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Thread: rising wealth inequality

  1. #41
    Senior Member Manalysis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldblueeyes View Post
    Meh. Redistribute all the wealth so that everyone makes/owns the same amount
    Meh indeed.
    Nobody is arguing for taking a bulldozer and levelling wealth to one flat prairie.
    But what's wrong in having everyone share in a growing economy? To let people have, say, a 1 - 3 % salary increase per year, or something?
    As far as I can understand, the income of average Americans has stood still for 40 years, and all the increase in wealth has gone to the top.
    At least, that's what the statistics are supposed to show.

    then let the free market take over, and in 20 years the rich would be rich again and the poor would be poor again; that's just how people are.
    Yes, as long as one does not change the rules, the game will remain the same.

    If you're going to punish people for working hard and succeeding by taxing them to death, why should they bother?
    If you're going to punish people for working hard and making their employer succeed by not paying them wages they can live off, why should they bother?
    That's how you create a welfare state, my friend.

    And then what happens? Nobody innovates and your country becomes stagnant and goes down the tubes, while competing nations win and yours becomes a backwater.
    The last functioning communist country in the world, China, is working so hard it takes all your jobs, and is innovating like crazy - they're supposedly only 3 years behind the US in weapons technology.
    That's a nation that is competing, winning, and making yours a backwater.

    What made America great was its freedom, including the freedom to prosper and rise socially.
    How's the social mobility these days?
    "Several large studies of mobility in developed countries in recent years have found the US among the lowest in mobility.
    One study (“Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults?") found that of nine developed countries, the United States and United Kingdom had the lowest intergenerational vertical social mobility,
    with about half of the advantages of having a parent with a high income passed on to the next generation.
    The four countries with the lowest "intergenerational income elasticity", i.e. the highest social mobility, were Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Canada with less than 20% of advantages of having a high income parent passed on to their children.
    Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz contends that "Scandinavian countries changed their education systems, social policies and legal frameworks to create societies where there is a higher degree of mobility.
    That made their countries more into the land of opportunity that America once was." (Wiki on socio-economic mobility in the US).
    I swear I didn't know we were in that article, too, and I'm sorry, but ... there you have it.

    M

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Manalysis View Post
    The last functioning communist country in the world, China, is working so hard it takes all your jobs, and is innovating like crazy - they're supposedly only 3 years behind the US in weapons technology.
    That's a nation that is competing, winning, and making yours a backwater.
    M
    You know full well that China is communist in name only; if they hadn't accepted capitalism they'd still be a third world state, albeit a much less polluted one. So it's a one party country, that's only one less than the rest of us. I wonder what their tax rates are?
    Last edited by oldblueeyes; 06-05-2017 at 11:47 PM.
    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue!

  3. #43
    Senior Member Manalysis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldblueeyes View Post
    You know full well that China is communist in name only;
    How so? They're ruled by the Communist Party, and the State owns all the heavy industry, and controlling shares in any other enterprise they're interested in.
    The rest of the private sector is controlled by financial means, i.e. the gov't's lending policies.

    if they hadn't accepted capitalism
    They haven't 'accepted' capitalism; which, as an economic system, also isn't something you just accept. 50 % of China is still a rural agrarian economy.

    they'd still be a third world state
    Hard to tell. They wouldn't be where they are today, for sure; but the pace of industrialization can be forced, like the Russians did.

    So it's a one party country, that's only one less than the rest of us.
    Heh ... 'eliminate the Republicans, turn the US into an economic locomotive, make America great again' ... ?

    I wonder what their tax rates are?
    68 % (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_China).


    M

  4. #44
    Administrator Grumpy Old Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manalysis View Post
    I'm not such a powerhouse on economics, that's why I get my info from books and stuff. Like Piketty. So "rising inequality" is not my opinion, I am referring to his study.

    I fear that not wasting much time on me may contribute to me not hearing you.
    I can't hear what you don't say.

    Like in the other thread, where you respond with saying I'm incorrigible. That pretty much leaves it up to me to guess what that's supposed to mean.
    I find you equally elliptic on many other occasions, except that you're clear on not wanting to engage too closely.
    That is of course your choice, but if all communication is reduced to some kind of parthian shot exchange, why bother at all?

