Author Topic: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)  (Read 164352 times)

Charles Austin

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2070 on: October 25, 2019, 01:47:22 PM »
Pastor Engebretson
I think that Sanders is too far left to hold this area.  He is a self-avowed Democratic Socialist which will not fly well in the more conservative heartland.
Me:
Actually there has been a lot of support for socialism in the Midwest. Milwaukee had a socialist mayor for many years. Northeast Iowa. Portions of Minnesota. Even the Dakotas have a prairie populism which could be considered friendly to socialism.
And do not discount the young people, who may not be bound to the political philosophies of their parents or grandparents. They don’t think of socialism as Russia in the 1930s, but more as the Scandinavian countries today.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. It is now clear that the election of 2020 was not stolen. But we see now how it was nearly stolen after the balloting. Some of our top officials assisted by corrupt lawyers, attempted to steal the electoral college. Some true patriots saved us.

Dave Benke

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2071 on: October 25, 2019, 02:04:39 PM »
Pastor Engebretson
I think that Sanders is too far left to hold this area.  He is a self-avowed Democratic Socialist which will not fly well in the more conservative heartland.
Me:
Actually there has been a lot of support for socialism in the Midwest. Milwaukee had a socialist mayor for many years. Northeast Iowa. Portions of Minnesota. Even the Dakotas have a prairie populism which could be considered friendly to socialism.
And do not discount the young people, who may not be bound to the political philosophies of their parents or grandparents. They don’t think of socialism as Russia in the 1930s, but more as the Scandinavian countries today.

Great catch, Charles.  There have been several articles about Milwaukee's socialist mayors - here's one:  https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/02/us/before-sanders-there-was-frank-zeidler-a-religious-socialist.html.  And here's another:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/19/opinion/sunday/socialism-milwaukee.html.

The cynical will note that these appear in the Socialist New York Times.  I, however, lived in Milwaukee under its socialist mayors, including Frank Zeidler, who ruled under the banner of "sewer socialism," which meant that working class people had stuff like good sewers, good water, good public schools and good parks.  So my childhood understanding of socialism was that working class families like mine had nice golf courses and Lake Michigan water on tap. 

Actually in the very old days the mayor (Henry Maier) lived right there in my neighborhood, in an area called Thurston Forest, off Thurston Avenue, right in there with all the factory workers headed off to Harley or A.O. Smith or any of the tons of factories employing thousands and thousands of union workers.  This is now, of course, an "inner city" neighborhood, meaning non-white people live there.

Now it seems to me as though Milwaukee is bifurcated, with Milwaukee/Madison being one way, and the rest of it being a whole other way when it comes to politics. 

I still miss the elm trees that canopied every street in Milwaukee, all taken by the Dutch Elm disease.

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D. Engebretson

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2072 on: October 25, 2019, 02:13:39 PM »
Pastor Engebretson
I think that Sanders is too far left to hold this area.  He is a self-avowed Democratic Socialist which will not fly well in the more conservative heartland.
Me:
Actually there has been a lot of support for socialism in the Midwest. Milwaukee had a socialist mayor for many years. Northeast Iowa. Portions of Minnesota. Even the Dakotas have a prairie populism which could be considered friendly to socialism.
And do not discount the young people, who may not be bound to the political philosophies of their parents or grandparents. They don’t think of socialism as Russia in the 1930s, but more as the Scandinavian countries today.

To be clear, the Scandinavian countries are not truly socialistic, politically or economically .  The Scandinavian countries practice free-market economics, but they also have a heavy tax burden to fund the many government entitlement programs.

Sanders would like to guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. That doesn't come free.  Is America ready to assume the tax load that they do in Scandinavia to fund this government-run, single payer health care system? 

Sanders would like to make public colleges and universities tuition free, and cancel all student debt.  The young people would like that, to be sure.  But will those who carry the brunt of the current tax burden?  Again, a pretty heavy cost for America.

Many Americans seems to want to have the very wealthy and the corporations pay higher taxes.  But even Elizabeth Warren admitted that the middle class will need to pay higher taxes to support the kinds of programs Democrats want to enact.  Taxing the rich will not be enough.  Everyone will pay.  And if California is any indication of what higher taxes can or cannot do, we will not necessarily solve all our problems by raising taxes. 

