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  • #91
    Re: Our Next President?

    Originally posted by dcarrigg View Post
    Well, they're from UC Berkeley, iirc. Definitely among the left-most campuses in the US. But far from among the most expensive. Tuition's like $14k per year. Average student loan debt there for graduating seniors is under $20k. In this day and age, not bad for a top-25 university.
    But most of the cost is born by taxpayers. I'll bet if you add that, it is not that much less expensive the private colleges.

    Both health care and education in this country need a serious overhaul .


    Colleges in canada are 1/4 the price of USA.

    Comment


    • #92
      Re: Our Next President?

      Originally posted by dcarrigg View Post
      It's interesting, because if you spin it around a little, the influence of the private side of those things would never have been accepted in the past either. .
      Right. It's the sacrifice of individual liberty to state and corporate interests.
      Like the mandatory health insurance. Both the ridiculous cost
      and the mandatory private sector participation are equally unacceptable to libertarians and socialists.

      The fact that the country is not even discussing, let alone solving this problem , really scares me.

      Comment


      • #93
        Re: Our Next President?

        Originally posted by Polish_Silver View Post
        But most of the cost is born by taxpayers. I'll bet if you add that, it is not that much less expensive the private colleges.

        Both health care and education in this country need a serious overhaul .


        Colleges in canada are 1/4 the price of USA.
        You're not wrong. It's something of a shell game. Canada is still cheaper. But even the private colleges tend to charge international students about double what they charge Canadians. With the Ivies etc. in the US they tend to redistribute so kids with poorer parents might pay nothing while others might pay a lot. Either can still be a good deal, or can be terrible. Depends on how you game it.

        The thing is, it's not like Canadian universities generally pay professors a lot less up there or have much larger class sizes. It's all in ancillary stuff and administration. In the US, the assistant basketball coach of a team you've never heard might be pulling in a cool million per year, and the assistant vice deputy dean for technology transfer initiatives might be pulling in $200k. The people actually teaching the kids probably are adjuncts and technically "independent contrators" earning $3k per class with no benefits. But the administrators and coaches are in the meetings with the presidents when the budgets are being made, and the professors are not. So whatever they think's important flies. Not totally different than a corporate board meeting or a fancy DC fundraiser. Most surefire way to move up in heavily administrative systems is to get yourself in the rooms where decisions are made. Most surefire way to move down is to be excluded from them.

        Comment


        • #94
          bureaucratic overhead

          Originally posted by dcarrigg View Post
          You're not wrong. . . .The people actually teaching the kids probably are adjuncts and technically "independent contrators" earning $3k per class with no benefits. But the administrators and coaches are in the meetings with the presidents when the budgets are being made, and the professors are not ....
          I was recently coming through the Wilton school district budget, and it has all the traits you describe.

          Salaries are about 60% of total cost, but classroom teacher salaries are less than 1/3 of the total cost.
          (it seems like they should be at least 70% of total cost)

          So a kindergarten class costs $600k to run (I am not making this up) and I don't think the teacher gets anywhere
          near $200k/year.

          I would like to see a budget from 50 years ago to compare the bites taken by the same line items.

          Comment


          • #95
            Re: bureaucratic overhead

            Lol, how many man-hours do you think went into designing that budget infographic? Gotta figure at least one accountant, one graphic designer, one assistant, and a couple meetings with top officials and executive assistants.

            Glanced briefly at the 2016 line. 3.5 million for administrators, 3 million for clerical workers, and another 8 million for "other" who don't fit in the teachers, aides, custodial, instructional, nurse, therapists, coaches, or substitutes lines. Another million for reading interventionists, who afaik are pretty much just there to hassle teachers and mess with their lesson plans. Another million in overtime, which teachers don't get. Another 2.5 million for contracted professional services, which I'm assuming is where the lunch ladies are. A million to transfer special education out of the district. I'd guess another 5 million in fringe to these folks.

            And there you have it. Not counting any teachers, janitors, coaches, counselors, supplies, operational costs, or capital costs, you've got $25m in annual expenses. More than what all the teachers cost combined. Mostly for things like making infographics or pushing paper.

