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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

OTP: October 2012-THE RACE: As Candidates Prep, Attention in DC split between politics and baseball

While President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney bone up in Nevada and Colorado for Wednesday’s opening debate, back in the nation’s capital attention is split between the hard-fought presidential race and baseball playoffs.

The Nationals won the first division baseball championship for a Washington team since 1933 by clinching the National League East race Monday night.

Washington, D.C., has the only ballpark where so many Cabinet members, politicians and other luminaries routinely gather and where fans now are openly rooting for a particular president — one who served more than a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt.

“Let Teddy Win” banners and buttons are everywhere. Fans like 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona say it’s time for Roosevelt’s 500-plus losing streak to end.

[...]

“Teddy, you are the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town,” McCain said in a video played in the stadium Monday night. “But you can overcome that.”

The October 2012 “OT: Politics” thread starts ... now.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:14 PM | 6119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, politics

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   3701. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4278886)
Until something of merit is revealed about Romney, the Gloria Allred noise should be considered with the same level of interest as one would consider the Michelle Obama "whitey" tape.


Allred's alleged bombshell seems to be that as "Bishop" Romney counsled women against having abortions... color me shocked, stunned, dumbfounded...

The only way this makes any kind of sense is either:

A: Allred is a GOP plant- the sole reason to rehash this [very]old news would be to buttress Romney's bona fides with pro-life conservatives after appearing squishy during the debates

B: Allred is both stupid and a media whore, and this is all about getting her name and face into the news cycle
   3702. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4278887)
Flip
   3703. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4278889)
B: Allred is both stupid and a media whore, and this is all about getting her name and face into the news cycle


Occam's Razor.
   3704. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4278893)
Also, maybe he's done it before and I missed it, But I can't recall hearing Obama himself refer to the ACA as "Obamacare" before now.
   3705. Danny Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4278896)
Also, maybe he's done it before and I missed it, But I can't recall hearing Obama himself refer to the ACA as "Obamacare" before now.

He's been doing it for awhile.
   3706. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4278898)
While university professors tend to be pretty good about diversity issues, sometimes they're not. Profs hitting on/sleeping with their students still happens, for example.

It's comical that I've somehow become the Black Bart of BBTF's politics threads despite never using profanity, never threatening violence, never bringing outside info. to BBTF, etc., etc. I've had plenty of snark aimed in my direction, and I upped my use of snark in response — i.e., the infamous BBTF house style.

You're more like the RossCW of BBTF politics threads. As I told him, you don't have to make threats or use profanity to be rude or disrespectful. Intellectual dishonesty, moving goalposts, arguing strawmen, mischaracterizing people's positions, ignoring people's comments or questions that have been posed to you, can all engender more frustration than an occasional swear word. I think it frustrates people who are actually here to have an honest discussion when you're just here to score points.
   3707. OCF Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4278908)
What if the presidential race were actually to be decided by the national popular vote? (Say, if the interstate popular vote compact were to reach its goal.) Then campaign strategies would change, massively. Money for national advertising would become an issue; it's possible the Republicans (and their super-PAC allies) might get an edge there. But I would see all other strategy changes as benefitting the Democrats. The Democrats would switch to a motivation and turnout strategy focused on cities in general and New York, Illinois, and California in particular. And Texas. The Republicans wouldn't have that effective a counter-move to that. The suburbs, by and large, are already turning out, and the rural areas aren't easy to collect. They could try to "run up the score" where they have the edge, but places like Utah, Nebraska, and Oklahoma aren't all that vote-rich, pushing harder in Southern states risks activating the African-American voters, and Texas has Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso.
   3708. The District Attorney Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4278909)
Allred's alleged bombshell seems to be that as "Bishop" Romney counsled women against having abortions.
Hmm? Vanity Fair reported that in February (including the extra-fun factors that there was "some risk" to the woman's life, and there was an estimated 50% chance the child would even survive.) Romney's classic Romney response:
I don’t have any memory of what she is referring to, although I certainly can’t say it could not have been me.
Yeah, pretty lame... but it's been out there for months, so it's probably not going anywhere.

I can't recall hearing Obama himself refer to the ACA as "Obamacare" before now.
Yeah, that decision was made a little while back. (Looking through my polispam, I see the campaign sent out a "Happy Birthday Obamacare!" message on March 23.)
   3709. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4278920)
you don't have to make threats or use profanity to be rude or disrespectful. Intellectual dishonesty, moving goalposts, arguing strawmen, mischaracterizing people's positions, ignoring people's comments or questions that have been posed to you, can all engender more frustration than an occasional swear word. I think it frustrates people who are actually here to have an honest discussion when you're just here to score points.

That's a good point that goes well beyond Joe. The all-encompassing term for it is "passive aggressiveness", though I'd be reluctant to throw "intellectual dishonesty" into that mix, given how subjective and loaded a term that can be.
   3710. formerly dp Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4278923)
Then campaign strategies would change, massively. Money for national advertising would become an issue; it's possible the Republicans (and their super-PAC allies) might get an edge there. But I would see all other strategy changes as benefitting the Democrats.


This is why I can't see the EC going away, pretty much ever. The current model is predictable enough in behavior, if not in outcomes, that it serves both parties about equally. Changing it risks giving the other side an unanticipated advantage, in the worst case scenario, and in the best case scenario, you still have to recalibrate your campaigning strategies, and very likely spend a lot more money. And that's strictly from the standpoint of the elites in the two major parties who would have to agree to push for this kind of change. At the popular level, if 2000 wasn't enough of a crisis for the public to be concerned over it, I don't know what it would take; even the highly unlikely scenarios being mentioned here wouldn't be enough to cause a grass-roots push across the political spectrum to eliminate the EC.

   3711. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4278933)
The EC allows both parties to control how they spend their money.

If you strictly went by popular vote, then places where there is little to change in elections like California, New York, and Texas (large populations, but rock solid guarantee of 50%+1 minimum win for either side) would suddenly be in play again. Winning an extra 500,000 votes in California will help cover for the 500,000 you might lose in 5 other states combined.

It would definitely force the campaigns to get involved in all 50 states, instead of concentrating on the 5 to 10 states that become the "tipping points". That would also mean having to defend all 50 states from losing favourable votes.

It would be chaotic (from the campaign's point of view).

   3712. GregD Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4278939)
And expensive. If you had to spend lots in NY, Chicago, LA, you'd be out of a lot of dough. As espensive as campaigns are now, it'd get even more so. I like the EC solely for that reason; I don't have to watch pres ads constantly.
   3713. CrosbyBird Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4278943)
Another (more overt) example - a senior male makes a comment, in a room with a couple of junior women, that he doesn't want to hire a certain lawyer to represent the firm because she has kids and she won't have as much time to dedicate to the project. No similar concern expressed about the male partner that he does want to hire. What are the women who work for him supposed to think about their own career prospects?

