Unbalanced Taxing Policies: Helping the Poor or “Shaping the Electorate”?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Christopher, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Christopher
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    Christopher Active Member

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    This is a follow up to a thread recently about the 10 poorest cities in the nation and the fact they had all been controlled by Democrats for decades. Here is credible evidence showing a big reason why they are the poorest cities.

    Two years ago I was reading about the problems with Michigan’s economy (Detroit in particular) and I came across some research from Harvard that demonstrated how two Democratic mayors ran on the platform of “helping the poor” and all they really did was increase their electoral base to give them advantage in re-elections. The result of increasing their base of support is obvious: the number of poor increased. Which was not a good thing for Detroit, but good for the Democratic mayors apparently.

    Research was completed by two Harvard economics professors in 2003 about what they call “The Curley Effect”, named after a 4-time mayor of Boston. I am by no means an economics expert; however, their analysis made a lot of sense with regards to reasons why Detroit and other cities that have been controlled by Democrats for decades are facing such economic troubles. Link to research paper: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/shleifer/files/curley_effect.pdf

    Here is a summary of the research paper, quoted from the abstract (bold, italic underline added):
    The basic findings are that over-taxing a certain group/population that is considered the base of one’s opponent is one way in which some politicians remove that group from the competition and Detroit, like Boston, has experienced the negative effect resulting from this. Another quote from the introduction of the paper:

    This part of the paper is very telling about Young’s legacy of over 20 years as mayor of Detroit (bold emphasis added):

     
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  2. Christopher
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    Christopher Active Member

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    Continued...

    The conclusion (bold emphasis and italics added):
    An important point this research indicates is that there are problems that occur when the government becomes involved with wealth distribution particularly when the taxing policies become unbalanced. It really does not matter whether the intention is to remove one’s opponents or there is real intent to help the poor or any other seemingly noble objective, the result is the same when taxes are overly-focused on one group. It ends up defeating the purpose for the policies and only perpetuates the poor’s circumstances. What confuses me is that these same politicians who implemented these policies have favorable views as having “helped the poor” when in reality it could not be further from the truth. It does not seem that Young or Curley really cared about the poor. They only really seemed to care about power and perpetuating their power.

    How can we believe politicians who claim they really want to help the poor when their policies are similar to Young’s or Curley’s? Do the mayor’s of these 10 poorest cities really care about the poor? How can they if they have not really helped the poor out of poverty. Young doubled the number of unemployed and increased the number below the poverty line by 50% during his terms.

    Obama and many Democrats in Congress seem much the same in their policies as Young and Curley. The clear change that needs to come to these cities and America in general is for the Democrats to stop “shaping the electorate.”
     
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  3. Christopher
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    Christopher Active Member

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    The silence from USMB Democrat supporters on this topic is telling.
     
  4. Christopher
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    Christopher Active Member

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    Another quote from the article, which gives a better summary for those not wanting to read it all:
     
  5. Claudette
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    Claudette Gold Member

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    Just read Lord Woodehouse, a guy that lived 250 years ago. He said that once the public learns it can draw from the public largess, they basically will take over. They will control who's in power by the vote.They will of course vote for those that give them everything.

    The dude was smart and very insightfull. The average life of a republic is about 250 years. I think we are approaching that mark now.
     
  6. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    There is no such thing as a tax that doesn't effect different classes differently.

    I do not doubt that in some cases taxes are designed to benefit the poor and disadvantage the better off.

    Likewise I do not doubt that in some cases taxes are designed to do exactly the opposite.

    How could it possibly be otherwise?

    Even a flat tax has wildly unequal outcomes depending on class and income.
     
  7. Christopher
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    Christopher Active Member

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    The problem is that with the Curley effect, the taxes implemented are BEING SOLD to us as a way to help the poor when they in fact tend to do just the opposite and increase the poor; which gives the politicians who "sold" the tax an even greater chance of re-election.

    When are we going to realize that these types of tax policies have continually failed to deliver on their "promises"?
     
  8. AVG-JOE
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    AVG-JOE American Mutt Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The Local Democrats were not alone in raiding the public cookie jar to feed themselves and their friends... they had eager help from the Local Republicans, the National Democrats and the National Republicans.
     
  9. Christopher
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    Christopher Active Member

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    I agree with you about raiding the cookie jar, both sides are guilty. My point is regarding the "tax the rich to help the poor" policies that are typically from Democrats, which seem to do just the opposite of helping the poor.
     
  10. The Rabbi
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    The Rabbi Diamond Member

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    Policies designed to "help the poor" usually end up hurting them in the long run anyway.
    Rent control in NYC is a good example. It controlled rents, which was great for people who already had apartments (and voted). For young people wanting to move to NYC or immigrants it reduced the stock of available housing, making it that much more expensive. Inhabitants of rent controlled apartments today are mostly middle class people, sometimes willing their apartments to posterity.
    It is a con.
     

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