“You have that precisely backward. The right's inexcusable hypocrisy on Obama vacations is among the very FIRST, and very clearest examples of race based criticism of our "uppity" commander in chief. You're only bringing ACA into it to make yourself feel better--but you wont for long. And I'm not sure what it means to be "politically black" but I do know that most people in your position do not see past skin color, unless of course the owner is a patent and utterly ridiculous sellout in the vein of Clarence Thomas or Herman Cain...”
“Good for you widvasque. The assumption that productive members of society must be selfish and Republican is, sadly for you, not borne out by reality. I am the former and yet not remotely the latter, and so are most people with post-secondary education. The Right's obsession with Obama's vacations is nothing if not race based.”
WTH 2012 on Dec 10, 2013 at 01:45:48
“Ha HA Obamacare, Chi.cago and now vacations are raaacist. What is it with the left's obsession with race? Especially when Obama is neither culturally nor politically black.”
widvasqu on Dec 10, 2013 at 01:38:56
“Race based? I would suggest that is a shallow argument for someone obsessed with skin color. That is was your assumption, remember?
“And yet that's how modern monetary systems work. You want me to justify gravity for you as well?”
jdave1 on Dec 8, 2013 at 13:57:43
“Works? You call this mess working? When this house of cards falls down, and it will, all those zeros in all those bank accounts will be worth exactly that: zero. And by the way, if you can "explain" gravity you need to publish that paper right away. A sarcastic string of verbiage is not a justification for nonsense.”
Poetsxcape511 on Dec 8, 2013 at 10:15:33
“Gravity doesn't come from nothing. There's a reason gravity exists. Nobody waved a hand and made it so... Unless you're a theist then that's your only out.”
“And demand a cure for pancakes while you're at it. You haven't a clue what a dollar means. We have a FIAT currency, which means government will NEVER have a problem repaying debt. Private sector debt is over 200% of GDP, btw.
And a strong dollar is good if you want to encourage IMPORTS. The strong dollar is one of the main reasons we have had such a large and persistent trade deficit. A weaker dollar makes American products more competitive abroad.”
Poetsxcape511 on Dec 8, 2013 at 10:09:04
“Hahahaha!!! You talk about fiat currency as if it's a good thing! In order to have our government to "NEVER have a problem repaying debt" the dollar must have less than 50% debt infused into it. The real reason our government doesn't have a problem paying their debts is because we keep borrowing to pay them. In this case there may not be a problem with paying debt but that doesn't change the problem of trying to get debt free, two different things.
I find it hard to agree about a weaker dollar when the reason it's weak is because we keep introducing more currency, not money, into the equation via the Federal Reserve and banks conducting Fractional Reserve Banking. I understand that inflation is a part of the economy but the currency still needs to be backed by something of value. I'm no advocate for gold and silver but the truth remains that buying power was high and inflation low when the dollar represented something of worth.
In any case fiat currency depends on everyone coming together and agreeing to accept it.. The other problem you haven't calculated is the fact that the wealth distribution in this country is so skewed towards the rich that half of the middle class are at the poverty level... How exactly does having a fiat currency fight against what's arguably modern day slavery?”
jdave1 on Dec 8, 2013 at 09:26:18
“"fiat": ": a command or act of will that creates something without or as if without further effort " If it takes nothing to produce it, how is it worth anything? How does that deal work? Here, I have this thing that's worthless, I put nothing of value into it. Give me something valuable for it.”
“Using Krugman to rebut Stiglitz is rich. Krugman is wrong in this case, and his recent acceptance of "secular stagnation," wherein demand is chronically weak in Western economies and has depended on expansion of debt for at least 4 decades, will eventually lead him, along with many other economists to the inevitable conclusion. Steve Keen is another economist who makes the case for the centrality of debt, though he does not share Stiglitz's emphasis on inequality. Thanks for a rich discussion. I have invested all the time I care to invest in it. So long.”
Conservative666 on Dec 8, 2013 at 01:04:04
“So long. I wish you could explain YOUR views why inequality of wealth matters in a non zero-sum environment. But so be it.”
1. For you. A statement of your values, not of fact. Many people put aggregate human welfare (common good, which, though reasonable people may disagree on what it means, of course exists independently of political ideology. That you wish to segregate it and label it with a pejorative "communism" or "socialism" is your own coping mechanism, a way to stop thinking)
2. False equivalence. Some forms of energy production are clearly preferable depending on circumstance. The "free" market does not always prefer the best form of energy. It ALWAYS prefers the CHEAPEST (eg. unscrubbed coal), which is NOT REMOTELY the same thing as the least costly (because of...externalities).
3. That is not at all the case in the real world. When producing an engine you often seek to produce a good power/cost ratio. Gas consumption can be secondary or tertiary, depending on the price of petroleum. Emissions can easily drop off the map if there is no regulation.
