The Latest Version Of Congress's Anti-Algorithm Bill Is Based On Two Separate Debunked Myths & A Misunderstanding Of How Things Work

from the regulating-on-myths dept

It’s kind of crazy how many regulatory proposals we see appear to be based on myths and moral panics. The latest, just introduced is the House version of the Filter Bubble Transparency Act, which is the companion bill to the Senate bill of the same name. Both bills are “bipartisan,” which makes it worse, not better. The Senate version was introduced by Senator John Thune, and co-sponsored by a bevy of anti-tech grandstanding Senators: Richard Blumenthal, Jerry Moran, Marsha Blackburn, Brian Schatz, and Mark Warner. The House version was introduced by Ken Buck, and co-sponsored by David Cicilline, Lori Trahan, and Burgess Owens.

While some of the reporting on this suggests that the bill “targets” algorithms, it only does so in the stupidest, most ridiculous ways. The bill is poorly drafted, poorly thought out, and exposes an incredible amount of ignorance about how any of this works. It doesn’t target all algorithms — and explicitly exempts search based on direct keywords, or algorithms that try to “protect the children.” Instead, it has a weird attack on what it calls “opaque algorithms.” The definition itself is a bit opaque:

The term “opaque algorithm” means an algorithmic ranking system that determines the order or manner that information is furnished to a user on a covered internet platform based, in whole or part, on user-specific data that was no expressly provided by the user to the platform for such purpose.

The fact that it then immediately includes an exemption for “age-appropriate content filters” only hints at some of the problems with this bill — which starts with the fact that there are all sorts of reasons why algorithms recommending things to you based on more information than you provide directly might be kinda useful. For example, a straightforward reading of this bill would mean that no site can automatically determine you’re visiting with a mobile device and format the page accordingly. After all, that’s an algorithmic system that uses information not expressly provided by the user in order to present information to you ranked in a different way (for example, moving ads to a different spot). What’s more, “inferences about the user’s connected device” are explicitly excluded from being used even if they are based on data expressly provided by the user — so even allowing a user to set a preference for their device type, and serve optimized pages based on that preference, would appear to still count as an “opaque algorithm” under the bill’s definitions. You could argue that a mobile-optimized page is not necessarily a “ranking” system, except the bill defines “algorithmic ranking system” as “a computational process … used to determine the order or manner that a set of information is provided to a user.” At the very least, there are enough arguments either way that someone will sue over it.

Similarly, lots of media websites offer you a certain number of free articles before you hit their register or paywall — and again, that’s based on information not expressly provided by the user — meaning that such a practice might be in trouble (which will be fun to watch when media orgs who use those kinds of paywall tricks but are cheering this on as an “anti-big-tech” measure discover what they’re really supporting).

The point here is that lots of algorithm/ranking systems that work based on information not expressly provided by the user are actually doing important things that would be missed if they suddenly couldn’t be done any more.

And, even if the bill were clarified in a bill-of-attainder fashion to make it clear it only applies to social media news feeds, it still won’t do much good. Both Facebook and Twitter already let you set up a chronological feed if you want it. But, more to the point, the very rationale behind this bill makes no sense and is not based in reality.

Cicilline’s quote about the bill demonstrates just how ignorant he is of how all of this stuff actually works:

“Facebook and other dominant platforms manipulate their users through opaque algorithms that prioritize growth and profit over everything else. And due to these platforms? monopoly power and dominance, users are stuck with few alternatives to this exploitative business model, whether it is in their social media feed, on paid advertisements, or in their search results.”

Except… as already noted, you can already turn off the algorithmic feed in Facebook, and as the Facebook Papers just showed, when Facebook experimented with turning off the algorithmic rankings in its newsfeed it actually made the company more money, not less.

Also, the name of the bill is based on the idea of “filter bubbles” and many of the co-sponsors of the bill claim that these websites are purposefully driving people deeper into these “filter bubbles.” However, as we again just recently discussed, new research shows that social media tends to expose people to a wider set of ideas and viewpoints, rather than more narrowly constraining them. In fact, they’re much more likely to face a “filter bubble” in their local community than by being exposed to the wider world through the internet and social media.

So, in the end, we have a well-hyped bill based on the (false) idea of filter bubbles and the (false) idea of algorithms only serving corporate profit, which would require websites to give users a chance to turn off an algorithm — which they already allow, and which would effectively kill off other useful tools like mobile optimization. It seems like the only purpose this legislation actually serves to accomplish is to let these politicians stand up in front of the news media and claim they’re “taking on big tech!” and smile disingenuously.

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Comments on “The Latest Version Of Congress's Anti-Algorithm Bill Is Based On Two Separate Debunked Myths & A Misunderstanding Of How Things Work”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The One Positive

Right up until somebody attempts to moderate based on information that wasn’t "expressly provided by the user to the platform for such purpose." At which point the courts will have to decide whether the protections for moderation under 230 overide the prohibitions on algorithms under this law.

Youtube’s video recommendations are a form of moderation under 230, and would also fall under this. I could see arguments against the methods Tumblr, Pinterest or Reddit have used to hide certain information from internal searches and recommendations.

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Anonymous Coward says:

"Facebook and other dominant platforms manipulate their users through opaque algorithms that prioritize growth and profit over everything else. And due to these platforms’ monopoly power and dominance, users are stuck with few alternatives to this exploitative business model, whether it is in their social media feed, on paid advertisements, or in their search results."

Its almost as if they are describing the phone/cable companies.
Also, isn’t that the capitalist way/mantra… profit by any means.

Scote says:

So, how are search engine results going to work? With the results page have to be in alphabetical order based on the page title, like a phonebook? Will phone book tropes like "AAAAA1 Locksmithing" become search engine tropes, with each page fighting to have more As in the title?

This stupid bill is utterly infeasible, and completely unconstitutional. Neither of which stops right wingers, but that there is support by any dems is, perhaps, even more appalling.

Scote says:

Re: Re: Re:

The issue isn’t the keywords but the sorting of results for "relevance", which is the thing that makes Google so useful. You want the "best results" (which google uses an very complex algorithm that is not alphabetical) on page one. And google even searches for similar words to your search term, as well as spelling corrections and all sorts of other things that aren’t part of the ridiculous "exemption". The bill would make search engines utterly un-usable because it is algorithms that make the search results useful.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"The issue isn’t the keywords but the sorting of results for "relevance", which is the thing that makes Google so useful."

QFT. I sometimes have Bing set as a default search engine because I get MS reward points, which is useful while I’m in the XBox ecosystem. But, so many times i have to switch to Google to get something useful because the results that come from Bing are frankly shit. I find this with all sorts of issues, ranging from looking up error messages in my day job to searching for a specific movie. I would never use them if it wasn’t for the "free money" , and even then I turn it off occasionally.

If Bing can’t compete when literally paying people to use them, I don’t see why forcing other services to stop being useful will help anyone, especially since the main reason why Google found their success to begin with was because they were useful. Although, I have found that Bing tends to direct to useless right-wing blogs when searching for political detail more than actual verifiable sources, so maybe that’s the reason.

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Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The issue isn’t the keywords but the sorting of results for "relevance", which is the thing that makes Google so useful. You want the "best results" (which google uses an very complex algorithm that is not alphabetical) on page one. And google even searches for similar words to your search term, as well as spelling corrections and all sorts of other things that aren’t part of the ridiculous "exemption".

All of these would seem to qualify as what the bill calls an "input-transparent algorithm", as none of the criteria you just listed involve the use of user-specific data.

You can still do a Google search even if you’re not logged into a Google account, you know.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The problem is – define "based on direct keywords". Are they allowed to take into account things personally identifying such as location, or are they going to be forced to ignore your location since that’s something personally identifiable? The difference is in the wording of the ruling, and we all know they don’t necessarily make sense in terms of the intended target.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"Every modern browser will ask the user for permission to provide location data if a web page attempts to access it."

As you indicate, they don’t need to do that as they can use geolocation data from your IP address. It’s just that depending on your ISP and the geolocation data available this may or. may not be accurate. Ditto any other information contained in the user agent string.

So, are they still allowed to use personally identifying information that it’s impossible to opt out of (barring using additional measures such as a VPN), or do Google have to create additional code to ignore the information still volunteered to it by nature of being online?

Vermont IP Lawyer (profile) says:

What about Section 3?

If I am reading it right, the main legal obligations would arise from Section 3 which require the platform to give the use the option to not use the "opaque algorithm." Someone explain to me why that doesn’t remediate most of the problems explained in Mike’s post. Let users have a one-time option to select "transparent algorithm" ranking and, if they select that, show them something simple, e.g., time-stamp ranked. As has been explained here many times, any user trying that choice will quickly be buried in garbage and any user with a functioning brain will revert to choosing a more sane algorithm even if it is "opaque."

In fact, might one build on this concept, letting platforms offer users a choice of ranking algorithms? A user could select time-stamped, "don’t show me anything from Josh Hawley," "don’t show me anything from the category of _____," "PG13," etc. etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What about Section 3?

Someone explain to me why that doesn’t remediate most of the problems explained in Mike’s post.

It gives rise to a cause for a law suite on the grounds that the algorithm is opaque because it did not return the results the user expected, or returns results the user did not want.

Also, a time ranking is all too easy to game by posting the same spam at frequent intervals to keep it high in the time rankings. Lists of keywords with links to a dodgy site will soon dominate time rankings.

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Koby (profile) says:

Re: What about Section 3?

The opaque algorithm classification seems to target algorithms that produce different results for different people. For example, if a user of a search engine searches for "Josh Hawley", and the user is evaluated to be a Republican, then it might return results such as "Josh Hawley’s greatest liberal smackdowns", while another user believed to be a Democrat might receive results along the lines of "Josh Hawley’s stupidest comments ever".

So a possible solution might be along similar lines to yours, which would look like an advanced search with many fields, except those fields are about the user and pre-populated, and could be manually changed. Of course, this might freak out users as to what kind of information is being collected on them, but I say that’s a good thing. Inform the users, and If a site is getting creepy with the information they’re gathering, then folks will react accordingly.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: What about Section 3?

"The opaque algorithm classification seems to target algorithms that produce different results for different people"

Yes, that’s how algorithms work. If I’m looking for a decent sushi restaurant near me, I don’t want to see what’s near you since we most likely live a long way from each other.

"For example, if a user of a search engine searches for "Josh Hawley", and the user is evaluated to be a Republican, then it might return results such as "Josh Hawley’s greatest liberal smackdowns", while another user believed to be a Democrat might receive results along the lines of "Josh Hawley’s stupidest comments ever"."

…and if someone’s basing their political opinion on the results of a Google search, that might be their problem no matter what comes up. Meanwhile, the actual news about this person seems to be his insecure masculinity, which can presented devoid of political spin and people on either side will probably reach their own conclusions regardless of Google results.

If you have. a problem with Hawley being called stupid, the problem may not be how Google is filtering the results when people are searching to see who this asshole is…

"o a possible solution might be along similar lines to yours, which would look like an advanced search with many fields, except those fields are about the user and pre-populated, and could be manually changed."

Like the ones that already exist, or do you need an AI to filter them further to protect you?

"Inform the users, and If a site is getting creepy with the information they’re gathering, then folks will react accordingly."

Which is why Facebook and Google failed in the marketplace since everyone knows these things about them. Wait…

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Koby (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: What about Section 3?

Yes, that’s how algorithms work. If I’m looking for a decent sushi restaurant near me, I don’t want to see what’s near you since we most likely live a long way from each other.

I’m not sure that everyone realizes that, or the degree to which it’s happening. I suspect that there is now a desire to know, and control it. If I search for restaurants in San Francisco, and it auto populates "showing restaurants near 2300 Irving Avenue in San Francisco", now I can know that the search engine is tracking my workplace location to deliver results. But the marketing rabbit hole doesn’t stop there.

If you have a problem with Hawley being called stupid, the problem may not be how Google is filtering

I don’t have a problem with people being called names. Rather, folks suspect that the results are being manipulated depending on who you are. Pull aside the curtain. Let them see. And let them search based on other assumptions about the user, if the user desires. But that, of course, would be a marketing nightmare.

Like the ones that already exist, or do you need an AI to filter them further to protect you?

The existing fields are for the subject that the user wants to find. The fields that I want to see are the ones that the search engine believes describe the user.

Which is why Facebook and Google failed in the marketplace since everyone knows these things about them. Wait…

People are addicted to the service, but are horrified by the data collection that has been added to the product.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 What about Section 3?

Hey Koby,

Why don’t you tell us about that time you thought Facebook could use section 230 as means to dismiss a lawsuit against Facebook’s own speech?

So, maybe your opinions are based off the fact that you know jack shit about social media / search / moderation / algorithms / §230 / etc. and your opinions should be discarded as garbage. And you usually prove that point yourself almost daily here.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 What about Section 3?

"If I search for restaurants in San Francisco, and it auto populates "showing restaurants near 2300 Irving Avenue in San Francisco", now I can know that the search engine is tracking my workplace location to deliver results"

Yes, it does mean that you’ve activated permission to see your location, or you’ve allowed tracking cookies, both of which you can block using tools in your browser, on a per site or global basis. If you dislike this, you can use those tools, use incognito mode to access Google, or just use something other than Google.

The fact that you’re too stupid and/or lazy to do this does not mean you get to make the service less useful for people who do want specialised search results.

"Rather, folks suspect that the results are being manipulated depending on who you are"

Yes, Google will use data you’ve given to it to personalise search results, which is one of the main reasons why people use it, since their results are better than their competitors.

"People are addicted to the service, but are horrified by the data collection that has been added to the product."

Not so horrified that they use the other competitors available, though. As with most of your rambling bullshit here, there’s an easy fix – stop using the services that do the things you dislike, and start using the ones that don’t. However, that requires a level of self-reflection and personal responsibility that you don’t possess, so you whine about forcing everyone else to change instead.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 What about Section 3?

Pull aside the curtain. Let them see.

People are not capable of understanding Facebook’s recommendation engine. That isn’t an insult. I’m a software developer and I’m sure I would have a hard time deciphering what’s going on. There may not be any developers at Facebook who completely understand the entire thing. So where do you draw the line between "we use some information about you" and "here’s the source code" as the appropriate degree of transparency? And can you see that Congress drawing that line is problematic?

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James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: What about Section 3?

First off, liability does actually come from the section of the law that details liability. You wouldn’t expect liability to flow directly from the title (section 1) or the definitions (section 2). But section 2, definitions, is the important section because you can’t interpret section 3 without understanding the terms as defined in section two.

So, as far as remediating Mike’s concerns, for one, nothing about that clause addresses issues with say facebook.com determining without your input that you are on a phone and format the page properly, or have the page remember that you are on mobile based on your last visit, or indeed remember what answers you have provided to any sorting choices from page to page, let alone visit to visit. The website, on a plain reading of the bill, can not ever save any choices you have previously made. As the article stated:

What’s more, "inferences about the user’s connected device" are explicitly excluded from being used even if they are based on data expressly provided by the user — so even allowing a user to set a preference for their device type, and serve optimized pages based on that preference, would appear to still count as an "opaque algorithm" under the bill’s definitions.

Section 2(4)(C)(iv) details this concern, (can’t copy paste from the actual text, is page 5, line 16 in the reader above). Data provided expressly by the user does not include any inferences about the device being used, even if based on preferences provided expressly by the user as allowed in section 2(4)(C)(i).

Mike’s issues seem to be less about the specific provisions than the broad ambiguous provisions that will lead to significant uncertainty regarding when liability will apply. It is clear the author of the bill doesn’t understand the options Facebook already provides, and the definitions portion is a word salad that is low on clarity and high on undermining the purpose of the bill.

I already want to nuke the cookie permission popup from orbit. Every. Single. Time. I visit a website my content is visually blocked by a dumb popup I’ve answered every time. Now, on every page i visit for news, my email, social media, shopping, and media streaming I also have to tell everyone of them to what sorting algorithm I want to use? And I can never delete my cache in a desperate attempt to keep those settings in place?

I understand you think passing bad laws and cramming our courts with spurious lawsuits to explore the boundaries of a law that really wasn’t necessary and doesn’t really do anything is a positive, but the rest of us prefer bills which actually serve to address the concerns they have.

Vermont IP Lawyer (profile) says:

Re: Re: What about Section 3?

My comment did not, as you rightly point out, address the point raised by Mike about mobile vs. desktop screen formatting. Some version of the ideas mentioned by Koby could address that or the initial screen could just make the user select "Mobile or Desktop?" and then "Opaque or XXX Ranking?" I haven’t programmed for a long time and I’m sure someone could come up with something more elegant.

I’ll pass on responding this poster’s final paragraph as I am a fan of civil discourse.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: What about Section 3?