Yes, younger people may like the ideas of socialism.  Shoot, they even popularized t-shirts with Che Guevara, demonstrating that they really do not understand the full historic ramifications of socialism.  Too many were born after the Berlin Wall came down.  Too many have no real understanding of the USSR and its own failures. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
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DeHall1

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2073 on: October 25, 2019, 02:32:05 PM »
Pastor Engebretson
I think that Sanders is too far left to hold this area.  He is a self-avowed Democratic Socialist which will not fly well in the more conservative heartland.
Me:
Actually there has been a lot of support for socialism in the Midwest. Milwaukee had a socialist mayor for many years. Northeast Iowa. Portions of Minnesota. Even the Dakotas have a prairie populism which could be considered friendly to socialism.
And do not discount the young people, who may not be bound to the political philosophies of their parents or grandparents. They don’t think of socialism as Russia in the 1930s, but more as the Scandinavian countries today.

I'll just leave you this quote from Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (feel free to share this with all those "young people" you're hanging out with):
          "I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore, I would like to make
           one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy".

Dan Fienen

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2074 on: October 25, 2019, 03:23:20 PM »
Just what kind of socialism do prominent Democrats propose for America? While we do have the super rich who own a great deal (for that matter Communist China also have the super rich under their workers' paradise socialism) quite a bit of the means of production is also owned by the millions of middle class who have investments in the stock market, often through mutual funds. Even more have invested their pension funds in stock ownership, whether in 401(k)s, company pension funds, or other retirement instruments. If we adopt socialism, does that mean that all those companies would be nationalized? What would happen to retirement savings?
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Dave Benke

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2075 on: October 25, 2019, 04:44:36 PM »
I do think the tax rate in the Scandinavian countries is bracketed with a higher percentage paid by the wealthy, maybe even far higher, not so?

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Charles Austin

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2076 on: October 25, 2019, 05:11:52 PM »
Yes. And furthermore the benefits of the taxation in the Scandinavian countries accrue almost totally to every person. Not to corporations. Not to the super rich. But to anyone who needs healthcare, education, retirement living.
I contend  that decent people, including all our middle-class and upper middle class Lutherans, should be willing to pay higher taxes to better care for our neighbors. Healthcare. School lunches. Social services for the poor and handicapped. To oppose these things just because one thinks it’s going to cost one a few more dollars in taxes seems rather selfish to me.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. It is now clear that the election of 2020 was not stolen. But we see now how it was nearly stolen after the balloting. Some of our top officials assisted by corrupt lawyers, attempted to steal the electoral college. Some true patriots saved us.

D. Engebretson

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2077 on: October 25, 2019, 05:13:12 PM »
I do think the tax rate in the Scandinavian countries is bracketed with a higher percentage paid by the wealthy, maybe even far higher, not so?

Dave Benke

At the site Investipedia under the article "Nordic Model" it states:
"According to TradingEconomics.com, in 2018 Sweden’s top personal income tax rate was 61.85%, Denmark’s was 55.8%, and Norway’s was 38.52%. Tax rates in these countries are relatively high on nearly all income, not just that of wealthy people. By comparison, the top tax bracket in the U.S. in 2019 is 37%, and it is only levied on individuals who make $510,300 or more ($612,350 for married couples filing jointly)."
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/nordic-model.asp
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

D. Engebretson

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2078 on: October 25, 2019, 05:29:13 PM »
I contend  that decent people, including all our middle-class and upper middle class Lutherans, should be willing to pay higher taxes to better care for our neighbors. Healthcare. School lunches. Social services for the poor and handicapped. To oppose these things just because one thinks it’s going to cost one a few more dollars in taxes seems rather selfish to me.

Assistance to the poor and disadvantaged is something Lutherans have long supported.  One questions is whether we want the government to essentially take over the entire enterprise, which has complications and concerns for some.  I, for one, am not convinced that our current structure would provide a cost efficient and effective model.  We are essentially very different from the Nordic counties and imposing their model on us would require substantial changes in the way we do business and the way we run the government.  Paying more taxes will not automatically solve the problem.  Until we can be assured that we have a system that does not waste what it is given and efficiently uses it, we might want to give it all some more thought. 

