Will Work for Human Capital

A blank resume is not worth much. Although this is obvious, Oregon state legislators have opted for ostensibly feel-good legislation that has raised the cost of work through taxes (e.g., payroll) and mandates (e.g., minimum wage), which keeps many resumes empty by inflating unemployment. Teens, in particular, have been priced out of the market because their productive contribution is frequently lower than what employers are required to pay them. Inflicting high unemployment on young people has serious consequences for their future and for society’s.

With a 29% national teen employment rate in June (lower than any seen since the Great Depression), we have reason to be concerned, especially here in Oregon where it is even lower (24%). The teen employment rate has been tumbling since 2000, when it was healthier (but still lower than it should be), at 45%. Worse still, those who are working are frequently getting far fewer hours than they want, and many people have withdrawn from the workforce. Adding these groups to the official teen unemployment rate (which only includes those individuals who have looked for work in the last four weeks) gives a teen underutilization rate of 49% in Oregon (the worst in the nation), as of May, according to Andrew Sum, Director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

So, not only are teens earning less money to spend and save for valuable investments later (like college), young and inexperienced workers are not getting the experience that will allow them to earn more down the road by developing their human capital.

“Human capital” describes a person’s attributes that increase her earning potential and ability to grow wealth. It includes a person’s “intelligence, educational background, work experience, knowledge, skill and health.” It is also important to our nation. According to Gary Becker, a prominent theorist, human capital accounts for around 75% of the United States’ wealth, with the rest consisting of capital in businesses, homes, goods, and government capital and cash. It is the proverbial knowledge of how to fish, versus the fish itself.

Teenagers must learn how to fish, and the earlier, the better. Teenagers are easily influenced. According to Andrew Sum, especially among low-income and minority youth, “[t]he more teens work this year, the more they work next year.” If they do not work now, they are less likely to work later. But with increased experience, teens will earn better wages and be more likely to hold a steady job later. They are also more likely to graduate from high school (developing another form of human capital).

Yet, numerous policies throw obstacles in the way of teen employment. Minimum wage, for example, prices many teenagers out of the market. As Hans F. Sennholz wrote, “In simple language, a minimum wage law is nothing more than a government order that workers must not work unless they find jobs paying at least the stated minimum. It is an order to employers that they must pay workers the minimum, or not employ them at all.” Those who have the least human capital are the ones who suffer most unless they are fortunate enough to be well connected.

In Oregon, a minimum wage employee is expensive at $8.40 per hour (the nation’s second highest), with additional higher costs like payroll tax. With such burdensome costs it should be no wonder that our underutilization rate (which counts those employees who want more work hours, and true unemployment) in Oregon is so low. It’s a shame that the federal government is following our poor example with the latest round of increases.

Statistically, teenagers (especially minorities) and low-income women take the worst blow from minimum wage laws, according to numerous studies. Yet, special interest groups, labor unions, and politicians woo public support for such foolhardy mandates with promises of helping the poor and needy. It may help a few families, but likely at the expense of pushing more families into poverty, according to most experts. The truth is that most individuals living in poverty do not have a full-time job, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Unlike minimum wage, more work actually could lift a significant portion of Americans out of poverty. While some employees’ pay increases, minimum wage does more harm than good for those whom it is intended to help, fails to alleviate poverty, and deprives particularly the young and inexperienced of the opportunity to develop and grow the most valuable asset of all, human capital.


For more citations for this article, see here. Photo by Paul Sancya of the Associated Press: Teens Face Tough Market for Summer Jobs.


Christina Martin is Director of the Asset Ownership Project and a policy analyst for the School Choice Project at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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  • Rupert in Springfield

    The real problem with the minimum wage is conceptual more than anything else.

    The linking of union wages to the minimum wage resulted in a fundamental power shift from the employer to government in terms of who set wages. Now instead of having to negotiate with many different companies, all unions have to do is lobby Washington or the state government. It results in a win win situation. Politicians get to take a bow for raising the minimum wage that poor mother needs to feed her family, Fat cat union members get a bigger pay check. This affects the price of everything. Costs of government go up due to the large union membership of that work force. Costs of public works projects go up, due to prevailing wage laws.

    The minimum wage really isn’t about entry level jobs or teenagers. They are simply collateral damage.