Some version of the ideas mentioned by Koby could address that or the initial screen could just make the user select "Mobile or Desktop?" and then "Opaque or XXX Ranking?"

Assuming James Burkhardt is correct, you would have to do this every single time you visit. I think pretty much everyone would get sick of that by the second time, perhaps earlier. And they would want to know why every web site they use is suddenly worse.

freelunch says:

The main confusions

The main confusions in this bill appear to be
Attempting to regulate what a class of algorithms does by limiting its access to automatically collected data.
No clean definition of ranking, the regulated object.
Automatic collection of information equated to lack of transparency
also equated to lack of user buy-in or consent
There must be more, but that’s enough to demonstrate the main point of the post, that this is an extremely confused law. That’s even before you get to the sensible points that automatic data collection can be a wonderful convenience and that the automatic collection bears no logical connection to the goals of the algorithm, good bad or indifferent, other than making them easier to attain.

Thad (profile) says:

For example, a straightforward reading of this bill would mean that no site can automatically determine you’re visiting with a mobile device and format the page accordingly.

I don’t see how.

Layouts are handled client-side, through the browser, generally through CSS and sometimes through JavaScript.

In neither case is the layout handled through supplying data to the server; it’s all handled on the frontend. I don’t see any possible interpretation where this information is "provided by the user to the platform".

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Imagine living in a country where we had the CBO report on what proposed laws would cost & an office that glaringly highlighted bullshit as bullshit.

I know they can’t be an expert on everything, but my fucking god, these laws suggest they have an iq of 50 or the truth no one wants to admit… their corporate sponsors matter more than we do.

Its really sad that our nation makes immigrants pass a test about the nation and a vast majority of congress couldn’t pass the same test.

Anonymous Coward says:

Algorithmic recommendations based on user data aren’t even the problem. They can be hit and miss at times, but they are principally trying to give users what they want. And they’re not that opague either. You know they will be based on what you’ve seen, liked and commented on before.

It’s the behind-the-scenes manipulation NOT based on user data that’s a problem. That’s where you get things like Youtube promoting corporate content over independent creators without any transparency.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Well, one good thing.

Hey, if it passes the majority will get one good thing out of a crap bill:

“that no site can automatically determine you’re visiting with a mobile device and format the page accordingly”

Finally!
How many pages ignore your ‘always show desktop version’ setting.
Manually having to go in and edit mobile options out of a url to make the site work correctly.
This isn’t 2005.

Unfortunately such a miraculous piece of legislation gets shoved into a crap bill.
But who expects anyone in congress to do anything correctly anyway.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Well, one good thing.

Not at all. But just about every major poll confirms the “mobile version” remix is disliked.
The last one over at Tom’s had a 26% hatred rate. Only 4% love.

The idea of “.m” domain formatting is long past use for the majority as to its archaic implementation.

The “mobile” version largest non-extended HTML sites looks like crap and has errors on, every top 5 platform.
Look at archive.org and en.Wikipedia!
Be it iOS/iPadOS, google supported android, WebOS, Windows Arm, or BSDū.
I’ve long called for opt in for “mobile” versions. Not (if you even can) opt out.

Btw it’s not a cookie problem. It’s a non-compliant HTML5 issue.
Most sites ignore the redirect to full option.

I said twice the bill sucks.
But I like half full; not half empty.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Well, one good thing.

"Btw it’s not a cookie problem. It’s a non-compliant HTML5 issue."

If you have an option to set and the site forgets or doesn’t honour the choice you made, it’s usually a cookie problem. Also, bad design is not going to be fixed by reducing the choice of designs that people have.

I appreciate that some sites have a hard problem designing things properly for multiple display types and many older sites have really struggled to adapt to this new way of thinking, but that’s not going to be fixed by telling sites they have to ignore the user agent string that your browser sends to them. In fact, it could have the opposite effect – if they are told they have to revert to a specific universal layout and their data tells them that most people use the "mobile" version, they might decide to remove the "desktop" option.

"I said twice the bill sucks.
But I like half full; not half empty."

A bad bill is a bad bill. The fact that you imagine that under one of numerous outcomes it might make some sites better for your needs is no reason to be optimistic. The law of unintended consequences is always in effect, and if your problem is with bad code and not the concept of multiple display layouts, you’re still going to be stuck with the bad code. Maybe it’ll be less visible to you, but it will exist, as will the corporate culture, developers and practices that created it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Well, one good thing.

So, that’s your response? I point out that your idea of forcing sites to ignore the information you provide them won’t magically fix the problems you have, and may in fact make them worse – and your response is a personal attack on me and someone else?

I have plenty of joy in my life. Then, I decide to volunteer a small amount of my time debunking disingenuous fools online as a further public service.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Well, one good thing.

Attack? No. I didn’t attack anyone.

All I said initially was ‘…oh but at least’
A slight bit of dry humour. But you inability to recognise that and immediate need to go on the attack leaves me explaining what it stated.

I didn’t attack you. I suggested you lighten up a bit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Well, one good thing.

Look at his comment – " The continuing education of all but one child is far more important than any one." That should tell you that he was never interested in supporting anything remotely resembling greater anti-bullying protection. He’d rather a bully get educated than a bully get punished. What a goddamn fucking tool.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

I’m sure a die hard trump supporter would have something to say. I choose the person most likely to represent more of my personal concerns.
I could care less about who, or what party.

The chances of me voting for trump in 24 are minimal. Unless the deep state once again rigs the DNC against the most popular candidate as they in the last two elections.
But seeing the backlash against progressive and woke politics from the Dems it may (hopefully) be a dead concern come 24.

I don’t care if trump has a hard on. For a celebrity, for a guy, woman, his daughter. What turns someone on is none of my business unless we’re copulating, fornicating, or otherwise involved.

Oh:

Who exactly do you think are the ones culling

That would be the Supreme Court that has nearly always ruled in favour of the constitution.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:

yes yes. Family. Friends. Self.
In that order.
Everyone else comes after that.

Now that we understand that: fascism?
You refer to tightly controlled media where only what the ruling party agrees with is run?
Or barring of dissenting speech?
Or advancements and grants and offerings based only on one’s race?
Where education is solely and directed ties not to exploring but to a set of fine points a leader chose?
Where wealth and power are redistributed and not earned?

Sounds a lot like the progressive platform to me.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14

You refer to tightly controlled media where only what the ruling party agrees with is run?

Trump tried to punish outlets critical of him, up to and including a threat to have the broadcast licenses of certain networks “looked at” (read: revoked).

Or barring of dissenting speech?

See above. The conservative-led book banning spree taking place across the country right now⁠—a crusade against books that question the conservative image of America as a “post-racism” nation and confer a sense of humanity upon queer people⁠—also qualifies.

Or advancements and grants and offerings based only on one’s race?

I’m sure some “very fine people” received some very fine “donations” from Trump and his acolytes.

Where education is solely and directed ties not to exploring but to a set of fine points a leader chose?

Donald Trump created the 1776 Commission with the expressed goal of countering both use of The 1619 Project in schools and any teaching of American history that focused on how slavery and racism shaped American society. He did this under the guise of instilling “patriotic education” into schools⁠—regardless of whether such “education” was historically accurate.

Where wealth and power are redistributed and not earned?

Jeff Bezos is worth more money than 99% of the planet combined. He sure as shit didn’t “earn” that money by doing backbreaking physical labor.

Sounds a lot like the progressive platform to me.

Except it isn’t⁠—it’s the Trumpian platform, and it’s the one you supported twice. You’re a fascist; your “me first, fuck everyone else” mindset proves as much.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re:

Well, counter examples then.

Let’s ignore the fact that trump couldn’t do a damn thing about licences and his rhetoric was nothing more than pointing out media that was continuing to lie outright.

We have a defendant on the witness stand state clear as day he was shot while pointing a weapon at someone and MSNBCNN runs hours of hand up nonsense.
The politics are nearly controlling media.

We have the government now calling for bans on speech such as misinformation about vaccinations.

Book bans. Art bans. They rarely have any effect on the public outside of totalitarianism.
Be it Harry Potter or the satanic verses or lady chatterly.
How many times in history was the primary library of Egypt burned?
You going to tell me they’re any different than the Dems running around trying to pull this film or mark that one or censor this or that?
Gone with the wind? Cancelled?

I’m sure some “very fine people” received some very fine “donations” from Trump and his acolytes.

Citation needed.
I don’t know if any donations trump gave out to any group.

But there were two groups there in the “fine people” day.
A bunch of half-breed squirt stain neo nazis and a group of people who simply were protesting the wonton destruction and vandalism of historical monuments.
As far as I know neither group has received donations from trump.

1619 is a)revisionist, b) inaccurate, and c) racial propaganda.
Your claim about historical accuracy falls flat when you talk about 1619.

Jeff Bezos is worth more money than 99% of the planet combined. He sure as shit didn’t “earn” that money by doing backbreaking physical labor.

To educate you, he’s not close to 99% of the world.
Even so: So what. That he earned it by wisely investing in and implementing products and services people want is bad?
Personally, I like Amazon. I just got another delivery as I type this. And all those video services in one spot at a reasonable price!??

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16

Let’s ignore the fact that trump couldn’t do a damn thing about licences and his rhetoric was nothing more than pointing out media that was continuing to lie outright.

Given that Trump believed Article II gave him the power to do whatever the fuck he wanted, let’s not and say we didn’t.

We have the government now calling for bans on speech such as misinformation about vaccinations.

[citation needed; the language must be specific about a call for a government-enforced ban on certain kinds of speech]

Book bans. Art bans. They rarely have any effect on the public outside of totalitarianism.

Wow. I didn’t think you’d actually support banning books, but damn, you’re right on the edge of doing it.

You going to tell me they’re any different than the Dems running around trying to pull this film or mark that one or censor this or that?

Censorship is bullshit regardless of who does it. But right now, the largest calls for censorship⁠—including calls for censoring teachers from even saying certain words like “equality” and “intersectionality”⁠—are coming from conservatives. Show me a Democrat who is trying to censor schools in the exact same way as Republicans are trying to censor schools, and you might have something approaching a point here.

Gone with the wind? Cancelled?

Gone With the Wind was never “cancelled”. DVDs and Blu-rays of the film were never taken off store shelves by retailers or recalled by the distributor. The government didn’t move to ban the film from being aired on TV or displayed in theaters. It was only ever temporarily pulled from HBO Max over concerns about the racist depictions of Black people, and supplemental materials that went up with the film when it returned to HBO Max addressed those issues.

A bunch of half-breed squirt stain neo nazis and a group of people who simply were protesting the [wanton] destruction and vandalism of historical monuments.

I hate to break this to you, but those people protesting those monuments were protesting in favor of monuments dedicated to the kind of country that those Nazis they were marching with would absolutely love. Those who march with Nazis don’t get the benefit of the doubt; if the pro-Confederacy racists didn’t want that association, they should’ve stopped marching with the Nazis.

Oh, and in case you weren’t keeping up with the Charlottesville civil trial, the dressed-in-khakis alt-right dipshits were not the only other group in town that day.

Also: “half-breed”? Jesus, Lozenge, try to sound a little less racist.

1619 is a)revisionist, b) inaccurate, and c) racial propaganda.

It’s still more accurate and less revisionist than the “patriotic” education Trump wanted installed. I doubt he would’ve wanted schools teaching kids anything about slavery that wasn’t whitewashed to make slaves seem like active, willing, and happy participants in their own centuries-long generational subjugation.

he earned it by wisely investing in and implementing products and services people want is bad?

Who makes the products Amazon sells? Who makes those Amazon services run smoothly? Because it sure as shit ain’t the guy making billions of dollars by sitting on his ass every day.

I like Amazon

Amazon is convenient. Amazon is quick. Amazon is paying its lowest-paid employees well below their worth for the value of the daily physical labor they provide.

The wrong Amazon is burning.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17 Re:

citation needed; the language must be specific about a call for a government-enforced ban on certain kinds of speech

This very site has covered Dem attempts at doing that. Attacks on Twitter and Facebook for not doing ‘more’ to stop the spread of misinformation.

Wow. I didn’t think you’d actually support banning books, but damn, you’re right on the edge of doing it.

I don’t. And I’m pointing out how useless it is to try today.

Show me a Democrat who is trying to censor schools in the exact same way as Republicans are trying to censor schools

I can’t and won’t. But show me a Republican who is trying to separate classes by race today. Which is happening in classes. Who me a Republican telling schools that it’s ohkay to teach that being white is itself evil.
Born bad?

We go from one extreme view to the other. You say all you want about triggers and whistles.
We should be teaching that race doesn’t matter. Hating white people is still hate and no better than hating black people.

We need to stop looking at what separates and look at how we are the same.

protesting in favor of monuments dedicated to

Doesn’t matter. The fact is roving bands of people are destroying state and federal property. Are destroying art and monuments with impunity.
Know who else went around destroying statues? The taliban. The Ruge. ISI(letter here).
Great company to keep!

The United States began in 1776. Any other statement date is revisionist, and inaccurate.

You keep going after a person. I’ve long support raising corporate taxes. Not personal taxes.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18

Attacks on Twitter and Facebook for not doing ‘more’ to stop the spread of misinformation.

Saying “Twitter and Facebook could be doing more to stop mis- and disinformation” is not the same as “the government is going to make Twitter and Facebook stop hosting mis- and disinformation”, and you damn well know it.

[Show] me a Republican telling schools that it’s [okay] to teach that being white is itself evil.

Show me a Democrat saying those exact words, since you’re obviously alluding to a situation where such a thing did happen.

We should be teaching that race doesn’t matter.

Asked before, asking again: How do you propose schools teach that without also teaching an accurate recounting of the history of the United States, including slavery and the civil rights movement?

The fact is roving bands of people are destroying state and federal property. Are destroying art and monuments with impunity.

The fact that you’re still defending monuments to a country that seceded from and fought a war with the United States over the right to uphold the institution of slavery⁠—to literally uphold white supremacy⁠—is…telling. But not in the way you think.

The United States began in 1776. Any other statement date is revisionist, and inaccurate.

I could argue that it became an actual country in 1789, which is when the new central government created by the ratification of the Constitution held its first meetings. But that’s just splitting hairs. ????

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Sorry. It wasn’t an attack.
I was simply I stating you appeared generally unhappy.
And suggested you try enjoying companionship with a small cute animal.
If you don’t like dogs or cats many people like bunnies or birds.

Whatever it is though: there’s no need to be angry. No matter how bad things get, there’s always the ability to find something worth smiling about.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Hello Stephen T Stone: you appear generally unhappy.
I suggest you try enjoying companionship with a small cute animal. A puppy. A Kitten.
If you don’t like dogs or cats many people like bunnies or birds.
Whatever it is though: there’s no need to be angry. No matter how bad things get, there’s always the ability to find something worth smiling about.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9

Some dark, horrid, I-wish-I-could-kill-it part of me wants to see Donald Trump win in 2024 only so you can watch the end of American democracy at the hands of Trump and the GOP⁠—because I will show you no pity when it happens and you come begging for an apology for what you’ve helped unleash upon this country.

Own your desire for American fascism, Trumpist. It’s exactly what you voted for⁠—twice.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

Own it? ABSOLUTELY
I voted for Trump not once but twice!!

Twice I made a wise and competent choice. Confidently.
And I assure you I will never beg for an apology. I don’t want it. You voted for a communist and then you voted for a senile old man who has destroyed our economy, destroyed our energy sector, and is well on his way to destroying our country.

Nothing you say will move me to accept your apology.
And I will never apologise for my wise and rational choice in the last two elections.

I’m proud of my votes. I have no reason to not be.
I AM A TRUMP 16 AND TRUMP 20 VOTER.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

Except I’m not worried about your fantasy end of the world MSNBCNN propaganda.

I don’t run around believing I’m a victim because some progressive talking head says I am.

I’m not worried about laws a republican congress comes up with because the Supreme Court will cut down anything unconstitutional.
Just like I’m not worried about the Build Back ScrewYou plan. As most of the most outrageous aspects will be culled in time.
Like paying criminals for breaking the law.

So far the republic only have one single agenda item that affects anyone I know, abortion.
The democrats are attacking me daily.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13

I’m not worried about laws a republican congress comes up with because the Supreme Court will cut down anything unconstitutional.

You keep telling yourself that. The 6–3 conservative-leaning Supreme Court we have for the next few years will likely prove you wrong⁠—especially in re: Roe v. Wade.

most outrageous aspects will be culled in time

Republicans think laws that protect queer people are outrageous. Republicans think letting children read literature with queer characters is outrageous. Republicans think queer people⁠—you know, people like you⁠—even existing is outrageous.

