An Open Market on Economics

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Classic
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Classic » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:58 pm

This presumes that the status quo is "good".

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pacobird
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby pacobird » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:02 pm

yeah i mean wittgenstein basically
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François
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby François » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:54 pm

Hmm, it's a question of potential, I would think. Given the opportunity to choose between selfless behavior (with actual cost to themselves, not like, signing an internet petition to disapprove of kitten stranglers) and greed/cruelty, they would choose the former. Of course, I know that's not saying much, and good men doing good is superior to good men doing nothing in every significant regard. I guess my actual point was that society so looks down on any man doing nothing that it would sometimes rather have a bad man doing evil instead, as long as he also contributes to society in some other (possibly quite trivial, i.e. sportsball) way; that is the trap that "defining people by what they do" can invite in some cases.

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MarsDragon
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby MarsDragon » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:17 pm

Image
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TedBelmont
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby TedBelmont » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:29 pm

MarsDragon wrote:Image
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...says the dude who slept for 300+ years while his dad terrorized the countryside.

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Classic
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Classic » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:38 pm

I mean, he knows. He "lived" it.

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Mongrel
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Mongrel » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:34 pm

So apparently you guys came closer to default today than on any previous occasion. Perhaps with less publicity, but no less nail-biting.

Very few Americans know how close the country came to catastrophe this week.

The final tally shows that the Senate voted by a wide margin Wednesday, 67 to 31, to break Sen. Ted Cruz’s filibuster of an increase in the debt limit, thus avoiding a default on the United States’ full faith and credit.

But 15 minutes after the voting should have ended, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had apparently secured only two of the five Republican votes he needed to join all 55 members of the Democratic caucus to pass the measure. He raised three fingers in the air and worked his way among his members but was met with folded arms and shakes of the head. Looking queasy, he patted his thigh nervously and drummed his fingers. In the hubbub, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) knocked a full glass of water and coaster from McConnell’s desk to the floor.

Democrats, watching the spectacle, took the extraordinary step of ordering the Senate clerk not to read aloud the ongoing vote tally to avoid setting off a market panic; because the House had already left on a two-week recess, a failure of this vote would have left little chance of avoiding default on Feb. 27, when the Treasury was to run out of funds.

Watching the chaos from the side of the chamber was the man who caused it: Cruz, his hands in his pants pockets and a satisfied grin on his face. The Texas Republican strolled to the clerk’s table to check on the vote count and was met with a look of disgust from Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). And the feeling was widespread: Moments after Cruz walked into the Republican cloakroom, four senators emerged from it and changed their votes to “aye.”

Cruz reemerged from the cloakroom, chewing gum, his hands again in his pockets. He smirked as his colleagues finally overcame his filibuster after a ­59-minute struggle.

Cruz’s ego trip had come at a high cost. He had forced McConnell, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and other Republicans to cast votes that could cause them to lose primaries to weaker general-election candidates, and he had risked getting his party blamed for a default.

The Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial page dubbed Cruz “the Minority Maker” for making his GOP colleagues “walk the plank” on a “meaningless debt ceiling vote.”

But Cruz doesn’t care about all that. Leaving the chamber, he told reporters McConnell’s fate would be “ultimately a decision . . . for the voters in Kentucky.”

His actions suggest Cruz has put himself before his party and even the nation’s solvency. And in this sense his actions are typical of the 2016 GOP presidential field. Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rand Paul are mucking up the gears of government in ways that will earn them favorable attention in the primaries.

...

Vying with Cruz to be the most reckless of the 2016 aspirants is Paul, of Kentucky, who in recent days has injected the 1990s Monica Lewinsky scandal into the national debate as a means of discrediting Hillary Clinton. He also claimed her failure to send “reinforcements” to diplomats in Benghazi before they were attacked “should limit Hillary Clinton from ever holding high office.” Multiple investigations have confirmed that secretaries of state do not make decisions about security at each diplomatic post.

