79 thoughts on “The Real Story Behind Skyrocketing Student Debt

    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Hope you have been well. Do you have plans for the US holiday?

      Did you listen to the video? The point is it was free. It worked well. It was a cornerstone of the surging economic might of the US and its innovation that took the world by storm.

      After you watch the video tell me what arguments about free education do you disagree with and think not well thought out? Explain why free education for K-12 is OK but not for anything higher? Why can other countries do free education but the US which is said to be the wealthiest country on earth, can not? Thanks. Hugs

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        • Hello ragnarsbhut. I believe you referred me to that one before and I discredited it. I am not interested in a paid for promotion, I want your ideas, your understanding of the topic. I would like you to answer the questions I asked with your own thoughts, your reasoning rather than me run in circles chasing strawman debunked arguments. Thanks. Hugs

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            • Hello . Yes! Please notice the date of the media you sent. Nov 13, 2015. You have sent this to me before, and we have gone over it. Sorry if you do not remember I know you have short term memory loss from Epilepsy. Here Is the post where you bring up the Caputo video and the woman in it he talks with. Please go through the comments and see where you post the link and we spend a lot of time talking about it. In several different sections so check them all, thanks.

              https://scottiestoybox.com/2019/12/20/you-have-more-income-and-wealth-inequality-today-than-at-any-time-since-the-1920s/

              I enjoyed those discussions and even though they took a lot of effort and time I felt they were very productive. But I do not want to watch a flawed video I have already delved into and examined again.

              I am very interested in the questions I asked you, because your thoughts are more important to me than Caputo as he has an agenda he is paid to push. Your thoughts are honest based on what information you have. And going over the comments from the post we talked a lot about it.

              These are the questions I asked. Hugs

              After you watch the video tell me what arguments about free education do you disagree with and think not well thought out that were in the video? Explain why free education for K-12 is OK but not for anything higher? Why can other countries do free education but the US which is said to be the wealthiest country on earth, can not? Thanks. Hugs again.

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  • I disagree with people who just make demands for free education without providing actual arguments backed up with statistics, facts or providing proof of the actual benefits of free college to back up their arguments. People who want free college can get it via the GI bill. Look it up at your convenience.

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    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Well the video made lots of great arguments for free education. In this case it is a huge benefit to society and local communities. Again as I mentioned when education was free and / or affordable we went to the moon and had a growing middle class along with the highest standard of living. We have lost those standard of living rankings.

      Let’s look how at how the GI bill works. First to have to risk your life to go to school to better the society you live in is ridiculous as a starting point. It is like the hunger games.

      The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) helps you pay for school or job training. If you’ve served on active duty after September 10, 2001, you may qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33). Find out if you can get this education benefit.

      Notice nothing is guaranteed. Maybe and might for all your risk and service. When I was in back in the 1980’s the education program was very limited and strictly controlled by the government. You had to go into a field approved by them to get the government part of the funds even if you paid into the program. Same with the choice of schools.

      Even Forbes is for free education as it is a net benefit to society. https://www.forbes.com/sites/wesleywhistle/2020/09/22/who-benefits-from-free-college/?sh=31eecaea67a6

      Here is a great short article on the pros / cons of free education. https://smartasset.com/student-loans/the-pros-and-cons-of-free-college

      ragnarsbhut I want to stress that free education helped create the growing middle class of the 1950’s and forward. The middle class has shrunk and died due to all the burdens and costs being shifted on to that class of people less able to pay for it. The economic situation of the country got much worse when the shift in paying for things went from the government to the people unable to pay for it. It created an upper class of haves and a lower class of have nots that has gotten to be a bigger problem over time. Again I want to emphasizes it did not use to be that way and the economy and living standards in the US were better for everyone then, not just great for the wealthy upper class as it is now.

      Why is is OK to have K-12 free education but not college level? Could it be that the wealthy corporations do not want educated workers that can advocate for higher wages and better working conditions? Could it be that businesses want a desperate worker class willing to take any scraps given out to them including poor wages and bad working conditions with no benefits, just like it was before the New Deal that made life so much better for most of the country while regulating businesses?

      Be well. Hugs

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      • Scottie, K-12 education is not technically free either. We pay for that with our tax dollars. Just because something is a right does not mean that there is no cost. Example: The right to an attorney. We have the right to legal counsel under the U.S. Constitution. However, legal counsel still has fees attached.

