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Thread: Who is John Galt?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Goldenboy's Avatar
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    Read it for the third time last week. Great ideas, entirely relevant today (at least, to me), too long by half. For whatever it's worth, Alan Greenspan was a disciple of Rand.
    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy View Post
    Read it for the third time last week. Great ideas, entirely relevant today (at least, to me), too long by half. For whatever it's worth, Alan Greenspan was a disciple of Rand.
    In word maybe, by deed he definitely was not. His income was based on speeches & his ownership of government bonds. I read somewhere that it was in the millions, not bad for a lifelong government employee .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy View Post
    Read it for the third time last week. Great ideas, entirely relevant today (at least, to me), too long by half. For whatever it's worth, Alan Greenspan was a disciple of Rand.
    Here is Greenspan's testimony of shocked disbelief that the system he swallowed so deep eventually crashed so hard.

    Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress on Thursday he is “shocked” at the breakdown in U.S. credit markets and said he was “partially” wrong to resist regulation of some securities.

    …”this crisis, however, has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined,” …

    …”Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity (myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief,” …
    alan greenspan

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    How do today's tax rates compare to when the book was written in 1957?





    How about before the Bush tax cuts?



    The top rate today is at 35% starting at $373,650, in 1957 a 34% rate kicked in at $16,000. So today's 35% rate kicks in at a level 23 times where it did in 1957. The median income of $5000 in 1957 paid a marginal rate of 22%, whereas the median income of $50,000 today pays a marginal rate of 15%.

    What I put in BOLD is only true if you're filing Jointly.

    If you are single or filing separately there is only a 1% change comparing '57 and '10 tax rates.

    Plus in this day and age, most married couples both work. So, their combined salary would put them in the next bracket.
    Last edited by 1NarlyBar; 06-02-2010 at 01:47 PM. Reason: add
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    I'm not sure this statistic totally addresses the question: are we closer now, than we have been before to: to each according to his need; from each according to his ability?

    In 1957, when the median income was $5000, gas was $.25 a gallon. Today it is $2.79 (subject to change by $1 upward at any given moment!) ... that is a multiple of 11 (while the median income figure has increased by a multiple of only 10).

    Back in 1957, cable TV did not exist. Everybody had an antenna. Today there is hardly anyone who pays less than $50 (including taxes) for the least expensive cable TV service. Interestingly, when I drive through some of the lowest income areas of our 3 local cities, there is hardly ANY home that does not have a TV satellite dish mounted on it.

    It is not clear whether the median income figures you cite take into account inflation.

    And it's possible that you may not believe this is the only statistic that is pertinent, as you stated on another thread:



    This statistic says the middle class has shrunk; whereas the median income statistic might indicate the middle class has increased.

    We could go on playing a statistics game, but we are really talking about a "concept"; a mental outlook that is subscribed to by the general populace and/or those who make the laws and create govt programs.
    Gerry,

    I didn't use inflation adjusted numbers because they are actually irrelevant. The measure I was giving is actually a measure of the extent of income disparity in the country. The traditional measure of this is based on income levels by population quintiles with a specific formula. The measure I provided was much easier to come up with quickly and gives the same flavor. What it basically shows is a country that in 1957, was relatively egalitarian without huge gaps between the highest paid income groups and the lowest paid income groups. By contrast, today we have a society in which the majority of the population earns dramatically less than the top 20% and a much greater proportion of total income is earned by a very small group at the top. Given that one measure of socialism is a leveling of incomes, the 1857 distribution is more "socialist" than the current distribution and your thesis is incorrect. I can think of many ways to refine the analysis. However, if anything, I have understated the extent to which income and wealth have shifted from the lower 80% to the top 20% over the last fifty years in America. This is not a healthy trend when taken to the extremes that we now have and contributes to social unrest in the face of economic injustice. For what it is worth, I actually believe that some of the shift was healthy. The 1957 income distribution reflected the exigencies of the Depression and WWII when it was considered unseemly to earn too much given the great needs of so many. Now, however, we have taken the Adam Smith philosophy and said that if a little bit of greed is good, then an obscenely greedy man is like a god to be worshiped.

  6. #26
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    In literature one can interpret the author’s presentation based on their life experience and interests. I immediately thought of field trials as I was reading Atlas Shrugged. It starts out with a family, descendents of a railroad baron, running a railroad based in New York with an estate on the Hudson River. I immediately thought of the non-fictitious railroad barons, the Harriman’s, with their estate Arden on the Hudson. The next step is to take the characters in the book and try to find the closest similarities to those I have known in field trials. Certainly I wondered did anyone else when they read the book think of Harriman as the railroad baron when they read Atlas Shrugged?
    It certainly is a shame that W. A. Harriman is not in the Retriever Hall of Fame, because he certainly was one of the patrons of our sport. His Arden Kennels are of significant interest in the history of the sport. He imported Labrador Retrievers and made them one of the most popular dogs in America. He also brought over game keepers and conducted field trials at three of his estates. The first FC Labrador of record was owned by W. A. Harriman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin S View Post
    In word maybe, by deed he definitely was not. His income was based on speeches & his ownership of government bonds. I read somewhere that it was in the millions, not bad for a lifelong government employee .
    Have to correct you on this. The Federal Reserve is a "private enterprise". Contrary to popular belief, it is not government owned or controlled. Alan Greenspan has never been a government employee. Here is a good link I found that describes the Fed.
    http://www.monetary.org/federalreserveprivate.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by depittydawg View Post
    Have to correct you on this. The Federal Reserve is a "private enterprise". Contrary to popular belief, it is not government owned or controlled. Alan Greenspan has never been a government employee. Here is a good link I found that describes the Fed.
    http://www.monetary.org/federalreserveprivate.htm
    I am aware of their perceived status . If they are not with the gov, why does the POTUS appoint the head of the Fed, would be my question.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1NarlyBar View Post
    What I put in BOLD is only true if you're filing Jointly.

    If you are single or filing separately there is only a 1% change comparing '57 and '10 tax rates.

    Plus in this day and age, most married couples both work. So, their combined salary would put them in the next bracket.

    Can't really dispute that singles really take it in the shorts. However, the top rate that they would ever be expected to pay is much different than it was in 1957.

    The fact that both spouses work in most marriages does not change the fact that median household income is $50,000.
    "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48

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  10. #30
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