If and when the GOP manages to pull off its fascist takeover of the United States (regardless of whether Donald Trump is in the White House when that happens) how long do you think you’ll last in a country where the law considers you as something worth “culling”? Your being a Trumpist won’t save you when they line you up against the wall, you know.

paying criminals for breaking the law

[citation needed]

the republic[ans] only have one single agenda item that affects anyone I know, abortion

Then you either haven’t been paying attention to, or you agree with, their entire platform.

The democrats are attacking me daily

[citation needed]

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

Republicans think laws that protect queer people are outrageous

Huh? Protect? Like what. Because the only thing I see them standing up against is letting people use the imagined sex to override scientific factual biological gender.

culling

Show me one single thing the republicans have attempted in 20 years that is damaging to me (other than the admitted roe issue)

paying criminals for breaking the law

[citation needed]

3B sets aside payments of millions per family for illegal aliens.

Then you either haven’t been paying attention to, or you agree with, their entire platform.

Or, rather, I use my own brain and don’t let someone else tell me when I am or am not targeted or oppressed.

The democrats are attacking me daily
[citation needed]

Firearms restrictions. Taxation. Land grabs. Grants for MFD that override local ordinance.
Threats to freedom of speech.
Oh, it’s a long list.

Beyond roe. Name a single thing with legislative facts that the republicans have done since 2000 that would be against my interest?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15

the only thing I see them standing up against is letting people use the imagined sex to override scientific factual biological gender

Take a look at the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court right now. Do you really think a 6–3 conservative majority will let Obergefell v. Hodges stand? Do you really think Republicans aren’t going to try making that happen? Because I have a queer-bashing Lieutenant Governor in my home state that would love to tell you otherwise.

The Religious Right and the GOP are so intertwined now that religious conservatives will absolutely use their power to attack queer people⁠—and if you think by “queer” I mean “trans”, you’re deluding yourself. Every civil right that queer people have fought to access⁠—the right to marry, the right to openly serve in the military, the right to not be fucking fired for being queer⁠—can and will be stripped away by the party of Trump if they see the chance to do that.

But hey, it’s not like attacks on the rights of queer people by a party willing to say and do anything to smear queer people is any of your concern, right?

Show me one single thing the republicans have attempted in 20 years that is damaging to me (other than the admitted roe issue)

Their intransigence on fighting climate change, their continued (and ongoing) attempts to break down the wall of separation between church and state, their enacting of socialism for the rich (in the form of tax breaks for the wealthy), and their attempts to repeal Obamacare without any actual full-throated replacement plan ready to go. That’s four in the span of about five minutes. If I had a day’s worth of prep time and the energy to do the research, I could likely quintuple that number.

But hey, it’s not like global climate change, forced religious practice, the growing economic divide, and the destruction of the biggest reform of American healthcare in decades is any of your concern, right?

3B sets aside payments of millions per family for illegal aliens.

[citation needed from a source that has actual credibility; OAN, Fox News, and your ass don’t count]

I use my own brain and don’t let someone else tell me when I am or am not targeted or oppressed.

Then read their goddamned platform. The following is from a section of the 2016 Republican Platform (which was adopted as the 2020 Republican Platform without any changes whatsoever) titled “Marriage, Family, and Society”; any emphasis is mine:

Foremost among those institutions is the American family. It is the foundation of civil society, and the cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of one man and one woman. Its daily lessons — cooperation, patience, mutual respect, responsibility, self-reliance — are fundamental to the order and progress of our Republic. Strong families, depending upon God and one another, advance the cause of liberty by lessening the need for government in their daily lives. Conversely, as we have learned over the last five decades, the loss of faith and family life leads to greater dependence upon government. That is why Republicans formulate public policy, from taxation to education, from healthcare to welfare, with attention to the needs and strengths of the family.

It is also why everyone should be concerned about the state of the American family today, not because of ideology or doctrine, but because of the overwhelming evidence of experience, social science, and common sense. All of which give us these truths about traditional marriage: Children raised in a two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, more likely to do well in school, less likely to use drugs and alcohol, engage in crime or become pregnant outside of marriage. We oppose policies and laws that create a financial incentive for or encourage cohabitation. Moreover, marriage remains the greatest antidote to child poverty. The 40 percent of children who now are born outside of marriage are five times more likely to live in poverty than youngsters born and raised by a mother and father in the home. Nearly three-quarters of the $450 billion government annually spends on welfare goes to single-parent households. This is what it takes for a governmental village to raise a child, and the village is doing a tragically poor job of it.

The data and the facts lead to an inescapable conclusion: Every child deserves a married mom and dad. The reality remains that millions of American families do not have the advantages that come with that structure. We honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the burdens of parenting alone and embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with dignity and respect. But respect is not enough. Our laws and our government’s regulations should recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman and actively promote married family life as the basis of a stable and prosperous society. For that reason, as explained elsewhere in this platform, we do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states. We oppose government discrimination against businesses or entities which decline to sell items or services to individuals for activities that go against their religious views about such activities.

Families formed or enlarged by adoption strengthen our communities and ennoble our nation. Private entities which facilitate adoptions enrich our communities. We support measures such as the First Amendment Defense Act to ensure these entities do not face government discrimination because of their views on marriage and family. We applaud the Republican initiatives which have led to an increase in adoptions, an achievement which should be recognized in any restructuring of the federal tax code. While the number of children in foster care has stabilized, teens who age out of that setting often are abruptly left to face the world on their own. We urge states and community groups to help these young adults become independent.

The GOP doesn’t give a fuck about queer people and their families because the GOP doesn’t think queer people can even have families. Hell, the GOP thinks queer people even trying to have a family is literally part of the downfall of American society.

But hey, it’s not like the GOP actively shitting on queer people to keep its largely religious conservative voter base intact is any of your concern, right?

Oh, it’s a long list.

And this is all happening to you, personally, every day⁠—like, you can prove that actual people are actually and explicitly attacking you in those ways during the course of a given day? Because if not: Your “threats” are as imagined as the Critical Race Theory courses being taught in K-12 schools.

Name a single thing with legislative facts that the republicans have done since 2000 that would be against my interest?

I can name one thing since 2000 that they pushed for, voted for, and ultimately signed into law that went against everyone’s best interests: The Patriot Act.

But hey, it’s not like Americans losing a shitload of their civil liberties to authoritarian government entities out of a fear of international terrorism while being taught to ignore or downplay domestic terrorism (which is largely committed by right-wing groups) is any of your concern, right?

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16 Re:

Obergefell v. Hodges?
Maybe. Maybe not.
But my stance on the practice is already quite clear.
In most states a level equality was already there for domestic partnerships.
If you need a term as a stamp of approval you have some personal concerns beyond how you check a box on a tax form.
And ultimately the entire practice should be faded out of legal recognition as the archaic practice it is.

Serve openly? They did so since the 60s. It wasn’t until don’t ask don’t tell that the openness was shoved under the rug. That was a Democrat, btw.
As far as employment… I think we have too many protections in the first place. Why should a catholic company be forced to hire a queer or a satanist? Or maintain their employment?
You’re one of the ones So big on association! How a web site shouldn’t be forced to be “associated” with someone or something.
How is it any different in a physical company not wanting to be associated with that?
This is the hypocrisy I keep pointing out.
Should a porn shop be forced to maintain employment of a pastor?

intransigence on fighting climate change?
Only a small number of republicans out right deny it. Most are on record saying it’s something that needs more, proper, research.
With thought out changes, not immediate over reactions.
But there’s also the reality that, at the worst, we are only speeding the process of natural climate patterns.
If man never burned a single piece of coal Florida would still eventually be underwater. It was in the past and will be again.

attempts to break down the wall of separation between church and state?
Where. Honestly. Dems have full control of government. Again. We still have prayer and 10 commandments and religious displays in Congress.
Intelligent design? In reality it’s a hypothesis. I’m not against it being covered along with others. Evolution is itself a theory. And nobody has yet to prove we weren’t seeded by Aliens.
I’m a proud card carrying member of Freedom From Religion Foundation. I’m not worried.

their enacting of socialism for the rich (in the form of tax breaks for the wealthy)?
I support a flat tax or a semi flexible tax with a basement level and a ceiling. My opinion hasn’t changed in 40 years.

and their attempts to repeal Obamacare?
I though you preferred affordable care act. Isn’t using Obama care surrender to the republicans?
And be realistic. It’s a bad act. It helped a few thousand families to the detriment of the majority of the country.
We were promised “affordable” insurance. Instead we got mandates and penalties based on rules no lay person can figure out.
The poor got free help in navigating the rules. The rich paid someone to do it for them. And the 80% got screwed.

3B sets aside payments of millions per family for illegal aliens.

[citation needed from a source that has actual credibility; OAN, Fox News, and your ass don’t count]

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-biden-administration-is-considering-450-000-payments-to-families-separated-at-the-border-under-trump/ar-AAQ4BZQ

You want to focus on marriage. I made my point clear above and elsewhere.
It’s a concern I don’t share.

The Patriot Act?
Oh, privacy. Lol.
An act as messed up as Obama care and BBB.
I’m against must pass mega bills as a whole. Doesn’t matter what party makes, or adds to, them.

And I don’t personally downplay domestics. Be it Antifa with their tentacles in dem PACs or the Christian Brotherhood entwined in conservative PACs.
But both of those are rarely discussed compared to the Dem boogiemen of today’s cycle.

See, a present on demand paper’s please society is a good thing. A single ID, paid for and supplied by the federal government. Vax status, residency/citizenship, gun permits, driving licensure, communicable diseases, address, passport, insurance, everything.
But neither party is doing something useful like that.

So I continue to support the party least likely to do the most harm to my bubble of existence. Whichever it happens to be.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17

In most states a level equality was already there for domestic partnerships.

No, it wasn’t. Legally, domestic partnerships were not the same thing as marriage, in that those in a partnership were given access to the same rights and privileges as those in a marriage.

ultimately the entire practice should be faded out of legal recognition

Your objections to the word “marriage” and its connections to religion are noted and dismissed.

I think we have too many protections in the first place.

Of course you do~.

Why should a catholic company be forced to hire a queer or a satanist?

Any company that wants to serve the general public shouldn’t have the right to discriminate based on religious belief or sexual orientation (among other factors). If a Catholic business owner wants to discriminate in hiring, they can go private.

How is it any different in a physical company not wanting to be associated with that?

A company that purports to serve the general public must also hire from the general public. It doesn’t (and shouldn’t) get to decide who makes up “the general public”. If a company doesn’t want to hire queer people, it can find ways around any law that says it can’t discriminate⁠—but if it’s trying that hard to be queer-unfriendly, why the fuck would a queer person even want to work there.

Should a porn shop be forced to maintain employment of a pastor?

Forced? No. But if the pastor asks for a job there and does the exact job for which they were hired? Well, they shouldn’t be fired for their religious beliefs, that’s for damn sure.

Only a small number of republicans out right deny it. Most are on record saying it’s something that needs more, proper, research.

Denial by another name is still denial. The research has been done by scientists who know what they’re talking about; at this point, doing something about climate change means averting the worst-case scenario. That the research doesn’t make you feel all happy inside about the planet you’re leaving to the next generation (and the generation after that) is no excuse to deny its truth.

With thought out changes, not immediate over reactions.

Remember what I said about “averting the worst-case scenario”? The time for “thought-out changes” and incrementalism is over. At this point, the only actions we can really take to prevent the worst-case scenario for climate change are bold, extreme, and (relatively) immediate. That’s because conservative lawmakers have spent decades denying and decrying the science of climate change until even they could no longer fully ignore its effects. Major oil and energy companies bought their own science and did their best to hide their roles in climate change, but now even they can no longer reasonably deny that they are the biggest polluters in the world. Right now, the only solutions to averting the worst effects of climate change in our lifetimes⁠—if we can even do that!⁠—are going to be “extreme” in nature.

at the worst, we are only speeding the process of natural climate patterns. If man never burned a single piece of coal Florida would still eventually be underwater.

That doesn’t mean we have to “help” speed up that process by a few centuries-to-millennia.

attempts to break down the wall of separation between church and state? Where.

The Trump administration instituted rules that allowed federal contractors to discriminate against racial and religious minorities, women, and queer people in the name of protecting “religious liberty”. (Source)

Donald Trump himself vowed to dismantle the Johnson Amendment, though he only ever signed an executive order encouraging leniency on enforcement of the amendment. (Source)

The Trump administration released a mandate that said employers could cite religious objection as grounds to withhold free birth control from employee health care plans. (Source)

Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education during the Trump administration, funneled $180 million of pandemic relief funds intended for public education institutions to private and religious schools. (Source)

Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, said the following at a GOP primary debate held last month by the Center for Christian Virtue: “The secular left, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a lot of these Soros-funded organizations⁠—they advance the argument that the separation of church and state exists, and, for that reason, you can’t teach kids about religion. My personal feeling is: There’s no such thing as separation of church and state.” (Source)

A Christian organization is suing Missouri over a law intended to provide simple base-level oversight over unlicensed faith-based schools⁠—oversight that makes such schools do things like register with the state, conduct federal background checks on staffers and volunteers, and comply with fire/health/safety codes. (Source 1), (Source 2)

A Texas lawmaker filed a resolution earlier this year that, if passed, would designate the Bible (which one was never specified) as the official state book of Texas. (Source)

…I could go on, but goddamn, you literally have the entire fucking Internet at your disposal. Read something other than right-wing garbage.

I though you preferred affordable care act. Isn’t using Obama care surrender to the republicans?

I use them interchangably when I see fit. Don’t like it? Sue me.

It’s a bad act. It helped a few thousand families to the detriment of the majority of the country.

And yet, those “few thousand families” would’ve lost that help if the Republicans had managed to repeal the ACA. I mean, it’s not like they (or Trump) had a plan for replacing it⁠—because if they did, they would’ve shown it off already.

[MSN link]

Even if I buy that this is a serious proposal that will actually happen, for what reason shouldn’t the U.S. government compensate people whose families were ripped apart by direct actions of U.S. government agents that were endorsed by the highest levels of said government?

I don’t personally downplay domestics.

…says the guy who continues to push the lie that the insurrection of January 6th was a peaceful protest against (non-existent) voter fraud.

Antifa with their tentacles in dem PACs

ahahahahahahahaha what the fuck are you talking about

I continue to support the party least likely to do the most harm to my bubble of existence.

You’re a queer atheist. Proclaim your love for Trump all you want; the Republican lawmakers and conservative voters who want Christian fascism to rule America will slaughter you even if you tell them you’re one of “the good f⸻s”.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re:

Legally, domestic partnerships were not the same thing as marriage.

Well they receive the same tax rates as marriage. What else is there beyond the use of the term.
Not all states but most. But congress could have easily elevated that at the national level.

If a Catholic business owner wants to discriminate in hiring, they can go private.

Should Facebook? They have the right to, as you call it, association. Why does the right of associating only extend to companies you agree with?

Should the NAACP be forced to hire or retain a neo nazi?

why the fuck would a queer person even want to work there.

That’s exactly my point. If a company doesn’t want you, why force the issue?

Climate? So what: kill oil lines. Gas is over $4 and rising. You didn’t stop demand, you increased the cost. People aren’t buying less gas. Or driving less. They’re buying less secondary goods. Reducing services. Donating less.

You kill coal? Energy prices go up. People don’t use less energy. And they don’t run out and by Chinese plastic replacement devices. They buy less secondary good. Reduce services, donate less.

Appears kind of self aggrandising! To start, your not changing anything. Only delaying the inevitable. By what, a dozen generations? 100 years?
Your solution of yank the plug only drives the poor into destitution. And drives the middle class to poor.
It’s just like ACA. Replace. And the government should pay to do so.

rules that allowed federal contractors to discriminate against racial and religious minorities, women, and queer people in the name of protecting “religious liberty”.

Back here again. You think people shouldn’t be allowed to practice their own preferences.
I don’t understand why you would want to force someone who hates you to be your employer. Sounds like a bigotry tax.
You must pay me because you don’t like me.
Personally, I would have just cut all religious contractors. Discrimination should be a choice and faced with consequences. If a contractor discriminates you cut the contract.

And I don’t understand why a non-profit company should be barred from political opinions in public.

The Trump administration released a mandate that said employers could cite religious objection as grounds to withhold free birth control from employee health care plans

Yes, yet another failure of poor health care in this country.

funneled $180 million of pandemic relief funds intended for public education institutions to private and .

First, all “religious” schools are private.
And you believe the children should suffer because their parents believe in cloud people?

Josh Mandel is a religious freak. Vote for against that. Or for or against other things he says. I didn’t vote for him and don’t know what hi platform is/was. I’m not in Ohio.

A Christian organization is suing Missouri over a law intended to provide simple base-level oversight over unlicensed faith-based schools⁠

If a school is unlicensed nothing that takes place counts towards education. It’s up to licensed organisation to determine if such students qualify for entry to licensed organisations later on.
Personally, I don’t think the state should spend ANY educational money on them. Since they produce nothing within state educational guidelines.
Such places are, at most, day care centres and should be treated as such.