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        • Hello ragnarsbhut. What do you think we are talking about for free college and universal healthcare? It is the very same thing as K-12 education and other government funded schooling. Did you think I and others were actually talking it would just magically happen, that no costs would occur anywhere? By free we mean the end user doesn’t pay but the government does. Again not a new concept, it has been used world wide and even in the US before the wealthy upper class / corporations started to strangle the money flow out of greed and power. Hugs

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                • Why should I offer anything more substantive? I think Scottie zoomed in on the issue perfectly. If the government can fund K-12 education, why not higher schooling as well? It wouldn’t have to be a “free-for-all” but certainly a system could be put into place that would help serious students. I think you would agree that our taxes are going to MANY things that are far less worthy than helping young people further their education. After all, they are the ones who will be guiding this country in the future.

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                  • Scottie and Nan, here are 3 questions for you: 1: If free college becomes a reality, what would happen if people enrolled at a University and decided not to attend the classes? 2: Given the fact that student loan debt is a result of student loans, why not get rid of student loans altogether? 3: If politicians who promote the idea of free education really want that, why not have a reduction in their salaries to cover the costs?

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. I think these are rather easy to reason out. If people start schooling their costs for the schooling are covered and under some circumstances other costs would be also. If the person doesn’t attend the classes they lose the support and the school stops getting paid. If you accept a job and don’t show up to work what happens? You don’t get paid nor do you get the benefits of the job. If you buy something on time payments but don’t pay what happens?

                      Getting rid of student loans is what we are talking about, I fail to see the point you are trying to make? If the costs are paid, free college, why would a person need to take a loan. Right now the Biden administration is talking cancelling $50,000 of a person’s existing student debt, I think all student debt should be cancelled. Again higher education has been shown to benefit everyone in the country, it is a net benefit for society.

                      The last idea is silly and unworkable. It is like when people say well if you want the government to have more in taxes you give them more of yours. You can not run a country on gifts nor budget large programs on the backs of a miniscule number of people. 535 people can not pay for a nation’s entire education program, nor should they.

                      This is not a few progressive politicians pushing this, but the majority of the people in the country. Yes when polled the majority want the education system fixed and that includes free higher education. The population also wants lower education / schools to get more funding and be a higher priority. When we need a program to benefit the entire country we need the federal government to handle it.

                      Why did you ask about the politicians? You must have heard that comment made somewhere. Who ever made it was not leveling with you and was trying to side track you with a talking point. They were not trying to have a serious conversation about the issue. Hugs

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                    • Scottie, politicians like Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and many other democrats are promising this stuff to people to dupe us into voting for them. Their promises are empty.

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. That is simply a talking point and it is wrong. Any quick look into what the persons mentioned have purposed would show many detailed concrete plans. Did you not notice that Warren was mocked because she loved detailed in depth plans that could work.

                      As for saying things to get votes, sort of what the job of a politician is. The trick is to know which ones will or may try to deliver and which ones are simply lies. I think you know where I land on this. I also do not read, watch, listen to one media station or type. I find you get a much more balanced idea of reality when you spread your information base around.

                      ragnarsbhut you say their promises are empty, but you fail to show how or why? If you think they are not possible then show me how. Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. I feel I have and always do. I do use my own experience and research to help form my opinion. I am progressive by nature. If I argue or champion a point it is because in the best of my ability I think it is correct.

                      That said when you say will I look at the details, I will look at the information you yourself present it. I am not going to be willing to chase down a bunch of links unless you are quoting them as sources and I am not interested in watching hours of videos that are disingenuous which most far right media is. Now again if you make a detailed point and reference a timeframe on a video I will look at that part of the video. But I am not watching Tucker Carlson, Hannity, lou Dobbs, or any of State Propaganda TV because they are not reputable news sources. Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. I watch his stuff on YouTube. I find he is a bit more center than I am.

                      Do you have a specific issue you disagree with him on, and why? Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. OK. But why? First I do not know what tax issue you are talking about, maybe start there, then what his position is that you disagree with, and follow that up with your idea of what it should be. Thanks. Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Your answer is incomplete. You prefer them, meaning taxes, to be low. Great I prefer everyone to have healthcare. But we both left out a lot in those statements.

