WHY THE REPUBLICAN TAX PLAN IS MORE FAILED TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS*
conservatives in Congress are planning a big tax cut for millionaires and
billionaires. To justify it they’re using the oldest song in their playbook,
claiming tax cuts on the rich will trickle down to working families in the form
of stronger economic growth.
economics is a cruel joke. Just look at the evidence:
1. Clinton’s tax increase on the rich hardly stalled the economy. In
1993, Bill Clinton raised taxes on top earners from 31 percent to 39.6 percent.
Conservatives predicted economic disaster. Instead, the economy created 23
million jobs and the economy grew for 8 straight years in what was then the
longest expansion in history. The federal budget went into surplus.
2. George W. Bush’s big tax cuts for the rich didn’t grow the economy. In 2001and 2003, George W. Bush lowered the top tax rate to 35 percent while
also cutting top rates on capital gains and dividends. Conservative
supply-siders predicted an economic boom. Instead, the economy barely grew at
all, and then in 2008 it collapsed. Meanwhile, the federal deficit
3. Obama’s tax hike on the rich didn’t slow the economy. At
the end of 2012, President Obama struck a deal to restore the 39.6 percent top
tax rate and raise tax rates on capital gains and dividends. Once again,
supply-side conservatives predicted doom. Instead, the economy grew steadily,
and the expansion is still continuing.
4. The Reagan recovery of the early 1980s wasn’t driven by Reagan’s tax cut. Conservative
supply-siders point to Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts. But the so-called Reagan
recovery of the early 1980s was driven by low interest rates and big increase
in government spending.
5. Kansas cut taxes on the rich and is a basket case. California raised them and is thriving. In 2012, Kansas slashed taxes on top
earners and business owners, while California raised taxes on top earners to
the highest state rate in the nation. Since then, California has had among the
strongest economic growth of any state, while Kansas has fallen behind most
So don’t fall for
supply-side, trickle-down nonsense. Lower taxes on the rich don’t generate
growth and jobs. They only make the rich even richer, at a time of raging
inequality, and they cause bigger budget deficits.
[*Our thanks to Alexandra Thornton and Seth Hanlon from the Center for American Progress]
There was a brief shout of agreement as the group tapped their glasses against each other’s and sipped their various beverages.
After setting down your glass, you took a moment to survey the restaurant. Looking up at the ceiling, you felt your mouth drop open, much like a child. You couldn’t remember the last time you’d been invited somewhere so lavish-looking.
Not that the expensive furnishings and obscure dishes in front of you were of much interest. You’d rather be at home with your boyfriend right now, huddled together on the sofa, watching your favourite show.
Aside from the issue of making the lives of sick and disabled people a misery, I think we’ve just discovered the perfect example of how much the Conservatives can be “trusted” with the economy!!! Austerity is about nothing more than channeling as much money as possible into the private sector while ruining the lives of the disabled, the unemployed and the underpaid: which is MOST of us.
Toxic Workplace Environments I Have Personally Experienced And Was Expected To Be A-OK With
It is really hard to be sympathetic to people who complain about exclusionary microaggressions in tech, because, bluntly, I suffer macroaggressions pretty consistently, and it is made clear to me that I’m expected to be ok with these. While everyone else is debating whether or not saying “she” instead of “zhe” is a reportable offense, the following are experiences that I have had
The obvious one: I have a half dozen coworkers who are aware of and incredibly upset about Lambdaconf. Even though that was almost a year ago, they will still on occasion ritualistically shittalk Lambdaconf. They will loudly denounce the people who supported it, and talk about how glad they are that none of those people work with them. They have on certain occasions named specific individuals as thought criminals who should be shunned from the tech community, individuals who are friends of mine. I am expected to smile and nod and say nothing. If they knew at work about Simon Penner, I would very likely lose my job.
At one company, the three other people on my team were walking Tumblr SJW stereotypes, and whenever I violated one of their ever-changing social norms, I got bitched out for it. The worst incident was the Uber incident. I say “Uber” to refer to cabs generally, similarly to how “Kleenex” is used to refer to tissues. I had said I’d Uber’d home the previous night (I had actually taken a Lyft). This prompted an hour long bitchfest where my coworker aggressively explained to me all the ways in which I was a terrible person who was personally responsible for impoverishing homeless people, because I was quote “supporting a company run by a libertardian [sic]”. They demanded I use Lyft in the future.
I never even got the chance to correct their initial misunderstanding
I’m out for a cross-team lunch. At a crowded restaurant. Ten coworkers at our table. I made some dumb throwaway joke about economics. Using logic that to this day I still haven’t figured out, a coworker concludes that I was actually talking about sexual assault, and loudly exclaims in front of the entire table: “So you support raping women then?”. In front of my boss. In front of my boss’s boss.
This actually panicked me so much that I left lunch, no explanation, lockpicked the company beer closet, got shitfaced, and then walked out the front door. It was a Friday so nobody heard from me again until Monday morning. Miraculously, someone else realized what had happened, told HR, and I had an apology email waiting for me. And here I thought the accuser, who had significantly more seniority than me, would have gotten me fired
Worked at a company once with an outspoken feminist activist woman on our team. She was a graphic designer who taught (”taught”) herself enough front end coding to transition to the dev team. She was arrogant and incompetent.
