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Patents & bankers (was: x plane being litigated against for infringement)

Started by the mad hatter, Wed, 12 Sep 2012 22:48


The 47% meme is infuriating because it's false. I don't know who thought of it first (it wasn't Romney), but many conservative pundits have been repeating it for about half a year.

Here's what the meme says: 47% of Americans pay no income tax and are dependent on government. Romney went as far as to say that they think of themselves as victims, they don't take personal responsibility, and they don't care about their lives. And because they're dependent on government, they vote Democrat.

But of those 47%:

61% are low-income working families who either qualify for the EITC or have an income below the standard deduction plus the personal exemption;

22% are elderly and have no income besides Social Security;

17% (which is 8% of Americans) are made up of students, veterans, people with disabilities or illnesses, the long-term unemployed, and other people with very low taxable incomes. For these people to pay income tax, policymakers would have to tax disability and veterans' benefits, as well as making full-time students and the long-term jobless (people with no income) borrow to pay taxes.

Two more things. First, the cut-off for paying federal income tax, when you factor in the personal exemption, the standard deduction, and the EITC, is just over $22k per year, which is about $13 per hour. So if you're inclined to disbelieve that the working group, the 61% of the 47%, is so large, just think how many millions of jobs in America pay less than $13 per hour. Almost everyone who stands behind a cash register, or answers a telephone, or cooks a meal, or wipes up a table, or pushes a broom... it's millions and millions of people.

Second, the push to exempt the working poor from taxes was a Republican idea. Nixon proposed it, Gerald Ford enacted the EITC, and it was expanded by both Reagan and Bush, who felt that it was an excellent anti-poverty mechanism, since it ensured that even earning a meagre amount like $9 or $10 per hour would pay more than disability and more than any government welfare scheme. that last part is why the EITC has had so much enthusiasm behind it (until this year, anyway) because it makes working pay more than the dole. In fact, Reagan called it the "best anti-poverty mechanism ever to come out of congress."

So for Romney and the conservative pundits to dismiss all of these people as "victims" who "don't care about their lives" is probably the greatest political untruth of this election cycle.

This is the source of my stats:
Will /Chicago /USA


Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

Want to share in my frustration around patents?  Then try to not step on this one:

I think the guy tried to put absolutely all tech acronyms that exist in this one, and no matter what you write, the patent office is going to match your application to this @%#$%@$# one.



how on earth is the guy at the patent office even going to understand what's written here...

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

He does not. He uses a keyword matcher to find patents that are "like" your application, cites a few sentences out of the first three matches, and sends those back to you with "REJECTED! Unless you clarify that you did not violate any of these claims: ...".

You shuttle twice with him, then he still rejects, and you move one notch up to the "patent court" where people actually read your material.