                      Everyone wants taxes to be low but most intelligent people understand that we need to have enough taxes to fund the US government to provide services to the people.

                      So lets flesh it out. What the hell do you mean by you prefer taxes be low? For who? How low? Do you even know what progressive taxes mean, because by the last comment I answered to you it seems you did not?

                      ragnarsbhut it is time to let go of right wing slogans. Stop watching right wing channels that only give you talking points with no explanations.

                      I am willing to go over all these things with you, but those right wing media are not, they want to give you a part of the story and then tell you a tale built on it. A tale that is not true.

                      Best wishes and hugs

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                    • Scottie, if we keep the income tax, I would prefer the rate on regular income to be a flat rate of 15%. Capital gains would be up to 15%. No corporate tax, no alternative minimum tax, no payroll tax and no estate tax. Low means across-the-board.

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. That is an extremely regressive unrestrained capitalism that has been shown to kill capitalism anywhere it has been tried. I would be interested to know what source you got that idea from, as no economic textbook would promote or suggest it. It would kill the economy and send the country into a poverty cycle of a few rather wealthy at the top and a near desperate starving population struggling to survive. Even China and India had to institute restraints on capitalism to gain the best benefits. China did it best, India is trying to turn that same corner. The system of all for the top has shown it leaves most of the country very poor, and the disabled with no assistance at all. Such a system would leave you destitute, while giving the wealthy even more money.

                      However the greatest economies that have the highest standard of living for people in the country are those countries that regulate capitalism. That is a fact that can be googled. The US is way down that list. Heck Canada is higher up than we are. Let me explain why.

                      An economy is created when people buy stuff and sell stuff. This is the flow of money. The more people buying and selling the greater the economy. The problems we are having right now with our economy is that few people have any money to buy, and others can not find enough people to sell to. That is a problem even for large businesses that are using the federal reserve to prop them up stock market wise.

                      On the other hand the more people who have disposable income to spend the better the economy for the entire country. This is shown not only by looking at countries with higher standards of living, but by looking at the past of the US. Between 1950 and mid 1970’s the US had a fast growing world marveled economy. Almost everyone could move up to the middle class ( well white people could ) and improve their situation. People could afford to buy homes, RV’s, boats, and other luxuries. Many industries were born just around the growing ability of people to spend. The tax policies during this time were some of the most progressive the US has had. They also had some of the highest taxes on businesses. The tax burden was on wealthy people and wealthy corporations.

                      Progressive taxes simply put the burden of taxes on those most able to pay. Ok simple, if you don’t have much money you did not pay the taxes but could still help the economy by spending on things needed and wanted. You may not be able to by a boat but could still go out to eat or see movies.

                      So you say you want taxes low. What do taxes go for? They go to provide the government and its functions. At all levels, local, state, and federal. Taxes are needed. It is essential to have a functioning government.

                      Now you may say that government spends too much. If it did not spend so much it wouldn’t have to collect so much, right? Well here is the rub, when conservative and right wing media talk about keeping taxes low they are code words for ending assistance program for the poor and disabled. Rather heartless when the wealthy are not hurting for money. It is worse than simple greed, it is a lack of caring for anyone else in society and having empathy for others.
                      What other things does government fund other than food assistance for the poor, medicare and medicaid, and the big one Republicans want to cut, oh yes Social security.

                      But they never seem to mind all the subsidies for the wealthy corporations and businesses. Big argro gets all those farms subsidies that people like Senators Chuck Grassley and Devin Nunes collect but don’t farm. $20 billion and up for fossil fuel companies, meaning oil and gas companies, and all those billions adding up to trillions for defence … they do not go to the military person , they go mostly to defence contractors building things that sometimes the military doesn’t want but makes wealthy corporations even more wealthy. At the same time Republicans are feeding more money to these and much more taxpayer money to their big donors they cry we must cut the money going to assist the people who can not afford big donations.

                      I hope this explains why we do not have a flat tax, and why we need a progressive tax system, which we use to have and has been eroded over the last 50 years. Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Thank you. I do my best. Is there anything else you want to talk about? I post on a lot of subjects, maybe you have an idea or want to give a comment on those ideas? Best wishes. Hugs

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                    • Scottie, if we want to resolve things like student loan debt, getting rid of student loans would be a great start. Having said that, nothing in life is truly free. A $0.00 item for a consumer may have come at a great cost to the producer of said item.

