Jump to content
Ansem

General US Politics

Poll  

338 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you vote a third party?

    • Yes
      104
    • No
      137
    • Maybe
      97
  2. 2. Are you content with the results of the election?

    • Yes
      76
    • No
      136
    • Indifferent
      55


Recommended Posts

13 hours ago, XRay said:

It sounds radical, but it is also getting into more mainstream attention now, and some of it are not really radical anymore, like education and social security.

I think the main thing was the right to a job and home.

That implies to me that any homeless person should be offered a house and any unemployed person should be offered a job that the government provides for both.

Which seems rather radical to me even now. Although right now, constructing and giving a homeless person a basic house is actually cheaper than letting them be out on the streets.

The others like social security may be there but education also implies higher education i.e college.

Edited by Tryhard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

This reminds me, I was reading an interview (it's a New Yorker article so I can't reread it now) a while ago about a guy who said "Well, I never said that exact phrase, but my message is exactly that". His phrase? "Let it (the restaurant industry) die".

His argument was:

  • The American restaurant industry is racist.
  • It is so racist, reforming it is impossible.
  • Therefore, let it die.

I remember he said as part of his greater critique "the restaurant industry is seen as an American socio-economic safety net". But it appeared to me his problem was it was a lousy safety net not worth praising. He I distinctly remember said "not having money" in America is a problem, but "having money" is not the solution.

He may have valid points on community destruction, racism, and environmental concerns, I'm plenty willing to listen to his arguments. But, I do hope he has considered whether an inevitably reborn restaurant industry will have learned anything he sees as terribly bad. If COVID19 killed it, I don't readily see reasons why culinary entrepreneurs would've considered their effects on minorities. -But I guess if you're so cynical about the current state of affairs, the remotest light of hope after destruction is better than what exists now.

Yeah, I get that. I'm not an expert on the restaurant industry though so I dunno if I should speak much about it. I'd agree with your assessment that it's not that restaurants are inherently bad, but that the restaurant industry is inherently exploitative as a consequence of the free market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, XRay said:

Grocery stores throw away food that is nearing the end of its shelf life because it costs money to send that food elsewhere. It is cheaper to just dump it in the trash than to pack the products back into a box and deliver it somewhere. If customers are willing to pay a higher price for food, then stores can use that money to redistribute that food elsewhere. Doing charity is not cheap.

I also would not fault businesses for locking up their trash cans either. I helped my uncle do basic janitorial duties for one of his small office buildings when I was young, and cleaning up after people is NOT pleasant. I am not going to fault people for dumpster diving in itself, but if they do not clean up afterwards and leave trash everywhere, then that is a problem. And that is just regular trash. I also had to deal with used condoms and poop, and those are just super nasty. Sometimes, it is just easier to hose down an entire area than trying to sweep everything up.

While its true that sending the food elsewhere is expensive for a grocery store, nothing is stopping them from calling a food bank or other charity organization and asking them to take the food away; if they can at least. The receiving dock of a grocery store is not always busy, at least if we go by the experience of my store. And yes it might take the company an hour or 2 of somebody's pay to do this, but it would be a drop in the bucket considering how much this could help the community they reside in. Even if food banks would only take the canned foods and non-perishables.

Not to mention the amount of diapers, razors, tampons and pads, shampoos and other essential products that go to waste because the package is slightly open or other wise slightly damaged (This is specially bad for tampons and pads considering they are often individually wrapped).

Also, yeah that is true, people can be asshats and leave garbage everywhere. However, just because some people are assholes doesn't mean that all of them are. That said I don't particularly know what could be done about this. I know people can be prosecuted for trespassing when dumpster diving, so maybe in the cases that the people don't make a mess don't prosecute? Although, if we had another system of getting food that isn't going to be sold, but still safe to consume, to people who need it we wouldn't have this issue. My store recently put up a new program that allows people to get food that is expiring soon for super cheap. Which i guess is a step in the right direction.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Johann said:

Again, the problem is "how to do you define that?" What's a "minor disability" and who's going to hire them? For instance, if a person has, let's say, a permanent limp that makes it possible for them to still do most things, albeit slower than most and they can't continue for long stretches of time, are they gonna get support, and if not, what kinds of work are they going to struggle to get? There are so many kinds of disabilities, limitations, etc and a system that draws a line at what deserves support and what doesn't effectively has to address all of them or else it's going to fail many people.

I guess I will leave that up to experts and social workers to decide how much a disability affects a person's income, since there are so many types of disabilities and severity. Maybe it makes more sense to decide on a case by case scenario.

I still think people should earn for their living. If they are not able to earn a livable income due to disability, I think it is fine for the government to step in to help out.

31 minutes ago, Johann said:

Why shouldn't private companies pay interns? Experience and training don't even ensure a job/paycheck once you've finished, and if people can't afford spend time to train or go to school (not even counting the cost of education itself), then it's not really an option.

Schooling does not guarantee a job either. If somebody needs a toe in the industry, being able to negotiate to work for free or low wages to help build a resume is invaluable in my opinion.

I had difficulty finding a job related to bookkeeping/accounting when I was in New York City, as they all wanted 1 to 2 years of experience even for entry level positions. How the fuck am I supposed to get experience if the entry level job that gives experience requires experience? I turned to internships and the pay sucks, but the hours are more flexible, and since I was working for small businesses, things are less formal too and the dress code is a lot more lax. After school, I moved back to Sacramento since the cost of living is a lot cheaper, and having internships on my resume helped me land some jobs.

