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#27 Apr 09 2013 at 6:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
When we start defining the end as being higher quality of life, low unemployment, high productivity, high GDP rate, low inflation, and all the other usual economic measurements, we find that the conservative "small government" approach actually works very well.


The facts say otherwise.

Also, given that at least in America/Canada Conservatives are HUGE spenders - what the **** do you mean by small government?

Edited, Apr 9th 2013 5:02pm by Olorinus
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#28 Apr 09 2013 at 7:02 PM Rating: Default
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Iron Chef Olorinus wrote:
gbaji wrote:
When we start defining the end as being higher quality of life, low unemployment, high productivity, high GDP rate, low inflation, and all the other usual economic measurements, we find that the conservative "small government" approach actually works very well.


The facts say otherwise.


Then show them to me. I mean, everyone insists that "trickle down doesn't work", yet never seem to produce any data to support their claim. First, perhaps defining what policies we're talking about would help. Then some kind of empirical analysis of the effects would be great too.

Quote:
Also, given that at least in America/Canada Conservatives are HUGE spenders - what the **** do you mean by small government?


Um... Relatively low taxes and social spending. A government that is "small" both in dollars, but more importantly in scope (meaning what it involves itself in directly). Go read up on "fiscal conservatism" if you're unsure what I'm talking about (although the wiki page appears to have been written by a liberal who got the priorities completely wrong, but that's to be expected. Go look up Edmund Burke if you want a more clear idea). We're talking about an economic policy, not a political party.


Ironically, "trickle down" isn't really an economic position at all, but a predicted behavior that is one tiny part of fiscal conservatism. Specifically, it answers the criticism that without government social programs to help lift the working classes up, they'll become more and more poor and the rich will become more and more rich. The counter argument is that the wealth effects "trickle down", meaning that if the business owner earns more money, this results in more and better job opportunities in his business, which helps the poor get jobs. Similarly, more middle class jobs open up when there are more successful big businesses, thus allowing a larger percentage of a population to rise to middle class status. Additionally, the wealth effect in a less regulated economy allows for those in the middle class to invest in ventures and become "rich" themselves.


The false counter to that from the left often involves claiming that trickle down just means that if your boss makes more money, you'll get a raise. That's a ridiculously oversimplified (and easily attacked) interpretation though. What trickles down isn't direct cash, but positive economic effects of all kinds. Better quality products brought to market for a lower cost benefit those in the lowest income ranges, often far more than a slightly larger piece of the direct economic pie would. The positive effects of technologies like computers and cell phones are great examples of "trickle down" economics in action. If we'd enacted a tax policy designed to eliminate undo/excessive profits by companies, it's a good bet that those technologies would not be nearly as available, cheap, and advanced as they are today. Only because we allow companies to retain and reinvest profits instead of taxing them away to pay for benefits to the people that the greedy owners wont pay directly do we see this kind of beneficial economic effect. The reason it's easy to attack trickle down as a process is that it's easy to see the immediate effect taxing those dollars and spending them on direct social programs would have, but it's harder to see (looking forward at least) how letting those rich owners/investors keep all that wealth helps out the poor and the working class.

We have to look backwards to see the effects over time. But when we do that, they're really quite significant. Nearly every thing we have today that is "better" than what was available at some point in the past exists because of profits retained by businesses (the rich folks). Take that away, and we could feed everyone, and house everyone, and educate everyone, and provide everyone with the latest in health care and entertainment. But those things would never improve over time, or would improve more slowly in direct relation to how completely we tax away wealth. Put another way, improvements to our lives over time can be argued to be in direct relation to the amount of wealth retained by the "rich" within our economy. That may fly in the face of liberal doctrine and rhetoric, but it absolutely does follow from both theory and practice once one understands what conservatives are really talking about with regard to small government.
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#29 Apr 09 2013 at 8:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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Personally, I think Maggie Thatcher and Annette Funicello were the same person. Did you ever see them in the same room together...? And they died on the same day...?

Hmmm.
#30 Apr 10 2013 at 5:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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When we start defining the end as being higher quality of life, low unemployment, high productivity, high GDP rate, low inflation, and all the other usual economic measurements, we find that the conservative "small government" approach actually works very well

No, it doesn't.

