Texas "Facts"

Liberal spin
  • Texas Tax System Heavily Burdens Poor Residents (Aug 2011) Huff post
    • Even without having to pay income tax, the poorest fifth of Texans ended up paying about 12 percent of their income in taxes in 2009, ITEP reports. The wealthiest 1 percent of Texans paid only 3 percent of their income in state and local taxes.  



    << p.s. In the future I will be investigating what rights Americans have, if any, relative to the states, as strong federalists see them, or if most of these are entirely up to the individual states independent of any federal intervention ... As far as I can see there is very little that restricts the states actions"












    Note: In the future I will be investigating what rights Americans have, if any, relative to the states, as strong federalists see them, or if most of these are entirely up to the individual states independent of any federal intervention ... As far as I can see there is very little that restricts the states actions"

      I am defining "Strong Federalists" as those who interpret the Constitution as:

        1) Restricting the Commerce clause as only allowing federal action with respect to adjudicating direct movement of (manufactured) goods between the states, or perhaps from one state to foreign areas.

        2) Restricting the incorporation of rights to those that were required to allow the freed slaves to participate in national and possibly local government.

        3) Restricting the Federal Courts to deciding the constitutionality of  its own functioning, not that of other branches of the Government.


    Monitory Policy, (Skepical Optimist)

        Money: The economy’s lubrication
    1. Money: The economy’s lubrication
    2. Two Printing Presses: One at the Fed, One at the Treasury
    3. How the Fed creates money without creating socialism
    4. How the US Treasury pays back the debt
    5. The public’s T-bond supply
    6. Paying down the debt: Our dubious history, and a startling conclusion

    Articles on Economic "theories"

      Other interesting stuff
          "Seriously, what would it take for you to change your mind?"
          • 1. For the left, If the Bush tax cuts benefitted only the rich, as you’ve been saying for nine years, why are you now saying that letting all the tax cuts expire will hurt the middle class? Which is it: Did the Bush tax cuts help the middle class, or didn’t they?  
          • 2. For the tea party, If you had a choice between a tax policy that would increase tax revenues by increasing the number of job creators and taxpayers, versus a policy that would decrease the total debt level by whatever means, which one would you favor? Would you settle for a debt level that is shrinking relative to the size of the economy (an expanding economy with a falling debt/GDP ratio), or would you insist on surpluses that reduced the total debt, regardless of the impact on jobs and job creation?   
          • 3. For everyone: Why do we hear so much about where and how to “cut” – but so little about where and how to “grow”?  
          • 4. For everyone: How about we redefine the term “balanced budget” as follows: A fiscal budget that causes, or at least coincides with, job creation and economic growth that exceeds debt growth, such that the ratio of debt to GDP is decreasing?


          Political Taxonomies

          Political Taxonomies

          There are at least two definitions for "Political Taxonomy":
          1. A categorization of the  political systems, e.g. Democracy, Dictatorship... (Which I will ignore)
          2. A categorization of the ways that individuals value political issues, and perhaps the valuation of an issue. e.g. Liberal, Conservative... (Note this is what I am interested in, MLL)
          My theory is that a Good Political Taxonomy allows individuals and policies to be evaluated on each of the "dimensions", e.g. Categories, with a number from +1 thru -1. The objective is to be able to take the generalized distance between a person and a policy, and predict how close the policy is to the person's values. An ideal Taxonomy would:
          • Minimize the number of, independant, Categories.
          • Choose Categories that are: instinctive, clear, and easy to evaluate.
          • Be effective at determining the important areas of agreement and disagreement between people and policies.
          My theory is that an individuals and policies, can be  characterized by numeric (+1,-1) measures along each of the Taxonomy Categories and that one can make a reasonable guess as to how much a person prefers a policy by taking the "distance" between their location in the Taxonomy space.

            I have tried to collect a list of these individual values taxonomies in  WeMatter.com/links#quiz

            The one that I thought was most interesting was the: "Political Position Quiz, World's Smallest Political Quiz: 10 questions-- Libertarian vs. Authoritarian, Left vs. Right. The Advocates"
            Note: This is similar to the PoliticalCompus.org analysis (See: below)

            I just, 8/8/2011, started the book: "Beyond Red and Blue" and it suggests that there are 12 different political philosophies, (Political Taxonomies) that shape American debates:n

            1. Theocracy
            2. Natural Law
            3. Libertarianism
            4. Utilitarianism
            5. Free-market Conserfatism
            6. Contratirianism
            7. Social Conservatism
            8. Feminism
            9. Mulitculturalism
            10. Environmentslism
            11. Communitarianism
            12. Cosmopolitanism


            • Liberal vs. Conservative -- relates to one’s basic assumptions about human capacities. -- a liberal outlook trusts individuals and questions authority; a conservative outlook distrusts individuals and defers to authority.
              • A liberal is someone who is generally impressed with the capacities of an individual, and who therefore wants individuals to be free to develop those capacities. 
              • A conservative by temperament takes the opposite side in this dispute. Most human beings are naturally afraid of freedom, eager to hand over decisionmaking power to some authority.

              • Left vs. Right -- defined by attitudes towards success. -- A left-wing perspective is animated by an affinity for the losers and their interests, while a right-wing perspective is animated by an affinity for the winners and their interests.
                • A left-wing perspective is animated by failure and the consequences thereof. Whether we’re talking about Rawlsian liberals or Christian socialists or orthodox Marxist-Leninists, the ultimate object of concern is the miserable of the earth. Their perspective, their needs, are the beginning and the end of political morality.
                • A right-wing perspective is opposite to this. How to design a system that adequately rewards success is the essence of the right-wing political project.

                • Progressive vs. Reactionary -- revolves around attitudes toward time and history -- A progressive viewpoint looks toward the future, while a reactionary looks back to the past.
                  • The progressive is future-oriented. Things will – or could – be better in the future than they are now.
                  • The reactionary, by contrast, is past-oriented. Things will – likely – be worse in the future than they are now, just as they were better in the past. 

                • The Economic (Left-Right) axis measures one's opinion of how the economy should be run: "left" is defined as the view that the economy should be run by a cooperative collective agency (which can mean the state, but can also mean a network of communes), while "right" is defined as the view that the economy should be left to the devices of competing individuals and organisations. 
                • The Social (Authoritarian-Libertarian) axis measures one's political opinions in a social sense, regarding a view of the appropriate amount of personal freedom: "libertarianism" is defined as the belief that personal freedom should be maximised, while "authoritarianism" is defined as the belief that authority and tradition should be obeyed