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Yes, true that everything has a production cost and a pay point. However not everything has to be for profit! I agree we need to get rid of and forgive student loans, while making the accessibility of higher education more available to all who have the qualifications and desire to do so.

                      Two court judgements have already ordered Sec. of Education Devos to forgive some student loans, she has refused to do so even to the point of being threatened with contempt of court. Seems she has investments in some of the very predatory lending companies the courts are ordering her to cancel the loans from. Now that is part of runaway capitalism that needs to be fixed and better regulated. Hugs

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                    • Scottie, if one person cannot plan ahead for what he or she wants to pursue as a degree while in college, that person has no business going. Want to know why some people graduate with massive student loan debt and can’t find work? Probably because a useless degree was pursued. Look at a lot of wealthy people who become successful without college degrees. Why should they pay for someone to go to college that they don’t know?

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. You do not seem to be aware of predatory loans and pretend schools that suck students in but turn out to be mostly scams. Let’s talk about the schools first. I know of two here in Florida where I live that were satellite schools advertised on TV nation wide. One was ITT Tech, and the other I can not remember the name. Both had slick brochures and made promises of great job placement when graduated. These schools also worked with loan companies to give student loans at high costs to students. Turns out there are a bunch of these schools all across the country, and most students never graduate. Some are never told the courses they are studying the schools are not accredited and some are offered promises that never materialized. During the Obama years the education department and the DOJ worked together to find these schools, put them out of business, and to give the scammed students relief.

                      That stopped when tRump came into power, because the Republicans do not believe government should work for the people, but should only serve the wealthy. These scams make big money, which is why Betsy Devos is invested in them. Very Christian of her. I say that because she wears her Christianity on her sleeve as a badge of honor yet doesn’t act very Christian like.

                      So how did the courts get involved during the tRump administration? Students and state governments push the cases of fraud. Again the courts told Devos to strike the student loans and she refused. The last time the court cited her for contempt. Now courts wouldn’t do this if these schools and loan companies were not scams.

                      Wealthy people who don’t have degrees? Your point? You are all over the map with this one and not making sense. Yes it can happy that people get lucky. It also happens that very wealthy people get degrees by having their family pay for them to get into fancy schools and get a degree for doing no work, such as tRump and Jared Kushner. Kushner’s dad paid paid multiple millions to get him into Harvard. “… New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner had pledged $2.5 million to Harvard University in 1998, not long before his son Jared was admitted to the prestigious Ivy League school.” By all reports Kushner was a bad student who did not earn a spot at Harvard.

                      But I don’t get your point. Name 10 people who made big money without a college degree? Every study show that a degree increases your life time income. Look a simple nursing degree increases your income potential incredibly. Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Yes Bill gates did very well for himself. He is even a great philanthropist.

                      But in using him you sabotage your won argument as Mr. Gates himself is a big proponent in taxing the wealthy more to provide social services and programs to the rest of society. He understands why education is a boon to society and why it needs to be encouraged and greater access needs to be insured. Hugs

                      Gates, who famously dropped out of Harvard, is a lifelong learner and despite his own trajectory, thinks, generally, people should in stay in school. “Although I dropped out of college and got lucky pursuing a career in software, getting a degree is a much surer path to success,” Gates wrote on his blog in 2015

                      He opined that higher education is one of the key elements in providing equal opportunity for all and, that for this to happen, we all need to have equal access to higher education and an equal chance of succeeding. He noted that college graduates will earn almost double what high school graduates will during their lifetime and that unemployment rates of college graduates are very low. He also noted that there are non-pecuniary benefits to a college degree.

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Yes he ran a company that produced a needed product at a time it was needed. But it doesn’t prove your point about education in anyway. As I showed even he supports taxing the wealthy to provide more services for the people. That includes education. Hugs

                      Oh and I would be careful of claiming people benefited from Windows, there are some diehards who to this day hate the program. 😀😃😄😂😋😏 Hugs

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                    • Their promises only become empty when Republicans put the kibosh on the ideas. As Scottie has repeatedly said … the rich are not interested in helping anyone but themselves. To allow money to be spent helping the average citizen — or even more so, the needy — is an idea/action that dies before it even gets started simply because it doesn’t add to their already over-flowing bank accounts.

