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View Full Version : Median US Income Is $26,363...


Davian93
10-20-2011, 02:03 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-median-us-wage-in-2010-was-just-26363-government-reports/2011/10/20/gIQAdabX0L_blog.html

That's pretty sad...and the gap is just continuing to grow.

Sinistrum
10-20-2011, 02:39 PM
Yeah and? So there is a difference between what rich people and poor people are capable of making. In other news the sky is blue.

Davian93
10-20-2011, 02:52 PM
Yeah and? So there is a difference between what rich people and poor people are capable of making. In other news the sky is blue.

If if you are aware of history, whenever that gap becomes too large, bad things tend to happen.

Juan
10-20-2011, 03:08 PM
If if you are aware of history, whenever that gap becomes too large, bad things tend to happen.

Because poorer people get jealous and greedy and try to steal from the richer?
Sometimes they might try justifying their reasons under the guise of social welfare. Sometimes they won't even bother trying to justify their theft.

Yep, bad things can happen with such a "gap."

Davian93
10-20-2011, 03:19 PM
Because poorer people get jealous and greedy and try to steal from the richer?
Sometimes they might try justifying their reasons under the guise of social welfare. Sometimes they won't even bother trying to justify their theft.

Yep, bad things can happen with such a "gap."

Yup, it does, has and can. I dont know how you fix it to be honest (not my field) but historically, this type of gap is bad news...especially for the ruling class as they're the ones who tend to have their heads broken open for the gooey stuff inside.

Mort
10-20-2011, 03:43 PM
"You always seem to have a lot of money. Give us some of that money, some of that internet money."

Bryan Blaire
10-20-2011, 04:03 PM
Zombies!?

But seriously, what I think I actually like less than that number is the fact that a single earner with the median pay actually made enough to "support" a 5 member or less family above the 2010-2011 poverty level line.

I honestly wonder about that particular poverty number ($26,130), whether it truly reflects full housing, food, transportation, clothing, and the rest (although I really don't care if it doesn't include a cell phone or the Internet or a TV).

That number also makes me want to be very sure that I am doing absolutely everything possible that I'm allowed to do at work (yes, as a gov't employee we are restricted from doing certain things) to make sure I'm truly earning my pay and not being one of the humano-spongioforms that I've seen around this Department.

bowlwoman
10-20-2011, 04:11 PM
Yup, it does, has and can. I dont know how you fix it to be honest (not my field) but historically, this type of gap is bad news...especially for the ruling class as they're the ones who tend to have their heads broken open for the gooey stuff inside.

So instead of the lower, middle, and upper classes we're evolving into the lower class and the Cadbury egg class?

Davian93
10-20-2011, 04:13 PM
I think that the poverty line is probably far more accurate in places like flyover states than in places like say, Houston, LA, SF, NYC, etc. $26K is a livable wage in rural Texas but you'd be in a studio apartment in Burlington, VT even as a single adult...at best. Supporting a family on it? LOL...good luck.


As a consumer, the person making $26K isn't buying a lot of widgets from Joe Entrepreneur either so its bad for the economy in general.

Terez
10-20-2011, 04:14 PM
Because rich people get too powerful and greedy and try to steal from the poorer?
Fixed.

Bryan Blaire
10-20-2011, 04:14 PM
I want to take a look at the numbers and see if there actually is any stratification. There may be multiple ranges that would actually have a mode that could somewhat indicate if there really is a middle class left.

It's funny how all the "Fixed" posts are supposedly factual but have little evidentiary support, and what gets "fixed" is based on feelings, not facts.

Terez
10-20-2011, 04:16 PM
I want to take a look at the numbers and see if there actually is any stratification. There may be multiple ranges that would actually have a mode that could somewhat indicate if there really is a middle class left.
http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2010

Davian93
10-20-2011, 04:17 PM
I want to take a look at the numbers and see if there actually is any stratification. There may be multiple ranges that would actually have a mode that could somewhat indicate if there really is a middle class left.

I think that depends on coming up with a reasonable definition of what "middle class" even means anymore.

For example, in VT, there really isn't much of a middle class. There's the rich rich...and the very poor and a very small group like me that are comfortable but not rich. I guess I'm middle class but income-wise, I'd probably be considered upper-middle class in a different state. However, my group is pretty small as there simply aren't a lot of jobs that pay what I get in VT.

Mort
10-20-2011, 04:18 PM
I get that a lot of stuff is cheaper in the states, but that sounds like a really low number.

I could only find numbers for 2009, but then Sweden had a median salary of about 43k USD a year.

It would be interesting to know what the median living costs between countries are. Rent, food, car etc.

Edit: A quick google found this living expense calculator between countries (http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=Sweden&country2=United+States) :) . I have no idea how recent these figures are, but I guess they at least hint towards a general number.

Davian93
10-20-2011, 04:18 PM
http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2010

WOW...75% are under 50K. That's astounding.

Bryan Blaire
10-20-2011, 04:18 PM
http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2010

Thanks, already have it pulled up.

Davian93
10-20-2011, 04:20 PM
Thanks, already have it pulled up.

I'm honestly shocked at how big the gap is looking at it this way. Granted, this is raw data and you have to account for various COLA issues with it (ie Kansas is cheaper than California, etc) but damn, that's bad.

Bryan Blaire
10-20-2011, 04:20 PM
I think that depends on coming up with a reasonable definition of what "middle class" even means anymore.

For example, in VT, there really isn't much of a middle class. There's the rich rich...and the very poor and a very small group like me that are comfortable but not rich. I guess I'm middle class but income-wise, I'd probably be considered upper-middle class in a different state. However, my group is pretty small as there simply aren't a lot of jobs that pay what I get in VT.

I meant to look for an actual three layer stratification where there's a set of three ranges that develop somewhat distinct modes within the range that would be at least somewhat statistically relevant, as opposed to just arbitrarily picking a range and looking for a mode within it.

Davian93
10-20-2011, 04:21 PM
I meant to look for an actual three layer stratification where there's a set of three ranges that develop somewhat distinct modes within the range that would be at least somewhat statistically relevant, as opposed to just arbitrarily picking a range and looking for a mode within it.

Ahh...okay, I see what you mean now.

Juan
10-20-2011, 04:31 PM
Terez, I don't appreciate you misquoting me. I know you're trying to be clever, but please remove that.

Davian93
10-20-2011, 07:06 PM
This is why we need a crossout html function...it would cut down on such complaints.

Mort
10-20-2011, 07:33 PM
This is why we need a crossout html function...it would cut down on such complaints.

Be cautious. Irony and general humor levels will rise exponentially if implemented. Are we prepared for that?

I can still not "shake" the miss-quotation dust "up" way back "when".

Zanguini
10-20-2011, 09:21 PM
I wonder if this is just salary and not every american... not all of them have an income.

Bryan Blaire
10-20-2011, 10:03 PM
Be cautious. Irony and general humor levels will rise exponentially if implemented.

I think it with only get truly irony if people start using trains on each other. And those things are really hard to pick up and swing.

Sinistrum
10-20-2011, 10:06 PM
especially for the ruling class as they're the ones who tend to have their heads broken open for the gooey stuff inside.

I see. So the justification for wealth redistribution is mob rule based racketeering and extortion. The rich need to pay up or the poor riot, kill them, and take their stuff for their own. At least we're finally being honest here about the nature it.

yks 6nnetu hing
10-21-2011, 02:43 AM
*sigh* you 'mercans keep confusing socialism with communism. Not the same thing.

Communism is making the rich poorer.
Socialism is making the poor richer.

The eventual goal of communism is to have no rich people which ironiclly actually almost always ends up with a few Really Really Rich People while the rest are ridiculously poor.

The eventual goal of socialism is to create a large middle-class. The goal is not specifically against rich people, it's to help the poor. Funnily enough, here you also generally end up with a few Really Really Rich People (founders of Ikea, for one example) but instead of everyone else being dirt-poor and having to subsist on potatoes and salt, instead you have a hefty middle class paying their taxes and being able to support themselves.

Ivhon
10-21-2011, 08:08 AM
I get that a lot of stuff is cheaper in the states, but that sounds like a really low number.

I could only find numbers for 2009, but then Sweden had a median salary of about 43k USD a year.

It would be interesting to know what the median living costs between countries are. Rent, food, car etc.

Edit: A quick google found this living expense calculator between countries (http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=Sweden&country2=United+States) :) . I have no idea how recent these figures are, but I guess they at least hint towards a general number.

This is a lie. Everyone knows that the US has the highest standard of living ever known anywhere in Creation. And the best health care. And the best education. No way some socialist monarchy can have a higher median salary than the greatest country in the history of history

GonzoTheGreat
10-21-2011, 08:15 AM
This is a lie. Everyone knows that the US has the highest standard of living ever known anywhere in Creation. And the best health care. And the best education. No way some socialist monarchy can have a higher median salary than the greatest country in the history of historyBut ... Obama ... :confused:

Jonai
10-21-2011, 08:39 AM
If this thread has taught me one thing, its that I need to find me some Cadbury eggs.

Davian93
10-21-2011, 08:40 AM
I see. So the justification for wealth redistribution is mob rule based racketeering and extortion. The rich need to pay up or the poor riot, kill them, and take their stuff for their own. At least we're finally being honest here about the nature it.

I, for one, have never deviated from that reality when I comment on the wealth gap. You make a large enough segment of the population desperate enough, they eventually act out.

Davian93
10-21-2011, 08:43 AM
This is a lie. Everyone knows that the US has the highest standard of living ever known anywhere in Creation. And the best health care. And the best education. No way some socialist monarchy can have a higher median salary than the greatest country in the history of history

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Sweden&country2=United+States&city1=Stockholm&city2=Burlington%2C+VT

So it would be cheaper for me to live in Stockholm....that's sad.

Terez
10-21-2011, 08:56 AM
*sigh* you 'mercans keep confusing socialism with communism. Not the same thing.

Communism is making the rich poorer.
Socialism is making the poor richer.

The eventual goal of communism is to have no rich people which ironiclly actually almost always ends up with a few Really Really Rich People while the rest are ridiculously poor.

The eventual goal of socialism is to create a large middle-class. The goal is not specifically against rich people, it's to help the poor. Funnily enough, here you also generally end up with a few Really Really Rich People (founders of Ikea, for one example) but instead of everyone else being dirt-poor and having to subsist on potatoes and salt, instead you have a hefty middle class paying their taxes and being able to support themselves.
What, then, is the goal of unfettered free market capitalism? :)

Davian93
10-21-2011, 08:59 AM
What, then, is the goal of unfettered free market capitalism? :)

MOAR MONEY....MOAR!!!!!

yks 6nnetu hing
10-21-2011, 09:13 AM
What, then, is the goal of unfettered free market capitalism? :)

Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it. The goal of the individual is to find as many things as possible to sell for as much money as possible.

Money in and of itself is obviously not a bad thing, it's what you (both as an individual and as a society) do to get it and what you do with it that matters.

GonzoTheGreat
10-21-2011, 09:46 AM
What, then, is the goal of unfettered free market capitalism? :)Obviously, that goal is that I would own everything, and no one else would have any possessions at all. Since I do not (yet) see how to reach this goal, I'm not in favor of unfettered free market capitalism.