    M
    You spend the vast majority of your time either trying to discredit my input or reading to refute rather than to understand, this is apparent in every transaction we have even if I'm simply stating my thoughts on the topic. It is also apparent in many responses you have with other folks. Hell, I'm conveying an idea, which I expect folks to either agree or not and explain/state their position and you toss out Picetti, not as an explanation of your position but as a distraction from what is really happening in today's political discourse and who is driving it. It comes across as simply trying to undermine my credibility rather than dialogue.

    You know, the difference between debate to win and dialectic which people listen to each others position and share their own for consideration in order to find the truth.

    I've tried to express these things to you in the past, and a few others have too and you seem to not get it. That leaves me with dismissing you as encourageable. understand now?
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  5. #45
    Senior Member mr_e's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manalysis View Post
    Meh indeed.
    Nobody is arguing for taking a bulldozer and levelling wealth to one flat prairie.
    But what's wrong in having everyone share in a growing economy? To let people have, say, a 1 - 3 % salary increase per year, or something?
    As far as I can understand, the income of average Americans has stood still for 40 years, and all the increase in wealth has gone to the top.
    At least, that's what the statistics are supposed to show.


    Yes, as long as one does not change the rules, the game will remain the same.


    If you're going to punish people for working hard and making their employer succeed by not paying them wages they can live off, why should they bother?
    That's how you create a welfare state, my friend.


    The last functioning communist country in the world, China, is working so hard it takes all your jobs, and is innovating like crazy - they're supposedly only 3 years behind the US in weapons technology.
    That's a nation that is competing, winning, and making yours a backwater.

    What made America great was its freedom, including the freedom to prosper and rise socially.
    How's the social mobility these days?
    "Several large studies of mobility in developed countries in recent years have found the US among the lowest in mobility.
    One study (“Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults?") found that of nine developed countries, the United States and United Kingdom had the lowest intergenerational vertical social mobility,
    with about half of the advantages of having a parent with a high income passed on to the next generation.
    The four countries with the lowest "intergenerational income elasticity", i.e. the highest social mobility, were Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Canada with less than 20% of advantages of having a high income parent passed on to their children.
    Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz contends that "Scandinavian countries changed their education systems, social policies and legal frameworks to create societies where there is a higher degree of mobility.
    That made their countries more into the land of opportunity that America once was." (Wiki on socio-economic mobility in the US).
    I swear I didn't know we were in that article, too, and I'm sorry, but ... there you have it.

    M

    There is a lot in there that I agree with. I am not anti-capitalist, but I am anti-monopolist, regardless of how they ended up that way. When you get to the point that the majority of the wealth is flowing one-way, and more particularly into the same old buckets-- then you have likely gotten to the point where competition is stifled and local communities are being sucked dry of their resources. I've posted longer threads about this topic, I'll not repeat everything here. But I think our economy is way out of whack and unbalanced to the point of being perilously close to disaster.

    Carly Fiorina infamously said, there's no "God-given right to a job", but the converse is also true-- there's no God-given right to rape the rest of the world for your own advantage and yours alone.
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  6. #46
    Administrator Grumpy Old Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_e View Post
    There is a lot in there that I agree with. I am not anti-capitalist, but I am anti-monopolist, regardless of how they ended up that way. When you get to the point that the majority of the wealth is flowing one-way, and more particularly into the same old buckets-- then you have likely gotten to the point where competition is stifled and local communities are being sucked dry of their resources. I've posted longer threads about this topic, I'll not repeat everything here. But I think our economy is way out of whack and unbalanced to the point of being perilously close to disaster.

    Carly Fiorina infamously said, there's no "God-given right to a job", but the converse is also true-- there's no God-given right to rape the rest of the world for your own advantage and yours alone.
    I think where M misses something is that mobility in the countries he's describing is much flatter than in the US, theirs being much lower on the scale of economic situation relative on the bar, with the US being much broader in opportunities for great wealth. It's easy to make these comparisons on a broader scale but does a diss-service to the real discussion. The fact is there is less economic disparity in Russia in the height of the USSR, there is less in highly Socialized Europe, but that is debatable based on studies which say the EU has a higher disparity at much lower levels of wealth than the US...all boats are lower in the EU than the US.

    My point here is there is a nuance which is being overlooked.