This is easy to establish, however. Choose 10 economic metrics, then we'll compare periods of time when conservatives controlled economic policy and times when they didn't. Then you'll make many excuses and forget the thread exists, I assume. Just kidding, we both know you can't come up with ten economic metrics.
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#31 Apr 10 2013 at 5:33 AM Rating: Good
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Then show them to me. I mean, everyone insists that "trickle down doesn't work", yet never seem to produce any data to support their claim.

Well, liberal policies have the momentum, so it'll be close, but they'll win. Because, you know, momentum. Unless that Obama Birth Certificate SCOTUS case causes problems.

Hahaha data. Oh, YOU.

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#32 Apr 10 2013 at 5:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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We have to look backwards to see the effects over time. But when we do that, they're really quite significant. Nearly every thing we have today that is "better" than what was available at some point in the past exists because of profits retained by businesses (the rich folks)

Right, like the Human Genome project. Without the profits...oh wait. Like the internet? Oh wait. Like roads and transportation infrastructure? Oh wait. Like Railroads? Oh wait. Like the Polio vaccine? Oh, wait. Like Nuclear power? Oh wait. Like...um...the snuggie! You're right, without profits we might not have the snuggie! Or, pork rhinds! Ok, I see where you are going with this now!
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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 *****. 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? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#33 Apr 10 2013 at 7:07 AM Rating: Good
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Because, you know, momentum.
Worked for Romney.
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#34 Apr 10 2013 at 8:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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Gbaji wrote:
The counter argument is that the wealth effects "trickle down", meaning that if the business owner earns more money, this results in more and better job opportunities in his business, which helps the poor get jobs.
Which is ridiculous since it's basically saying that more supply creates more demand. Business owners aren't going to create more jobs because they have more money, they're going to create more jobs because they can sell more and they can sell more when more people have the means to buy their products.
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#35 Apr 10 2013 at 6:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
Business owners aren't going to create more jobs because they have more money


This. It's been my experience that business owners tend to start cutting costs as they accumulate more wealth. My current boss for example, now brings home over 500k/year. She is cutting costs, cutting hours, and cutting staff, and trying to find every loophole in the labour laws to get out of paying us what we're owed. When she was making considerably less when she first took over, she was incredibly generous. This isn't the first place I've worked where this has happened. Trickle down fails when the people with the money realize they can divert the stream to themselves and their own interests.
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I've always read Driftwood as the straight man in varus' double act. It helps if you read all of his posts in the voice of Droopy Dog.
#36 Apr 10 2013 at 6:55 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
Put another way, improvements to our lives over time can be argued to be in direct relation to the amount of wealth retained by the "rich" within our economy


Smiley: laugh

Keep telling yourself that
#37 Apr 10 2013 at 7:29 PM Rating: Good
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Put another way, improvements to our lives over time can be argued to be in direct relation to the amount of wealth retained by the "rich" within our economy


Would you mind explaining what makes you think that this is true? I really would love to know. I mean, I can't even fathom the logic behind this statement.
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The World Is Not A Cold Dead Place.
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Eske wrote:
I've always read Driftwood as the straight man in varus' double act. It helps if you read all of his posts in the voice of Droopy Dog.
#38 Apr 10 2013 at 8:41 PM Rating: Good
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Driftwood wrote:
Quote:
Business owners aren't going to create more jobs because they have more money


This. It's been my experience that business owners tend to start cutting costs as they accumulate more wealth. My current boss for example, now brings home over 500k/year. She is cutting costs, cutting hours, and cutting staff, and trying to find every loophole in the labour laws to get out of paying us what we're owed. When she was making considerably less when she first took over, she was incredibly generous. This isn't the first place I've worked where this has happened. Trickle down fails when the people with the money realize they can divert the stream to themselves and their own interests.

After "acquisition" comes "consolidation" and "control". Money, power, politics; it's all the same. Smile and lie your way to the top, then laugh at the people and eliminate opposition and dissidence.
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#39 Apr 10 2013 at 11:41 PM Rating: Good
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#42 Apr 11 2013 at 7:27 AM Rating: Excellent
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JennockFV wrote:
Keep telling yourself that
Now now, he's not wrong in that it can be argued that way. Anything can be argued, that doesn't necessarily mean the argument makes sense, or is realistic, or convincing, or anything really.
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#43 Apr 11 2013 at 4:26 PM Rating: Default
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Driftwood wrote:
Quote:
Put another way, improvements to our lives over time can be argued to be in direct relation to the amount of wealth retained by the "rich" within our economy


Would you mind explaining what makes you think that this is true? I really would love to know.