Mort
10-21-2011, 10:24 AM
http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Sweden&country2=United+States&city1=Stockholm&city2=Burlington%2C+VT

So it would be cheaper for me to live in Stockholm....that's sad.

I was checking out a few places in the US against my own city and Stockholm. All the fun places in the US is usually more expensive than the norm. Especially rent and buying a place can be much much more expensive than in Stockholm and other US cities.

A move to the US wouldn't ever happen unless I would earn very well ;)

Bryan Blaire
10-21-2011, 10:33 AM
Hey, I live in a fun place, about the only thing we don't have here is an amusement park any more. We have good museums that get good exhibits coming through (we've got King Tut at the Fine Arts museum right now - should be very cool to see), a pretty good zoo, our state college here just got Tier 1 research status, we have the self-proclaimed Ivy League college of the South here, good food places, good music and arts venues, and the Space Center. For some reason, we didn't get a real space shuttle, but hey, we're getting the mock-up consolation prize! And it's cheap here (cheaper than Stockholm by that calculator). You'll have to put up with the heat and conservative politics though. ;)

Davian93
10-21-2011, 10:36 AM
The heat would be a dealbreaker and I like warm weather. Funny thing is I dont particularly care for cold weather yet I live in a state with 6 months of winter. Still, Texas heat is brutal...particularly east Texas.

Gilshalos Sedai
10-21-2011, 10:38 AM
Hey, I live in a fun place, about the only thing we don't have here is an amusement park any more. We have good museums that get good exhibits coming through (we've got King Tut at the Fine Arts museum right now - should be very cool to see), a pretty good zoo, our state college here just got Tier 1 research status, we have the self-proclaimed Ivy League college of the South here, good food places, good music and arts venues, and the Space Center. For some reason, we didn't get a real space shuttle, but hey, we're getting the mock-up consolation prize! And it's cheap here (cheaper than Stockholm by that calculator). You'll have to put up with the heat and conservative politics though. ;)

And if enough people come here that aren't conservative, that will change, too. ;)

Gilshalos Sedai
10-21-2011, 10:40 AM
The heat would be a dealbreaker and I like warm weather. Funny thing is I dont particularly care for cold weather yet I live in a state with 6 months of winter. Still, Texas heat is brutal...particularly east Texas.

That's why God gave us A/C. We actually live opposite to everyone else. In July/August/September, we don't go outside. But we do go outside in December/January/February.

Bryan Blaire
10-21-2011, 10:41 AM
You work in enough corn fields or rice paddies (or freaking greenhouses), it gets to the point where you just drink more water and get used to sweaty clothes. And hope that you always have a car with AC, so you can cool down between work locations.

Davian93
10-21-2011, 10:53 AM
That's why God gave us A/C. We actually live opposite to everyone else. In July/August/September, we don't go outside. But we do go outside in December/January/February.

I still go out in Dec/Jan/Feb, I just dress very warmly. There's only so much you can do to cool down. Still, extreme cold is probably worse than extreme heat. Drink a bunch of water and relax during the hottest part of the day and you live...in extreme cold, you start losing body parts to frostbite.

Bryan Blaire
10-21-2011, 11:26 AM
Damn straight, and I'd much rather sit nekkid than lose parts. Sure, extreme heat can kill you dead, but I'd rather die intact than with falling off/needin' to be removed parts.

Then again, I'm not near as prudish as my neighbors (mostly), but sittin' nekkid just ain't that socially acceptable anywhere (especially not when you've got a monster truck tire instead of a 6-pack) except some beaches. Ain't that a beach...

Mort
10-21-2011, 11:27 AM
Hey, I live in a fun place, about the only thing we don't have here is an amusement park any more. We have good museums that get good exhibits coming through (we've got King Tut at the Fine Arts museum right now - should be very cool to see), a pretty good zoo, our state college here just got Tier 1 research status, we have the self-proclaimed Ivy League college of the South here, good food places, good music and arts venues, and the Space Center. For some reason, we didn't get a real space shuttle, but hey, we're getting the mock-up consolation prize! And it's cheap here (cheaper than Stockholm by that calculator). You'll have to put up with the heat and conservative politics though. ;)

I like it warm, but it friggin killed me almost being in Florida with 100-105 degrees. 85-90 would be more preferable.

The conservative politics is even worse though :) And what the hell am I supposed to do at noon Sunday when everyone else is at church praising Jesus? :)

Other than that, you got a pretty good Football team. :)


And if enough people come here that aren't conservative, that will change, too. ;)

That's true, but I don't see myself as the missionary type to bring people back into sanity ;)

Bryan Blaire
10-21-2011, 11:40 AM
The conservative politics is even worse though :) And what the hell am I supposed to do at noon Sunday when everyone else is at church praising Jesus? :)

Other than that, you got a pretty good Football team. :)

Well, you could just watch football with them, 'cause most churches are done by noon so that folks can go worship at the true American altar of commercialized professional sports.

And the Texans? Heh, well, they are better than the Cowboys, but I'm not sure I'd call them good... :D

Ivhon
10-21-2011, 12:37 PM
Or you could come to Austin.

Same heat, less oppressive humidity

Same wacko governor, less oppressive politics

One of the best and richest semi pro football franchises out there. Close enough to the Chokeboys and the Mehxans if you prefer the or game.

Ridiculously awesome music scene

Scenic vistas (anticlimactic compared to auroras, glaciers and fjords - but better than the nothing of Dallas and the swamp of Houston) and decent wineries.

All that and it's relatively cheap if you don't get suckered into the local neurosis of having to live RIGHT downtown.

GonzoTheGreat
10-21-2011, 12:43 PM
We actually live opposite to everyone else. In July/August/September, we don't go outside. But we do go outside in December/January/February.Do you live in Australia? :eek:

Sinistrum
10-21-2011, 01:25 PM
Communism is making the rich poorer.
Socialism is making the poor richer

Uh this is all fine and well except you can't make the poor richer without making the rich poorer. Wealth isn't just generated out of thin air. It is a finite measurement of acquired resources, of which there is a limited supply. In order to allocate resources to one person, you by default, have to take away resources from another.

I, for one, have never deviated from that reality when I comment on the wealth gap. You make a large enough segment of the population desperate enough, they eventually act out.

A. Nobody is making people desparate. They are doing a fine job of that themselves with their own personal failings. B. If its a choice between a societal peace forced by thugish extortion or violent social unrest, I will take my chances with violent social unrest. The producers in a society shouldn't have to give a portion of what they produce simply because those at the bottom rungs who are too stupid, lazy, or inept to support the weight of their own existence threaten violence. If that is going to be the basis for government policy, then we might as well drop all pretense about living in a free society. Freedom subject to the base desires of the mob is no freedom at all. At least with the violent social unrest, those of us who actually contribute to society get a ready made excuse to take some of the leeches out of circulation. That's why prisons and machine guns were invented. And if we lose, then we will do so with the knowledge that those who take our stuff will squander it in short order and have no way to replace it once they do and be right back where they started. There is a reason that the quality of life went into the shitter after every single communist revolution. You take the best and brightest out of society and leave nothing left but ditch diggers, that will not change the quality of life for the ditch digger. It just means everyone has a ditch digger's quality of life.

And what the hell am I supposed to do at noon Sunday when everyone else is at church praising Jesus?

Do what I do. Sleep in and then watch football all day.

Sukoto
10-21-2011, 01:39 PM
http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2010
WOW...75% are under 50K. That's astounding.
I was surprised by that, too. I wonder what the demographic of all the wage earners looks like. I know I didn't make more than $2,000/year while I was in high school. I don't think I ever made more than $10,000/year while in college and graduate school working part time. How many of the bottom 25% are high school or college students? How many are people who have retired and just do a little work on the side every now and then? Social Security recipients don't file W-2 forms for their benefits, so I wonder how much of the bottom 50% of wage earners also receive SS or other non-wage benefits in addition to wages reported on a W-2. I also wonder if self-employed, unincorporated freelancers are counted in these statistics. Their income is reported on form 1099, not W-2. There are an awful lot of freelance workers out there.

I'm sure the AWI statistics cover most workers in the U.S., but there does seem to be a lot of relevant information missing.

I wonder if this is just salary and not every american... not all of them have an income.
This is just salary, wages, tips as reported on a W-2 form to the IRS by employers. It does not cover all Americans or even all money made by Americans.

fdsaf3
10-21-2011, 03:06 PM
A. Nobody is making people desparate. They are doing a fine job of that themselves with their own personal failings. B. If its a choice between a societal peace forced by thugish extortion or violent social unrest, I will take my chances with violent social unrest. The producers in a society shouldn't have to give a portion of what they produce simply because those at the bottom rungs who are too stupid, lazy, or inept to support the weight of their own existence threaten violence. If that is going to be the basis for government policy, then we might as well drop all pretense about living in a free society. Freedom subject to the base desires of the mob is no freedom at all. At least with the violent social unrest, those of us who actually contribute to society get a ready made excuse to take some of the leeches out of circulation. That's why prisons and machine guns were invented. And if we lose, then we will do so with the knowledge that those who take our stuff will squander it in short order and have no way to replace it once they do and be right back where they started. There is a reason that the quality of life went into the shitter after every single communist revolution. You take the best and brightest out of society and leave nothing left but ditch diggers, that will not change the quality of life for the ditch digger. It just means everyone has a ditch digger's quality of life.


First, do you ever get sick of just repeating Ayn Rand / libertarian buzzwords in your posts? Everything I read from you could come from one of John Galt's diatribes.

Second, I take particular issue with your insinuation that the protests going on in the Occupy Wall Street movement is another example of thuggish extortion of the vaunted producers in society. Give me a break. In the last 100 years of American history, I see a lot of social progress being made. I see civil rights progressing. What I don't see is the general American public standing up together and saying "this system is unfair". You are characteristically misstating these events with obvious hyperbole.

Guess what - the system IS broken. It IS unfair. Anyone who denies those simple facts is obtuse - willingly or not, it doesn't matter. The reason they don't see it is because they are the ones benefiting from the advantages they deny even exist. This fact does not depend on your political viewpoint. The more wealth you have, the easier it is to succeed in life in this country. Period. Conversely, the less you have, the harder it is. Everyone like you wants to talk about hard work and how someone they know worked 3 jobs to get a college degree, or immigrated to this country with two dollars in their pocket and now their family is rich. Great. Those people are outliers. They are anomalies. For every person who fits this description, I can point to thousands more who fell on hard times and couldn't get out of it no matter how hard they tried.

All this crap about mob mentality, producers, and thuggish extortion must sound good to someone in a freshman year psychology or political science class. You can't advocate for a system (capitalism) which inherently producers winners and losers, and then punish the losers even more for not being winners. It doesn't make sense.

You like to pretend that your viewpoint accurately depicts the world, and that anyone who disagrees with you doesn't truly understand human nature. You're wrong. That's all I can say.

Terez
10-21-2011, 03:19 PM
Everyone like you wants to talk about hard work and how someone they know worked 3 jobs to get a college degree, or immigrated to this country with two dollars in their pocket and now their family is rich.
You mean like this guy (http://westandwiththe99percent.tumblr.com/post/11508455101/my-grandfather-came-here-with-2-00-in-his-pocket)?

http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lt4prbJEHl1r4cz2xo1_500.jpg

Juan
10-21-2011, 03:50 PM
Actually you're wrong.

