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#252 Sep 15 2012 at 2:47 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
In fact, we can make a strong case that the opposite is true. As the the working class (and even the poor) have become richer over the last century or so, the quality of life for the rich has increased dramatically.

You see what I did there?
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#253 Sep 17 2012 at 4:25 PM Rating: Default
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Aripyanfar wrote:
gbaji wrote:
In fact, we can make a strong case that the opposite is true. As the the working class (and even the poor) have become richer over the last century or so, the quality of life for the rich has increased dramatically.

You see what I did there?


Of course. You engaged in word association rhetoric.

Has the quality of life for the poor and working class gotten better or worse over the last century? And during that same time, has not the "gap between rich and poor" grown? The rich getting richer clearly is not a cause of worsening economic outcomes for the working class. All evidence points to a correlation going in the opposite direction. The issue is that we have a whole socio-economic agenda on the left that is based on the assumption that as the rich get richer the poor suffer. But that assumption is clearly wrong, so the agenda is at best unnecessary, and at worst actually harmful.

It is, as I said earlier, a solution in search of a problem.
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#254 Sep 17 2012 at 7:27 PM Rating: Good
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Has the quality of life for the poor and working class gotten better or worse over the last century?

The last century? You had to reach back that far to try to cherry pick some data-points where this idiotic argument might coincidentally work? I mean, yes the working class are better off now, indoor plumbing! Fuck, why stop there? Your argument is even stronger if you go back further. Has the quality of life for the poor and working class gotten better over that last 20,000 years? You bet it has! Way less human sacrifice, WAY LESS. You know what else has changed over that time period? Greater acceptance of gays and lesbians.

Ergo: **** marriage prevents human sacrifice, QED.



And during that same time, has not the "gap between rich and poor" grown? The rich getting richer clearly is not a cause of worsening economic outcomes for the working class. All evidence points to a correlation going in the opposite direction.


No, all evidence correlates with the rise of ORGANIZED LABOR greatly improving the lives of the working class. By that, of course, I mean actual fucking evidence like median real wages, available leisure time, healthcare, etc. It's not really a complicated argument. Societies with strong labor have high standards of living for the middle class.


The issue is that we have a whole socio-economic agenda on the left that is based on the assumption that as the rich get richer the poor suffer. But that assumption is clearly wrong, so the agenda is at best unnecessary, and at worst actually harmful.


Nope. Not even vaguely based on that. See, while uneducated simpletons stumble through the world assuming things, there are in fact statistical techniques that can establish strong correlations and control for randomness.


It is, as I said earlier, a solution in search of a problem.


This is an interesting theory. It's a shame no one is stupid enough to use your ideas in a political campaign, it would be exciting to see Romney pitching "everything's fine, vote for me!" At any rate, the problem is the decline of middle class purchasing power leading to lower demand stalling the economy. It was compensated for by credit for much of the last 40 years or so, hence the big problem with the credit crunch in 2008. Tightening bankruptcy laws. the housing bubble, etc etc have led to a situation where continued growth of consumer demand has become fragile and possibly untenable. There's an obvious consumer credit cliff approaching, and if the stagnation of real wages continue we're going to fall right off it. Believe it or not, Romney buying another $80,000 horse won't be enough to forestall that crisis.

ps: Feel free to reply, but I'm not going to read it. I will quote in and post "false" beneath it. Just letting you know.



Edited, Sep 17th 2012 9:28pm by Smasharoo
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#255 Sep 17 2012 at 7:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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Romney wouldn't buy an $80,000 bird house.
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#256 Sep 17 2012 at 8:03 PM Rating: Default
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Smasharoo wrote:
Has the quality of life for the poor and working class gotten better or worse over the last century?

The last century? You had to reach back that far to try to cherry pick some data-points where this idiotic argument might coincidentally work?


Ah... So instead of actually looking at data over a relevant period of time, we should just guess. That makes so much more sense!

Quote:
I mean, yes the working class are better off now, indoor plumbing!


Yup. A great example of something that benefits the working class while earning big bucks for those who were in the business of providing it. Did you set out to prove my point?

Quote:
And during that same time, has not the "gap between rich and poor" grown? The rich getting richer clearly is not a cause of worsening economic outcomes for the working class. All evidence points to a correlation going in the opposite direction.

No, all evidence correlates with the rise of ORGANIZED LABOR greatly improving the lives of the working class.


Why? Because it happened during the same time period? Why assume one factor is causative while the other is not? At the very least, we can argue that the rich getting richer didn't hurt the working class, right?

Quote:
By that, of course, I mean actual fucking evidence like median real wages, available leisure time, healthcare, etc. It's not really a complicated argument. Societies with strong labor have high standards of living for the middle class.


That doesn't tell us *why* though. It just tells us what. Your conclusion doesn't follow from the evidence. Strong labor (by which I assume you mean "strong unions") wont produce high standards unless you also have strong businesses earning sufficient profits to afford to pay their workers better. Also, strong unions doesn't result in advances in technology which result in higher standards of living (like indoor plumbing,among many others). Capitalists do that.


