Poverty among plenty


The Bay Citizen has a fascinating map by census tract of poverty in the Bay Area. Among the things that jump out: There's plenty of serious poverty in the area -- and it's worst than the map shows. The definition of "poverty" is a family of four living on $22,113 -- in the Bay Area. Hard to imagine how a family of four can even pay rent, much less eat, in this part of the world on $22,000.

Aaron Glantz makes an interesting point: "In many parts of the Bay Area, the wealthy and poor live in close proximity to each other." Check out the census tract in the Richmond, right next to Seacliff, where some of the richest San Franciscans live. A full 20 percent of the residents of that area are under the federal poverty line -- and they can walk a couple of blocks to the mansions where millionaires live. There are 60 people living in extreme poverty in the 35-square-block area around Presidio Heights, where the likes of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Nancy Pelosi live.

Poverty among plenty. Just a tiny fraction of the wealth of Feinstein, Pelosi and their neighbors would pull all of those 60 people way above the poverty line. And the Presidio Heights denizens would never miss it.


The data also show that in many parts of the Bay Area, the wealthy and the poor live in close proximity to each othe

Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/14J0t)

The data also show that in many parts of the Bay Area, the wealthy and the poor live in close proximity to each other. 

Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/14J0t)


Nah -- I don't hate the rich. I just think they ought to pay more taxes than they do. That's hardly a radical position.

Posted by tim on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

The richest 2% pay 40% of total taxes.

The richest 20% pay 80% of total taxes.

You can't create real prosperity by confiscating the incentive for the successful.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

Get the picture?

The middle, working, and lower classes classes are paying a disproportionate amount of their wealth in taxes.

The rich don't pay nearly enough.

A couple of sites which break down these numbers really well are:




Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

Much of the success of the US is derived from the fact that, as a nation, we see wealth as a positive achievement and not as an opportunity for petty envy.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

Apparently you don't read well...

Try reading what I posted above again, and then answer the question.

And I repeat. When taxes were at their highest from the 30s to the 70s (and above 90% for top tax payers in first half of that period) our economy experienced the biggest economic boom in human history.

So you not only don't read well. But you don't know history, and therefore your claim about taxation is utterly fallacious.

Apparently you are this clueless because you cannot read history books...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

Hint, Eric. You're on a losing bet.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

I said quite clearly, that a class owning 85% of the wealth, but only paying 65% of the taxes is clearly not paying their fair share.

I would have thought that this was self evident without my having to repeat it to you twice.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

Tax isn't applied to wealth per se, so thats not a realistic comparison to make. Tax is on income and gains, principally.

But there is this wild and crazy idea that we might want to give some incentive to those who take risks with their wealth and build businesses which, in turn, create the jobs and prosperity that pay for all our public services.

So a "fair" taxation system is one which ensures the rich pay more (which they clearly do now) but which also encourages them to invest that money in American businesses rather than, say, move it to Bermuda or Switzerland, where you will never get your filthy socialist mitts on it.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

Let me get this straight. You are actually claiming with a straight face that taxation should only be on some income and not on total accumulated wealth.

And that lower income classes, simply because it is harder for them to gather capital, should just suck it up and pay a higher percentage of their overall wealth in taxes than rich people do.

Are you -trying- to make a fool of yourself?

Look around. That type of idiocy is exactly what has created the economic crash. To much capital in too few hands. It is the classic cause of capitalist crisis.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

If you hold 10 billion in cash but don't invest it to generate interest or gains, then you won't spend a penny in tax. The only wealth tax (of sorts) is property tax. Florida has an "intangibles tax" which looks a little like a wealth tax but that's it. In fact, the US Constitution would have to be changed to impose a tax on wealth.

France has a wealth tax though. I think we all could have guessed that.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 12, 2011 @ 6:03 am

Not just income. So that everyone at least pays their fair share.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 12, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

What there isn't is a national tax on the mere possession of wealth - that would require a change to the US Constitution.

