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#177 Oct 24 2011 at 6:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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If we had prosperity across all economic strata, we would not be at 9% unemployment right now (and closer to 16% underemployment.)
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#178 Oct 24 2011 at 7:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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#179 Oct 24 2011 at 7:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Seems a bit silly to take economic lessons from Groucho.
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#180 Oct 24 2011 at 11:44 PM Rating: Good
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We have better food (ok, processed is bad, but not-rotten is pretty good), better medicine (even without health insurance), better housing, better transportation, greater comfort, greater luxuries, and frankly a whole lot of things that the rich, much less the poor could not have dreamed of having just a century ago.


Yet the rich can easily afford health care, education, housing, utilities, food costs etc. Everything you just listed is not wealth it is relative to wealth, all of that stuff still costs money to obtain.

And I don't care who you are Money is Wealth, it lets you buy PSP's etc. But you are right it doesn't matter if the rich guy has 1000x or 100x the money. The issue is that people who have no money have no wealth, they can not afford all of things at once, and many who can are walking on a thin line doing so (hello middle class) The ones who can, make all kinds of cash, and they pay the least in taxes because the super rich elite that people hate, and no it is not the people @ 250K, make all their money in investments, they pay less tax this way than the majority of people (as well as a plethora of other money making loopholes.)

That is the wealth gap, it is not how much stuff you can get, is it can you afford all the stuff you need. (and thanks to some government programs that Republicans would like to cut, people can afford more then they would normally be able to.)

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#181 Oct 25 2011 at 10:19 AM Rating: Good
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So people believe that world hunger has NOTHING TO DO WITH a tiny tiny minority of people hording 80+% of the world's wealth?

Seriously?

That's totally nuts.
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#182 Oct 25 2011 at 10:32 AM Rating: Excellent
Olorinus wrote:
So people believe that world hunger has NOTHING TO DO WITH a tiny tiny minority of people hording 80+% of the world's wealth?

Seriously?

That's totally nuts.
What's nuts is living a totally comfortable consumeristic lifestyle and just hoping everyone above your station in life stops things like world hunger. That PSP of yours would have bought a lot of meals and/or bug nets.
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#183 Oct 25 2011 at 10:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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That PSP of yours would have bought a lot of meals and/or bug nets.

In theory. In reality, it probably would have gone towards some pseudo-charity's "administrative costs" or the bug nets would have been "lost" at some central African guard outpost.
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#184 Oct 25 2011 at 10:51 AM Rating: Excellent
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Should fund the charities that support terrorists. They're doing more than anyone to attack the wealth of the upper class. Smiley: wink
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#185 Oct 25 2011 at 10:52 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Duke Lubriderm wrote:
That PSP of yours would have bought a lot of meals and/or bug nets.

In theory. In reality, it probably would have gone towards some pseudo-charity's "administrative costs" or the bug nets would have been "lost" at some central African guard outpost.


That is certainly an issue, though there are now reputable organizations that work solely to rate the efficacy of these charities, both in terms of how much goes to the people and how helpful their donation is (for instance, mosquito nets are hugely beneficial in a cost to aid sense).

Far from being a perfect system, but certainly better than nothing.

Oh, and Rick Perry is insane.

My favorite part is when he uses an ad hominem attack on Mitt Romney to sidestep the issue of wealth disparity.
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#186 Oct 25 2011 at 11:08 AM Rating: Good
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I donate every month to save the children, I do what I can but small donations aren't going to solve the systemic problems that face our planet.

Also lol at comparing my used PSP I bought to people who have billions of dollars.

According to the United Nations, it would only take $30 billion a year to launch the necessary agricultural programs to completely solve global food insecurity.

So... just one or two of the world's super billionaires could solve world hunger. Huh. Or I could feel bad about buying a used PSP and solve nothing.

Essentially if the world's 5 richest people would content themselves to living as I do (which isn't terrible, I do okay) then a billion people could lead better lives.

Edited, Oct 25th 2011 10:14am by Olorinus
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#187 Oct 25 2011 at 12:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Except it's not that easy. Famine issues these days are caused as much, if not more so, by internal governmental issues as they are by basic lack of food.

Now, to swing that around, the Powers The Be don't help the situation in regards to treating/exploiting mineral and environmental resources in these countries.
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#188 Oct 25 2011 at 12:17 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
or a person's ability to make use of it (aka cash or similar).

This is part of what I'm questioning as well. What does a wealth gap really mean?
An imbalance in power.


