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#202 Oct 25 2011 at 8:48 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Well, I should have probably specified studies that are actually concerned with the way things actually work, not their own theories that fail to be supported by any evidence from the actual economy.


But you define the former to be those which agree with you and the latter to be those which disagree.


No, he defines those as the ones that actually talk about what is happening, vs ones concerned about what David Ricardo predicted would happen
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#203 Oct 25 2011 at 8:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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NEWSFLASH - it is not the 18th century anymore - and even Adam Smith believed that unequal wealth distribution is an economic problem not an economic goal
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#204 Oct 25 2011 at 9:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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Honest question gbaji, what purpose would linking an actual source do in a discussion with you? You never admit your errors even when confronted with irrefutable evidence. It's hardly worth investing the effort.
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#205 Oct 25 2011 at 10:04 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Except that your arguments are never grounded in any kind of reliable information.

And it's not hard at all to understand why it's absurd.

What stimulates the economy? Spending. Who are the main purchasers of commodities? The lower two classes. How much of their income do they put back into the economy? Almost all of it. Who benefits from this spending? Businesses. A larger market means support for larger business models, which creates more jobs. Which brings more wealth to the lower classes, which leads to more spending. Etc.

The wealthy don't spend. Well, they do. They spend a lot. But the percentage of their income that they spend is vastly lower than what the lower classes do. So each dollar of wealth that the lower classes have is intrinsically more valuable for the economy. The wealthy have a really annoying tendency to let their wealth sit in a bank account, in bonds, annuities, etc. This means that their money goes to banks, insurance companies, etc. And these are the sorts of investments that aren't going to create a large number of jobs or stimulate markets (especially when it comes to annuities).

It's really not all that hard to understand the basic structures that lead to one system's failure compared to the other.


No, it's not hard at all. Knowing this, why does it continue to fail? Who is responsible for this failure?
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#206 Oct 25 2011 at 10:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Kuwoobie wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Except that your arguments are never grounded in any kind of reliable information.

And it's not hard at all to understand why it's absurd.

What stimulates the economy? Spending. Who are the main purchasers of commodities? The lower two classes. How much of their income do they put back into the economy? Almost all of it. Who benefits from this spending? Businesses. A larger market means support for larger business models, which creates more jobs. Which brings more wealth to the lower classes, which leads to more spending. Etc.

The wealthy don't spend. Well, they do. They spend a lot. But the percentage of their income that they spend is vastly lower than what the lower classes do. So each dollar of wealth that the lower classes have is intrinsically more valuable for the economy. The wealthy have a really annoying tendency to let their wealth sit in a bank account, in bonds, annuities, etc. This means that their money goes to banks, insurance companies, etc. And these are the sorts of investments that aren't going to create a large number of jobs or stimulate markets (especially when it comes to annuities).

It's really not all that hard to understand the basic structures that lead to one system's failure compared to the other.


No, it's not hard at all. Knowing this, why does it continue to fail? Who is responsible for this failure?


I can't say I understand what you are asking.
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#207ThiefX, Posted: Oct 25 2011 at 10:12 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Seriously Idiggory you're still talking? I figured after you ignorantly claimed that someone making $500,000 isn't in the 1% like you did at the beginning of this thread you would have wandered back to the nearest occupy camp for more "learning" and/or a bong hit.
#208 Oct 25 2011 at 10:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, according to the link Joph provided, someone making 500k technically isn't in the top 1% tax bracket.

But that's neither here nor there--this isn't about tax brackets, it's about the control of wealth. But feel free to continue foaming at the mouth.
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#209 Oct 25 2011 at 10:32 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Kuwoobie wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Except that your arguments are never grounded in any kind of reliable information.

And it's not hard at all to understand why it's absurd.

What stimulates the economy? Spending. Who are the main purchasers of commodities? The lower two classes. How much of their income do they put back into the economy? Almost all of it. Who benefits from this spending? Businesses. A larger market means support for larger business models, which creates more jobs. Which brings more wealth to the lower classes, which leads to more spending. Etc.

