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The Social Contract (Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says Republicans don't respect it)
New York Slimes ^ | 09/23/2011 | Paul Krugman

Posted on 09/23/2011 8:44:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

This week President Obama said the obvious: that wealthy Americans, many of whom pay remarkably little in taxes, should bear part of the cost of reducing the long-run budget deficit. And Republicans like Representative Paul Ryan responded with shrieks of “class warfare.”

It was, of course, nothing of the sort. On the contrary, it’s people like Mr. Ryan, who want to exempt the very rich from bearing any of the burden of making our finances sustainable, who are waging class war.

As background, it helps to know what has been happening to incomes over the past three decades. Detailed estimates from the Congressional Budget Office — which only go up to 2005, but the basic picture surely hasn’t changed — show that between 1979 and 2005 the inflation-adjusted income of families in the middle of the income distribution rose 21 percent. That’s growth, but it’s slow, especially compared with 100% rise in median income over a generation after World War II.

Meanwhile, over the same period, the income of the very rich, the top 100th of 1% of the income distribution, rose by 480%. No, that isn’t a misprint. In 2005 dollars, the average annual income of that group rose from $4.2 million to $24.3 million.

So do the wealthy look to you like the victims of class warfare?

To be fair, there is argument about the extent to which government policy was responsible for the spectacular disparity in income growth. What we know for sure, however, is that policy has consistently tilted to the advantage of the wealthy as opposed to the middle class.

Some of the most important aspects of that tilt involved such things as the sustained attack on organized labor and financial deregulation, which created huge fortunes even as it paved the way for economic disaster.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: gop; paulkrugman; republicans; socialcontract

1 posted on 09/23/2011 8:44:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I find that the cat in heat on the fence outside my window usually makes more sense that Krugman. What a loser.


2 posted on 09/23/2011 8:49:12 AM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: SeekAndFind
On the contrary, it’s people like Mr. Ryan, who want to exempt the very rich from bearing any of the burden of making our finances sustainable, who are waging class war.

Good grief. Ryan has never said the rich shouldn't pay any taxes. The author of this piece of drivel is quite the liar.

3 posted on 09/23/2011 8:49:37 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: SeekAndFind
You tell me that by the fact of my birth that I have signed a contract whose terms change (and get worse for me) constntly, has no limit on its demand on me and which I can never see a legal written copy of. Then you have the audacity to complain that I don't have any respect for that contract.
4 posted on 09/23/2011 8:50:59 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Compare "Delay is preferable to error" - Thomas Jefferson // "Pass this bill now!" - Barack Obama)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t remember signing any social contract. An unsigned contract is worth about as much a a Krugman opinion, which is to say squat.


5 posted on 09/23/2011 8:51:32 AM PDT by dblshot (Insanity: electing the same people over and over and expecting different results.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t remember signing any social contract. An unsigned contract is worth about as much a a Krugman opinion, which is to say squat.


6 posted on 09/23/2011 8:51:32 AM PDT by dblshot (Insanity: electing the same people over and over and expecting different results.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m sorry, but where can I pick up my copy of the Social Contract to read and sign?


7 posted on 09/23/2011 8:53:05 AM PDT by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: dblshot

I don’t sign anything until my lawyer looks at it.


8 posted on 09/23/2011 8:56:04 AM PDT by Impala64ssa
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To: MEGoody

I don’t think Krugman is accusing Paul Ryan of saying the rich should not pay any taxes either.

Krugman wants the rich to PAY MORE TAXES. What he hasn’t proven is how doing so makes our finances sustainable ( as he argues ).

If you increase their taxes, all they do is find ways to hide their wealth, exploit loopholes, play a cat and mouse game with the IRS, and make the cash they have LESS PRODUCTIVE.

What’s the point of doing all these?

Of course, nothing in Krugman’s rant mentions the HUGE ELEPHANT in the room -— MONSTROUS SPENDING. If government is spending $1.4 Trillion more a year than it takes in in revenue the fault should lie with government, not the rich.

But hey, if you read Krugman’s other articles, he complains that GOVERNMENT IS NOT SPENDING ENOUGH !!!!!

Someone should clearly explain to me how this guy won a Nobel Prize in Economics because I don’t understand how he would deserve it.


9 posted on 09/23/2011 8:56:14 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

The social contract is simple a euphamism for theft. It translates as some of the people agreeing to make property out of the rest.