4. See #1.
5. We do NOT have a free market, as you yourself have averred, when attempting to defend your unattainable ideal. The alternative to the free market that liberals/progressives espouse is NOT communism.
6. The operation of untrammeled/laissez faire capitalism PRODUCES monopolies and anticompetitive behaviors as natural byproducts. These are features of unregulated markets. You attempt to elide this by referring to a "Free Market." The free market does not exist. Even if it did, it often does NOT produce ideal outcomes (see#2).”
Conservative666 on Dec 8, 2013 at 00:59:30
“3. When you design an engine you look to get the most out of the fuel. Than you might have to modify it to reduce pollution, safety, etc. But you always start with trying to maximize what your goal is.
1. "though reasonable people may disagree on what it means" that is the point, without agreement there can be no "common" good.
2. "It ALWAYS prefers the CHEAPEST" No it doesn't, which is why some people have but up solar panels and wind mills.
6. natural monopolies (e.g. Morton Salt) can occur. Saying anticompetitive behaviors is a byproduct is like saying greed is a byproduct of wealth. anticompetitive are a sin to the free market, not a byproduct.”
"First, Joe offers a version of the “underconsumption” hypothesis, basically that the rich spend too little of their income. This hypothesis has a long history — but it also has well-known theoretical and empirical problems."
"Joe also argues that high income inequality depresses tax receipts, fueling fiscal fears. Again, I have trouble with this point: our tax system isn’t as progressive as it should be, but it is at least mildly progressive even when you take state and local taxes into account. So I don’t know where this is coming from."”
“If you google "Joseph Stiglitz Vanity Fair" you'll encounter at least two very good pieces by this distinguished economist on the price of inequality. I won't try to reinvent the wheel here, or even build one for you, but, really, Stiglitz makes the argument well. Go read.”
Conservative666 on Dec 8, 2013 at 00:25:42
“It appears my previous answer was killed.
Check your guy out (1) he is wrong about the data, (2) and he use emotional arguments.
The value of the stock is not wealth, that is stored wealth. Wealth is how easy your life is. The lower class gets more from the government, including smart phones. The person in 1980 (33 years ago) do not a big flat screen tv, microwave, cell phone. We have better health care, transportation (and safety). Netflix, cable, the internet have all increased the wealth of the lower half. Wealth is not the absolute sum of dollars but what that dollar buys. Then there are the intangibles of cleaner air and water.”
“Maybe, but the logic you use is akin to declaring that by draining the blood we can cure a patient of hemophilia. True, true, and very convenient... especially if you happen to be a vampire. This is not a good-faith argument. It's an argument that arrives at its destination by the only route you know how to take. Words like "fair" above would tip you off, if you were able to step back from your own words, to the fact that your reasoning is built on a foundation of wishfulness. Fairness is ALWAYS in the eye of the beholder. Business does not oppose regulation when it represents an "unfair" or "undue" burden. There is NO such standard. Business tends to oppose ALL laws and regulations that disadvantage it particularly in ANY way, whether "fair" or "unfair," even when aggregate good all but demands it. Lobbying and other influence peddling are the result--inevitable when they are perfectly legal. And flat taxes are a perversity that would aggravate our already world-leading wealth disparities, create an even more fragmented society, and accelerate the decline of the middle class and the disappearance of democracy. That you do not mention or contemplate regulation of this legalized bribery is odd. Maybe not so odd, given that modern conservatism has made it a goal to expand and institutionalize it.
I'll post another response about inequality, and I think that will be that.”
Conservative666 on Dec 7, 2013 at 23:13:46
“Wealth disparities only matter when the lower half is not increasing in wealth. Does it matter then guy down the street can buy 10 or 20 cars along as you can buy one? Would it be better the guy down the street can only buy 2 cars but you cannot avoid one?
Under Obama the wealth disparity has increase but the wealth of the lower half has also increased.
“Simply not so. The Free Market is a fantasy, for the many reasons, among them those I have discussed more than once, and have, at this point, lost all interest in rehashing. Like a frictionless surface or a perfectly altruistic human being, the Free Market does not exist in practice. Pretending that we can rely on it makes no more sense than removing propulsion and expecting the vehicle to continue indefinitely--or perhaps more descriptively, removing breaks on a car, expecting traffic to always flow evenly. Even more to the point, you've not remotely shown that the free market produces the best results over the long haul. You've managed to ignore, except, and forget multiple instances where people acting as individuals in their own perceived interest produce outcomes that are far from good. Statements like "it should be the goal with every action" drip with ideological zealotry. One might as well say that the common good should be the goal--which is something you tacitly accept when you claim, with the kind of evidence only a true believer would accept as such, that the Free Market always produces the best result for society. There is a special kind of thinking, I'm not sure if Objectivism is its source, or simply its distillation, that avers that selfishness is always overall beneficial. It's a beautiful system of belief, in its own perverse self-justifying way. It's also complete bunk. And so we are back where we started. And I'm not itching for another go round.”