The wealthy don't spend. Well, they do. They spend a lot. But the percentage of their income that they spend is vastly lower than what the lower classes do. So each dollar of wealth that the lower classes have is intrinsically more valuable for the economy. The wealthy have a really annoying tendency to let their wealth sit in a bank account, in bonds, annuities, etc. This means that their money goes to banks, insurance companies, etc. And these are the sorts of investments that aren't going to create a large number of jobs or stimulate markets (especially when it comes to annuities).

It's really not all that hard to understand the basic structures that lead to one system's failure compared to the other.


No, it's not hard at all. Knowing this, why does it continue to fail? Who is responsible for this failure?


I can't say I understand what you are asking.


What I'm saying is: Why do we continue practices that are destructive to the economy in the way you stated above? How can some knowingly support and apply this "trickle down" poison into our system? Who are the ones responsible for dreaming up such an atrocity to begin with? Where exactly did it begin?

It is something that has bothered me for a long time. There has to be another reason other than the bullsh*t they feed to the public about how it creates jobs out of thin air.
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#210 Oct 25 2011 at 10:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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Last I checked, every single US representative in the highest tiers of gov't was in the top 1% of taxpayers (and some are wealthy enough to be members of the 1% that Occupy concerns themselves with). Furthermore, corporations and banks constitute the bulk of wealth controllers in the nation, which allows them to become some of the strongest lobbyists.

But one might hope not all of our politicians are so corrupt. The problem is that there's also a heavy anti-socialist feeling in the US (which has been standard since the 19th century). But it is so aggressive that it even has negative ramifications for safety net programs, which are frankly necessary.

There is also a fair amount of stigma associated with the lower classes--as if they are to blame for their current situation, which absolves the higher classes of the guilt of putting them in their state. Which, frankly, is the case--being rich necessitates many others being poor. But if you can convince yourself that they are all lower class because they are lazy SOBs, then it's easy to ignore that.
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#211 Oct 26 2011 at 2:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
That's a pretty absurd exaggeration.

Isn't this your mantra?
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#212 Oct 26 2011 at 5:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Last I checked, every single US representative in the highest tiers of gov't was in the top 1% of taxpayers (and some are wealthy enough to be members of the 1% that Occupy concerns themselves with).

What do you consider the "highest tiers of government"? Stock Congresscritters make $174k a year, party leaders in Congress make 193k and the Speaker of the House (third in line to the presidency) makes a cool $223k. The top tax bracket is $379,150+.

Admittedly, many of those people have alternate forms of income but I wouldn't just assume they're all in the top 1% of anything.
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#213 Oct 26 2011 at 6:02 AM Rating: Good
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Admittedly, many of those people have alternate forms of income but I wouldn't just assume they're all in the top 1% of anything.
More than a few live off of their government salary and that's it. Well maybe just a few. We should also bear in mind that these people pretty much have to maintain two homes, and you can't really expect a lawmaker to rent an apartment in a slum in DC.
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#214 Oct 26 2011 at 6:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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#215 Oct 26 2011 at 8:13 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Last I checked, every single US representative in the highest tiers of gov't was in the top 1% of taxpayers (and some are wealthy enough to be members of the 1% that Occupy concerns themselves with).

What do you consider the "highest tiers of government"? Stock Congresscritters make $174k a year, party leaders in Congress make 193k and the Speaker of the House (third in line to the presidency) makes a cool $223k. The top tax bracket is $379,150+.

Admittedly, many of those people have alternate forms of income but I wouldn't just assume they're all in the top 1% of anything.


I believe my source was including the benefits in calculating their income, which brought the low-end of the scale to $284k. And almost all of congressional members do have alternate forms of income as well, either by actually owning businesses or by being heavy investors (which is far more common).

