Thanksgiving in HK

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neverfail
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Re: Thanksgiving in HK

Post by neverfail » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:37 pm

:idea: Cass, I would like to ask you a question?

Here in the West we gave up on being savers during the double digit inflation of the 1970's into the 1980's - when the double-digit inflation that came from the serial rises in the global price of oil by the OPEC producer's cartel. It was not worthwhile being a saver because the interest the banks paid depositors never fully compensated the depositor for loss of purchasing power.

We found instead that despite the double digit interest rates the banks were charging borrowers at the time it actually paid you to be a borrower. If you bought a big ticket item like a home with borrowed money you found with the passage of time that you were ahead. Inflation progressively reduced the (purchasing power) value of your loan while rising money wages and salaries meant that as the loan period progressed you found it increasingly easy to pay off the rest.

meantime, the resale value of the house or other appreciating asset you had purchased ensured that you were better off than if you had saved the money you paid the bank over the same period.

So what sort of interest rates do banks pay depositors in your country (and the others I mentioned above) that people there still have an incentive to save?

Here with a regime of historically low interest rates payable by borrowers it still pays to be a borrower.

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cassowary
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Re: I am a taxpayer Cassowary and I am angry.

Post by cassowary » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:32 pm

neverfail wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:47 am


NO Cassowary, they are NOT bums who are not being paid for not working. In the majority of cases they are worthy individuals who crave gainful employment but try as hard as they might cannot find it. Here in Australia we currently have around 800,000 unemployed but only 200,000 job vacancies. Do your mathematics: approx. 600,000 are going to miss out.

Ever heard of structural unemployment? Apparently you do not even comprehend what it is.

And here as elsewhere in the West we DO NOT have extended families to look after us when we fall upon hard times. This is something that you of the Sinosphere and probably in other parts of the World where they still apparently have functioning extended families never seem to take into account when judging aspects of modern Western civilization (such as our systems of social security) that puzzle you.

Unemployment benefits are not, as you up there in your profound incomprehension seem to imagine, payments to not work but mere partial compensation for those who cannot finds gainful employment. When private enterprise fails to generate enough paid jobs of the right kind then it is only fair and just for the state to step in and provide redress.

I agree absolutely with Sertorio. The attitude you describe is insensitive and cruel.

The fact that the opinion might be widespread among your kind does not make it right.
...........................................................................................................

You know Sertorio, I would be incapable of even beginning to comprehend where Cassowary is coming from were it not for the fact that I married a woman from a country (the Philippines) where they have extended families - unlike in my culture. I spent enough time living up there while courting my wife-to-be observing how members of a Filipino extended family lend support to one another and I was favorably impressed. To this day I view it as a necessary survival tool for people who live in poor countries like that. But that way is for them and not for me.
Neverfail and Sertorio,

Let me give a few comments.

Could it not be that the structural unemployment be due to the welfare state itself? You need higher taxes than we do to pay for that welfare state. This deters business investments and hence job creation. Also there are the regulations. Generally, Singapore and HK are lightly regulated, making it easy and cheap for businesses to start.

The second comment is that about the extended family unit. This gives Asian society some economic advantages. It means generational interdependence. So there is less need for the government to take care of the people. If you need help from family members as a result of a loss of job, there is a subtle pressure on you to find another or at least use the time of unemployment to upgrade your skill.

Also, it means that parents have a strong financial interest in their children's education. I think you are aware that Asian kids do well in school. But many people don't realise that this also builds strong marital relationships because both parents are now partners in nurturing their "investments" - their kids who will one day help them in their retirement. This results in more stable marriages

Take a look at the US statistics on divorce by ethnic group. See panel B.

The rate of divorce among Asian women were around 12 or 13 divorces per 1000 women. This is the lowest compared to other ethnic groups. I imagine it is the same result for Australia. Kids from broken homes generally do less well in school. This has an economic impact.

