BC Ecosocialists

hobbyguy
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

Post by hobbyguy »

Jlabute wrote:Denmark is a market economy welfare state with one of the worlds highest tax rates and most opaque governments. Their sales tax is 25%, and their personal income tax rate is between 45% and 56%. Previous years had the income tax rate up around 65%. Of course this allows the Gov. to offer education to a university level, child care, health care, and 52 weeks paid parental leave, etc. Homes still cost as much there as they do here and vehicles cost more. So if you make $50,000 a year, $25,000+ goes to income tax. So it is a different way of living but not without its problems. It is far from being a utopia and people are not flocking or lined up to move there. The Danes have been happy to live with less but the facade is falling apart as we realize they have the highest per capita use of anti-depressants and just about everyone who lives there performs in a death metal band ;-) Holding the social programs in high regards does not mean everyone is happy per se.

Energy is expensive and CO2 emissions are rising. Denmark is considering to impose Universal CO2 fees as if it isn't already expensive to live there.

All we know is the Danes have grudgingly learned to appreciate the small things in life since that is all they can afford, this makes them happy. Maybe only retiring in Denmark is a better idea?

Do you get your moneys worth after paying taxes? How often do you go to University or need health care or child care. All momentary things that you pay for through your entire life. There must be a great sense of national pride knowing you've paid to have all your fellow Danes go to school. Despite being very progressive, they are strongly against immigration.

There are lots of issues with Denmark you wouldn't see from the surface. Personally, the eco-socialist movement is laughable to me, and Denmark is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there... it has it's own living conditions that come with it's territory. Few people in Denmark vote for the socialist parties and the same will be here.


As a counterpoint: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2016-01-20/why-danes-happily-pay-high-rates-of-taxes

"Neverthless, a Gallup survey from 2014 showed that almost nine out of 10 Danish people happily pay their taxes to some or a high degree."

"The reason behind the high level of support for the welfare state in Denmark is the awareness of the fact that the welfare model turns our collective wealth into well-being. We are not paying taxes. We are investing in our society. We are purchasing quality of life."

That last statement "purchasing a quality of life" explains it all. You get what you pay for. Denmark's model might be a bit extreme in your view - but we have done those tax rates in Canada in 1971 the combined federal and provincial income tax rate on earnings over $225,000 was 75%, rising to 80% on over $400,000.

The anti-tax warriors have indeed pushed at taxes, but a with a shell game. Corporate taxes have been halved. High end wealthy person taxes have been halved (and those are the people who benefit the most from the halving of corporate taxes - which is actually more because of all the loopholes and subsidies), and for the average Canadian taxes have not moved because of the shifting to "user pay fees", GST, PST, excise taxes, etc. etc. https://www.policynote.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Fig-4_FI-report.png

That shift in taxation from corporations and the wealthy to the average person is creating ongoing problems for society that are felt most by the regular citizen. That's why the fringe of "ecosocialists" has any traction at all.
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rustled
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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Since we're on about Denmark, now: it's pointless to complain about taxpayers complaining. In Canada and in British Columbia, we see far too much spending on feel-good pet projects that do nothing - money thrown away to change course for partisan reasons, money thrown away to buy our votes, money thrown away to support a globalist agenda at the expense of the local taxpayer, and far too much incompetence in accounting for expenditures.

In the face of this, it's quite pointless to accuse the taxpayer of being grudging. If we could see that our tax money was being wisely used to effectively address social issues, we'd all be more supportive. No sensible person continues to support giving a government that's incapable of showing us they know how to manage money even more of our money to waste.

:topic: Ecosocialists must prove they understand the value of my tax dollar BEFORE I'll willingly support giving them ANY access to the keys to the treasury.
Ideology...gives evil-doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination...[it] is the social theory which helps to make his actions seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes...
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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hobbyguy wrote:That's probably because of a lack of experience in what the quality of life was like prior to the advent of "shareholder" capitalism.

Here are just a few points:


Well with that logic we could also argue the Romans had the best quality of life since none of us have a first hand experience of it. I'm inferring from stats and history to determine life it better now.

hobbyguy wrote:- it was possible for a single 20 year old to purchase a single family home in North Vancouver while making below median income (the house I bought was 5 times my annual income - the same house today would run you 30 times the family median annual income - yes, the exact same little old 1913 house on a busy street).