I can't find any source that shows the actual income of congress members, though.
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#216 Oct 26 2011 at 8:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I believe my source was including the benefits in calculating their income, which brought the low-end of the scale to $284k.

That's not calculated into their tax rate though. If we're just talking "wealth", we need to raise the bar to the $500k number.

Quote:
And almost all of congressional members do have alternate forms of income as well, either by actually owning businesses or by being heavy investors (which is far more common).

Probably less than a few cycles ago, given the number of relative nobodies who've won in recent cycles. I'm just saying I wouldn't make any blanket statements.
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#217 Oct 26 2011 at 9:17 AM Rating: Good
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And almost all of congressional members do have alternate forms of income as well, either by actually owning businesses or by being heavy investors (which is far more common).

Probably less than a few cycles ago, given the number of relative nobodies who've won in recent cycles. I'm just saying I wouldn't make any blanket statements.[/quote]
Fair.
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#218 Oct 26 2011 at 4:09 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Honest question gbaji, what purpose would linking an actual source do in a discussion with you? You never admit your errors even when confronted with irrefutable evidence. It's hardly worth investing the effort.


If the source has actual data and facts, I'll address them. The problem is that far too many people think that linking to a site expressing opinions which match their own constitutes "proof" of their position. It doesn't. And when someone on the interwebs holds a different position that I do, you equate that to some kind of error on my part. If I get something factually wrong, I admit it. But what most of the posters here call errors on my part really is just them disagreeing with me.

And "irrefutable evidence" as used on this forum is also often just a label applied to "something I agree with". Provide facts and figures and we can discuss any issue intelligently. Post a link to a guy saying "I think it's this way", you haven't really done anything. I can also find links of people saying the exact opposite thing. Playing "dueling experts" is pretty much an exercise in futility, don't you agree?
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#219 Oct 26 2011 at 4:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Honest question gbaji, what purpose would linking an actual source do in a discussion with you? You never admit your errors even when confronted with irrefutable evidence. It's hardly worth investing the effort.
The problem is that far too many people think that linking to a site expressing opinions which match their own constitutes "proof" of their position. It doesn't.


<insert obvious joke here>
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#220 Oct 26 2011 at 4:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Kuwoobie wrote:
What I'm saying is: Why do we continue practices that are destructive to the economy in the way you stated above?


You're putting your cart ahead of your horse. You need to first show that a practice is destructive. No one here has done that despite my continual requests for someone to explain how someone making more money makes someone else poorer. It's *not* a zero sum game, remember?

Quote:
How can some knowingly support and apply this "trickle down" poison into our system?


First off, labeling it "poison" makes it hard to take your post seriously. Secondly, it's not about supporting and applying it. What you call "trickle down" (most likely anyway) isn't something we create and apply. It's the natural way economics works. We have to intervene to *not* use it.

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Who are the ones responsible for dreaming up such an atrocity to begin with? Where exactly did it begin?


It began with the first guy realizing that if he produced more than he personally needed to consume, he could sell/barter/whatever that extra to someone else for the excess of whatever they produce. The result is that both of them realize gains from producing "more". The "trickle down" effect of this is natural. If everyone in society produces only exactly what they need to survive, then there's no margin of error. You get sick and can't gather coconuts today and you go hungry and die. But if you've gathered extra coconuts and traded them for extra goods (or currency later on), you can then use that savings to support yourself until you get better.

Some people then realized that if they had a lot of extra stuff saved up, they could lend that stuff to other people to help them start up their own productive enterprises. And thus "banking" was born. I could continue through history explaining how every little piece of the puzzle appeared over time, but I hope you get the point. No one sat down and thought about how to construct and economic system. It happened as a natural result of people in society doing what generated the best results.