I agree it would be nice to pay interns, but forcing that payment on the private industry is not something I agree with.

43 minutes ago, Johann said:

Ah, but if you give them out freely, even universally, you don't have to worry about people not getting the support due to bungled paperwork, or if a person has a sudden emergency and needs that support immediately. Additionally, it allows people to pursue different careers (like say, entrepreneurship) if they aren't dependent on an employer to get by. It's also worth mentioning that the stress of job insecurity (and this food/housing insecurity) takes a toll on people.

Most people have been conditioned to believe that everyone 1) should be working as much as they can and 2) need to earn their share. But how many jobs out there are superfluous, exploitative, or the result of an out of control market? And why should anyone have to be employed to get anything essential for basic survival in a world where we throw out a large portion of our food?

I think people should earn their share of living, and I am not completely sure giving away free stuff is a good idea. As for how much they should work, I think the government should support its people finding a healthy work-leisure balance so that people do not have to work overtime to live a comfortable life.

I am not hardline opposed to a universal basic income, but I think it is better if we implement those policies more carefully step by step. I think UBI is something that is more down the line to consider rather than something to implement now.

I think the market in most industries is working fine. In industries where the market is not working and is paramount for national security and well-being, that is when I think more heavy government regulations and control are needed. Only a handful of industries require government attention, and only a fraction of that handful actually needs complete government dominance in my opinion.

1 hour ago, Johann said:

Most landlord/tenant relationships are super exploitative though. Rent is costs far more than it should, and eviction for not being able to afford it is fucked up. The housing market is a disaster because it's a loosely regulated market for a basic human need, and so people can "choose" to either pay most of their income, or go homeless. Nobody should be getting rich from the housing market.

Building and maintaining housing are expensive. At least for now, I am opposed to nationalizing the housing industry and giving free housing to everyone, although I do not mind government stepping in to build housing using tax dollars, so they have better influence over the supply of housing to make things more affordable. In my opinion, I think the housing market just has a supply issue, and I rather the government address the supply issue rather than trying to take control over the entire market. Governments should avoid dominating and controlling a market unless it is absolutely necessary like the military.

For example, I like the way the government interacts with the agricultural industry right now despite agriculture being extremely important to national security. If the government does not need to take ownership of an industry, then it should not. The agricultural industry is far from perfect of course, but the government does not need to to dominate and control the market to fix those problems. Those problems should tackled with better lobbying, legislation, regulation, enforcement, subsidies, bailouts, etc. first before resorting to something more drastic like price controls or outright controlling a market.

And I think people absolutely have the right to get rich off the housing market, just as people have the right to get rich off of making vitamin supplements or processing and selling food. If they are getting rich fair and square, I see no reason to stop them.

1 hour ago, Tryhard said:

I think the main thing was the right to a job and home.

That implies to me that any homeless person should be offered a house and any unemployed person should be offered a job that the government provides for both.

Which seems rather radical to me even now. Although right now, constructing and giving a homeless person a basic house is actually cheaper than letting them be out on the streets.

The others like social security may be there but education also implies higher education i.e college.

I think right to a decent paying job sounds fine, but I am less certain about right to a home, although I am not opposed to the government using tax dollars to build homes to influence prices. However, I think the government should still make people pay for those homes either through rent or outright sale. The rent/sale does not have to be at market price, but I do expect the government to at least break even on the project, although I am fine with a little loss too as long as it is not huge and unsustainable.

Not sure about the rest of the country, but I think most cities have some sort of city/community college program. Sacramento has about a half dozen city colleges throughout the city, and it is very affordable way to get an associates degree. It was not exactly free, but even with minimal financial aid, each semester with 3 to 4 classes cost less than a thousand (I think my parents and I paid about $500 to $600 for tuition per semester), and books in total will cost about $200 per semester or less if you can get the used ones.

1 hour ago, Zanarkin said:

While its true that sending the food elsewhere is expensive for a grocery store, nothing is stopping them from calling a food bank or other charity organization and asking them to take the food away; if they can at least. The receiving dock of a grocery store is not always busy, at least if we go by the experience of my store. And yes it might take the company an hour or 2 of somebody's pay to do this, but it would be a drop in the bucket considering how much this could help the community they reside in. Even if food banks would only take the canned foods and non-perishables.

Not to mention the amount of diapers, razors, tampons and pads, shampoos and other essential products that go to waste because the package is slightly open or other wise slightly damaged (This is specially bad for tampons and pads considering they are often individually wrapped).

Also, yeah that is true, people can be asshats and leave garbage everywhere. However, just because some people are assholes doesn't mean that all of them are. That said I don't particularly know what could be done about this. I know people can be prosecuted for trespassing when dumpster diving, so maybe in the cases that the people don't make a mess don't prosecute? Although, if we had another system of getting food that isn't going to be sold, but still safe to consume, to people who need it we wouldn't have this issue. My store recently put up a new program that allows people to get food that is expiring soon for super cheap. Which i guess is a step in the right direction.

I guess it depends on the size of the grocery store. If it is a big grocery store, I am not sure if an extra one or two hour of pay for one person is enough to sort through it all. I never worked in a grocery store before though, so I guess it is possible that it does not take much effort to get those to a food bank.

I have interned at a small bakery before, and we usually let employee take some stuff home for free. I do not think we ever threw cake away though. We had customer returns and we threw those away, but other than that, everything usually gets sold or eaten on time.