Generally speaking, don't women contribute substantially more than 50% of the physical responsibility of child-rearing? I can't think of a single friend of mine with kids that is in a couple where it's even close, even the ones where the women have substantially more high-powered careers. I think there's a societal expectation that women be the primary caregivers for their children, and that expectation may be significantly based on a biological expectation. Unless that changes (and we might not be better off changing that), I don't think you can very strongly criticize that senior male; he's probably right about availability.

That women are the ones who bear, carry, and tend to be more involved in rearing of children is fairly unlikely to change. Most women, I think, would acknowledge that in order to raise their children in the way they want to, they are obligated to prioritize certain aspects of family life over work in a way that their husbands do not have to. Those seem like very good and reasonable priorities to have, but if I'm looking for someone to put in outrageous hours on a big project, I don't want the person with good and reasonable priorities. I want the person with messed up priorities that will back-burner everything not related to work until we're done.

Is that really sexist?
   3714. BDC Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4278949)
I don't think you can very strongly criticize that senior male; he's probably right about availability

Even so, Crosby; let's say he's likely to be right 75% of the time in his prejudice. The other 25% of the women in those hiring pools have great daycare, supportive mothers and in-laws, househusbands, or pretty much don't give a #### about quality time with Junior, which would seem to be their right. They're terrific lawyers and will work 168 hours a week on this project. So what the hypothetical senior male has done is discriminate against those women based on a prejudice.
   3715. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4278950)
That women are the ones who bear, carry, and tend to be more involved in rearing of children is fairly unlikely to change. Most women, I think, would acknowledge that in order to raise their children in the way they want to, they are obligated to prioritize certain aspects of family life over work in a way that their husbands do not have to. Those seem like very good and reasonable priorities to have, but if I'm looking for someone to put in outrageous hours on a big project, I don't want the person with good and reasonable priorities. I want the person with messed up priorities that will back-burner everything not related to work until we're done.

Is that really sexist?


But what about women who have no intention to have children, or physically cannot? Are they simply out of luck?
   3716. Ron J2 Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4278963)
If you had the faintest hint of training in parametric statistics, you would probably understand that six examples are not likely to be wrong, right, or irrelevant. They are simply inadequate.


On the other hand there's my (mathematician) friend who's fond of saying, you get the cleanest trend lines by using two data points.
   3717. CrosbyBird Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4278966)
So what the hypothetical senior male has done is discriminate against those women based on a prejudice.

Sure, but is that prejudice unreasonable, or simply pragmatic? If we're busy enough that we have to make a decision on the basis of incomplete information, and we'd be right 75% of the time, it will be hard to find something else that's more reliable an indicator of the best choice.

It's a tough problem. The solution to this sort of discrimination (blindness to sex difference) is a matter of priority, and that's why I'm generally opposed to any sort of obligatory hiring practices for private individuals. You may think that it is worth the increased risk of getting a less qualified candidate if we eliminate discrimination, but that's your priority. I don't think it's reasonable to insist that it be my priority as well.

In this particular example, if I'm the decision-maker, I'm not going to discriminate here. But I think discriminate is defensible here, and certainly should be a decision left to individuals, not imposed by regulation.
   3718. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4278968)
And expensive. If you had to spend lots in NY, Chicago, LA, you'd be out of a lot of dough. As espensive as campaigns are now, it'd get even more so. I like the EC solely for that reason; I don't have to watch pres ads constantly.

We in PA already see presidential ads constantly and are willing to share. I'm sure it's worse in CO and OH and some other states. PLEASE!!

I don't agree that it would cost more dough necessarily. They have to get the dough somewhere, what aren't they tapping now?
   3719. Danny Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4278971)
Sure, but is that prejudice unreasonable, or simply pragmatic? If we're busy enough that we have to make a decision on the basis of incomplete information, and we'd be right 75% of the time, it will be hard to find something else that's more reliable an indicator of the best choice.

Would you feel the same way about a company refusing to hire black people because they're more likely to be criminals? Or refusing to hire Muslims because they're more likely to be terrorists?

Now that I type that, I seem to recall having a discussion with you where you argued in support of racial profiling by the police. It makes sense that you'd support the right of private companies to discriminate if you already support the right of the government to do so.
   3720. GregD Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4278972)
You may be right. It could be ads would just disappear from smaller swing markets like Iowa, though maybe there would be marginal value in advertising there since it is cheap.

My friends in Ohio say they see ads for nothing but president now
   3721. BDC Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4278983)
If we're busy enough that we have to make a decision on the basis of incomplete information, and we'd be right 75% of the time, it will be hard to find something else that's more reliable an indicator of the best choice

The spirit of anti-discrimination laws & rules, though, is that the individual must be judged without prejudice. So you can't dismiss a candidate because she's a woman. You can't even ask about her kids, though realistically you might learn of their existence. If the candidate says to you in an interview, listen, I can dig a 40-hour job but I am not spending every night and weekend on this project, and you need someone who says they can, well OK. But the 40-hour woman may be childless and the 168-hour woman may have three kids who are growing up (as so many of us did) as best they can, with a workaholic breadwinner for a parent. Her sex and her parental status are irrelevant to her as an individual. And if a hirer doesn't have time to assess individual skills and priorities, that's not society's problem; it just means that they're sloppy and prejudicial.

I guess my position would be that such things shouldn't be set up to help hiring firms make aggregate decisions. The firm may see hundreds of resumés, but each one is sent in by an individual worthy of individual treatment.

EDIT: And how's that for a classical-liberal defense of anti-discrimination laws, instead of a bleeding-heart liberal one :)
   3722. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4278985)
It could be ads would just disappear from smaller swing markets like Iowa, though maybe there would be marginal value in advertising there since it is cheap.


It's probably cheaper to advertise in places with a concentrated media market (big city) but not a competitive market (like NY, Chicago, LA, Houston). Also, you don't want to waste it in a market where there really isn't much chance of turning someone (like Democrats in Mississippi, or Republicans in Washington state), so mixed areas in big cities (but not TOO big) work well.

Cleveland, Denver, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh
   3723. The Good Face Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4278999)
The spirit of anti-discrimination laws & rules, though, is that the individual must be judged without prejudice. So you can't dismiss a candidate because she's a woman. You can't even ask about her kids, though realistically you might learn of their existence. If the candidate says to you in an interview, listen, I can dig a 40-hour job but I am not spending every night and weekend on this project, and you need someone who says they can, well OK. But the 40-hour woman may be childless and the 168-hour woman may have three kids who are growing up (as so many of us did) as best they can, with a workaholic breadwinner for a parent. Her sex and her parental status are irrelevant to her as an individual. And if a hirer doesn't have time to assess individual skills and priorities, that's not society's problem; it just means that they're sloppy and prejudicial.