    • David Appell

      > Politicians get to take a bow for raising the minimum wage that poor mother
      > needs to feed her family

      And isn’t THAT a terrible thing — a mother being able to feed her family. Imagine!

      • Francine

        Thank you Mr. Appell. I am that mom. I need a living wage and I thank the brave politicians in Salem for giving it to me.
        Teens can always get a bigger allowance.
        I need the raise the state got me so I can live better.

        • Christina Martin

          It is well established that minimum wage is not an effective way to reduce poverty. Economists David Neumark (of University of California at Irvine) and William Washcer (of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System) looked at every published study that examined the effects of minimum wage. They concluded that “the bulk of the research conducted in the past two decades finds negative employment effects for low skilled workers.” In other words, many people lose their jobs because of minimum wage laws. They also concluded that more people are hurt by minimum wage than are helped: “Any tendency for a higher minimum to lift some families out of poverty is more than offset by an increased likelihood that the reduction in work hours or employment associated with the higher minimum will cause some nonpoor families to fall into poverty.” (Minimum Wages and Low Wage Workers: How Well Does Reality Match the Rhetoric?, 92 Minnesota Law Review, 1296, 1311-1312 (2008), available at https://local.law.umn.edu/uploads/images/6717/Wascher_FinalPDF.pdf ).

          • David Appell

            Christina: so, in other words, it is better that lots of people have jobs, even if those jobs can’t support a family?

            Is that what you’re saying?

          • Christina Martin

            No, David. My point is that minimum wage does not reduce the number of people in poverty. This government policy condemns more people into poverty through unemployment or cut hours than it helps. On top of that, it decreases individuals’ opportunity to develop human capital.

            If you are skeptical, read the Neumark article I posted. It gives a very succint summary of the issue and the economic studies of the issue and then you can use its footnotes to read the studies themselves. Good luck.

            Regards,
            C.M.

          • David Appell

            Christina: I fail to see how a minimum wage requires that anyone be in poverty. If someone is making the minimum wage, should they not be able to support themselves, and their family, wrt food, shelter, clothing, etc.

            And if they do not make the minimum wage, should not the rest of us help support them? Isn’t this what Christianity requires?

            Surely a decent and compassionate society would support these people who cannot obtain minimum wage, and their children, through government programs?

            Otherwise, what is the point of a society?

            Or are you telling us that this latter set of people do not deserve the fundamental means to lead lives of basic dignity? I mean, are you really saying there should be no minimum wage and those who obtain jobs below its level should just have to suffer for want of food, shelter, clothing, health care, etc.?

            What is the point of our society, anyway? To merely enrich those with capital, or to insure that all of us live with a basic level of food, shelter, clothing, health care, security, etc.?

          • Anonymous

            David – get help.

          • David Appell

            Bravely said, Anonymous. You are, I take it, opposed to families obtaining their basic human needs?

          • Anonymous

            My employees will tell you that with every increase in the minimum with it’s corresponding increase in cost of living, that they would just as soon the government leave it alone so they can get ahead. The money comes from somewhere in any business. In the form of higher prices, shorter hours, less workers or less hours for existing workers.

            Money does not grow on trees. Guess you missed that in Kidergarten 101

  • Gullyborg

    I wrote about the teen unemployment problem. I encourage you to head over to my blog.

    https://gullyborg.typepad.com/weblog_archive/2009/09/bad-time-for-teens.html

  • Sybella

    Why on earth would I ever hire a teen?

    They don’t know anything much less how to work. I have to pay them the same as an experienced adult and babysit them in the process.

  • Tim Lyman

    I remember reading a report a while back (sorry, can’t remember title or publisher) that theorized that a major factor in teen/youth unemployment and poor job performance was unrealistic expectations as to what types of jobs they were qualified for and could expect to be hired into set by the focus on foundationless esteem building in school. Students with no record of academic success, due either to laziness or just plain stupidity, are being told “it’s OK,” and that they can be a loser in school and still expect to get a good job. They come into the workplace expecting to be coddled and catered to the same way they were in school.

    If you want to hire a good young employee, get a kid who’s just come out of the military. Most of the rest are rendered worthless by our high schools.

    • v person

      “If you want to hire a good young employee, get a kid who’s just come out of the military. Most of the rest are rendered worthless by our high schools.”

      Did all those kids who went into the military go to private schools first? And all those kids who skip the military, go to college and become doctors or engineers…are they rendered worthless? How in the world is it the US has achieved so much with such worthless people?