A Texas lawmaker filed a resolution earlier this year that, if passed, would designate the Bible (which one was never specified) as the official state book of Texas

And? Shouldn’t the state have a right to that, as much as a bird, tree, or plant? It’s not like that can’t be changed next term anyway.

I use them interchangably when I see fit. Don’t like it? Sue me.

Nah, that would make me a hypocrite. You have the right to free speech.

what reason shouldn’t the U.S. government compensate people whose families

…violated our national sovereignty.

The non-insurrection was nothing more than a large protest with small spots of violence. The only difference between that one and every other protest recently, including attempting to burn people alive in a federal courthouse, was the location and the cause.

what the fuck are you talking about

Antifa with their tentacles in dem PACs

Proclaim your love for Trump all you want

I’m not afraid of your propaganda. I made my bed. That’s where you’ll find me.
You have yet to show anything that happened in the trump administration that was negative to myself, my family, or my friends.

Compared to Dems who have been screaming they coming for our weapons, our money, our single family houses, our freedom of speech, our gas powered cars, our right to movement/liberty, …

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19

Y’know, I could go on and on with you…at great length, believe me…but one sentence in your post tells me all I need to know about you…

You have yet to show anything that happened in the trump administration that was negative to myself, my family, or my friends.

…and it tells me that you’re a selfish cunt.

I hate to sound like a bad parody of The Joker, but I have to say it: We live in a society. That society doesn’t cater exclusively to the whims of you and your loved ones⁠—it exists outside of your desires and hopes and dreams. But the decisions you make in regard to who gets to govern society affects everyone in that society, for better or for worse.

The Trump administration actively worked to harm immigrants (legal or otherwise), Muslims, transgender people, the poor, people who live in cities/states that Trump didn’t win in 2016, and God knows how many other groups of people. The effects of the Trump administration may not have reached you, but plenty of other people felt them acutely and directly. (Not that you give a fuck, apparently.)

The administration, as well as the GOP in general, spent four-plus years reveling in lies, damn lies, and hatred. They spent four-plus years hiding in an echo chamber of falsehoods and “alternative facts”, and in doing so, they helped tear at the fabric of American society. Our politics are more divided than ever because Republicans have turned increasingly radical to win elections⁠—they have embraced open bigotry and conspiracy theorism, lied to their voting base to make them paranoid, fought against expanding (and protecting) the franchise that is voting rights, and done everything they can to avoid addressing a simple fact: They have no plans for governance that can win majority support in the United States.

And your selfishness helped all of this happen. You voted in your own best interests while refusing to think about what your vote could do to American society. To this day, you still refuse to look at the bigger picture of what Trump, Trumpism, and the Republicans have done to American society⁠—to address, even only with yourself, how your vote for an elderly narcissistic bigot with authoritarian tendencies gave license to the vilest possible behavior from his supporters both within and outside of government. I’d ask why you avoid that introspection, but you’ve already provided the answer: The only people that matter to you are “myself, my family, [and] my friends”⁠—and if you weren’t personally victimized by the Trump administration, the fact that other people were victimized doesn’t matter to you.

Society works best when we can find compromise and seek to help one another live our best lives. The GOP⁠—which is now the party of Trump and Trumpism, thanks to people like you⁠—cares about society in the same way you do: as a means to live a life of relative comfort regardless of the personal suffering of those who aren’t themselves.

Your selfishness hurt other Americans⁠—maybe not in ways you know (or care about), but it hurt them all the same. My decision to vote for Biden may lead to the Biden administration hurting other people, and I will feel remorse for my small role in helping cause that hurt. You, apparently, lack any remorse whatsoever for your small role in the significant amount of hurt that Trump caused.

No wonder you love him like you’re gay for him: You’re both selfish, shameless sociopaths.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:20 Re:

and it tells me that you’re a selfish cunt.

Funny!
What part of family, friends, self, in that order: is hard to understand.

If there’s any time, money, or energy left after those three I’ll look into strangers.

it exists outside of your desires and hopes and dreams.

Yep. That goes for all parties in this country.
I chose those who protect my interests best. Not yours.

But where outside of dem propaganda did trump try to hurt legal immigrants. Given I’m not native to this land and my family immigrated… I think I’d be worried if true.
And sure, you can jump to some lopsided way out there fringe to say banning known terrorist supporting countries, who’s populations happen to be 90%+ Muslim, is harmful to Muslims. In those countries. But that’s not what the ban was for.

transgender people? Your beliefs don’t align with mine.

How did he hurt the poor? Citation?

cities/states that Trump didn’t win?
Oh, those locations violating federal immigration law? Breaking the law (should have consequences).

but plenty of other people felt them acutely and directly.

And I will directly feel the damage of many Dem policies. I already feel the gas prices. And you’ll raid my taxes. Directly in federal raises and/or indirectly as local sales’ taxes in dem counties and cities and states continue to climb well beyond the means of the local residents to pay.

They have no plans for governance that can win majority support in the United States

Yet trump won 16. We have Republican gains in 20 at every level except the president. Your dem majority congress is literally hair thin.

I voted for what I want. I don’t care if you disagree any more than you care about my opinion.

the fact that other people were victimized doesn’t matter to you

Bingo. I do have a bleeding heart that makes my fall over and cry every time someone has to take some personal responsibility in their lives.
There’s 7 billion people on the planet. My brain isn’t worried about them.
I’m more worried about when general food will be on the shelves again. When will we have toilet paper. Clean drinking water.

Society works best when we can find compromise

Tell that to the progressives who have no interest in compromise and won’t stop until we’re all dependent on socialised welfare and forced to do what the government says when they say it.

The big fn city’s needs don’t match the suburban needs don’t match rural needs. Maybe next time you want to worry about the planet in 2200 you may think about the farmers who couldn’t transport their crops this year, or last. Leaving billions in food rotting in piles in fields.

You help people by helping them stand up. Not handing them dependence.

Your goal to crush anyone not in New York, La, Chicago… because all you care about is the ones in the cities. Any one else’s concerns are just selfish.

Look in the mirror

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21

Your goal to crush anyone not in New York, La, Chicago

My goal, such as it can be, is to improve the lives of the marginalized and less fortunate⁠—regardless of where they live. A queer person in Bumfuck, Arkansas deserves the same chance at living a fulfilling life as does a straight person living in New York City. A poor Black person in Chicago deserves as much of a chance at success as does a rich White person in some “Bible Belt” town in the deep South.

My problem with people who oppose this ideology⁠—the ideology of society, of cooperation, of working together to raise up as many people as possible⁠—is that they’re big believers in the “fuck you got mine” mindset. You yourself have admitted to being someone who literally can’t be bothered to give even a single fuck about the same society in which you live. You’ve advocated, even if only by implication, for widening the wealth gap and further marginalizing trans people (among other horrid positions) because you admit you don’t give a fuck about the poor and the marginalized.

Hell, in the comments on this article alone, you’re acting like people who want to see the federal minimum wage raised to something approaching a living wage are bastards trying to install luxury gay space communism and guillotine everyone making over $100,000 a year or some shit. I’m someone who wants the minimum wage raised for the sake of the poor and the marginalized who could use that money to improve their lives, and you think that’s a horrible mindset to have.

Policies that help the poor can help poor people who disagree with me, and I’m okay with that. Policies that protect the marginalized from discrimination can also protect the majority, and I’m okay with that. You’re the one who has a problem with and a government willing to take care of its least well-off peoples and…how did you put it…oh yeah, “too many protections” for the marginalized. Our government should want to care for and protect those people; policies and politics that make the lives of those people worse are abhorrent and immoral.

You have no compassion, no empathy, and no remorse for lacking both those qualities. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your blackhearted soul.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21 Re:

"I’m more worried about when general food will be on the shelves again. When will we have toilet paper. Clean drinking water."

Why don’t you have those things? I do, and I also have basic employment rights, guaranteed healthcare, etc.

"Maybe next time you want to worry about the planet in 2200 you may think about the farmers who couldn’t transport their crops this year, or last"

The farmers who will be devastated be climate change if you don’t do something to stop this crap? Or, are you OK with their great grandchildren paying the price so long as they’re comfortable now?

Are you actually so stupid that you think climate change only affects cities?

"Leaving billions in food rotting in piles in fields."

That’s not a problem with "socialists" or attempts to ensure future generations have a habitable climate. There’s the transportation, the fuel, the networks. The problem is that it’s not profitable to get the food to where it’s needed.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:

"Except I’m not worried about your fantasy end of the world MSNBCNN propaganda."

I love the fact that people dumb enough to vote for Trump, despite all the evidence of how destructive and incompetent he way, always have to invent a strawman to attack instead of the actual person’s stated positions in from of them, then claim that they’re the ones dealing with reality.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re:

How about trying to destroy the EPA, or do you like drinking polluted water, and eating contaminated food? Also, withdrawing from the Paris agreement was an act likely to condemn future generation to wars famines and disease as populations are forced to move because of sea level rises, or temperatures getting too hot for part of the year.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16 Re:

Destroy the epa? Wow you drink the punch don’t you.

The Paris agreement was a joke that allowed the two largest polluters to make zero changes based on promises of ‘some day’.
I praised that day when we left.

As for all your end of the world mad max… that’s going to happen eventually with or without human changes. It’s called the natural cycle of our planet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re:

"Fuck you, got mine" seems to be his entire reason. Let’s not forget, this fucker keeps whining about a lack of anti-bullying protection but his priority is to make sure everyone else’s time and resources don’t get disrupted. He’ll gladly let the status quo run roughshod over a victim rather than risk trouble standing up to assholes.

The faux quotes of Lostinlodos aren’t an exaggeration. You can’t parody an asshole this gaping and big.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19 Re:

Intriguing! Using bullying in your comment.
Because your type appear to say ‘I see I want I take’!
Sounds just like being a bully to me. Let’s take all the people who have something, anything you want, turn them upside down, and shake till whatever you are after falls out.

Yet I’m the bully? Or arse? Or cunt?

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21 Re:

Progressively minded. Tax tax tax, spend spend spend.
Do what I say or your selfish.

The same ones who usually are: Rules for thee, not for me.
And NIMBY.

Take from the haves and give to the have nots. That doesn’t work. Because the have nots become the haves and the haves are now have nots.

There’s not long term thought process in this. You have a goal and will reach it by scorched society.
You know what happens when the corner store making 25k per year and pays it’s 4 employees $10/hr suddenly has to pay $15 or 18? They Jack the prices or go out of business.
Every time you raise the wage you raise the prices. You simply change the numbers, not the spread.

2/3 of the country is inaccessible to permanent solar rollout as a primary source. The north doesn’t have long enough days half the year. The Midwest suffers more damaging storms annually than all hurricanes combined.
The destructive area may be local but you can’t set up solar in tornado alley.
Hydro is beyond damaging to aquatic life. Save the whales, fuck the fish.

What are you going to do to power 350 million electric cars without coal or oil? Huh?

You look at the so called billionaires. Tax them. Amazon is a fluke. You know what Apple, Google, Facebook have as actual expendable financing! It’s under a million each.
You bytch about t mobile sprint? What happens when you Jack up taxes on companies like apple? Layoffs.
Unemployment, then welfare.

We haven’t done anything about the homeless citizens in this country. Most of that population is vets and/or challenged.
Yet we ignore millions more “migrants” with no tracking or control.

The plans are arse up!
You intend to help a few thousand by destroying dozens of millions’ way of life.
You aren’t helping anyone by handing them something taken out of their boss who now fires them. Or goes out of business not to.

You don’t need to take more money. You need to spend less on useless things.

You only care about your group of concerns. You’re no different than I am.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:22 Re:

The immediate comment above playing out exactly as the alt-right playbook aside…

Because your type appear to say ‘I see I want I take’!

Ah, yes. Because someone else got angry that a bully’s victim got treated badly, you assume that I must want to lay claim to all your possessions. Probably your guns, too, because your affection for them appears to be Freudian in nature.

Yet I’m the bully? Or arse? Or cunt?

Someone who claims to want more anti-bullying protection, but goes out of his way to make sure that everyone else but the victim is protected? It’s arguable whether you’re a bully or not, but you are one hell of an arse and cunt. You mock others when they spend time talking about why a bully should be punished instead of lobbying for anti-bullying protection laws, but from your post history it’s clear that you spend far more energy explaining why pushing for anti-bullying protection isn’t worth the resources spent, or disruption to everyone else’s lives.

For someone who claims to not hold any religious affiliation, and in fact makes it a point to shit on them, you sure put up an extremely convincing impression of a Bible-thumping advocate of "if someone smacks you on the left cheek, turn to the side and let them smack you on the other cheek". It’d be far too bothersome to punish bullies so fuck the victims, right?

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23 Re:

why pushing for anti-bullying protection isn’t worth the resources spent, or disruption to everyone else’s lives.

How you go from “we need better laws protecting the reporting of bullies” to that… ???

It’s like protecting service suppliers: where you agreed with me.
Nobody should be allowed to be sued for anything anyone posts other than the poster. By law. By amendment. Ever.
Remember that.

Same here. Reporting bullying should be protected from any and any legal repercussions.
Slander and libel laws don’t work. Alex Jones was just held responsible for actual actions his fans committed.
We have the house arguing over a parody anime (let’s not forget the decapitated trump head memes). Hypocrites.

The school gets a report of bullying ideally the bully gets punished. If the threats are actual, the bully deals with the police. Punching someone over lunch money is still assault.

And I didn’t miss the fact that you are stuck on me considering the well being of the majority of the kids at the school and the schools ability to care for all, by being sued by some spoiled brat’s parents… you ignore every piece of discussion I put out there above.
You shrug it off as alt right despite the fact that 10 years ago I was the standard democrat opinion. And despite the fact that the vast majority of my opinions have majority support.

MSNBCNN is not the Democrat party. They cliff dive of viewership should show you that.

Ultimately, it’s quite clear you have your opinions and don’t care about anyone else’s.
We have different opinions but you hold yours just as “selfishly” as I hold mine.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

the well being of the majority of the kids at the school and the schools ability to care for all, by being sued by some spoiled brat’s parents

I’m stuck on that because it’s the same trash arguments used by schools to justify non-action against bullies when it happened to me. Arguments like yours are an impediment to the bully reporting protection you claim to support. Arguments like yours are the justification that schools use to say, "If we did anything to the bully, it’d be too inconvenient for us to deal with the potential aftermath. You’re the loser who’s the weakest link and nobody else has a problem with you getting harassed, so go fuck yourself."

Luckily for you, you managed to break your bully’s nose. Good for you. Not everyone has that sort of liberty. Especially after you kept insisting that the fact that you broke your bully’s nose means that schools have to bend over backwards to prevent that from happening, but not prevent the bullying from happening.

You shrug it off as alt right

The opinions I refer to as "alt-right" – the insistence that any action on topics such as climate or equity is pointless because you’d be robbing from the rich or middle class to support the poor – were the opinions I ignored for the majority of my post.

I will note, however, that there is an underlying theme of "the status quo must be preserved, at all costs if necessary" in both your responses. Climate action is meaningless because any action taken would require "ruining the lives of millions" as you put it. Protecting victims of bullying is meaningless because America is a litigation-happy country and the schools must be protected from bullying parents, thus bullied children are an acceptable sacrifice for keeping the peace.

I don’t shrug you off as alt-right. What I do is observe that for someone who claims to not be on the right, or the alt-right, you put up a suspiciously accurate impression of one.

Ultimately, it’s quite clear you have your opinions and don’t care about anyone else’s.

You keep trying to push that like it’s some sort of damning point. "You’re as bad as me! Therefore you don’t get to argue!" It’s a tired trope of a copout. It’s a sad attempt to win the argument by lowering it down to your level then waving the "I WIN" flag because "heads I win, tails you lose".

If believing that victims of bullying shouldn’t get handcuffed because a bully’s parent is an asshole makes me selfish, sure.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25 Re:

If believing that victims of bullying shouldn’t get handcuffed because a bully’s parent is an asshole makes me selfish, sure.

There’s a difference between saying I understand the school’s reaction given the legal reality and
Say…
Hey, your focus is in the wrong place.

It’s not that the school did what it did; it’s the reason why.

It’s not that I believe kids should not be handcuffed, it’s that the bully should make the walk of shame out the door and the school should be 100% protected in making that call.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:26 Re:

Hey, your focus is in the wrong place.

Once in a while you demonstrate a modicum of self-realization.

It’s not that I believe kids should not be handcuffed

There’s no disagreement there. I am thoroughly convinced you don’t believe kids should not be handcuffed.

it’s that the bully should make the walk of shame out the door and the school should be 100% protected in making that call.