Edited, Oct 25th 2011 8:18pm by Elinda
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#189 Oct 25 2011 at 12:51 PM Rating: Good
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And that $30M would just end up going to some genocidal warlords. Which, as I pointed out before (in another thread?) some more genocide would surely help a lot of these problems.
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#190 Oct 25 2011 at 2:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:
So people believe that world hunger has NOTHING TO DO WITH a tiny tiny minority of people hording 80+% of the world's wealth?

Seriously?

That's totally nuts.


What's nuts is failing to realize that we're talking about a domestic economic policy within a single country and arguing about which system of economics is "better". And in case you missed it, we don't have rampant hunger in the US.
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#191 Oct 25 2011 at 2:20 PM Rating: Good
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Olorinus wrote:
So people believe that world hunger has NOTHING TO DO WITH a tiny tiny minority of people hording 80+% of the world's wealth?

Seriously?

That's totally nuts.

You can't eat money. Yet, you can eat grubs - for free.

Lack of food is a distribution problem.
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#192 Oct 25 2011 at 2:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
gbaji wrote:
or a person's ability to make use of it (aka cash or similar).

This is part of what I'm questioning as well. What does a wealth gap really mean?
An imbalance in power.


And you believe that by giving government control over what that wealth is used for instead of those who created it will somehow fix this imbalance in a positive way?
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#193 Oct 25 2011 at 2:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Elinda wrote:
gbaji wrote:
or a person's ability to make use of it (aka cash or similar).

This is part of what I'm questioning as well. What does a wealth gap really mean?
An imbalance in power.


And you believe that by giving government control over what that wealth is used for instead of those who created it will somehow fix this imbalance in a positive way?


If the gov't isn't also being ruled by those groups, yes.
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#194 Oct 25 2011 at 3:00 PM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:

According to the United Nations, it would only take $30 billion a year to launch the necessary agricultural programs to completely solve global food insecurity.

So... just one or two of the world's super billionaires could solve world hunger. Huh. Or I could feel bad about buying a used PSP and solve nothing.


Um... Did you miss the "a year" part of that? Those super billionaires don't "earn" $30B/year. That's somewhere in the range of their entire accumulated earnings for their entire lives. So way to "solve" world hunger for a year or two there Skippy!

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Essentially if the world's 5 richest people would content themselves to living as I do (which isn't terrible, I do okay) then a billion people could lead better lives.


Even ignoring the per year issues mentioned above, this is still indicative of a gross understanding of what "the rich" do with their money. You, and most working/middle class people live on nearly 100% of your earnings each year. If your salary goes up, you spend more money and live a better life. If your salary goes down, you have less money to spend and have to cut things out. But wealthy people are wealthy (by definition) because they *don't* live on all the money they make. They invest increasingly larger portions of it. Bill Gates maybe spends a few million a year on his own living expenses.


The point being that if you really are just talking about the billionaire sacrificing his own standard of living, you might garner a couple million dollars a year for each of the handful of "super rich" folks (and less for people who are merely millionaires). If you try to take all of their earnings each year, you'll get a lot more *but* now you're hurting all the people who are benefited by those investments. That's a lot of jobs lost because you want to punish a rich guy.


I really think that people who propose stuff like this have no clue what the actual effects will be. You make the mistake of assuming that a loss of earnings for a rich person affects him directly the way it does you. That's simply not true. It affects all the things he's invested in *first* and then affects him. Long before you make a rich person poor, you make all the things he affects with his money poor. And employment is a direct function of that. Why do you suppose that a bunch of banks losing money caused a bunch of regular working/middle class people to love their jobs? The banks had to tighten their investment budgets, which reduced the money available for numerous companies to borrow, which in turn caused them to have to lay people off.


Taxing the rich sounds great to the ignorant. For the rest of us, it's equivalent to someone saying "make more people unemployed". And I don't know why most people would want to do that.

Edited, Oct 25th 2011 2:00pm by gbaji
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#195 Oct 25 2011 at 3:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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Taxing the rich sounds great to the ignorant. For the rest of us, it's equivalent to someone saying "make more people unemployed". And I don't know why most people would want to do that.


Except that EVERY economic study done in the past 30 years has shown that tax breaks on the rich don't create jobs, that stimulated spending in the lower classes is the best way to stimulate an economy (which is the best way to create jobs), and that the rich have an extremely high tendency to lock up their wealth such that it fails to circulate.

But, of course, you could just ignore all that and pretend like the upper class are actually going to invest their wealth in creating jobs.
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#196 Oct 25 2011 at 6:43 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
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Taxing the rich sounds great to the ignorant. For the rest of us, it's equivalent to someone saying "make more people unemployed". And I don't know why most people would want to do that.