This is a classic example of how anti-discrimination laws actually hurt instead of help. For positions that the hiring decision maker knows will involve insane time commitments, many simply won't hire a woman at all, period, unless they know her or somebody they trust vouches for her. If they could broach the subject openly in interviews (and easily fire people who turned out to lie their way through the interview), more women would be hired for those sorts of jobs.

Instead, those super-demanding jobs, which often lead to high visibility and promotions, more often go to men. Women get hired into "soft" management jobs as tokens, where they never get any consideration for top level positions. Seen it dozens of times and will no doubt see it dozens more.
   3724. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4279002)
and easily fire people who turned out to lie their way through the interview)


And how would one decide whether they lied or simply changed their minds, or their circumstances changed? Should one be held to what one promises in an interview for all eternity?
   3725. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4279003)
You're more like the RossCW of BBTF politics threads. As I told him, you don't have to make threats or use profanity to be rude or disrespectful. Intellectual dishonesty, moving goalposts, arguing strawmen, mischaracterizing people's positions, ignoring people's comments or questions that have been posed to you, can all engender more frustration than an occasional swear word. I think it frustrates people who are actually here to have an honest discussion when you're just here to score points.

I love this persistent claim that the liberals here are a heterodox bunch who approach each issue with dispassionate neutrality while I'm a down-the-line right-winger who gets my marching orders from Rush Limbaugh and argues here accordingly, despite my having far more heterodox political positions than any of the liberals here.

A couple months ago, I asked the liberals to list the positions on which they disagreed with orthodox liberalism and the replies were mostly trivialities — e.g., McCoy, a restaurant manager, saying he's against raising the minimum wage. And yet, it's supposedly hugely unfair of me to mention "the liberals," as if I should list each individual Primate who is known to hold a position.

How would this work on the campaign trail? Instead of bashing "conservatives," should Barack Obama be required to list each specific politician (or voter!) who holds the position of which he's complaining? Is that how it works now?

If it's true that my use of a phrase like "typical liberal" is the source of most of the acrimony here, that just shows how thin-skinned the average liberal is around here.
   3726. Lassus Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4279006)
Lefty Talking Points review - from a lefty site and through Facebook:

Auto Worker receives $1,000 performance bonus and is taxed at 25% because it is considered income
Romney receives $7,000,000 performance bonus and is taxed at 15% because it is considered carried interest.
(Tagline - "Different rules for different classes IS class warfare.")

I'm curious of the right's position on something like this, over here. bobm, Clapper, 'Zop, Kehoskie, Ray, anyone else... Is there a response or explanation? Lies? Half-truths? Rules? It is things like this that get a lot of play, I think, and as I'm no economist, I'm definitely curious of how it comes around or back as far as a debate.
   3727. Danny Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4279010)
This is a classic example of how anti-discrimination laws actually hurt instead of help. For positions that the hiring decision maker knows will involve insane time commitments, many simply won't hire a woman at all, period, unless they know her or somebody they trust vouches for her. If they could broach the subject openly in interviews (and easily fire people who turned out to lie their way through the interview), more women would be hired for those sorts of jobs.

Anti-discrimination laws cause employers to break anti-discrimination laws, so the solution is to get rid of anti-discrimination laws.
   3728. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4279011)
What if the presidential race were actually to be decided by the national popular vote? (Say, if the interstate popular vote compact were to reach its goal.)

The people who want the Electoral College to go away never seem to mention the possibility of the need for a nationwide recount. If people thought Florida was bad in 2000, wait until the entire country needs to go through that process.
   3729. The Good Face Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4279012)
and easily fire people who turned out to lie their way through the interview)


And how would one decide whether they lied or simply changed their minds, or their circumstances changed? Should one be held to what one promises in an interview for all eternity?


Doesn't matter. The idea is that employers should be able to fire employees for any reason at any time. Because they can't, they're much more careful about who they hire. Especially for key positions.

   3730. The Good Face Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4279014)
Anti-discrimination laws cause employers to break anti-discrimination laws, so the solution is to get rid of anti-discrimination laws.


Anti-discrimination laws have the opposite effect of what they're intended to accomplish. You'd think supporters of such laws would care about stuff like that.
   3731. Greg K Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4279015)
Gwynne Dyer.

Heh. I must have been thinking of my new pink bat which I have christened "Gwyneth".
   3732. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4279016)
I'm curious of the right's position on something like this, over here. bobm, Clapper, 'Zop, Kehoskie, Ray, anyone else... Is there a response or explanation? Lies? Half-truths? Rules? It is things like this that get a lot of play, I think, and as I'm no economist, I'm definitely curious of how it comes around or back as far as a debate.

Among other things, investment income carries risk. Thomas Sowell had a good column on this topic a few weeks ago: Capital Gains Taxes
   3733. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4279021)
Among other things, investment income carries risk.


So? So does salaried or wage employment. Your not guaranteed salary or other benefits, or indeed even continued employment.
   3734. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4279022)
So? So does salaried or wage employment. Your not guaranteed salary or other benefits, or indeed even continued employment.

Of course they're guaranteed salary and/or benefits. Are you telling me you know a bunch of (non-self-employed) people who keep showing up for work despite their employer not giving them paychecks? If they don't get paid, they stop showing up.

An investor can lose his life savings in one week, while a worker can only lose one week's labor. It's apples and oranges.
   3735. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4279023)
Instead, those super-demanding jobs, which often lead to high visibility and promotions, more often go to men.


I love the bit about "super-demanding jobs." Because it's so friggin' hard out there for a pimp.
   3736. BDC Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4279024)
Anti-discrimination laws have the opposite effect of what they're intended to accomplish. You'd think supporters of such laws would care about stuff like that

I just don't agree with the premises here. You are not allowed to ask, in an interview, "So, you have kids, how much time will that let you put into the job?" You certainly are allowed to ask "how much time do you typically devote to important projects? What's your commitment level to a demanding professional task?" And you are allowed to ask referees about the work ethic a candidate has demonstrated elsewhere. What's so bad about explicitly removing the sex (and motherhood, or not) of the candidate from the equation? I don't agree with your warrant, which seems to be "women can't do the big jobs, so they're hurt because employers can't consider the fact that they're women, and thereby refuse to hire them because they're women."
   3737. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4279025)
Thomas Sowell had a good column on this topic a few weeks ago:: Capital Gains Taxes


"Ordinary income is usually guaranteed. If you work a certain amount of time, you are legally entitled to the pay that you were offered when you took the job. "

Since when? You can't be paid less than the minimum wage, but employees have their wages, benefits, and hours cut all the time by employers.
   3738. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4279027)
Since when? You can't be paid less than the minimum wage, but employees have their wages, benefits, and hours cut all the time by employers.