And then we introduced both partners working in the name of equality. Now you need two incomes to afford everything otherwise you are a single income competing in a dual income economy. My parents conditioned me for this for years; whenever I would complain about not being able to afford something, they would say "meet someone [a partner] and that will change".

Next: population increased and we were forced to cram people in higher spaces while people competed for the largest homes.

hobbyguy wrote:- homelessness was a non issue (you could rent basic accommodation for $50/month - 25% of minimum wage earnings)


The issue with the homeless is related to drugs and handouts, not cost of housing. If cost of housing was the only problem, people would move towns to afford a home.

hobbyguy wrote:- Inflation was running much higher than it is today but the "math" worked for average citizens (until the Mulroney years). Typically, mortgage payments were about 35% of income - but wage raises were running slightly above inflation. So you would see 6-7% increase on 100% of your income which translates into your mortgage payments getting 15-20% "easier" every year (without promotions or changing jobs). A key thing: the cost of housing as a multiple of median annual income stayed stable, as did the cost of a car and many other things.


This is a product of a monetary system based on nothing (no gold standard) and relies on inflation to keep everyone working. Homes have become the new gold standard as they are a long term fixed asset that hold real value; opposite of the money used to buy them which deflates every year.

Rasies each year are unsustainable and mean nothing if money just becomes less valuable each year. Essentially, everyone got a raise, was able to afford more stuff so the price of everything goes up to the new affordable level and repeat next year.

Want to fix stuff so that it doesn't become worth more each year? Limit the amount of money in circulation and tie it to something real (not homes).

hobbyguy wrote:Yes, life was simpler. No cellphones, tablets, PCs, social media, etc. etc. You could catch salmon and sea run cutthroat trout in Burrard inlet. You could get on the Northland Prince for about $150 (including a car) in Vancouver and cruise up to Haida Gwaii - a 4 day trip, including private room and 4 meals per day. You had 4 TV stations - if you were lucky. It had different challenges and was shorter (life expectancy is quite a bit higher today) but richer. Richer because everything depended on personal contact and your options were wide - we did not have the corporate giant monopolies. Where one or two companies dominate today - you had 10-12.


If it's personal contact that you crave, go out and get it! Plently of cheap places to go and have fun and connection. Joining an adult sports team sets one back about $200 a season and is plenty of fun. You can take a flight to Toronto right now for under $200 - expect these prices to stay low well after the virus is gone.

hobbyguy wrote:But we also had residential schools, "looney bins" where people with mental health issues were horribly mistreated, etc.


Yea, it hid all the issues that are in our faces today. Of course the news was better when you just didn't hear about anything because there was an institution taking care of everything.

hobbyguy wrote:Can't go back, but the model of stakeholder capitalism could get us to a place that had some of the benefits, and still retain the positive advances we have made today. It is a matter of balance. Mulroney and Reagan tilted the balance to the very wealthy - and successive right wing governments have tilted the balance further and further away from the average citizen - toward serfdom.


The average citizen has lost the ability to generate prosperity themselves. It takes an IT department, marketing, sales, software, etc to achieve anything today. You can't just learn how to sell pizza and build a chain, you need an army to be successful. The average citizen can't data mine an entire demographic and tailor products to them, pushing ads all the time. The issue isn't the government, it's the way technology works for people who have the resources. If we created an avenue to give average people the same advantage a large cooperation has, you would see more competition.
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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hobbyguy wrote:That last statement "purchasing a quality of life" explains it all. You get what you pay for. Denmark's model might be a bit extreme in your view - but we have done those tax rates in Canada in 1971 the combined federal and provincial income tax rate on earnings over $225,000 was 75%, rising to 80% on over $400,000.


Yes, you do indeed get what you pay for. You get to choose what you pay for and you also get to choose how much your entitled to pay for based off how much you generated yourself.

A Wal-Mart employee that wipes down shopping carts, glides items over a scanner and stocks shelves doesn't provide much to society. This is heighten by poor work ethic (on facebook, twitter, etc), showing up late, requiring direct supervision, needed every task explained i.e. not a self starter and useless without direction.