But see how two can play that game?

Ayn Rand crap? I'll admit I've never read the book, but then I could ask you to stop spouting out bullshit that holds no substance or applicability to the real world. Your post is filled with assumptions and you expect people like sini or myself to accept those assumptions in order to be able to follow your "logic" and since we don't even get past the unstated assumptions, we obviously can't agree on the rest... And you wonder why we don't.

My advice is to try to understand your own assumptions and beliefs about the world before bitching about why others see it differently.

Seriously your post was nothing but a rambling full of pathos, feelings, emotions, with little to no logos. So I returned the favor. Maybe you'd like to try again using more intelligence through the use of logic instead of pure feelings and your vision of why the world isn't but should be like candyland.

Mort
10-21-2011, 04:06 PM
Well, you could just watch football with them, 'cause most churches are done by noon so that folks can go worship at the true American altar of commercialized professional sports.

And the Texans? Heh, well, they are better than the Cowboys, but I'm not sure I'd call them good... :D

I might be biased since I own Schaub and Johnson in my fantasy league :) They aren't bad as the Rams or Colts though :)

My favs are Niners and Patriots though. Incidentally they are both leading their divisions :D



Do what I do. Sleep in and then watch football all day.

Sounds terrific. The games over here starts at 7 pm. Means it's really late for the "prime time game", but on the other hand, I can be a bar, eat some spicy chicken wings and drink beer while I watch the games :)

Cor Shan
10-21-2011, 06:08 PM
Uh this is all fine and well except you can't make the poor richer without making the rich poorer. Wealth isn't just generated out of thin air. It is a finite measurement of acquired resources, of which there is a limited supply. In order to allocate resources to one person, you by default, have to take away resources from another.

So isn't it also impossible to make the rich richer without making the poor poorer?

Sinistrum
10-21-2011, 06:28 PM
So isn't it also impossible to make the rich richer without making the poor poorer?

Correct, which is why I don't see a widening wealth gap as necessarily a problem in a free market society.

First, do you ever get sick of just repeating Ayn Rand / libertarian buzzwords in your posts? Everything I read from you could come from one of John Galt's diatribes.

Juan did a pretty good job of refuting your hyper-emotional counter rant so I won't add on to it much. I will say that I've never read anything by Ayn Rand nor do I even know who John Galt is, so I'm pretty sure I can't be parroting them. My opinions are formed purely on my life experience and personal observations of human behavior. If I happen to agree with them in their printed or spoken works, well then that is just a sign that they are probably extremely intelligent and capable individuals (unlike most of your OWS saints).

The reason they don't see it is because they are the ones benefiting from the advantages they deny even exist.

Yeah except I'm not one of the 1%. Not even freaking close and I probably never will be. I'm squarely in the 99% camp when it comes to the objective measures of who fits in. And I still think OWS is full of shit.

You can't advocate for a system (capitalism) which inherently producers winners and losers, and then punish the losers even more for not being winners. It doesn't make sense.

A. Why not? B. Who exactly is doing the "punishing?" All I see are real world consequences, and those are far from punishment. Gravity doesn't "punish" people when they trip. The heart isn't "punishing" someone when old age makes it stop beating. So how can someone's individual inability to achieve economic success and the consequence to life style that go along with that be "punishment?" I think that word does not mean what you think it means. You seem to be confusing punishing someone for a wrongdoing with allowing them to fail in their morally neutral economic efforts. The two are hardly the same.

Cor Shan
10-21-2011, 10:51 PM
But if the poor keep getting poorer, doesn't that create a problem w/r/t their ability to spend money to buy things? Or do you feel this is autoregulated by the fact that if they cant buy stuff, the rich will get poorer?

GonzoTheGreat
10-22-2011, 04:26 AM
Uh this is all fine and well except you can't make the poor richer without making the rich poorer. Wealth isn't just generated out of thin air. It is a finite measurement of acquired resources, of which there is a limited supply. In order to allocate resources to one person, you by default, have to take away resources from another.Now, there are about 6 times as many people alive right now as there were around 1800.

Does that mean that US citizens in the time of George Washington had a median income (in terms of today's money) $270,000 per household?

If not, then that would seem to put the lie to your assertion that it is a zero sum game. Which, in turn, wrecks the rest of your argument.

NB: For the factor of 6, I used the populations of the whole of Earth. If one only uses the populations of the USA at the relevant times, then there's a factor of 60. Which would mean that basically all US citizens in the time of Washington would have been millionaires.

Davian93
10-22-2011, 09:23 AM
Does that mean that US citizens in the time of George Washington had a median income (in terms of today's money) $270,000 per household?

If you ignored slaves, yes, income in Revolutionary period America was well above par and artificially high due to the economy's overall exploitation and reliance of slavery (in both the north and south). The average American colonist lived a very very nice life compared to the average middle-class British subject and they were far, far above the average French subject of the period. We had a ton of natural resources, a small population and a large enslaved caste that we didn't have to pay and who we didnt even count as actual people.

So, if you were a white male, your life was quite nice in that period.

GonzoTheGreat
10-22-2011, 09:46 AM
All right, so, if you reintroduce slavery, then the right wing promises can actually be kept. And I was thinking all the time that they were unrealistic. Guess that's the real problem with me being a European: I overlook the benefits of slavery.

Sinistrum
10-22-2011, 10:27 AM
But if the poor keep getting poorer, doesn't that create a problem w/r/t their ability to spend money to buy things? Or do you feel this is autoregulated by the fact that if they cant buy stuff, the rich will get poorer?

To an extent it is autoregulated. There is also the fact that the rich will be able to buy more stuff too.

Does that mean that US citizens in the time of George Washington had a median income (in terms of today's money) $270,000 per household?

Only if you ignore the changes in productive ability that science and technology have brought since that time period. And since you're leaping at the chance to do your usual little song and dance of twisting an argument into something more easily refuted because you're an intellectually lazy assclown, of course you will ignore that factor.

Davian93
10-22-2011, 10:33 AM
All right, so, if you reintroduce slavery, then the right wing promises can actually be kept. And I was thinking all the time that they were unrealistic. Guess that's the real problem with me being a European: I overlook the benefits of slavery.

Being as the Dutch Republic made a large majority of its trade profits directly off of the slave trade, that's a bit disingenuous. The slave trade is one of the key reasons you're not still ruled by Spain.

Zaela Sedai
10-22-2011, 11:36 AM
I can't believe a Dutchy just tried to use slavery like that...pot..kettle...

GonzoTheGreat
10-22-2011, 12:34 PM
Being as the Dutch Republic made a large majority of its trade profits directly off of the slave trade, that's a bit disingenuous. The slave trade is one of the key reasons you're not still ruled by Spain.Do you have actual figures to support that claim?
From what I've heard, the income from the Baltic trade (grain, mostly) was a lot higher.

To an extent it is autoregulated. There is also the fact that the rich will be able to buy more stuff too.But one rich person won't buy 500 Ikea book cases, while if that money went to 1,000 poorer people, half of them might buy a book case each.

Only if you ignore the changes in productive ability that science and technology have brought since that time period. And since you're leaping at the chance to do your usual little song and dance of twisting an argument into something more easily refuted because you're an intellectually lazy assclown, of course you will ignore that factor.And if you do take those increases in productivity into account, then American incomes should have risen a lot more in the last 30 years. But they didn't, because the "trickle down economics" model was tried.

So, taking that factor into account, how do you justify not increasing the wages to reflect the increased productivity?
I'll offer what I think is the reason: because the employers could get away with it.

Not, as you may notice, because those workers didn't 'earn' an increase; they produced more value, so paying them more would have been fair. But instead the money went to the shareholders and the CEOs. And guess who decided upon that payment scheme?

Terez
10-22-2011, 02:19 PM
So, taking that factor into account, how do you justify not increasing the wages to reflect the increased productivity?
I'll offer what I think is the reason: because the employers could get away with it.

Not, as you may notice, because those workers didn't 'earn' an increase; they produced more value, so paying them more would have been fair. But instead the money went to the shareholders and the CEOs. And guess who decided upon that payment scheme?
This.

Brita
10-22-2011, 02:55 PM
And if you do take those increases in productivity into account, then American incomes should have risen a lot more in the last 30 years. But they didn't, because the "trickle down economics" model was tried.

So, taking that factor into account, how do you justify not increasing the wages to reflect the increased productivity?
I'll offer what I think is the reason: because the employers could get away with it.

Not, as you may notice, because those workers didn't 'earn' an increase; they produced more value, so paying them more would have been fair. But instead the money went to the shareholders and the CEOs. And guess who decided upon that payment scheme?

This.

Davian93
10-22-2011, 05:35 PM
Do you have actual figures to support that claim?
From what I've heard, the income from the Baltic trade (grain, mostly) was a lot higher.

http://old.antislavery.org/breakingthesilence/slave_routes/slave_routes_netherlands.shtml

Here's a good link on their central role in broadening the slave trade and leading it in the 17th century...right at the height of your wars to be recognized as an independent country.

Also, a great book on this subject is The Dutch Slave Trade 1500-1850 (http://www.amazon.com/Dutch-European-Expansion-Global-Interaction/dp/1845450310/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319319216&sr=8-1)

The Unreasoner
10-22-2011, 06:21 PM
Don't know if this belongs here, but I found it interesing...

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed--the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html

It's actually a more thorough analysis than I did when I started my investment group. We tracked about 50 companies closely, and had more general heuristics to cover the rest. It's pretty cool. You can use some Black-Scholes stuff and Fourier transformations to make some pretty sound investment decisions. We also treated everything as discrete as opposed to continuous, whic made things more messy, but it helped us avoid the LTCM mistakes.

But I got kicked out of the group (which is falling apart anyway, but that's another issue entirely. Suffice it to say, getting dozens of college kids to invest a little bit works great for econ and math majors, but when a few of them start to pull out (I think they may be OWS themselves, so it was a principle thing at least), it opens the floodgates. And now the cluster computing power we had is gone). But anyway, I wonder if the 99% could start a grassroots transnational investment bank with microfinancing operations and some sort of collectivist leadership stucture. Disassociate itself from the entrenched networks. Maybe it will fall apart quickly, maybe not, but it would be an interesting experiment at least.

The Unreasoner
10-22-2011, 06:35 PM
"You always seem to have a lot of money. Give us some of that money, some of that internet money."
Hahaha
It's funny how all the "Fixed" posts are supposedly factual but have little evidentiary support, and what gets "fixed" is based on feelings, not facts.
It's even funnier that I was banned for quoting two people without editing a word. I guess this is just another difference between GD and non-WoT.
Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it. The goal of the individual is to find as many things as possible to sell for as much money as possible.
Hm. So, theoretically (if capitalism was perfect), the problem is that either the so-called 99% have nothing to sell, or have a history of buying too high/selling too low.

If it's the first, I think capitalism has run its course.

