On Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 3:18 AM, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com>wrote:
> > Furthermore, her point is that competition in a free market actually > helps everybody -- by providing better goods and services at lower > prices -- while redistribution of money based on violence does not, > and is in fact generally a con used by politicians to extract even > more money from the population. > > The ineffectiveness of wealth redistribution through taxation is not > such a crazy idea. Compare this graph: > > http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=7373 > > with this one: > > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_Unite... > > This graph isn't all that informative because it doesn't break down what the per capita government spending was actually on--if you look at the graph at the per capita federal spending at http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/01/yet-more-government-spending-levelsyou can see that it rose more consistently under George W. Bush than under Clinton or Obama, given Bush's policies it seems unlikely that most of that rise was primarily due to "redistribution" to help the poorer segment of the population. I wonder if military spending is included in this per capita graph. It also seems likely that increases in health care spending play a big part, you can see from the chart at http://www.usfederalbudget.us/federal_budget_detail_fy13bs12012n that it's a very large slice of the budget pie (note that this graph is for 2012, so obviously pre-Obamacare). And this has a lot to do with the fact that U.S. health care costs have been rising much faster than other Western democracies, whose more "socialized" programs are a lot more efficient at keeping costs down--just look at the graphs http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/26/21-graphs-that-show-americas-health-care-prices-are-ludicrous/, it's rather incredible how much more we pay for the same procedures in the U.S.! A major reason for this difference, as explained starting at 4:53 in the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSjGouBmo0M , is that with single-payer systems the government can offer huge contracts for medical devices (he uses the example of artificial hips), drugs, etc., and different companies try to aggressively underbid one another to get these giant contracts, whereas in the U.S. this doesn't happen and the prices the same companies charge for exactly the same devices/drugs tend to be much higher (except with medicare, which as he points out "always gets the lowest prices"). Anyway, the basic point here is that it would be much more informative to look not at the effects of overall per capita spending, but more specifically at the effects of more per capita spending on "social" programs like welfare, education, job training, etc. If we compare across countries, we do see that the more social-democratic countries of Western Europe, where social spending per capita is much higher, do in fact have lower levels of inequality, higher economic mobility, and better health and even life expectancy than in the US (and within Europe, countries that spend more like the Scandinavian countries do better than the UK, which since Thatcher has been somewhat closer to the US model). Look at the graphs towards the bottom of this article by historian Tony Judt: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/apr/29/ill-fares-the-land/ And you can also see in the graphs in this article that income inequality was dropping fairly consistently the U.S. during the postwar years of higher taxes, more economic regulation, and increasing social spending...then inequality began rising again around 1980 when Reagan took office and the idea of tax-cuts, deregulation, and cutting social programs became more popular: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/09/04/opinion/04reich-graphic.html?ref=sunday http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/opinion/sunday/jobs-will-follow-a-strengthening-of-the-middle-class.html?pagewanted=all Jesse -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.