In the US we tax transactions not wealth.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2011 @ 7:08 am

That 'Capital Gains Tax' does not cover all gains because the code has huge loopholes in it that allow for extensive evasion of the tax, and even where it does apply, it is a pitiful 15%.

Quit grasping at straws and playing word games with the completely different terms 'gains' and 'capital gains tax' and actually put forward a cogent argument.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 13, 2011 @ 9:08 am

pointed out that we already have one. If you think the CGT rate is too low then that's an entirely different argument.

But the reason the CGT rate is lower is to reward those who take risks wiuth their capital - something that those who earn salaries or interest - both taxed at higher rates - do not do. CGT rates are below income tax rates in every nation I know about for that very reason.

CGT covers all gains and in fact doesn't even allow for inflation - meaning that you are taxed on gains that are ourely due to increased prices and do you no real good at all.

Moreover, CGT still isn't a tax on wealth which, as I originally noted, is unconstitutional in the US.

Finally, the lower CGT rate is due to expire next year. So Obama will have his chance to convince Congress to do nothing and allow that to happen automatically

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2011 @ 9:29 am

Hence, you are playing pathetic word games in an attempt to twist the debate with juvenile deceptions.

Nothing you typed above refutes the fundamental point that capital gains tax code has massive loopholes in it.

Care to address that point, instead twisting yourself into a pretzel to pretend we are not talking about what we are talking about...?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 13, 2011 @ 9:45 am

I don't know of any. According to my Schedule D form, all gains are subject to CGT. No exception.

Can you describe in detail the loopholes you are describing? Or are you just bluffing, as I suspect?

The actual CGT rate is actually higher than 15% because gains due purely to inflation are taxed. And, as explained, CGT rates are low because it is a risk to your capital. Even in quasi-socialist England, CGT is just 18%.

Tax gains at 40% and all those hedge funds and HNWI's will simply operate out of Bermuda. Then you'll collect less tax not more.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2011 @ 9:57 am

Right here...


Looks like if you want to be a truly successful greedy capitalist 'Guest' you should do more reading, eh?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 13, 2011 @ 10:29 am

If you believe that, then you must hate IRA's and 401K's.

And again, you're overlooking that there is state tax on gains too which, in CA, takes the rate up to 25%.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2011 @ 11:28 am

From "9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes" by David Cay Johnston, who won the Pulitzer for his tax reporting~

"This is one of those oft-used canards. Sen. Rand Paul, the tea party favorite from Kentucky, told David Letterman recently that 'the wealthy do pay most of the taxes in this country.'

"The Internet is awash with statements that the top 1 percent pays, depending on the year, 38 percent or more than 40 percent of taxes.

"It’s true that the top 1 percent of wage earners paid 38 percent of the federal income taxes in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available). But people forget that the income tax is less than half of federal taxes and only one-fifth of taxes at all levels of government.

"Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes (known as payroll taxes) are paid mostly by the bottom 90 percent of wage earners. That’s because, once you reach $106,800 of income, you pay no more for Social Security, though the much smaller Medicare tax applies to all wages. Warren Buffett pays the exact same amount of Social Security taxes as someone who earns $106,800."


Posted by Lisa on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

Is matched by the employer. The 1% I suppose?

Social Security is not supposed to be considered a tax. If you started raising the contribution level for SS, it would pay out more to those who put in more. So it's a push really.

You need to start quoting smarter people.

Posted by Matlock on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

but I guess that's an oxymoron.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:03 pm
Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

But liberals often want to see it as a general source of revenue for their insatiable demands for control and the suppression of diversity.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

"insatiable demands for control and the suppression of diversity"

Ah, that's rich. Suddenly, you're for diversity, except when it involves leveling the playing field for POC.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

I'm not clear where that cheap shot came from?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

Is unemployment insurance that is only paid for by employers is a tax? My yearly breakdown that I get from the state says otherwise.

Social Security is supposed to be a self perpetuating retirement fund.

The modern progressive would make a good Strasserist.


Posted by Matlock on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

This indisputability of this fact can be seen on Social Security Administration web site itself where it breaks down the, you guessed it, 'tax' rates.