As for selling damaged or expiring goods for a cheaper price, I see that a lot in Wal-Mart and sometimes in other grocery stores. My area also have quite a few dollar stores, which I assume takes a large portion of the expiring foods from grocery stores surrounding them, although the stuff there is not always cheaper just because it is a dollar store.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, XRay said:
I guess it depends on the size of the grocery store. If it is a big grocery store, I am not sure if an extra one or two hour of pay for one person is enough to sort through it all. I never worked in a grocery store before though, so I guess it is possible that it does not take much effort to get those to a food bank.

I have interned at a small bakery before, and we usually let employee take some stuff home for free. I do not think we ever threw cake away though. We had customer returns and we threw those away, but other than that, everything usually gets sold or eaten on time.

As for selling damaged or expiring goods for a cheaper price, I see that a lot in Wal-Mart and sometimes in other grocery stores. My area also have quite a few dollar stores, which I assume takes a large portion of the expiring foods from grocery stores surrounding them, although the stuff there is not always cheaper just because it is a dollar store.

Grocery stores could sort as they go. I mean at my store at least we already sort garbage, reclamation, recyclables, and compost. Adding another section for donations would not be a big deal.

My grocery store doesn't usually let us take stuff home. And don't usually get a lot of food for free. The only common thing we get for free are cakes and other baked goods that would have otherwise been thrown out that day. Food from the home-meal replacement department such as cooked potatoes and chicken all get thrown out, even if they would have been ok to eat but not ok to be sold. Food from the grocery aisles is almost never given away. Aside from produce which often gives us produce that can't be sold anymore. I realize this sounds like a lot, but compared to how much edible food employees are forced to throw away it really isn't.

Certainly a lot of steps have been taken to prevent waste in grocery stores and supermarkets. But a lot more can and should be done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, XRay said:
I guess I will leave that up to experts and social workers to decide how much a disability affects a person's income, since there are so many types of disabilities and severity. Maybe it makes more sense to decide on a case by case scenario.

I still think people should earn for their living. If they are not able to earn a livable income due to disability, I think it is fine for the government to step in to help out.

Do you not see the problem in either choice? If you apply a threshold for disabilities, you're going to under-support many people. If you do it case by case, you're dedicating a massive amount of resources towards trying to make sure you don't overcompensate people-- it's a wash.

The idea isn't to make it so nobody has to work, it's to make it so there's a universal safety net since a conditional one screws over a ton of people and costs even more to operate.

5 minutes ago, XRay said:

Schooling does not guarantee a job either. If somebody needs a toe in the industry, being able to negotiate to work for free or low wages to help build a resume is invaluable in my opinion.

I had difficulty finding a job related to bookkeeping/accounting when I was in New York City, as they all wanted 1 to 2 years of experience even for entry level positions. How the fuck am I supposed to get experience if the entry level job that gives experience requires experience? I turned to internships and the pay sucks, but the hours are more flexible, and since I was working for small businesses, things are less formal too and the dress code is a lot more lax. After school, I moved back to Sacramento since the cost of living is a lot cheaper, and having internships on my resume helped me land some jobs.

I agree it would be nice to pay interns, but forcing that payment on the private industry is not something I agree with.

Nothing guarantees a job though. And if you can't survive because you need a job to get essentials like food and housing, then you're 100% at the mercy of employers and the markets. Providing better support/relief/payment for interns and students is in the best interest of companies because it expands the hiring pool and gets better educated, diverse, and happier workers.

5 minutes ago, XRay said:

I think people should earn their share of living, and I am not completely sure giving away free stuff is a good idea. As for how much they should work, I think the government should support its people finding a healthy work-leisure balance so that people do not have to work overtime to live a comfortable life.

I am not hardline opposed to a universal basic income, but I think it is better if we implement those policies more carefully step by step. I think UBI is something that is more down the line to consider rather than something to implement now.

I think the market in most industries is working fine. In industries where the market is not working and is paramount for national security and well-being, that is when I think more heavy government regulations and control are needed. Only a handful of industries require government attention, and only a fraction of that handful actually needs complete government dominance in my opinion.

The only way anyone is getting a healthy work-leisure balance is if their income is good and expenses aren't ridiculous. People work overtime because that's not the case. The only way the government can help with that is to either regulate housing and pay/benefits, or give out free things. That's literally it.

What markets do you think are fine? You should consider government subsidies in your response.

5 minutes ago, XRay said:

Building and maintaining housing are expensive. At least for now, I am opposed to nationalizing the housing industry and giving free housing to everyone, although I do not mind government stepping in to build housing using tax dollars, so they have better influence over the supply of housing to make things more affordable. In my opinion, I think the housing market just has a supply issue, and I rather the government address the supply issue rather than trying to take control over the entire market. Governments should avoid dominating and controlling a market unless it is absolutely necessary like the military.

For example, I like the way the government interacts with the agricultural industry right now despite agriculture being extremely important to national security. If the government does not need to take ownership of an industry, then it should not. The agricultural industry is far from perfect of course, but the government does not need to to dominate and control the market to fix those problems. Those problems should tackled with better lobbying, legislation, regulation, enforcement, subsidies, bailouts, etc. first before resorting to something more drastic like price controls or outright controlling a market.