The manager at the Wal-Mart is requried to be a self starter. Maybe the manager started as an employee and worked up, who knows. What I am getting at is they produce much more output than the shelf stocker. They are managing inventory, staffing levels, customer disputes, sales, list goes on and on...

Now this manager is nowhere over the $225,000 limit quoted above, but one can see where I am going with this. Taxes, and the redistribution of wealth ensures that the lazy Wal-Mart employee can achieve the same standard of life as the hardworking manager. You are essentially telling the manager that past a certain level of income, his work ethic is no longer valued because he needs to pay a larger share to be able to support the others who work less/ care less.

The gap is growing not because the wealthy are too greedy (we're all greedy, it's human nature) but because the value of a min-wage worker is lower than ever because they don't bring much productivity to the table. We need to increase the value of minimum wage workers, not force the wealthy to pay for their lives.

I'd like to see changes towards empowering little enterprises to complete with large corporations by propping up the average person to be able to compete with the large companies. We can't compete with $1 a day labour in other countries. We need to create ways to be more competitive.
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hobbyguy
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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Sparki55 wrote:
hobbyguy wrote:That last statement "purchasing a quality of life" explains it all. You get what you pay for. Denmark's model might be a bit extreme in your view - but we have done those tax rates in Canada in 1971 the combined federal and provincial income tax rate on earnings over $225,000 was 75%, rising to 80% on over $400,000.


Yes, you do indeed get what you pay for. You get to choose what you pay for and you also get to choose how much your entitled to pay for based off how much you generated yourself.

A Wal-Mart employee that wipes down shopping carts, glides items over a scanner and stocks shelves doesn't provide much to society. This is heighten by poor work ethic (on facebook, twitter, etc), showing up late, requiring direct supervision, needed every task explained i.e. not a self starter and useless without direction.

The manager at the Wal-Mart is requried to be a self starter. Maybe the manager started as an employee and worked up, who knows. What I am getting at is they produce much more output than the shelf stocker. They are managing inventory, staffing levels, customer disputes, sales, list goes on and on...

Now this manager is nowhere over the $225,000 limit quoted above, but one can see where I am going with this. Taxes, and the redistribution of wealth ensures that the lazy Wal-Mart employee can achieve the same standard of life as the hardworking manager. You are essentially telling the manager that past a certain level of income, his work ethic is no longer valued because he needs to pay a larger share to be able to support the others who work less/ care less.

The gap is growing not because the wealthy are too greedy (we're all greedy, it's human nature) but because the value of a min-wage worker is lower than ever because they don't bring much productivity to the table. We need to increase the value of minimum wage workers, not force the wealthy to pay for their lives.

I'd like to see changes towards empowering little enterprises to complete with large corporations by propping up the average person to be able to compete with the large companies. We can't compete with $1 a day labour in other countries. We need to create ways to be more competitive.


You fail to look at the divergence of wages and the gains in "productivity". Until about 1980 wages went pretty much with productivity in lock step. In other words, the workers gained some by improving productivity, and so did the company owners. It was a win-win.

The next missing piece of the puzzle is automation. Simple example: it used to be possible to make a good living as a "green chain" worker in a sawmill - most sawmills simply don't have that now as they have automated machines that do it. So if a person has a different set of intelligences than "academic", they have seen their range of opportunities dwindle to very low.

Add on the next layer, which is the automation of offices. Simple example: it used to be decent paying job to be a telex operator - doesn't exist anymore - replaced by email. Numerous examples of jobs that "vanished" to be replaced by computer programs.

Add on a further layer: multi-national conglomerates. Vancouver used to have a large number of both head offices and subsidiary offices. Not so much anymore. Head office will be in Delaware (for tax reasons) or New York, or London, or ... wherever, and the subsidiary offices have dwindled in size. That loses a lot of jobs from book keepers to purchasing staff and so on.

Add on a further layer: major outfits with very little sales staff because their orders come from online. More opportunities lost.

Add on contracted out customer service: you call company "x" and get connected to a "service representative" in Mumbai or New Brunswick or..... More opportunities lost.

