Author Topic: Wealth distribution  (Read 7338 times)

Re:
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2013, 10:27:46 AM »
Quote from: "Xerographica"
....If you're an advocate of free-markets and had to pick one passage to share with a liberal...which one would you choose? Here's the one passage that I would share...

Define "free-market".

There is the well regulated Free Market of the past, where companies were urged to keep jobs in the US through tariffs, taxes and such. Where workers enjoy some level of protection from easily, and cheaply, corrected hazards, and unfair business practices from their employers.

When our economy was strongest, it was regulated.

Then there is the modern "conservative" ideal of a "free market", which in actuality is a "free-for-all" market. Jobs fly overseas, simple and inexpensive safety equipment/procedures are set aside to add a few more cents to a company's profits, and predatory lending takes hold.

Re:
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2013, 10:55:37 AM »
Quote from: "Davka"
History tells us that whenever the vast majority of wealth/power is concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority, the majority suffer as a result. No amount of free-market bullshit can change that.

The system that appears to work best is a combination of socialism, regulated semi-free markets, and democracy. So far, this has only been implemented in a handful of nations, mostly in Northern Europe. It works.

Hold on now, what would be the opposite of a "free market"? The part people miss is no matter an open market or closed market, a centralized power or monopoly can arise and it takes money to maintain that power. Stalin, Hitler, Iran's theocracy and China's slave labor market are all forms of monopolies.

It isn't the "free market" that is bad, it is the lack of anti monopoly inforcement. Gadaffi was a free market capitalist too, he was a billionaire and owned stock in GE.

Instead of a totalitarian concentration of wealth we have a class monopoly. But this is global corporatism doing this. I am not about to disown private business outright because of the size of the bullies. It is not all or nothing.

What needs to happen isn't getting rid of mom and  pop shops, or private business. What needs to happen globally is an attitude change. There are 3 main industries causing worldwide most of our problems. Banks, Oil and weapons.

In a "revolt" people confuse the outcome as being better than what caused it. That is simply not true. What lead to the Russian revolution, was centralized wealth, but simply got replaced by the monopoly of the wealth of the political party in communism.

Simply having a revolt does not mean the outcome cant be gamed in the same manor that caused the revolt in the first place. As soon as more people see it as a human condition issue and not a political or religious label issue, then the monopoly can be broken and still allow for an open market.

But I do agree, once again when you strip the bullshit ideology and politics and cut to the core of our human behavior, it still boils down to evolution. Even in other mammals and other species for that matter, if the alpha male becomes abusive, the subordinates if they can ever get a chance, and sometimes do, will turn on that alpha male. It is a natural instinct to survive, and that is simply what life is about.
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." Obama
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Re: Re:
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2013, 07:17:48 PM »
Quote from: "Davka"
Quote from: "Xerographica"
Quote from: "Davka"
I reject your premise. Command economies don't work because the concentration of power/money in the hands of a tiny elite always ends in disaster.
You reject the preference revelation problem?  Why?
No, I reject your premise that the only two choices are to state that command economies do not work because of the preference revelation problem or to state that command economies do work. That's an absurd position to take. Things are never black-and-white in the real world, only in theory.
There aren't a lot of options here...either you agree that the preference revelation problem is a real problem...or you do not.  Which is it?  

Quote from: "Davka"
Socialism as practiced in the West does not concentrate power or wealth in the hands of the few. Socialist Democracy is a completely different animal from communist totalitarianism.
There aren't a lot of options here either...either you shop for yourself or somebody else shops for you.  If we went to a restaurant...we either order for ourselves or one of us orders for the other.  We could certainly elect somebody else to order for both of us...but we still have the same situation where somebody else is ordering for us.

When other people order for us we end up with the preference revelation problem.  So again, is the preference revelation problem a real problem?

Quote from: "Davka"
The concentration of power in the hands of 0.01% of Americans is unsustainable. When very few people are taking half the pie, and those at the bottom are living on crumbs, something is very, very wrong.
How many people did it take to make Michael Moore a millionaire?

Quote
I'm a millionaire, I'm a multi-millionaire. I'm filthy rich. You know why I'm a multi-millionaire? 'Cause multi-millions like what I do. That's pretty good, isn't it? - Michael Moore
The market works because of consumer sovereignty.  When a multitude of consumers place their money in the same pair of hands...then wealth becomes concentrated.  But was that the consumers' original intent?  Do people who spend their money on Moore's movies do so because they want him to be "filthy rich"?

When a consumer buys products...how often do they know how wealthy the producers of those products are?  Have you ever personally not purchased a product solely because the producer was too wealthy?  If so, what product was it?  

Quote from: "Davka"
How the FUCK do you know what I think?

Instead of playing mind-reader, try asking. You're making a buttload of assumptions, most of which are way off.
LOL...in case you missed it...I believe that the preference revelation problem is a real problem.  In other words, I'm certain that government planners are not omniscient.  I'm not omniscient either...which is why I've been asking you whether you believe that the preference revelation problem is a real problem.