So it is better to depend on your own families than on the government. It puts pressure on you to find a job. The money to care for you comes from your own family (including siblings). Depending on the faceless government who in turn collect the money from faceless taxpayers may encourage the recepient to take it lightly instead of scrambling to find a job. It also has a salutory impact on marriages which in turn have a positive impact on their kids upbringing and education.
The Imp :D

neverfail
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Re: I am a taxpayer Cassowary and I am angry.

Post by neverfail » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:23 am

cassowary wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:32 pm


Neverfail and Sertorio,

Let me give a few comments.

Could it not be that the structural unemployment be due to the welfare state itself? You need higher taxes than we do to pay for that welfare state. This deters business investments and hence job creation. Also there are the regulations.
Ballocks!

Study our tax code as it pertains to investment before you rashly make sweeping comments like that Cassowary. There are a multitude of tax deductions for legitimate investment that in total make the code investor friendly.

Even at our modest level of investment my wife and I have benefited from several of these over the years so we know something about it.

As for "regulations": do you believe that these are put in place to deter investment? To make life hard for business people? Regulations just for the sake of regulating? If you believe that then you are living more in fantasy-land than I had previously imagined.

Please, stop flogging the same old dead horse Cassowary. You do not seem to have published an original thought on this and related matters for years.

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Sertorio
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Re: I am a taxpayer Cassowary and I am angry.

Post by Sertorio » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:45 am

neverfail wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:23 am
cassowary wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:32 pm


Neverfail and Sertorio,

Let me give a few comments.

Could it not be that the structural unemployment be due to the welfare state itself? You need higher taxes than we do to pay for that welfare state. This deters business investments and hence job creation. Also there are the regulations.
Ballocks!

Study our tax code as it pertains to investment before you rashly make sweeping comments like that Cassowary. There are a multitude of tax deductions for legitimate investment that in total make the code investor friendly.

Even at our modest level of investment my wife and I have benefited from several of these over the years so we know something about it.

As for "regulations": do you believe that these are put in place to deter investment? To make life hard for business people? Regulations just for the sake of regulating? If you believe that then you are living more in fantasy-land than I had previously imagined.

Please, stop flogging the same old dead horse Cassowary. You do not seem to have published an original thought on this and related matters for years.
Exactly! If you make productive investments tax deductible, taxes will have no impact on investment. But Cass either ignores that or is forgetful of such deductibility for the sake of his shaky arguments...

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cassowary
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How come you never learn?

Post by cassowary » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:29 pm

neverfail wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:23 am
cassowary wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:32 pm


Neverfail and Sertorio,

Let me give a few comments.

Could it not be that the structural unemployment be due to the welfare state itself? You need higher taxes than we do to pay for that welfare state. This deters business investments and hence job creation. Also there are the regulations.
Ballocks!

Study our tax code as it pertains to investment before you rashly make sweeping comments like that Cassowary. There are a multitude of tax deductions for legitimate investment that in total make the code investor friendly.

Even at our modest level of investment my wife and I have benefited from several of these over the years so we know something about it.

As for "regulations": do you believe that these are put in place to deter investment? To make life hard for business people? Regulations just for the sake of regulating? If you believe that then you are living more in fantasy-land than I had previously imagined.

Please, stop flogging the same old dead horse Cassowary. You do not seem to have published an original thought on this and related matters for years.
High taxes do indeed increase unemployment Neverfail.

Excerpt from link:
Tax rates are a factor that affects the supply of goods and services. When taxes are high, this increases the cost of production, meaning a higher cost for goods and services. This lowers the amount of goods that a firm is willing to supply.

High taxes also affect the disposable income of consumers, leading to a lower demand of goods and services.

When both the demand and supply in an economy is lower overall, there are less opportunities for employment, and this leads to a higher unemployment rate.
The above makes perfect economic sense, Neverfail - whether you like it or not. The welfare state requires more taxes to fund it and thus increases your taxes. When that is not enough, the government has to borrow. This pushes up interest rates and so deters investments because it affects the cost of borrowing money.

In effect, the long term debt is a tax on your kids who will have to repay the debt.

