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A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth"
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:58 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

Someone sent me this in email...

"Here is a creative approach to redistribution of wealth as offered in a local newspaper...

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference--just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the
server inside as I'd decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application."

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Claymore
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

To me, the idea of welfare is more of a wage safeguard than an incentive to bludge. Personally, I could not imagine living off the pittance that is 'the dole' which now requires most recipients to work for it anyway. However, if some bloke says to me I'll give you $20k per year to work 60 hour weeks, no sick leave, no penalties, I can tell him to get stuffed and still be able to have food on the table while looking for alternative work. For one person in one instance that may mean a small pay rise, however across a society that serves to lower profit margins businesses operate under with regards to wages.

I do concede, however, that the dole hand outs do present some serious social problems, which in Australia is particularly highlighted in rural communities with low housing prices through drug addiction, alcohol abuse, crime and child abuse.

I am a volunteer with the State Emergency Service which presents another issue with regards to wealth distribution. For example, we can get called out to a damaged building (among any number of different jobs) at 2am following 14 hours of previous call outs (often the Red Cross will provide meals for instances like this), remove any debris that can be safely handled and then secure the building against rain, wind, etc. This can take anywhere from half an hour to several hours. How much is this service WORTH in dollar value? Consider, an 8 man crew, 2am and 14hr overtime, training, specialist equipment, etc. We do this free of charge. So who should foot the bill?

Bushmaster wrote:
Claymore...I'm not sure where you are going with all that, but as you critisize our system here in America, remember.

It is just a stir to see what floats to the surface. I am not trying to insult or question the views of others, simply have an interesting debate on what is usually a very emotive issue with very strong opinions, also keep in mind that I don't necessarily follow the views that I put forward anyway...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
I gotta say that I am unaware of anyone in the US being denied a chance at higher education.
I guess we need to figure out what a definition of 'denied' is. To my mind a 'no' is being denied something, for whatever reason. Can't afford the bill? Interestingly this has brought about a massive (and very topical) issue of banks and lenders offering unsecured loans to high risk applicants...


Pumpkinslinger wrote:
I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.
I guess that depends on how far you are going to go with that 'practical application.' For example instead of $10 (which is enough for a couple of beers and a hotdog), it was enough money to have the homeless guy fed, housed and then employed (thus earning a salary and paying tax). Therefore this 'redistribution of wealth' could be considered more of a loan than a cash payment.

For example, my university study is subsidized heavily by the government (at 25% interest [total, not PA]). Within a couple of years of full time employment I will have paid this contribution back plus extra. Further if people meet an income threshold during the holiday period, they are entitled to a pension throughout the year to help pay rent and food costs. Without this immediate subsidy many of my mates would be unable to meet rent and food costs, thus could not attend uni.

An independent study found that for every additional year of school beyond year 10, the average salary goes up by approximately $1000 PA, that is approximately 40K-50K over a lifetime and 10K tax or there abouts (for every year of further education). That means, the government is only out of pocket if education costs exceed 10K pp py (much higher than it currently is). So from a pure $$$ perspective, government spending for education makes sense and every prospective student should be encouraged to attend further education and given incentives to do so.

Similar arguments can be made for any number of services including Healthcare. Government payments are not a cost but rather a long term investment in raising the standard of living and increasing the efficiency and profitability of the nation.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

It's not hard to get student loans, etc. You could even (GASP!!) work while in school to help pay your way. I did. Daughter did both. If I can't afford that sports car I want is the "republican ideology" denying it to me? Maybe I just need to work a little more... Nobody OWES me a thing. If I want something, be it money or respect, I have to earn it. Forcing me to share what I'VE worked for isn't fair.

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Claymore
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:13 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
It's not hard to get student loans, etc.
Again, I don't know all the details, but from what I understand it is now virtually impossible to get a student loan with financial institutions not lending any money. That aside, the problem as I see it is that there are so many layers of profit margin that many people will be excluded, infact that is how the system works. Education is an in-elastic service. In other words, by reducing the number of people that can attend uni (college?), the price rises to a point that exceeds that profits increase rather than decrease. In a perfect market with perfect competition this would not occur as universities would be cost competing, but in practice this does not occur. It is exactly the same story with healthcare.

The result is an inferior service at a highly inflated price.

