An Open Market on Economics

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Büge
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An Open Market on Economics

Postby Büge » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:43 am

Let's start with some decent news. The financial reform is going better than expected.

EDIT: Under Mongrel's advisement, I changed the name of the thread.

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Mongrel
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Mongrel » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:28 pm

Capitalism vs. Democracy

A few things. 1) It's been accepted for sometime that governments are supposed to act as the "brakes" on unbridled capitalism. 2) The genie's out of the bottle now. Nobody's going to forget those seven decades where everyone did really well. We might not make it again, but I doubt Capital will ever have it as easy as they did before WWI. 3) Severe social disruption could precipitate revolutions or wars, which, while incredibly destructive, will certainly address the question of economic inequality.
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Brentai
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Brentai » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:27 pm

Turns out the tree of Freedom must constantly be watered with blood.

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Mongrel
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:39 pm

So somebody at the WSJ got a rich man's screed literally comparing OWS to the Nazis, by name, and decided "Yeah, let's print this bad boy."

EDIT:

Oh his apology was also great. He apologizes for using Kristallnacht in his comparison but thinks his message still stands. A line from his apology:
Jews were only one percent of German population, yet Hitler was able to demonize the Jews.

At least he isn't a back-tracker?
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TA
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby TA » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:43 pm

のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful


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Classic
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Classic » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:30 pm

I wonder if a think tank is going to have a conservative counter-argument to Iceland...
Or if the strategy is going to be "ignore it".

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Mongrel
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:20 pm

Two things:

1) They experienced 19% inflation. YOU DON'T WANT INFLATION DO YOU? (Actually moderate inflation around 4%-5% is one of the best ways to hurt wealthy folks who make their money through existing wealth and not labour. In fact if wages keep pace you can almost mitigate the effects on the poor entirely.).
2) They stuck the UK with the bag for deposit insurance on most of the accounts. YOU WANT A RUN ON BANKS OR EMPTY ACCOUNTS? (But they did actually work out a settlement repay the UK in the end).
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Mongrel
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:41 pm

Hey kids! It's time for another episode of facts-which-will-be-completely-ignored-by-the-population-at-large.

Damning statistical analysis showing that in terms of wages, almost no one has benefited from increased productivity since 1979.

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Mongrel
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:06 pm

http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/small-business-2009-08.pdf

notable points:

link wrote:The United States has the second lowest share of self-employed workers (7.2 percent) – only
Luxembourg has a lower share (6.1 percent). France (9.0 percent), Sweden (10.6 percent),
Germany (12.0 percent) the United Kingdom (13.8 percent), Italy (26.4 percent) and 14
other rich countries all have higher proportions of self-employment.


link wrote:We have a long tradition in the United States of seeing small business as the driving force behind
our national prosperity. An important part of our national identity is built around the idea that –
thanks to low taxes, limited regulation, unfettered labor markets, and a national spirit of
entrepreneurship – the United States offers an environment for small business that is unmatched
anywhere else in the world.
The international economic data, however, tell a different story about the state of U.S. small
business. By every measure of small business employment, the United States has among the world’s
smallest small-business sectors (as a proportion of total national employment). The lower taxes, less
stringent regulations, and freer labor markets in the United States, it appears, have not yielded
greater small-business employment here than elsewhere.


This from a conversation of how a lack of proper socialized medicine is actually holding the US back.
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:22 pm

Krugman was on Colbert last week explaining that the latest "Obamacare will cost 2.5 million jobs!" talking point is actually a reference to the fact that a shitload of people are going to cut back on their hours because they will no longer have to overwork themselves to get healthcare.

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Mongrel
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Mongrel » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:17 am

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexch ... cial-norms

One of the nicest little op-eds I've read on changing the social value of work.
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Brentai
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Brentai » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:56 pm

Not everyone will opt to use leisure in such ways; many will play video games or drink.


Ah yes, society's two greatest evils. Alcoholism and Mario.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby nosimpleway » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:12 pm

What do you mean, "or" drink?

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pacobird
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby pacobird » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:03 pm

I take the kneejerk reaction I have to articles like this to make jokes about She Who Thirsts as evidence that I will never truly be cool.

BUT

I do think there is some psychological value to "work", broadly defined, as some external reinforcement of your value as a human being. At the very least, having to come up with some way to define yourself that doesn't involve what you do (because you don't do anything) consistently leads people to pretty dark places.
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Cthulhu-chan » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:53 pm

Brentai wrote:
Not everyone will opt to use leisure in such ways; many will play video games or drink.


Ah yes, society's two greatest evils. Alcoholism and Mario.



Even though he says "hey, it's their choice", I really like the implied "how dare they not maximize their utility!"
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Mongrel
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby Mongrel » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:15 am

I didn't read it as that. I took it as more of a matter-of-fact statement that if you have a true welfare state, that at least some people will opt for a parasitical life. It's only offensive if you want to believe that every last person is noble and self-sacrificing.

The statement was also in conjunction with his musing that some people will opt to do something that's maybe just self-sufficient, which they can only really afford to do if they're receiving a government subsidy. For instance a person running a class on a really obscure topic, unsupported by a university or other school. Or a guy who decides to become a really awesome admin for an online game server. These seem like things that might happen given a lot of leisure time.

I think that's all a big question we ought to be looking at. A lot of folks have responded to globalization and automation by saying it's not much different from past economic upheavals and that eventually it will all shake out and new jobs will be created. But I'm not so sure. There have been plenty of technological changes that have irrevocably altered human life on this planet. Why would it be a stretch to imagine us crossing an automation threshold where there is not enough work to do. If we can go from a ratio of 95% farmers to less than 5%, why could we not go from a ratio of 70% workers to something under 50%? I believe it is technologically possible.

That doesn't mean work will disappear entirely, but that we're going to have to confront the issue of "surplus" people. Hell, even if you had a giant war or disease kill off vast swaths of humanity, that wouldn't actually solve the problem, because it's now an issue of proportion rather than absolute numbers.

So what do we do socially to address the lack of work? Do we change our social mores to make not working more acceptable? In a world with fewer jobs, each requiring above-average levels of skill and concentration, do we look down on the merely-average person who simply opts out? Do we cut workweeks shorter, as people in the early 20th century thought would happen (again due to automation)? Do we actually find enough work for everyone with some magic new industry requiring lots of average warm bodies? Do we create make-work programs? Do we do nothing and let a shrinking pool of educated, moneyed folk wall themselves off from a growing crowd of idle malcontents (guess how that one turns out)? Will we be down and out in the Magic Kingdom?
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François
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby François » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:21 pm

pacobird wrote:At the very least, having to come up with some way to define yourself that doesn't involve what you do (because you don't do anything) consistently leads people to pretty dark places.


That's a fair point, but people defining themselves (or being defined by others) by what they do also has its dark places in its extremes. Historically, tons of awful people have gotten away with vile stuff because their community decided that their usefulness outweighed their turpitude. Like, say, a village tolerating how the local doctor beat his wife, or to take a striking recent-ish example, the likes of Paterno and Sandusky. Right now we have a society that so frowns on good men doing nothing that it often suffers bad men doing evil.

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Mongrel
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Mongrel » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:46 pm

Public thank-you for Buge.
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pacobird
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Re: Reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits

Postby pacobird » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:40 pm

François wrote:Right now we have a society that so frowns on good men doing nothing that it often suffers bad men doing evil.


Well, the point is what exactly makes the good man here "good" if he doesn't do anything? Like, what is his basis for holding himself up as such?
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