      Maybe if we just brought back indentured servitude and allowed parents to pack the kids off as labor that would solve a lot of problems no?

      • Anonymous

        “Maybe if we just brought back indentured servitude and allowed parents to pack the kids off as labor that would solve a lot of problems no?”

        It’s called Americorps.

    • David Appell

      > If you want to hire a good young employee, get a kid who’s just come out of
      > the military. Most of the rest are rendered worthless by our high schools.

      I doubt it. During High School I worked in a grocery store. I earned $4.35/hr, and worked 20-40 hrs/wk. No health insurance. I learned a lot and was productive for the company I worked for. So where almost all of the guys who worked with me. But then I went to college and left that world behind.

      I can’t see how someone out of the military would have taken such a job at such a wage — their experience, maturity, and general skills would have/should have demanded a far higher wage, and a job with great responsibilities — one they could live on and support a family on. That would have cost you, Tim, more in grocery costs, about which I’m sure you would have bitched endlessly. “Why can’t these stores hire teenagers than 24-year old men out of the military? How hard is it to stack cans of corn, anyway? Do they think I’m made of money?”

      With people like you, you can’t win.

      • Anonymous

        Sadly, many 22 year old veterans work for minimum wage, if at all.

        • David Appell

          > Sadly, many 22 year old veterans work for minimum wage, if at all.

          And why is that? Because corporation has corrupted (viz. bought off) our legislators to enact policies for their benefit, not for the benefit of the people.

          • Anonymous

            Actually, it is because the job market sucks and many, many people are underemployed or unemployed. Corporations MAKE jobs, you idiot. You blitering, stupid idiot. Government only HAMPERS the free market, you tool. You blunt, rusted tool.

            If you want to help the underemployed veterans, how about helping business grow and expand and create new jobs? Yes, many new jobs will be minimum wage – but the reality is that unless you are providing value to the employer, the employer is losing money by paying you. Most new employees lack direct experience and cannot produce value. A low starting wage allows employers to test new employees, retain those with good work ethic, and provide training and experience necessary to allow the employees to begin EARNING higher pay.

            You would know that, if you weren’t stark raving mad. Or perhaps the proper expression is batshit insane.

            For years, we have seen increases in minimum wages, taxes, regulations, and bureaucracy. During this time, as you like to point out, we have seen jobless recoveries, lower overall wages, more disparities, etc. Here is a novel thought: TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT! A popular definition of insanity is repeatedly making the same mistake but always expecting a different outcome. THE BIG GOVERNMENT “SOLUTION” IS PROVEN TO BE FALSE! Try LOWERING minimum wages, taxes, regulations and bureaucracy. This solution has worked whenever implemented (even liberal democratic icon JFK did this and it worked). And then, to ensure that AMERICANS benefit, strongly enforce the immigration laws while instilling a strong work ethic in our youth – this will allow our teens to enter the workforce now, when they don’t need to live off their wages, and gain work skills that will allow them to earn a LIVING WAGE as independent adults.

            But you won’t agree with that, because you are an evil socialist hell bent on destroying everything good about America. You can deny it. You can reply with nasty name calling of your own. But it won’t change reality. The reality is, you are a marxist stooge and you hate this country. So leave it. Move to France. We don’t need you here.

          • David Appell

            Although my beliefs can’t be simply labeled as “capitalist” or “socialist” or whatever, I suppose I do lean more toward the socialist side and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that, nor am I at all ashamed to admit it. Nor do I care what you think about it, frankly.

            Belief in a certain economic system is not a requirement for being a citizen of this country. I have just as much of a right as you to advocate for the economic system I believe is best. If you don’t grant that right, it seems to me it’s you who is the totalitarianist, not me.

            When I look around the world I see that in the countries who are more socialist than the US (and the US is already significantly socialist), people by-and-large lead lives of far greater economic security, without giving up many, if any, liberties that an American has. They are just as happy — in some ways, happier — with greater feelings of community, greater healthy security, less poverty, more time to enjoy life in the form of longer vacations, more respect for children such as long supported maternal leave, drastically cheaper college education, and significantly cheaper health care. They don’t spend $1T/yr on defense, especially while proclaiming they are a Christian nation that follows the tenets of Christ. People aren’t flying airplanes into their skyscrapers. They are more environmentally cognizant. They are better world citizens, more traveled, more diverse, more aware of other countries and the people in them. Their governments also seem to resist corporate power in a way ours doesn’t, with respect to regulation privacy, the safety of chemicals, and much more. It’s our government who is mining the Internet to keep tabs on its citizens, not theirs (though they certainly aren’t perfect on this score). It’s the American government who is torturing its enemies, not theirs. It’s the American government who refuses to take steps to curtail climate change, not theirs — because US corporations won’t stand for it, and what they want, they get, because they buy-off our legislators and other politicians.