But until then, you think that maintaining the status quo of avoiding the potential of getting sued by a bully’s parent in case a bullied victim acts out like you is the highest priority, and making sure that everyone else, including the bully, has an undisrupted schooling experience, is far more important than that of a bullied victim.

I’d ask you, again, how you think pushing this narrative by simping for the school like an incel for gamer girl bathwater, is constructive in pushing for the anti-bullying protection you insist you actually want, but I suspect I already have the answer. Anything that disrupts the majority to protect a smaller minority is unviable, unreasonable and unacceptable to you. I see it reading up your other responses along this thread. Defending a bullied victim is selfish. Standing up to an asshole parent and putting the school at risk is selfish.

You’re not a bully, just the same kind of simping hanger-on who watches the school bully pummel a victim into a bloody pulp, then insist to the teacher that the nerd hit the bully’s fist with his stomach first.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27 Re:

That’s a fine point. But it’s not an accurate view of my stance.

Let me make this plain text:
The solution to bad laws is not to bytch about how people react to the law. The solution is to fix/change bad laws.

This is a perfect example of such a bad law. The school chose to act in the way least likely to be damaging to the whole of the location’s body.
So we must fix the law so the school’s first choice for best solution involves walking that bully out the door in handcuffs with two uniformed cops.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:28

You can say that, but given how you advocated for a change in the law while still complaining about how the school could be sued for doing the right thing under such changed laws, you’ve proven that you give less of a fuck about doing the right thing and more of a fuck about making the school give in to a bully(’s parents).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:28 Re:

The solution to bad laws is not to bytch about how people react to the law. The solution is to fix/change bad laws.

Nah, chumley, what you thought was a solution was to first bitch about the people bitching about how people reacted to the law. That was already made clear from the get go.

This is a perfect example of such a bad law. The school chose to act in the way least likely to be damaging to the whole of the location’s body.

What law are you even talking about here? What law even exists that guarantees a rich parent will be able to ruin a school by lawsuit? Again, even in your supposed "plaintext" your priority is protecting the school, not the victim of bullying. But given your angry wall of "and fors" that you dropped when confronted this isn’t even a surprise anymore.

So we must fix the law so the school’s first choice for best solution involves walking that bully out the door in handcuffs with two uniformed cops.

As someone who was bullied relentlessly even I could tell you that as much as I sorely wished those who tormented me could be treated as such, this would not be an effective method for getting the bullying to stop. If you think that a law that guarantees a school’s privilege to send away a kid in handcuffs is constructive for stopping bullying, what I can say is you have an irrationally strong faith in systems and authorities and an assumption that it won’t be subject to abuse. Particularly by – wait for it – rich parents who genuinely could not give two fucks about the rule and letter of the law. You know, the people you think this supposed law will protect schools from.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:22

Again, I could rip you apart point-by-point at great length, but I’d rather not waste that much of my time. So I’mma just stick to one thing that caught my eye:

Every time you raise the wage you raise the prices.

Here’s a fun question: For what reason must prices be raised when wages are raised? The answer: profit.

A corporation wants to make as much money as possible, which is why most corporations keep their wages as low as the society in which they operate will accept. But when wages are raised, profits go down⁠—and even a small loss of profit for a company that makes billions every year is unacceptable to the executives who reap the most reward from that profit. (And in many cases, it is unacceptable to the shareholders, who often demand constant profit growth every year.)

Prices don’t go up to pay for the rising wages of workers. Prices go up to make sure executives can keep their insane salaries intact. But hey, keep telling me about that flat tax idea⁠—and while you’re at it, tell me how trickle-down economics works, too. I’m sure it’ll all make sense once you explain it~.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23 Re:

Here’s a fun question: For what reason must prices be raised when wages are raised? The answer: profit.

Correct. That’s a key aspect of business. Profit.
Otherwise it’s charity.

even a small loss of profit for a company that makes billions every year…

Except you aren’t doing anything to those companies! What you are doing is guaranteeing the corner shop goes under.
Because walmart and Amazon keep selling 25cents of bread for $1. The guy pulling $20k with 4 or 5 employees can’t compete. When all the little guys locally close up the walmart et al raise the bread price to $1.50.

Prices don’t go up to pay for the rising wages of workers.

Or, prices go up to make sure profit margins stay the same.
You didn’t do anything to change that.
Unless you intend to institute price caps and tread into communism in doing so… ?
All you did was make things more expensive for those that are poor.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

"All you did was make things more expensive for those that are poor."

…and why are they poor? Is it maybe because all the employers willing to pay a living wage have been driven out of business by those corporations who refuse to do so, thus ensuring that they have to scrape by on food stamps?

It’s amazing. You’re so brainwashed by ooga booga communism that you manage to both identify the problem and oppose the solutions because the US is., unlike most of the rest of the world, somehow unable to care for its own citizens without becoming Stalinist or something.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26

your solution is to make sure the businesses left go out of business creating more unemployed AND increase the cost of living for them at the same time?

Maybe they wouldn’t be going out of business if mega-corporations would stop raising prices on everything so they can keep making tens of billions of dollars in profit instead of single-digit billions of dollars in profit.

Maybe they wouldn’t be going out of business if mega-corporations also raised wages so that people could afford to buy things other than the bare necessities in life (if even that).

Maybe they wouldn’t be going out of business if people like you would stop kissing corporate ass because you think people worth billions of dollars⁠—people who didn’t do nearly the same amount of work to “earn” their obscene wealth as people who earn minimum wage put in to earn even that pittance⁠—don’t deserve to be “punished” for their success(ful exploitation of the lower class).

But sure, all these businesses are being driven out of business because of people who want to be paid a wage that lets them worry less about being one bad day away from homelessness~. That’s gotta be the root cause~. Can’t be all that other shit I said~.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27 Re:

I’m not sure how screwed up a person’s worldview has to be to look at a system where workers are exploited at poverty wages and people can’t be paid a living wage without their employer being driven out of business by mega corporations who hoard the country’s wealth in the pockets of a tiny group of people, and conclude that the problem is the people asking to not have to claim government benefits to survive after a full week’s work. But, it’s definitely screwed up.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29

And yet, when pressed on how to solve the living wage issue, you balk at the idea of the government asking corporations and the obscenely wealthy to give up a small fraction of their profits as a means of more fairly compensating the exploited worker class for their labor.

Who do you think deserves a bigger slice of the billions of dollars that Amazon rakes in every year: Jeff Bezos or the thousands of workers in Amazon warehouses whose very presence determines whether Amazon stays in business?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26 Re:

If the business is being run so poorly that merely paying its staff a living wage to ensure that they don’t have to claim food stamps after a full week’s work to survive, it deserves to die. Better that and the employees being helped while looking for a decent employer, than both they and the public being exploited so they can hoard the profits themselves.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

"Except you aren’t doing anything to those companies! What you are doing is guaranteeing the corner shop goes under."

Weird. Because here in Europe we do have higher minimum wages than anywhere in the US – by a lot. Our businesses do just fine.

Our taxes for the wealthy ar higher than in the US – and we still do just fine.

After tallying US state taxes, federal taxes, and the non-optional insurances for health and dental…you guys spend 43% of your paycheck in taxes. We get away with average 34% or so.

Everyone here has healthcare which costs about 1/3th of yours and has the only limit of "until you get cured" rather than "until your health plan runs out".

Every type of infrastructure we get more for less than you do, pay less, and in the middle income bracket, get more left over.

And I’ll tell you how that works; it’s because "Fuck you, got mine" is, in the long run, inefficient and self-destructive.

Oh, yeah, and can’t recall if "Biden’s paying the poor immigrants Trump hurt shitloads of money" was in your parroted set of alt-right talking points but I’ll address that as well since it serves as a pretty good example of how Trump hurt your interests.

What Trump did on the border, see, was illegal according to US law. Those migrants are suing the state. And they’ll win humongous amounts of money if allowed to proceed to court. Biden offered them a minor settlement. Better hope they accept that or a lot more of your tax money goes to crime victims courtesy of Dear Leader.

And you keep telling people democrats hurt you every day while the alt-right has you persuaded that paying a sensible minimum wage will – unlike everywhere else in the world – cripple your economy. Maybe you ought to look at the economies and general prosperity of France, Germany and scandinavia before buying that load of steaming bullshit.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25 Re:

"Weird. Because here in Europe we do have higher minimum wages than anywhere in the US – by a lot. Our businesses do just fine."

Wow, apparently that’s impossible though. I mean, worker protections are clearly communism, while any attempt by smaller companies to look after their employees inevitably leads to justified destruction of competitors through anti-competitive means. So, how can Europe offer a living wage with healthcare, guaranteed time off and other rights’?

A pure mystery, it must mean that they need to hand more control over to corporations since government and other public systems can’t help.
/ I wish there as a /s

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25 Re:

There’s a big difference in rollout you ignore.
Your system has developed slowly over 3000 years. A massive population, millions and billions. Small countries and semi-open borders. And moving populations.

The US is barely 200 years old. It was started by a tiny population of to polar opposite groups. Poor religious refugees and Uber rich investors. Jon T Winebottle didn’t show up for a LONG time.

Most of us moved up or down… and became Joe Sixpack.

Our problem is the ‘ruling’ party only cares about the top or the bottom. In both cases the 1-2%.
And both sides issue directive that screws the 98%.

Living wage is good. You don’t do that with a massive bill that raises taxes 20% and wages 50% and sales tax by another doubling all at the same time.

Your right: fuck you got mine doesn’t work long.
Neither does fuck you give it over.

Especially when nothing goes where it should.

Once again you are stuck on one aspect and the one aspect isn’t working he problem. It’s the entirety of the package that implements it.

It’s that coupled with lack of understanding. $10/hr in southern Missouri or northern Arizona is very different from NYC. Or LA.
Because you misunderstand value populations. A 1 bed condo in NY or Chicago for $1mil+ or a 2 acre 3 bed spread in nowheresville for $125k.

You can go to a diner in central NV and get a tbone stake with eggs and fries and a glass of wine for $15 or go to the inner city and get a burger and dozen fries for the same price. Glass of water adds $1.

It’s not a wealth gap as much as a value gap.

But nobody wants to look at the problem. They just want a one size solution. That’s not a solution.

This is a massive country with a very diverse life style population.
Most of the EU would fit inside our borders. With a little stuffing here and there. We have more ecological diversity than all of Europe. From tropical to forest to mountain. Dust desert to arctic desert.
One size does not fit all here.
And we have the same problems of China and Russia when it comes to culture, ecology, and pure space and diversity. And it’s quite obvious all three of us have major issues with such political handling.

Again, we are not Europe. And in reality we never could be.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26

The US is barely 200 years old.

The age of the country is irrelevant. It has been around long enough to see what works in other countries. Public healthcare works in every country that has it⁠—maybe not with 100% efficiency, but it works. The only difference between the U.S. and those countries is our leaders have convinced the general population that nationalized healthcare is luxury gay space communism that can never work anywhere (except for icky socialist countries like, y’know, Canada).

the ‘ruling’ party only cares about the top or the bottom

That’s cute, that you think the people who rule this country give a fuck about the poor. If that were true, we wouldn’t have food deserts and homelessness and practically every other side effect of poverty and the extreme wealth gap that compounds the issues of poverty.

Living wage is good. You don’t do that

…by making wages stand still for a couple of decades and waiting for the benevolence of corporations and the obscenely wealthy to “trickle down”. You do it by making those entities pay their fair share in taxes and pay a living wage to the people whose labor is exploited for those massive corporate profits.

If Jeff Bezos stopped working, Amazon would keep going. If Amazon’s lowest earners stopped working, Amazon would die. Who deserves a better wage: Bezos or the people killing themselves in Amazon warehouses? Knowing you, you’d say “the workers, but not at the cost of corporate profits”. In which case, I’d ask you a simple question: Where the fuck do you think the money to pay better wages is going to fucking come from?

$10/hr in southern Missouri or northern Arizona is very different from NYC. Or LA.

The opportunities affored to people in southern Missouri are hardly equal to the opportunities afforded to people in cities like Los Angeles. $10 per hour may go a little farther in one place than the other, but unless the prices for everything are lower in one than the other, $10 per hour is still not a living wage. (At this point, if wages kept pace with inflation, a living wage would be $20 per hour.)

nobody wants to look at the problem.

You’re right: Nobody wants to tell corporations and the obscenely wealthy that their hoarding of wealth is contributing to increased poverty and the negative effects thereof.

…well, nobody in the government (or the corporations) with the power to do something about it, anyway.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27 Re:

There you go with fair again. Making one person pay more than another is not fair.

The opportunities affored to people in southern Missouri are hardly equal to the opportunities afforded to people in cities like Los Angeles.
You’re right. They’re better outside big cities.

Mind showing me a single thing a city offers that’s better?

But that’s part of the issue. The massive diversity of this country.
You can’t say one idea works everywhere.
I’ve lived in major cities. Suburbia. Rural. And buttfuck nowhere. Btw everything really is less cost in buttfuck. Everything. You earn less but it costs less.
It’s just what it is.

But you still miss the point. Dems are looking at individual taxes. Not corporate taxes. Raising corporate taxes and closing corporate loopholes is a good thing. You don’t solve poverty by destroying an individual. You keep talking about the same two people. You ignore the rest of existence.

These tax plans aren’t hitting just billionaires. 250k is not the top 1%.
150k is not the top 1%
These plans don’t target corporate greed.
They target middle class middle America.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:28

Dems are looking at individual taxes.

Yes, and…this is a problem, how, exactly? Individuals with obscene wealth should be taxed at higher rates.

Not corporate taxes.

Neither are Republicans, but I don’t see you bitching about their asses being against raising corporate tax rates.

You don’t solve poverty by destroying an individual. You keep talking about the same two people.

I do that because it is a prime example of the Law of Diminishing Utility: Someone making less than $20,000 every year has less to give than someone who makes that same amount of money in a day. That there is a spectrum of income brackets between those two extremes is an argument for a progressive tax rate that doesn’t destroy the poor or the middle class but recognizes that people who make significant amounts of money can afford to give up more than people who don’t. The only people who should be paying huge tax rates are people who make millions and millions of dollars (or more) every year.

And every dollar over a billion should be taxed 100% because being a billionaire is unethical and immoral.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29 Re:

Yes, and…this is a problem, how, exactly

It’s not fair and equal.
I support flat tax.

Neither are Republicans, but I don’t see you bitching about their asses being against raising corporate tax rates.

Despite the many times I’ve stated on this site we should target the tax rates of mega businesses and not individuals.

And every dollar over a billion should be taxed 100% because being a billionaire is unethical and immoral.

I’ll remind you of that if you ever win the lottery on one of those super days.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24

All you did was make things more expensive for those that are poor.

I didn’t do that; corporations did. They’re the entities who see their profits⁠—and the continued growth thereof⁠—as more important than paying people a wage that lets them live at least a metaphorical inch above the poverty line. They’re the ones raising prices on their products to keep profit margins high even as some of their lowest-paid employees work multiple full-time jobs for the sake of staying alive. They’re the entities that refuse to cut the obscene multi-million-dollar salaries of their executives in favor of paying a fair wage to the workers who do the heavy lifting that keeps those corporations afloat. (The CEO of McDonald’s isn’t going to serve food to millions of people around the world all by himself, after all.)

You’re so enamored with the idea of “fuck you got mine” economics and protecting the obscene wealth of people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos that you’re unable to see how those people don’t need to hoard billions of dollars in their bank accounts and stocks and whatnot every year. If a company that makes several billion dollars per year loses less than a billion dollars in profit as a result of paying employees a living wage, for what reason does that company legitimately need to raise prices on its products other than pure, unadulterated, “fuck you got mine” greed?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25 Re:

"They’re the entities who see their profits⁠—and the continued growth thereof⁠—as more important than paying people a wage that lets them live at least a metaphorical inch above the poverty line"

The fun part is when you realise that they do that by forcing the public to pay for it, because the people who work for them have to claim food stamps and other benefits to make ends meet. Socialise the risk, privatise the reward, but don’t you dare say that the public is the one that gets value for their money…

Wages have stagnated since the 80s, but if you dare suggest that the people who doubled their income during a pandemic pay their staff enough to buy food, you’re apparently Stalin.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26

That you would refer to the obscenely wealthy paying their fair share in taxes and paying a livable wage to the people they exploit as theft of any kind is sad. I mean, you do know that kissing rich ass isn’t going to make you rich, right? They’d sooner kill you and hold a press conference about their having killed you.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:30

A person who gives up 50% is giving up more percent than a person giving up 40%.

Let me explain to you the Law of Diminishing Utility again.

Bob makes the federal minimum wage; Jeff makes 10 million dollars a year in salary alone. Bob can’t afford to give up 40% of the approximately $15,000 he makes every year⁠—that’s $6,000, and that’s money he’ll need to pay bills and keep himself fed. Jeff can afford to give up 4 million dollars out of his annual salary and still live far more comfortably than Bob.