    All of us on both sides of the argument fundamentally agree with what you are saying about monopolies and unfair practices. Good post.
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  7. #47
    Senior Member Manalysis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Old Man View Post
    I think where M misses something is that mobility in the countries he's describing is much flatter than in the US,
    Just for the record: I was quoting Wikipedia, fwiw.
    I take 'flatter' to mean that the distance from the lowest to the highest level is shorter...?

    theirs being much lower on the scale of economic situation relative on the bar,
    Lower on which scale of economic situation? I'm not sure how to understand this. That Europe is poorer than the US? Or is it something else?
    Going by GDP, as one form of measure, the figures seem to not show that, at least for our own little corner of the world.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...al)_per_capita
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...PP)_per_capita
    But Idk if that was the measure you had in mind. Any other numbers?

    with the US being much broader in opportunities for great wealth.
    Which I take to mean that the distance from the lowest to the highest level is wider ...?

    Well, if that is the discussion - short or wide range between lowest and highest level - I'm not against a wide range per se (although I don't regard it as ideal, either),
    because IMO it depends on how the distance is achieved, i.e. which boundary is moving: does the high level rise, or the low threshhold sink?

    In a Pareto Equality (I think ...or was it inequality?) change is ok as long as no one gets worse off.
    But if the already low are pushed lower, that cannot be good.
    Here's one pinko leftist rag which is of the same opinion:
    http://fortune.com/2014/10/31/inequa...lth-income-us/

    It's easy to make these comparisons on a broader scale but does a diss-service to the real discussion.
    OK, what is the broader discussion, then?

    The fact is there is less economic disparity in Russia in the height of the USSR, there is less in highly Socialized Europe, but that is debatable based on studies which say the EU has a higher disparity at much lower levels of wealth than the US...all boats are lower in the EU than the US.
    Well, we are no in the EU, if that matters. And going by the numbers above, our boat floats well above the USA.
    Wrt. to the EU, there is of course a wide range of rich countries vs. poor countries, roughly on a NW - SE axis, from the UK and Sweden down to Bulgaria and Greece.
    There are about 80 mill. "poor" people in the EU, according to the EU, but they are not evenly distributed, so Idk if averages are meaningful.

    My point here is there is a nuance which is being overlooked.
    That's not good ... which nuance is overlooked?


    M

  8. #48
    Senior Member Manalysis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Old Man View Post
    You spend the vast majority of your time either trying to discredit my input or reading to refute rather than to understand,
    If that is so, then that is not good.
    I don't think we need to get into any kind of match over this, but I think I'm entitled to say, from my POV, that yes, I often disagree with you, and debate you, and thereby discredit your output, as you call it;
    but IMO that is what debate is, isn't it? You present an argument, I present a counter-argument. If that is 'discrediting', then yes, guilty. And I expect no less from others here.

    If you mean that I discredit not what, but the way you argue, yes, I do that too. Like I said, sometimes I find your arguments perhaps not fully spelled out, and so perhaps I misunderstand you sometimes, and so I discredit, or at least I would like to discredit, that way of communicating. It's just too ineffective. One might say that one doesn't have to spell out everyting, some things can be taken as understood; and that is often true, but it holds less and less the more different that peoples' frames of reference are. And I suspect ours are rather different. So I really think some more spelling would benefit the discussion.

    If you mean that I discredit you as a person .... I cannot see that I do. I have had misgivings about your double role, but you addressed that, and I haven't mentioned it since, IIRC.

    this is apparent in every transaction we have even if I'm simply stating my thoughts on the topic.
    Are you saying that your thoughts are not to be taken as ... how does one say that ... without any claim to being true, or being true only for you, or something?
    That would be rather bewildering. Or perhaps that is what I am not understanding.
    Perhaps I take your stating your thoughts as an attempt to make unsupported assertions, and have them accepted on authority.
    Sucha thing would invoke the following quote: "Without data you are just another person with an opinion" (Deming).
    But if it's only you stating them, then perhaps I have read too much into it.