One of the biggest issues with the housing market is that developers deliberately build expensive housing for the sale price. Luxury homes are built because they have the highest ROI, which is great for the seller (and potentially for the buyer), but it fucks over anyone else given the impacts that has on communities (like gentrification). That's the reason there's a supply issue; developers are doing what's best for them individually, at the expense of everyone else. Commodifying a basic survival need like housing is the reason the market is so fucked.

Funny you mentioned agriculture because it's subsidized like crazy, which is why we have issues with growing too much of specific crops, arbitrarily importing and exporting some crops for a slight mark-up, tons of food waste, and environmental degradation.

5 minutes ago, XRay said:

And I think people absolutely have the right to get rich off the housing market, just as people have the right to get rich off of making vitamin supplements or processing and selling food. If they are getting rich fair and square, I see no reason to stop them.

Except it's not fair and square. It's straight up exploitation. You need food and a home, you don't get to choose not to pay for them. Nobody gets rich off of them without serious exploitation.

5 minutes ago, XRay said:

I think right to a decent paying job sounds fine, but I am less certain about right to a home, although I am not opposed to the government using tax dollars to build homes to influence prices. However, I think the government should still make people pay for those homes either through rent or outright sale. The rent/sale does not have to be at market price, but I do expect the government to at least break even on the project, although I am fine with a little loss too as long as it is not huge and unsustainable.

The government doesn't need to break even by collecting rent. It's not a business. It exists to support the people. Providing housing for those who need it should be one of the top things it does. It pays for this stuff with progressive taxation on the wealthy. Charging rent is effectively taxing people for being poor, which defeats the whole point.

5 minutes ago, XRay said:

Not sure about the rest of the country, but I think most cities have some sort of city/community college program. Sacramento has about a half dozen city colleges throughout the city, and it is very affordable way to get an associates degree. It was not exactly free, but even with minimal financial aid, each semester with 3 to 4 classes cost less than a thousand (I think my parents and I paid about $500 to $600 for tuition per semester), and books in total will cost about $200 per semester or less if you can get the used ones.

Even before COVID, colleges all across the country have been closing down or at least having drastic drops in enrollment. Even community college isn't free, and you can't ignore the opportunity cost of the time you spend learning compared to working. You're not really paying attention to the problem here-- people can't afford to be going to school or training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Johann said:

Do you not see the problem in either choice? If you apply a threshold for disabilities, you're going to under-support many people. If you do it case by case, you're dedicating a massive amount of resources towards trying to make sure you don't overcompensate people-- it's a wash.

The idea isn't to make it so nobody has to work, it's to make it so there's a universal safety net since a conditional one screws over a ton of people and costs even more to operate.

2 hours ago, Johann said:

The only way anyone is getting a healthy work-leisure balance is if their income is good and expenses aren't ridiculous. People work overtime because that's not the case. The only way the government can help with that is to either regulate housing and pay/benefits, or give out free things. That's literally it.

I have read more into UBI, and while it seems it has more potential than I give it credit for, there is still the funding issue. I guess I would not mind supporting it if there are more experiments and pilot programs to test out the concept first. A lot of the experiments we have right now is on a very small scale and short term. I think Alaska's Permanent Fund is the closest thing we have right now to a UBI on a large scale with a relatively long history, but the payment is only about $1,000 to $2,000 a year. It is not much, but I think we can start with testng that amount out first in other states before ramping up the payments and implementing it across the rest of the country.

2 hours ago, Johann said:

Nothing guarantees a job though. And if you can't survive because you need a job to get essentials like food and housing, then you're 100% at the mercy of employers and the markets. Providing better support/relief/payment for interns and students is in the best interest of companies because it expands the hiring pool and gets better educated, diverse, and happier workers.

I guess that is true. I assume the government is going to foot the bill, cause companies are certainly not going to be hiring interns at the scale they are now if they are forced to foot the bill instead.

4 hours ago, Johann said:

Except it's not fair and square. It's straight up exploitation. You need food and a home, you don't get to choose not to pay for them. Nobody gets rich off of them without serious exploitation.

That just sounds like accusing the rich being bad for just for being rich. Gordon Ramsay became rich and famous from cooking and processing food, and I do not think he is exploiting anyone to my knowledge. As for neighborhood gentrification, developers offer a fair market price at the time of purchase, or else the home owners and residents would not sell in the first place, so I do not see that as exploitation.

For companies like Perdue and Tyson who are taking advantage of chicken farmers, that is a pretty clear case of exploitation, but not every company or individual in the food industry is like that.

Beyond Meat for example got a market cap of around $10 billion right now, and they had an IPO last year raising about a quarter of a billion dollars. They did it fair and square and for a good cause. For comparison Tyson has a market cap of around $18 billion right now.

2 hours ago, Johann said:

The only way anyone is getting a healthy work-leisure balance is if their income is good and expenses aren't ridiculous. People work overtime because that's not the case. The only way the government can help with that is to either regulate housing and pay/benefits, or give out free things. That's literally it.

As a government program, it technically does not need to break even, but it will probably pass Congress and garner voter support a lot easier if it has a sound financial plan. The USPS got financial issues lately due to poor legislation, but it was turning a good profit before, which allowed it to maintain unprofitable delivery routes to more remote places. I support taxing the wealthy, but I am not sure taxing the wealthy alone is enough to make a housing program viable. The program as a whole should be financially sustainable. Building housing is extremely expensive, and if the government is building housing on a nationwide scale, that is going to cost a lot of money.