If it's the second, I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect the American government to provide necessary services at a controlled price. Equal opportunity implies the right to know the fair price of things. But since intelligence and education opportunities are not equally distributed, I would think that 'equal opportunity' is completely impossible without some government role to offset the gap.
Uh this is all fine and well except you can't make the poor richer without making the rich poorer. Wealth isn't just generated out of thin air. It is a finite measurement of acquired resources, of which there is a limited supply. In order to allocate resources to one person, you by default, have to take away resources from another.
I agree with this. I wonder how to generate policy from it though. If the rich are just 'better,' why not hold them to higher moral standards?
Nobody is making people desparate. They are doing a fine job of that themselves with their own personal failings
Do you not think that this is a problem, or at least one that needs fixing?
If its a choice between a societal peace forced by thugish extortion or violent social unrest, I will take my chances with violent social unrest. The producers in a society shouldn't have to give a portion of what they produce simply because those at the bottom rungs who are too stupid, lazy, or inept to support the weight of their own existence threaten violence.
Well, you are principled. We don't negatiate with terrorists. I agree, in theory, with the sentiment 'take me to the guillotine and be damned'
Seriously your post was nothing but a rambling full of pathos, feelings, emotions, with little to no logos. So I returned the favor.
How kind of you...
nor do I even know who John Galt is
Seriously? That's like saying you don't know who Villefort is, at least in today's political discussions. Whether or not you agree with what you read (or even if you never read it at all), literary figures often are used as efficient placeholders in debates. And John Galt more than most. Who is he, anyway?
And I still think OWS is full of shit.
Well, I'm with you there. Part of me wants to start an Operation:Liberate Wall Street because I sincerely think that they picked the wrong target.
Gravity doesn't "punish" people when they trip. The heart isn't "punishing" someone when old age makes it stop beating. So how can someone's individual inability to achieve economic success and the consequence to life style that go along with that be "punishment?" I think that word does not mean what you think it means.
I use 'punish' in that sense all the time.

The Unreasoner
10-22-2011, 08:35 PM
We will always have people in this country through hardship, through no fault of their own, who won’t be able to afford health care. That’s just the way it is. But usually what we have are charitable organizations or hospitals, who have enough left over so that they can pick up the cost for the indigent who can’t afford it.
I guess this is a key question. Is this a problem that needs to be fixed? I would think so. She is some kind of Protestant, so perhaps she honestly believes that the rich will inevitably give to charity, once these meddlesome 'taxes' are gone. For her, charity may be a personal 'moral tax' that we are all obligated to pay. So, she might address all issues, but it seems that she is taking from the government's role on a religious basis.

fdsaf3
10-24-2011, 01:44 AM
Actually you're wrong.

But see how two can play that game?

No, I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Maybe you seem to think that you "got" me here.

Ayn Rand crap? I'll admit I've never read the book, but then I could ask you to stop spouting out bullshit that holds no substance or applicability to the real world. Your post is filled with assumptions and you expect people like sini or myself to accept those assumptions in order to be able to follow your "logic" and since we don't even get past the unstated assumptions, we obviously can't agree on the rest... And you wonder why we don't.

Again with this arrogant statement that somehow you see the real world and I don't. Where does this come from? I just don't get it.

My advice is to try to understand your own assumptions and beliefs about the world before bitching about why others see it differently.

Great, I'll add you to the list of people from whom I will never seek advice.

Seriously your post was nothing but a rambling full of pathos, feelings, emotions, with little to no logos. So I returned the favor. Maybe you'd like to try again using more intelligence through the use of logic instead of pure feelings and your vision of why the world isn't but should be like candyland.

If I'm ever speaking to you, I'll make it clear that I'm doing so. My post had nothing to do with you. While I'm guessing Sini appreciates you rising to his defense, he has shown a willingness to look out for himself. In the future, if I'm responding directly to someone just do me a favor and keep out of that conversation.

It's always hilarious to read someone claiming an absolute insight on what is logical. "This person disagrees with me; therefore, he is acting illogically". Oh man, get over yourself. The moment you go on an internet discussion board and start throwing out words like pathos and logos, you know you need to stop taking yourself so seriously.

My point to Sinistrum first, and now you, is that you claim to have everything all figured out. People suck, the world is unfair, and success in life is obviously proof that some people are just better than others. It's great that you have figured out a world view. My reaction in my previous post was essentially saying that no, your way of looking at the world is not universally accepted. Neither is it accurate. The reason I responded negatively is that because in every discussion I see on this forum which involves talk about social issues, Sinistrum always comes in and says the same hyper-libertarian buzzwords. I personally would love to have an intelligent conversation with him about some of these topics, but the fact is that he shuts down any possibility of that happening by writing in such a non-conciliatory way. (not sure if that's a word, but whatever. we've already clearly proven that I'm an idiot, right?)

If you want to have a calm, rational debate about public policy in the future, come at me with facts and not dogma. Most of what I see here is unsubstantiated opinion, including your own posts. Why my previous post was singled out as being somehow less acceptable than anything else is beyond me.



A. Why not?

.....what do you mean? I'm not sure this answer fully addresses my statement. You're a lawyer, right? Someone gets convicted of a crime and they pay a fine or go to jail, right? They don't get fined for having been in jail after they get out, right?

Ok, silly example. I admit it. All I'm saying is that capitalism produces winners and losers by definition. Someone who loses in that system has already suffered the consequences of losing. What I don't understand is why that person needs to kicked while they are down.

B. Who exactly is doing the "punishing?" All I see are real world consequences, and those are far from punishment. Gravity doesn't "punish" people when they trip. The heart isn't "punishing" someone when old age makes it stop beating.

Fair point, except that these "real world consequence" you referred to are created and implemented by people. Gravity and the workings of the heart are mechanical systems which operate outside of human action. They are clearly not analogous in the way you want them to be.

So how can someone's individual inability to achieve economic success and the consequence to life style that go along with that be "punishment?" I think that word does not mean what you think it means. You seem to be confusing punishing someone for a wrongdoing with allowing them to fail in their morally neutral economic efforts. The two are hardly the same.

Fair enough. I'm not sure I stand behind my use of the word "punish". I have to think about this more when I have some time.

yks 6nnetu hing
10-24-2011, 05:41 AM
Uh this is all fine and well except you can't make the poor richer without making the rich poorer. Wealth isn't just generated out of thin air. It is a finite measurement of acquired resources, of which there is a limited supply. In order to allocate resources to one person, you by default, have to take away resources from another.

Sure if you look at it from numbers only you're right - if there's only 100 money to go around and Pete has 60 while Jane, John and Jack have 20 each then in order for Jane, John and Jack to get more, Pete must lose some. But the problem is though that not all things that have Value to us are worth a certain amount of money. [explanation continued under Unreasoner's quote]

Hm. So, theoretically (if capitalism was perfect), the problem is that either the so-called 99% have nothing to sell, or have a history of buying too high/selling too low.

That's the thing, see: currently no such thing as perfect capitalism exists. There are certain means of procuring profit that are illegal in various countries - such as prostitution, growing/cooking drugs, slavery, child labour etc. The reason these things are *not done* is because of social conventions, not because they don't produce profit. So as you can see, US is already a socialist country, the question is only - to what degree.

The main problem with socialism is the same thing as with capitalism: human nature. Neither of the theories fully support the human desire for Things (TM). According to Maslow´s hierarchy of needs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs) you get into trouble already on some cases the 1st but in most 2nd tier from bottom: safety. We all want to have a roof over our heads and be warm and know that no-one can take our roof away from us, willy-nilly. This means that a home has value to us as individuals and us as a society. This makes a Home both a sociological and a commercial object. It has both monetary value as well as emotional value. Is the emotional value of a hugely expensive mansion higher than that of a humble abode? Not necessarily. Why? Because happiness cannot be bought in the equasion of 1 money = 1 happiness. In some cases no amount of money can make a person happy: just imagine sitting on a pile of gold, locked in a dungeon. If you can't use the money, it's pretty meaningless.

but that's the individual. How does the society as a whole (in this case the state) cope with this human controversy? Well, the most basic way is via legislation. Stealing other people's property is punishable. We pay taxes from which law enforcement is funded (because experience shows that otherwise we just get various "companies" offering "protection" for which the cost is exhorbitant and the service is horrible). Then of course, someone has to take care of the roads and sewers and stuff, and what if there's a fire? Oh, and the children need educating but let's face it, if I am required to add 12 and 15, I get 42 - as you can see from my wonderful maths skills above. Which I did notice after re-reading my own post and then decided to leave in to illustrate my point. 60 + 20 + 20 + 20 is not 100. - so it might be best if someone better qualified than myself took care of that. So you see, there are already lots of things that we pay for in taxes and get from the government. Of course it can always be better - one person says they don't want to pay for immunity shots (for themselves. and if not for themselves then obviously not for anyone else either) while another one wants more immunity shots... That's what political debate and elections are for. In a democratic country, anyways.

Bottom line is: Any society with a government is already socialist. The question is: to what degree?

ETA: actually, this is the same argument I give in defence of capitalism whenever someone says that socialism/communism is better than capitalism. Any human society is already - in a way by definition - capitalist, the question is only: to what degree. A society that is purely socialist/communist will collapse because people want Things and a society that is purely capitalist will collapse because people want Safety. Therefore the most functional society is one where capitalism and socialism are balanced and most of the people can have the most possible amount of safety for the most amount of things they can legally buy.

Ishara
10-24-2011, 08:11 AM
Hey, I live in a fun place, about the only thing we don't have here is an amusement park any more. We have good museums that get good exhibits coming through (we've got King Tut at the Fine Arts museum right now - should be very cool to see), a pretty good zoo, our state college here just got Tier 1 research status, we have the self-proclaimed Ivy League college of the South here, good food places, good music and arts venues, and the Space Center. For some reason, we didn't get a real space shuttle, but hey, we're getting the mock-up consolation prize! And it's cheap here (cheaper than Stockholm by that calculator). You'll have to put up with the heat and conservative politics though. ;)

Be warned, Bryan. The funereal mask that everyone equates with King Tut is NOT on display and is NOT part of the exhibit - this despite it being the principal visual advertising image. But, the exhibit is still phenomenal. We saw it last year when it was here in Toronto.

Ivhon
10-24-2011, 09:17 AM
Sure if you look at it from numbers only you're right - if there's only 100 money to go around and Pete has 60 while Jane, John and Jack have 20 each then in order for Jane, John and Jack to get more, Pete must lose some. But the problem is though that not all things that have Value to us are worth a certain amount of money. [explanation continued under Unreasoner's quote]



That's the thing, see: currently no such thing as perfect capitalism exists. There are certain means of procuring profit that are illegal in various countries - such as prostitution, growing/cooking drugs, slavery, child labour etc. The reason these things are *not done* is because of social conventions, not because they don't produce profit. So as you can see, US is already a socialist country, the question is only - to what degree.

