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karlvanderslootiii 34 posts  |  Last Activity: Jul 2, 2014 8:48 PM Member since: Aug 7, 2012
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  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii Jul 2, 2014 8:48 PM Flag

    So if you want to pay a lot of taxes and make very little money then Texas is the place for you.

    "Texas has more minimum-wage jobs than any other state, and only Mississippi exceeds it with the most minimum-wage workers per capita."

  • Oh yes, I know what you’ve heard. And it’s true, as the state’s boosters like to brag, that Texas does not have an income tax. But Texas has sales and property taxes that make its overall burden of taxation on low-wage families much heavier than the national average, while the state also taxes the middle class at rates as high or higher than in California. For instance, non-elderly Californians with family income in the middle 20 percent of the income distribution pay combined state and local taxes amounting to 8.2 percent of their income, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy; by contrast, their counterparts in Texas pay 8.6 percent.

    And unlike in California, middle-class families in Texas don’t get the advantage of having rich people share equally in the cost of providing government services. The top 1 percent in Texas have an effective tax rate of just 3.2 percent. That’s roughly two-fifths the rate that’s borne by the middle class, and just a quarter the rate paid by all those low-wage “takers” at the bottom 20 percent of the family income distribution. This Robin-Hood-in-reverse system gives Texas the fifth-most-regressive tax structure in the nation.

    Middle- and lower-income Texans in effect make up for the taxes the rich don’t pay in Texas by making do with fewer government services, such as by accepting a K-12 public school system that ranks behind forty-one other states, including Alabama, in spending per student.

    Moving a business to Texas also turns out to have tax consequences that are inconsistent with the conservative narrative of the Texas Miracle. Yes, some businesses manage to strike lucrative tax breaks in Texas. As part of an industrial policy that dares not speak its name, the state government, for example, maintains the Texas Enterprise Fund (known to some as a slush fund and to others as a “deal-closing” fund), which the governor uses to lure favored businesses with special subsidies and incentives.

    But most Texas businesses, especially small ones, don’t get such treatment. Instead, they face total effective tax rates that are, by bottom-line measures, greater than those in even the People’s Republic of California. For example, according to a joint study by the accounting firm Ernst & Young and the Council on State Taxation, in fiscal year 2012 state and local business taxes in California came to 4.5 percent of private-sector gross state product. This compares with a 4.8 percent average for all fifty states—and a rate of 5.2 percent in Texas. With the exception of New York, every major state in the country, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, has a lower total effective business tax rate than Texas. If you think that means Texas might not offer as much “liberty” as advertised, well, you’re right.

    The same study compares how much businesses in different states pay in taxes for every dollar they get back in government-provided benefits. Using methodology developed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the study first allocates public spending between households and businesses. Certain expenditures, such as for health care and welfare, are treated as benefiting only households; others, such as for police, fire, and highway transportation, are treated as benefiting businesses as well. The big question mark here is how to treat education spending, since businesses differ in how much education they require from their workers. But regardless of how that allocation is made, California businesses as a whole still get a far better deal on their taxes than those in Texas.

    For example, under the assumption that spending on education benefits only households and not businesses, California businesses pay $2.30 in taxes for every dollar they get in benefits, while Texas businesses pay $5. By this measure, Texas is the ninth-worst state in the country in the cost/benefit ratio it offers businesses on their taxes. Assuming that 50 percent of education spending benefits business, California businesses pay $1 in taxes for every dollar they get in benefits, while Texas business pay $1.50. Either way, it’s no wonder that Texas’s economic development efforts rely so heavily on (largely false) advertising.

    The business case for Texas does not speak for itself. It may be a great place to be a big oil or petrochemical company, or a politically favored large corporation able to wring out tax concessions. Its state laws are also hostile to unions, and its wage levels are generally lower than in much of the rest of the country. But for the vast majority of businesses, which are small and not politically connected, Texas doesn’t offer any tax advantages and is in many ways a harder place to do business. This is consistent with Census Bureau data showing that a smaller share of people in Texas own their own business than in all but four other states.