Not everyone has the set of intelligences that suit academia, and even more that do - simply can't afford it. Companies have reduced their in house training (yup, as a lowly junior salesman a company I worked for sent me to Europe for courses! doubt there is much of that these days). So you can not lay it off on people themselves (although that can be a factor, in most cases it is lack of real opportunity).

I can tell from my 40+ years of management experience that the folks who show up late, don't do a good job - those are the rare exception. However, "if you pay peanuts, you make monkeys."

The conundrum of lack of opportunity is real. So that's where the false choice equation of the very far left like the Ecosocialists comes in, there doesn't seem to be choice.

But there is. The US Congress is looking at the likes of Amazon (example) and suggesting they need to be broken up. If you break up a behemoth like Amazon, you create more job opportunities right away (each break up portion will have its own head office etc. etc.) and you level the playing field a bit so that others will find opportunities (consumers win because of increased competition and choice). Yup, each of the smaller business units will less profitable - but they will make decent profits. That's a stakeholder capitalist view. (There is no capitalism in monopolies.)
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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Interesting stats for global “quality of life”, a conglomerate rating based on a number of indices such as cost of living, healthcare, housing costs, etc. Good for comparison purposes.

https://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/rankings_by_country.jsp
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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The Consequences of Economic Inequality

The purported consequences of the rich-poor divide are exceedingly diverse. Some economists conclude inequality is beneficial overall for stimulating growth, improves the quality of life for all members of a society, or is merely a necessary part of social progress. Other economists claim wealth concentrations create perpetually oppressed minorities, exploit disadvantaged populations, hinder economic growth, and lead to numerous social problems.

https://sevenpillarsinstitute.org/consequences-economic-inequality/
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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fluffy wrote:Interesting stats for global “quality of life”, a conglomerate rating based on a number of indices such as cost of living, healthcare, housing costs, etc. Good for comparison purposes.

https://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/rankings_by_country.jsp

It is interesting to note that the top three countries have socioeconomic systems that lean strongly to the left.
It would be interesting to see how our own Canadian provinces would rank using the same metrics.
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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Ka-El wrote:It is interesting to note that the top three countries have socioeconomic systems that lean strongly to the left.
It would be interesting to see how our own Canadian provinces would rank using the same metrics.


It is interesting to note that 2 of the top 3 countries have very little immigration.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_net_migration_rate&ved=2ahUKEwiWg4LO2KLsAhVNo54KHdtBAN4QFjAAegQIAxAC&usg=AOvVaw31oZ_L5YxV4DSmTsqHZrpX

And the other is one of the best damn places to live; beautiful, good culture.

Just mirroring another country's government will not achieve the same effect.
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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Sparki55 wrote: Just mirroring another country's government will not achieve the same effect.

No argument there. However, we can still learn by observing the longer term impacts of policy as it plays out in other countries and adapt those ideas to our own unique circumstances. We are either going to continue moving toward the future or we will suffer the costs and consequences of trying to remain in the past. These countries that invest proactively in their population and social structure are doing very well, and as noted, have the highest standard of living in the world.
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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Sparki55 wrote:It is interesting to note that 2 of the top 3 countries have very little immigration.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_net_migration_rate&ved=2ahUKEwiWg4LO2KLsAhVNo54KHdtBAN4QFjAAegQIAxAC&usg=AOvVaw31oZ_L5YxV4DSmTsqHZrpX

And the other is one of the best damn places to live; beautiful, good culture.

Just mirroring another country's government will not achieve the same effect.

The individual indexes are instructive, too.
Quality of Life Index (higher is better) is an estimation of overall quality of life by using an empirical formula which takes into account purchasing power index (higher is better), pollution index (lower is better), house price to income ratio (lower is better), cost of living index (lower is better), safety index (higher is better), health care index (higher is better), traffic commute time index (lower is better) and climate index (higher is better).

The top three ("best") for each category:
  • Purchasing power: #1 is Switzerland, #2 United States, # 3 Australia
  • Safety: Quatar, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates.
  • Health: Taiwan, South Korea, France
  • Cost of living: Pakistan, India, Columbia (on the opposite - worse - end are Switzerland, Norway, Iceland)
  • Property price to income ratio: Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico, United States
  • Commute time: Iceland, Oman, Cyprus
  • Pollution: Finland, Iceland, Estonia
  • Climate: Kenya, Argentina, Uruguay
It's interesting to see that Switzerland is at the top of the list in purchasing power but at the bottom of the list in cost of living.