    It is also apparent in many responses you have with other folks.
    Yes, I try to treat everyone the same, without fear or favour

    Hell, I'm conveying an idea, which I expect folks to either agree or not and explain/state their position and
    Well, you asked me to state my positions, which I stated, and there hasn't been any response to or acknowledgement of that, which I find a touch impolite, actually:
    Asking people to make an effort, and not reciprocating. That's where I state my case, but that's not what we end up discussing.

    you toss out Picetti
    As a response to you tossing out "post modernist talking point", yes.
    Is it a post modernist talking point? I'm sure many postmodernists talk about it.
    Is everyone who talks about it a post-modernist? I don't think so, I don't think Piketty is.
    Piketty is a prof of economics, and postmodernists are postmodernists, and I know who I would listen to.

    not as an explanation of your position but as a distraction from what is really happening in today's political discourse and who is driving it.
    I reject that motive which is imputed here, as per my argument stated above.

    It comes across as simply trying to undermine my credibility rather than dialogue.
    That is not good. I never meant to undermine your personal credibility, and if I have inadvertently done so, I apologize.
    OTOH, in my eyes, practically no one has so much credibility that one cannot hold any opinions that diverge from theirs.

    You know, the difference between debate to win and dialectic which people listen to each others position and share their own for consideration in order to find the truth.
    I know, that is why I took you by your word and responded to you with my post # 35. I'd be more than happy to listen to your position on that.
    Much more than having this kind of an exchange, anyway.

    I've tried to express these things to you in the past, and a few others have too and you seem to not get it.
    OK, sorry for being dense, then. It's not for lack of trying, and not out of ill will.
    I think I have demonstrated that I yield to the better argument, so hammer away.

    That leaves me with dismissing you as encourageable. understand now?
    Yes.
    But, well ... again, if I'm incorrigible, why engage at all? I could live with, I think they call it an "armed truce".
    I for my part like to discuss, so I don't mind either discussing with you, or with someone else.
    But I'd much rather discuss issues, and not argue about style and such.

    Anyway ... If I may express a wish, it is for a bit more spoon-feeding, whenever the occasion should merit the effort. In return, I'll try to be a better listener.

    M

  9. #49
    Administrator Grumpy Old Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manalysis View Post
    If that is so, then that is not good.
    I don't think we need to get into any kind of match over this, but I think I'm entitled to say, from my POV, that yes, I often disagree with you, and debate you, and thereby discredit your output, as you call it;
    but IMO that is what debate is, isn't it? You present an argument, I present a counter-argument. If that is 'discrediting', then yes, guilty. And I expect no less from others here.

    If you mean that I discredit not what, but the way you argue, yes, I do that too. Like I said, sometimes I find your arguments perhaps not fully spelled out, and so perhaps I misunderstand you sometimes, and so I discredit, or at least I would like to discredit, that way of communicating. It's just too ineffective. One might say that one doesn't have to spell out everyting, some things can be taken as understood; and that is often true, but it holds less and less the more different that peoples' frames of reference are. And I suspect ours are rather different. So I really think some more spelling would benefit the discussion.

    If you mean that I discredit you as a person .... I cannot see that I do. I have had misgivings about your double role, but you addressed that, and I haven't mentioned it since, IIRC.


    Are you saying that your thoughts are not to be taken as ... how does one say that ... without any claim to being true, or being true only for you, or something?
    That would be rather bewildering. Or perhaps that is what I am not understanding.
    Perhaps I take your stating your thoughts as an attempt to make unsupported assertions, and have them accepted on authority.
    Sucha thing would invoke the following quote: "Without data you are just another person with an opinion" (Deming).
    But if it's only you stating them, then perhaps I have read too much into it.


    Yes, I try to treat everyone the same, without fear or favour


    Well, you asked me to state my positions, which I stated, and there hasn't been any response to or acknowledgement of that, which I find a touch impolite, actually:
    Asking people to make an effort, and not reciprocating. That's where I state my case, but that's not what we end up discussing.


    As a response to you tossing out "post modernist talking point", yes.
    Is it a post modernist talking point? I'm sure many postmodernists talk about it.
    Is everyone who talks about it a post-modernist? I don't think so, I don't think Piketty is.
    Piketty is a prof of economics, and postmodernists are postmodernists, and I know who I would listen to.


    I reject that motive which is imputed here, as per my argument stated above.


    That is not good. I never meant to undermine your personal credibility, and if I have inadvertently done so, I apologize.
    OTOH, in my eyes, practically no one has so much credibility that one cannot hold any opinions that diverge from theirs.