At some point, wealth becomes nothing more than a status symbol, because it stops having any actual utility to the person amassing such wealth. That is why the obscenely wealthy can afford to be taxed at higher rates than the poor: The wealthy can give up a significant sum of their money and still live comfortable, relatively worry-free lives. If Jeff Bezos lost a billion dollars out of his multiple billions of dollars of net worth to taxes, do you think he’d feel that sting as acutely and directly as would Bob if he lost $6,000 out of his annual $15,000 take?

It isn’t unfair to ask those who have far, far, far more than the rest of us to give more than the rest of us⁠—to give more money than they will ever miss (or need) for the sake of helping everyone else. Hoarding all that wealth is unfair⁠—and it’s also immoral and unethical.

Only someone brainwashed by pro-corporate propaganda would believe asking poor people to give more of themselves than corporations and the obscenely wealthy do (which is the current state of affairs thanks to tax loopholes and bought-off politicians) is “unfair”. That makes me wonder which corporation you’re stumping for, you union-busting bitch.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:34

I believe in fair and equal.

And yet…

Flat tax.

…you don’t.

Since you really don’t seem to understand the Law of Diminishing Utility, let me reframe this a bit.

In 2011, Elon Musk was worth $2 billion dollars; in 2021, he is worth over $271 billion⁠—which means he earned an average of $26.9 billion each year of that decade. In 2011, Mark Zuckerberg was worth $17 billion dollars; in 2021, his worth over $121 billion⁠—which means he earned an average of $10.4 billion each year of that decade. In 2021, Jeff Bezos was worth $18 billion dollars; in 2021, he is worth over $203 billion⁠—which means he earned an average of $18.5 billion each year of that decade.

The minimum wage in the United States has remained $7.25 per hour since 2009. And for the sake of comparison: A full-time minimum wage job pays an annual salary of $15,080, which means Musk, Zuckerberg, and Bezos respectively “earned” an average of 1,783,819%, 689,655%, and 1,226,790% more than the minimum wage employee in every year between 2011 and 2021.

Tell me about the fairness in those men being worth a half-trillion dollars combined while the people who made them wealthy⁠—the people who actually put in the labor that keeps the companies of those rich fuckers going⁠—have to fight for a wage that lets them live. Not to thrive, not to enjoy life⁠—to merely subsist.

Then tell me about the fairness involved in taxing people who make minimum wage at a rate that would effectively put them in a position where one car accident, one broken bone, or one missed paycheck would leave them homeless, starving, and/or financially ruined. Tell me how fair it is that the people who make the wealth for “job creators” have to scrimp and save for the sole purpose of making rent on the cheapest affordable “housing” and feeding themselves on the worst possible food they can eat while those same “job creators” could literally do nothing and still make billions of dollars every year. Then tell me how fair it is to make those rich fuckers give up so little of their obscene wealth that it barely registers to them, especially when they’ll make back all that money within days (if not hours) of paying it.

You simp for the rich because you think their generosity will trickle down. You should know by now that it won’t⁠—not now, not ever. They will do everything they can to hold onto that wealth, regardless of whether their actions are morally righteous, ethically sound, or even legally permissible. They will have people killed to remain obscenely wealthy⁠—and they will have no remorse about doing it.

But sure, lecture me about the fairness of a flat tax that takes away from the poor more of the money they need to survive. Tell me more about how the rich need all their huge-ass mansions and their convoy of sports cars and their padded-as-fuck bank accounts to survive. Prove to me that you care so little about the poor and the underprivileged that you will honest-to-God stump for a tax proposal that will widen the wealth gap while doing nothing to preserve the social safety net⁠—and all for the sake of protecting the pocketbooks of people who genuinely don’t give a fuck if you live or die.

Please, I beg of you: Tell me what’s so motherfucking fair about protecting the rich at the cost of the lives of the poor.

And if you can’t⁠—or won’t⁠—do that, please fuck all the way off and never fucking come back, you heartless bastard.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35 Re:

taxing people who make minimum wage at a rate that would effectively put them

For starters you not making them pay any more than they do today.
https://taxfoundation.org/2021-tax-brackets/

In fact few who make minimum wage pay any federal tax at all after the standard personal deduction and earned income credit… they get a refund.

Add to that that nearly every flat tax plan has raised the minimum taxable out of minimum wage completely.

I believe it’s fair for everyone to give up the same percentage of their ability for the betterment of the country.

that takes away from the poor more of the money they need to survive

It wouldn’t take any more than it does today.
in fact, again, it moves generally move the minimum threshold higher. Most often double where it is now.

tax proposal that will widen the wealth gap while doing nothing to preserve the social safety net…

Given that the wealthy you reference would be paying more than they do today despite the lower rate? Since every plan (publicly) presented has eliminated all exemptions and deductions?

You appear to be incapable of understanding the very base tenet of a flat tax. It’s flat! Stone. You pay it. Period.
Tell me how making rich people, who currently pay zero, pay 10% of their income is heartless.
And how does it hurt the poor when those at minimum wage are not taxed at all?

Explain how the 10% of $40k is harder than the 12% today.

As for the whole of society? Well, seeing how most, but not all, of these plans are coupled with a high entry flat tax, or graduated system from 10%-50% on corporate income…?
Again, fixed rates.
So the tax can’t be escaped.

How is this all bad. Feel free to explain.
Because as far as I can tell 10% on a billion is quite a bit more than the zero these people pay now at the end of deductions and offsets.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

I did. You just don’t like that I did.

Tell me what’s so motherfucking fair about protecting the rich at the cost of the lives of the poor.

“Because as far as I can tell 10% on a billion is quite a bit more than the zero these people pay now at the end of deductions and offsets”

Nobody is protecting the rich with a flat tax. It guarantees they pay their share of the rate.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:38

“When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted, when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.” — Alanis Obomsawin

A flat tax does protect the rich by making it seem like paying some small amount of their vast wealth is “fair” because they’re paying the same percentage as everyone else. But it isn’t fair⁠—because they can afford to give far, far, far, far, far more of themselves without losing their ability to live comfortably. The poor giving up the same percentage under a flat tax is inherently unfair because they need their money in a far more acute and direct way.

Not that you seem to give a fuck about that, thought. You’ve had the Law of Diminishing Utility explained to you multiple times and you still don’t seem to either understand or care about it. You seem to believe the obscenely wealthy should remain as such, without any thought as to the effects of their greed, because making them pay more of a percentage in taxes than the poor is somehow “unfair”.

In our successes, we have a duty to give what we can to those who need it; if we don’t, that’s stealing from our fellow human. How is letting individual persons hoard more wealth than 99% of the country⁠—hell, wealthier than 99% of the world⁠—anything but stealing from those 99% the things that wealth could pay for? This country could have Medicare For All and tuition-free college and everything else “leftists” (and a lot of other people) want, but for the greed of rich people⁠—and those who wish to protect their bank accounts.

What is so motherfucking fair about protecting the wealth of the rich at the cost of the lives of the poor? If your answer is going to be “a flat tax is fair because it’s the same percent” or some other similar “trickle-down economics works”–level delusional bullshit, don’t bother replying⁠—you cannot and will not convince me to feel pity for someone who is worth $100 billion only being worth, say, $50 billion after taxes.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:39 Re:

”…that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money”…

Well, actually: deink and remove security fibres. Given the money is cloth… you probably could. But I understand the point of the quote despite that minor inaccuracy.

Law of Diminishing Utility explained to you multiple times and you still don’t seem to either understand or care about it.

Neither. I’d rather use fair implementation. Fair being equal percentage.

Not to mention your idea very closely borders on outright communism in implementation.
From as they can and to as they need? (Yes a paraphrase)

A multi level tax system is not equality. It’s not fairness.

A flat tax, on the other side, is a very socialist idea.
Everyone capable of contributing does so. And the same is asked of all who can.

This country could have Medicare For All and tuition-free college and everything else “leftists” (and a lot of other people) want…

So would the corresponding flat tax with the increased flat corporate rates.
The top 10 companies in this country would do that at 40%. Apple made 274 billion dollars last year. 110 billion in taxes at 40%

The corporate tax rate would pay infrastructure and 3B bills, and current social expenditure: and that’s just the top 25 companies! Alone!

…at the cost of the lives of the poor?

It doesn’t cost the lives of the poor. In any way shape or form. In fact it bites the rich before it gets to their payout.

The dual system would 100% fund what we have, what you want, and much much more.
How much good could congress do just off the corporate taxes alone. At roughly 8 trillion per year?

So again, explain how that coupling of high corporate taxes and low personal takes, and a much higher minimum taxable income rate, double+ current, hurts the poor.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:40 Re:

A flat tax, on the other side, is a very socialist idea.

Has there ever been a flat tax implemented in a socialist country?

So would the corresponding flat tax with the increased flat corporate rates.

A low personal tax rate and a high tax rate on corporate profit incentivizes getting that money into the hands of investors and executives pre-tax by some means (and big companies are extremely good at finding/writing such means), where it will be taxed very little, and can be used instead to buy jets and yachts and swimming pools full of gold. What we should have instead is a low corporate tax rate, and an extremely high top personal income tax rate, so the incentive is to plow money back into the business where it can do some good, rather than take it as income where it will basically all go to the government anyway. You know, like in the 50s. But that approach went by the wayside, because millionaires can’t become billionaires that way.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:41 Re:

"Has there ever been a flat tax implemented in a socialist country?"

Define "socialist". Do you mean actual democratic socialist countries where people have a far higher standard of living than the US, and whose progressive tax regimes provide their citizens with things like healthcare and actual social safety nets. Or, do you mean "socialist" countries like the ones that exist only as boogeymen in the minds of people stupid enough to think that a flat tax is not regressive?

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:33 Re:

the poor to struggle more than they already do

I understand the words. But nobody explains any semblance of how it’s true!
How does not taxing anyone under 20-25k make their lives more difficult.
How does a fully funded government, public free healthcare, minimum guaranteed income, free and funded education at all levels, hurt the poor.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:34

But nobody explains any semblance of how it’s true!

We’ve explained to you the Law of Diminishing Utility and the ways that both corporations and rich people avoid paying taxes. We’ve explained to you how an economic system built on unsustainable growth for the sake of continually rising profit margins puts more responsibility on the poor than the rich to keep creating that growth. We’ve explained to you how wealth and poverty both compound upon each other.

If you can’t understand any of that because you genuinely believe in “paying the same percentage of income in taxes is fair”⁠—which is seriously on the same level of ignorance as “trickle-down economics works”⁠—that isn’t our fault. We’re not responsible for you being unable to understand concepts like a maximum wage (e.g., no executive can be paid more than twenty times the amount made by the lowest-paid worker), a healthy social safety net, a progressive income tax that hits wealthy people harder because they (obviously) have more to give, and empathy for the poor.

I have no pity for the rich. You won’t convince me to feel it by saying “a flat tax is fair” over and over. So please fuck all the way off with that conservative economics bullshit; you won’t find anyone here with any goddamned sense who will buy into it (or your simping for the wealthy), no matter how hard you try.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35 Re:

Law of Diminishing Utility…

A socioeconomic theory that is mathematically inaccurate.
10% of 1000 is greater than 10% of 100. $100 has greater utility than than $10.

You simply dislike wealth and thus ignore anything that my allow it to be created.

corporations and rich people avoid paying taxes

Which can not be done under a flat tax plan. As there are no deductions.

We’ve explained to you how wealth and poverty both compound upon each other.

… under graduated plans.
You have not shown how that would even be possible under a plan that doesn’t have deductions.

a healthy social safety net

?? Isn’t that exactly was guaranteed income, free education, free universal health care… provides?

I have no pity for the rich. You won’t convince me to feel it by saying “a flat tax is fair” over and over.

Doesn’t change that it’s equality though. Again, you simply hate those that have more than you do.
That doesn’t make your lack of ability to explain:

how the poor are hurt by a fully funded social safety and security plan.
Nor how the poor are hurt by paying less taxes
Nor how the poor are hurt because someone works 45 hours instead of 30.
Or how anyone is hurt by someone else having more of something.

conservative economics bullshit

Except flat tax plans have nearly always be introduced by Democrats.
No conservative in recent history would jump at a plan that

drastically increases corporate taxes
Removes all deductions
Forces them to pay taxes as they can’t loophole out of them.

Once again, this time with feeling:
Show any way, any way, that the flat tax plans hurt the poor.
Not how it doesn’t punish the wealthy who you want to all rot.
Anything, any way, it hurts the poor.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:36

A socioeconomic theory that is mathematically inaccurate. 10% of 1000 is greater than 10% of 100. $100 has greater utility than than $10.

Wow, you…you really don’t fucking get it. I’m not going to even bother trying to explain it now because you really don’t seem to understand (or care) that a poor person losing $100 is not the same thing as a rich person losing $100 when talking about wealth and poverty.

Have the rich trickled their wealth down on you yet, or are you fine with drinking their piss instead?

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

poor person losing $100 is not the same thing as a rich person losing $100

No it’s not. But a poor person loosing $0 and a middle $100 and a rich $1000 and a super rich $10000?

And your numbers are wildly off.
So I went with your insane $100.

But $2500 from 25k?
Or 25000 from 250k
Or $250,000 from 2.5m
Or $2.5 million from 25m????

All again simply ignoring 40% on corporations.

Still no evidence that the poor not paying taxes and getting a total and totally funded free safety net harms the poor.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:36

You know what? Fuck it. I’mma give this one last try, and if Terry freaking Pratchett can’t teach you some shit, no one can.

So I invite you to read The “Boots” Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness. And if still don’t fucking get it after that, I don’t know what the fuck else to tell you besides “fuck off back to eating rich people’s literal shit”.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

So where does this come into play. When everyone is guaranteed 24999.49?

20k and 25are the common starting point for flat taxing.
So would that not be a good cap rate for guaranteed income?
So now the poor make just shy of the minimum taxable rate.
No more poverty level.

You keep talking about the poor. The whole point of a fully tax funded social safety guarantee is to eliminate the pour’s poverty!
Then you no longer have the poor?

That’s not trickle down! It’s bottom up!

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:39 Re:

Says the person completely incapable of showing a single
Situation where such a plan hurts the poor.

Why don’t you just admit you don’t care if the plan helps the poor or not.
Just admit you only care about seeing to it that anyone with more than you, more of anything at all, needs to give up whatever they have that you don’t.

Just admit it’s not the poor you care about. It’s making nobody ever has something you don’t.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:40

You’ve already had the effects of a flat tax on the poor explained to you multiple times. Talking about the equality of the percentages being paid is meaningless now.

You’ve already had the humanities of the socioeconomic unfairness of the wealth gap explained to you multiple times. Talking about how a poor person losing $100 is not the same as a rich person losing $100 is meaningless now.

You’ve had every detail of your plan, every bit of logic you think is rock-solid untouchable, deconstructed and shoved in your face. Trying to do it again is meaningless now.

I was gonna leave your shit be. You really didn’t say anything I needed to counter again.

…but then you came for my motherfucking neck when you said I don’t give a fuck about the poor. That, I cannot abide.

I am in a financially precarious position for numerous reasons, none of which are all that important to this discussion. Suffice to say, I am one major financial disaster away from my life being completely ruined. So when I say I give a shit about the poor, I mean it⁠—because while I live a relatively comfortable life, it is by no means financially secure. And I know for an absolute fact that I am not alone in my neighborhood, my city, my county, my state, my country, my continent, and my world.

Elon Musk could give away literally 99% of his total wealth and fuck off to the desert to drop acid for the rest of his life, and he’d still be able to live more comfortably than most people in America will ever be. He never has to worry about being clothed, fed, or sheltered. He will never have to sit at a kitchen table at 3 AM wondering whether he can afford to go without eating for a couple of days so he can make rent when his next paycheck comes in. He’ll never have to sit in a pediatric oncologist’s office and do the math on exactly how long he can afford to keep his child’s treatment going.

And you apparently think that’s something worth celebrating as a grand achievement of humanity.

All you’ve done when you’ve talked about this flat tax proposal is focused on the numbers, on the equity of the percentages of the tax. You have never once suggested that the extreme wealth gap between people like me and people like Elon Musk is something that needs to be “fixed” in any meaningful way. Hell, you’ve all but said that the obscenely wealthy deserve to hoard their wealth, regardless of how much that fucks with the economy and worsens poverty. You ignore the humanities of extreme poverty so you don’t have to think about how taxing even the lowest brackets of our economic caste system will fuck with their lives.