            All government usurp power, but I see more of it in the US than I do in Canada or France or Switzerland or Japan.

            Sure, a few hundred or thousand people in the US makes an obscene amount of money. (But so do some in Europe — perhaps not quite as many. So what?) It’s not you, and never will be. In America the poor are now lining up like cattle to get medical care in open tents erected in fields. What greater indictment could there be for a supposedly great nation?

        • Anonymous

          Name one. Just one.

          • Anonymous

            As I suspected, you can’t name one.

          • Conscience of a Moonbat

            Oh, David. Now you’re finally getting into the topic where you have demonstrated, peer-reviewed expertise. Thank goodness, it took so long. Please expand.

    • Anonymous

      Nothing like a compliment to the military to bring the Anti-America militrary haters out is there?

      • Anonymous

        I do not and have never served in the military. Many of my friends and family members have served (and in a few cases been killed during their service). I am not anti-military. For the sake of reason I say this:

        Military service is no greater guarantee of competence, intelligence, work ethic, et cetera, than an employer might otherwise find among the civilian populace. Give me a break. The military is made up of both extraordinary and less than extraordinary people. So is the civilian population. Bias in either direction is stupid and counterproductive.

        • Anonymous

          Actually, successful military service (i.e., honorable discharge after completion of enlistment time) is an indicator that a person has proven capable of extraordinary work. If you can’t get up early, report on time, work your ass off, do what you are told, adapt, improvise, overcome and succeed at meeting your mission objectives, you wash out. Failure to recognize this indicates you have absolutely no clue about the military and probably should just keep your mouth closed (er, fingers off the keyboard) rather than make more of an ass of yourself

          • Anonymous

            Actually, “successful military service” is not necessarily an indication of any of those things. I do know what I’m talking about and you, my friend, must live in some fantasyland where all military personnel are simply the cream of the crop, not a bad one in the bunch. I work with presently and have worked with in the past (not to mention am FAMILY MEMBER to) many ex-military guys. Furthermore, I went to school with a number of guys on the G.I. Bill. I have known men who have been honorably discharged from the army, air force, navy and the marines, and I can assure you that plenty of them have been either idiots, assholes, or maniacs (a couple of them are even prison as we speak). That must be really difficult for you to accept, huh? Plenty of them have also been incredible people. Intelligent, trustworthy, competent, hardworking, kind, ambitious, full of integrity and on and on. The point I was making is that those who have never even set foot on a military base are equally capable of possessing these very same qualities. Deal with it.

            >> Failure to recognize this indicates you have absolutely no clue about the military and probably should just >> keep your mouth closed (er, fingers off the keyboard) rather than make more of an ass of yourself

            You’re a moron.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, and you have friends who are black, too…

            The tired old “oh I know all these military people” line wears thin. I served my country in uniform. You didn’t. You have no f’ing clue what you are talking about.

            Are some veterans liars, crooks and assholes? Of course. There are millions of vets. Some are bound to be turds. But as a whole, veterans are far more likely than high school grads with no work experience to be responsible, come to work on time, complete required tasks, etc. There is no arguing this. Employers are far, far more likely to get back the $15 an hour it costs after you add in all the total expenses of a minimum wage from a veteran that from a mere high school grad. If you think otherwise, you are the moron.

          • Anonymous

            Ummm… yeah, as a matter of fact I do have friends who are black. I grew up in West Philadelphia. My best friend since childhood is half Puerto Rican half Thai. And yes, I am white, of German-Irish descent to be specific. What the hell does any of that have to do with anything? What is your problem man?