But the employees aren't chained to the wall. If they don't like the new terms, they can walk out the door.
   3739. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4279030)
"Ordinary income is usually guaranteed. If you work a certain amount of time, you are legally entitled to the pay that you were offered when you took the job. "

Since when? You can't be paid less than the minimum wage, but employees have their wages, benefits, and hours cut all the time by employers.



Wages earned are almost 99% guaranteed. But wages really aren't the issue in this topic. The issue was about bonuses and bonuses are not guaranteed so the matter of wages being guaranteed doesn't come into play.
   3740. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4279031)
But the employees aren't chained to the wall. If they don't like the new terms, they can walk out the door.


And an investor is not forced into a risky venture. he can simply walk away.

Look, I understand that there is a difference between the two. I just don't agree that A (lower tax rates for different types of income) needs to follow from B (different risk scenarios for the different types of income generation.)

Working on a crab boat is a hell of a lot riskier than investing in a start up. A guy could lose a limb, or his life, and he is guaranteed nothing ( no catch, no pay). Why should he be taxed more than the investor?
   3741. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4279041)
Among other things, investment income carries risk.

As does working for any company owned by predators like Bain. Here one minute, gone the next, while Bain keeps their fees.

-----------------------------------

But the employees aren't chained to the wall. If they don't like the new terms, they can walk out the door.


And an investor is not forced into a risky venture. he can simply walk away.

And if he doesn't like being taxed at the same rate as earned income, he can always move to Iceland or Australia.
   3742. tshipman Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4279045)
The real value of the popular vote project is that it removes the outsized importance of small interest groups in specific areas.

I think something like 75% of the government agrees that continuing the embargo against Cuba and maintaining requirements for ethanol in gas is silly and counterproductive.

However, we can't change those things because of delicate snowflakes in Iowa and Florida.

Another good example would be legalization for pot. Marijuana Legalization passed the 50% threshold nationwide a while ago. However, it's exceedingly unlikely to be made law because swing states tend to still be against it. The electoral college serves no purpose except to artificially elevate the issues of a few citizens at the expense of the rest of the country.
   3743. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4279046)
Wages earned are almost 99% guaranteed. But wages really aren't the issue in this topic. The issue was about bonuses and bonuses are not guaranteed so the matter of wages being guaranteed doesn't come into play.

There's no risk attached to a bonus. Almost by definition, a bonus is money paid above and beyond the agreed-to wage. In terms of the wages/cap gains/bonuses continuum, bonuses should probably be taxed the highest of the three.

Look, I understand that there is a difference between the two. I just don't agree that A (lower tax rates for different types of income) needs to follow from B (different risk scenarios for the different types of income generation.)

Working on a crab boat is a hell of a lot riskier than investing in a start up. A guy could lose a limb, or his life, and he is guaranteed nothing ( no catch, no pay). Why should he be taxed more than the investor?

If you want to revamp the tax code so that crab-boat workers pay lower taxes than secretaries, then that's an interesting proposal. But the simple fact is, an investor has a lot more to lose than a worker. The most a worker can typically lose is one week's labor. The less reward there is for risking money, the less money will be risked on new businesses, products, etc.
   3744. villageidiom Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4279047)
I love this persistent claim that the liberals here are a heterodox bunch who approach each issue with dispassionate neutrality while I'm a down-the-line right-winger who gets my marching orders from Rush Limbaugh and argues here accordingly, despite my having far more heterodox political positions than any of the liberals here.
The passage you quote does not claim that liberals approach each issue with dispassionate neutrality. It claims that you fail to recognize when someone is doing that.

If you actually read his post, you'd see quite clearly that your response is actually making his point. Your rebuttal attempt is a colossal fail.
   3745. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4279050)
And if he doesn't like being taxed at the same rate as earned income, he can always move to Iceland or Australia.

But he doesn't need to move. Only his money does.
   3746. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4279055)
If you actually read his post, you'd see quite clearly that your response is actually making his point. Your rebuttal attempt is a colossal fail.

No, I replied to his comment. The idea that I have anything close to a monopoly on "intellectual dishonesty, moving goalposts, arguing strawmen, mischaracterizing people's positions, ignoring people's comments or questions that have been posed to you" is absurd.
   3747. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4279056)
But the employees aren't chained to the wall. If they don't like the new terms, they can walk out the door.


And an investor is not forced into a risky venture. he can simply walk away.


And if he doesn't like being taxed at the same rate as earned income, he can always move to Iceland or Australia.

But he doesn't need to move. Only his money does.


And this is supposed to make him worse off than an ordinary worker?
   3748. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4279058)
Are you telling me you know a bunch of (non-self-employed) people who keep showing up for work despite their employer not giving them paychecks? If they don't get paid, they stop showing up


How about a CEO asking his employees to donate money to a political candidate AND asking them (a month later) to defer their current salary until December (with a 5% bonus added on for those that do)?

Should that extra 5% be taxed as an income or as an investment?
   3749. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4279059)
Your rebuttal attempt is a colossal fail

So at least he is showing improvement then.
   3750. GregD Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4279060)
If you want to revamp the tax code so that crab-boat workers pay lower taxes than secretaries, then that's an interesting proposal. But the simple fact is, an investor has a lot more to lose than a worker. The most a worker can typically lose is one week's labor. The less reward there is for risking money, the less money will be risked on new businesses, products, etc.
This should be answerable empirically. How much do changes in capital gains relative to income tax rates actually change investment decisions?

I can imagine that it would but I don't believe it's obviously true since people tend to like to maximize their returns; they don't invest in equities because of a good tax rate; they invest in equities because they believe that, including the tax rate in their analysis, they're going to end up with the most money. Until you get to really high rates, I don't see people choosing to turn away profits as a protest against taxes.

Besides, there are two separate issues:
1) the overall capital gains rate
2) the carried interest scam by hedge funders who count income as investment, even when their income is determined by flat fees
   3751. The Good Face Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4279061)
What's so bad about explicitly removing the sex (and motherhood, or not) of the candidate from the equation? I don't agree with your warrant, which seems to be "women can't do the big jobs, so they're hurt because employers can't consider the fact that they're women, and thereby refuse to hire them because they're women."


It's not a case of "women can't do the big job", but rather an issue of people wanting to play the percentages, as CB explained in his post above. By increasing the cost to the employer if they guess wrong on a hiring decision, anti-discimination legislation simply makes employers more risk averse and even more inclined to play the percentages.

