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Green New Deal

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by mspohr, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    No... as you pointed out the GND is about getting funding to install solar, wind, storage and build EVs where funding exists because math.
     
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  2. d21mike

    d21mike Member

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    No.... you do not need funding for a "real" crisis. The government can simply declare a crisis and funding is magically provided. Like we were attacked on 9/11 and we simply needed to go to war. And of course the attack on pearl harbor. I tried to explain that in my prior post. So, my only conclusion is that no one in government (or very many if any) believe Climate Change is a crisis that in 12 years it will be too late to reverse.

    I personally believe in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels for similar reasons a Elon Musk. It is not unlimited like the sun. I also believe that people will simply buy EV's because they are a better choice over ICE for a lot of reasons. And I believe people will adopt Solar to offset the cost of using electric cars because it financially makes sense. But none of that has to do with Climate Change and it will simply evolve over time requiring no immediate need for special funding. But if you want it to happen FAST (like in 12 years) then of course we need to use incentives to make it happen and if it is a crisis then it will simply happen if the government believes it is.
     
  3. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    That's essentially what the GND seeks to do. If instead of getting 86% of the funding from the 20% that hold 86% of the wealth we simply balloon the debt that's fine too. But eventually that debt will need to be recovered... and 86% will come from the 20% that hold 86% of the wealth because math.

    ...except if the current trend holds by that time it will probably be 90% from the 10% that own 90% :(
     
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  4. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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    "Millionaires" are literally a dime a dozen. The real "wealthy" are the billionaires and most of them inherited their wealth and benefit from low capital gains taxes. We need to go back to the good old days of the 50s and 60s when the top marginal tax rate was 90%, wealth inequality was low and we had a healthy economy and middle class.
     
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  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    And has been stymied at every turn by corporations with pockets deep enough to buy the politicians on both sides so no meaningful measures can be taken. And with the current Administration and Senate suppressing even the idea of AGW and tearing down every agency so that none function, no progress can be expected. It's not likely to change as the DNC is pulling every punch it can to get a NeoCon as the front runner. I don't expect any reaction until Washington is underwater.
     
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  6. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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    Except the government is controlled by fossil fuel interests (business and finance) so they won't declare a climate emergency. They just propose business as usual. If you're waiting for the government to declare a climate emergency, it's not going to happen.
     
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  7. tes-s

    tes-s Supporting Member

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    We already do income redistribution. We have a progressive tax system. For example, only about half of the people in the country pay federal income taxes which pays for the bulk of the federal budget other than social security and medicare. About half goes to defense, and the rest goes to VA, HHS, Education, Homeland Security, State Department, Debt payments, etc.

    Take Education for example. Over half the budget is for Pell grants and student loans. Mostly a redistribution from the 50%ers to the non-50%ers.
     
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  8. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    LOL! No we have the appearance of one. The Waltons that never worked a day in their life pay 15% for income from income their grandfather made. When I worked at a Uranium enrichment plant working 12hr shifts I paid ~40%. Over twice as much. Explain that 'logic'...

    Our system is clearly failing.... how long before it breaks? And as industry 4.0 kicks into high gear opportunities are going to become even more scarce. You can make >$50k/yr as a truck driver with no college... millions of people do... how long before that's gone?

    Screen Shot 2019-09-11 at 11.26.55 AM.png
     
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  9. tes-s

    tes-s Supporting Member

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    They were a little higher then. Has not changed much in the past 40 years.

    upload_2019-9-11_14-21-25.png
     
  10. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    That's a HUUUGE difference when you consider that back then they had 20% of the wealth compared to 40% today. Think about that. The top 1% control 40% of the wealth. How is that sustainable?

    Screen Shot 2019-09-11 at 11.36.20 AM.png
     
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  11. tes-s

    tes-s Supporting Member

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    Income distribution and progressive tax system are two different things.

    The share of federal income taxes paid by the uber rich has been increasing while that paid by the bottom 50% has declined. "Richest 1,409 taxpayers pay more income tax than bottom 70Mln" Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

    upload_2019-9-11_14-32-35.png

    Top 1% account for about 20% of all income, and almost 40% of all income taxes.

    upload_2019-9-11_14-35-53.png


    Wealth and income are two different things. What your picture fails to capture is the 1%, 9%, and "all the rest" are different people over time. Who the top and bottom 20% changes generation to generation. MOST people in the US are not in the same income quintile as their parents - including those in the top quintile and bottom quintile.



    upload_2019-9-11_14-39-6.png
     

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  12. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    No it hasn't. They pay mostly capital gains taxes which caps out at 15%. People that actually work for a living pay up to ~40%.
     
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  13. tes-s

    tes-s Supporting Member

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    Did you look at the charts? The way I read it, in 2001 the top .001% paid 2% of the income taxes, compared to 3% now. The bottom 50% paid 5% compared to 3% now.

    That is absolute dollars.

    In terms of percentage, they pay about the same effective tax rate of 35% over the past 40 years.
     
  14. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    Not on capital gains. Why not treat capital gains as income? We'd raise enough money for more solar panels, wind turbines and EVs than we know what to do with.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-11 at 11.54.45 AM.png
     
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  15. tes-s

    tes-s Supporting Member

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    Yes - Western Europe has a more equal income distribution than the US. US GDP per capita is about 50% higher than the EU.