            I mean, get over yourself jack. My father was awarded a purple heart, his best friend who is essentially family was also awarded a purple heart in Vietnam (he was shot in his left hamstring while on patrol, a very bad wound, they didn’t think he would ever walk without a severe limp, which is to say nothing of his chances of survival at that time in those conditions. He’s fine now but for the massive hole in his thigh, thanks for asking.). My father was wounded by grenade shrapnel, though not badly. The grenade was thrown by an American. My understanding is that the dipshit was “fishing” in a rice paddie. My cousin, my Mom’s oldest sister’s oldest son, was also in the army (non-combat). He now lives in prison. I never liked him, though I always pitied him. And I’m not even going to get into the relatives I never had the opportunity to know other than through the pictures my grandma kept in her bible. You see, all those guys died in WW2. So why don’t you eat shit, buddy? I don’t owe you nothing just because you were in the army and I wasn’t. I’m not anti-military at all, but you are a dick.

            As for my friends, co-workers, schoolmates, etc. I’m done explaining myself to you.

            And who the hell was ever talking about veterans versus high school grads with no work experience? The comment I responded to was in reference to a 22 year old vet… versus everyone else! But you go right ahead, start a business and make it your policy to hire no one other than veterans. That is completely your right and I really don’t care! That would simply not be my hiring criteria. All I ever said. Get a grip.

          • Anonymous

            Actually, I will continue because I’m pretty irritated at the moment.

            When I was a younger man I lived down in Las Vegas for a couple years, near Nellis AFB. A few of the guys I worked with were ex Air Force (incidentally, at least half of them were black AND my friends. Sometimes they even called me nigga! Charming, yeah?) And they were all f-ing crazy. One of them, a guy named Will R. was totally insane. He was a former aircraft mechanic and we were good friends. We hung out quite a bit, and on plenty of occasions when we had been drinking we’d go on base and crash. The rooms were cheap. Man, that dude messed around with more whores (prostitutes) than anyone I’ve ever known. Actually, he’s the only guy I’ve ever known who does that kind of thing, at least so openly. One time we were all at my bosses house, just hanging out, drinking. We’d been at a bar before going back to the house. Will had ran into a Colonel’s wife and brought her back to the house with him. She was dangerously drunk. He had her strip down to her panties in front of everyone, at which time he locker her in the garage and called her husband to come pick up his “bitch”. I didn’t want to be a part of that scene and I took off. Will was a funny guy, a good time to be around, but apparently he was as sadistic as he was funny. Anyhow, we worked long days. Usually from 7am to 7pm, sometimes six days a week. Often enough Will couldn’t be bothered to show up for work. He just didn’t care. Am I saying he is a reflection of all military men? No, I am not.

            After I left Las Vegas I moved to Olympia, Wa, just south of Fort Lewis. My life there brought me into contact with a lot of young guys just out of basic. And I’m not hesitant to say that more often than not those guys seemed dumb as bricks. They were always talking about how they “couldn’t wait to get into combat… couldn’t wait to kill something…”. What can I say? That’s not really my way, but to each his own I guess. Am I saying all soldiers think that way? No, I am not. But I’ll tell you another thing, when I was in school up in Vancouver, B.C. the dudes from Fort Lewis would come up on leave (drinking age is something like 19 years old). And when those guys came in the door there was usually gonna be trouble. You could see’em, in their fatigues, picking fights on Granville all night long. But hey, you’ve got your opinions and I’ve got mine.

            But another friend of mine, a guy named Vergo, is a retired army helicopter mechanic. He’s as good natured as they come. He loved his time in the Army, he’s proud of his time in the army, and I think he should be. So, again, I have no idea why you think you know everything, why you think I can’t possibly know anything, or why you think you even have any idea what I actually think?

  • David Appell

    > Nothing like a compliment to the military to bring the Anti-America militrary
    > haters out is there?

    Your appeal to patriotism is obvious, false, and sad.

    Who said “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels”? You were exactly the one they had in mind.

    Not to even mention, you’re such a pussy you’re afraid to even sign your real name. Proud of that?

    • Anonymous

      David, can you recommend any new gay and lesbian hot spots? That is, if you are THE David Appell whose books on those subjects are listed on amazon.com. Those books are kind of dated; lots of those places aren’t open anymore.

    • Anonymous

      A wise move on his/her part. You’re (IMHO) mentally unhinged. No one wants a psycho stalker.

      Maybe they’re city employees afraid of retaliation.