In case you missed it...here's my blog entry on the topic...the You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login.  Look over the passages and let me know whether you agree with them or disagree with them.  If you disagree with them...then copy and paste exactly which passage you disagree with and explain why you think it's wrong.
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Re: Re:
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2013, 08:03:50 PM »
Quote from: "AxisMundi"
Then there is the modern "conservative" ideal of a "free market", which in actuality is a "free-for-all" market. Jobs fly overseas, simple and inexpensive safety equipment/procedures are set aside to add a few more cents to a company's profits, and predatory lending takes hold.
When jobs fly overseas...who do we blame?

A. the consumer for wanting less expensive products
B. the American worker for wanting higher wages
C. the producer for wanting larger profits
D. all of the above  

In each case, the individual was simply trying to maximize their utility.  In other words, we all want the most bang for our buck.  

In a free-market, we're all free to shop around for the best deals.  Consumers, producers and workers can all try and avoid getting ripped off.  They all have the freedom to say "no thanks" when confronted with lemons.  

For example, here I am trying to sell you pragmatarianism.  If you don't think it's a valuable product...then you can say "no thanks".  Except, what I'm trying to sell to you is the importance of your freedom to say "no thanks".  So it's bittersweet when people say "no thanks" to pragmatarianism.  

Given that we can't say "no thanks" in the public sector...many times we end up having our tax dollars spent on public goods which do not match our preferences.  For example, pacifists end up having to pay for war.  This is known as the forced rider problem.  It's the inevitable consequence of compulsory taxation.  And why do we have compulsory taxation?  Because of the free-rider problem.  And why is there a free-rider problem?  Because people are utility maximizers.  

Public goods, such as national defense, are collective...so it's difficult, if not impossible, to prevent somebody from enjoying the benefits.  As a result, because people are utility maximizers, it's rational for people to expect that others will pick up the tab for national defense.  They could have all of the benefits of national defense at none of the cost.  But if nobody picked up the tab...or too few people picked up the tab...then we wouldn't have enough national defense and everybody would suffer as a result.

So we resort to forcing everybody to pick up a portion of the tab.  But this doesn't tell us your preferences for public goods.  Why?  Because somebody else is ordering for you.  Maybe it wasn't somebody you voted for.  Maybe it was somebody you voted for...but they aren't ordering what they said that they were going to order.  

The bottom line is that government planners are not omniscient.  They don't know what your true preferences are.  Without knowing the actual demand for public goods, it's impossible for them to supply the optimal amounts of public goods.  This is known as the preference revelation problem.  The solution is to create a market in the public sector and give taxpayers the freedom to shop for themselves.  They will use their own tax dollars to communicate their preferences (demand).  

Would they lie about their preferences?  Why would they?  The cost is a foregone conclusion.  Because they are utility maximizers, they will try and get the most bang for their tax dollars.  They will say "no thanks" to nonsensical uses of their tax dollars.  As a result, over time, the supply of public goods will better match taxpayers' preferences.  In other words, the allocation of society's resources will become more efficient.  We won't end up with too much national defense and not enough public healthcare.  Therefore the outcome will be the balance of public goods that maximizes society's benefit.
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Offline Rejak

Re: Wealth distribution
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2013, 09:17:42 PM »
Xerographica  Other posters in this thread have referred to real life examples of regulation of markets working for the benefit of the most people. ( Finland Norway Sweden Iceland USA under the new deal ect. ) And its failure to work when that regulation was not implemented or dismantled. Like 19th century America and Europe. USA after dismantling the new deal reforms that were supposed to prevent another Great Depression. If you could provide some real life examples where this "free Market" ideology has actually worked for most people for any length of time you might gain some credibility. Just spouting the same old tired "free market " propaganda the republicans have been selling for the last 40 years is not going to convince anyone with more than a couple neurons to rub together. The only society I know of that has been produced by the free market is one Charles Dickens would write about

Re: Wealth distribution
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2013, 09:56:43 PM »
Quote from: "Rejak"
Xerographica  Other posters in this thread have referred to real life examples of regulation of markets working for the benefit of the most people. ( Finland Norway Sweden Iceland USA under the new deal ect. ) And its failure to work when that regulation was not implemented or dismantled. Like 19th century America and Europe. USA after dismantling the new deal reforms that were supposed to prevent another Great Depression. If you could provide some real life examples where this "free Market" ideology has actually worked for most people for any length of time you might gain some credibility. Just spouting the same old tired "free market " propaganda the republicans have been selling for the last 40 years is not going to convince anyone with more than a couple neurons to rub together. The only society I know of that has been produced by the free market is one Charles Dickens would write about
Where have I said anything about getting rid of regulations?  A regulation is simply a rule and we obviously need rules.  What's unfortunately less obvious is that the cost of a rule should not exceed its benefit.

