Discussion in 'Human Science' started by sculptor, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No, they really, really could not.

    A guy with no legs, or cystic fibrosis, or a heart defect, isn't going to be able to start a paper route or mow lawns.
    A single mom is not going to be able to start a food truck.
    A guy with an IQ of 80 is not going to be able to start a business.

    It would be nice to think that everyone is capable of making it on their own. They're not.
    Again, see the above, No, anyone could not.
    The country does not need 165 million real estate agents - or food trucks, or plumbers.

    Yes, more than 50% of the population is capable of finding work and/or starting their own business. The remainder are the problem. They are people too. Many of them CANNOT do any of the things you mentioned.
    Yep. And they died en masse during famines and whatnot.
    "Life before Reagan." Because Reagan started capitalism or something?
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Billvon, in a previous post you mentioned that 20% of the population were poor and couldn't do much about it. What is your solution? Capitalism and take care of the bottom 20% or something different?

    The Reagan comment you quote was directed toward Iceaura.

    Regarding the comment about Walmart, its rich owners, their "greedy" system and the tax payer...that's an emotional statement but it's not logical. The capitalist system of allocation you've agreed is efficient. That's why there are profits. Walmart profits are not out of line with their competitors. The Waltons just happen to own a lot of Walmart stock.

    If you want the government to take care of the bottom 20%, how can you have a problem with anyone receiving food stamps. Does a full time single worker with no kids generally receive food stamps?

    Are you more in favor of something that doesn't exist? Socialism with the efficiency to allocate of Capitalism?
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I can see several solutions but none are great.

    -UBI. Give everyone enough money to live. That increases unemployment because a lot more people choose not to work. But it narrows the divide a bit because there will be fewer people at the bottom. It also turns us into a two class society much faster, because in that bimodal distribution, the number of people right at the UBI level (say, 12K a year) skyrockets.

    -Doing what we do now, which is a piecemeal system that gives people incentives to work but provides assistance. This can work if, and only if, politicians don't mess with it every time the government changes hands. (Example - Trump is cutting SNAP by 30%, rental assistance by 18%, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program completely.)

    -Employment law incentives that reward companies for paying a living wage.

    -Education and training programs. This will help some of these people - not all, not even most, but some. This is the best non-subsidy path IMO.

    Food stamps (more accurately SNAP) should be, IMO, a program to help out of work people not starve - not to subsidize companies that pay less than living wage. And if we increase SNAP to deal with malnutrition, Wal-Mart then cuts labor costs even further, pockets the extra money, and pays less in payroll taxes while taxpayers pay more in their taxes. Not a good solution IMO.
    I am certainly in favor of something that doesn't exist right now. But as I said there are no easy ways to get there.
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    How would you define a living wage? How much is that?

    I can see having a minimum that you bring everyone to (that isn't already there). The problems of course lie with the incentives. If you provide enough that it's close to the salary of someone who is working, then more people will not work.

    If you allow them to earn more without cutting back the assistance then there is definitely no incentive for others to work. If you double the amount for two people in poverty that isn't "fair" to those who are single living in poverty. If you reduce the amount you encourage people to split up.

    Someone who is disabled could get a little more and be encouraged to do whatever work they can do.

    If you don't carefully consider the incentives though, the whole thing becomes a joke.

    I do think it's hard to be too critical of a system for which a better solution isn't obvious. It kind of like an apple picker wishing that gravity could be turned off while picking. It can't be turned off.

    You can't have our current system and not have "rich" people.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Nice planet. I'll have to visit some time.
    On this planet "they" have to have at least one employee to be an employer. That makes two people, one employee and one employer, who cannot be divided into hundredths and assigned to category by fractions.
    On this planet "They" also have to have a source of financing or collateral and a decent credit record (or maybe white skin) to start something like a food truck - by far the most significant financial well for white entrepreneurs is the equity they have built up in their house. Black people have no such
    Who would they hire?
    I'm "for" US life under Nixon or McCarthy? For a revolution I regard as failure of democracy, a form of the disaster we tolerate democracy to forestall.? Not "for" any of the things I repeatedly promote?

    Three 180 misses in one sentence. You will never learn to not post when ignorant.
    I'll give you something for free: I'm opposed to fascist government and all those who are complicit in its policies or further its agenda Extremely opposed. One note Johnny on that issue. Borderline obsessed. It's been thirty five years since Reagan became the first Hollywood documentary or reality show host to stand for re-election as the President of the United States, and we have had most of our adult lives to adjust to whatever we didn't want to know for sure and could therefore pretend was malicious gossip about our neighbors and fellow citizens.

    Worse, I regard that opposition as a necessary minimum criterion for bestowing the label "good person" on a Western adult, and recognition of the evil to be fought and the likely consequences of losing that fight a necessary minimum criterion for the appellation "intelligent/wise Western adult". But that's one stance, and there's not much to it around here - whatever in the big world they are or pass for, here the typical Republican (aka Tea Party, Conservative, No Labels, Never Trumper, Patriot, Dixiecrat, the real American) is still adjusting their shitheap toupée and struggling with the concept of accuracy in paraphrase. Discussion of anything complex or new to them is going to be - - - - slow.
    - - - -
    More than 50%.
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You really should.

    Any business can have two people, Sherlock

    Black people have houses too although one isn't necessarily needed for a food truck. No wonder Socialism doesn't work. Talk about needing to be spoon fed.

    I'll let you ponder that one. I'm (pretty) sure you are up to it.
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nope. About 20%.

    Attached Files:

  11. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    Evidence? Anything? Bueller? Are you sure?

    I give up, who? Ohhh... Wait....

    Wait what? "The government?" WTF is that? You mean the taxpayers? Surely, shirley, you don't mean other citizens should pay for "retraining?" Keep in mind, we're not talking Kim Jong-Un retraining here, we're referring to programs that the participants actually live through... And prosper from...