What those who argue against these systems are doing is trying to have it both ways. They want the wealth generated by the existing system, but they want to take that wealth and use it for things which aren't productive. They believe that this is better for society as a whole, but have a hard time convincing people that it's worth it. Thus, those people have to convince people (like you) that the natural economic systems don't work and that wealth accumulation, rather than being the one thing that has historically helped people get out of poverty and become productive and happy, is really some evil thing which should be opposed. They demonize the extremely rich and play on most people's ignorance of how economic systems work to try to convince them to attack the very things that make their lives better every single day.


Quote:
It is something that has bothered me for a long time. There has to be another reason other than the bullsh*t they feed to the public about how it creates jobs out of thin air.


Honestly, when I read stuff like this, I just have to shake my head. It's not about trying to do things, it's about what results from your actions. You honestly can't see that in the process of building a huge corporate empire, the head of said empire will end up creating jobs for a whole lot of people? And he'll have to create some set of products which are valuable enough to the people for them to want to buy? You zero in on the individual rich people, but don't look at what their money is doing. Overwhelmingly, businesses make money because they provide a good or service to the public which the public feels is worth exchanging their own money for. And along the way, they create the jobs which gives people the money they use to buy those things (that's the whole "trading the fruits of your labors" bit).


The owner of said company doesn't have to start out with altruistic motives. But the results of his actions will create opportunity and wealth for others along the way to making him wealthy. It's nearly impossible for a wealthy person to become wealthy without doing this. Certainly, economy wide, this factor is absolutely huge and contributes to massive benefits for the entire population.
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#221 Oct 26 2011 at 4:39 PM Rating: Good
So Gbaji, if the executives in a company get 10-20% annual pay raises, and the regular employees get 0-1%, is that good for the economy? Is it just?
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#222 Oct 26 2011 at 4:46 PM Rating: Default
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Technogeek wrote:
So Gbaji, if the executives in a company get 10-20% annual pay raises, and the regular employees get 0-1%, is that good for the economy? Is it just?


If the company produces products that people are willing to buy, it's good for the economy. The make up of pay within the company has zero impact on the overall economic impact of the company's actions.


But since you asked, the make up of pay will be based on what the company thinks will allow it to most efficiently generate a profit. If paying their executives more will generate more profit in excess of the increased payroll expense, they will do it. If it wont, they wont. Same deal with how much they pay their rank and file employees. If paying them 20% more will increase revenue by more than the payroll cost increase, they will do it.


I'm not sure why you think one of those things has anything at all to do with the other.
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#223 Oct 26 2011 at 4:56 PM Rating: Good
Gotcha, stifling the middle class is all good for you. Must be nice to have your head so far up corporate ass you can't see.
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#224 Oct 26 2011 at 6:00 PM Rating: Decent
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Technogeek wrote:
Gotcha, stifling the middle class is all good for you. Must be nice to have your head so far up corporate ass you can't see.


Your problem is that you're viewing it in terms of an intent to help or hurt a given group. That's not my motivation, nor is it how I'm judging the issue. I believe that by the company acting in ways which best produce profits, even if the distribution of wealth that results isn't equal, the total effect for everyone involved is beneficial.

What's the alternative? We force companies to structure their compensation in ways which produce fewer profits? Then what? The company makes less money, and thus has a smaller pool to use to develop new/better products, and even to provide future compensation increases for its employees. I guess I just don't understand what problem you think you're solving with that.

I'd rather have a middle class that doesn't earn as much as the rich executives they work for then not have a middle class at all (or even just have a smaller one). If you had the choice between working a minimum wage job at a small business where the owner also isn't making that much money, or making $50k/year at a big corporation where the fat cat executives pull down a million or more a year, would you honestly choose to continue working for minimum wage? Aren't you still better off working for $50k/year?


I think so. And I honestly don't understand the argument that there's something wrong because "the rich" make so much more. Why does this matter? As long as there are opportunities for me to improve my life, why should I care that others are doing even better?