I love the bit about "super-demanding jobs." Because it's so friggin' hard out there for a pimp.


Pimpin' ain't easy.
   3752. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4279063)
But he doesn't need to move. Only his money does.


Have at it. As soon as he tries to spend it here, tax it.

The less reward there is for risking money, the less money will be risked on new businesses, products, etc.


So, if all income is taxed the same, investors will stuff their billions in mattresses instead? I doubt it. You know why? Millions of people in this country invest their savings all the time and benefit not one iota from a lower tax rate. It's called IRA's and 401k's.

   3753. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4279065)
And this is supposed to make him worse off than an ordinary worker?

The ordinary workers will be a lot worse off when their jobs are in Mexico or somewhere else. The idea that there's no downside to capital flight is one of the biggest fallacies argued by liberals who want cap gains taxed the same or higher than wages.

***
How about a CEO asking his employees to donate money to a political candidate AND asking them (a month later) to defer their current salary until December (with a 5% bonus added on for those that do)?

I don't like that the guy is flying around on a private jet while the company is struggling, but it's mostly a non-story. Nobody's forcing those workers to stay or to defer their salaries.
   3754. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4279066)
So, if all income is taxed the same, investors will stuff their billions in mattresses instead?


Ooooh. We haven't danced the Going Galt Tango in so long!
   3755. villageidiom Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4279067)
There's no risk attached to a bonus. Almost by definition, a bonus is money paid above and beyond the agreed-to wage.
And often for work above and beyond the agreed-to hours. That's the non-guaranteed portion.

A salaried employee could elect regularly to work a 50-hour week instead of the 40 hours he's agreed to work, and there is no guarantee of a bonus. Even if there is eventually a bonus, there's no guarantee the 25% increase in hours will have produced a bonus commensurate with a 25% increase in pay. It could mean in the end that those extra 10 hours should have been "invested" in a job that would pay appropriately for it, and anything less is an investment loss.

In defense of this, however, I'll point out that income on investments of less than one year are taxed as regular income. Because bonuses are paid out on an annual basis, that fits in with the same scenario of income on a short-term investment.
   3756. tshipman Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4279070)
Among other things, investment income carries risk. Thomas Sowell had a good column on this topic a few weeks ago: Capital Gains Taxes


This is almost a reasonable point (setting aside the issue of whether it is necessary to compensate for risk as a society). However, Lassus's comment was referring to the Carried Interest Exemption.

There is no difference between the wages earned through the carried interest exemption and wages earned by building widgets. They are identical. This is a good example of why people find you frustrating, Joe. You are introducing new details into the argument and concealing the actual details of the contention.

Edit: coke to GregD above.
   3757. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4279071)
So, if all income is taxed the same, investors will stuff their billions in mattresses instead? I doubt it. You know why? Millions of people in this country invest their savings all the time and benefit not one iota from a lower tax rate. It's called IRA's and 401k's.

They don't have to stuff their money in mattresses. They simply log into their bank account and send the money out of the country.

Like it or not, it's much easier for an investor to send his money to the far corners of the world than it is for Joe Worker to pick up and move from Detroit to Monterrey or Dubai or Tokyo.
   3758. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4279072)
Virtually all money gets invested whether the person who owns it invests it or not. If I have a bank account with 50,000 dollars in it that money isn't sitting in a bag in some vault somewhere gathering dust. That money is in play it's just not in play by me. The bank has the money in play and in return they are paying me 3% or so for the privilege to use my money. The only way the money doesn't get invested is if as Misirlou mentioned people simply stuff money in their mattresses.
   3759. villageidiom Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4279078)
No, I replied to his comment. The idea that I have anything close to a monopoly on "intellectual dishonesty, moving goalposts, arguing strawmen, mischaracterizing people's positions, ignoring people's comments or questions that have been posed to you" is absurd.
So you disagree with his characterization of you only in that he made it sound like you have a monopoly on that behavior.
   3760. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4279081)
There is no difference between the wages earned through the carried interest exemption and wages earned by building widgets. They are identical. This is a good example of why people find you frustrating, Joe. You are introducing new details into the argument and concealing the actual details of the contention.

Well, these other guys must feel really stupid for not noticing my slick changing of the subject. [Snark intended.]

I really don't understand what your complaint is here. Carried interest relates directly to investment performance. There can be no carried interest without positive returns, so I don't see how this should be considered income.
   3761. tshipman Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4279088)
This should be answerable empirically. How much do changes in capital gains relative to income tax rates actually change investment decisions?


In my opinion, that isn't really the relevant question. The relevant question is whether it is beneficial to the the growth of the economy to tax cap gains at a lower rate.

Here's a study looking at this in detail over the last 50 years.

The heated rhetoric notwithstanding, there is no obvious relationship between tax rates on capital gains and economic growth. Figure 4 shows top tax rates on long-term capital gains and real economic growth (measured as the percentage change in real GDP) from 1950 to 2011. If low capital gains tax rates catalyzed economic growth, we’d expect to see a negative relationship–high gains rates, low growth, and vice versa–but there is no apparent relationship between the two time series. The correlation is 0.12, the opposite sign from what capital gains tax cut advocates would expect, and not statistically different from zero. Although not shown, I’ve tried lags up to five years and using moving averages, but there is never a larger or statistically significant relationship


Here's the graph.

And for Joe's argument about risk:

One other area of concern is the effect of the capital gains tax on entrepreneurial activity. In fact, the income tax treats investments of “sweat equity” very favorably. Entrepreneurs do not have to pay tax on the value of their labor until it produces income. Effectively, investments in one’s own business are expensed in the sense that tax is avoided altogether on the value of the uncompensated labor invested. Like an IRA or 401(k), this makes entrepreneurial capital taxfree. To the extent that entrepreneurial capital ultimately produces returns in the form of capital gains, entrepreneurs effectively pay a negative tax rate on their own labor input because the 12 contributed labor is expensed while the ultimate return is only partially taxed. And capital gains that are considered “small business” may qualify for a zero rate, creating an even bigger subsidy.
   3762. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4279089)
So you disagree with his characterization of you only in that he made it sound like you have a monopoly on that behavior.

Do you want to discuss politics or do you want to discuss me all day? If the latter, feel free to email me.

***
Virtually all money gets invested whether the person who owns it invests it or not. If I have a bank account with 50,000 dollars in it that money isn't sitting in a bag in some vault somewhere gathering dust. That money is in play it's just not in play by me. The bank has the money in play and in return they are paying me 3% or so for the privilege to use my money. The only way the money doesn't get invested is if as Misirlou mentioned people simply stuff money in their mattresses.

Agreed, but again, it's not a given that the money stays in the U.S. Whether investors start companies offshore or buy real estate outside the U.S., those are dollars that could have been spent or invested in the U.S.