You think I don’t give a fuck about poor people? You don’t even want to think about how you’d fuck over poor people. That’s the whole problem I’ve had with you in this discussion, you Trumpist son of a bitch: You’re so busy trying to figure out the right number to protect the wealthy (including your precious orange demigod!) from losing their obscene wealth that you can’t even be fucked to think about how that same number will make poverty worse.

I posted that Terry Pratchett quote because I thought, for once⁠—for motherfucking once in your miserable, overwrought, godforsaken commenting history on this site⁠—your ignorant conservative ass might finally understand how poverty compounds upon poverty. I thought you might finally understand how economic disparities only make things worse for the poor. And yet, when given one of the best goddamn metaphors for that concept ever written, you scoff at it because “fairness for the rich”.

FUCK THE RICH.

Do I want to take their money? Goddamn right, I do! But I don’t want it all for myself⁠. I want it for everyone who is struggling to survive⁠—not thrive, but merely survive⁠—in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. I want it for the sake of feeding the hungry, housing the houseless, and paying people a wage that will let them worry less about the necessities of life. I want to take rich people’s money away from them because they don’t fucking need it like poor people do (which was my entire goddamn point with trying to explain the Law of Diminishing Utility to you).

The obscenely wealthy have so much wealth accumulated in stocks and bank accounts and they’re sitting on it like Tolkein dragons sit on their hoards of gold. That wealth isn’t going back into the economy⁠—tax breaks, paid-off politicians, and ignorant simps like you who push for the rich to keep their wealth make sure of that. When I say being a billionaire is unethical and immoral, it is the truth: No one “earns” a billion dollars without exploiting the poor in ways that piss on the law (and human decency), and no one who sits on a billion dollars of wealth while people living in the same country starve from having to choose rent over food can be said to be morally righteous.

All you see is numbers, percentages, digits on a balance sheet that you think have to be balanced in fairness to people who never have to work another day in their lives to accumulate wealth beyond the dreams of even yourself. You don’t see the inhumanity of your decisions⁠—the callousness of all but saying “poor people that they should work harder if they want to make more money and pull themselves up by their bootstraps”. In this country, right now, are people who work two or even three full-time jobs for the sake of paying all their bills⁠—and there are also people who, in the span of an hour, make the same annual salary of those full-time workers without doing a goddamn thing.

And you think that’s fair. You even think that’s a good thing. I mean, why else would you be stumping so hard to protect the wealthy from giving up even a substantial fraction of their immense wealth?

I give a fuck about wanting to help lift as many people out of poverty as possible, which is why I support plans that stop the wealthy from becoming obscenely wealthy⁠—plans that including high personal taxes on those wealthy persons (including a 100% tax on every dollar past $1 billion). All you support is protecting rich people from giving up more money than they’ll ever even miss having in their lives, regardless of how many poor people that decision will kill.

Congratulations, Lodos: You really are a American conservative.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:41 Re:

Seriously: you are totally missing the premise behind the plans!

You’ve already had the effects of a flat tax on the poor

No. All you have put forth is a bunch of theoretical ideas.

Point to any single issue that would hurt the (no longer existing) poor with the triplet plan.

Talking about how a poor person losing $100 is not the same as a rich person losing $100 is meaningless now.

Correction. How a low income person loosing 2500 is not the same as a less low income person loosing 25000.
A flat tax is a percent, not a dollar amount.

deconstructed and shoved in your face

No: I have not. Calling on mythical unicorns and gods and centors is not providing evidence.
Claims that rich people use loopholes via deductions today has zero crossover to a zero deduction system.

…when you said I don’t give a fuck about the poor.

Inaccurate. I said you’re primary concern is making sure nobody has more than you do. Don’t be a sail fish fuck. Note a selfish moron.

because while I live a relatively comfortable life, it is by no means financially secure.

Nor am I. I already stated my rough annual personal. And I would have zero security if not for my family having busted their arses over the centuries.
I’m a walking medical timebomb waiting to go off.
My mum is in a chair on o2. I’m damn close and should be if not for some genetic crap that somehow keeps me going. I’m barely mid-life. If I make 60… I may reconsider if our gods of olde have some value.

Our survival is dependant on a pension and very well selected stocks.

Musk et al. The difference is you have clear jealousy!
I recognise that existence is completely random and unguided chaos.

be. He never has to worry…

Well, neither will you or I with the flat tax triplet!

Hell, you’ve all but said that the obscenely wealthy deserve to hoard their wealth, regardless of how much that fucks with the economy and worsens poverty.

See previous statement. Guaranteed income levels eliminates poverty. It can be funded by 10% of all above it and 40% on corporate taxes.

You don’t even want to think about how you’d fuck over poor people.

I wouldn’t. Nor would the triplet plan presented 9 times in the last 12 years.
Of those many included a government savings account plan. Something we know works because 32% of SS, SSD, and FPP recipients use them today.

you Trumpist son of a bitch

Correction, anti internationalism, sanction the fuck out of Ukraine, leave the Middle East alone, secure the border, don’t touch my fucking rifle, son of a bytch. My birth mum wasn’t married. So I’m truly a bastard.

how that same number will make poverty worse.

You provided zero anything, at all, as to how a 40% corporate 10% individual tax funded guaranteed income would make poverty worse.

poverty compounds upon poverty

True. That has nothing to do with the suggested plans which eliminate poverty.

fairness for the rich

fairness for all

want it for everyone who is struggling to survive⁠—not thrive, but merely survive⁠

And I’d rather make sure everyone thrived!

money away from them because they don’t fucking need it like poor people do

And I want to go after the source, not the recipient.

accumulated in stocks and bank accounts

Your reaction is ignorance.
I own stocks
My family does too. I take it you don’t.
I am close friends with a ‘homeless’ vet who put nearly all of his pay into dividend paying stocks and lives off of it. Out of a Red Roof Inn +.
He has a bank account. SSD. Military payout. And his stocks.

Stocks are taxed when converted to spendable assets.
Sure there’s loss deduction. That would be eliminated under a flat tax.
Just because CNN told you they don’t pay taxes doesn’t make it true.
You don’t pay taxes till it’s traded. But they pay taxes!

As for bank accounts: interest is income. And taxed every year.
Sure rich people write off interest income against investment losses but again, that disappears under EVERY flat tax plan presented.

tax breaks

Don’t exist under a flat tax.

I give a fuck about wanting to help lift as many people out of poverty as possible

Yet fail to understand what a 40% corporate rate, 8 trillion dollars, and the social package that was attached to most flat tax plans, does to eliminate poverty. Not help! Eliminate!

All you support is protecting rich people from giving up more money

Don’t libel and slander my view. All I support is a way to 100% eliminate poverty completely.

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.
If you actually care: I’d be happy to send you links to EVERY flat tax plan presented in the federal House/Senate over the last decade. (They’re on the senate and house .gov sites.)

You said you supported Sanders, yes? He sponsored 1 and supported (signed on to) 2.
AOC has supported one.
Those plans were
10% individual 40% corporate
12%/35%
10%40%

Sadly they often get shit down or stalled by Republicans. Though Obama’s dem majority kills one and Clinton’s dem majority killed 3.

Flat taxes doesn’t hurt the poor. It creates a path to eliminate the poor.
It raises them all up!

If at this point you still can’t comprehend how it’s possible… I’m sorry. And saddened!
Because it is possible. All we need is brave people to do so.
Law doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Nor does funding.

Based on 2020 numbers the pair of flat taxes, 10% personal and the common 10,20,40 corporate (>50, 50-500, 501+) would supply a total of 11.2 trillion to to the federal government. Per year.

That’s the AIB and BBB 5 times plus over!

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:44

You just couldn’t leave it be, could you.

If it doesn’t hurt the people you don’t like you simply write it off.

You think this is about hurting people? You think this is about causing pain? Motherfucker, how the fuck would Jeff Bezos be hurt if he couldn’t be worth more than a billion dollars? Because that question is the whole fucking point of the Law of Diminishing Utility.

Take away a significant amount of wealth from the obscenely wealthy and they’re not going to be hurt by it. They’ll still have so much wealth that they’ll never have to worry about meeting their basic needs for the rest of their lives. Losing their wealth won’t hurt them in any way but psychologically, and even then, who gives a fuck about their fabergé egos.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has many people who are working multiple full-time jobs just to make rent, and you’re still more worried about whether it’s “fair” to tax those who absolutely have more to give of their own personal wealth at a higher percentage rate than the poor. Fairness isn’t just about “the same percentage”, you son of a bitch⁠—and if you cared about the poor instead of the rich (a group that includes your personal orange Jesus), you’d realize that.

Or do the poor only matter to you when you can make them give up more of the money they need to merely subsist?

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:45 Re:

Nope.
Because you still have yet to show any way at all that the plans put forth and explained to you would hurt the poor.
You keep going on about how people shouldn’t be able to get wealthy. About how you think having wealth is obscene.

And when a plan is in place where there are no poor, you still want to take money away from people with more.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has many people who are working multiple full-time jobs just to make rent

That wouldn’t be the case with fully funded minimum income, would it?

Fairness isn’t just about “the same percentage”, you son of a bitch⁠…

No? Well it is to me.
I don’t care about your hatred of money and people who have a penny more than you do.

There wouldn’t be any more poor. That’s kind of the point. But you don’t appear to care about that aspect if you can’t take away as much as you want.

Or do the poor only matter to you when you can make them give up more of the money they need to merely subsist?

Seeing how a flat tax doesn’t kick in until above the poverty line they wouldn’t be giving up anything. And coupling the two flat taxes with a social spending act would eliminate poverty completely.

But you don’t appear to care about that if you can’t take as much as you personally want to from people who have more than you do.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:46

you still have yet to show any way at all that the plans put forth and explained to you would hurt the poor

I’m no economist⁠—but how about reading what an economist thinks of flat tax proposals instead? And if that’s not to your liking, try a paper from the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy on the matter.

You keep going on about how people shouldn’t be able to get wealthy. About how you think having wealth is obscene.

You misunderstand me. I don’t think people shouldn’t be able to get wealthy.

I think certain levels of wealth⁠—especially any level including and above $1 billion⁠—are obscene. I think, at a certain point, a wealthy person can give up a shitload of their wealth and still not have to worry about living comfortably. I think hoarding wealth is an example of greed and pride consensually fucking one another in public while poor people beg for enough money to eat at Burger King.

Wealth in general isn’t the issue. The issue lies in the hoarding of wealth to amass obscene amounts of it⁠—that is the shit I can’t abide. That you don’t see this as obscene⁠—or even a problem that can cause serious economic issues⁠—is your issue, not mine.

Would I like to be rich? Sure. Would I like to have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life? Hell yes. Would I like to have more money than God and sit on it for the rest of my life while people starve in the streets? Fuck no⁠—because that’s obscene.

That wouldn’t be the case with fully funded minimum income, would it?

Yeah, but you say that like the rich are going to pay for that. Given how Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are still worth billions of dollars and act like they’re benevolent demigods, I have to believe they’ll do whatever they can to make sure their wealth stays at that level.

Well it is to me.

Of course it is⁠—you don’t believe the wealthy have more to give of themselves than the poor. Hell, you probably believe they’re giving “too much” already. You look at the numbers on the ledger and ignore the humanity staring you in the face because you don’t want to think about how your position would exacerbate the same poverty you claim you want to eliminate.

I don’t care about your hatred of money and people who have a penny more than you do.

I don’t hate people who have more than me. I don’t even hate people like you, who think wealth hoarding is both morally righteous and ethically decent instead of both a moral obscenity and an ethical nightmare. (If anything, I feel pity for you and your fellow shitheads.) I hate the people who hoard that wealth instead of paying into the public treasury so all people can benefit from that wealth.

There wouldn’t be any more poor. That’s kind of the point.

You keep saying that, but even you know deep down that it isn’t true.

Seeing how a flat tax doesn’t kick in until above the poverty line they wouldn’t be giving up anything.

And what about people living on or barely above the poverty line⁠—how much of their money should they pay in taxes, and why do I get the feeling they’re going to give more of themselves (in terms of economic and personal utility) than the obscenely wealthy ever will?

For the sake of argument, let’s assume the obscene wealthy⁠—in this argument, anyone who makes over $250 million in a given year⁠—has to pay 50% of their income from that given year in taxes. For someone who makes $250 million, that’s $125 million. That person isn’t going to be hurting for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and other such expenses if they only have $125 million added to their bank account in a given year.

Now let’s go back to the minimum wage worker and say their tax bracket is the same: 50%. (You keep crowing on about “fairness” in the percentages, after all.) That means they would pay $7,500⁠—or just about half of a little over $15,000. That person will be hurting for all those same expenses I outlined in that scenario. And the situation would remain the same even if you started the flat tax at $25,000 (they’d give up $12,500).

And I know your next argument: “But they can live in places that are cheaper to live in!” Not really a solid argument, though⁠—such places are typically lower-income areas with no room for career growth, and I guarantee the people living in such places would absolutely live somewhere nicer if they could afford to do so. “Affordable” poverty is still poverty.

Again: You’re so obsessed with “fairness” as a number on a ledger that you’re missing the innate unfairness of obscene wealth⁠—and how a flat tax will harm the poor far more than it could ever “harm” the obscenely wealthy.

coupling the two flat taxes with a social spending act would eliminate poverty completely

Isn’t that cute, you think you can eliminate systemic poverty in a late-stage capitalist society filled with megacorps exploiting the poor as if thinking magical thoughts such as “the obscenely wealthy will voluntarily submit to having all their income sources taxed” will somehow do the trick.

But it’s wrooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:47 Re:

Ohkay. Discussion. Now we’re getting somewhere.
…and with that you have a clear misunderstanding of what he forwarded federal plans of late.

Let’s start with the easy.
“voluntarily” isn’t the point. Law is law.

Nobody (-minus a few crazys) volunteers to raise their own taxes.
Some people will go along with it for one reason or another, but not volunteer.

Yeah, but you say that like the rich are going to pay for that

The cornerstone of a complete flat tax plan is the corporate tax rate.
Anything above 40% fully funds 100% of current government expenditure and all intended social spending suggested in the last few years.

A side effect of that would be, ultimately, lower highest earner income.

Multi-billionaires aren’t the problem. They’re the symptom. The after effect. …of bad corporate tax policy.

Hitting Bezos or Musk with 80% doesn’t do anything about the company itself.
It does nothing to help the poor. Individual wealth is a tiny fraction of corporate wealth.

You talk about people richer than countries. Our top ten companies are all richer than the top 10 people combined. And far richer than the majority of UN states.

Going after individual wealth is retaliatory. It’s not a real solution.

let’s look at that 50% coupled with the same social program.
So the minimum wage worker, again, pays 0.

You miss how the guarantee has always been put forward.
You’re base level income is non-taxable.
If you make 25,000 you pay zero. If you make 25,002 you pay $1.

See how that works out then?

The idea at 10%: You maintain motivation to go to work despite a social safety net.

These plans don’t hurt the poor, they guarantee the poor have enough to be comfortable, not just survive.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:47

“voluntarily” isn’t the point. Law is law.

And if you think the obscenely wealthy can’t/won’t find ways to skirt the law even with the supposed closing of loopholes, I’m gonna have to ask you what reality you’re living in, because it sure as shit isn’t this one.

Multi-billionaires aren’t the problem. They’re the symptom. The after effect. …of bad corporate tax policy.

No, they are the problem, because they’re the ones paying for the passage of those corporate tax policies⁠—as well as all the other tax loopholes that let them hoard their obscene wealth. The system that lets billionaires remain billionaires does so because that same system is rigged by billionaires. I mean, do you think the wealthiest members of Congress are about to risk their own earnings by passing laws that tax their wealth at higher rates than the poor, never mind the earnings of the millionaires and billionaires who pay for their political campaigns?

Hitting Bezos or Musk with 80% doesn’t do anything about the company itself.

It’ll still help pay for the social safety net (including higher salaries for government workers).

Individual wealth is a tiny fraction of corporate wealth.

So hit them both. Nailing one without the other will accomplish nothing.

So the minimum wage worker, again, pays 0.

You’d like to think that, but I speak from experience when I say that taxes and the social safety net don’t work like that for people living beneath, at, or even a little above the poverty line. (Not that you care to think about the actual humanity of the situation.)

the guarantee has always been put forward.
[Your] base level income is non-taxable.

And therein lies the problem: A CEO could easily claim a huge “base level income” (e.g., several million dollars per year) and have the tax code work in their favor by only taxing any “extra” income on top of that “base level income”. And that doesn’t even get into taxes on investments such as the stock market or inheritance taxes or anything else that the wealthy (obscenely or not) see as an obstacle to obtaining more wealth for the sake of their egos.

The idea at 10%: You maintain motivation to go to work despite a social safety net.