    My belief is that the lower productivity and lower income disparity is due to their position on the socialism/capitalism scale vs the US. It is a tradeoff, and an active debate in this country. Clearly the extreme (Argentina) does not work, but reasonable people can make a case for shifting in one direction or the other. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are doing a good job making the case for a move more towards socialism.
     
  16. tes-s

    tes-s Supporting Member

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    If someone buys an asset in 2000 for $100, and sells it today for $150, how much tax should they pay? They have sold it for a loss in real terms.

    Personally, I would like to see capital gains indexed for inflation and then taxed as ordinary income.

    The capital gains tax rate is not 15%. It is progressive: 0% (poor), 15% (middle class), and 20% (rich).
     
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  17. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    I didn't realize that. It's still pretty weak compared to income taxes.
     
  18. tes-s

    tes-s Supporting Member

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    I would call it more imperfect than weak. I don't think it is right to tax people on inflation; the lower rate takes that into account imperfectly.

    Indexing capital gains for inflation is what I would like to do philisophically, but probably too complicated. If you invested $100 in a mutual fund 50 years ago, and had quarterly distributions reinvested, and then sold the whole thing, you would have to calculate adjust the basis on 200 purchase transactions.

    My solution is to simply add another bracket. The 20% kicks in around $500k; get the 1%ers with a 25% bracket at $1M. Same with ordinary income - the top bracket is 37% at about $600k. Add a 40% bracket at $1.2M.

    The counter argument is once you get to the $500k range, taxes should be flat. It is all "luxury" income well beyond what is needed to "scrape by" with just $500k.

    Another counter argument to raising capital gains taxes is people will simply not sell the asset. They will not pay any tax, and the capital will be underutilized when it could be deployed more productively. For example, don't sell GM stock that you have held for 50 years, pay 20% tax, then invest the remaining 80% in Tesla.

    So if we want people to shift their investments to the new economy, perhaps we should be lowering capital gains taxes? Or allow what they do in real estate - if you sell one real estate holding and invest in a "similar" property, you can roll the basis forward and not pay taxes. Do the same for selling "similar" stocks and investing in similar stocks - GM to Tesla?

    Bill DiBlasio wants a "robot" tax - essentially robots are replacing workers, so they should pay taxes like the displaced worker(s) would. But if we want to increase productivity, is taxing it the right thing to do? DiBlasio warped (IMHO) logic is that we do not want to increase productivity because people will have nothing to do.
     
  19. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    #1639 nwdiver, Sep 11, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    At the end of the day we're increasingly being split into two classes of people. One class that gets more than they can possibly spend from income they didn't work for and another class that can't work enough to get what they need. This is only going to get worse until we take active steps to mitigate it.

    It's also mildly frustrating because my parents were 'foolish' enough to serve their country in the military so I inherited ~nothing. If they had been 'smarter' and contributed nothing to society by shuffling $$$ from one place to another and back again I could have had a sizable inheritance..... Sort of 'amazing' where our society places value :(

    A more pragmatic way of looking at the GND is the fact that the extraction of and addiction to fools fuel is unfortunately a 'load bearing' wall of our society. You can't simply knock it down and expect things to be ok. There needs to be thoughtful reinforcement of effected sectors. 'The risk of fiscal collapse in coal reliant communities'
     
  20. tes-s

    tes-s Supporting Member

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    #1640 tes-s, Sep 11, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    So the GND is about income/wealth redistribution?

    'Foolish' enough to live an honorable and meaningful life? Is it the goal of a parent's life to leave an inheritance for their children? Do children measure their parent's value based on the inheritance they leave?
    My guess is for every child with no inheritance that loves and admires their parents for the people they are, there is a child with a nice trust fund and empty childhood that would trade trade it all for parents who love them more than they love money.

    Which is why I think the simple solution is a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Depending on how you "rationalize" it, it creates a level playing field for energy (removes fossil fuel subsidies) or provides a financial incentive for non-carbon energy (wind, solar, hydro, nuclear). It adds no tax burden, no government investment (Solyndra), no government takeover of the energy sector. It is simply a wealth redistribution from above average carbon users (generally rich people with big houses, big cars, big toys) and gives it to below average carbon users.

    Suddenly those solar panels on the roof have a bigger ROI. More fuel efficient car saves more money. Taking the bus/train instead of driving puts money in your pocket. High-speed rail projects that didn't make sense suddenly do.

    No revolution. No big government. No rapid displacement of millions of workers. Simply accelerating what is already happening, and people are already adapting to. Coal jobs are going away.

    What we need to do is talk about a Green Deal and a New New Deal. Using the former to justify the latter is doing nothing to save the planet from global warming. Let them each stand on their own. Combining them falls into the usual power-hungry politicians not wanting to let a good crisis go to waste. Most politicans could care less about global waming - they just see it as a convenient way to expand their power.

    Coal is already going away in the US (but not in the world). We can accelerate its decline in the US with a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Still need a way to get the rest of the world to do something.


    upload_2019-9-11_18-31-35.png

    As an aside, can you identify the countries/regions in this chart that are and are not signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement?? Tariffs / trade war with China could do more to help global warming by slowing down China's economy and growth than anything else we do.
     
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