2 hours ago, Johann said:

One of the biggest issues with the housing market is that developers deliberately build expensive housing for the sale price. Luxury homes are built because they have the highest ROI, which is great for the seller (and potentially for the buyer), but it fucks over anyone else given the impacts that has on communities (like gentrification). That's the reason there's a supply issue; developers are doing what's best for them individually, at the expense of everyone else. Commodifying a basic survival need like housing is the reason the market is so fucked.

There are only so much luxury homes you can build and sell. The market cannot take the glut of luxury homes in New York City right now for example, and many developers are paying for that mistake. Luxury home prices in NYC has fallen dramatically from COVID-19. In this case, the market is working as intended.

The government can step in to build affordable housing if the supply does not meet demand, and NYC does so for its housing projects. There is still a long waitlist of people to get into a unit in the projects right now, and in the current scenario, I think it is fine for the government to step in to serve the lower income housing market by building more units. However, the cost of developing buildings in NYC is extremely high, and that money has to come from somewhere. I do not think taxing the city's richest residents is enough, although it certainly helps. A lot of the city's current housing projects also need a lot of repairs, and repairs alone will cost the city over $30 billion. I think building more units to fully serve the lower income housing market is going to cost a lot more than $30 billion.

It will probably cost a lot less for Sacramento to do something similar, but I am not sure we have the financial muscle of NYC to do something like that. Even if building things cost less here, it is still pretty expensive.

As for the government stepping in to build middle income housing though, I am more hesitant in supporting that, since the private sector can support the demand right now. I would not mind government stepping in to build more to reduce market prices, but I do not think the government should sell or rent these below market prices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Public housing, if done right, is an incredible boon to society. Strong rent controls in a private market with strong legal position for tenants is also very good. It's the reason why Berlin isn't insanely expensive, while a lot of capitals in Europe are.

The problem with just about everything related to welfare state in America is that it's criminally underfunded and done haphazardly.

Edited by Excellen Browning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So there's a big stink about Trump admitting that he slowed testing to keep his numbers low at his latest, dumbest rally. Not surprising when he admitted to the same thing in early march with his "I like my numbers where they are" comment when asked about why most Americans could not get tested if they wanted to. But with the way he talks about it:

It's less "I'm cooking the books for my re-election campaign" and more "I cannot mentally see past the correlation between more testing and more positives. Testing must be creating COVID cases where none existed otherwise!". Seriously, if our president genuinely didn't care for human life, that's an easy thing to hide, right? You can pay people to assess the PR disasters before they happen. There has to be some kind of mental unwellness at play here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

It's less "I'm cooking the books for my re-election campaign" and more "I cannot mentally see past the correlation between more testing and more positives. Testing must be creating COVID cases where none existed otherwise!". Seriously, if our president genuinely didn't care for human life, that's an easy thing to hide, right? You can pay people to assess the PR disasters before they happen. There has to be some kind of mental unwellness at play here.

He's just that stupid but he also surrounds himself with elites that view common folk as "Human Capital Stock" and watches a network with someone who pretends to hate elites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Glennstavos said:

It's less "I'm cooking the books for my re-election campaign"

Pretty sure that counts as cooking the books if he tries something similar with his businesses and taxes. You cannot just pretend money and assets (or infections in this case) are not there if it is actually there. I wish the IRS nailed his ass back in 2016, but the IRS is pretty underfunded as an agency so maybe they just do not have the resources to fight it. In general, there is also a pretty short statute of limitations on tax issues, so maybe they could not find anything wrong with his taxes recently.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, XRay said:

I have read more into UBI, and while it seems it has more potential than I give it credit for, there is still the funding issue. I guess I would not mind supporting it if there are more experiments and pilot programs to test out the concept first. A lot of the experiments we have right now is on a very small scale and short term. I think Alaska's Permanent Fund is the closest thing we have right now to a UBI on a large scale with a relatively long history, but the payment is only about $1,000 to $2,000 a year. It is not much, but I think we can start with testng that amount out first in other states before ramping up the payments and implementing it across the rest of the country.

It's paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthy and better appropriating government money. For one thing, the cost of operating welfare and unemployment offices, etc is eliminated since those services aren't necessary. Testing it makes sense, but it's mostly a matter of understanding how it affects behavior.

15 hours ago, XRay said:

I guess that is true. I assume the government is going to foot the bill, cause companies are certainly not going to be hiring interns at the scale they are now if they are forced to foot the bill instead.

Well, with UBI or something similar, the companies wouldn't be paying interns directly, but through heftier corporate taxes. Without UBI, it should fall on companies to pay. They're getting labor in exchange for little to nothing in return. They're hiring interns because they need their work, not because they can't afford to pay them. The alternative is to go without, or hire someone like a temp to do those jobs, at which point they're still paying.

15 hours ago, XRay said:
That just sounds like accusing the rich being bad for just for being rich. Gordon Ramsay became rich and famous from cooking and processing food, and I do not think he is exploiting anyone to my knowledge. As for neighborhood gentrification, developers offer a fair market price at the time of purchase, or else the home owners and residents would not sell in the first place, so I do not see that as exploitation.

Gordon Ramsay became rich and famous for having a brand and being a TV personality. Cooking alone does not make you that wealthy.

Fair market price is bullshit because the market is inherently bullshit. The price of housing is significantly higher than it needs to be. The biggest issue with gentrification is that it displaces renters. You need to be looking at the externalities instead of reducing it to only the buyer/seller relationship.