The main problem with socialism is the same thing as with capitalism: human nature. Neither of the theories fully support the human desire for Things (TM). According to Maslow´s hierarchy of needs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs) you get into trouble already on some cases the 1st but in most 2nd tier from bottom: safety. We all want to have a roof over our heads and be warm and know that no-one can take our roof away from us, willy-nilly. This means that a home has value to us as individuals and us as a society. This makes a Home both a sociological and a commercial object. It has both monetary value as well as emotional value. Is the emotional value of a hugely expensive mansion higher than that of a humble abode? Not necessarily. Why? Because happiness cannot be bought in the equasion of 1 money = 1 happiness. In some cases no amount of money can make a person happy: just imagine sitting on a pile of gold, locked in a dungeon. If you can't use the money, it's pretty meaningless.

but that's the individual. How does the society as a whole (in this case the state) cope with this human controversy? Well, the most basic way is via legislation. Stealing other people's property is punishable. We pay taxes from which law enforcement is funded (because experience shows that otherwise we just get various "companies" offering "protection" for which the cost is exhorbitant and the service is horrible). Then of course, someone has to take care of the roads and sewers and stuff, and what if there's a fire? Oh, and the children need educating but let's face it, if I am required to add 12 and 15, I get 42 - as you can see from my wonderful maths skills above. Which I did notice after re-reading my own post and then decided to leave in to illustrate my point. 60 + 20 + 20 + 20 is not 100. - so it might be best if someone better qualified than myself took care of that. So you see, there are already lots of things that we pay for in taxes and get from the government. Of course it can always be better - one person says they don't want to pay for immunity shots (for themselves. and if not for themselves then obviously not for anyone else either) while another one wants more immunity shots... That's what political debate and elections are for. In a democratic country, anyways.

Bottom line is: Any society with a government is already socialist. The question is: to what degree?

ETA: actually, this is the same argument I give in defence of capitalism whenever someone says that socialism/communism is better than capitalism. Any human society is already - in a way by definition - capitalist, the question is only: to what degree. A society that is purely socialist/communist will collapse because people want Things and a society that is purely capitalist will collapse because people want Safety. Therefore the most functional society is one where capitalism and socialism are balanced and most of the people can have the most possible amount of safety for the most amount of things they can legally buy.

This makes altogether too much sense.

A...a....what did you call it? Balance of capitalism and socialism.

Davian93
10-24-2011, 09:19 AM
This makes altogether too much sense.

A...a....what did you call it? Balance of capitalism and socialism.

If we're mixing the two, perhaps it ought to be called a "Mixed Economy"...or exactly what the US has had since the Great Depression.

yks 6nnetu hing
10-24-2011, 09:39 AM
This makes altogether too much sense.

A...a....what did you call it? Balance of capitalism and socialism.

In my experience, once people bend over and accept that there is no feasible possibility to fully implement Black or White because the world is made of shades of gray (and it's made of gray because Black has no meaning without White and vice versa. in other words, what's the use of Safety if you can't have any of the Things? And what's the use of Things if you never know if you can keep them?), it's much easier to have a debate over which shade of gray is the prettiest.

It has rather less to do with the individual merits of either theory and more to do with the possibility of implementing them in reality. "The difference between theory and practice is much smaller in theory than in practice"

ETA: That's why, especially in these times the most important person in the Goverment is the Minister of Finance who gets to say: "Yes, that's a very pretty idea. Unfortunately we don't have the money for it. This is how we could get money for it. No? ok, then no pretty idea"

Terez
10-24-2011, 09:41 AM
We were far more Socialist during the Red Scare than we are now, and hardly anyone had a problem with it.

GonzoTheGreat
10-24-2011, 11:19 AM
We were far more Socialist during the Red Scare than we are now, and hardly anyone had a problem with it.But then they cleverly inserted the "under God" bit into your Pledge, and that got rid of socialism.

yks 6nnetu hing
10-24-2011, 12:02 PM
But then they cleverly inserted the "under God" bit into your Pledge, and that got rid of socialism.

Actually no. Thou shalt not steal - Socialism. Thou shalt not kill - also socialism. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's cattle or wife - socialism... Thou shalt not pursue usury - now that borders on communism!

GonzoTheGreat
10-24-2011, 12:15 PM
Actually no. Thou shalt not steal - Socialism. Thou shalt not kill - also socialism. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's cattle or wife - socialism... Thou shalt not pursue usury - now that borders on communism!Ah, but that's the really clever part of it: they knew everyone would start breaking those commandments, once they were enshrined into law. So legally the USA is a socialist state (not a democracy at all, as we're so often told), in reality it is like China: a two party (instead of the admittedly more efficient* one party) corporate republic.

* Cause then it's more obvious who to bribe. Now entrepeneurs# have to gamble on which candidate is going to win the next elections, which is deucedly inconvenient.

# Do the French have a word for this, yet?

Davian93
10-24-2011, 12:25 PM
not a democracy at all, as we're so often told

We're a Republic...a democratic republic now, but we were founded as a pure Republic with limited direct elections as the Senate was appointed and the President was and still is elected by the Electoral College. Voting rights were also fairly restricted in the early years of the Republic as the Founding Fathers had strong fears about the dangers of democracy and mob rule.

yks 6nnetu hing
10-24-2011, 12:26 PM
er. democracy has nothing to do with socialism. Or capitalism, for that matter. It's just the way we decide whether we put money in pension system or education. In principle Absolute Monarchy could be either capitalist or socialist, except instead of having "elections" to decide things, you'd have a monarch.... and their advisors...

GonzoTheGreat
10-24-2011, 12:58 PM
Socialism leads to communism, which is democratic. Hence the Deutsche Democratische Republik. You don't think they misnamed that, do you? :confused:

Terez
10-24-2011, 01:11 PM
# Do the French have a word for this, yet?
If they do, it's not very likely to be just one word, you know.

Juan
10-24-2011, 01:57 PM
@fdsaf

Read your post. Then read mine. It makes sense, I promise.

Again, you're still trying to implement your own notions of society and still don't get that ours differs from yours. So because you disagree with me you think my advice is bad? So to answer your question, that in particular does indeed make you an idiot. Open your mind to different points of view.

Another piece of advice, and it's a good one, which you are free to idiotically ignore:
Be consistent with what you say and do. Else that just makes you a hypocrite and no one will take you seriously, which as I understand it, is something you wouldn't like.

I responded to your post because I was appalled at your double standards. In Spanish we have a saying, and though it might not sound as pretty in English, it gets the point accross: what you're doing is essentially like the rabbit telling the donkey it has long ears.

More advice: think before you speak/type.

Seriously, stop trying to implement all your notions of how people should post, what they should believe in, what words are permissible or not, etc etc.

Grow up some, learn about the world, understand there are different points of views, then you can come back and try again.

Ivhon
10-24-2011, 02:36 PM
@fdsaf

Read your post. Then read mine. It makes sense, I promise.

Again, you're still trying to implement your own notions of society and still don't get that ours differs from yours. So because you disagree with me you think my advice is bad? So to answer your question, that in particular does indeed make you an idiot. Open your mind to different points of view.

Another piece of advice, and it's a good one, which you are free to idiotically ignore:
Be consistent with what you say and do. Else that just makes you a hypocrite and no one will take you seriously, which as I understand it, is something you wouldn't like.

I responded to your post because I was appalled at your double standards. In Spanish we have a saying, and though it might not sound as pretty in English, it gets the point accross: what you're doing is essentially like the rabbit telling the donkey it has long ears.

More advice: think before you speak/type.

Seriously, stop trying to implement all your notions of how people should post, what they should believe in, what words are permissible or not, etc etc.

Grow up some, learn about the world, understand there are different points of views, then you can come back and try again.

And yet it is perfectly OK for you to condescendingly call anyone an idiot who does not agree with your oh-so-reasoned points of view? Sounds like a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Or the rabbit telling the donkey it has long ears.

How about civil discourse with a bit of respect for the idea - and I know that this will be hard for you - that it is possible....just possible...that there are intelligent life forms that think differently from you.

Juan
10-24-2011, 02:43 PM
Ivhon
How about you go read his last post, see where he himself calls himself an idiot (basically) and then read what I said. Might be a bit hard for you to comprehend, but give it a try. I'd quote myself if it wasn't such a pain since I'm on the phone. But if you have any reading comprehension skills, which you apparently don't, I didn't call him an idiot for disagreeing with me, I said he would be an idiot if he ignored good advice simply because he has a different point of views in other matters.

Nice try, but as usual, your post was just the typical I misread people's posts so I can stirr shit up because I want attention.

Davian93
10-24-2011, 02:45 PM
Ivhon
How about you go read his last post, see where he himself calls himself an idiot (basically) and then read what I said. Might be a bit hard for you to comprehend, but give it a try. I'd quote myself if it wasn't such a pain since I'm on the phone. But if you have any reason comprehension skills, which you apparently don't, I didn't call him an idiot for disagreeing with me, I said he would be an idiot if he ignored good advice simply because he has a different point of views in other matters.

Nice try, but as usual, your post was just the typical I misread people's posts so I can stirr shit up.

I agree...but if they called them "Sad Meals", nobody would buy them.

fdsaf3
10-24-2011, 04:33 PM
just forget it

Terez
10-24-2011, 04:45 PM
...if you think for a second that I'm going to take anything you say seriously. I don't, for the record.
The ignore list is a wonderful thing, you know. I don't think Juan has ever said anything worth reading, here or in WoT discussion.

fdsaf3
10-24-2011, 04:48 PM
Yep, I just added him to the list.

I don't know why I let myself get sucked into that. If it's taking away from the rest of the thread discussion, I wouldn't be opposed to editing it or having it edited.

I put him on ignore. This little spat is over, as far as I'm concerned.

My apologies to anyone trying to have a discussion while this was going on. I don't want to be a distraction.

Juan
10-24-2011, 04:49 PM
Maybe you missed the part that this is a public board and everyone is free to respond to everyone. But then, I didn't think you'd have the intelligence to understand either.

My advice was unbiased and sensible. You just refuse to take it because, well, as yourself said it, you're an idiot and don't take sensible advice. And call me charitable, giving you good advice when you didn't ask for it. See? We pro-capitalists can be generous and help those less fortunate than us.

Again, read your post, then mine. You called yourself an idiot. I simply said you'd be right if you didn't take sensible advice when given to you. ;)

If you have no idea what I was trying to say, then truly all hope is lost for you brah. If you read Ivhon's post, which you claim you did, he correctly supplied the English equivalent of my analogy. The pot calling the kettle black. But you probably just read what you want to in order to cause drama and get the attention spotlight.

Again, you seem to be reading something other than what I write. I don't remember (and it's because I didn't) claim that I had amazing logic etc. I simply said you weren't being consistent and being hypocritical.

You could not care less, yet you responded. See that's you being inconsistent and hypocritical again. It's kinda cute now. I'm beginning to think you have a mental deficiency.

To clarify, the reason I responded was because you in your first post to sini said flat out he was wrong with no basis of fact. All I've been saying is you have assumptions about your own candyland world. And when people don't agree with you, they're wrong. That just happened to lids you off because you probably thought I was right in that and felt the need to excuse yourself and justify what you originally said.

Since you seem to think Internet posters post ridiculous shit that is not to your liking, TL included, I'll conclude with this:

Feel free to get the fuck off TL. Bye bye now.

The Unreasoner
10-24-2011, 04:51 PM
Open your mind to different points of view.
LMFAO (http://theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5857)
More advice: think before you speak/type.
*wipes tears from his eyes*
Grow up some, learn about the world, understand there are different points of views, then you can come back and try again.
*can't breathe...too funny*
Seriously, who's applying a double standard? And the logos vs. pathos bs? You based an entire 'study' on pathos.
In Spanish we have a saying, and though it might not sound as pretty in English, it gets the point accross: what you're doing is essentially like the rabbit telling the donkey it has long ears.
If you want to live here learn English, you commie. That saying sucks once translated. Fortunately, the most-awesome language English has a similar saying. It involves a pot and a kettle:
Seriously? You actually checked? It's called Google. Or context analysis, as I'm pretty sure it's been used in this thread

Juan
10-24-2011, 04:51 PM
I could say the same of you, Terez. You just read other people's opinions, idolize them, stalk them, hail them as gods, and consider yourself enlightened. Get yourself your own mind.