    I know, that is why I took you by your word and responded to you with my post # 35. I'd be more than happy to listen to your position on that.
    Much more than having this kind of an exchange, anyway.


    OK, sorry for being dense, then. It's not for lack of trying, and not out of ill will.
    I think I have demonstrated that I yield to the better argument, so hammer away.


    Yes.
    But, well ... again, if I'm incorrigible, why engage at all? I could live with, I think they call it an "armed truce".
    I for my part like to discuss, so I don't mind either discussing with you or with someone else.
    But I'd much rather discuss issues, and not argue about style and such.

    Anyway ... If I may express a wish, it is for a bit more spoon-feeding, whenever the occasion should merit the effort. In return, I'll try to be a better listener.

    M
    I'm not here to debate as I mention in my bio. I don't like the long form responses and counter-responses in this format(arguing back and forth). Frankly, I present facts as I understand them and do a lot of reading so they are not coming from my ass. I also give my personal opinions which you responded to earlier in this recent transaction on another post. From my perspective, I'm more inclined to point the direction rather than educate every point, I find folks tend to learn more by looking things up from various presented perspectives and inputs they may not have considered and come to their own conclusions. I'm simply here to share my perspectives and point towards an alternative view for some, maybe give some resources I find useful. In the old days, they use to do this in Uni and developed folks in rational and independent thought. Certainly, my instructors across the board use to tell me to "Look it up." Pissed me off at the time but has served me well over the years.

    Remembering back at SST and his responses, he was determined to dismantle every source or idea I mentioned to dismiss them out of hand without the notion to read or study it from another perspective aside from the one he learned in "his" college experience. There were times when he blatantly misrepresented sources and their intent, but there was no way in hell I could convince him that maybe he was missing something, particularly a nuance which he conveniently ignored. It's unproductive in my mind to argue in this manner. Just as it is futile to argue with the SJWs at Evergreen State College for instance.

    Let me make something clear, I often value your inputs and educational perspective on things. I do read what you have to say and time available I'll go and look into things(look it up) and see if it can be incorporated in what I have learned to date. My thoughts are evolving on a number of things thanks to the many folks who comment on these boards.
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  10. #50
    Administrator Grumpy Old Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manalysis View Post
    Just for the record: I was quoting Wikipedia, fwiw.
    I take 'flatter' to mean that the distance from the lowest to the highest level is shorter...?


    Lower on which scale of economic situation? I'm not sure how to understand this. That Europe is poorer than the US? Or is it something else?
    Going by GDP, as one form of measure, the figures seem to not show that, at least for our own little corner of the world.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...al)_per_capita
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...PP)_per_capita
    But Idk if that was the measure you had in mind. Any other numbers?


    Which I take to mean that the distance from the lowest to the highest level is wider ...?

    Well, if that is the discussion - short or wide range between lowest and highest level - I'm not against a wide range per se (although I don't regard it as ideal, either),
    because IMO it depends on how the distance is achieved, i.e. which boundary is moving: does the high level rise, or the low threshhold sink?

    In a Pareto Equality (I think ...or was it inequality?) change is ok as long as no one gets worse off.
    But if the already low are pushed lower, that cannot be good.
    Here's one pinko leftist rag which is of the same opinion:
    http://fortune.com/2014/10/31/inequa...lth-income-us/


    OK, what is the broader discussion, then?


    Well, we are no in the EU, if that matters. And going by the numbers above, our boat floats well above the USA.
    Wrt. to the EU, there is of course a wide range of rich countries vs. poor countries, roughly on a NW - SE axis, from the UK and Sweden down to Bulgaria and Greece.
    There are about 80 mill. "poor" people in the EU, according to the EU, but they are not evenly distributed, so Idk if averages are meaningful.


    That's not good ... which nuance is overlooked?


    M
    Here. Take a look at this Pew study and keep in the back of your mind the massive influx of low skilled labor relative to the EU into the US which creates a larger lower class, and the H1B visa abuse undermining middle-class wages across technology sectors in the US. The US middle class is smaller because of these influences, yet it is based on per capita, not real numbers, (keep in mind we've grown by 120m in my lifetime. This is over 1/3d of our population and we've been at a net replacement loss for years in births). That is part of the nuance I'm talking about. https://www.the-american-interest.co...-than-europes/
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