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            • #96
              Re: bureaucratic overhead

              don't know what a reading interventionist does in a classy district like wilton, but i have a patient who has that kind of position in an inner city school. he earns his money pulling the most difficult kids [both behavioral and educationally] out of class and working with them in small groups. whether it's successful with the kids he works with i don't know. otoh, i would think that getting those kids out of the classroom lets the teachers run their lessons much more smoothly, for the benefit of the other kids.

              Comment


              • #97
                Re: bureaucratic overhead

                Oh, interesting. I'm friends with a local teacher the next town over (far from inner-city environment), who often describes work. IIRC, she described them as basically office workers interjecting mandated busy-work into curricula rather than folks working directly with students. But this is also a high school. So maybe it's different at lower grade levels.

                Still, part of me has to wonder if you couldn't reduce the non-teacher staff by 50% and increase the teacher staff by 50% and get better outcomes through smaller class sizes and whatnot. There'd be enough left over to fund a significant teacher raise too.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Re: Our Next President?

                  Do we need to liquidate the Kulaks?

                  https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/...et-forfeiture/

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Re: Our Next President?

                    I think this is hyperbolic. It's not like this kind of tax is unheard of in the capitalist world. Italy has one (higher on foreign assets than domestic assets), the Netherlands has one, Spain has one, France had one until Marcon just ditched it, Norway has one, Iceland has one, Argentina has one, it's not a totally radical thing. These are countries that still have home grown billionaires despite it.

                    I think there might be a legitimate argument to be made that it's unconstitutional, either on Article 1 or 5th Amendment grounds or both, and no doubt it would face a legal challenge as such, which is why I don't think it has happened in the US. But a 2% wealth tax on assets over $x million is not Stalinism. In fact, millions of Americans pay more than that on the asset value of our cars (2.5% in MA, for example).

                    Comment


                    • Re: Our Next President?

                      related re high income tax rates.

                      https://twitter.com/i/status/1089463716133916672

                      ---------------------

                      just read a piece on the wealth tax proposal that supposedly is being created- has she actually proposed any such thing? if so, i must have missed it. please let me know.

                      anyway the piece suggested it would be 2% on wealth over $50million. [i wish i were among those who would be affected.] just thought people might want to know some specifics [theoretical in the absence of an actual proposal].

                      Comment


                      • Re: Our Next President?

                        Originally posted by jk View Post
                        ---------------------

                        just read a piece on the wealth tax proposal that supposedly is being created- has she actually proposed any such thing? if so, i must have missed it. please let me know.
                        60 Minutes interview, youngest-ever Representative, relates to marginal tax rates:

                        https://www.marketwatch.com/story/oc...-70-2019-01-04

                        https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...ericans-agree/

                        https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_...-tax-rate.html

                        http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/...-tax-rate.html
                        Last edited by Ellen Z; 01-28-19, 03:01 AM. Reason: added one more link, interesting stats.
                        If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.

                        Comment


                        • Re: bureaucratic overhead

                          Originally posted by dcarrigg View Post
                          Lol, how many man-hours do you think went into designing that budget infographic? Gotta figure at least one accountant, one graphic designer, one assistant, and a couple meetings with top officials and executive assistants.

                          Glanced briefly at the 2016 line. 3.5 million for administrators, 3 million for clerical workers, and another 8 million for "other" who don't fit in the teachers, aides, custodial, instructional, nurse, therapists, coaches, or substitutes lines. Another million for reading interventionists, who afaik are pretty much just there to hassle teachers and mess with their lesson plans. Another million in overtime, which teachers don't get. Another 2.5 million for contracted professional services, which I'm assuming is where the lunch ladies are. A million to transfer special education out of the district. I'd guess another 5 million in fringe to these folks.

                          And there you have it. Not counting any teachers, janitors, coaches, counselors, supplies, operational costs, or capital costs, you've got $25m in annual expenses. More than what all the teachers cost combined. Mostly for things like making infographics or pushing paper.
                          We have the same effects here in the UK, except that as I see it, all of these problems, (for want of another word to describe them), entirely stem from an economic concept called GDP, Gross Domestic Product; where the driver of the concept is not the economics profession; it is the underlying failure of central government administrations to generate sufficient tax income from what we might have once described as ordinary employment.