Unreasoner, just because I have my own opinions doesn't mean I'm not open to others. I would've expected you at least to have the intelligence to understand the difference between the two.

Zombie Sammael
10-24-2011, 05:38 PM
I could say the same of you, Terez. You just read other people's opinions, idolize them, stalk them, hail them as gods, and consider yourself enlightened. Get yourself your own mind.

Unreasoner, just because I have my own opinions doesn't mean I'm not open to others. I would've expected you at least to have the intelligence to understand the difference between the two.

Is insulting the intelligence of those who disagree with you literally your only argument?

The Unreasoner
10-24-2011, 05:41 PM
Unreasoner, just because I have my own opinions doesn't mean I'm not open to others.
Was that what was saying? I thought I was pointing out irony and hypocrisy. It's good to know that I have an opinion on you having opinions.

Juan
10-24-2011, 05:49 PM
I was expecting you, zombie. You're still the only one of this board who's a complete loser and does nothing but troll me.

Zombie Sammael
10-24-2011, 07:02 PM
I was expecting you, zombie. You're still the only one of this board who's a complete loser and does nothing but troll me.

Actually I try to avoid talking to you unless it's about Batman. I was just amused. But at least we can agree that Batman is cool.

Juan
10-24-2011, 07:06 PM
lol yeah I remember that's about the only thing we agree on. Probably cause Kevin Conroy's voice is just so badass.

Ishara
10-25-2011, 10:34 AM
Since you seem to think Internet posters post ridiculous shit that is not to your liking, TL included, I'll conclude with this:

Feel free to get the fuck off TL. Bye bye now.

Oh, honey. Maybe don't presume to speak for Theoryland - or Theorylanders - when you act like a jackass, mmmkay? Cause you don't.

Davian93
10-25-2011, 11:23 AM
I AM THEORYLAND!

Juan
10-25-2011, 12:04 PM
Ishara who are you? Go back to eating ice cream. It's not like you post here regularly.

Davian93
10-25-2011, 12:12 PM
Ishara who are you? Go back to eating ice cream. It's not like you post here regularly.


~goes and looks at Ishara's post count~


Huh?!?

Seriously dude, I think Ishara speaks for TL more than you do at the moment.

I also think this entire discussion is pretty stupid.

Juan
10-25-2011, 12:16 PM
Yes "dude." Cause I see her post here in non wot all the time. :rolleyes:

And it is pretty stupid but I'm just having so much fun at the people attacking me. It's like I'm the center of attention.

Dreams do come true. :rolleyes:

Ishara
10-25-2011, 12:27 PM
Ishara who are you? Go back to eating ice cream. It's not like you post here regularly.

Is he calling me fat?

I love that I'm getting called out for not posting enough on Non! Does he mean in the past month, or in general, cause heh...

GonzoTheGreat
10-25-2011, 12:28 PM
Juan, you are a good example of the quality of right wing debaters. If you were an American, you would have a gun too.

Brita
10-25-2011, 01:22 PM
Ishara who are you? Go back to eating ice cream. It's not like you post here regularly.

What a knob :rolleyes: ... I mean noob. Right, noob.

Sukoto
10-25-2011, 01:42 PM
Juan, you are a good example of the quality of right wing debaters. If you were an American, you would have a gun too.
Wha? ... Yet another confusing post from Gonzo. Does he actually think Juan is not American? I don't get it.

Juan does seem a little agitated. Understandable since people seem to be ganging up on him, which is in turn understandable since he seems to invite it by telling people to grow up (how old are you, Juan?) or go eat ice cream (I laughed at how juvenile that one was).

But what does all that have to do with median incomes? Nothing, really.

Juan
10-25-2011, 01:56 PM
Sukuto,
I'm not American. I want to be one though. Also, I simply ignore Gonzos posts. I actually had skipped over his post here and read it only since you quoted him.

I'm not agitated. The proper word would be confused, but only in part. I'm confused that fdsaf writes a condescending post to sini especially when idk who he even is. So since I didn't like that, I returned the favor in writing a condescending post to him showing him how it was funny that he flat out says sini is wrong and yet claims that he and people like him are the closed minded ones. Obviously he didn't like being proven wrong, so he got extremely defensive, and then the typical leftist posters whom constantly disagree with me took this as the perfect opportunity to attack me. It's probably the only way they can raise their self esteem.

I wasn't really inviting anyone but fdsaf to grow up here. And I'm glad I could make you laugh. Now at least I'm not the only one laughing at this. It's a good thing I have my own life and know not to let losers get to me.

@ishara
No, princess, I was more alluding to the cliche that you're lonely and bored and have nothing better to do than attack others and eat ice cream to make yourself feel better.

Thanks for the continued attention spotlight. If you wanna make a show about this go for it. I promise to charge a pretty low royalty percentage fee.

The Unreasoner
10-25-2011, 01:56 PM
I think he said he's an italian citizen and can't vote yet here. He does seem to have learned some of my least favorite aspects of American culture pretty quickly though (brah brah...ugh)

The Unreasoner
10-25-2011, 02:07 PM
@ishara
No, princess, I was more alluding to the cliche that you're lonely and bored and have nothing better to do than attack others and eat ice cream to make yourself feel better.
ha (http://theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=6066)

Juan
10-25-2011, 02:09 PM
Lol I love that. It's pretty funny in my opinion. My friends and I use it as a joke we don't actually use it seriously. I guess it's an inside joke among us haha. Like one friend in particular I call her brah and she calls brah it's way too funny with her. It's the "you'd have to be there to get it" kind of thing.

Ishara
10-25-2011, 02:34 PM
ha (http://theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=6066)

ROFLMAO. I know, right?

At least the noobs are finally recognizing my status as Princess around here! :rolleyes: Took long enough...

Juan
10-25-2011, 02:41 PM
At least you have a sense of humor here.

Crispin's Crispian
10-25-2011, 03:21 PM
ROFLMAO. I know, right?

At least the noobs are finally recognizing my status as Princess around her! :rolleyes: Took long enough...

Around whom? Is there something new you want to tell us, Ishara?

Brita
10-25-2011, 03:30 PM
Around whom? Is there something new you want to tell us, Ishara?

Yes, do tell- sounds scandoulous :)

The Unreasoner
10-25-2011, 04:05 PM
Lol I love that. It's pretty funny in my opinion. My friends and I use it as a joke we don't actually use it seriously. I guess it's an inside joke among us haha. Like one friend in particular I call her brah and she calls brah it's way too funny with her. It's the "you'd have to be there to get it" kind of thing.
Fair enough. I'm hardly an authority on 'coolness.'

And liberal I may be, but even I would think Obama would be overstepping himself if he tried to appoint a 'cool czar.'

Terez
10-25-2011, 05:10 PM
Around whom? Is there something new you want to tell us, Ishara?
Ishara has been making typos for years. It's hardly anything new. (Nothing like Zae's posts, though.)

Crispin's Crispian
10-25-2011, 07:01 PM
Ishara has been making typos for years. It's hardly anything new. (Nothing like Zae's posts, though.)

That's cool. Thanks.

Terez
10-25-2011, 07:42 PM
Any time.

yks 6nnetu hing
10-26-2011, 08:31 AM
Yes "dude." Cause I see her post here in non wot all the time. :rolleyes:


right. Because you "haven't seen someone around" that means they don't exist? May I introduce you to Tam and Marie, to name just 2?

Also, I still miss adbf. The guy didn't post that much, but MAN, when he did, he did Post. Some of the best Herid Fel-style discussions I've had were with him and that was before I went on my hiatus for a couple of years.

Davian93
10-26-2011, 08:39 AM
Tam doesn't speak for Theoryland...he's like NEVER on the non-wot.

yks 6nnetu hing
10-26-2011, 09:01 AM
Tam doesn't speak for Theoryland...he's like NEVER on the non-wot.

according to SOME people's logic, you're quite right.

GonzoTheGreat
10-26-2011, 09:10 AM
Look on the bright side: if the "how much you post on non" rule is valid, then Juan should probably defer to me.

The Unreasoner
10-26-2011, 01:39 PM
I was expecting you, zombie. You're still the only one of this board who's a complete loser and does nothing but troll me.

Can I modify this a bit and put it in my signature?
Basically:
Ah, Zombie. I've been expecting you. Have you come to troll me again?
-Juan


Also, I missed this edit the first time around:
just forget it

lol. Enjoy the flamewar my friend.

Zombie Sammael
10-26-2011, 01:48 PM
Can I modify this a bit and put it in my signature?
Basically:
Ah, Zombie. I've been expecting you. Have you come to troll me again?
-Juan


Also, I missed this edit the first time around:


lol. Enjoy the flamewar my friend.

[Russian accent] No, Mr Juan, I expect you to die![/Russian accent]

fdsaf3
10-26-2011, 02:30 PM
Enjoy the flamewar my friend.

Nah.

I've been around the internet long enough to know that I handled that situation poorly. I'd rather there isn't a lasting monument to that.

Brita
10-26-2011, 03:51 PM
The gap grows (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/us/politics/top-earners-doubled-share-of-nations-income-cbo-says.html)
And history shows
This can't go on forever *

(* I made that little gem up, and I like it!)

From the NYT — The top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation’s income over the last three decades, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, in a new report likely to figure prominently in the escalating political fight over how to revive the economy, create jobs and lower the federal debt.

In addition, the report said, government policy has become less redistributive since the late 1970s, doing less to reduce the concentration of income.

“The equalizing effect of federal taxes was smaller” in 2007 than in 1979, as “the composition of federal revenues shifted away from progressive income taxes to less-progressive payroll taxes,” the budget office said.

Also, it said, federal benefit payments are doing less to even out the distribution of income, as a growing share of benefits, like Social Security, goes to older Americans, regardless of their income.

The report, requested several years ago, was issued as lawmakers tussle over how to reduce unemployment, a joint committee of Congress weighs changes in the tax code and protesters around the country rail against disparities in income between rich and poor.

In its report, the budget office found that from 1979 to 2007, average inflation-adjusted after-tax income grew by 275 percent for the 1 percent of the population with the highest income. For others in the top 20 percent of the population, average real after-tax household income grew by 65 percent.

By contrast, the budget office said, for the poorest fifth of the population, average real after-tax household income rose 18 percent.

And for the three-fifths of people in the middle of the income scale, the growth in such household income was just under 40 percent.

The findings, based on a rigorous analysis of data from the Internal Revenue Service and the Census Bureau, are generally consistent with studies by some private researchers and academic economists. But because they carry the imprimatur of the nonpartisan budget office, they are likely to have a major impact on the debate in Congress over the fairness of federal tax and spending policies.

Also cited as factors contributing to the rapid growth of income at the top were the structure of executive compensation; high salaries for some “superstars” in sports and the arts; the increasing size of the financial services industry; and the growing role of capital gains, which go disproportionately to higher-income households.

The report found that higher-income households got a larger share of the pie, while other households got smaller shares.