But as to the more immediate reality for those who wish to place a Democrat back into the executive branch, they have to ask themselves whether most of America is ready to embrace significantly higher taxes. Banking on a general sense of altruism in the overall population is naive.   
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dan Fienen

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2079 on: October 25, 2019, 06:01:55 PM »
What concerns me also is the tendency for governmental bureaucrats as well as politicians to use the largess that they would dole out paid for by the higher taxes to enforce their preferred ideologies. One recent example was O'Rourke's promise to penalize churches who do not toe his favored position on same sex marriage. Is it really a good idea for the government, even the president to decide these societal questions for us and use the power of the government, not to mention the ability of the government to reward those who are willing to go along with the governmentally decided positions with the benefits paid for by taxes as well as use the coercive power of the government to punish those who dissent?
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Terry W Culler

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2080 on: October 25, 2019, 08:20:29 PM »
Yes. And furthermore the benefits of the taxation in the Scandinavian countries accrue almost totally to every person. Not to corporations. Not to the super rich. But to anyone who needs healthcare, education, retirement living.
I contend  that decent people, including all our middle-class and upper middle class Lutherans, should be willing to pay higher taxes to better care for our neighbors. Healthcare. School lunches. Social services for the poor and handicapped. To oppose these things just because one thinks it’s going to cost one a few more dollars in taxes seems rather selfish to me.

Does this mean that people who are unwilling to pay higher taxes are not decent?  What about deductions for home mortgages, charitable giving, etc.  Should they be disallowed so people can pay even more taxes?  This topic is way too complicated for such silliness.
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2081 on: October 25, 2019, 08:26:02 PM »
Yes. And furthermore the benefits of the taxation in the Scandinavian countries accrue almost totally to every person. Not to corporations. Not to the super rich. But to anyone who needs healthcare, education, retirement living.
I contend  that decent people, including all our middle-class and upper middle class Lutherans, should be willing to pay higher taxes to better care for our neighbors. Healthcare. School lunches. Social services for the poor and handicapped. To oppose these things just because one thinks it’s going to cost one a few more dollars in taxes seems rather selfish to me.

One might note that the Nordic countries are small, until recently had very little population diversity, and have a long history where taxation and government spending are centered in the national government with a monarch. 

On the other hand, the United States is large, has always had a diverse population, and has a long history of hostility to taxation and government spending being centered in the national government, except sometimes in dire national emergencies.

One might also note that the benefits you describe above are largely for the very people you want to increase taxes on.

Hmmm.
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Dave Benke

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2082 on: October 26, 2019, 04:07:46 PM »
I do think the tax rate in the Scandinavian countries is bracketed with a higher percentage paid by the wealthy, maybe even far higher, not so?

Dave Benke

At the site Investipedia under the article "Nordic Model" it states:
"According to TradingEconomics.com, in 2018 Sweden’s top personal income tax rate was 61.85%, Denmark’s was 55.8%, and Norway’s was 38.52%. Tax rates in these countries are relatively high on nearly all income, not just that of wealthy people. By comparison, the top tax bracket in the U.S. in 2019 is 37%, and it is only levied on individuals who make $510,300 or more ($612,350 for married couples filing jointly)."
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/nordic-model.asp

I think that's making the point that
a) the Nordic countries DO take a way larger cut of wealthy folks' income
b) there are a ton more social programs, including education, roads, civic centers, etc. that get built through this more "socialist" set-up
c) there is a big safety net for those at the bottom

I think the prime differential is the size of those countries and the far less diverse populations in them - more manageable and people want to live there and live the way they live among their countrymen, so they pay the far larger tax share.  Here it's more Huey Long - every man a king.

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Charles Austin

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2083 on: October 26, 2019, 04:12:32 PM »
A New York Times article today reports in passing that in 2016, Bernie Sanders did amazingly well in Iowa during the primaries.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. It is now clear that the election of 2020 was not stolen. But we see now how it was nearly stolen after the balloting. Some of our top officials assisted by corrupt lawyers, attempted to steal the electoral college. Some true patriots saved us.

Dan Fienen

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Re: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)
« Reply #2084 on: October 26, 2019, 04:40:08 PM »
Let's not forget that until the night of November 8, 2019 just about everyone figured that Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in for the next president. It was so certain that she didn't bother to campaign much in several of the meaningless Midwest states that would have little or no effect on the election anyway. There was absolutely no way that buffoon Donald Trump could possibly win. Politics is unpredictable.
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