Because (at least in a reasonably "free" economy), the same things which result in greater wealth for "the rich" also result in greater improvements to the lives of all those within the same economy (statistically speaking at least). Put in the most direct and simple way: If the guy who owns the TV store is getting richer, it's because he's selling more TVs. Which means that people are buying more TVs. Which means that the people both have more TVs *and* the money to buy them in the first place. Which means that their quality of life (in at least a couple different metrics, and assuming that owning a TV versus not owning one is "good") are better. Not *because* the rich man got richer, but as a side consequence of the same factors that make him richer.


Quote:
I mean, I can't even fathom the logic behind this statement.


Because too many people think in terms of cause/effect, but in this case you have to think in terms of parallel effects. While wealth growth may (does!) occur unevenly, it very very rarely occurs in opposite directions. Meaning that people at all level of the economic spectrum tend to do better or worse at the same time and for the same larger economic reasons. During the same time period that hundreds of billions of dollars were lost in the market (mostly owned by "the rich"), and several large corporations went bankrupt, millions of less rich people lost their jobs. We can argue how these bad times affect people relatively speaking, but they still tend to be 'bad times' for everyone across the board. Same thing happens in reverse. When times are good, and the rich folks are making tons of money, times tend to also be good for everyone else. Trend wise, at least, this is a pretty clear pattern.


I guess what I can't fathom is why people have such a hard time seeing the logic behind this. Simple observation of economic trends should tell you this. You just have to step outside of the paradigm of relative outcomes between different economic groups, and start looking at relative outcomes within those groups compared to external events over time. When you do that, you'll see that all economic groups tend to do better and worse at the same time. What makes the rich person rich, makes the poor person a little less poor, and the working class person a bit more comfortable, and makes it just a bit easier to become middle class. When the rich aren't making as much money, the poor are more poor, the working class more uncomfortable, and it becomes harder to become middle class.


Once you recognize that trend, you start to wonder why anyone would think that hurting the rich to help the poor makes any sense at all. It's self defeating.

Edited, Apr 11th 2013 3:48pm by gbaji
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#44 Apr 11 2013 at 4:48 PM Rating: Good
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In the Real World, though, the TV store owner is getting richer because he's cutting wages, benefits and/or staff.
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#45 Apr 11 2013 at 4:59 PM Rating: Default
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Debalic wrote:
In the Real World, though, the TV store owner is getting richer because he's cutting wages, benefits and/or staff.


You're missing the macro economic angle though. If all the TV store owners and all the businesses are getting richer overall, then there must be more money in the hands of those buying their products. This cannot be true if they are all cutting wages, benefits, and/or staff. On a single example, you can find cases where one store owner increases his profits by cutting costs/wages/whatever. But that sort of zero sum math cannot work economy wide. If ownerA is paying his staff less, then they have less money to buy things from ownerB.

If the set of "wealthy people" is increasing their average net wealth over time, then it's a near guarantee that the sets which make up the rest of the economy are also doing better as well. Again, this assumes a reasonably free market economy, but basically unless you have a government (or some other authoritarian mechanism) that's taking money from one group and giving it to another, the zero sum assumption doesn't work on a macro-economic scale. It can't. Seriously. Spend 30 seconds thinking about it and you should be able to see why.

Rich people don't get rich because they have more dollars. They get rich (and stay rich) because the things they do with their money is valued by others in the economy sufficiently enough for them to spend their own dollars on them (trading their labors for what he's produced). This requires both creating things people want *and* a pool of people who have the means to buy the things you've created. The kind of robber baron operation that some seem to assume not only doesn't make sense, it doesn't even work. I mean, it can work for that one guy, but it can't work for all of them. So if "the rich" as a group are doing better, it must also follow that the whole economy and everyone in it is doing better.
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#46 Apr 11 2013 at 5:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Debalic wrote:
In the Real World, though, the TV store owner is getting richer because he's cutting wages, benefits and/or staff.


You're missing the macro economic angle though. If all the TV store owners and all the businesses are getting richer overall, then there must be more money in the hands of those buying their products.