As for #3761, just because "there is no obvious relationship between tax rates on capital gains and economic growth" doesn't mean it's a good idea to make it more attractive to invest outside the U.S., especially in a bad economy, and especially when it's easier now than ever to invest outside the U.S. There are a lot more great places to invest money around the world in 2012 than there were in 1960 or 1980.
   3763. tshipman Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4279093)
Well, these other guys must feel really stupid for not noticing my slick changing of the subject. [Snark intended.]

I really don't understand what your complaint is here. Carried interest relates directly to investment performance. There can be no carried interest without positive returns, so I don't see how this should be considered income.


Okay, admitting that you're arguing dishonestly isn't a great start to a conversation.

Carried interest has very little to do with investment performance. What percent of hedge fund managers receive a carried interest payment year to year? Is it lower than 99%? The performance fees are specifically designed to be as risk free as possible for the people earning them.
   3764. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4279094)
I really don't understand what your complaint is here. Carried interest relates directly to investment performance. There can be no carried interest without positive returns, so I don't see how this should be considered income.

It's really just a performance bonus, the same way that I may get a performance bonus for my job but I might get nothing, or something very small. One important difference between carried interest and regular investment returns is that with carried interest, you only share in the upside, not the downside.

To put it another way, carried interest is compensation for the labor of making investment decisions. It's not a return on capital put at risk because it requires no capital at risk by the fund manager (he may have money in the fund, but that is treated separately).
   3765. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4279097)
And this is supposed to make him worse off than an ordinary worker?

The ordinary workers will be a lot worse off when their jobs are in Mexico or somewhere else. The idea that there's no downside to capital flight is one of the biggest fallacies argued by liberals who want cap gains taxed the same or higher than wages.


As if job outsourcing has slackened since 1997 and 2003.

If there were ever a serious compromise to be made on the issue of capital gains taxes, it would be to treat capital gains as ordinary income, but adjust those gains for inflation.
   3766. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4279099)

Auto Worker receives $1,000 performance bonus and is taxed at 25% because it is considered income
Romney receives $7,000,000 performance bonus and is taxed at 15% because it is considered carried interest.


And yet the auto worker gets his bonus taxed at a higher rate. If Romney's bonus shouldn't be considered income, or more precisely normally taxed income, then I don't see how the auto worker's bonus should be considered income either.
   3767. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4279101)
Okay, admitting that you're arguing dishonestly isn't a great start to a conversation.

I wasn't arguing dishonestly. I was being facetious in #3760. If I was arguing dishonestly, then I guess McCoy, Misirlou, et al., are idiots for not noticing.

At best, your big correction in #3756 is just nitpicking. There can be no carried interest without positive investment return, so trying to claim that carried interest is just a different name for "income" is the real dishonest claim.

Carried interest has very little to do with investment performance. What percent of hedge fund managers receive a carried interest payment year to year? Is it lower than 99%? The performance fees are specifically designed to be as risk free as possible for the people earning them.

There can't be carried interest without positive returns. If 99 percent of hedge funds end up in the black, then 99 percent of hedge fund managers might qualify for carried interest.
   3768. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4279102)
If there were ever a serious compromise to be made on the issue of capital gains taxes, it would be to treat capital gains as ordinary income, but adjust those gains for inflation.


Absolutely. My Dad bought some property in Arizona in 1972 for $4,000. He sold it last year for $4,500 (net), and had to pay tax on the $500 "gain". Under a fair system, he should have been able to claim a substantial loss.
   3769. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4279104)
Absolutely. My Dad bought some property in Arizona in 1972 for $4,000. He sold it last year for $4,500 (net), and had to pay tax on the $500 "gain". Under a fair system, he should have been able to claim a substantial loss.

That's my opinion as well. Treat all income the same, but in constant dollars. You can't just treat capital gains like income without this.
   3770. tshipman Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4279106)
There can be no carried interest without positive investment return, so trying to claim that carried income is just a different name for "income" is the real dishonest claim.


Amusing Freudian slip.

Edit: hah! beat the edit.
   3771. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4279108)
The people who want the Electoral College to go away never seem to mention the possibility of the need for a nationwide recount. If people thought Florida was bad in 2000, wait until the entire country needs to go through that process.

It'd be fantastic for job creation.
   3772. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4279109)
I really don't understand what your complaint is here. Carried interest relates directly to investment performance. There can be no carried interest without positive returns, so I don't see how this should be considered income.


1: It is considered income, but not "ordinary" income
2: There have been proposals to end that since it's basically being used as a tax dodge by fund managers.

Your salary is taxed as "ordinary" income
Any bonus you make, even if tied to the company's profits is taxed as ordinary income.
The money you make as an entrepreneur is taxed as ordinary income
Your share/draw of an LLC's profits is taxed as ordinary income
If you manage an apartment building, and your salary is {in part] a % of the rents you collect, that gets taxed as ordinary income
If you are a baseball agent, and your income is a% of the salaries you negotiate for your clients, that gets taxed as ordinary income

However, if you manage a private equity find, or a "hedge fund," the money you (As manager) make (draw) does not get taxed as ordinary income, it gets taxed as capital gains (and is capped at the capital gains rate)

Does that make any sense? Keep in mind that most of the reasons/justifications for taxing capital gains at a lower rate than ordinary income do not apply to fund managers- "carried interest" is income in excess of any return on the manager's investment- so we are not talking about money "at risk" here. Sure the manager may make zero in any given year- but so may anyone else who lives on commissions- but they don't get their taxes capped, hedge fund managers do
   3773. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4279110)
Absolutely. My Dad bought some property in Arizona in 1972 for $4,000. He sold it last year for $4,500 (net), and had to pay tax on the $500 "gain". Under a fair system, he should have been able to claim a substantial loss.

It appears you understand why capital gains aren't the same as regular income when your father's real estate is involved. It's unclear why you don't apply the same principles when someone else invests money in some other way.
   3774. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4279112)
It appears you understand why capital gains aren't the same as regular income when your father's real estate is involved. It's unclear why you don't apply the same principles when someone else invests money in some other way.


If he had a real gain, as in adjusted for inflation, he should have been taxed at his marginal income bracket. I'm in favor of this for all capital gains (and losses). My wife inherited a $60,000 capital loss from her father. Since we don't have any capital gains outside our 401k and IRA, we can only benefit from the loss at $3,000/year. At that rate, our kids may well inherit some of it.
   3775. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4279114)
However, if you manage a private equity find, or a "hedge fund," the money you (As manager) make (draw) does not get taxed as ordinary income, it gets taxed as capital gains (and is capped at the capital gains rate)

The management fees are taxed as income. The taxes on profits are considered carried interest. No profits = no carried interest.
   3776. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4279115)
The people who want the Electoral College to go away never seem to mention the possibility of the need for a nationwide recount. If people thought Florida was bad in 2000, wait until the entire country needs to go through that process.