  • Bob Clark

    Raising the minimum wage when retailers and restaurateurs are facing falling sales revenues as Oregon state government did this last session should obviously result in fewer folks employed, at least legitimately. But unions and unionists can only think in fixed pie terms instead of putting their efforts into growing the pie. Eventually the dead-beat unionists suck the worker bees (read private sector goods & services sector) dry, and the whole system collapses like in California and with the Detroit auto industry. Lower welfare payments, lower healthcare subsidies and gutted school budgets just so we can reward the government unionist hogs’ penisons and healthcare benefits. Unions and their bought-off government reps (like Bama) strangle the host in their blood-sucking, the host dies, which in turns leads to the death of the blood suckers themselves. The host somehow resurrects its life from the decay and deadwood wrought by unionists, and for awhile, the host actually flourishes. But then the blood sucking unionists (deadbeats looking for freebies at others expense) reappear only to start a new leaching cycle.

    In summary,
    the unionist can only think in terms of us versus them. The unionist is as greedy as the corporations he or she abhors.

    • v person

      Then why is Canada’s economy kicking our large flabby but right now? They have 3 times as many union workers per capita as we do, a higher minium wage, and socialized health insurance. Why has Candaian capitalist blood not been sucked dry Bob?

      • Anonymous

        Canada’s 8.6% unemployment rate isn’t kicking anyone’s ass.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Why David, I am rather surprised at this little novelty. Such language – I am shocked.

    > “People like you make me really sad: Corporate America is fucking you up the ass with a big black 12-inch strapon, and your only response is “prove it.” Do you really have such a small idea of what life is supposed to be, that you just bend over and take it?”

    You know David, I think you are frustrated about something and then just go off on these rants of hatred that really do little but point out that frustration.

    I am corporate America. How in the world am I using a strap on on you? I’ve never used such a device on you, and frankly when I thought about such a thing I drew a complete blank as to what I would wear to such an event. That’s a real rarity for me and it really disturbed me.

    A while ago you were under the impression most corporations in Oregon only pay $10 a year in taxes. How absurd. If you really believed corporations only pay $10 a year in taxes, then you are a fool if you don’t immediately incorporate your writing business and lower your tax liability to a mere $10.

    I think what its really all about is you like to blame your problems on others and hate them.

    Somehow people who own their houses are being subsidized by you because the are not taxed on their mortgage interest.

    Somehow you and me are involved in exotic sexual congress because I am incorporated.

    That’s a little weird.

    Oh hey – I got it, on the fashion question at least. Would Lederhosen work for you?

    • DA’s back burners are not fully operating

      “Think all you speak, but speak not all you think.”
      I reckon that DA has allowed readers here to think he’s tall enough to be crucifed on 12-inch strapon and displayed on an HO scale Appian Way.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Well, you have to give him credit. It was a pretty vivid description that seemed to pop out with a disturbing loquaciousness.

        The problem for me now is if your Appian Way suspicions are correct then I have deep concerns about my fasion sense. Would lederhosen really be appropriate for an Appian Way encounter of the kind of carnal extravegance David had in mind? I think not. Perhaps some sort of Centaurians outfit might be more appropriate? Really what the whole thing needs is fasion cohesivness in order for it not to degenerate into something tawdry.

        Carry on designers.

        • Anonymous

          DA, after a fashion, snorts “bite me.” Centaur Rupert, clothing in on the little retard, whinnies “borscht, you’re barely worth what broth me here” he stated half affably.

    • David Appell

      “New Data Show Thousands of Profitable Corporations Pay No Oregon Income Taxes Except the $10 Minimum”
      https://www.ocpp.org/cgi-bin/display.cgi?page=nr20090223CorpTx
      “OCPP’s analysis of the latest data showed that 63 percent of all corporations operating in the state paid only $10 in income tax. The 5,156 profitable corporations comprised about one-quarter of all the corporations that paid the $10 minimum.”

      “Business Group Says Oregon Business Taxes Are Second Lowest Among All States and District of Columbia”
      https://www.ocpp.org/cgi-bin/display.cgi?page=nr20090303Second

      “Latest Revenue Forecast Shows That Even With Tax Increase, Corporations’ Share of Income Taxes Still Lags”
      https://www.ocpp.org/cgi-bin/display.cgi?page=nr20090827Foreca
      “When the corporate tax measure fully takes effect in the 2013-15 budget cycle, corporate income taxes will comprise 6.8 percent of all Oregon income taxes, while the personal income tax paid by individuals will comprise the remaining 93.2 percent, according to OCPP.”