As for wrong regulations, a good example is the minimum wage. The minimum wage increases unemployment.
According to leading economists, including famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett, minimum wages can actually raise unemployment by giving employers less incentive to hire and more incentive to automate and outsource tasks that were previously performed by low-wage employees. Higher mandated minimum wages also force businesses to raise prices to maintain desired profit margins. Higher prices can lead to less business, which means less revenue and therefore less money to hire and pay employees.
In fact, Australia was one of the first countries to introduce minimum wage. (I think NZ was the first.) In the late 1800s, there was a flood of Chinese workers migrating to Australia. These were prepared to work for less than white workers. This is reasonable given that they were of smaller build and hence weaker than white workers.

But the white workers felt threatened and agitated for minimum wage to prevent the Chinese from working.

Excerpt from link:
A well regarded Harvard professor of that era referred approvingly to Australia's minimum wage law as a means to "protect the white Australian's standard of living from the invidious competition of the colored races, particularly of the Chinese" who were willing to work for less.
There are the same racist motivations for introducing the minimum wage in other countries too. The minimum wage is one cause of the structural unemployment.

I have been through this with you years ago, Neverfail. But you never learn.
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neverfail
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Re: How come you never learn?

Post by neverfail » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:34 pm

cassowary wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:29 pm


High taxes do indeed increase unemployment Neverfail.

Excerpt from link:
Tax rates are a factor that affects the supply of goods and services. When taxes are high, this increases the cost of production, meaning a higher cost for goods and services. This lowers the amount of goods that a firm is willing to supply.

High taxes also affect the disposable income of consumers, leading to a lower demand of goods and services.

When both the demand and supply in an economy is lower overall, there are less opportunities for employment, and this leads to a higher unemployment rate.
Hypothetical claptrap! There are taxes and there are taxes. Some years ago one of our mining multi-billionaires remarked (at a time when the government of the day was proposing tax increases) "tax my income all you want to but leave my capital alone".
cassowary wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:29 pm
The above makes perfect economic sense, Neverfail - whether you like it or not. The welfare state requires more taxes to fund it and thus increases your taxes. When that is not enough, the government has to borrow. This pushes up interest rates and so deters investments because it affects the cost of borrowing money.
Try telling them that in Scandanavia Cassowary where even wealthy corporate CEO's would tell you that it is worth the high taxes for the benefits.
cassowary wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:29 pm
In effect, the long term debt is a tax on your kids who will have to repay the debt.
Governments are repaying debts as well as borrowing all of the time. My country would not have kept its triple A credit rating as long as it has were it not so. So that argument does not wash.
cassowary wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:29 pm
As for wrong regulations, a good example is the minimum wage. The minimum wage increases unemployment.
The minimum wage was a bi-product of the rise of the Australian Labor Party and associated working class politics; representing the best interests of unionized workers. It had nothing to do with any fear of an influx of Chinese or of any other aliens since our Selective Immigration Act (passed 1901) governed by the White Australia doctrine made bloody sure that white workers in Australia had nothing to fear from Chinese or any other non-white competition. Since most of our immigrants then came from the British Isles they did not even need to fear competition from foreign white workers.

I grew up and came of age during the 1950's and 1960's decades of high tariff protection when white Australia was supported by all parties and universally accepted throughout the wider community. We also had minimum wages that were higher than ever and constantly raised to compensate beneficiaries for a rising cost of living. In those days our unemployment was almost consistently below 1% of the workforce and we needed to take in an average of 100,000 immigrants per year to fill unfilled job vacancies. Now with a globalized economy and slack policing on firms exploiting foreign workers allowed in via temporary visas by underpaying and overworking these we suffer an average unemployment rate of around 5%.

So please give up trying to convince me that a minimum wage results in higher unemployment as I know from decades of direct observation that it is patently untrue.

cassowary wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:29 pm
I have been through this with you years ago, Neverfail. But you never learn.


Cassowary, it is you who who never learns though I have tried to enlighten you for years. What about dispensing with all of that bullshit theoretical stiff you cling to out of sheer egoism and see things with a clear set of eyes for a change? :)

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cassowary
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Re: How come you never learn?

Post by cassowary » Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:26 am

neverfail wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:34 pm
cassowary wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:29 pm


High taxes do indeed increase unemployment Neverfail.