15 hours ago, XRay said:

For companies like Perdue and Tyson who are taking advantage of chicken farmers, that is a pretty clear case of exploitation, but not every company or individual in the food industry is like that.

Beyond Meat for example got a market cap of around $10 billion right now, and they had an IPO last year raising about a quarter of a billion dollars. They did it fair and square and for a good cause. For comparison Tyson has a market cap of around $18 billion right now.

Citing specific examples that might not be exploitative is besides the point when it's about the entire market being overwhelmingly exploitative, while also wasting food and not feeding everybody.

15 hours ago, XRay said:
As a government program, it technically does not need to break even, but it will probably pass Congress and garner voter support a lot easier if it has a sound financial plan. The USPS got financial issues lately due to poor legislation, but it was turning a good profit before, which allowed it to maintain unprofitable delivery routes to more remote places. I support taxing the wealthy, but I am not sure taxing the wealthy alone is enough to make a housing program viable. The program as a whole should be financially sustainable. Building housing is extremely expensive, and if the government is building housing on a nationwide scale, that is going to cost a lot of money.

You don't just tax the wealthy, you tax major corporations. You cut the ridiculously hyper-inflated defense budget. You profit by investing in the people.

15 hours ago, XRay said:

There are only so much luxury homes you can build and sell. The market cannot take the glut of luxury homes in New York City right now for example, and many developers are paying for that mistake. Luxury home prices in NYC has fallen dramatically from COVID-19. In this case, the market is working as intended.

The government can step in to build affordable housing if the supply does not meet demand, and NYC does so for its housing projects. There is still a long waitlist of people to get into a unit in the projects right now, and in the current scenario, I think it is fine for the government to step in to serve the lower income housing market by building more units. However, the cost of developing buildings in NYC is extremely high, and that money has to come from somewhere. I do not think taxing the city's richest residents is enough, although it certainly helps. A lot of the city's current housing projects also need a lot of repairs, and repairs alone will cost the city over $30 billion. I think building more units to fully serve the lower income housing market is going to cost a lot more than $30 billion.

It will probably cost a lot less for Sacramento to do something similar, but I am not sure we have the financial muscle of NYC to do something like that. Even if building things cost less here, it is still pretty expensive.

As for the government stepping in to build middle income housing though, I am more hesitant in supporting that, since the private sector can support the demand right now. I would not mind government stepping in to build more to reduce market prices, but I do not think the government should sell or rent these below market prices.

The only meaningful difference between "luxury" and "affordable" housing is the rent. Luxury is just a marketing term. Relying on the private sector to handle housing is the reason we have a housing crisis. All of these issues are rooted in leaving it up to the market without enough regulation.

If you want an extremely deep dive into public housing from a civil engineer, check out this (very lengthy) video:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Johann said:

Fair market price is bullshit because the market is inherently bullshit. The price of housing is significantly higher than it needs to be. The biggest issue with gentrification is that it displaces renters. You need to be looking at the externalities instead of reducing it to only the buyer/seller relationship.

1 hour ago, Johann said:

The biggest issue with gentrification is that it displaces renters.

I rather have the market in control than the government in control unless it is absolutely necessary for the government to do so. The market works and it encourages efficiency. You might think it is bull shit, but every major economy on Earth and even China and Russia incorporates elements of capitalism into their economy. I do not mind having the government influence the market, but taking complete control of it generally is not something I support.

Gentrification also is not completely bad, as it raises the value of homes for homeowners in the neighborhood.

1 hour ago, Johann said:

Citing specific examples that might not be exploitative is besides the point when it's about the entire market being overwhelmingly exploitative, while also wasting food and not feeding everybody.

The food and agricultural industry just needs better regulation in my opinion, and saying that the entire market exploitative is just unreasonable in my opinion. Food and agriculture is a lot more functioning than healthcare in my opinion. Most Americans can still feed themselves and their families, whereas the it is not true for health care.

1 hour ago, Johann said:

You don't just tax the wealthy, you tax major corporations. You cut the ridiculously hyper-inflated defense budget. You profit by investing in the people.

Even with higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations I am not sure it is enough. What you are proposing is extremely expensive.

I also do not agree with cutting the defense budget, especially with the Cold War resuming.

1 hour ago, Johann said:

The only meaningful difference between "luxury" and "affordable" housing is the rent. Luxury is just a marketing term. Relying on the private sector to handle housing is the reason we have a housing crisis. All of these issues are rooted in leaving it up to the market without enough regulation.

I do not think we are in a housing crisis right now, at least not on a level of 2008's housing crisis. I think we already have plenty of regulation in place already, from rent control to mandating the amount of developments requiring a portion to be dedicated to low income housing. I think the government just needs to tweak the regulations already in place. Taxing the development of high income housing and giving more incentives to build low income housing are also options to steer developers more to low income housing.

Edited by XRay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, XRay said:

I rather have the market in control than the government in control unless it is absolutely necessary for the government to do so. The market works and it encourages efficiency. You might think it is bull shit, but every major economy on Earth and even China and Russia incorporates elements of capitalism into their economy. I do not mind having the government influence the market, but taking complete control of it generally is not something I support.

Considering people are constantly struggling to find/afford housing, how is it not already absolutely necessary? Markets don't encourage efficiency, they encourage individuals turning a personal profit regardless of the impacts on others. It's a total failure. This isn't a matter of making all housing outright free, it's reigning in the market and having the government address its own failures in housing.