Specifically the report made these points:

¶ The share of after-tax household income for the top 1 percent of the population more than doubled, climbing to 17 percent in 2007 from nearly 8 percent in 1979.

¶ The most affluent fifth of the population received 53 percent of after-tax household income in 2007, up from 43 percent in 1979. In other words, the after-tax income of the most affluent fifth exceeded the income of the other four-fifths of the population.

¶ People in the lowest fifth of the population received about 5 percent of after-tax household income in 2007, down from 7 percent in 1979.

¶ People in the middle three-fifths of the population saw their shares of after-tax income decline by 2 to 3 percentage points from 1979 to 2007.

The study was requested by Senators Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the Finance Committee, and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, when he was the senior Republican on the panel.

Representative Sander M. Levin of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, said the report was “the latest evidence of the alarming rise in income inequality.”

House Republicans pushed back Tuesday against President Obama’s complaint that they were blocking bills to create jobs. Speaker John A. Boehner said he agreed with Mr. Obama’s new slogan, “we can’t wait,” and he said that 15 House-passed bills were “sitting over in the Senate, waiting for action.”

On Tuesday, the White House endorsed another bill, which is likely to be passed by the House this week with bipartisan support. The bill would repeal a requirement for federal, state and local government agencies to withhold 3 percent of certain payments to suppliers of goods and services and to deposit the money with the Internal Revenue Service.

This requirement was originally adopted as a tax-compliance measure, and the Congressional Budget Office said its repeal would reduce federal revenues by $11 billion over 10 years.

House Republicans would offset the cost with a bill that reduces federal spending on Medicaid under the 2010 health care law. The White House said it supported the bill, intended to fix an apparent error in the law, under which hundreds of thousands of middle-income early retirees can get Medicaid coverage meant for the poor.

The joint Congressional committee on deficit reduction is considering changes in a wide range of benefit programs.

Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, said Tuesday that he was hopeful but not entirely confident that the panel would succeed in reaching a bipartisan agreement to reduce federal deficits by $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

“Hopeful is not confident,” Mr. Hoyer said.

Emphasis is mine.

Crispin's Crispian
10-26-2011, 04:18 PM
I don't think anyone can argue that the income and/or wealth gap isn't increasing. But this thread has been rather derailed with personal issues. I'm interested in the actual arguments.

So...

-How does one define income equality? How far does it go?

-What are the arguments for decreasing income inequality? That is, why is income equality a goal toward which we should strive?

-How can we reconcile a (relatively) free market with income equality? That is, why shouldn't a CEO make 1000x more than a line worker?

-How can the government act to encourage income equality without treading on personal freedom?

Sinistrum
10-26-2011, 04:38 PM
Question #1: a bad idea

Question #2: envy, laziness, and a sense of entitlement masked by intellectually dishonest rhetoric that focuses on a lot of made up multisyllabel words designed to make the one saying them appear smarter than they really are (ex:see the writings of Marx, Karl and Chomsky, Noam)

Question #3: You can't

Question #4: It can't

'Nough said

The Unreasoner
10-26-2011, 04:56 PM
Question #1: a bad idea
This is one thing I am interested in. Inequality exists- fact. But is it a problem? You say no. Some conservatives seem to be saying: 'yes, but the enemy is the government.' I have no idea what their solution is (or if it would work), and the same goes for the bulk of OWS. But it seems that OWS first needs to argue that it is a problem, without some moral position (pretty damn hard to refuse to legislate morality when it comes to abortion, but then do so when it comes to charity). And they probably should avoid the whole 'guillotines still work' argument as well.

Gilshalos Sedai
10-26-2011, 05:01 PM
And they probably should avoid the whole 'guillotines still work' argument as well.


Wait, they're actually making that argument?

The Unreasoner
10-26-2011, 05:09 PM
Wait, they're actually making that argument?
LOL. Given the sheer variety of opinions, I wouldn't be surprised if a few were. But Davian brought it up in this thread.

Terez
10-26-2011, 05:42 PM
How does one define income equality? How far does it go?
I don't think many people are really arguing for 'income equality' here, despite the fact that people use the words 'income inequality' to talk about it. We're talking about the income gap, and indeed, the question is 'how far does it go?'

What are the arguments for decreasing income inequality? That is, why is income equality a goal toward which we should strive?Because people have different talents, and ideally, a person should be able to work hard and do the best they can and make a living. There are various ways of going about achieving that, but most Western economists seem to argue that it's very much a long-term goal that should be achieved gradually. But instead, we're going in the other direction, and fast. Our society doesn't reward hard work at all. It rewards money movers, gamblers, and people with means and connections. And isn't that a problem?

How can we reconcile a (relatively) free market with income equality?That's a complex question, and I doubt we'll answer it here. (Not saying we shouldn't discuss it...just saying.)

That is, why shouldn't a CEO make 1000x more than a line worker?Because he makes that money off the backs of line workers. He should make more than them, yes. He's the job creator. But isn't 10x enough? 20x at most? I mean, come on.

I have some further thoughts about this that I will be blogging soon, hopefully. I can't analyze every corporation in the country; they're all very different. I can only analyze the one I know. I'm reading up on financial institutions, though, and from what I've read, there are certain problems that are endemic to the corporate structure, and topmost is the unwillingness of the corporate elite (this goes far beyond just the CEO) to make any kind of sacrifice for the working class grunts who make the money for them. The argument generally goes something like, "Well if we make this HUGE sacrifice then it will only benefit each hard labor worker a little bit. Therefore we shouldn't do it." But they don't realize how much that 'little bit' would really help because they can't think in terms of small money...and so the gap continues to grow, because why not? Everyone is doing it.

Furthermore, corruption is a serious issue when it's possible to show 'profits' that don't really exist. How do you do that? Wage suppression is one way to create an illusion of healthy profit when in fact you're being robbed by a host of 'small money' people. There are other ways, and the methods will vary based on how you make money. When you can cover up corruption and still show healthy profits to shareholders, why would you bother to try to control it? In my experience, there is some effort (because more profits are always good), but watchdog personnel aren't really in it. The watchdogs would rather play golf, because the bonuses are still rolling in.

How can the government act to encourage income equality without treading on personal freedom?Perhaps the government shouldn't have to. And perhaps that's why the current protests are aimed at Wall Street instead of Washington DC.

lord Mordeth
10-26-2011, 06:32 PM
The numbers I look at are the ones regarding increased share of wealth for the richest over the past 30 years. Clearly you'd have to be insane to think that CEOs today are several times more effective than they were 30 years ago, which means that there's been a deliberate and sustained effort to increase their share of compensation over that time.

What can be done, can be undone...Fox News likes to whine that it isn't 'fair' to tax more of that money away, but why was it fair to increase it in the first place?

The Unreasoner
10-26-2011, 07:23 PM
Perhaps the government shouldn't have to. And perhaps that's why the current protests are aimed at Wall Street instead of Washington DC.
But should Wall Street? I really think people just thought: 'we don't have any money, but they do. This must be their fault.'

In any case, what obligation does Wall Street have to meet your demands? They are obligated to maximize profits for shareholders, while observing existing regulations. That is the 'right' thing to do in their universe. They have no reason to appease you.

So, you could theoretically alter their universe by changing the existing regulations/other laws (which, and correct me if I'm wrong, is the bulk of your demands anyway), but this would be done through Congress. Be it better protection from predatory loans/higher taxes/whatever, the necessary action would not come from Wall Street.

You could make the argument that since the banks were bailed out, the American taxpayers are shareholders, in a sense. But this still doesn't give you the right to just take stuff from them. You can't just take books from the library and keep them, even though your taxpayer dollars paid for them. But, just as Congress can take funds away from libraries (and other assets), Congress could probably figure out a way to get a return for our investment. And again, Congress is the deciding force here, not Wall Street. If you have a problem with Wall Street buying politicians; again, the action must come from Congress. In capitalism, it is perfectly okay to buy what is for sale. So Wall Street's economic conscience is not what I would recommend appealing to, as (at least on this issue) it is clean. But we can make it harder to buy politicians- by either electing more politicians of principle, or passing laws that makes the process not worth the cost. Of course, we don't pass/write laws, but we do vote, and can vote our guys out. And there are letter writing campaigns. They always seemed stupid to me, but at least they would be on the right track.

Occupy Oakland is talking about how they're not going anywhere (do they cycle in and out, or do none of them have jobs? All OWS, not just Oakland. This is a serious question, I just wonder how they will be demonized by the Right. If too many of them are unemployed, and are sitting around getting pepper sprayed rather than looking for a job...Karl Rove will have fun). Someone on the boards has a signature with a quote defining fanatics as people who won't change either their minds or the subject (or something similar). It seems that this is the same thing here, in a modified sense: they won't leave, but can't win without redefining their idea of victory. Because they invaded the wrong damn country. It's Iraq all over again: sure, we had a great and noble purpose (fighting the amorphous Terrorism, halting WMD proliferation, liberating a country from a dictator), but we picked the wrong place to do that (except the liberation part. But we clearly fell short of a perfect score there. And OWS picked the right place for their goal of 'raising awareness.' But with a convoluted message, being dominated by media whores, and having a public image that much of America doesn't relate to, OWS will score no higher).

And so, the fanatic comes into play again. We wouldn't change our minds (purpose in Iraq/definition of victory), or the subject (we didn't just leave). OWS is no different. Occupy Oakland (and OWS in general) isn't going anywhere? There's the refusal to change the subject. And there's only so much they can do where they are now. Their failure to recognize that it's impossible to find WMDs where there are none makes them fanatics.

Sinistrum
10-26-2011, 07:25 PM
I really think people just thought: 'we don't have any money, but they do. This must be their fault.'

I've yet to see a more succinct summation of what OWS really stands for than this.

Bryan Blaire
10-26-2011, 11:00 PM
So...

-How does one define income equality? How far does it go?
Income equality (from BusinessDictionary.com): A measurement of the distribution of income that highlights the gap between individuals or households making most of the income in a given country and those making very little.
As far as how far does it go? The question is somewhat open-ended, so while I’d like a bit more definition of what you’re really asking, I’d say that most likely there are two outcomes, it goes as far as it can until the system collapses (usually by revolution – peaceful or otherwise) or those most affected by the ever increasing gap decide they’ve had enough and move to a location where there is a lower gap/they feel has a greater possibility of a lower gap.

-What are the arguments for decreasing income inequality? That is, why is income equality a goal toward which we should strive?
TBH, I think it’s both a productivity and a peaceful existence issue. It’s hard to get the best out of people when they are disgruntled (I think that’s fairly self-evident). It is also pretty readily apparent that when there is a large enough feeling that you aren’t fairly getting what you deserve or you are desperate enough, there becomes an increasing tendency to assume that those that have more didn’t achieve it fairly and therefore should be giving you some of what is considered ill-gotten gains. This can come in many varied forms. It also lends easily to a more general assignment of responsibility (such as “the rich” – which could include those in the middle class or even working class, depending on your current status and the breadth of your definition), rather than directly targeting those specifically involved.

-How can we reconcile a (relatively) free market with income equality? That is, why shouldn't a CEO make 1000x more than a line worker?
I don’t think the point of a free market (granted, we don’t have that, but for the sake of illustrating my own feelings) is to reconcile income equality. If the point of a free market is to truly get as much out of the system for as long as you can, then there is no reconciliation for doing exactly what you are supposed to. A CEO should actually try to make more than 1000x the salary of a line worker.