Edited, Oct 26th 2011 5:01pm by gbaji
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#225 Oct 26 2011 at 6:04 PM Rating: Excellent
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.
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#226 Oct 26 2011 at 6:15 PM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.

I think I'm going to just Smiley: grin and Smiley: nod from now on.
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#227 Oct 26 2011 at 6:15 PM Rating: Good
Sometimes it';s amusing to see him type so many words to prove he's a clueless corporate drone.
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#228 Oct 26 2011 at 6:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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I've yet to read a full post.
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#229 Oct 26 2011 at 6:52 PM Rating: Good
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Nilatai wrote:
I've yet to read a full post.


Neither have I, and I end up in arguments with him fairly often. :P
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#230 Oct 26 2011 at 6:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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#231 Oct 26 2011 at 7:06 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.


Nope. I disagree with people who believe that those two things are in opposition.
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#232 Oct 26 2011 at 7:11 PM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.

And this always amuses me. It's like he thinks he's one of those corporate billionaires, the way he defends them.
#233 Oct 26 2011 at 7:21 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.


Nope. I disagree with people who believe that those two things are in opposition.


Naturally they aren't always in opposition. But when we are talking about rich people getting richer, we are NECESSARILY talking about the poor getting poorer.
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#234 Oct 26 2011 at 7:52 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.


Nope. I disagree with people who believe that those two things are in opposition.


That is a meaningless statement.

How about: He's shown time and time again that in his world the value of $ > the value of people.


Your god is Magog, gbaji.
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#235 Oct 26 2011 at 8:00 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.


Nope. I disagree with people who believe that those two things are in opposition.


Naturally they aren't always in opposition. But when we are talking about rich people getting richer, we are NECESSARILY talking about the poor getting poorer.


Only if we assume that economics is a zero sum game. I thought we established that it's not. Or, at the very least, no one has sufficiently argued that it *is*.


I disagree with your assumption. A rich person getting richer does not make the poor poorer. And no one has provided evidence to the contrary.
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#236 Oct 26 2011 at 8:04 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.


Nope. I disagree with people who believe that those two things are in opposition.


Naturally they aren't always in opposition. But when we are talking about rich people getting richer, we are NECESSARILY talking about the poor getting poorer.

Not really. If the "fat cat" CEO makes a million one year, and 2 million the next year, his earnings have increased by 100%. If the employee made 50k one year, and then 60k the next year, his earnings have increased by 20%. Sure, the CEO increased more, but they both had an increase in earnings.
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#237 Oct 26 2011 at 8:32 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.


Nope. I disagree with people who believe that those two things are in opposition.


That is a meaningless statement.


How so? I think it's very meaningful to point out that the very comparison being made is irrelevant. Unless we're being forced to choose between them, then trying to rank them in some way is pointless.

Quote:
How about: He's shown time and time again that in his world the value of $ > the value of people.


Honestly, even that's a ridiculous and strawman-tempting misrepresentation. A better way to express it would be: Pursuit of $ > economic outcomes for the people. I happen to believe that in the process of pursuing money, a wealthy person also generates positive economic outcomes for others. And when we use an economic system which most rewards people financially when they produce something which others are willing to pay to buy, then we most ensure that the pursuit of money benefits the maximum number of people.


In such a system, it's illogical to make the argument you guys are making. It would be like saying that the pursuit of a medical degree is more valuable than the health of the people. One not only isn't in opposition to the other, but arguably benefits the other. Same deal here.


Show me that as the wealth gap between rich and poor has grown within the US, that the overall life condition of the poor has gotten worse. I don't think you can do it. In fact, whenever I ask for this, the statistic I usually get back is a comparison of relative incomes. But that's circular, right? It's a given that earnings for the rich have increased faster than earnings for the poor. So it follows that the relative amount of those things will have changed accordingly. The question isn't whether a poor person has less money relative to a rich person, but whether over the period of time during which this happened, the real living conditions of the poor have gotten worse in absolute terms. Do they live in worse homes? Do they have less access to food? Do they have less education, health care, transportation? Do they have fewer luxuries?