Conservative666 on Dec 7, 2013 at 23:02:23
“I guess it depends on what you think is the best outcome. For me it is the freedom to do what I want at the least lowest cost, with the least harm to the public.
If you produce electricity, you have coal, nuclear, oil, gas, wind, wood, dung and solar. All of which of produce some negative environmental consequence.
When you produce an engine it is the goal to get the most energy out of quantity of fuel. It is not a ideological statement, but logic.
There is no common good, except in socialism and communism.
The free market alone does not produce what is best for society. For what is best for society? That is why you need religion, ethics and morals. If your religion believes it is immoral to get interest on your money, the free market isn't gong to produce that.
The free market produces the best transactions of the sum of individuals. It allows people to buy $10 tennis shoes and $400 tennis shoes. Communism produces one type of tennis shoes.
Tell me how going away from the free market (like creating a monopoly) is better for society?”
“Simplification of laws is a good thing, I agree. Getting money out of the legislating process, as much as possible anyway, would help a lot.”
Conservative666 on Dec 6, 2013 at 18:13:37
“Maybe the best way to get money out of politics is a flat tax. No tax breaks, no reason to influence the elections. Second best way is limit regulation. Again, if a business in not unfairly burden by regulations they would be no reason to influence government.”
“That's a statement of faith. We cannot govern our actions in the world based on an unattainable ideal. I would like to believe that everyone is honest and wants to do right, but I do not behave this way in practice, nor can I.”
Conservative666 on Dec 6, 2013 at 18:11:09
“It is not a statement of faith, but of logic. Just like no taxes would allow people to earn the most money. We might not get down there, but the closer we get there the better off we are.”
“It's been interesting, and I have a feeling we could go on forever. I'm not in the mood, nor do I have the time, to debate every topic under the sun. Social Security is a form of redistribution. Progressive taxation is a form of redistribution (and our tax system used to impose MUCH higher rates on the very rich). Redistribution prevents capitalism, which depends on demand to drive innovation and enterprise, from becoming top heavy. Capitalism, by its nature, and by the nature of some of its faults--the ways in which the market is not and cannot be free, tends to concentrate wealth. Today too much of the wealth has accumulated at the top, and while productivity grew very significantly median incomes have stagnated. As a result, demand is not there to purchase what the economy is able to produce. Not without going into debt. And we have record debt levels in the private economy largely as a result. When so much wealth accumulates near the top, the capitalist engine begins to stall. Other distortions and shocks result when that wealth goes searching for a good return (since investing in capacity does not make sense when demand is not there). Capitalism depends on a flow of wealth. As marginal tax rates on the rich have plummeted, as labor has lost leverage, as globalization has become ascended and technology displaced workers, that flow back down has slowed, to the point where capitalism is starved for fuel. That's where we are.”
Conservative666 on Dec 6, 2013 at 09:52:42
“You said a lot . Progressive taxation on it's own not redistribution. It is a method of assigning costs to those who most benefit or can most afford to pay. Whatever the form of taxation, it is only redistribution, when someone else receives the money just for being (i.e. not wages or services).
Social Security has become redistributive, but it didn't have be that way.
" Today too much of the wealth has accumulated at the top," That is an opinion. Why do you think it is bad, what are the consequences? (Assuming that wealth can be created and thus not a zero-sum game).
"Capitalism depends on a flow of wealth." I would say Capitalism depends on the creation of wealth. An economy depends on a flow of exchanges of goods and services.
While debt can be a problem, what is worse (1) allowing the less wealthy to borrow form the wealthy or (2) taking from the wealthy to give to the less wealth?
I would say the flow of wealth continues, considering the lines for Apple products. You might not consider it wealth, each new iphone increases the wealth of the buyer.”
“Free markets do not exist. There surely are problems with regulation, and problems with government, and with licensing, which does not mean that lack of regulation, government, and licensing leads to paradise. If it did, there would be some examples of such a paradise. The immaculate free market you seek does not exist, anywhere. When problems come up, you attempt to distance them from the "free market" in order to protect your precious ideal. But this is just an ideal. It does not and cannot exist, because some businesses will always seek to gain an unfair advantage by cutting corners, stifling competition, acquiring exclusive control over resources, and doing other things that don't fit into your "free market" ideal. That's the world we live in.”
Conservative666 on Dec 5, 2013 at 15:47:52
“" The immaculate free market you seek does not exist, anywhere. " That is because those in power benefit from the ability to hand out favors.
It may not exist, but it should be the goal with every action. When a regulation is proposed it should state whether it inhibits a free market and what benefits will come from the regulation to justify it.”