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Author: Stonewashed Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1972592  
Subject: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 6:04 AM
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In the seventeenth century, some European lands had begun to produce food more effectively, while in others the population declined or stagnated. So demand for eastern grain slackened. It was not as easy as it had been for eastern landowners to make large profits by selling food to the west. So they had an incentive to reduce their costs by getting cheaper labor. The result was that they used their control over state power and the law to force peasants to provide them with free labor. The peasants of eastern Germany, Poland and Russia ceased to be free laborers and became serfs....

In some places (Castile, east Germany, Poland, and eventually Russia) only the nobles had full ownership of land. This was silly, as it discouraged the people who farmed the land (the peasants) from doing so efficiently, since they knew the landowners would take much the profit.

Also silly was the idea that anyone who worked in retail trade automatically lost noble status - an idea which prevailed in France, Spain, Portugal, and parts of Italy, but which discouraged investment in productive enterprises. The French termed this loss of status dérogeance.

In many parts of Europe, a large incentive to become noble was to enjoy privileges including tax exemptions. In England, however, nobles did pay taxes, and therefore had a good reason for joining with non-nobles in resisting the king's efforts to raise taxes.

Townsmen were difficult to fit into the old threefold structure; some were extremely poor, while others were as wealthy as all but the richest nobles.

Churchmen, too, varied in status. Those at the bottom of the church's hierarchy ranked hardly above peasants, while bishops, archbishops and abbots were the equals of nobles.

Such professionals as physicians and lawyers also claimed noble status. Lawyers were especially insistent upon this, but not everyone believed them.

Peasants (or small farmers) varied in wealth and status depending on how much land they held, and on the conditions upon which they held it. The latter was probably the more important factor. Where tenures were insecure and onerous, peasants were unproductive. Where peasants were freest they were most productive, since they were working for themselves - as in the Dutch Republic, England, and Catalonia. It was in those places that the agricultural revolution began. Wise governments protected free peasants against local lords. Prosperous peasants were able and wiling to pay higher taxes. Where this did not happen (Castile, Poland), decay was the result.

http://faculty.history.wisc.edu/sommerville/351/351-012.htm
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Author: saunafool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822180 of 1972592
Subject: Re: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 7:34 AM
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It's a good bit of history, but it doesn't really sound familiar.

Sure, the "nobles" in the U.S. have gotten themselves out of paying taxes.

The "peasants" are still free, but the earned income tax credit is such that a lot of them don't pay federal income tax. Not sure this makes them less efficient.

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Author: Stonewashed Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822185 of 1972592
Subject: Re: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 8:02 AM
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The "peasants" are still free, but the earned income tax credit is such that a lot of them don't pay federal income tax. Not sure this makes them less efficient.
______________________

It does make them less efficent, when all they do is consume everything they produce and then some.

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Author: saunafool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822186 of 1972592
Subject: Re: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 8:04 AM
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It does make them less efficent, when all they do is consume everything they produce and then some.

Well, it was Milton Freidman's idea, widely embraced by Republicans from Reagan to Baby Bush. Their idea was that it was better than welfare because the recipients knew what to do with their money better than the government.

What would you propose as an alternative?

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Author: Stonewashed Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822187 of 1972592
Subject: Re: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 8:10 AM
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Well, it was Milton Freidman's idea, widely embraced by Republicans from Reagan to Baby Bush. Their idea was that it was better than welfare because the recipients knew what to do with their money better than the government.

What would you propose as an alternative?
________________

One thing I would do is not to enact government policy that encourages them and big business to do so by combining low interest rates and government back guarantees.

I mean Chrimanee, what does a Neoliberal banker care they invested in some ridiculous project in the Congo, so long as if project fails it is fully backed by the US Treasury, while at the same time making sure to sure to short the investment. Heck they might even do it on purpose and then reduplicate the scam again.

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Author: saunafool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822190 of 1972592
Subject: Re: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 8:26 AM
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I mean Chrimanee, what does a Neoliberal banker care they invested in some ridiculous project in the Congo, so long as if project fails it is fully backed by the US Treasury, while at the same time making sure to sure to short the investment. Heck they might even do it on purpose and then reduplicate the scam again.

I think this is mutually exclusive from the earned income tax credit.

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Author: Stonewashed Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822193 of 1972592
Subject: Re: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 8:35 AM
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I think this is mutually exclusive from the earned income tax credit.
____________

Same difference. What does a Neoliberal banker care if whatever they are financing, wherever, for whomever, is backed by the government be it Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Iceland, or the United States, (etc).

One thing that Bush did to Soros that really got Soros' knickers in a knot, was not to get bailed out in Russia.

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Author: cjb44 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822198 of 1972592
Subject: Re: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 9:21 AM
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Sure, the "nobles" in the U.S. have gotten themselves out of paying taxes.

_________________

that's just not true, they're just not paying as much as Liberals would like them to because investment income is treated different than salary.

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Author: saunafool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822217 of 1972592
Subject: Re: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 11:05 AM
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that's just not true, they're just not paying as much as Liberals would like them to because investment income is treated different than salary.

And they have also managed to get most of their salary classified as investment income, even when they never had a dime of their capital on the line.

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Author: cjb44 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822218 of 1972592
Subject: Re: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 11:08 AM
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And they have also managed to get most of their salary classified as investment income, even when they never had a dime of their capital on the line.

_______________

And all of it legally. You have love our tax code.

I'm all in favor of blowing the whole thing up and starting over.

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Author: saunafool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822221 of 1972592
Subject: Re: Sound familiar? Date: 10/8/2012 11:15 AM
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I'm all in favor of blowing the whole thing up and starting over.

You won't find any disagreement here.

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