I just think that when you look at the issue in those terms, the answer overwhelmingly is "no". The conditions for the poor haven't gotten worse. They have in fact gotten massively better over the whole period of time. So what is the problem? Are you seriously arguing that during a time in which the poor experienced greater real gains than at any point in human history, it all doesn't matter because the rich gained a greater relative number of dollars over the same period of time?


That's what I mean when I talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You put more weight on something you can't even clearly argue is important in the first place, than a whole list of very real very well defined very easily argued important things. I just don't understand this obsession with comparing the relative number of dollars of rich and poor. Why does that matter? I keep asking this question because no one can give me a really good explanation. How does a rich person having more money hurt you? You all keep insisting that it does, but not one person can explain how, much less show that it has happened.
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#238 Oct 26 2011 at 8:40 PM Rating: Excellent
Funny how you decided to skip the Magog part. But hey, I know you hate discussing your religion.Smiley: laugh



garbaji, try, TRY to pay attention here. I am giving you an easy way to admit to your God-hating moneyworship. My statements here are reflective of your religious belief structure, not the economy.

Goddam, you really have become dense as lead lately.
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#239 Oct 26 2011 at 9:41 PM Rating: Good
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Kastigir wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.


Nope. I disagree with people who believe that those two things are in opposition.


Naturally they aren't always in opposition. But when we are talking about rich people getting richer, we are NECESSARILY talking about the poor getting poorer.

Not really. If the "fat cat" CEO makes a million one year, and 2 million the next year, his earnings have increased by 100%. If the employee made 50k one year, and then 60k the next year, his earnings have increased by 20%. Sure, the CEO increased more, but they both had an increase in earnings.


Except that wealth doesn't increase linearly across classes. Never has and, under a capitalist system, it never will.

At any one time, there's a limit to the amount of capital in the system. Even though that amount increases every day (to simplify things to monetary values, only 95% of newly printed bills go to replacing old ones), it doesn't do so quickly or in massive quantities. Even over the course of the year, the actual increase in capital for the global economy is extremely small (and a decrease in capital is also possible).

Generally speaking, the majority of income gains for the rich are going to come directly from profit from services used by the people. If their income is growing (more than can be explained by a natural swell in capital), it's because they aren't increasing their market investments proportionally.

And it is definitely true that a person can have increased income from one year to the next. But it is equally true that they can be poorer from one year to the next despite increased income, since the value of the dollar decreases.

Most importantly, "poor" and "rich" are relational properties, not one-place properties. If I earn 100 dollars more today than I did yesterday, I do see a gain in wealth. However, if Mr. Rich gains $20,000 more today than he did yesterday, I became poorer, since the gap between us has widened.

"The poor get poorer" does not translates into "the poor have less money today than yesterday." It means that they control a smaller percentage of available capital today than they did yesterday, which is a very different thing.

To put it in perspective, in 1760 5% of the taxpayers held 40% of the wealth. Now, the top 1% of taxpayers (which is not referring specifically to the group OWS is attacking) now controls over 70% of assets. That's a BIG difference.

The poor are today are certainly "richer" than the poor of 1760, but not in an economically meaningful way. They are richer in a historically meaningful one. Those two should not be conflated. We are certainly less destitute today, but that doesn't mean that we aren't poorer in relation to our rich (which is what we should care about).
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#240 Oct 27 2011 at 10:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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Question for those who may know more about this kind of thing then I do.

Linky

Someone in charge of the finances took $20,000 that had been donated and started a non-profit with it to "protect the groups money." She's since received death threats and such.

An excerpt from the groups response is as follows:

Quote:
If anything, this incident illustrates the very reason we are protesting. Our protest against corporate power and control is now colored by people who have used this very structure we are protesting against to deprive us of donations and resources that the community as a whole helped establish for our protest.