If the only factor was relative wages you *might* have a point. Except that non-union workplaces pay high wages too, of course. But that still misses the biggest factor. What good is it to earn more money if the things you can buy with it don't improve? You can unionize the labor of a tribe of hunter gathers all you want, and it's not going to magically create air conditioned homes for them to live in. You're clearly missing a big part of the picture.


I'll also point out that where whole economic systems have changed to adopt the model you're so pleased with, the predictable outcome has been reduced quality of life for the workers, slower technological growth, increased real poverty, etc. It's not organized labor that raises people out of poverty, but a healthy and wealthy capitalistic economy. Private individuals pursuing wealth produces far far better economic outcomes, not just for themselves, but for everyone else in the society than any other method we've tried.

Quote:

The issue is that we have a whole socio-economic agenda on the left that is based on the assumption that as the rich get richer the poor suffer. But that assumption is clearly wrong, so the agenda is at best unnecessary, and at worst actually harmful.


Nope. Not even vaguely based on that. See, while uneducated simpletons stumble through the world assuming things, there are in fact statistical techniques that can establish strong correlations and control for randomness.


Where is the evidence then? Show me that as the rich have gotten richer in the US, the poor have suffered. You can't, can you?


Quote:
ps: Feel free to reply, but I'm not going to read it. I will quote in and post "false" beneath it. Just letting you know.


I'll just interpret that as you knowing you're wrong, but being unwilling to admit it.
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#257 Sep 17 2012 at 8:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'll just interpret that as you knowing you're wrong, but being unwilling to admit it.

False.
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#258 Sep 17 2012 at 8:29 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
I'll just interpret that as you knowing you're wrong, but being unwilling to admit it.

False.


Lol. So you know you're wrong then? Smiley: grin
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#259 Sep 17 2012 at 8:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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I haven't even been paying attention. I just went for the obvious joke.
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#260 Sep 18 2012 at 4:31 AM Rating: Good
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Samira wrote:
Romney wouldn't buy an $80,000 bird house.


What about an $80,000 bird horse?
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#261 Sep 18 2012 at 5:57 AM Rating: Good
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Samira wrote:
Romney wouldn't buy an $80,000 bird house.
Would you? Smiley: tongue
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#262 Sep 18 2012 at 6:18 AM Rating: Good
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Was the guy that invented indoor plumbing of the 1%?

I figured it was just some poor engineer that slaved for the romans that had that bright idea.
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#263 Sep 18 2012 at 7:03 AM Rating: Good
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Where is the evidence then? Show me that as the rich have gotten richer in the US, the poor have suffered. You can't, can you?

Anyone could. It would take about three seconds. Oh, I'm sorry, anyone excepting someone as stupid and shockingly inept at research as you.

Protip: I don't need to repeatedly "prove" the objective shared reality we all live in to you when you make ludicrous claims based on your pretty much always wrong "intuition". I don't have "prove" evolution, or that **** marriage doesn't damage society, or that poor people aren't poor because they're "victims" too lazy to pull themselves out of poverty. Where "proof" is required is when an argument is made that's so spurious and self serving that it's laughable. Ie: every argument you've ever made. Let's look at the history of your intuition, shall we:

Obama's poll numbers are inflated.
The iPhone is a bad idea and won't sell well, it's the same as existing devices, etc.
Obama's birth certificate is a big deal and SCOTUS will take it up.

Batting .0000 so far, ace. Why stop here, and threaten the streak.
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#264 Sep 18 2012 at 7:31 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Ah... So instead of actually looking at data over a relevant period of time, we should just guess. That makes so much more sense!
It must, considering how often you use the exact same tactic.
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#265 Sep 18 2012 at 7:40 AM Rating: Good
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Hunger in the US has increased pretty dramatically during this recession. What's distressing is that the more and more of the working poor are unable to provide adequate food for themselves and their families.
Quote:

14.5 percent of U.S. households struggle to put enough food on the table. More than 48 million Americans—including 16.2 million children—live in these households.
Source: Household Food Security in the United States, 2010 . U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September 2011. (Table 1A, Table 1B)


USDA wrote:
The prevalence of food insecurity declined from 11.9 percent of households in 2004 to 11.0 percent in 2005 and remained near that level until 2007. In 2008, the prevalence of food insecurity increased to 14.6 percent of households and was essentially unchanged at that level through 2011 (14.9 percent). The prevalence of very low food security remained essentially unchanged from 2004 (3.9 percent) to 2007 (4.1 percent), then increased to 5.7 percent in 2008, remained at 5.7 percent in 2009, declined to 5.4 percent in 2010, and returned to 5.7 percent in 2011.