                          An analogy might be to develop drugs to give a better performance; in this case, somewhere down the line, someone came up with the idea that you can increase the dynamic of an economy by adding boosters to the underlying costs. In a classic small business, doing this sort of thing would herald a short run into bankruptcy; but when the "sales income" stems from government coffers, (as all education once did), then the more you can add to the gross income of the organisation, by adding high value costs, the greater the overall economic output of the full economy.

                          Here in the UK we have a classic example, the National Health Service, NHS, which is now stuffed with management that has blown the overall cost of running the NHS to the point where it is becoming impossible to fund. Every year we get a new crisis of insufficient funding.

                          Now look at the massive over borrowing of governments throughout the Western economies; all of it driven by the same imperative; GDP.

                          The constant drive to increase GDP drives the subsequent increases in such costs, themselves driven by the assumption that the only way to increase the tax income from the overall economy is to incorporate the drive to increase GDP. A classic circular imperative; need more income; increase incentives to increase GDP.

                          Only now, the whole thing is completely out of control and the eventual need to bring the whole edifice to a dead stop, will result in desperate times for the majority.

                          Comment


                          • Re: bureaucratic overhead

                            Originally posted by Chris Coles View Post
                            We have the same effects here in the UK, except that as I see it, all of these problems, (for want of another word to describe them), entirely stem from an economic concept called GDP, Gross Domestic Product; where the driver of the concept is not the economics profession; it is the underlying failure of central government administrations to generate sufficient tax income from what we might have once described as ordinary employment.

                            An analogy might be to develop drugs to give a better performance; in this case, somewhere down the line, someone came up with the idea that you can increase the dynamic of an economy by adding boosters to the underlying costs. In a classic small business, doing this sort of thing would herald a short run into bankruptcy; but when the "sales income" stems from government coffers, (as all education once did), then the more you can add to the gross income of the organisation, by adding high value costs, the greater the overall economic output of the full economy.

                            Here in the UK we have a classic example, the National Health Service, NHS, which is now stuffed with management that has blown the overall cost of running the NHS to the point where it is becoming impossible to fund. Every year we get a new crisis of insufficient funding.

                            Now look at the massive over borrowing of governments throughout the Western economies; all of it driven by the same imperative; GDP.

                            The constant drive to increase GDP drives the subsequent increases in such costs, themselves driven by the assumption that the only way to increase the tax income from the overall economy is to incorporate the drive to increase GDP. A classic circular imperative; need more income; increase incentives to increase GDP.

                            Only now, the whole thing is completely out of control and the eventual need to bring the whole edifice to a dead stop, will result in desperate times for the majority.
                            Yeah, I think you're onto something with this idea for the US too. It's not just the random desire to use GDP as a political yardstick. It's actually part of the policy rule-kit now. Congressional Budget Office scoring that's mandated for certain bills and certain Senate maneuvers to drop voting thresholds from 60 to 50+ votes are hitched to GDP measures. So the system for passing legislation is hard wired to GDP in that way. The there are the additional rules, like paygo, that Congress imposes upon itself that combine with the GDP scoring to actually prevent them from ever doing anything transformative that really makes a big impact on GDP. So they can't take up bills that would spend enough to really jam the growth lever up to 6% like back in the 1960s or something. But they also can't do anything that CBO projections say would lower it off the 2% growth baseline too much. And of course, this was not true just a short decades ago. But now every 10 year period pretty much has to average between 1 and 3% GDP growth, or you're violating one rule or another in Congress. This is also partly why they've had such a damned horrific time actually passing serious infrastructure bills, even if both Obama and Trump say they wanted it.