10 posted on 09/23/2011 8:57:08 AM PDT by albionin
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To: SeekAndFind

I never agreed to any social contract and you can be certain that I will never be a party to any contract that Krugmn has signed


11 posted on 09/23/2011 8:57:28 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: MEGoody

BTW, according to Prof. Walter Williams...

http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2011/04/13/eat_the_rich/page/full/

____________________________________________________________________________

This year, Congress will spend $3.7 trillion dollars. That turns out to be about $10 billion per day. Can we prey upon the rich to cough up the money? According to IRS statistics, roughly 2 percent of U.S. households have an income of $250,000 and above. By the way, $250,000 per year hardly qualifies one as being rich. It’s not even yacht and Learjet money. All told, households earning $250,000 and above account for 25 percent, or $1.97 trillion, of the nearly $8 trillion of total household income. If Congress imposed a 100 percent tax, taking all earnings above $250,000 per year, it would yield the princely sum of $1.4 trillion. That would keep the government running for 141 days, but there’s a problem because there are 224 more days left in the year.

How about corporate profits to fill the gap? Fortune 500 companies earn nearly $400 billion in profits. Since leftists think profits are little less than theft and greed, Congress might confiscate these ill-gotten gains so that they can be returned to their rightful owners. Taking corporate profits would keep the government running for another 40 days, but that along with confiscating all income above $250,000 would only get us to the end of June. Congress must search elsewhere.

According to Forbes 400, America has 400 billionaires with a combined net worth of $1.3 trillion. Congress could confiscate their stocks and bonds, and force them to sell their businesses, yachts, airplanes, mansions and jewelry. The problem is that after fleecing the rich of their income and net worth, and the Fortune 500 corporations of their profits, it would only get us to mid-August. The fact of the matter is there are not enough rich people to come anywhere close to satisfying Congress’ voracious spending appetite. They’re going to have to go after the non-rich.

But let’s stick with the rich and ask a few questions. Politicians, news media people and leftists in general entertain what economists call a zero elasticity view of the world. That’s just fancy economic jargon for a view that government can impose a tax and people will behave after the tax just as they behaved before the tax, and the only change is more government revenue. One example of that vision, at the state and local levels of government, is the disappointing results of confiscatory tobacco taxes. Confiscatory tobacco taxes have often led to less state and local revenue because those taxes encouraged smuggling.

Similarly, when government taxes profits, corporations report fewer profits and greater costs. When individuals face higher income taxes, they report less income, buy tax shelters and hide their money. It’s not just rich people who try to avoid taxes, but all of us — liberals, conservatives and libertarians.

What’s the evidence? Federal tax collections have been between 15 and 20 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product every year since 1960. However, between 1960 and today, the top marginal tax rate has varied between 91 percent and 35 percent. That means whether taxes are high or low, people make adjustments in their economic behavior so as to keep the government tax take at 15 to 20 percent of the GDP. Differences in tax rates have a far greater impact on economic growth than federal revenues.

So far as Congress’ ability to prey on the rich, we must keep in mind that rich people didn’t become rich by being stupid.


12 posted on 09/23/2011 8:59:05 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: albionin
The Social Contract (Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says Republicans don't respect it)

Who was it who said that the next time you hear about "social justice" it means those who don't vote Democrat having their stuff taken away by Democrats and given to those who do vote Democrat?

As we have already seen in the case of Algore, Obama, and Arafat, you can be an idiot, an idiot, or a pederast and still get a Nobel prize. So Krugman's Nobel is nothing that special.
13 posted on 09/23/2011 9:02:28 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: SeekAndFind

Who signed this “social contract”, and was it properly witnessed and notarized?
Personally, I have never seen a “social contract”.

Of course, maybe “social contract” is just liberalspeak for communism. That’s what it sounds like.


14 posted on 09/23/2011 9:04:21 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Brilliant

Give me a rich man anyday over some fat, stupid, useless, welfare dependent loser. What the $%^#&# did they ever do to deserve the freebies they so ungraciously take from the makers in this society.

If it was up to me I’d round ‘em up daily by bus and put them to work sweeping the streets, picking up garbage, whatever.


15 posted on 09/23/2011 9:06:13 AM PDT by oncebitten (Obama: "A Big Ole’ Hunk of Nothing on Two Thick Slices of Nada.”)
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To: SeekAndFind

One of the problems with using these broad statisitics is that they miss key specifics.
If you follow nthe Forbes 400 what you will see is that each year a number of those listed fall off the list and new people are addded. This indicates a dynamic economy. So the claim tht the life of the poor have become poorer(and the rich richer)fails to reflect the fact that people are constantly moving from rich to poor and poor to rich.