                      Why did Mitchie-baby let everyone go before the holidays instead of staying put for a few days and getting a relief bill passed for those who are barely scraping by to the point they are only eating one meal a day?

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                    • There’s no “entitlement” about it. It’s simply caring for other human beings that are less fortunate. And don’t give me the song and dance that everyone has the same opportunities. That’s pure Bull Shit. It take money to make money. And when you’re born into a family that has limited income, opportunities are also limited.

                      I won’t deny there ARE exceptions, but in many cases even these people had “help” along the way through good advice and/or other advantages.

                      I have to ask … do you or, depending on your age, did you ever suffer from lack of money and/or opportunities?

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                    • Nan, due to my having Epilepsy, finding any meaningful work is not possible. Having said that, I view that as an obstacle only. I do not have the “I’m a victim” mentality who views life as being unfair because some things don’t go my way.

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                    • Not everyone who has limited opportunities sees themselves as “victims.” Many simply recognize and accept that their chances of becoming self-sufficient are slim to none. IOW, for them … and most likely the same for you … it is what it is. You deal with the circumstances life has given you and do your best. The fact that the government helps does not mean you’re a freeloader.

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                    • Nan, why is it that people who get things that they did not earn, like inheritance, get denounced as being moochers and yet people who ask for handouts and make demands for free stuff are not?

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                    • They are not “moochers” to me. They simply had the good fortune to be born into a wealthy family. As to why some people call them that, I have no idea. In fact, I have no idea why the economically less fortunate are considered moochers when they are simply trying to get enough resources to survive.

                      Ragnarsbhut … I’m not sure why you keep throwing out these questions. The best way I can put it for me is that I do NOT support the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. It is not a matter of doling out money to help those who sit on their butts drinking beer and watching TV. It is about helping individuals who, for whatever reason, are living below an acceptable standard of living. To sit in a mansion with gold toilets and judge these people is a sin against humanity, IMO.

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                    • Hello Nan and ragnarsbhut. I agree with you Nan. But something we need to understand and get ready for is most people won’t be working in the future. Andrew Yang was correct. It has been known since the 1980’s that fewer jobs would be available in the future for less people. Today in our country a person’s worth seems to be determined by their wealth and their job. But with automation and the changing way things are done there simply won’t be enough jobs for most of the people. People will share jobs, doing them a few days a week while other do them other days of the week. We see this already with the gig economy. Some people simply won’t have jobs but will pursue hobbies and crafts.

                      We have to get away from this idea that people have to earn a living. It is simply not going to be possible and other countries are seeing this. Some countries already use UBI ( universal basic income ) basically paying people to not work so they can still have food, shelter, and live a normal life with some luxuries and enjoyments. We have to change the mindset that people not working every day are bad people. We need to get to the idea that people need to be productive without producing anything. If a person simply blogs all day they are still a good person deserving of food and shelter. Again the time is coming where automation and machines will do the jobs for people and that is how it should be. But we will talk about that issue later. Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Not sure where you are hearing these generalizations, but turn it around and ask if that is OK also. Should people who did not earn their wealth be privileged and have greater status than people working for their income? Should wealth be the measure people are judged by? Also what makes something a hand out? Who is making these labels?

                      These are simply the way things are being framed to prejudice the conversation. Trying to better improve the situation of the majority of the country is not asking for handouts. Demanding the wealthy pay more as they can afford more to improve the conditions of everyone in the country is not demanding free stuff.

                      The fact is these talking points are simply a way to obscure what really is being talked about. The standard of living in a country. Should a country only work for a few at the top, and the rest struggle simply to survive? Or should all people in a country have the ability to enjoy the wealth of the country.

                      You have to understand what is at issue. You talk about taking other people’s wealth but in truth what is happening is the wealthy have been taking the country’s wealth and hoarding it for themselves.

                      That is why there is such a wage gap, such a wealth inequality problem. Say the country produces an average of $100 dollars a year. If the top 1% take $50 dollars, the top 10% take $40 dollars, that leaves only $10 dollars for the rest of the people all 90%. That is what is happening now. Plus the wealthy lobbied for shifting the burden of paying for the government on to the lower 90% who are only getting a bare fraction of the countries wealth.