You know what would help maintain the movitation to go to work? Knowing one’s basic needs have been met without worrying about going into financial ruin to do that. Rich people get to do that every day; poor people don’t. You wanna fix that? Tax the wealthy and the corporations in every possible way (including a 100% tax on all annual income above a certain multi-million-dollar limit) but leave the poor alone⁠—like, say, no taxes of any kind for anyone making within three times the annual full-time federal minimum wage salary (which would be about $45,000 right now), then the tax rate gets progressively higher as the amount of wealth goes up, including that 100% tax I mentioned.

These plans don’t hurt the poor

They would continue to exacerbate income inequality by way of letting the obscenely wealthy stay obscenely wealthy. Then again, you don’t seem to have a problem with a comparative handful of people sitting on billions of dollars in personal worth and doing dumb rich people shit while millions of less fortunate people struggle to pay for their basic needs every day, so you probably think that outcome is a good thing.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:47 Re:

I’m gonna have to ask you what reality you’re living in, because it sure as shit isn’t this one.

But simply raising taxes will get them to pay more than the fee percentage points they do now?

I mean, do you think the wealthiest members of Congress are about to risk their own earnings by passing laws that tax their wealth at higher rates than the poor…

Actually, I do. Since the largest pushers for tax reform are wealthy democrats. I have some, minimal, faith.

Not that you care to think about the actual humanity of the situation

Which is why you change it. To one that covers 100% of the social system. Education, health care, etc.

And therein lies the problem: A CEO could easily claim a huge “base level income”

No, they can’t. The law sets the base income. In this case 25,000. Anything above that is taxed.
It is the equivalent of the first 25k not existing at all. That is the base. Taxes start at that level, and only tax income above that level.
At 25,001: your taxable income is $1.

Stocks and bonds are taxed. I assume you don’t hold any.
I disagree with taxing unsold holdings. You tax sales. You tax when it is translated to money.
Nothing wrong with waiting on the sale.
The problem isn’t in the wait, it’s in the shite neutralisation of losses. Which are gone on flat taxes as a sale is income. No losses deduction.

I have no problem with rich dumb bull as long as the needs of the poor are met.
Not even the most extreme alt left progressive has put forth 45k but it’s just as nice a number as 25.
(I think you increasing the work vs sit in arse do nothing factor at that level).
You don’t tax a penny below the minimum guaranteed income rate. Any you tax every dollar over it. Earned or not.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:47 Re:

"At 25,001: your taxable income is $1."

Weird. You just described a progressive tax system. Which means that the only difference between what you’re suggesting and the same progressive tax systems available in most other developed countries (which somehow manage to provide things like worker rights and healthcare as part of the deal) is the number of progressive tax levels available to people with higher incomes.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:47 Re:

I guess you could view it as a single level system.

The plans I get behind and would support always include a mega level corporate tax. And couple the tax plan with a tax funded social spending plan.
Such as, and including, health care and education.

Companies need employees. The fastest way to get someone in the door who already has the government depositing 25k per year in SSIG is to offer them more money and treat them with respect.

It converts need to drive. Must to want.
It transitions slave labour market into a volunteer work force.

An untouchable taxless base that, as far as the irs is concerned, doesn’t exist.
That eliminates the poverty line up front. And hence forth makes equal rates non-discriminatory.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:47 Re:

"I guess you could view it as a single level system."

It’s not – you already described 2 tiers. The only difference between that and a truly progressive system is that you allow the rich to get away without paying higher taxes on their higher income.

"That eliminates the poverty line up front"

No it doesn’t – it moves the parameters, but the problem with poverty is not how tax is collected, it’s how it’s used. Changing the IRS’s rules isn’t going to magically make the rest of the government start funnelling money away from war and toward helping Americans, or stop subsidising corporations who pay poverty wages. About the best you can hope for with your plan is that the location of the poverty line is moved.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

"I’m proud of my votes. I have no reason to not be. "

You’ll be that guy standing around a few years after the GQP actually wins, asking yourself "How did it come to this?".

The Build Back Better Bill? Should have been way bigger. Every time an american starts talking about the good old times what they refer to is the 50’s and 60’s based on FDR’s New Deal. And it was only after dismantling that "socialist" platform in the 80’s the US started to decline the way it has today.

You people opted instead to strip mine the basis of your own prosperity under Reagan and give every advantage to those already wealthy. Gone the days of actual upwards mobility – because save for the token lottery winner hard work no longer pays off.

"You voted for a communist and then you voted for a senile old man who has destroyed our economy, destroyed our energy sector, and is well on his way to destroying our country. "

Know how we can tell you gave up on your brain there in favor of the GQP talking points?

The US overton window is so skewed now when you people start talking about "left" and "right" what you mean is just hard right or extremist right. Bernie is about the most left-leaning guy you’ve ghot – and he’d be counted as a centrist-left at most in the rest of the world.

As for the "senile old man" destroying the economy. No. Trump earned, in his early days, the credit of Obama’s policies. Biden is currently earning the outcome of Trump’s policies. Because that’s how it shifts – the current prez always gets to see the last prez’s policy play out.

"I’m proud of my votes. I have no reason to not be. "

Spoken like a man bereft of his own history and a working brain, mindlessly chanting a senseless mantra and cleaving hard to the religious belief in Dear Leader.

Well. I don’t have a personal dog in this fight. The US falling to the new republican trend of fascist rule won’t matter much to me over here in Europe. It will mean the US days as a financial and political partner are numbered which means we’ll all have to face Russia or the EU taking over the seat of world leader – because China won’t give a toss beyond ensuring it’s borders are closed to undesired western influence.

You people, otoh, will all get to watch that precious constitution of yours on fire, because unless i misread things, no matter whether Trump loses in 24 or not, the new set of republican yes-men won’t oppose him in overturning the results.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

"senile old man"

I honestly can’t understand how someone can look at the rambling con artist and decide that Biden is the senile one. Yeah, he rambles a bit in speeches, but he’s never claimed that windmills cause cancer or that he’s like to screw his own daughter…

"The US falling to the new republican trend of fascist rule won’t matter much to me over here in Europe"

It will. That’s why I take such an interest in US politics. Their decisions can be funny to laugh at from a distance, but then you get a Thatcher who decides that they’re good to imitate when it comes to public health, a Blair who decides that war is cool, or whatever, and then all of a sudden people are dying.

The constant problem with US politics is that no matter how obviously stupid and comical it is, it will affect you. Maybe that will change, but for now people can’t ignore the Q-Anon cult just because they’re obviously insane – because millions of those people did not step back and reconsider what they did, they’re angry that democracy took place.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:

“but he’s never claimed that windmills cause cancer “
Neither have I. I don’t know if they do or not. But according to California almost everything does. So what. I’m too busy with my cigarette ???? at the moment to care about a windmill.

“or that he’s like to screw his own daughter”
So what!
You wouldn’t? I would. Nearly anyone attracted to females would take up an opportunity if offered.
That he would if not related is also not that rare. It’s a well known and discussed aspect of sexuality. Familial attraction is not the norm but not exactly rare either.
Mind that the term “incest” is one of the internet’s most popular searches!

That’s why I take such an interest in US politics.

Probably. Eventually we made get a president and congress that puts America first and pulls funding for internal projects. Instead of sending it ‘over there’.

because millions of those people did not step back and reconsider what they did

You continue to over count the whole q thing.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

The US overton window is so skewed now when you people start talking about "left" and "right" what you mean is just hard right or extremist right.

This isn’t Europe and most of us don’t want to live there.
Know how I know your view is skewed? You talk about our politics and think we don’t have a left.

the current prez always gets to see the last prez’s policy play out

A fallacy in thought as the economy didn’t take off coming into trump’s term but in the middle following mid-term changes. The economy didn’t collapse back down until blue states shut down. Funny how that works! Close 90+% of business and the economy tanks.

It will mean the US days as a financial and political partner are numbered

That was kind of the point from our perspective. We have long been one of the largest international investors and walk away with the fewest benefits of being so.

After helping save Europe from itself in the 40s our “winners” joins us in a decades long religious crusade against evil atheists.

We poisoned entire countries with radiation. We decimated south east Asia and trashed Asia as a whole.
Spreading democracy when no country involved had ever even tried it. We have monarchies and constitutional and parliamentary republicans and all that jazz; No democracies.

How’d that work out? We spent years killing heads of state. Iraq, Iran, Egypt… etc. here comes the new boss. Same as the old boss.
How did arming religious fanatics in Afghanistan in the 70s work out. You know they started as a few thousand strong, small scattered tribes armed with the (then) latest in warfare by the great United States.
France created the Vietnam war by being brutal idiots.

For 100 years Europe starts something and then…Begs the US to “solve it”. And it rarely works out.

The grand Paris accord? Instructs the US to disassemble it’s energy and industrial sectors while China goes on being the largest polluter 3-fold.

The UK left the EU rightfully. After years of being stepped on by policy designing to protect some mountain village somewhere to the detriment of the majority.

The majority here, the vast majority, stop short of EU politics by choice.
You stand behind the progressives because they are like you. They are a tiny population of our country. We are who we are. Most of us don’t want to change that.
For all the internal fighting most of us are still glad to be American.

Btw, a few policies aside Sanders isn’t a progressive as you appear to think.
He’d still be far right in Europe.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13

You talk about our politics and think we don’t have a left.

The Republicans are heavily right⁠—I’m talking humping-against-fascism right⁠—and the Democrats are, by and large, right-leaning centrists. (Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are not representative of the party as a whole no matter how much you want to believe otherwise.) The U.S. doesn’t have a meaningful leftist presence in politics; saying otherwise is ignoring facts.

The economy didn’t collapse back down until blue states shut down.

Maybe those shutdowns had to do with a viral disease that the Trump administration didn’t give a shit about until thousands of people had died. And let’s not forget that Trump himself threatened (on more than one occasion) to withhold government funding from “blue states” for whatever reason he thought would make his base angrier at Democrats.

We have long been one of the largest international investors and walk away with the fewest benefits of being so.

What the fuck benefits do you want⁠—control over other countries?

Instructs the US to disassemble it’s energy and industrial sectors while China goes on being the largest polluter 3-fold.

20 other countries join the U.S. and China in being responsible for more pollution than damn near the rest of the world combined. And nobody has ever asked the U.S. to “dismantle [its] energy and industrial sectors”⁠—only to make them more clean so the U.S. can help prevent the worst effects of (the now-unstoppable) global climate change taking place as we speak.

For all the internal fighting most of us are still glad to be American.

I’m happy to live in this country⁠—but I’m not going to kiss its ass and pretend everything is awesome. I am an American, and my duty as a citizen is to dissent, to criticize, to shittalk both this country and its leaders so the nation can strive to become a more perfect union.

If that means criticizing a man who spent four years trying to find a way to become a king⁠—and all of his shithead supporters, including the ones who rioted against actual goddamn American democracy⁠—so be it. If that means criticizing a man who is either unwilling or unable to make two Democrats-in-name-only U.S. Senators blow up the filibuster for the sake of protecting voting rights, so be it.

And if that means pointing out that there is no significant leftist presence in American politics⁠—which would sure as hell explain things like the lack of desire from the supposed “leftists” in government to play hardball against right-wing proto-fascists instead of trying to compromise with them⁠—then so motherfucking be it.

Now let’s see you be equally as critical of your goddamned demigod Donald Trump, you fascist-supporting cunt.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

Equally? Well you hate him. So it won’t be equal.

I’ve more than once pointed out flaws in trump policies.
Like the fact we still are stuck with bull health “care” that is doing nothing better than the past for the majority, enslaved the most poor to perpetuating mandate, and is entirely ignored by the top 1%.

We still don’t have an energy plan. After four years of claiming to have a plan… crickets.

But again, we have different concerns. We
Still don’t have universal education. We still don’t have universal health care. We still have an insecure border. We still send hundreds of billions over seas.

And for all your fascist claims; you fail basic facts.
Know how you historically get there?
Remove the people’s ability to self defence. Control the media story.
Criminalise differing opinion.
Sounds like what’s happening right now with calling parents terrorists, blatantly lying media. “You’re damn right” threats to weapons owners.
You may want to return to the dictionary on a term you pretend to understand.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17

The documents are quite clear.

Yeah, they are⁠—and they were referring to parents making threats of violence against school boards, not to parents merely being upset at school boards. Or did you ignore that like your right-wing douchecanoe brethren did?

Like I said: Tell me you’re one of them without telling me you’re one of them.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re:

What threats of violence do they refer to. It’s not documented in the documents.
Where are school boards being threatened with violence.
Because all I see is board members calling parents idiots and “fucks”.
A parent being dragged out for daring to publicly discuss his teenage daughter’s rape in a school bathroom.

Because even if not specifically endorsed: some teachers are teaching hate.
Hate the white kid. His family makes him born bad.
The crime of being born white.

We need to be teaching that equality is a good goal. That the colour of the skin should be meaningless.
Learning about the past and looking at improving. Not flipping.

We need to not teach in a way that is meant to implement new hate in response to old or existing hate.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19

What threats of violence do they refer to.

“It was only days after Sami Al-Abdrabbuh was re-elected to the school board in Corvallis, Ore., that the text messages arrived. The first, he said, was a photograph taken at a shooting range. It showed one of his campaign’s lawn signs — “Re-Elect Sami” — riddled with bullet holes. The second was a warning from a friend. This one said that one of their neighbors was looking for Mr. Al-Abdrabbuh. The neighbor was threatening to kill him.” (Source)

some teachers are teaching hate. Hate the white kid. His family makes him born bad.

Even if⁠—and that’s a big “if”⁠—there is even a single teacher actually doing that, I know what you’re trying to allude to, which is the teaching of issues such as slavery and the civil rights movement. Well, here’s what sucks for you: Teaching history isn’t always fun. It isn’t always going to make people feel good⁠—about themselves, about their ancestors, or about humanity in general. But if you’re learning about history in a way that does always make you feel good, you’re not learning history.

American history is explicitly tied to racism⁠—from slavery (and the slave patrols that begat modern policing) to the civil rights movement (and the opposition thereof, up to and including the assassination of MLK). You can’t teach people about those subjects without teaching them about racism. If that upsets some people, I don’t give a damn; teaching history is about teaching accurate history, not a history that says “oh Black people wanted their children and their children’s children to be enslaved” or “slavery was good for Black people, actually”.

Learning about the past and looking at improving.

You can’t improve things if you don’t know what went wrong in the first place. And you can’t do that without looking at a truthful recounting of the past⁠—the good, the bad, and the ugly. We can’t cure the ills of racism if we ignore its existence or treat it as only being interpersonal hatred that is limited to backwater hick towns in the deep South. To believe otherwise is to demand an obscene level of willful ignorance that has no place in public education.

We need to not teach in a way that is meant to implement new hate in response to old or existing hate.

How do you propose schools teach about both slavery and the civil rights movement in a way that conforms with your demand?

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:20 Re:

So a psycho equates to a systemic problem across the country?

not a history that says “oh Black people wanted their children and their children’s children to be enslaved” or “slavery was good for Black people, actually”.

And where does that happen. What public school system is teaching that. Feel free to show me some nationally approved education book that says that.
I grew up in a suburban mixed, neighbourhood. Mostly Indian/west Asian and white.
I’d never heard that. Never.
But slavery isn’t a white vs black thing. It still happens all over the world. Americans did enslave blacks by majority. As well as Asians, Indians (native and Asian), even whites (permanent indenture).

We can’t cure the ills of racism if we ignore its existence or treat it as only being interpersonal hatred that is limited to backwater hick towns in the deep South.

Except overtly that’s just what it is.

There’s definitely substance to the claim that it is still an issue. But we’ve moved on from that. Rightfully. Racism does exist. But it’s not systemic. It’s spotty, pockets. Recognise it. Demonise it.

You don’t solve the problem by saying whites are inherently racist.
They are not. And that breeds more hate.
New hate.

That solves nothing.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21

slavery isn’t a white vs black thing.

In the United States, it was.

Americans did enslave blacks by majority.

Says a lot about you that you refer to white people as “Americans” and black people as “blacks”. Probably not what you want it to say, tho’.

overtly that’s just what it is

Only if you think of racism as interpersonal hatred⁠—and even then, that isn’t limited to backwater Southern towns, no matter how much you want to believe with all of your heart that the only racist parts of the United States are a few small towns full of stereotypical bigots in the deep South.

Racism does exist. But it’s not systemic.

Dylann Roof was brought in alive by the cops after murdering several Black people in a church. George Floyd was killed by the cops for selling cigarettes on the street. Systemic racism does exist in the U.S.; that you’re unwilling to study it beyond what your favorite right-wing media outlets tell you to believe about it is your problem.

You don’t solve the problem by saying whites are inherently racist.

Show me an example of any school actively teaching this exact lesson⁠—and when I say “exact”, I mean it, because not even Critical Race Theory teaches that lesson (and you’d know that if you read more about it than your right-wing media bubble tells you about it).

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