It'd be fantastic for job creation.


And the magnifying glass industry.
   3777. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4279116)
It appears you understand why capital gains aren't the same as regular income when your father's real estate is involved. It's unclear why you don't apply the same principles when someone else invests money in some other way.


Because when some one buys something for $4,000 and sells it 20 years later for $4,500- that $4,500 is worth a lot less than that original $4,000 was at the time. So you can reasonably argue that he's has not made $500 dollars (4500 less 4000)- that he's actually lost money- that $4000 inflation adjusted is worth $10,000 today...

However, when that hedge fund manager makes a $4,500 bonus, he's made an extra $4,500 period, but that $4,500 gets taxed as carried interest rather than ordinary income.
   3778. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4279120)
No profits = no carried interest.


The profit Scott Boras makes is taxed as ordinary income.
If one of his players hits a performance bonus milestone, Scott Boras gets a piece of that, that piece gets taxed as ordinary income.

Why when Boras earns a bonus like that does his get taxed as ordinary income, but a hedge fund manager's bonus does not?

   3779. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4279122)
That's my opinion as well. Treat all income the same, but in constant dollars. You can't just treat capital gains like income without this.

And since Dan endorses a world without borders, his plan wouldn't need to worry about jurisdictions competing for capital by lowering tax rates. He's solving problems both coming and going.
   3780. Eddo Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4279123)
This is a classic example of how anti-discrimination laws actually hurt instead of help. For positions that the hiring decision maker knows will involve insane time commitments, many simply won't hire a woman at all, period, unless they know her or somebody they trust vouches for her. If they could broach the subject openly in interviews (and easily fire people who turned out to lie their way through the interview), more women would be hired for those sorts of jobs.

It's simple enough to broach the subject in interviews - you adjust the job requirements. If you're expecting someone to go above and beyond for the job, working 80 hours a week, just say so. The mother who spends a lot of time with her children cannot commit to that, and thus is not qualified. The point of the anti-discrimination laws is so that the fact of her being a woman is not the deciding factor, the fact that she is or is not qualified for the expected workload is.
   3781. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4279124)
No profits = no carried interest.


And if a guy goes out on a fishing boat and catches nothing all week, no profit = no income.

When a stand up comedian goes on the road and no one shows up to his act, no profits = no income.

When an artist spends a month creating a painting and no one wants to buy it, no profits = no income.

Yet in all three cases, and in many other walks of life, if they do get a profit , that is treated differently than carried interest.
   3782. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4279126)
However, when that hedge fund manager makes a $4,500 bonus, he's made an extra $4,500 period, but that $4,500 gets taxed as carried interest rather than ordinary income.

And if that hedge fund manager's income is largely derived from his share of profits, there's substantial risk involved, since profits aren't guaranteed. You're ignoring that risk.
   3783. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4279127)
And since Dan endorses a world without borders, his plan wouldn't need to worry about jurisdictions competing for capital by lowering tax rates. He's solving problems both coming and going.


No, you'd need a one world government to eliminate the competing jurisdiction issue, and while for a libertarian Dan may be out there, I don't think he's out there that far.
   3784. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4279131)
Why when Boras earns a bonus like that does his get taxed as ordinary income, but a hedge fund manager's bonus does not?

Because there's no risk to Scott Boras in that scenario. He either gets the same money or more money. He doesn't get $0 for the year.

***
And if a guy goes out on a fishing boat and catches nothing all week, no profit = no income.

When a stand up comedian goes on the road and no one shows up to his act, no profits = no income.

When an artist spends a month creating a painting and no one wants to buy it, no profits = no income.

Yet in all three cases, and in many other walks of life, if they do get a profit , that is treated differently than carried interest.

The Thomas Sowell article I linked talked about some of these types of scenarios, but you didn't seem impressed.

Obviously, there's risk in any venture. There's a lot more risk in starting a company than there is in working for Walmart and not getting a paycheck that week.
   3785. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4279133)
And if that hedge fund manager's income is largely derived from his share of profits, there's substantial risk involved. You're ignoring that risk.


You are ignoring the fact that it's not the Hedge Fund manager's risk- he has no more risk than any other salaried + bonus eligible employee or commission compensated employee.


Let's look at a real estate agent- the real estate agent's risk is that they may not make a sale- in which case they make nothing, but they have not lost or risked any of their own capital- if they make a sale and earn a commission then they pay tax at the ordinary rate- if they have risked some of their won capital- buying property instead of just brokering sales, then they have moved from being just a broker to being an investor- in which case they would get different tax treatment.

The Hedge Fund manger gets preferential tax treatment even when he's not an investor and has nothing more at risk than the RE agent- that's what people are objecting to.

   3786. tshipman Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4279136)
This is a bit recursive, isn't it?

Everyone's made their points on capital gains and now they're repeating them. Joe's position doesn't have internal consistency, so it's a bit pointless being angered or shocked by his repeated postings.
   3787. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4279138)
You are ignoring the fact that it's not the Hedge Fund manager's risk- he has no more risk than any other salaried + bonus eligible employee or commission compensated employee.

Of course he has additional risk. The biggest part of a hedge fund manager's income is typically from carried interest. Profits aren't guaranteed, and no profits = no carried interest.

***
Joe's position doesn't have internal consistency, so it's a bit pointless being angered or shocked by his repeated postings.

Gee, I'm wrong again. Maybe one of these days ...
   3788. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4279139)
If there were ever a serious compromise to be made on the issue of capital gains taxes, it would be to treat capital gains as ordinary income, but adjust those gains for inflation.

Absolutely. My Dad bought some property in Arizona in 1972 for $4,000. He sold it last year for $4,500 (net), and had to pay tax on the $500 "gain". Under a fair system, he should have been able to claim a substantial loss.


That's my opinion as well. Treat all income the same, but in constant dollars. You can't just treat capital gains like income without this.


It appears you understand why capital gains aren't the same as regular income when your father's real estate is involved. It's unclear why you don't apply the same principles when someone else invests money in some other way.

Because we're not talking about the inequity of treating capital gains as ordinary income, which is what you're against. We're simply arguing that inflation has to be taken into account when calculating those gains.