Now, that particular system will not last long. It isn’t truly efficient, because the line workers are only going to stick around for as long as they don’t start to feel that they have a better opportunity somewhere else. The question is, do they really have somewhere better to go. That’s all dependent on the system itself. If we are talking about a system where you only have 50 workers and only 30 of them can be employed at any given time, and there’s only one company, the situation will resolve differently than a system where you have two companies with 50 workers and only 40 of them can be employed. You’re also going to have to factor in efficiency coefficients, etc.

-How can the government act to encourage income equality without treading on personal freedom?
Personal freedom or corporate freedom? Is it even the government’s obligation to encourage income equality, or simply to “provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and preserve the blessings of prosperity?” I think the idea that it is government’s obligation becomes based on your view of “promote the general welfare”. Is that actually general or is it specifically based on individuals within the population? Does a high income inequality ratio equal poor general welfare?

Question #1: a bad idea

Question #2: envy, laziness, and a sense of entitlement masked by intellectually dishonest rhetoric that focuses on a lot of made up multisyllabel words designed to make the one saying them appear smarter than they really are (ex:see the writings of Marx, Karl and Chomsky, Noam)

Question #3: You can't

Question #4: It can't

'Nough said
None of those really provide an explanation of your views, dude. Most don’t even answer the questions.


This is one thing I am interested in. Inequality exists- fact. But is it a problem? You say no. Some conservatives seem to be saying: 'yes, but the enemy is the government.' I have no idea what their solution is (or if it would work), and the same goes for the bulk of OWS. But it seems that OWS first needs to argue that it is a problem, without some moral position (pretty damn hard to refuse to legislate morality when it comes to abortion, but then do so when it comes to charity). And they probably should avoid the whole 'guillotines still work' argument as well.
It’s not the government, but the whole of what makes up humanity that is the problem. There’s a HUGE range to all ends of all types of spectrums that makes the kind of argument “the enemy is X” rather pointless, because it is highly unlikely that the entirety of any spectrum of people in an enterprise of any kind, including government, is actually the problem. You will have those that act with good and bad intent in any spectrum of people, and it won’t always be the same direction (good or bad) for each person on each subject. People here generally dislike arguing against vagaries and want things like specific quotes, news articles, etc, so why not maintain a similar stance in political discussions all the time, rather than just using “X group can bite it!” type arguments when arguing against philosophies that are unliked.

It rewards money movers, gamblers, and people with means and connections. And isn't that a problem?
I’ll disagree that the idea of rewarding gamblers is necessarily a bad thing. The bad thing is removing the risk to the gamblers. Many good things for society have come from gambles. However, the money movers and people with means and connections encompasses all the “elite” of our nation, our government and elected officials, our icons and idols, academic elite, etc. Without further qualification, the idea of it being a problem also completely discounts the concept that those with means and connections could have possibly created those themselves. Obama and Cain have those things, are they automatically a problem?

Because he makes that money off the backs of line workers. He should make more than them, yes. He's the job creator. But isn't 10x enough? 20x at most? I mean, come on.
Is that something that can truly have a specific number attached? How does one actually come up with a number for it? Can I ask your reason for choosing 20x at most?

If the CEO’s company supplies 50K jobs, how do you parcel up the responsibilities the CEO has to truly keep the company running and keep earning, etc, into a simple mathematical formula, when bad decision making, if not caught quickly enough, could definitely result in the loss of jobs, potentially costing beyond a simple 20 employees pay count? I think that’s the real question in all of this: “Can we (the American people working through the US government) honestly numerically set a level of compensation for a CEO that fits all possible companies that have a CEO position with any kind of formula in comparison to a ‘standard worker’?” I would then follow that up with “What definition do we then set for a ‘standard worker’?”

The numbers I look at are the ones regarding increased share of wealth for the richest over the past 30 years. Clearly you'd have to be insane to think that CEOs today are several times more effective than they were 30 years ago, which means that there's been a deliberate and sustained effort to increase their share of compensation over that time.

What can be done, can be undone...Fox News likes to whine that it isn't 'fair' to tax more of that money away, but why was it fair to increase it in the first place?
To increase compensation or taxes? (Yes, it’s likely you were asking the first one, which is what I’ll address)

What exactly is the measurement of fair with regards to compensation of CEOs? I addressed this some above, so I won’t repeat it all, but what do you see as the “fair” line that a CEO shouldn’t go above? A follow up would be “Why do we, the American people, need to countermand the decisions made by the board of directors of a company with regards to compensation levels the board has set?”

But should Wall Street? I really think people just thought: 'we don't have any money, but they do. This must be their fault.'

In any case, what obligation does Wall Street have to meet your demands? They are obligated to maximize profits for shareholders, while observing existing regulations. That is the 'right' thing to do in their universe. They have no reason to appease you.

So, you could theoretically alter their universe by changing the existing regulations/other laws (which, and correct me if I'm wrong, is the bulk of your demands anyway), but this would be done through Congress. Be it better protection from predatory loans/higher taxes/whatever, the necessary action would not come from Wall Street.

You could make the argument that since the banks were bailed out, the American taxpayers are shareholders, in a sense. But this still doesn't give you the right to just take stuff from them. You can't just take books from the library and keep them, even though your taxpayer dollars paid for them. But, just as Congress can take funds away from libraries (and other assets), Congress could probably figure out a way to get a return for our investment. And again, Congress is the deciding force here, not Wall Street. If you have a problem with Wall Street buying politicians; again, the action must come from Congress. In capitalism, it is perfectly okay to buy what is for sale. So Wall Street's economic conscience is not what I would recommend appealing to, as (at least on this issue) it is clean. But we can make it harder to buy politicians- by either electing more politicians of principle, or passing laws that makes the process not worth the cost. Of course, we don't pass/write laws, but we do vote, and can vote our guys out. And there are letter writing campaigns. They always seemed stupid to me, but at least they would be on the right track.
The best argument I can personally think of for “Wall Street” meeting “demands” (since there really hasn’t been a good concrete set of grievances stated), due to my own morality and beliefs, is that those that have the most should be willing to sacrifice the most to make the lives of those less blessed/lucky/whatever you want to call it than them better. Especially since a large number of those individuals claim to be “good Christians” and don’t even bother to try to hit the sacrifice mark (and by sacrifice, I don’t mean they need to walk the streets and live in a shelter, or even live in the same neighborhood with me, and while cost of living changes from place to place, there’s a certain mark of comfort above which most of these live). This same concept needs to be equally and fairly applied to all those multi-millionaires, not just those I oppose (or anyone that chooses to impose something similar) and it shouldn’t require the government forcing you to help, because if you weren’t already doing it, that does state that you weren’t willing to in the first place (because if you were, wouldn’t you already have been doing it?). If you, the reader, do not agree with this train of thought, exactly why not? Does something make you believe that people that truly want to help will choose not to until others start doing it first/with them and that makes them better than those that either already do help or don't help at all?

As far as the American taxpayers being shareholders, that is something that would actually have had to be defined in the bail-out paperwork that was arranged by the lawyers. I doubt there was any such clause, or we’d all be legally entitled to make a single, large 330 million strong – assuming we got 1 share a piece for our money – proxy vote at the next board meeting. If there was, and that wasn’t announced, we really did get screwed over the Congressional seats.

Along with the letter writing campaign, I’m surprised that no one has been arranging a good grass roots write-in or properly formed political campaign for a candidate that is “not an insider.” All the people we’ve been getting are, for the most part, and I think that most of that has to do with the belief that anyone that isn’t a Democrat or Republican can’t truly win a massive race.

Sukoto
10-28-2011, 06:53 PM
What exactly is the measurement of fair with regards to compensation of CEOs? I addressed this some above, so I won’t repeat it all, but what do you see as the “fair” line that a CEO shouldn’t go above? A follow up would be “Why do we, the American people, need to countermand the decisions made by the board of directors of a company with regards to compensation levels the board has set?”
I think you've brought up a good point here. I will share an anecdote, and hopefully it will have some relevance:

I have been working at my company for 4 years. Throughout the 2nd and 3rd year working here, my attitude was along the lines of, "The CEO and the sales staff are incompetent know-nothings who profit off the backs of the engineers (me) and the project managers." I definitely had an Us vs. Them attitude. We were the nerdy types who had Master's degrees, who understood the industry and actually got the work done, but we still weren't making much above the entry-level salary. They were the ones who got where they were either by sheer dumb luck or through connections, who only had a Bachelor's degree or high school diploma and needed Us to explain everything to them and fix all the messes they made. I was convinced that They were all being paid just as much or more than I was. I was angry.

Fast forward to the present. Things haven't changed much at work in terms of the day-to-day business and workload. But there have been changes in my personal life that shifted my perspective and diverted stress and pressure away from my career. I no longer care about other peoples' salaries because I know mine is high enough and that's all that matters right now. My Us vs. Them attitude has pretty much gone away.

I identify with OWS protesters somewhat because I went through a period of anger about unfairness. Some of it was real, some of it was perceived. I recognize now that during that time I had no real solution. I just wanted the objects of my anger to either suffer like I was suffering or go away so they could no longer make my job harder. Some of my coworkers tried to tell me it was just my attitude that was making me unhappy, but I didn't want to hear that. It only made me angrier.

In my situation it turned out that my coworkers were right. It was my attitude. But I didn't understand that at the time. I only saw the unfairness, and I felt that it was someone else's responsibility to fix the unfairness. My responsibility was to complain about it.

I think the OWS movement is similar to this. They are angry. They see unfairness. Some of it is real, some perceived. They don't really know what to do about it besides complain/protest. Eventually, most of the protesters will probably realize their protests aren't doing anything. Or perhaps something else in their life will change to divert their attention away from economic malaise. When that happens, they will either realize that their situation doesn't need to change and they just need to change their attitude, or they will realize they actually can do something to change their individual situations and that their OWS complaints were somewhat unfounded.


Along with the letter writing campaign, I’m surprised that no one has been arranging a good grass roots write-in or properly formed political campaign for a candidate that is “not an insider.” All the people we’ve been getting are, for the most part, and I think that most of that has to do with the belief that anyone that isn’t a Democrat or Republican can’t truly win a massive race.
I really would like to see a 3rd party emerge. Maybe the Tea Party and OWS can get together and throw their weight behind one? Or maybe we could have 4 parties? I have no idea if that would fix any problems, but I'm curious.

The Unreasoner
10-28-2011, 07:30 PM
I really wish you had an avatar, Sukoto. It would make my sig shorter.

Have some Youngling Rep anyway.

GonzoTheGreat
10-29-2011, 05:20 AM
I really would like to see a 3rd party emerge. Maybe the Tea Party and OWS can get together and throw their weight behind one? Or maybe we could have 4 parties? I have no idea if that would fix any problems, but I'm curious.You have dozens of parties, all but two of which are utterly irrelevant. It is theoretically possible that one of those irrelevant parties (or a new one) would replace one of the two important parties. But then you would still only have two parties that mattered.

You will not get rid of your two party system until the election system in your country is changed to proportional representation. And that won't happen until you have more than two relevant parties.

The upshot of which is that you will not have more than two parties for more than one, maybe two elections in a row. Don't like it? Tough.