    What're you, some kinda socialist lib'ral????

    I must admit, the magnanimity of your consent to allow individuals to pay for their own education is breathtaking. Almost "unprecedented." (Thre's a word I haven't heard frequently enough in the last four years

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    The alternative is whatever it takes to reverse the ridiculous Bandarlog groupthink growing like fungi in the US and other western nations. (Eastern too, I imagine, just don't hear as much about it).

    What The Fuck Is Wrong With People?

  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You people love your Bandarlog references don't you? That's cute.
  13. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    It would be if you are unable see past the cute li'l monkey's and their silly antics... Or, the not so cute orange orangutan. As the case may be.

    But, each to their own...
  14. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    The alternative is whatever it takes to reverse the suicidal slime currently overtaking much of the world's hive mind. That's what...

    So, anything on the substance? Anything at all?
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    What are you talking (ranting) about? What is the "substance"?

    You don't seriously expect me to somehow "prove" online that I could afford a freaking food truck?
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Which they did not obtain in a market exchange - thereby destroying the basis of the claim of "efficiency".
    As I posted, yep - not only can, but would have to if anyone is labeled an "employer". So you are immediately down to 50% possible employers, and you haven't even taken the corporation as employer into account.

    Some people can be employers, but most cannot. It's called "arithmetic".
    They don't, actually. At least, not in any comparable fraction of US citizens. Not only do fewer black Americans per thousand own houses, but the ones who do have much less equity in them on average (and the current trend is loss: If current trends continue a majority of black households will have negative net worth starting around 2038)
    - - - -
    Your graph suggests stagnation at best - more likely outright decline - in the wages of the bottom 80%.
    (The slight rise in the third and fourth brackets is more than swamped by non-wage income, misleading revisions to the protocol for calculating the inflation rate, use of household income as a proxy, use of gross income as a proxy, use of "average" instead of median , and so forth)

    The most definitely misleading aspect is probably the use of household income as a proxy for hourly wages, followed by the use of gross yearly income as such a proxy, followed by the well-known problems with calculating the "true" or "unavoidable" rate of inflation. If the government is still using the mean instead of the median in these quintile reports, that is also a big one.

    This topic of rising and falling wages in the American economy has come up repeatedly. It's been a few years now since these mistakes were called out - why are they still being committed?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    As usual, a ridiculous comment. The pricing mechanism of the market (supply and demand) as opposed to central planning is what is more efficient. It does apply to the Waltons however since their shares were priced when they originally went public, but who cares?

    It's called being an idiot and trying to "win" an argument. Most people can either be self-employed or start some form of business if they so choose.

    44% of blacks do own homes. If current trends of unemployment continue no one should be employed in a few years. If crime rates in the 70's had continued with their then current trends the nation would be dealing with nothing but crime by now.

    This, like most of your arguments, is disingenuous.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    . https://www.usatoday.com/story/mone...s-fueling-wealth-gap-report-finds/3244738001/
    The Brookings Institute incorporates a "conservative" or rightwing bias into its analyses.
    The Waltons did not obtain their wealth via market exchange. They obtained it via central planning.

    Even if they had obtained it in a market exchange of some kind, markets are only efficient under certain conditions, which we collect under terms such as "free" or "undistorted" or the like - basically, to be efficient, the market exchange must include all significant costs and either party to the exchange may decline it. That equilibrium is not stable - Tragedy Of The Commons and piracy and swindle and so forth - but instead requires governance.
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nope. The graph speaks for itself.
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Depends on the area. There are various calculators on line.
    Right, those are all problems with any such system.
    Nothing wrong with rich people. The problems are:
    1) Poor people who are getting poorer who see no benefit from the colossal difference in wealth - and no way to improve their situation.
    2) The growing gap between two classes of people - a large underclass and a small but extraordinarily powerful upper class. That almost invariably leads to civil war.
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The poor aren't getting poorer. The rich, as in any system, are getting richer.

    You seem to be saying that you understand all the problems with doing too much changing to a capitalist system and you don't have any solutions but ...what? You still want change but you can't see any change that would be better?

    That's always been understood regarding capitalism. It's messy but it's still the best we have. Government does regulate it and change it to that degree. Government change still has to deal with all those disincentive issues that we discussed however.

    The issue IMO isn't so much the income/wealth inequality. It's the current and near future economic opportunities for the lower and middle classes. When everyone has a decent job they aren't "revolutionary" and overly concerned about income/wealth inequality.

    Are most well paid employees (of any kind) too concerned about how much Gates or Bezos are worth? I don't think so.

    If it's in the news constantly sure. If systemic racism is in the news constantly then everyone starts to feel discriminated against when in fact, like poverty, it's at an all time low.
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    The bottom 20% are. See the chart I posted.
    Yep. But future prospects are dimming as well.

    "We find that mobility increased from 1950 to 1980 but has declined sharply since 1980. " http://jhr.uwpress.org/content/43/1/139.refs
    I am. Specifically, I am not concerned about how much they worth - but about how much power the class they represent wields compared to people of lower worth, and how rapidly that difference is increasing.
    There are a great many changes that would make things better - just no perfect ones.
    More education and training for everyone - absolutely. Paid for by a more progressive tax. Return to the tax structures seen in 1955.
    A minimum wage tied to a standard of living.
    Affordable housing requirements in all cities.
    Better healthcare coverage for the poor.

    Those would all improve things a bit, and perhaps arrest the alarming and growing gap between the haves and the have-nots.
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You realize that the percentages taken in as tax revenue in the 50's is little different that that taken in today?

    How does affordable housing requirements for all cities work in your opinion?

    Is $15/hr a reasonable minimum wage?

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