So I'm not understanding why they'd be against putting together a non-profit, and how this would be against their motives? Can someone explain this to me? Or is this just in-fighting, or something specific to the PDX group?

<--- Officially confused yet again... Smiley: lol

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#241 Oct 27 2011 at 5:25 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
Show me that as the wealth gap between rich and poor has grown within the US, that the overall life condition of the poor has gotten worse. I don't think you can do it. In fact, whenever I ask for this, the statistic I usually get back is a comparison of relative incomes. But that's circular, right? It's a given that earnings for the rich have increased faster than earnings for the poor. So it follows that the relative amount of those things will have changed accordingly. The question isn't whether a poor person has less money relative to a rich person, but whether over the period of time during which this happened, the real living conditions of the poor have gotten worse in absolute terms. Do they live in worse homes? Do they have less access to food? Do they have less education, health care, transportation? Do they have fewer luxuries?

...

That's what I mean when I talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You put more weight on something you can't even clearly argue is important in the first place, than a whole list of very real very well defined very easily argued important things. I just don't understand this obsession with comparing the relative number of dollars of rich and poor. Why does that matter? I keep asking this question because no one can give me a really good explanation. How does a rich person having more money hurt you? You all keep insisting that it does, but not one person can explain how, much less show that it has happened.


idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

Most importantly, "poor" and "rich" are relational properties, not one-place properties. If I earn 100 dollars more today than I did yesterday, I do see a gain in wealth. However, if Mr. Rich gains $20,000 more today than he did yesterday, I became poorer, since the gap between us has widened.

"The poor get poorer" does not translates into "the poor have less money today than yesterday." It means that they control a smaller percentage of available capital today than they did yesterday, which is a very different thing.

To put it in perspective, in 1760 5% of the taxpayers held 40% of the wealth. Now, the top 1% of taxpayers (which is not referring specifically to the group OWS is attacking) now controls over 70% of assets. That's a BIG difference.

The poor are today are certainly "richer" than the poor of 1760, but not in an economically meaningful way. They are richer in a historically meaningful one. Those two should not be conflated. We are certainly less destitute today, but that doesn't mean that we aren't poorer in relation to our rich (which is what we should care about).



Why is that what we should care about? This is the question I keep asking, but no one can seem to answer. You all acknowledge that as this process of wealth concentrating at the top has gone on that the actual quality of life for the poor has increased. So why is this a problem?

It's circular. No one's debating that the rich don't have a larger portion of the total wealth today than say 100 years ago. The question is whether this actually "hurts the poor". You can't just point back at the starting given (the rich having a larger relative portion) as your proof. You need to show me why or how this hurts the poor.

Can you do that?

Edited, Oct 27th 2011 5:55pm by gbaji
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#242 Oct 27 2011 at 9:03 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
Why is that what we should care about? This is the question I keep asking, but no one can seem to answer. You all acknowledge that as this process of wealth concentrating at the top has gone on that the actual quality of life for the poor has increased. So why is this a problem?


I bet the lot of the average French peasant improved between 1600 and 1798.

How did that turn out?
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#243 Oct 28 2011 at 1:59 AM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Why is that what we should care about? This is the question I keep asking, but no one can seem to answer. You all acknowledge that as this process of wealth concentrating at the top has gone on that the actual quality of life for the poor has increased. So why is this a problem?


I bet the lot of the average French peasant improved between 1600 and 1798.
Perhaps up until the famine.


Edit: I'm just saying, it's probably not the best counter example.

Edited, Oct 28th 2011 2:09am by Poldaran
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#244varusword75, Posted: Oct 28 2011 at 9:34 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Back on topic...anyone notice how city govn that are controlled by Dems are giving these occupy whacko's a pass while charging the tea party folk for everything they could possibly think of?
#245 Oct 28 2011 at 9:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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#246 Oct 28 2011 at 9:38 AM Rating: Good
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varusword75 wrote:
Back on topic...anyone notice how city govn that are controlled by Dems are giving these occupy whacko's a pass while charging the tea party folk for everything they could possibly think of?