An interesting point you raise about 'working harder.' An interesting trend is that those working more than 60 hours a week earn less than those working 40 odd hours per week. It seems that wages are a product of power rather than 'effort.' Thus we reinforce this class structure and social divide between the wealthy and (working) poor.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:03 am    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

I cannot provide a better explanation than Dawgdad provided. Great job Dawgdad!!

Claymore, I don't know where you get your information from but your statement, "it is now virtually impossible to get a student loan with financial institutions not lending any money" is incorrect. The fact is that there are many local banks with plenty of money. And they are asking folks to come in and borrow. I think you are a victim of the biased media of our country. The main stream media loves to gin up mini crises, when they don't know the first thing about what is going on under their noses.

As far as the money crisis in the US - the consumer has spent more than 90 million dollars for costumes to celebrate Halloween. The media would have you believe that Americans don't have any money, but when you look at the expenditures they seem to have plenty to do the things they want to do (notice this is not what they need to do).

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Dawgdad
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:08 am    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

Americans afford what they want.

We are the most generous nation in the world and have a great volunteer organizations that come to the aid of anyone in need.

I think the Bell Curve exists in all populations. Not everyone will be at the top or the bottom of any group. There is a continum and that is OK.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:07 am    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

Claymore,
I wonder what left wing rags you are getting your info from and do you have any first hand info about us, like having lived here or visited?? I know some real live Australians and have always thought well of them and your country, but if yours is the prevailing attitude I may have to adjust my thinking!!! Our taxes not only support the welfare of the USA, but the rest of the world as well!!!!

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

Claymore, I also wonder where you are getting your information. We haven't had any problems getting student loans and I am unaware of anyone among my daughters' friends who has had a problem. Some of the foreign born students are practically given a college education. It appears that what you "understand" is based on faulty information.

If you don't think that colleges have to compete to some extent cost wise you've obviously never put a kid through school! Cost IS a factor in the decision of where to go.

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froeal_1132
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

I dont understand the concept of people being guaranteed anything in their life from the Government! I was born in the USA, yet have never once thought to myself that I deserve health care because of my birth right. I went to college and had to pay for it myself! So I joined the National Guard and applied for student loans and supported myself through college.

The way I see it if you are a motivated individual, the means are there for you to support yourself in whatever you want to do with your life. If you are a minority your opportunities are even greater because there are extra funds and scholarships available for minorities.

If you want to see the distribution of wealth in America look at the state of the Native Americans in our country. The government has given them property, they get paid every month, they can go to any college in the country that they want to cause of their race. Yet the vast majority of them don't choose to further their education, they stay on the reservation and abuse drugs and alcohal. They don't have any motivation to improve their livelihood cause it is all taken care of by our government. I am not trying to be offensive to anyone who is of Native American decent, nor am I saying all Native Americans fit this realm. I am just trying to prove a point of Obama's redistribution of wealth, and how it would encourage welfare.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:31 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

No matter how bad a economy is a bank or government student loan will always be avalilable to most students (students who own on other student loans maybe denied cause they are undesirable as a borrower as they may just "leech" off the loans and going to school with no real intention to pay them back or get a job). Fact of the matter is many allow students out of school to deffer payments without credit rating penalty when out of a job etc, so hard economic times just means more interest to collect later when things get better, and since the economy is a cycle the good times will happen again and the banks know this. Wink

You want government hand outs for education ?? Even post secondary is subsidized in Canada (and in the US I believe). When a term of studies costs a student 2,500$ and a foreign student attending MUST pay 10,000$ for the same time period the government (and therefor the tax payers) are already footing 75% of the bill to give "Young John Doe" down the street a college/university education.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

Sorry guys, I seem to be upsetting some people, that was not my intent. I am the first to admit my life has been easy to date, I have had everything I need provided, been able to easily find as much work as I need and had food on the table and a roof over my head in a safe neighborhood. I am not trying to knock in any way the efforts and achievements of anybody who has done the hard yards and succeeded in life, I admire that greatly.

My intent with my response was to make some fairly light hearted responses to a very right wing statement, from a very left wing perspective. As per Benjamin Franklin's statement; "In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." What to do with these taxes though?

Froeal, you point is very valid, recently in Aus we had an 'intervention' which banned the sale of alcohol and pornography in remote NT (mostly aboriginal) in a supposed attempt to turn around some serious problems with alcohol, crime and sexual assault (we will see if it actually worked in the next month or so). I don't dispute for a moment that some do piss the hard earned dollars of others up against the wall, and everybody loses out. My point of contention is, what is the best solution?