16 posted on 09/23/2011 9:13:42 AM PDT by ozdragon
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To: SeekAndFind

One of the problems with using these broad statisitics is that they miss key specifics.
If you follow nthe Forbes 400 what you will see is that each year a number of those listed fall off the list and new people are addded. This indicates a dynamic economy. So the claim tht the life of the poor have become poorer(and the rich richer)fails to reflect the fact that people are constantly moving from rich to poor and poor to rich.


17 posted on 09/23/2011 9:13:42 AM PDT by ozdragon
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To: SeekAndFind

One of the problems with using these broad statisitics is that they miss key specifics.
If you follow nthe Forbes 400 what you will see is that each year a number of those listed fall off the list and new people are addded. This indicates a dynamic economy. So the claim tht the life of the poor have become poorer(and the rich richer)fails to reflect the fact that people are constantly moving from rich to poor and poor to rich.


18 posted on 09/23/2011 9:13:51 AM PDT by ozdragon
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To: SeekAndFind
Social Contract For Real Americans


19 posted on 09/23/2011 9:35:03 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Muslims who advocate, support, or carry out Jihad give the other 1% a bad name)
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To: SeekAndFind

First Warren, now Krugman. “Social Contract” must be a focus-group tested and approved buzzphrase. Look to be smacked over the head with it every day for 13 months.


20 posted on 09/23/2011 9:35:03 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind
So do the wealthy look to you like the victims of class warfare?

Not yet. Marie Antoinette looked fine, too, just before they cut her head off.

The only thing in American politics that might be described as a social contract is the Constitution itself, and it says nothing about redistribution of wealth in pursuit of social justice.

There is real class warfare going on, but it isn't focused on "the wealthy", it's focused on the middle class, because it is the middle class that is the repository of political liberty. Marx hated and despised the petit bourgeoisie as an impediment to revolution, which it is. It is also an impediment to the sort of authoritarian control the Dems are now trying to sell as populism.

"The wealthy" don't really have anything to be worried about short of the return of the Dr. Guillotine. They have resources necessary to protect both their wealth and their persons. It is the middle class that is milked in every scheme ever devised by greedy redistributionists and it is the middle class that will be milked here. That's where the real money is.

But for Krugman to pretend that this public relations campaign centered around the hoary old claim that "the wealthy aren't paying their share" is somehow not class warfare is blatantly and profoundly dishonest. It is the very definition of class warfare. It is the common resort of an oppressive government to distract its citizens from the obvious results of its own corruption and incompetence. The good news, if there is any, is that it is likely to be as corrupt and incompetent at this as it is at everything else.

21 posted on 09/23/2011 9:37:33 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: KarlInOhio

Good!


22 posted on 09/23/2011 9:38:58 AM PDT by vanilla swirl (We are the Patrick Henry we have been waiting for!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Someone should clearly explain to me how this guy won a Nobel Prize in Economics because I don’t understand how he would deserve it.

You mistakenly assume that a Nobel Prize has any meaning beyond political agreement with the people who award Nobel Prizes.

23 posted on 09/23/2011 9:50:32 AM PDT by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too... @Onelifetogive)
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To: SeekAndFind

Only one question. Why on earth would anyone who even remotely professes to be a conservative give one hoot in hell about anything Paul Krugman might say about anything?


24 posted on 09/23/2011 9:52:32 AM PDT by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
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To: SeekAndFind

In the liberal telling, “social contract” means that no matter what the people want or need, it is liberalism they will get. Nevertheless, there is a genuine American social contract: freedom and self-government under the Constitution.


25 posted on 09/23/2011 10:01:12 AM PDT by Rockingham
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To: SeekAndFind
over the same period, the income of the very rich, the top 100th of 1% of the income distribution, rose by 480%

Great...he has to get to a nano-level to make a point that doesn't matter.
In 2005, (near as I can figure based on the Tax Foundation figures) )there were 135,000 tax returns filed by people in top 0.1% who had an aggregate AGI of $799 billion. they paid an aggregate of $180 billion in income taxes.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html#Data
26 posted on 09/23/2011 11:25:15 AM PDT by stylin19a (obama..."Fredo-Smart")
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To: SeekAndFind

The Social Contract? When was that convention... 1776?

All I know is the Constitution and Bill of Rights and the left doesn’t respect that.


27 posted on 09/23/2011 12:06:59 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: SeekAndFind
is that policy has consistently tilted to the advantage of the wealthy as opposed to the middle class

You mean like when government hands out cash to Solyndra and GM?

Of course he doesn't mean that

28 posted on 09/23/2011 12:09:15 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: KarlInOhio

Yes, exactly. They complain that policy favors the wealthy yet THEY are the ones doling out large sums of cash to banks, large corporations and whatnot.


29 posted on 09/23/2011 12:10:42 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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