The year-to-year deviations from a consistent downward trend between 1995 and 2000 include a substantial 2-year cycle that is believed to result from seasonal effects on food security prevalence rates. The CPS food security surveys over this period were conducted in April in odd-numbered years and August or September in even-numbered years. Measured prevalence of food insecurity was higher in the August/September collections, suggesting a seasonal-response effect. In 2001 and later years, the surveys were conducted in early December, which avoids seasonality effects in interpreting annual changes. SOURCE
There's a chart but I cant copy-paste it.

I've been a bit saddened by the current state of hunger in our country. There's no reason for it. We have the resources to feed every one of us quite healthily, but thus far the 21st century has been one of declining food distribution. Of course it's the kids that end up paying the price in long-term developmental/educational/societal effects from not having enough to eat in this gluttonous country.
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#266 Sep 18 2012 at 9:21 AM Rating: Good
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Part of the problem isn't necessarily lack of food, it's lack of adequate nutritious food. Sure, you can get your daily caloric requirement with a couple of 50 cent Little Debbie packages, but that won't provide the necessary amino acids and proteins for proper biological functions, and you're going to feel hungry even while being overweight as a result of all the processed crap. When a 2 liter of orange soda is 99 cents, and a quart of OJ is two dollars, the kid is probably going to get the sugary soda instead.

That's why the WCA foodstamp program has a list of permitted foods; they at least provide some nutrients.

It is an insidious famine, one not just of a dearth of food, but of an abundance of the wrong food.

One of the local elementary schools has a student tended garden. The parents of the little gardeners have given written permission for their children to eat food from the garden; so any kid who helps garden who needs some vegetables or fruits with lunch can just run outside during lunch or before or after school and grab a bite to eat. (So far no kid has gotten sick.) The kids sell the rest at the farmer's market on Tuesdays to help pay for class field trips and such. It's a very successful program.
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#267 Sep 18 2012 at 9:23 AM Rating: Good
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Schools should just offer more pepperoni vegetables for lunch.
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#268 Sep 19 2012 at 5:16 PM Rating: Default
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Smasharoo wrote:
Where is the evidence then? Show me that as the rich have gotten richer in the US, the poor have suffered. You can't, can you?

Anyone could. It would take about three seconds.


Then do it.

And no circular evidence either. Having less relative money doesn't mean you are suffering and is meaningless when the question at hand is whether having less relative money actually means your life is worse
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#269 Sep 19 2012 at 11:56 PM Rating: Good
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Goalpost shifting is a classic symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder. But it's only one of many, so I'll stick with the Narcissism. ^-^

Does anyone have a link to the second TED talk by the Nordic guy with all the graphs showing quality of health, wealth etc over time, nation by nation? It showed clearly that in the past 15 years or so (5 years ago) that the American middle class had shrunk dramatically, and that the Lower class and Upper class had picked up half each of the Middle classes' losses. It also showed that China's upper and middle class had overtaken America's (now very large) lower class in income.
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#270 Sep 20 2012 at 5:12 AM Rating: Good
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Then do it.


Yeah, no, fuckstick. The idea that you make some random claim and that's the starting point for discussion seen ad valid until disproved is idiotic.

Look it up yourself. I don't know if in your everyday life, people are content to pitch facts at you as you furiously dodge out of the way with excuses my 7 year old would realize are weak attempts to save a shattered ego, but I'm not going to.

Again: To quote the noted philosopher Al Swearengen "My answer to you is 'Go fuck yourself'". Don't make me send Dan with knife.

Edited, Sep 20th 2012 7:14am by Smasharoo
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#271 Sep 20 2012 at 6:33 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
Where is the evidence then? Show me that as the rich have gotten richer in the US, the poor have suffered. You can't, can you?

Anyone could. It would take about three seconds.


Then do it.

And no circular evidence either. Having less relative money doesn't mean you are suffering and is meaningless when the question at hand is whether having less relative money actually means your life is worse

gbaji, can you clearly state what you would allow as suffering?

Would having to attend underfunded overcrowded schools be suffering

How about declining college enrollment of low income kids?

Would lack of health care (dental included) be suffering?

How about not having the internet? Suffering or no?

Lack of access to grocery stores?

Living in or in close proximity to environmentally hazardous environments suffering?

Edit - I'd just hate to go to the effort of finding evidence of suffering only for you to discredit it.





Edited, Sep 20th 2012 2:34pm by Elinda
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#272 Sep 20 2012 at 7:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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I like how he says no circular evidence, when all he ever presents is circular assumptions.
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#273 Sep 20 2012 at 7:51 AM Rating: Decent
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I like how he says no circular evidence, when all he ever presents is circular assumptions

Not even the funny part. Defines circular as "not having as much money doesn't count". Apparently the measure is middle class happiness vs upper class money. I guess we can stipulate out of hand as given that the upper class having more money has lead to the middle class having less. But, hey, it can't buy you LOVE, can it?
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#274 Sep 20 2012 at 4:34 PM Rating: Decent
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Patrick Dempsey proved that back in '87.
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