Now, Paul has politicized his court challenge to the NSA surveillance program. It would have been an important legal case, but Paul pushed aside the constitutional lawyer who had drafted the legislation and abandoned efforts to get a Democratic senator to be a co-plaintiff; instead, he added President Obama’s name to the list of defendants, brought in the tea party group FreedomWorks as a plaintiff and hired failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, another tea party politician, to be his lead lawyer.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html

If the power went out in the Senate for 5 minutes, would they find a body?
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:45 pm

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2 ... ontax.html

Even the International Monetary Fund has come out in favor of increasing taxes on the financial sector. It points out that the financial sector is seriously undertaxed compared with other sectors of the economy. Most of us pay a sales tax when we buy clothes or a car, but for some reason we are supposed to believe the world will come to an end if the Wall Street guys have to pay a tax when they are flipping credit default swaps.
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Mongrel
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Mongrel » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:09 pm

This is fascinating to me... not because of the abuses and cocoa industry etc that were the centrepiece of this event, but because of the lessons in management theory.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/27/busin ... ef=edition

Letting the farmers understand their crops use will not make them dissatisfied. There was such a pride in their faces and voices as they realized, now, for the first time, they knew what they were helping to create.


This is a thing that Harley Davidson figured out in the 80's when they moved from line manufacturing to cell manufacturing... if you give them ownership of what they make, they take pride in it, and they work HARDER.

It's a fascinating THING and I wish there were more on this topic.
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Mongrel
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Mongrel » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:17 pm

So Obama is moving to curb unpaid overtime: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ ... ml?hpid=z1

Exempt overtime has become a pretty heavily abused thing down in the States, so good job.
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pacobird
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby pacobird » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:50 pm

if it happens i swear to god i am starting a cleaning service franchise to meet demand from all the retail joints for whom it will no longer be cost-effective to force employees to clean after-hours
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Caithness
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Caithness » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:51 pm

Talk about creating jobs. If it's no longer economical to pay one person to do the work of two, the number of openings should skyrocket.

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Classic
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Classic » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:29 am

Koala wrote:Talk about creating jobs. If it's no longer economical legal to pay make one person to do the work of two, the number of openings should skyrocket.

If the quality of the work, the health of the worker, or the stability of the worker's family isn't factored, it will always be more economical to cajole one person to do the work of two. Because, remember, people aren't being paid to do the work of two. That's what this is ostensibly going to fix.

I mean, like basically everything else we talk about in this country, it ignores our prison population (which is it's own, horrible clusterfuck), who as far as I can tell, can be compelled to work for close to free.

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Mongrel
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Mongrel » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:50 am

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio ... 99288.html

There comes a time when we need to collectively look at a system and realise that it is no longer fit for purpose. Current R&D models for new medicines are not working; not for the world's poor, nor for you and I. It is time to get angry, to demand change. The poor are no longer far away, passive and prepared to die slowly of an illness we can cure. They demand change and so should everyone.
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Friday
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Friday » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:58 pm

historyoftheworldpart1fuckthepoor.gif
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Mongrel » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:17 pm

A leftist in favour of closed systems and against open source.

I thought there were some good points in there. His solutions are vague and problematic, but it's an interesting take on the problem and worth consideration.
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Thad
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Thad » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:42 pm

It strikes me as an awfully first-world way of looking at the problem.

Yes, the destruction of the middle class in America and other first-world nations is a serious damn problem.

But I'm seeing the world start to look a hell of a lot MORE democratic now that people in ghettos can get cheap Internet-connected phones that run motherfucking Linux.

Another thought: I recently read a great guest post by Ramez Naam over at Stross's blog, titled Can We Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia? that notes that, while Orwell was exactly right about the abuses of power that technological advancements would bring the ruling class, he didn't anticipate the advantages they would give the middle and lower classes. The kind of terrifying memory-hole historical revisionism Stalin pulled is impossible in most of the world today (I'll grant an exception for North Korea, but even China and Iran have less power than ever to lie to the public).

His complaints about open-source software also seem to conflate that apolitical, utilitarian development strategy with the more politically-oriented free software ideology. Which is odd, because Lanier almost certainly understands that the former exists for exactly the purpose of distancing itself from the latter.

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Mongrel
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Mongrel » Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:29 pm

For sure. I would definitely say there are serious problems with his viewpoint, but I did like the way he came at the problem of extremes from a totally different point of view.

One thing I really liked were the comments about how the middle class is in many ways an agreed-upon artifice, which is actually not an idea original to him, but which certainly deserves more discussion.
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Büge
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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Büge » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:02 pm

As much as I enjoy the music of the 1920s, I'd rather we didn't have the same wealth inequality.

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Re: An Open Market on Economics

Postby Mongrel » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:03 pm

Interesting Economist article on a recent prostitution study

I just find this cool because they produced a pretty good amount of hard data and it looks like they really tried to get reasonably accurate info. There's even a reference to historical trends.

Science!
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