Except that EVERY economic study done in the past 30 years has shown that tax breaks on the rich don't create jobs, that stimulated spending in the lower classes is the best way to stimulate an economy (which is the best way to create jobs), and that the rich have an extremely high tendency to lock up their wealth such that it fails to circulate.


Every single study? That's a pretty absurd exaggeration. You're telling me what you believe, not what it "proven" to be true, and certainly there are a **** of a lot of economists who disagree with you.

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But, of course, you could just ignore all that and pretend like the upper class are actually going to invest their wealth in creating jobs.


They invest their wealth in things which increase their wealth. That *usually* also happens to create jobs. Don't create a strawman. While not every dollar of wealth is expended in ways which creates jobs, a very high percentage of jobs exist because of dollars of wealth being expended (and depending on how literal you're going to be, *all* jobs depend on wealth existing first). Pursuing a course of action to eliminate wealth is the economic equivalent of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
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#197 Oct 25 2011 at 6:50 PM Rating: Good
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You can't eat money.
You can, but you're not going to digest it very well and get even less nutrients from it.
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#198 Oct 25 2011 at 7:20 PM Rating: Good
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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.
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#199 Oct 25 2011 at 7:37 PM Rating: Default
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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. It's meaningless. I could just as easily dismiss all of the economic studies which show that lowering tax rates on the rich doesn't have any positive effects on employment and overall prosperity among the rest of the people. It's a pretty weak argument though, which is why I don't do this.


I actually argue why I believe my position to be the correct one. That just seems to be much more constructive, don't you agree?
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#200 Oct 25 2011 at 7:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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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.
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#201 Oct 25 2011 at 8:28 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Except that your arguments are never grounded in any kind of reliable information.


And you're the grand arbiter of what is and isn't "reliable information"? Smiley: lol

Quote:
What stimulates the economy? Spending.


Nope. An increase in the exchange of the fruits of one person's labors for the fruits of another. You've made the mistake of thinking that it's the dollars that matter. If you understood economic theory better, you'd see why this is wrong.

Quote:
Who are the main purchasers of commodities? The lower two classes.


That really depends on how you define "commodities". You're looking only at "consumables", in which case your statement is true. But that's not even close to the entire range of things which can be bought and sold and certainly is not the only sole driver of economic growth.

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How much of their income do they put back into the economy? Almost all of it.


I'm not sure how this is relevant, but sure.

Quote:
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.


Sure. I can flip this around though:

What stimulates the economy?: Production of goods which others may buy.

Who are the main producers of those goods?: The wealthy and business owners.

How much of their earnings do they put back into the economy?: Almost all of it.



What you fail to grasp is that both sides of that equation are equally important. You are proposing to reduce the money being used to produce goods in order to increase the amount of money being used to buy goods. Surely you can see how that isn't going to work very well.


Quote:
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.


You are confusing "spending" with "consuming". They are not the same thing and it would help your understanding of macro economics if you stop treating them as though they are.

Quote:
So each dollar of wealth that the lower classes have is intrinsically more valuable for the economy.


No, it's not. Let me ask you a question which should illustrate why: What determines the value of the dollar you have to spend compared to the cost of the goods you want to spend it on? You're missing a whole half of the economic equation.

Quote:
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).


The fact that you think that money just "sits" anywhere is where you go horribly wrong (well, more wrong than you already were). That money is invested in ways which result in increased production and increased jobs. Where do you think the money people use to buy things comes from? Where do you think the jobs they get the money from come from? Small businesses take out loans to start or grow their businesses and they hire people. Big business does this constantly.

The large amounts of wealth that you think are idle because it's not being spent in a grocery store is what makes that grocery store have shelves full of food for you to buy in the first place. That's the "supply side" of the equation. I know that liberals work hard to pretend it doesn't exist, but you've brought this to a whole new level.

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


Of course it's not. If you take all the money being used to make things and give it to people so they can buy things, your economy will collapse instantly and most of your people will starve to death. I'm not even arguing that some demand side initiatives can't have value depending on the specifics of the economic conditions. But your argument rests on an assumption that the only thing that matters is how much money people have to spend on consumable items. That's just absurd. There's a balance there. If you can't acknowledge any value to money being held in the hands of the wealthy, then you are essentially arguing for a completely untenable economic agenda.


Kinda exactly like the OWS folks.

Edited, Oct 25th 2011 7:30pm by gbaji
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