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Author Topic: PA-Muhlenberg: Obama with a moderate lead  (Read 2898 times)
Tender Branson
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« Reply #50 on: April 16, 2012, 09:47:00 am »

The connection between "distribution of wealth" and the crash of 2008 and/or macroeconomic conditions is entirely subjective based upon one's own biases and beliefs. I do agree that it might be indicative of something else that could be a drag on the economy, like problems in the education system. The best ideas for solving those problems are a combination of ideas offered from both sides. I would say there is a higher concentration of good ideas on the Republican side then the Democrats, though. Tongue But that too is a subjective opinion. Wink

I'd be minded to agree if the the eve of the 'Crash of 2008', which begat the Great Recession, did not correlate with that of the 'Crash of 1929', which begat the Great Depression, in that respect

I guess I am just not one to buy into the "emense impact" of a slightly more progressive tax code under Clinton being the cause of the 1990's expansion versus the 2000's stagnation. Many other factors were at play to create the 1990's, most of which were far beyond the goverment's control.

I don't dispute there are factors far beyond the government's control but the 1990s was one of prosperity, relative to the 'Eighties' (the only great achievement being slaying the inflation dragon but that came at significant social cost) and 'Noughties'

What do you mean by "positive rights"?

Rights considered positive rights, as initially proposed in 1979 by the Czech jurist Karel Vasak, may include other civil and political rights such as police protection of person and property and the right to counsel, as well as economic, social and cultural rights such as food, housing, public education, employment, national security, military, health care, social security, and a minimum standard of living

Of course, liberals [be they classical (Smith), new liberal (Keynes) or neoliberal (Hayek)] will disagree on the extent to which the state and market should play in securing those

Apparently, according to Pew's typology, I'm a 'New Coalition Democrat' and we tend to favor proative government, be pro-business and be pro-labor. But then as a left-leaning Christian Democrat, I've never believed that the interests of capital and labor are necessarily irreconciliable. Such a position could be considered neo-corporatist. And in the wake of the 'Crash of 2008', I've become somewhat enamored with the German social market model (its their variant of the 'Third Way'); indeed, Northern Europe, in general, seems to be , fiscally, well-managed. Southern Europe, on the other hand, ... well

I'm wary of austerity, certainly in the UK, given unemployment is running at 8.4%, though had we a more 'social democratic' (Nordic) or 'Christian Democratic/conservative' (social market) welfare safety net it wouldn't concern me as much. Its pretty impressive that Austria has reduced its budget deficit to 2.6% of GDP, with 4.2% unemployment (the lowest in the EU).

If I was ever to do research it would be on the welfare state

I can honestly say that never in my life have I cast a vote on the promise of tax cuts and the Conservative Party has been dead to me since the reintroduction of mass unemployment in early 1980s

That's mostly because politicians here are passing austerity measures that are not impacting the economy or the labor market or the middle class.

It seems the SPVP government can actually get budget-balancing things done, even without a CBBA. They are currently finishing their talks about a 26-30 billion spending cut/tax increase package that will be unveiled in the next weeks. This package will run until 2016 and consolidate the Austrian budget by roughly 5-6 billion each year, so that the country will have no deficit by 2016 or 2017. Newspaper reports suggest the final deal will be made up of about 70% spending cuts and 30% tax increases. But it could also end up 75/25, because the VP wants more spending cuts rather than tax increases.

Both parties have taken a look at areas that will not hurt the broader middle class and cripple the solid economy. So the major consolidation areas will be:

* Pensions: reform of pension entry ages, real entry age will steadily raised to 65 from an average 58 years (Austrians are record-holders in early retirement, due to the historically strong pension representatives in the "old parties" SP and VP). Early retirement for women (60) will steadily be phased out and be tied to the men's age of 65. Early retirement for physically damaged people (due to accidents, sickness, etc.) will be heavily restricted, so that people stay longer in the work process (you need at least 15 years of work to apply and then you have heavy deductions). A new "corridor-pension" will also be introduced: People aged 62+ with at least 37,5 insurance years can apply for this system in which they have to pay deductions of 4,2% annually until they are 65. Social Security payments will be raised by 0,5% annually for all (?) pensions, but SPVP have said a good deal will be invested in future care for seniors. This should save about 8 billion until 2016.

* Bureaucrats: Freeze in new hirings, but no firings. Administrative reforms such as merging county courts etc. Should save about 2,7 billion

* BB (state rail): 1,4 billions in savings, due to a review of much-needed infrastructure projects and an end of early retirements for their employees.

* Health Care/Hospitals/ELGA: 1,8 billions in savings due to reforms in this sector, introduction of ELGA (Electronic Health Report System) which makes it easier to share information between doctors, hospitals, emergency personnell etc.

* Subsidies/Social Transfers: Will be cut by about 800 million $, mainly agriculture etc.

* States/Cities: will consolidate their budgets by about 5,2 billion

* New Taxes: at least 7 billion in new taxes, primarily focused on the Rich: real estate sales tax, higher taxes for high-income earners, reform in group-taxing

For example, in the latest budget consolidation package that went into effect on April 1, the government just recently negotiated a deal with the Swiss government to tax the money that Austrians have in Swiss banks.

That will balance the budget by 1 Bio. more by 2016 (by which the government thinks Austria will have a balanced budget and 70% debt). Read more here:



"Austria, Switzerland Ink Landmark Tax Deal"
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« Reply #51 on: April 16, 2012, 12:26:25 pm »

The 'Crash of 2008' has for me, at least, laid bare the dangers of wealth becoming increasingly concentrated at the very top

To be fair I should think that for most sentient people the instability and problematic nature of liberal/neo-liberal oppression has been apparent since about 1890 or at least 1929.  The fact that we took another deep drink of the poison since 1980 is testimony to how little

What do you mean by "positive rights"?

Means privileges.  In fact of course a realistic person understands all 'rights' as privileges.  In our current society the rich have all the rights, the rest none.

The essence of democracy at its purest is a lynch mob

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« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2012, 12:56:15 pm »

The 'Crash of 2008' has for me, at least, laid bare the dangers of wealth becoming increasingly concentrated at the very top

To be fair I should think that for most sentient people the instability and problematic nature of liberal/neo-liberal oppression has been apparent since about 1890 or at least 1929.  The fact that we took another deep drink of the poison since 1980 is testimony to how little

I'm just pretty concerned at the extent to which, among developed nations, both the UK and US are among the most "unequal"so I'm kind of left-wondering, what if not ...

My left-leaning Christian Democratic convictions, however, are well-established; indeed, it was the reintroduction of mass unemployment during the 'Monetarist Recession' which poisoned any chance of being a Conservative

Moderate Liberal Populist Smiley [Personal 45%/Economic 42%] / Defense 'Hawk'

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