OT - I don't _hate_ McMansions

Levi Pearson levi at cold.org
Fri Jun 27 23:09:42 MDT 2008

Von Fugal <von at fugal.net> writes:
> But the average IS 30.8%, with a much lower median thanks to the
> progressive scale, but an average is an average, and on average
> americans would have 40% more income to throw around. That is a lot even
> if not for you personally. I promise the economy deeply feels the effect
> of 30.8% taxation. All of us indirectly feel it, too. Lucky for the
> government it is indirect (I think they planned it that way) because now
> everyone just blames it all on greedy oil companies and greedy
> developers. We wouldn't even be having this discussion about lame homes
> if the economy was in decent shape.

You're not paying attention.  If 'average' meant what you seem to
think it does, the average American would also have a partial child.
You also brought the 40% number back, which is clearly *not* what the
average American pays in income tax.  I am in a higher income bracket
than the average American, and thus I pay more income tax than the
average American.  Thus, the average American must pay well under 30%.

If you look at an income distribution graph for the USA, it will
become quite clear why a progressive tax guarantees that the average
American (which is not the mathematically average American, because
that's skewed by the income distribution) pays far less than the
mathematical average income tax.

> I was just noting the amusement that 40% was in wikipedia and I pulled
> 40% out of the air. Amusement. The figures I'm referring to *are* way
> different from what wikipedia is talking about. I'm referring to the
> total effect of all taxes.

So, it's amusing that a number you pulled from an orifice happened to
match a mostly unrelated number somewhere else?  Okay, you must be
easily amused.

> Yes, discredit me with attacks on my sanity. I have worked through many
> tax forms. They are a horrendous waste of time for everybody involved.
> Yet another drop in the net effect of US taxes. I stand by that forty
> percent as a rough figure. After seeing that net tax collection is 30.8%
> of net income, I still say I can't be far off, esp factoring in
> inflation and other indirect tax effects.

I'm not questioning your sanity, I'm questioning the validity of your
arguments.  For one thing, you're pulling grossly inflated numbers for
income tax on us, which calls into doubt your estimates on other
taxes.  For another, you keep screwing up your mathematical analysis.

You're also presenting the argument that if things were as you'd like
them, we'd have all that money back, which would only be the case if
the government was funded by some means other than a tax, in which
case we'd have to pay for its services some other way.

You're also assuming that your assertions about the economic benefit
of minimal government are correct, and that pretty much everything
would be the same except we'd all have x% more cash to spend, where x
is how much we're paying in taxes now.  I think that's highly

In short, you're arguing with random numbers about a hypothetical
situation that relies on premises that haven't been proved.  I.e.,
you're off in another world.


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