                      It did not use to be that way. Not in this country. It is not that way in other developed countries. But the wealthy don’t want you to know that. They frame it as taking their earnings, taking their money. They frame it as people wanting free stuff and being lazy and not wanting to work. The wealthy pay media ( right wing media ) to get the idea out that it is anti-American to ask the wealthy to pay more, that it is communism or socialism to regulate their greed. That really is nonsense, simply looking at other countries will show that , like Canada which has universal healthcare which is well liked and other services denied to US people. People are told the US is #1, the best, the greatest just so people won’t look at what other countries do, how well off the people in those countries are.

                      Why is it 34 other countries can have universal healthcare yet medical bankruptcies are the reason for most bankruptcies in the US? Why should sickness or Covid illness cause a person to lose everything they ever had just so an insurance company can make a profit? It is not that way in other developed countries. If the US is so great why are we so worse off? Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. I can answer this one. Because no person makes their money only by themselves. Not me , not you, not Jeff Bezos, nor Bill Gates. Everyone uses the services and infrastructure that exists and will be developed for increasing needs. Think about the roads alone. Every business uses the roads, and so they should pay for developing and maintaining them. What about the electric grid? Every business uses them, and puts more strain on them than the average person does, so again they should pay more for them.

                      The idea use to be those with more paid more and everyone benefited. Look at the times of greatest growth in the US, the 1950’s to 1970’s. Well it started in the 1930’s but there was a world war that sort of took everyone’s attention. Back then it was thought normal for the wealthy and large businesses / corporations to pay a lot more. We need to return to those times. What happened in the 1980’s was a start to shifting the burden of paying for the country / government from the wealthy to the lower incomes and working poor. The middle class shriveled and shrank as more of the burden landed on them. It has basically killed our economy because of the greed of unrestrained capitalism. Again simply historical facts. Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. That is a pretty defeatist attitude. Let’s not make laws because people will just find a way around them? Let’s not have speed limits because people will just break them?

                      What I was talking about was the marginal tax rate, which is different from the regular income tax. You are correct that there are far too many loopholes, tax shelters, and scams the wealthy use to hide their income. But we have to try.

                      One of the things the wealthy have done to rig the game, to shift the burden of paying for the government to the lower incomes is to cut the budget of the IRS so much that they no longer go after the wealthy tax cheats. The IRS people have admitted this. They only go after the poor who make mistakes and then hammer them. I know as we made a mistake on our 2017 taxes that cost us 6 grand and over $1,000 in fees. The wealthy can tie the IRS up with lawyers and courts to the point where they simply drop the case. So we need to drastically raise the funding of the IRS and make the wealthy pay their fair share. Hugs

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                    • Scottie, here is a proposal for you: Make capital gains, regular income and estate tax rates the same. A flat 15% across-the-board. Removing all deductions except those related to childcare, educational expenses, business purchases and educational expenses. The compromise for the lower rate is the guarantee of tuition-free college.

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. No way. Those are some really regressive taxes that hit the poorest people the hardest. Again it shifts the burden from the wealthy to those less able to pay. Why would you do that? It robs income from government and it destroys the lower incomes from any advancement. Under such a structure, those with lower incomes tend to pay a higher proportion of their income in total taxes than the affluent do. A flat tax system would transfer the tax burden to lower-income and middle-income taxpayers.

                      Instead we go back to the wealthy paying a high marginal tax rate ( Warren only wanted 6% I want it back to over 75% at least ) and we make corporations pay their owed taxes and we also stop subsidies to wealthy corporations and instead use it for the people. Conservative estimates put U.S. direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at roughly $20 billion per year; with 20 percent currently allocated to coal and 80 percent to natural gas and crude oil. This is a wealthy industry, why are we taxpayers paying them? Let’s pay for things the people need and can use. Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. It is the difference in the proportion of income it takes from the person. If you make $10 dollars a week and it takes you 9 dollars to live, to pay your bills, and I take 15% for tax, you have only .85 cents left for everything else.

                      If you make $100 a week and it takes you 9 dollars to live, and I take 15% for tax, that leaves you with $85 dollars for everything.

