Comments on: Why Davos is ignoring Occupy http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Danny_Black http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/comment-page-1/#comment-35412 Sat, 28 Jan 2012 14:55:27 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=12032#comment-35412 y2kurtus, I looked at the figures provided and at the risk of defaming Wikipedia’s accuracy, I seriously doubt some of those figures. The only way they can even remotely come close to reality is if they are not including indirect government involvement – for instance knowing where the government ends and the IRGC and clerics start in Iran is a toughie.

Apart from NZ and possibly Japan, I can’t imagine living in any of the countries over 40%. Taiwan is very nice and so is Korea. Turkey used to be very nice but i would be concerned about the direction it is taking.

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By: TFF http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/comment-page-1/#comment-35411 Sat, 28 Jan 2012 14:47:41 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=12032#comment-35411 “WHY is the public sector involved here. What is it trying to achieve.”

I believe it makes sense for the public sector to get involved in providing goods/services to the extent that such goods/services are considered a basic human right. (Not intended to be a universal definition, but this would be the applicable principle here.)

Welfare programs already provide for food, shelter, and medical care. The combined cost for a family of four is on the order of $30k. (Maybe even more? Depends on the state.) Unfortunately, if these benefits are wholly phased out by the time the household hits $50k income, that implies a MINIMUM effective marginal tax rate of 60% on that segment of the income. And that doesn’t even include FICA tax on those $50k of earnings, or other welfare benefits.

Nationalizing health care costs is an effective way to smooth the cost function. Food stamps are already pegged to income. The housing subsidy is valuable, in dollar terms, but nobody with a choice WANTS to live in public housing projects. Health care is the biggest single cost of the three, and is presently withdrawn abruptly when the household “earns out” of the Medicaid benefit.

Another alternative to this dilemma is found in Romneycare, which has worked pretty well for Massachusetts. But the principle is the same. To avoid excessively high effective marginal tax rates (resulting in the “working poor” falling through a donut hole in coverage when they don’t qualify for public benefits but can’t afford private), you have to at least extend the public subsidies (on a sliding scale) to a higher income level.

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By: Danny_Black http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/comment-page-1/#comment-35406 Sat, 28 Jan 2012 13:08:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=12032#comment-35406 TFF, yeah I also didn’t get what spectre855 meant. The point i was trying to make is that OWS doesn’t come close to representing a signficant portion of the US population, let alone 99%. Hence why i put it in quotes. Can’t work out if he/she is agreeing or disagreeing.

y2kurtus, no idea. But I would say the question should always be, WHY is the public sector involved here. What is it trying to achieve. Singapore is a relatively nice place to live, so is Hong Kong for the moment. I would also point out that taxes will always fall on the people who are in the middle.

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By: vivirbien http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/comment-page-1/#comment-35401 Fri, 27 Jan 2012 23:35:18 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=12032#comment-35401 Good post! It doesn’t surprise me that the Davos class would be reluctant to accept real critiques, because the question is not just inequality or boardroom pay but rather the power the Davos class has entrenched in its own hands. They are happy to talk about reforms but nothing that would threaten that grip on power. You can see how entrenched that power is here in these infographics: http://www.tni.org/report/state-corporat e-power-2012

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By: CarolynKay http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/comment-page-1/#comment-35390 Fri, 27 Jan 2012 18:02:27 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=12032#comment-35390 Oh, but they are, indeed, in a position to improve the state of the world. They’re just so busy amassing personal fortunes that they can’t be bothered.

The fact that they’re destroying the market for their companies’ products in the process doesn’t seem to occur to these smartest guys in the room.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

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By: TFF http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/comment-page-1/#comment-35383 Fri, 27 Jan 2012 16:04:19 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=12032#comment-35383 “The figure I have (CMS, 2010 data) is that U.S. healthcare spending is 17.9% of GDP, but 45% is paid for by govt., so private healthcare spending is right at 10% of GDP. I don’t see how we would free up money.”

Ah. Without checking, I was operating under the assumption that only 1/3 was paid by government. From your numbers, a full nationalization wouldn’t need to take the US as high as 50%.

Whether or not it frees up money depends on whether the nationalized system would be more or less efficient than the current system. That depends primarily on the level of benefits it provides. Yet either way, I believe a nationalization would reduce the “friction” in the system. If we are going to guarantee basic health care for everybody, then we shouldn’t pass around the cost of that health care from employer to government to employer like a hot potato.

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By: jimvb http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/comment-page-1/#comment-35378 Fri, 27 Jan 2012 14:23:52 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=12032#comment-35378 “And capping pay only makes sense if you cap corporate size, and no one wants to do that.”

I’ve never quite understood this argument. The argument also seems to be couched in the negative – a lousy CEO can do more damage in a very big firm. So you have to pay lots to protect against that (at least that seems to be the argument). I see it differently – your value is not exactly your (unknowable) marginal product, it is the cost of replacing you. Even if the CEO is exceptional, how would know. The core competences are widespread – and the systems in place should protect the firm against incompetent individuals. Shouldn’t they?

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By: spectre855 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/comment-page-1/#comment-35370 Fri, 27 Jan 2012 05:01:49 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=12032#comment-35370 @TFF, I was attempting to make light of the literal nature of the term “the 99%”. You know, since the term should equate to an exact figure somewhere around 297,000. You know your joke is a bomb when you have to explain it…

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By: realist50 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/comment-page-1/#comment-35369 Fri, 27 Jan 2012 03:48:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=12032#comment-35369 TFF – I agree with your general concept but can’t follow the specific math on healthcare. The figure I have (CMS, 2010 data) is that U.S. healthcare spending is 17.9% of GDP, but 45% is paid for by govt., so private healthcare spending is right at 10% of GDP. I don’t see how we would free up money.

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By: TFF http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/26/why-davos-is-ignoring-occupy/comment-page-1/#comment-35367 Fri, 27 Jan 2012 03:06:31 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=12032#comment-35367 “The media are really getting good when they can take an actual number and change its meaning.”

Please explain, spectre? Despite their claims, OWS does not represent 99% of the country.

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