    Before the 1980s, Texas followed a long, populist tradition that tried to protect family farmers and other small-scale businesses and consumers. Under its 1876 constitution, for example, Texas enacted consumer protections against predatory mortgage lending, with provisions that ironically helped to hold down foreclosures in Texas during the Great Recession. In 1889, Texas became the second state in the country to enact an antitrust law. Two years later, it further pioneered government regulation of big business by establishing the Texas Railroad Commission, which went on to protect wildcatters and other small-scale oil producers by regulating the oil industry in ways that kept outside Goliaths like Standard Oil at bay. But since the 1980s, “pro business” in Texas has more and more come to mean just pro Big Business.

    The comparatively low levels of entrepreneurship in Texas in turn help to explain its comparatively low rates of upward mobility over the last generation. Here the evidence comes from a recent study, led by Raj Chetty and colleagues at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, which tracked children born into families of modest means in different parts of the country and determined how many of them managed to move up the economic ladder when they became adults. The findings are illuminating.

    In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, children who grew up in families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution had only a 12.2 percent chance of rising to the top fifth as adults. Those who grew up in or near San Diego or Los Angeles had even lesser odds—only 10.4 and 9.6 percent, respectively. It’s depressing that for so many Californian children, the chances of realizing the American Dream are so slim. But California looks like the land of opportunity compared to Texas.

    In the greater Austin area, children who grew up in families of modest means had only a 6.9 percent chance of joining the top fifth of earners when they became adults; in Dallas, only 7.1 percent; in San Antonio, just 6.4 percent. Yes, Texas offers more chances for upward mobility than places like Detroit and some Deep South cities like Atlanta. Yet the claim that Texas triumphs over the rest of America as the land of opportunity is all hat and no cattle. Children raised in the postindustrial wasteland of Newark, New Jersey, during the 1980s, it turns out, had a better chance of going from rags to riches than did children born in Houston, which was the best city in Texas for upward mobility during that time.

    No wonder then, that the flow of Americans moving to Texas is so modest. The state may offer low housing prices compared to California and an unemployment rate below the national average, but it also has low rates of economic mobility, minimal public services, and, unless you are rich, taxes that are as high or higher than most anywhere else in America. And worse, despite all the oil money sloshing around, Texas is no longer gaining on the richest states in its per capita income, but rather getting comparatively poorer and poorer.

    It’s hard to think of any two states more different than Texas and Vermont. For one, Texas has gushers of oil and gas, while Vermont has, well, maple syrup. As early as the 1940s, Texas surpassed Vermont in per capita income. Vermont had virtually nothing going for it—no energy resources except firewood, no industry except some struggling paper mills and failing dairies. By 1981, per capita income in Vermont had fallen to 17 percent below that of Texas. That year, the state’s largest city elected a self-described “democratic socialist,” Bernie Sanders, to be its mayor. Vermont, it might seem, was on the road to serfdom and inevitable failure.

    But then a great reversal in the relative prosperity of the two states happened, as little Vermont started getting richer faster than big Texas. By 2001, Texas lost its lead over Vermont in per capita income. By 2012, despite its oil and gas boom and impressive job creation numbers, Texas was 4.3 percent poorer than Vermont in per capita income.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii Jun 23, 2014 5:08 PM Flag

    You republicans give meaning to the world absurd. You say she shouldn't run because she takes one drug yet you were very confident that 5 heart attack Cheney could take over the role of president and all those heart problems were nothing to worry about. You can keep trying with your silliness but Hillary is not going away and will be the next president of the United States of America. 8 years of Hillary is going to be unleashed on the republican party.

