps they all somehow lie outside the range of your experience, but there are actually many people out there who are easily able to accomplish what you want to see as impossible.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2017, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,725 posts, read 59,646,697 times
Reputation: 26865
Without the mortgage interest deduction, a lot of people will be unable to afford their homes, so unless the counter general deduction/exemption is massive, eliminating the mortgage deduction could be a disaster.

When I give money to charity, I factor int he tax break. So I I can afford to give a charity $500. The tax break means I can give them $600. Thus the charity gets more. If I have to give that extra $100 to the government, then the charity does not get it. IMO the charities I give to, do a much better job of using my money to do go than the government ever can.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2017, 09:17 AM
 
1,301 posts, read 2,476,914 times
Reputation: 793
I am for removing them all, but the mortgage deduction would have to be decreased over a multi-year period. Say you could deduct 90% the first year, 80%, ...

I think it would just destroy the housing market if it were done in one big swoop (and not all because of finances, but also because of perception)

What DT needs to do is set up something to mail to everyone what their difference in taxes would have been if the plan where in place last year (or at least let people enter the 5-6 numbers into a website to see)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2017, 09:20 AM
 
6,827 posts, read 4,420,233 times
Reputation: 11973
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
There is a difference, of course. Competitive forces and the profit motive in the private sector provide strong incentives to perform well. No comparable force exists for public sector employees.
The claim is, that if there’s no product or service to be sold competitively, then there’s no impetus to do a good job. This is only true to a point.

Public-sector employees are generally rewarded for compliance, rather than for excellence. But are things really different in the private sector? In venturous new firms, where the firm’s survival is contingent upon adroit maneuvering and quick delivery of a product – well, then, probably so. But in GM? In Lockheed? In Wal-Mart? Most people, in most circumstances, receive the most plaudits for doing with alacrity what they’re told. It’s the old tension between chiefs and Indians. A tribe of chiefs won’t long endure. The chiefs worry about the vision-statements and generation of profits. The Indians are rewarded for how well they comply. The chiefs are few, the Indians many.

Governments are the extreme-end of large organizations, where the “mission” becomes ambiguous, and the emphasis is on compliance. Let’s consider the extreme of extreme governments: the USSR. Imagine that you’re a grocery-store inventory manager in the USSR. Call meat and vegetables are arriving by truck. Crowds of eager customers are lining up. You have a quota: so many pounds of meat unloaded from the trucks every day. What if more trucks arrive, so that there’s more meat to be sold? Do you get rewarded for unloading, recording, stocking, and selling that meat? No, of course not. You are incentivized to have customers go unserved, and to have the meat rot in the trucks, sitting in the parking lot. If you take initiative to direct employees to unload the trucks, you’ll receive a complaint, and maybe a reprimand. You’re overstepping your authority. If you unload them yourself, you’re busted for supplanting somebody else, doing their job, leaving your own post. The store gains nothing by recording a large “profit”, say by raising prices because demand is high. The butchers and truck-drivers and farmers and cattlemen gain nothing, from your store offering to pay higher prices for their goods and services. So, obviously, the foodstuffs available at the store will be meager, shoddy, hard to find, and sold by surly employees.

But these benighted Soviet employees can hardly afford to act like lords. They’re being watched, judged for compliance. They must perform according to rubric. They’re liable to being fired for misbehavior, whether that “misbehavior” is working too hard, or not hard enough. They do a “good” job, per the criteria of externally-imposed goodness.

The problem isn’t with the employees, but with the nature of large and ossified organizations. The public-sector has no monopoly on this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2017, 10:12 AM
 
4,229 posts, read 1,909,438 times
Reputation: 3787
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
There is a difference, of course. Competitive forces and the profit motive in the private sector provide strong incentives to perform well.
LOL! The private sector is in general a stinking, fetid swamp -- a veritable cesspool of waste, fraud, sexism, nepotism, and wanton abuse of every sort of merit- or honor-based principle of behavior. It's truly unfortunate that we do not have a Freedom of Information Act that applies to the private sector, for as Adam Smith once said, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." He goes on to note that no law consistent with liberty and justice could be executed to prohibit such meetings, which of course serves only to heighten the sense of alarm that we all ought to have over such things.

And of course the forces of actual competition are virtually unknown across so much of the oligarchic private sector. The invisible hand is nowhere less visible than in the halls of Big Business. The hands seen there are far more likely to be wearing surgical gloves so as not to leave any fingerprints.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
No comparable force exists for public sector employees.
Your lack of even low-level public sector experience has left you devoid of any notion of what competition for scarce resources imposes upon people. If you can't come to the table each year with solid evidence of bang-for-the-buck, your program (and quite possibly you job) are apt to be red-lined out of existence This can happen at the agency level, at the OMB level, and at the Congressional level. In the private sector, poorly performing units simply hide out in the forest of better performers and are carried on for years and years without anyone knowing or caring.

Last edited by Pub-911; 08-15-2017 at 10:31 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2017, 10:19 AM
 
10,712 posts, read 20,145,414 times
Reputation: 9864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Without the mortgage interest deduction, a lot of people will be unable to afford their homes, so unless the counter general deduction/exemption is massive, eliminating the mortgage deduction could be a disaster.
Utter nonsense especially when you factor in doubling the standard deduction.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2017, 10:29 AM
 
4,229 posts, read 1,909,438 times
Reputation: 3787
What percentage of people would be paying any income tax at all if the standard deduction were doubled? What would happen to federal revenues? Without pay-go rules, would we just borrow the difference?

Does anyone think this might actually be part of a larger plan to get rid of progressive income taxes altogether so as to shift more and more tax burden onto already beleaguered middle-class Americans? Would people like Trump stoop to doing a thing like that?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top