Excerpt from link:
Tax rates are a factor that affects the supply of goods and services. When taxes are high, this increases the cost of production, meaning a higher cost for goods and services. This lowers the amount of goods that a firm is willing to supply.

High taxes also affect the disposable income of consumers, leading to a lower demand of goods and services.

When both the demand and supply in an economy is lower overall, there are less opportunities for employment, and this leads to a higher unemployment rate.
Hypothetical claptrap! There are taxes and there are taxes. Some years ago one of our mining multi-billionaires remarked (at a time when the government of the day was proposing tax increases) "tax my income all you want to but leave my capital alone".
An off the cuff statement from an unknown billionaire does not refute the argument, Neverfail. Let's break it down sentence by sentence:
"Tax rates are a factor that affects the supply of goods and services."
Do you agree with this statement? It sounds right to me. An entrepreneur may be reluctant to plunge into a business venture because of high taxes. He takes the risk and if his after tax profit is too low, he may decide not to produce goods and services. This leads to the next statement:
"This lowers the amount of goods that a firm is willing to supply."
Do you agree/disagree?

The next statement is so obvious to me:
High taxes also affect the disposable income of consumers, leading to a lower demand of goods and services.
The higher your income taxes are, the less money you have to spend. Agree/disagree?

So this leads to lesser demand for goods and services. Agree/Disagree?
"When both the demand and supply in an economy is lower overall, there are less opportunities for employment, and this leads to a higher unemployment rate."
Agree Disagree?

I can't find any fault in the logic, Neverfail. If you can let me know. Don't quote some unknown billionaire saying he does not mind high taxes. This is not a refutation to the logic presented above.
cassowary wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:29 pm
The above makes perfect economic sense, Neverfail - whether you like it or not. The welfare state requires more taxes to fund it and thus increases your taxes. When that is not enough, the government has to borrow. This pushes up interest rates and so deters investments because it affects the cost of borrowing money.
Try telling them that in Scandanavia Cassowary where even wealthy corporate CEO's would tell you that it is worth the high taxes for the benefits.
cassowary wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:29 pm
In effect, the long term debt is a tax on your kids who will have to repay the debt.
Governments are repaying debts as well as borrowing all of the time. My country would not have kept its triple A credit rating as long as it has were it not so. So that argument does not wash.
cassowary wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:29 pm
As for wrong regulations, a good example is the minimum wage. The minimum wage increases unemployment.
The minimum wage was a bi-product of the rise of the Australian Labor Party and associated working class politics; representing the best interests of unionized workers. It had nothing to do with any fear of an influx of Chinese or of any other aliens since our Selective Immigration Act (passed 1901) governed by the White Australia doctrine made bloody sure that white workers in Australia had nothing to fear from Chinese or any other non-white competition. Since most of our immigrants then came from the British Isles they did not even need to fear competition from foreign white workers.

I grew up and came of age during the 1950's and 1960's decades of high tariff protection when white Australia was supported by all parties and universally accepted throughout the wider community. We also had minimum wages that were higher than ever and constantly raised to compensate beneficiaries for a rising cost of living. In those days our unemployment was almost consistently below 1% of the workforce and we needed to take in an average of 100,000 immigrants per year to fill unfilled job vacancies. Now with a globalized economy and slack policing on firms exploiting foreign workers allowed in via temporary visas by underpaying and overworking these we suffer an average unemployment rate of around 5%.

So please give up trying to convince me that a minimum wage results in higher unemployment as I know from decades of direct observation that it is patently untrue.
Pay attention to Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize winner for Economics:



Friedman said that minimum wage laws cause unemployment. I believe him.

Really, Neverfail. We have been through all this before. But you never learn.
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neverfail
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Re: How come you never learn?

Post by neverfail » Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:36 pm

cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:26 am

"Tax rates are a factor that affects the supply of goods and services."
Do you agree with this statement? It sounds right to me. An entrepreneur may be reluctant to plunge into a business venture because of high taxes. He takes the risk and if his after tax profit is too low, he may decide not to produce goods and services. This leads to the next statement:
"This lowers the amount of goods that a firm is willing to supply."
Do you agree/disagree?