  • I needed a couple oil filters for my cars. I use the K&N HP1010 because its a really good filter and good or synthetic oil which I use. I checked out the price on Walmart. Walmart online sells it for $31.88 and Amazon sells it for $10.97. Walmart should just shut their online sales site right now because there aren't that many stupid people out there to sustain it.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii Jun 3, 2014 4:14 PM Flag

    Don't know about their soda but they had a good sale on their stock yesterday. Up 4% today after earnings. No matter if you want soda, paper towels, dishwashing liquid or company stock, WMT is the wrong place to go for all.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 28, 2014 4:50 PM Flag

    If they want to invest in something they should try investing in their employees. They need capable and happy employees far more than they need a company that makes machines to create trinkets.

  • Reply to

    Wal*mart WMT is an awful investment.

    by truth_and_reason May 19, 2014 4:06 PM
    karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 28, 2014 4:43 PM Flag

    Do you really need somebody to tell you if something is a good investment or a bad investment? Just take a look at the 15 year chart. Its self explanatory.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 25, 2014 8:14 PM Flag

    Stay tuned. I hear next month, FOX is going to have a special series on how homosexuality is causing droughts.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 25, 2014 8:11 PM Flag

    Glad to see you finally got your nose out of FOX and turned to a respectable, honest media outlet. Keep it on PBS, you may even learn some facts about whats going on in our country.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 25, 2014 8:03 PM Flag

    If they prosecuted adultery, 90% of the family values republican politicians would be in court.

  • Reply to

    drought in texas

    by eddiebrown308 May 25, 2014 6:58 PM
    karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 25, 2014 7:55 PM Flag

    Too dumb to realize how you're being used, eh? No surprise. The southern states take the top spots for least educated and lowest wages. I think these wise words pretty well sum it up.

    , “It is now common practice for red states to emulate the 3rd world to attract business. Why go to Asia to exploit labor, the environment and collect corporate welfare when we have states right here with politicians eager for bribes.”

  • Reply to

    let pukes in texas drink

    by eddiebrown308 May 25, 2014 7:34 PM
    karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 25, 2014 7:49 PM Flag

    I don't know who the Marxists are that you're talking about but I don't recall anyone saying Perry made radioactive water. Knew about it and covered it up yes but nobody said he made it. Its a shame you don't even know what's going on in your own state. Are you wondering what those hideous growths on you skin are?


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    Texas officials charged with protecting the environment and public health have for years made arbitrary subtractions to the measured levels of radiation delivered by water utilities across the state, according to a series of investigative reports out of Houston.

    Those subtractions, based on the test results’ margin of error, made all the difference for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ): without the reduction, demonstrated levels of dangerous radiation would have been in excess of federal limits for years.

    This was being done in direct contravention of an order by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which told state regulators in 2000 to stop subtracting the margin of error.

    The findings are part of an investigation by Houston CBS affiliate KHOU.

    Confronted by reporter Mark Greenblatt, TCEQ staffer Linda Brookins claimed that the radiation was “natural” and people shouldn’t be concerned. She also refused to read on camera the EPA’s order to stop subtracting margins of error from radiation test results.

    KHOU called it “Texas math,” in part two of its ongoing series.

    Thanks to the TCEQ’s under-reporting of radioactive content, one particular water provider in Harris County was able to skirt needed maintenance for years, even though uncensored tests showed radiation was almost always above legal limits.

    Independent tests, the station noted, showed that some of the radiation contained harmful alpha particles, which can cause cell mutations and increase the risk of cancer.

    The practice of under-reporting radiation continued until last year, when the EPA once again demanded Texas comply with the law.

    The state, governed a large majority of Republicans, has long flouted the EPA’s air quality standards, with TCEQ officials claiming the federal agency does not have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

    “What was illegal and a bad idea yesterday is illegal and a bad idea today,” TCEQ chairman Bryan W. Shaw told The Dallas Morning News. “We won’t see any environmental benefits from this. We’ll just see the additional bureaucracy associated with permitting in this state and across the U.S.”

    In an editorial, the paper called Republicans’ fight to protect industry over environmental regulations a “dangerous roll of the dice” when it comes to federal dollars, noting that new regulations require the state to create a permitting authority to govern emissions, but it refuses. When the new rules take effect next year, the state’s energy industry could effectively be brought to a standstill, with no new construction being permitted.