So, what's your point?
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#247 Oct 28 2011 at 9:44 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Why is that what we should care about? This is the question I keep asking, but no one can seem to answer. You all acknowledge that as this process of wealth concentrating at the top has gone on that the actual quality of life for the poor has increased. So why is this a problem?


It doesn't matter what you think is a satisfactory lifestyle for peasants to have.

The reality is the 1% gets to decide how much and what part of the pie you get. So, while averagejoe may be able to sustain him/herself on the crumb, they'll never feel satiated knowing that the all the really good stuff in the pie is not being shared with the masses.


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#248 Oct 28 2011 at 9:48 AM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Why is that what we should care about? This is the question I keep asking, but no one can seem to answer. You all acknowledge that as this process of wealth concentrating at the top has gone on that the actual quality of life for the poor has increased. So why is this a problem?


I bet the lot of the average French peasant improved between 1600 and 1798.

How did that turn out?


Just to nitpick, it actually got a lot worse. After they abolished the feudalistic system in favor of a capitalist one, the lords no longer had any obligation to the peasantry. In the previous centuries, they used a system of manorialism--in exchange for protection, law, services, etc. the peasants would provide labor for the lords.

But once the system was gone, all the same taxes survived, but the seigneurs no longer had any legal duty to aid the people. Peasants rapidly fell deeper and deeper into debt, attempting to survive. Even though they could technically change their class (which some people managed to do), the system was such that it would be incredibly difficult to do so.

It's not THAT different from modern America, really, just worse. The only real difference was that the people in the power were necessarily the rich. In America, it's just extremely difficult for someone who isn't rich to gain power.
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#249varusword75, Posted: Oct 28 2011 at 1:01 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Elinda,
#250 Oct 28 2011 at 1:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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varusword75 wrote:
You people talk about being bi-partisan and want all this "cooperation" among politicians but when it comes to actually treating citizens of a paricular opposing ideology equally then you really couldn't care less how they're treated.

This would make more sense if I ever asked for the Tea Party folks to be tear-gassed and beaten with clubs or whatever.

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#251 Oct 28 2011 at 2:13 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Why is that what we should care about? This is the question I keep asking, but no one can seem to answer. You all acknowledge that as this process of wealth concentrating at the top has gone on that the actual quality of life for the poor has increased. So why is this a problem?


It doesn't matter what you think is a satisfactory lifestyle for peasants to have.


You are correct. But I'm not the one starting out by saying "I think this group of people should get this result" and then arguing that we should change things to make those outcomes happen. All I'm doing is pointing out that even though we use a system which doesn't do this the actual outcomes have still been positive.

I'm countering the argument that the poor are somehow worse off because the rich have a larger slice of the pie. And I'm still waiting for anyone to argue in what way they are without using the circular "but they have a smaller slice of the pie" approach. I'm not the one arguing that the status quo is bad. I'm the one asking people to show me what is "bad" about it.

Quote:
The reality is the 1% gets to decide how much and what part of the pie you get.


No they don't. The 1% doesn't give a fig what part of the pie different groups of people get. That's the problem. YOU care about how large a slice of the pie people get. And this leads you to results which don't jibe with the free market ideas that you earn whatever the value your actions have for others.

Quote:
So, while averagejoe may be able to sustain him/herself on the crumb, they'll never feel satiated knowing that the all the really good stuff in the pie is not being shared with the masses.


Only because you and people like you have chosen to obsess over this and constantly tell averagejoe that he should be upset because even though he's doing well in all the ways that really matter, he should care even more about the fact that some other people have more little pieces of paper with numbers printed on them.

Are you kidding?


Edited, Oct 28th 2011 1:14pm by gbaji
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