I've got news for you. When money is taken out of people's paychecks, for government to use, to pay for things

that is called

a tax....

Every fucking grade school child knows this.

Which makes you two fools utterly stupid.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

it is a contract - it relates contributions to benefits, unlike the relationshop between taxes and benefits.

That's why you get a SS statement every year telling you what you have "earned" (and not what you're "entitiled" to).

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:39 pm


Will you shut the fuck up now you fucking moron...

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:51 pm
Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

even the web site itself says its a tax you complete ignoramus.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

Is this how kids get "educated" these days?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 6:21 am
Posted by anonymous on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

moreover cap contributions ata round 100K or so.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

It's really not effective at all other than making you look like a short-tempered jerk.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

you need a dose of George Carlin


if you want to obsessively freak out about verbiage go to Rush Limbaugh's blog and obsess until your face turns red...

what a fucking prude

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

I see the point of using a comedian to buttress your case that cussing at people in a political forum is an effective communications tool. I just looked up that scion of comedy, Dane Cook and his opinion on the matter, and he agrees with me. So it looks like we're at loggerheads here.

Perhaps we should see what Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle have to say on the matter?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

Carlin was making a comedic commentary on the stupidity of demonizing words.

And you remain a pitiful, prudish, pathetic excuse for a human being.

The fact that you are even fucking debating this is completely idiotic.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

So how do you know anything about my character as a human being. How do you even know I'm a human being?

Grow from love friend.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

with your joke ass Abrahamic bullshit.

your impulse to self righteously squelch even aggressive language used to challenge people whose attitudes are destroying the very planet that we live on shows you don't know jack shit about love.

When you love something, you fight to defend it, by any means necessary.

You have no concept of real love.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 11, 2011 @ 8:55 am

those who create the most opportunity and prosperity in this nation is exactly the problem here.

What kind of outlook endlessly seeks to punish success and reward failure? I seriously have no idea but, luckily, it is a tiny minority opinion in this great nation of ours.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

Tim is asking for "just a tiny fraction of the wealth" to help pull impoverished SFers above the poverty line. So now you have us "confiscating" their wealth. Que barbaridad!

Those who create wealth and prosperity are the workers. But perhaps mean worthy rich folks...like the guys who worked for Goldman Sachs? ;-)


Posted by Lisa on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

When income tax was introduced during WW1, it was only on the very wealthy. Look at it now.

So when Americans look at these ideas, they know that what ostensibly targets the rich will eventually target them.

You're very naive, Lisa.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

Parking meters were invented to move people along and keep cars from sitting in business districts all day.

Now they are used to finance the uselessness of the SFMTA.

Every time the insatiable incompetence of the SFMTA increases fines, the people that these parking laws were designed to help note that the excessive fees and fines drive away business.

It's a infinite loop with progressives, ask for more, use that all up and ask for more again.

Posted by Matlock on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

Witness the "telephone tax" imposed to finance the Spanish-American war from 1898 - today it's still going in one form or another.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

Matlock, Guest(s) please don't disappear--the site will revert to Echo Chamber. Too bad we can't give Thumbs-Up and -Down to "score" the debate. I always deduct for profanity, as would that good liberal, Victor Hugo: "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause."

Posted by Guest on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

unfortunately for him, we all see through this.

While 20K per annum Eric calls for taxing the rich. Er, well, he would, wouldn't he, since it won't cost him a penny?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

who does the spell check for these things ? I don't know if I should believe it or not because it looks like the work of a two year old. Since when is there " povery " ? And " worst " should be " worse " considering how it is used in that sentence . My English teacher would be offering you free lessons if she read this article . Even my child knows how to use the English language better than you.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 10, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

how did you get to be such a prissy, pedantic bore, so hung up on spelling that you've missed the message entirely? just curious

Posted by Guest on Dec. 11, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

- someone who, whenever unable to come up with a valid argument in debate, instead attacks grammar and/or foul language.


Posted by anonymous on Dec. 11, 2011 @ 7:55 pm