    And now water standards, it would seem, may be the next major clash between Texas regulators and federal authorities.

    “Is this what [Governor] Rick Perry means when he talks about standing up to the feds

  • Reply to

    drought in texas

    by eddiebrown308 May 25, 2014 6:58 PM
    karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 25, 2014 7:42 PM Flag

    Sorry but California's GDP is continually rising. They're drawing quality companies while a few leave for Texas. The ones with the minimum wage jobs. Of course, what would you expect to earn in a right to work for nothing state?

  • Reply to

    let pukes in texas drink

    by eddiebrown308 May 25, 2014 7:34 PM
    karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 25, 2014 7:38 PM Flag

    But I imagine the radio active water kills the bacteria from the toilet water. The people of Texas are thanking Rick Perry for that radio active water.

  • Reply to

    drought in texas

    by eddiebrown308 May 25, 2014 6:58 PM
    karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 25, 2014 7:36 PM Flag

    I guess if they feed you lies long enough, you tend to believe them. At least the dummies like you.


    Although Texas (268,597 square miles) is far larger than California (163,695 square miles), the GDP of Texas (1.3 Trillion) is far behind California (2.0 Trillion). Now what was that about business not being encouraged in California? Texas is just a vast wasteland, both the land and the people.

  • Reply to

    Ignore uneducated posters Unionize WMT

    by wathel337 May 24, 2014 7:01 PM
    karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 25, 2014 11:46 AM Flag

    The best way to start is to just never read the post of a clone. I quit reading them a long time ago and things are so much better and the IQ of the board goes up about 100 points.

  • karlvanderslootiii by karlvanderslootiii May 24, 2014 10:46 PM Flag

    I've been to Target four times in the past two weeks. Three time on weekdays and once on a Saturday, today. They are much more crowded than they used to be and I'm talking before their credit breach problems. Those customers are coming from somewhere and I expect most are from Walmart because their same store sales keep going down. One day last week we needed something and my wife said let me check online and see if Walmart or Target is cheaper. She said Walmart was .10 cheaper on the product that was almost a ten dollar product. I said I'm not messing with Walmart for a dime or .20 on two. Target is so much nicer to go in that I would rather go to Target. When we went in to get the product, they had a sign at the product that if you buy two, you get a $5.00 gift card. So what we thought was going to be .20 more at Target turned out saving us $4.80. The workers at Target are always smiling, friendly and asking you if you need help finding something. Quite a contrast from Walmart where the workers never acknowledge you and never ask if they can help you find something. They seem like very depressed people. I guess its just two companies with a very different culture. After all, the pay isn't much different so something makes the Target workers seem so much happier.

  • Reply to

    No pride in my local Wal Mart store.

    by chris96161 May 19, 2014 1:00 PM
    karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 19, 2014 2:14 PM Flag

    No, the sodas are at the back of a convenience store because of all the electrical required to run the refrigeration. That way its all hidden and no unsightly lines running from the ceiling if they are in the middle of the store. There isn't a whole lot of science dedicated to where convenience stores place their soda, just some common sense.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii May 15, 2014 12:25 PM Flag

    Sorry, I entered the message by mistake before I was done.

    It was a mad house today. Like a really busy Saturday afternoon. Good for Aldi but bad for Walmart and me. Bad for me because I'm retired and I usually go on Thursday because that's normally the slowest day of the week and I like shopping when its not crowded. If they keep this up they'll need a bigger parking lot.

  • karlvanderslootiii by karlvanderslootiii May 15, 2014 12:21 PM Flag

    I just got back from Aldi and it was so crowded that I couldn't believe it. I've never seen it this crowded on a week day except when a big snow storm is coming and we have no snow storm coming in. The weather is perfect and forecast to stay that way for a week. Sometimes Wednesday is pretty crowded because that's the day their new sale starts and special buys for the week start selling but nothing like today. It wa

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