Unless, of course, it is because he is able to sell more TV's by lowering the price on the TV's and still make a profit from cutting wages, benefits and/or staff.
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#47 Apr 11 2013 at 5:21 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Debalic wrote:
In the Real World, though, the TV store owner is getting richer because he's cutting wages, benefits and/or staff.


You're missing the macro economic angle though. If all the TV store owners and all the businesses are getting richer overall, then there must be more money in the hands of those buying their products. This cannot be true if they are all cutting wages, benefits, and/or staff. On a single example, you can find cases where one store owner increases his profits by cutting costs/wages/whatever. But that sort of zero sum math cannot work economy wide. If ownerA is paying his staff less, then they have less money to buy things from ownerB.

But are *all* of the TV store owners getting richer overall? Or are some of them suffering and going out of business because they are being undercut by somebody who can sell more TVs cheaper because they abuse their worker base?
Quote:

If the set of "wealthy people" is increasing their average net wealth over time, then it's a near guarantee that the sets which make up the rest of the economy are also doing better as well. Again, this assumes a reasonably free market economy, but basically unless you have a government (or some other authoritarian mechanism) that's taking money from one group and giving it to another, the zero sum assumption doesn't work on a macro-economic scale. It can't. Seriously. Spend 30 seconds thinking about it and you should be able to see why.

But what if the government/authoritarian mechanism is made up of the rich people, who are the ones actively taking money from the lower castes and rewarding themselves?

Quote:
Rich people don't get rich because they have more dollars. They get rich (and stay rich) because the things they do with their money is valued by others in the economy sufficiently enough for them to spend their own dollars on them (trading their labors for what he's produced). This requires both creating things people want *and* a pool of people who have the means to buy the things you've created. The kind of robber baron operation that some seem to assume not only doesn't make sense, it doesn't even work. I mean, it can work for that one guy, but it can't work for all of them. So if "the rich" as a group are doing better, it must also follow that the whole economy and everyone in it is doing better.

Or at least, it'll work until the entire economy implodes, but the rich won't care as long as they can run off somewhere with their hoards.
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#48 Apr 11 2013 at 5:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Put in the most direct and simple way: If the guy who owns the TV store is getting richer, it's because he's selling more TVs.
Wow. That's such an erroneous and simplified look at how profit works that it amazes me your day job isn't running a sidewalk lemonade stand. The most successful way to increase profits isn't increasing sales but by decreasing overhead. If the owner of your TV store sold a hundred televisions and had five employees, his profit would still be lower than the guy who sold ninety-five televisions but had four employees.
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#49 Apr 11 2013 at 5:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Debalic wrote:
In the Real World, though, the TV store owner is getting richer because he's cutting wages, benefits and/or staff.


You're missing the macro economic angle though. If all the TV store owners and all the businesses are getting richer overall, then there must be more money in the hands of those buying their products.


Unless, of course, it is because he is able to sell more TV's by lowering the price on the TV's and still make a profit from cutting wages, benefits and/or staff.


Or if the people buying them are "buying" them with debt
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When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.


#50 Apr 11 2013 at 7:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Meh, debt's not an issue We'll our children will pay it off when we're dead.
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publiusvarus wrote:
we all know liberals are well adjusted american citizens who only want what's best for society. While conservatives are evil money grubbing scum who only want to sh*t on the little man and rob the world of its resources.
#51 Apr 11 2013 at 7:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I guess what I can't fathom is why people have such a hard time seeing the logic behind this. Simple observation of economic trends should tell you this. You just have to step outside of the paradigm of relative outcomes between different economic groups, and start looking at relative outcomes within those groups compared to external events over time. When you do that, you'll see that all economic groups tend to do better and worse at the same time. What makes the rich person rich, makes the poor person a little less poor, and the working class person a bit more comfortable, and makes it just a bit easier to become middle class. When the rich aren't making as much money, the poor are more poor, the working class more uncomfortable, and it becomes harder to become middle class.

Once you recognize that trend, you start to wonder why anyone would think that hurting the rich to help the poor makes any sense at all.

You're trying to convince a person that the best way to help them is to give tax cuts to someone else. Regardless of whether or not that's the best way to do it, it's a pretty tough sell. People already don't trust politicians, and when the other side is arguing that the best way is to give the tax cuts to you directly... well are we really surprised by the outcome?

We could always ask a Sociologist to explain it... Smiley: clown

Edited, Apr 11th 2013 6:23pm by someproteinguy
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