$100,000 in 1996 is the equivalent of about $148,000 today. If someone invested $100,000 in 1996 and it's now worth (say) $250,000, he should be paying taxes on a real profit of $102,000, not on a paper profit of $150,000. But with that adjustment, there's no reason to tax that $102,000 profit at a lower rate than ordinary income. That investor sure as hell didn't work any harder to make that $102,000 than someone who earned that much in ordinary income.
   3789. villageidiom Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4279142)
Do you want to discuss politics or do you want to discuss me all day? If the latter, feel free to email me.
I like to discuss political ideas, in a way that moves us closer to understanding causes and solutions to political issues, with other people who wish to do the same. I do not like liberals explaining what conservatives think or want, nor conservatives explaining what liberals think or want, as that is just passive-agressive grade-school drama disguised as good faith, and so obviously counterproductive to rational discourse that the perpetrators are no more discussing politics than Michael Vick's dogs in the ring are discussing good manners.

So, yeah, for multiple reasons you shouldn't be expecting an email from me.
   3790. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4279143)
This is a classic example of how anti-discrimination laws actually hurt instead of help. For positions that the hiring decision maker knows will involve insane time commitments, many simply won't hire a woman at all, period, unless they know her or somebody they trust vouches for her. If they could broach the subject openly in interviews (and easily fire people who turned out to lie their way through the interview), more women would be hired for those sorts of jobs.

Except it's the opposite in what I am describing. On Wall Street, a fair number women are hired at junior levels that require the worst (longest/most unstable) hours. It is at the more senior levels that have more stable hours where you find less women.

In the specific example, when you're talking about hiring a female partner at a major law firm, you're dealing with a person who's already shown the commitment to the job to do what is necessary to make partner. If you don't trust [insert major law firm name here]'s judgment on who to promote to partner then you shouldn't hire them in the first place.
   3791. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4279144)

The Thomas Sowell article I linked talked about some of these types of scenarios, but you didn't seem impressed.


The Thomas Sowell article doesn't address the Carried Interest treatment afforded to fund managers.


   3792. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4279149)
Because we're not talking about the inequity of treating capital gains as ordinary income, which is what you're against. We're simply arguing that inflation has to be taken into account when calculating those gains.

You think investors don't know that cap gains aren't adjusted for inflation? That's one of the central reasons that people are opposed to taxing cap gains as income.

From there, even if cap gains are adjusted for inflation, it's still illogical to tax risk-free earnings at the same rate as high-risk earnings. The idea that lottery winnings should be taxed the same as someone who spends years building a company or someone who risks substantial money in a high-risk venture (medical technology, etc.) is economically absurd, especially in a world where money can be reallocated around the globe in mere seconds.
   3793. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4279151)
So, yeah, for multiple reasons you shouldn't be expecting an email from me.

Oh, well. The next time Sam Hutcheson threatens a neck-stabbing or talks about someone's mother, I look forward to reading your long screeds on internet decorum.

***
The Thomas Sowell article doesn't address the Carried Interest treatment afforded to fund managers.

I didn't say it did. The Sowell article talks about the concept of risk vis-a-vis income and taxation.
   3794. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4279152)
Obviously, there's risk in any venture. There's a lot more risk in starting a company than there is in working for Walmart and not getting a paycheck that week.

Of course there's more risk. There's also much more potential profit. That's one of the main reasons why most of us start businesses. I sure as hell wasn't deterred from starting my business because of the risk involved. Those risks are a given. What's crazy is the idea that if I'd put my profits into the stock market, I should pay a lower tax rate when I cashed in than if I'd just paid myself more at the end of each year.
   3795. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4279153)
Of course he has additional risk. The biggest part of a hedge fund manager's income is typically from carried interest. Profits aren't guaranteed, and no profits = no carried interest.


This is why people have taken to calling you a troll, so the fund manger may make ZERO- so may many other classes of people- but they don't get such preferential treatment- only the fund manager does- he gets the treatment that people who have money at risk- people who may actually lose money (ie., investors)- you never actually address this you just keep dancing around-

You address my Boras comparison by asserting that Boras won't actually make zero, we're just discussing whether he'll make X+Y or just X (and ignore that the fund manager typically will never make zero either- their are a variety of flat fees and such)
you keep circling back to "risk"- he may not make any money in some given year- but everyone paid on a full commission basis has that particular risk.
   3796. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4279154)
Of course he has additional risk. The biggest part of a hedge fund manager's income is typically from carried interest. Profits aren't guaranteed, and no profits = no carried interest.


What about the realestate agent who can't sell a home? Or car salesman? Jeeze, the longer this goes on, the more professions crop up which are identical in nature to the carried interest guy ( in that no profit = no income), and yet, only the carried interest guy gets the tax break.

   3797. villageidiom Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4279155)
Of course he has additional risk. The biggest part of a hedge fund manager's income is typically from carried interest. Profits aren't guaranteed, and no profits = no carried interest.
And a $7 million loss = the same carried interest as as a $7 loss.

It's a different story for the hedge fund investor - the difference between a $7 million loss and a $7 loss is real, it's a large risk, and the tax laws - as you pointed out earlier - provide an incentive for taking on the risk. The person managing that hedge fund does not face nearly the same risk. The hedge fund manager's risk is akin to a commission sales structure. No sale = no profit = no income. Commission sales are taxed as wages, even though they inherently carry risk, and though they are the biggest part of the income of someone in such a job.
   3798. villageidiom Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4279157)
Oh, well. The next time Sam Hutcheson threatens a neck-stabbing or talks about someone's mother, I look forward to reading your long screeds on internet decorum.
Do you want to discuss politics or do you want to discuss Sam Hutcheson? If the latter, feel free to email him.
   3799. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4279158)
Because we're not talking about the inequity of treating capital gains as ordinary income, which is what you're against. We're simply arguing that inflation has to be taken into account when calculating those gains.

You think investors don't know that cap gains aren't adjusted for inflation? That's one of the central reasons that people are opposed to taxing cap gains as income.


And that's an issue that should be addressed, as it amounts to one of simple fairness. I haven't seen anyone here defend non-indexing of capital gains.

From there, even if cap gains are adjusted for inflation, it's still illogical to tax risk-free earnings at the same rate as high-risk earnings. The idea that lottery winnings should be taxed the same as someone who spends years building a company or someone who risks substantial money in a high-risk venture (medical technology, etc.) is economically absurd.

I believe that's what some people here used to call "rent-seeking", which in this case seems to be a wish to fix the tax rates in order to minimize risk while maximizing reward for a certain class of people.
   3800. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4279159)
You think investors don't know that cap gains aren't adjusted for inflation? That's one of the central reasons that people are opposed to taxing cap gains as income.


So, if capital gains were indexed for inflation you'd be just fine with them being taxed as ordinary income? Of course you wouldn't, so why bring it up? Andy and I have already signed up to that position. I suspect most if not all would as well. In fact, I would be very much against Cap gains being taxed as ordinary income if they weren't indexed for inflation. So how's that?

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