The next statement is so obvious to me:
High taxes also affect the disposable income of consumers, leading to a lower demand of goods and services.
The higher your income taxes are, the less money you have to spend. Agree/disagree?

So this leads to lesser demand for goods and services. Agree/Disagree?
"When both the demand and supply in an economy is lower overall, there are less opportunities for employment, and this leads to a higher unemployment rate."
Agree Disagree?

Since it is impossible to reason with an ideologue, I choose not to answer any of your above loaded questions. :)

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cassowary
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Choose not to or unable to answer?

Post by cassowary » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:49 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:36 pm
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:26 am

"Tax rates are a factor that affects the supply of goods and services."
Do you agree with this statement? It sounds right to me. An entrepreneur may be reluctant to plunge into a business venture because of high taxes. He takes the risk and if his after tax profit is too low, he may decide not to produce goods and services. This leads to the next statement:
"This lowers the amount of goods that a firm is willing to supply."
Do you agree/disagree?

The next statement is so obvious to me:
High taxes also affect the disposable income of consumers, leading to a lower demand of goods and services.
The higher your income taxes are, the less money you have to spend. Agree/disagree?

So this leads to lesser demand for goods and services. Agree/Disagree?
"When both the demand and supply in an economy is lower overall, there are less opportunities for employment, and this leads to a higher unemployment rate."
Agree Disagree?

Since it is impossible to reason with an ideologue, I choose not to answer any of your above loaded questions. :)
Since you "chose" not to answer, let it be remembered that you did not refute the points I raised. My contention is that higher taxes slow down economic growth and cause unemployment.

From past experience, the subject will crop up again sometime in the future. You will claim that I keep flogging the "same old dead horse," as though the argument had been settled in your favor. You said:
Please, stop flogging the same old dead horse Cassowary. You do not seem to have published an original thought on this and related matters for years.
The same goes for the discussion on the minimum wage causing unemployment.
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neverfail
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Re: Choose not to or unable to answer?

Post by neverfail » Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:53 am

cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:49 pm
neverfail wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:36 pm


Since it is impossible to reason with an ideologue, I choose not to answer any of your above loaded questions. :)
Since you "chose" not to answer, let it be remembered that you did not refute the points I raised. My contention is that higher taxes slow down economic growth and cause unemployment.

From past experience, the subject will crop up again sometime in the future. You will claim that I keep flogging the "same old dead horse," as though the argument had been settled in your favor.
NO point in refuting those points as you will bring them back again regardless.

I never said that higher taxes cannot bring about higher unemployment; just that they do not always do so - contrary to your black-and-white view of the situation.
Please, stop flogging the same old dead horse Cassowary. You do not seem to have published an original thought on this and related matters for years.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:49 pm
The same goes for the discussion on the minimum wage causing unemployment.
(CUT AND PASTE FROM ABOVE)
We also had minimum wages that were higher than ever and constantly raised to compensate beneficiaries for a rising cost of living. In those days our unemployment was almost consistently below 1% of the workforce and we needed to take in an average of 100,000 immigrants per year to fill unfilled job vacancies. Now with a globalized economy and slack policing on firms exploiting foreign workers allowed in via temporary visas by underpaying and overworking these we suffer an average unemployment rate of around 5%.
This is not armchair-hypothetical speculative stuff like a lot of your offerings but real life observation over a quarter of a century period (1945 to 1972). Indeed, I can see how protecting the wage levels of the most vulnerable sectors of our workforce with mandatory minimum wage rulings helped create additional employment by expanding the number of consumers with discretionary spending powers. The fact that this country has had structural unemployment since the OPEC oil price increases of the 1970's (which you seem to have had no direct experience with) has absolutely nothing to with our minimum wage and everything to do with structural changes to our economy (do you even comprehend what that means? ) forced upon this country in the aftermath.

When forming opinions you should likewise try doing it from real life observations and dispense with all of that abstract neocon ideological twaddle you seem so attached to. Doctrines often lie but first-hand experience does not.

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