                      That is why they call it a regressive tax, the burden is higher on the poor and easier on the wealthy.

                      A progressive tax would have steps based on your income. A 10 dollar a week person may pay nothing and even get a credit, the next step up may pay say 10%, the next level will pay 25% and maybe the wealthy will pay 40%. Now you may think that is unfair but let show you how it is more fair this way.

                      If Bill gates or Jeff Bezos lost half their income it wouldn’t change a thing about their lifestyle. Nothing would be different for them. They would still live as kings.

                      If you lost half your income would you still live the same? Poor people lose it all with a loss of even small amounts income because of the struggle to make it, the costs of living have increased while the money coming in has not.

                      Hugs

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                    • Scottie, one of the problems we have is that our welfare state encourages dependency and handouts. I have no problem helping people who truly need it. What I object to is hearing people make demands for free stuff.

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                    • Nan, people who make demands for free college would be a classic example. Even if education is a right, what right does someone have to force other people to teach that person stuff for free?

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                    • So we’re back to that, huh? I thought Scottie blasted that perspective quite well.

                      So let’s call it. You’re a very right-leaning conservative so the “discussion” will go on forever with “yeah, buts.” Scottie may enjoy it but I don’t. So ta-ta. Have a nice life.

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                    • Nan, unless you have an economics major or even have an understanding of the fact that all things cost money, you clearly have been spoon fed propaganda. Wake up. These people with the victim mentality are not owed anything in life.

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            • Hello ragnarsbhut. Yes true. It always has. But it also is part of one’s responsibility for being a member of society. It use to be that the more wealth one had the more they were expected to give back to the community. Philanthropy was more than a virtue, it was expected of the very wealthy. We need to get away from absolute greed and self centeredness if we are to thrive as a species. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Sorry but anyone following the thread has seen the video. They may have even read the 55 comments and replies on it at the original posting. They have read the comments and replies here. The video has been debunked nearly line by line by me. Cavuto doesn’t get more correct the more times you post it. Sorry friend but this was a propaganda hit job and it did not stand the test of time well. Hugs

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        • Hello ragnarsbhut. It is OK. I will leave it. This is an important conversation on a subject that really will determine if the US progresses forward into the future as other developed countries have, or sinks further in to regression to a time a century ago where child labor was normal and living was a struggle for most people to survive so that a very few could gather record breaking wealth. The problem you need to remember is the wealthy pay a lot of money to different think tanks and media to enforce the idea that anything that costs them money, either a tax or regulation is somehow unAmerican and against freedom. But it is only propaganda that can be seen through if you examine it fully. Remember the best economic growth the US ever had was when wealthy and large businesses paid much higher taxes. Hugs

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                • Hello ragnarsbhut. They are the same.
                  A progressive tax structure is one where taxes take into account a person’s level of wealth and income. By its very nature a wealth tax is a progressive tax.

                  An example of a regressive tax is a sales tax or a flat tax. Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. You do know we had this entire conversation when we talked about medicare for all. We had about 59 comments and replies. Would you like me to find and send you the link?

                      But a wealth tax is not necessarily a tax on already taxed wealth. Most wealthy people and large corporations find ways to keep their money from being taxed. A wealth tax gets around those schemes. Only two candidates I know of had purposed a wealth tax. Many other countries do use them and they are a great way of insuring those with the greater ability to pay for government and services are doing so. However a wealthy tax has never been used in the US and its legality is unknown.

                      Now what has been used and was very successful was a marginal tax rate in the US. During the times of greatest economic growth and when we seen the rise of the middle class was when the marginal tax rate was up between 80+% and 98%. That is simply a historical fact, and during that time the wealthy still got wealthy so it was not hurting them. Hugs

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                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. It is not that you are being repetitive. It is that it will save us both time typing if you review what we already went over and then start with things that need more clarification. It is OK to need more information on things to form or change an opinion. Do me a favor, read these comments and replies between us. It goes over a lot of what we are talking about. Then we will talk so more. I may go to bed and pick this up tomorrow, I am getting pretty tired. Hugs

                      https://scottiestoybox.com/2019/12/20/you-have-more-income-and-wealth-inequality-today-than-at-any-time-since-the-1920s/

                      Like

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