3 minutes ago, XRay said:

Gentrification also is not completely bad, as it raises the value of homes for homeowners in the neighborhood.

Fuck their value. It comes at the expense of the poor. Fuck those homeowners. In most cases, they're private companies charging rent and doing little to nothing to maintain the buildings, not individuals or families buying nest eggs.

3 minutes ago, XRay said:

The food and agricultural industry just needs better regulation in my opinion, and saying that the entire market exploitative is just unreasonable in my opinion. Food and agriculture is a lot more functioning than healthcare in my opinion. Most Americans can still feed themselves and their families, whereas the it is not true for health care.

Then you know nothing about it. Every single food-insecure person is a failure of the market and the government. In 2018, 37.2 million people lived in food-insecure households in the US. That's more than 10% of the population. It doesn't mean jack shit to say "well, at least it's not as bad as healthcare" and ignore the very real immediate problems and what's causing them.

3 minutes ago, XRay said:

Even with higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations I am not sure it is enough. What you are proposing is extremely expensive.

You know, one of the perks of having a fiat currency is that when we need money for essential things, we get it. People's lives are ruined because housing is not affordable and the damage it does outweighs the cost of a program that resolves it. Saying it's too expensive is an argument used to push for more private control, which is why we have a problem in the first place.

3 minutes ago, XRay said:

I also do not agree with cutting the defense budget, especially with the Cold War resuming.

Ah right, I forgot about your delusion over the Russians being a direct military threat that we need expensive weaponry to deal with, instead of the cyber threat that we need to be shifting our resources towards.

3 minutes ago, XRay said:

I do not think we are in a housing crisis right now, at least not on a level of 2008's housing crisis. I think we already have plenty of regulation in place already, from rent control to mandating the amount of developments requiring a portion to be dedicated to low income housing. I think the government just needs to tweak the regulations already in place. Taxing the development of high income housing and giving more incentives to build low income housing are also options to steer developers more to low income housing.

Dude, we've been in a housing crisis for-fucking-ever. Like just google "housing crisis" and look at anything. It's only going to get even worse because of COVID's effect on most people's ability to afford anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Johann said:

Considering people are constantly struggling to find/afford housing, how is it not already absolutely necessary? Markets don't encourage efficiency, they encourage individuals turning a personal profit regardless of the impacts on others. It's a total failure. This isn't a matter of making all housing outright free, it's reigning in the market and having the government address its own failures in housing.

Market failures happen from time to time in the form recessions, supply-demand mismatch, or something else, but those are temporary. That does not mean we need to replace the market because most of the time it does not fail.

I am fine with the government reigning in the market, but I think there should be a limit to the extent of the government's role.

1 hour ago, Johann said:

Fuck their value. It comes at the expense of the poor. Fuck those homeowners. In most cases, they're private companies charging rent and doing little to nothing to maintain the buildings, not individuals or families buying nest eggs.

Not every homeowner is a rich person. There is nothing wrong with homeowners wanting their homes to appreciate in value.

There are also laws in place where tenants can sue the landlord for disrepairs and inhospitable living conditions. By law, landlords need to maintain a certain level habitability for their housing units.

1 hour ago, Johann said:

Then you know nothing about it. Every single food-insecure person is a failure of the market and the government. In 2018, 37.2 million people lived in food-insecure households in the US. That's more than 10% of the population. It doesn't mean jack shit to say "well, at least it's not as bad as healthcare" and ignore the very real immediate problems and what's causing them.

According to the map, that is more of a Southern and Rust Belt problem. California and most blue states already does its best to keep food prices low. The federal government already redistributes wealth from blue states to red states. There is not much we can do about it if people keep sticking with Republican politicians down South.

From how I see it, that is less of an industry problem and more of political problem.

1 hour ago, Johann said:

Ah right, I forgot about your delusion over the Russians being a direct military threat that we need expensive weaponry to deal with, instead of the cyber threat that we need to be shifting our resources towards.

Russia by itself is not much of threat, but there is also China. China has an economy that rivals ours, has four times our population, and has the ability to transfer tech from Russia or just steal it from us. Combined, their political and economic influence rivals NATO.

2 hours ago, Johann said:

Dude, we've been in a housing crisis for-fucking-ever. Like just google "housing crisis" and look at anything. It's only going to get even worse because of COVID's effect on most people's ability to afford anything.

I guess a few more rounds of stimulus checks would be nice as a temporary solution.

As for the long term solution, we can emulate what the Japanese government did and build subsidized public housing, but on a larger scale. The rent is lower, but renters still need to maintain a certain level of income. We can also emulate New York's housing projects, although it is plagued with money issues right now, so it needs its financial kinks to be worked out first before we copy that template.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, XRay said:
Market failures happen from time to time in the form recessions, supply-demand mismatch, or something else, but those are temporary. That does not mean we need to replace the market because most of the time it does not fail.

I am fine with the government reigning in the market, but I think there should be a limit to the extent of the government's role.

You're arguing about whether or not it counts as a market failure, but that's besides the point-- it's a failure as a method of maximizing the amount of people housed. The market favors people who already have money and exploits those who don't. Historically, government involvement has been mixed in terms of efficacy, but the worst instances have always pushed for privatization of public housing.

28 minutes ago, XRay said:
Not every homeowner is a rich person. There is nothing wrong with homeowners wanting their homes to appreciate in value.

There are also laws in place where tenants can sue the landlord for disrepairs and inhospitable living conditions. By law, landlords need to maintain a certain level habitability for their housing units.