                            But even on a second level, it occurs that if you're measuring GDP so carefully, and you have free trade agreements designed to ship all the manufacturing jobs overseas to lower-labor-cost jurisdictions, and you simultaneously have an international myth that manufacturing isn't important anymore and the developed world has moved beyond it into a new historical era called the 'service economy,' then you desperately have to find ways to get things that were happening anyways onto the books to keep up the figures. So you make work. Not only with the Graeber style Bullshit Jobs thing. But by commercializing parts of life that were not commercialized before. As I was going on before, rent a room to a stranger on AirBnB and use the money to hire a home health care aide, and you're creating a lot of GDP. Have a friend move in for free who also helps out around the house as a friend, and you're creating zero GDP. The same amount of work is being done either way. But one generates a ton of tax revenue and official statistical economic activity. The other generates none of that, but creates a real human bond between people who actually care about each other instead. So everything must be bent towards incentivizing the first arrangment and discouraging the latter. This is a big reason why Putnam found all the stuff in Bowling Alone that he found, I think. "The service economy" is really just the commercialization of previously non-commercial human interactions. It's the "marketization" of life. Manufacturing hasn't become any less important. The economy hasn't moved beyond it. Try getting through a day without any manufactured goods. It's just where manufacturing is done and what people are paid to do it has changed dramatically. So in lieu of these types of jobs, as you say, we've got to convolute and commercialize things.

                            And this has further implications too--notice how, on this side of the pond at least, the corporate rates and the share of total revenue generated by corporate taxation is way, way down. The top marginal rates too and the share generated by the top 0.1% is way, way down too. Just compared to 5 years ago it's down. Compared to 15 more so. Compared to 30 even more so, etc. Since Reagan, and I'm guessing since Thatcher over there. And this isn't even considering the tax revenue lost to offshoring. Imagine if iPhones were manufactured in Los Angeles instead of in Shenzhen. That'd be what? 350,000 jobs? Even at LA minimum wage, it'd be $25,000 per year per job, assuming they only pay 5% income tax on that (an unlikely low number, but possible), that's about $4.5 billion in annual tax revenue. At a minimum. If everyone made the lowest legal wage and paid the lowest tax share they could. That's not counting state taxes. That's not counting the Social Security Trust Fund payroll taxes. It's not counting Medicare contributions for 65+ healthcare. That would all add up to much more. $25 billion per year wouldn't be out of the question when it's all said and done. Of course, with a company as big as Apple, that's what? 9% of their revenue or something? So that sounds about right for back of the envelope guesswork to me, since it'd clearly force a significant price increase for the knick knacks and doo dads. But when you add it all up, it's a whole lot of tax revenue lost. Government gives up a ton of revenue by allowing extremely low corporate tax rates and top marginal rates in conjunction with frictionless offshoring of manufacturing jobs. If they don't change laws to promote "the service economy" and promote commercializing previously non-commercial activity, and if them and the private sector don't engage in make-work schemes full of infographics and grant competitions, etc, then how the hell else would anything work? If you were focused on GDP, it certainly wouldn't.

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                            • Re: Our Next President?

                              as far as i can tell, these articles are about raising the marginal rates of the INCOME tax. i didn't see [perhaps overlooked?] any reference to a WEALTH tax [like a national property tax but on all wealth, not just on real estate].

                              Comment


                              • Re: bureaucratic overhead

                                Originally posted by dcarrigg View Post
                                Imagine if iPhones were manufactured in Los Angeles instead of in Shenzhen. That'd be what? 350,000 jobs? Even at LA minimum wage, it'd be $25,000 per year per job, assuming they only pay 5% income tax on that (an unlikely low number, but possible), that's about $4.5 billion in annual tax revenue. At a minimum. If everyone made the lowest legal wage and paid the lowest tax share they could. That's not counting state taxes. That's not counting the Social Security Trust Fund payroll taxes. It's not counting Medicare contributions for 65+ healthcare. That would all add up to much more. $25 billion per year wouldn't be out of the question when it's all said and done. Of course, with a company as big as Apple, that's what? 9% of their revenue or something? So that sounds about right for back of the envelope guesswork to me, since it'd clearly force a significant price increase for the knick knacks and doo dads. But when you add it all up, it's a whole lot of tax revenue lost. Government gives up a ton of revenue by allowing extremely low corporate tax rates and top marginal rates in conjunction with frictionless offshoring of manufacturing jobs. If they don't change laws to promote "the service economy" and promote commercializing previously non-commercial activity, and if them and the private sector don't engage in make-work schemes full of infographics and grant competitions, etc, then how the hell else would anything work? If you were focused on GDP, it certainly wouldn't.
                                what do you figure would be the price on an iphone manufactured in los angeles? then go back and lower all those numbers, because they couldn't sell anything like the volume they sell now.

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