    • David Appell

      > Somehow people who own their houses are being subsidized by you because the
      > are not taxed on their mortgage interest.

      Clearly.

      Let’s say you and I have identical jobs at identical incomes, I. Our tax rate at our income level is r. You have a mortgage, on which you pay M interest per year. I rent and my rent is R per year.

      All else being equal, your taxes will be r(I-M). My taxes will be rI.

      That is, you always pay less taxes than me. That is to say, I am making up for taxes you do not pay. How is that fair?

    • David Appell

      > I am corporate America

      Your tiny little “corporation” is not we are talking about her, and you know it. Don’t play stupid.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >”OCPP’s analysis of the latest data showed that 63 percent of all corporations operating in the state paid only $10 in income tax.

    And like I said, if you believed they all only paid $10, then you would incorporate immediately, send in a ten dollar bill once a year and call it good. Instead you whine and complain that since you don’t own a house, somehow you are subsidizing me.

    In other words, your own actions prove that you don’t believe corporations only pay $10 a year in taxes.

    >That is, you always pay less taxes than me. That is to say, I am making up for taxes you do not pay. How is that fair?

    And that right there is where you are constructing a logical fallacy.

    The answer is no, the fact that I pay less does not mean that you pay more. If that were true, then when you failed to sell an article, I would be subsidizing you. Your income would drop, you would pay less taxes, so then according to your logic, I am subsidizing you.

    Same thing with me. If I make more this year, I will pay more taxes. Will yours go down because I pay more? I sure don’t think so. So, if I have a good year and pay more in taxes, you don’t see me saying I am subsidizing you for that portion.

    Look, you just don’t like the mortgage interest deduction so you are trying to make a logical construct to justify yourself. It doesnt work and it is really easily defeated.

    I would suggest you buy a house instead of bitching about everyone elses deductions. It would be a lot more productive.

    >Your tiny little “corporation” is not we are talking about her, and you know it. Don’t play stupid.

    Who’s playing stupid? You said corporations were using strap on on you. Well, I’m a corporation, where is my invite?

    You know what? I think you should immediately incorporate.

    Then you would only pay $10 a year and you would not be subject to implantation of a 12 inch device in your back side.

    You would probably then be able to afford a house or at least get your car in running order. You’d be a much happier person.

    So why don’t you incorporate? Are you simply just the worlds biggest idiot because there is this way, called incorporation, where you only pay $10 a year and you are not taking advantage of it?

    You are self employed as a writer.

    You could incorporate – The Cranky Writers Studio, Inc.

    Incorporate and pay only $10 a year, or dont incorporate and pay way more. A guy who supposedly has a PhD cant do the math on this?

    So why don’t you?

    Answer – You know this “63% of corporations only pay $10 a year” stuff is not true. What you probably don’t know is why ( hint, because it includes S Corps and you don’t know thing one about how that renders your figure meaningless ).

    In the end, you know you are wrong and you know I am right.

    How can we be sure of this?

    Well – If I am wrong, then that makes you an idiot since you dont incorporate.

    If I am right, then that makes you someone who runs around saying things he knows arent true.

    Take your pick. You either say things that arent true, or you are a fool.

    I do hope that regardless of your choice, you will have a little more understanding of why many of us doubt your veracirty on other matters. This incorporation thing kind of proves it.

    • David Appell

      > I would suggest you buy a house instead of bitching about everyone elses deductions.

      First of all, I DON’T want a house. I shouldn’t be penalized for that choice.

      Second of all, I can’t afford a house even if I wanted one. I shouldn’t be penalized for that, either.

      I once made a large salary, could could have continued to do so. I choose not to continue to do that, for several reasons. I shouldn’t suffer economically for that choice, given that housing is a basic need.

  • David Appell

    Rupert:
    > the fact that I pay less does not mean that you pay more.

    This is absolutely beyond doubt.

    Using my definitions above, you pay r(I-M) in taxes. I pay rI in taxes. Therefore I pay rM more than you in taxes.

    You do understand basic algebra, right?

  • David Appell

    > So why don’t you incorporate?

    Because the legal process for doing so is far from free. And it takes time I’d prefer to spend in other ways.

  • Nadine

    Hi there,
    Amazing! Not clear for me, how offen you updating your oregoncatalyst.com.
    Have a nice day

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