Wanting your home to appreciate in value is one thing, but to do so at the expense of poor people is vile.

When it comes to tenants' rights, most lack the means or understanding to take legal action or prevent landlords from doing awful things. What exists for protecting renters isn't as effective as you seem to think it is.

28 minutes ago, XRay said:

According to the map, that is more of a Southern and Rust Belt problem. California and most blue states already does its best to keep food prices low. The federal government already redistributes wealth from blue states to red states. There is not much we can do about it if people keep sticking with Republican politicians down South.

From how I see it, that is less of an industry problem and more of political problem.

Read the whole thing instead of just looking at a map and jumping to conclusions.

28 minutes ago, XRay said:

Russia by itself is not much of threat, but there is also China. China has an economy that rivals ours, has four times our population, and has the ability to transfer tech from Russia or just steal it from us. Combined, their political and economic influence rivals NATO.

We're not going to have a direct war with China or Russia. Spending over $700 billion a year on defense doesn't help our diplomatic, information, or economic influence.

28 minutes ago, XRay said:

I guess a few more rounds of stimulus checks would be nice as a temporary solution.

As for the long term solution, we can emulate what the Japanese government did and build subsidized public housing, but on a larger scale. The rent is lower, but renters still need to maintain a certain level of income. We can also emulate New York's housing projects, although it is plagued with money issues right now, so it needs its financial kinks to be worked out first before we copy that template.

The issue with simply giving people stimulus checks is that it means the government is just writing landlords checks while they continue to overcharge for rent. It doesn't fix the source of the problem. Creating extra conditions like requiring a certain level of income creates further problems as people's incomes rise or drop, as well as doing nothing for those most in need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Johann said:

Wanting your home to appreciate in value is one thing, but to do so at the expense of poor people is vile.

When it comes to tenants' rights, most lack the means or understanding to take legal action or prevent landlords from doing awful things. What exists for protecting renters isn't as effective as you seem to think it is.

People who own their homes in poorer neighborhoods generally have more wealth than people who rent in the same neighborhoods, but they are not exactly rich either. Artificially keeping their home values low is just worse in my opinion.

The government can employ more inspectors to enforce rental regulations to make sure homes are hospitable.

1 hour ago, Johann said:

We're not going to have a direct war with China or Russia. Spending over $700 billion a year on defense doesn't help our diplomatic, information, or economic influence

We will not have a direct war with them, but we need to spend that amount. Not spending it would lead to more situations where Russia and China can just curbstomp and bully their neighbors with impunity. Ukraine already lost Crimea, and South East Asian countries are in the process of losing the South China Sea. We cannot let that happen to our closer allies, we need that spending to be prepared.

That military spending also acts as a counterbalance for other countries to utilize. I do not think India wants American troops and hardware on their soil right now, but if shit hits the fan between them and China, we need to be able to send India stuff at a moment's notice if they ask for it.

If anything, our military spending as percentage of GDP is low by historical standards. When we were facing the Soviet Union, our military expenditure ranged from 5-10% of our GDP. Our military spending last year is about 3.4% of GDP.

1 hour ago, Johann said:

The issue with simply giving people stimulus checks is that it means the government is just writing landlords checks while they continue to overcharge for rent. It doesn't fix the source of the problem. Creating extra conditions like requiring a certain level of income creates further problems as people's incomes rise or drop, as well as doing nothing for those most in need.

As a temporary solution, checks will have to do for now. The long term solution is to build more housing but we are going to need a lot more planning and funding to get that done, not to mention the amount of votes needed. I am not sure how receptive people are to building subsidized housing on a much larger scale than we have now.

For NYC's housing project, the rent is based on a percentage of income, so we can try that model, but the current model also has a lot of problems where people are not moving out and there is a long wait list, so there needs more fine tuning. Japan's model has a long wait list too, but it seems more financially sustainable and they do not seem to have a problem with demolishing old buildings and rebuilding them.

Edited by XRay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Etrurian emperor said:

So it seems that Flynn's off the hook now. 

So says the Appellate Division.

The Supreme Court still has final say.

And the Supreme Court has been in the business of kicking Trump's ass lately. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's not pretend that there aren't 4 trump lackeys at the supreme court. And Roberts is not exactly a secure vote. 

Don't give this court the benefit of the doubt just because they finally decided a few cases the right way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roberts basically said "lol try again" for DACA. But the Trump admin doesn't seem to know how to argue in court.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Excellen Browning said:

Let's not pretend that there aren't 4 trump lackeys at the supreme court. And Roberts is not exactly a secure vote. 

Don't give this court the benefit of the doubt just because they finally decided a few cases the right way.

8 hours ago, Lord Raven said:

Roberts basically said "lol try again" for DACA. But the Trump admin doesn't seem to know how to argue in court.

I would not call them Trump's lackeys, but yeah, I think we are lucky so far because Trump is an idiot rather than the conservative judges siding with liberals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I heard through the grapevine that shit has really hit the fan in Seattle, since several businesses are trying to sue the city for the lack of emergency aid. One notable incident is where an arsonist tried to ignite a auto shop and attacked the owner's son with a knife. The owner had managed to detain the guy, but was forced to let him go because of the enraged mob. I also heard that it's became common practice for business owners to barricade their properties to stave off the crowd.

Why they never bothered to get the Hell out of Dodge is anyone's guess, but I'm hoping that the idiocy doesn't spread south.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...