While the rest of us would do our jobs, she would take 3+ hour coffee breaks every day. Often with the men in the office she thought were hot. Being a team, it fell to the rest of us to pick up her slack.
One guy in particular picked up the most of it. He cleared 2x as many jira tickets as the rest of us, made 3x as many commits, and was the only guy who would routinely car about cleaning up / refactoring code. He eventually got resentful about this fauxmenist just blatantly taking advantage of the rest of the team, and complained. The response was that the company fired him. Well, managed him out. Everyone knew what was happening, dude quit a month later.
The woman continued to draw a salary there for another year, while doing zero work, until she decided to quit to “focus on art”, and at age 30 she moved back in to her millionaire parents’ mansion. Protesting gentrification by day. Living in a goddamn 8 bedroom house on top of a hill at night.
One day, at one employer, the COO (second highest ranking person in a several hundred person company) comes over to the engineering area and one by one tries to get engineers to do her a personal favour. The favour: COO was a landlord. She wanted someone to forge some fraudulent documents that were ostensibly signed by her tenant (but in reality, by her engineers), that agreed to a rent increase.
That is to say, she wanted to secretly and illegally hike the rent on one of her tenants by getting one of the employees at the company she co-owns to forge her tenant’s signature. And she just up and asked us. As if this wasn’t a felony. Nobody did it. One engineer actually joked “Uh I think that is a felony, you should ask someone else”.
At one point, a former coworker started to clue in to my twitter circles. He didn’t know about Simon, but he knew I have thoughtcriminal friends online. So for a long time he took to making jokes about me being a nazi. He would make these jokes with no context or explanation, in front of my team and my manager. At one point I had to go to my manager about this and explain, pre-emptively, that this is not true and that I think he thinks he’s just making a dumb joke but FYI please don’t think there’s any truth to this.
This happened last year. If it had happened this year, in the wake of all the various threats and justifications that anti trump folks have made, I would have escalated this. If this happened this year, I would do everything in my power to get that coworker fired, as a self defense mechanism. The last thing I want is coworkers assaulting me on my walk home because they think it’s ok since I’m a ‘nazi’.
This should go without saying, but: I am not a Nazi.
As a senior engineer, I’m expected to do technical interviewing. One day we get a diversity rockstar applicant. Every rule is broken. Recruiting breaks their own anti-bias rules to pressure me into approving this guy. They take him out to a fancy expensive lunch (we do not normally provide lunch for interview candidates). He does his technical interview with me and…. he is far and away the most grossly incompetent person I’ve ever seen. Our tech interview has a simple structure: Here are some tests, the app isn’t written yet, write the app to make the tests pass. Somehow he had more tests failing when he was done than when he started.
When we huddled up to discuss this candidate, I was the only person who was not a strong yes. Everyone else in the circle gave some incredibly horse shit reason about why “technical proficiency is not the most important part of this job” and how his “unique background and experiences will be an asset to the team”. It was pathetic, everyone going around trying to avoid accidentally saying something that would suggest they were racist. So when it came around to me and I said, simply: “Worst performing candidate I have interviewed, in my career”.
I was punished for this. My boss, who made the final call, couldn’t handle the optics of making a hiring decision with such a polarized discussion, so he put it on me. He told me to phone the guy, give him a second interview (don’t you know you get do-overs if you screw up, apparently), and then I had to be the one to make the hire or not call. Which meant that if I still said no, everyone can agree that I’m just a racist prick.
I said no. It didn’t come up again, but I have no idea what people think when they’re not speaking.
At one company, I assume something happened internally because one week we were forced to attend like four mandatory diversity/bias training sessions. For the main event, we brought in a very expensive, very prestigious speaker, who gave us a talk about how we’re all racist shitheads because implicit bias
This presentation was so blatantly propagandistic that so many people were pissed that the (incredibly SJW) manager who organized this formally apologized to the company for wasting our time. When the SJWs thing you’re full of feminist shit, that’s saying something
I had a coworker one time who proudly informed me that she would reject any candidate that admitted to reading lesswrong, and would fire anyone who snuck past her filter. She never noticed that I snuck past her filter.
Two years later, some of my Twitter friends are freaking out because there’s an SA thread trying to dox and harass them. My coworker, and her best friend, I saw them gleefully participating in that thread. Trying to harass specific friends of mine, who keep their privacy for good reason.
These are the most egregious toxic workplace events I’ve personally lived through. At least, the cultural/political ones; I have more bog-standard dysfunctional ones but those are boring. The really shocking thing to me is that, aside from the COO story, every single one of the above were seen as completely normal and expected by everyone else involved. Nobody thought anything objectionable happened.
This really, really distresses me. We live in a world where, two years ago, it was national news that American office workers are sexist because they keep the thermostat too low. Like, when those articles dropped, my then-employer formally updated their thermostat policy to mandate the temperature be higher. Because to do otherwise would be a micro aggression against female staff.
To underscore this: I have worked at companies that have had serious internal policy discussions over the sexist nature of the thermostat.
Meanwhile I have coworkers openly threatening my friends and I in the office, threatening us with economic (and on a few cases physical) violence, and I’m just expected to be ok with this. If I complain, well, HR’s job is to solve problems with employees and the easiest way to solve individual complaints is removing the individual. If I point out this disconnect in how seriously things are taken, I’m tarred a misogynist who hates women, and I find my career advancement stagnating. This is horse shit.