Dimitri wrote:
You want government hand outs for education ?? Even post secondary is subsidized in Canada (and in the US I believe). When a term of studies costs a student 2,500$ and a foreign student attending MUST pay 10,000$ for the same time period the government (and therefor the tax payers) are already footing 75% of the bill to give "Young John Doe" down the street a college/university education.
Those figures sound ballpark, I pay a bit over $3k per semester ($7k per year as I pick up an extra course). The average starting salary for somebody out of high school in Australia is $28,000 PY, the average salary of a university graduate is $51,000 PY (as of 2005). That means that following a degree you are earning 23k extra, therefore at 30% tax (marginal tax rate for 30k-75k) an individual is paying approximately $8,000 in additional taxation per year, thus the government contribution is paid back in full after approximately 4 years. Every year thereafter is profit for the government. As a result I would think a government would want to have as many people attending uni as possible by making it as accessible as possible. It could therefore be concluded that rather than 'giving handouts' to students, it is infact an exceedingly high interest loan (consider $8k PA tax for a $24k contribution is a 25% interest repayment for the rest of that individuals working life, note this will grow further as wages rise).

Interestingly, since the introduction of HECS (student contributions) by the Liberal party (right wing) to supposedly give universities more money, university education quality has steadily fallen to the point where most graduates now need further education to be able to actually work in the field of their degree.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

Paying for college was never a problem for me. I had a 4.0 GPA and my college kept giving me scholarship money (thousands of dollars); most of the time I just ended up paying for my books. I tried to give the money back, to give to some of the needy kids, and they refused to take it back.

That said….If you are poor, or a minority, you can get a college education for almost nothing (grant money) and college work programs. It’s the working middle class that has to foot the bill for everyone. Getting a student loan is not a problem. My daughter had no problems. She has a total of about $20,000 of student loans after going to college for 5 or 6 years. That's not bad. She had a part time job during those years.

Also, if some one wants to go to an expensive collage, they deserve the high-priced student loans.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

Claymore wrote:
the Liberal party (right wing) to supposedly give universities more money, university education quality has steadily fallen to the point where most graduates now need further education to be able to actually work in the field of their degree.

Actually its the same everywhere now. A University Degree doesn't mean much without "back up". Especially the "Bachelor of Arts" pieces of paper. Kind of like how a high school education used to "mean" more then what it does now (you managed to at least scrape by even if you didn't do much at school, the system kept you going to classes till they gave you it) so high school alone wont net you the kind of pay it would have 50+ years ago.

Thing is there are too many graduates and as such you cannot "separate" yourself from anyone else without more then just a piece of paper from a school. After all, with 1,000 graduates in a single area with the same piece of paper and only 500 positions to fill why would they just hire someone without any other experience or education when they have a large number to select from ??

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: A little lesson to the family on "Spreading the Wealth" Reply with quote

Point taken Dimitri, but the problem goes a bit further than just being the 'best candidate.' A number of employers I have spoken to have complained loudly (from various industries) that they are hiring graduates who cannot do the jobs that they should be able to (and have been able to in previous years). Either because the uni has passed them despite being incompetent, or because the course did not include the material. This was highlighted particularly in the mining industry, where there wasn't enough labour, graduates couldn't do the work (despite being 'qualified') and currently employed engineers didn't want to make the move into the desert for any pay rise. The result was a dramatic loss in productivity and lost opportunity for employers.

Interestingly as I write this, the cause of this is partly the 'leftist' logic to university, whereby the government throws cash at unis without any checks and balances as to the quality of the course. Initially universities were owned and run by the government, free to all students. Now we have the problem that private enterprise, subsidised considerably by the government, is now focused on generating profits rather than delivering a top quality service. Every university in Melbourne appears to be pursuing some sort of cost cutting venture (usually by condensing different courses so they can combine subjects). For example at one university you now have to do 3 years of 'science' 'arts' or 'commerce'. If you want to do law, engineering, medicine, whatever, you have to do the generic course first and then specialise. So they are providing a vastly inferior service, at increased cost, that takes longer... Certainly not the way to attract students to do further education.

I am pondering what would actually happen if the government were to withdraw financial support from universities entirely. My guess would be a significant but not dramatic increase in cost and in increase in standards (having said that I would still prefer the alternative, free government run). The problem we are starting to see already is the alienation of local students in preference for higher paying international students and part-time students, especially in terms of student services.

Dave

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