Also interesting to see the places where people feel most safe. I found myself wondering, are Quatar, Taiwan and the UAE bastions of progressive social programming? It seems to me they're not at all aligned with the BC Ecosocialists' values. While the rankings are helpful, I'd think we'd want to be cautious about reading too much into them.
Ideology...gives evil-doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination...[it] is the social theory which helps to make his actions seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes...
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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[quote="rustled"]While the rankings are helpful, I'd think we'd want to be cautious about reading too much into them.[/quote]

True. At best they would be helpful information for a deeper investigation. A lot of variables are missing, unemployment rates, income details, percentage of people dependent on a social safety net, etc. The UAE is a good example of missing info. Actual UAE citizens, the Emirati, make up only 10% of the population. The rest are workers and businessmen from outside the country. The Emiratis enjoy benefits that flow from the oil & gas and the growth that industry brought to the country. Post secondary education is free for students that show above average intelligence, often sponsored to attend school outside the country. Taxation is ultra low for locals, and housing grants are available upon marriage although the waiting list is long. Things like this would go a long way to skewing the indices in that table.
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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fluffy wrote:
rustled wrote:While the rankings are helpful, I'd think we'd want to be cautious about reading too much into them.


True. At best they would be helpful information for a deeper investigation. A lot of variables are missing, unemployment rates, income details, percentage of people dependent on a social safety net, etc. The UAE is a good example of missing info. Actual UAE citizens, the Emirati, make up only 10% of the population. The rest are workers and businessmen from outside the country. The Emiratis enjoy benefits that flow from the oil & gas and the growth that industry brought to the country. Post secondary education is free for students that show above average intelligence, often sponsored to attend school outside the country. Taxation is ultra low for locals, and housing grants are available upon marriage although the waiting list is long. Things like this would go a long way to skewing the indices in that table.

It's interesting that they'd provide free post-secondary for students who show above average intelligence. In my experience, some folk who worked a lot harder for their grades in school than the "smart" kids did were far more successful later on in life.

And I wonder at housing grants available upon marriage - how that works out in the long run. It seems to me we saw a lot of grant money spent here in BC on solar projects, and I wonder about the outcome of those grants overall.
Ideology...gives evil-doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination...[it] is the social theory which helps to make his actions seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes...
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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More interesting to me is that they recognized the benefit of free post secondary education in the first place.

One of the principles of moving a bit to the left is the recognition that there are things that should not depend on financial ability to receive. In my idea of a perfect world decisions that affect society as a whole should be made by the best of the best, not just someone whose daddy has deep pockets. Healthcare is another example. The whole idea of universal equality is lost on those who want to preserve a ruling class based on money and power.
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Re: BC Ecosocialists

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fluffy wrote:More interesting to me that they would recognized the benefit of free post secondary education in the first place.

One of the principles of moving a bit to the left is the recognition that there are things that should not depend on financial ability to receive.

One of my sibs lives in a country where it's free, with some restrictions. It's no panacea. For example, the elitist ideologies associated with post-secondary achievements do not go away simply because post-secondary is free. The disrespect for experience does not go away simply because post-secondary is free.

There are, IMO, more effective alternatives to making post secondary free: re-evaluate what's necessary and useful. Re-evaluating should be the first priority.
fluffy wrote: In my idea of a perfect world decisions that affect society as a whole should be made by the best of the best, not just someone whose daddy has deep pockets.

In reality, not everyone making those decisions has a post-secondary education. In my idea of a perfect world, not everyone making those decisions requires one - in my idea of a perfect world, experience is given more respect.

fluffy wrote:Healthcare is another example. The whole idea of universal equality is lost on those who want to preserve a ruling class based on money and power.

It's interesting to me that you seem to see those of us who do not support the most expensive model of universal healthcare as wanting to preserve a ruling class based on money and power.
Ideology...gives evil-doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination...[it] is the social theory which helps to make his actions seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes...
-Solzhenitsyn

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