Right now, according to the federal government, marijuana is illegal.  But does the cost of this rule exceed the benefit?  How can we possibly know that when voters do not have to put their own dollars where their mouths are...

Quote
As was noted in Chapter 3, expressions of malice and/or envy no less than expressions of altruism are cheaper in the voting booth than in the market.  A German voter who in 1933 cast a ballot for Hitler was able to indulge his antisemitic sentiments at much less cost than she would have borne by organizing a pogrom. - You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Quote
The technology for reducing the number of plane crashes in this country is available.  All we have to do is to treat every plane as though it were Air Force One.  But, if we did, how many would be willing to pay the prices to fly from their hometown to Chicago? - Richard B. McKenzie, You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Again we get into the downside of utility maximization.  Why not vote for something that benefits you if somebody else has to bear the cost?  How is this not the free-rider problem?

So please don't attack arguments that I'm not making.  The argument that I'm making is that the preference revelation problem is a real problem.  Feel free to attack that.
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(No subject)
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2013, 10:39:36 PM »
Quote from: Xerographica
In each case, the individual was simply trying to maximize their utility. In other words, we all want the most bang for our buck.

Thanks for the update, because that makes TONS of fucking sense.

Yes you are RIGHT, all classes DO want the most for their buck.

But here is where your mental slight of hand DOES NOT WORK.

America's OIL production, NOT IMPORTS, but what WE produce is at an 8 YEAR HIGH. So if more supply is supposed to create lower prices, then why is gas still expensive?

The problem with what you claim is you forget that the global market is RIGGED, not competitive. Competition does NOT have to mean a race to the bottom.

If WE all want a bang for our buck, then why is it only the rich get more for their buck and the rest of us get less while working more for less?

This isn't about "getting more for your buck" this is about big money and global industry bastardizing and exploiting the bulk of our global economic majority. It rigs the game and sells utopias rather than do what business used to do, which was BUILD AND PROVIDE, not get involved in a dick measuring contest within it's own weight class.
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." Obama
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Re:
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2013, 11:08:52 PM »
Quote from: "Brian37"
This isn't about "getting more for your buck" this is about big money and global industry bastardizing and exploiting the bulk of our global economic majority. It rigs the game and sells utopias rather than do what business used to do, which was BUILD AND PROVIDE, not get involved in a dick measuring contest within it's own weight class.
Quote
Those who think that central planning will promote economic progress are naive.  When business enterprises get more funds from governments and less from consumers, they will spend more time trying to satisfy politicians and less time satisfying customers.  Predictably, this reallocation of resources will lead to economic regression rather than prosperity. - James Gwartney and Richard Stroup, You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
In case you missed it...what I'm advocating is taxpayer sovereignty.  Why?  Because it would solve the preference revelation problem.  Do you want to address the preference revelation problem?
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Offline Rejak

Re: Wealth distribution
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2013, 11:10:41 PM »
I would concede the point that the preference revelation is a problem but I don't think it is the problem.You seem to assume that the government body responsible for spending our tax dollars are concerned with our preferences. I think the reality is they are more concerned about the preferences of the people who have the most money to spend on lobbying. So we get back to wealth distribution. The people with the most money to spare on lobbying get the rules changed so they can make more money so they can afford more on lobbying and it just spirals out of control. For example the private prison industry lobby writes anti immigration legislation for Arizona that puts a lot more people in jail.

Re: Wealth distribution
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2013, 11:28:52 PM »
Quote from: "Rejak"
I would concede the point that the preference revelation is a problem but I don't think it is the problem.You seem to assume that the government body responsible for spending our tax dollars are concerned with our preferences.
The preference revelation problem is that government planners do not know what our true preferences are.  If they don't know what the actual demand is for public goods, then they can't provide the optimal supply.  Please (re)read the passages on my blog entry...the You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login.

Quote from: "Rejak"
I think the reality is they are more concerned about the preferences of the people who have the most money to spend on lobbying.  So we get back to wealth distribution. The people with the most money to spare on lobbying get the rules changed so they can make more money so they can afford more on lobbying and it just spirals out of control. For example the private prison industry lobby writes anti immigration legislation for Arizona that puts a lot more people in jail.
The solution to the preference revelation problem is to allow taxpayers to choose where their taxes go.  What's the difference between taxpayers shopping for themselves and lobbying?  Taxpayers are simply consumers.  Do consumers all have the same preferences?  Do you and I purchase the same exact private goods?  Would you and I spend our taxes on the same exact public goods?
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Offline Seabear

(No subject)
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2013, 11:31:51 PM »
This reminds of what the church used to tell poor people: "you are poor because God wants you to be poor." And then follow it with the idea that being poor is noble, somehow.

Is the same today. The people making all the money are somehow smarter, more skilled, and more deserving. And this would be true, if the it were a fair and level playing field. But it's isn't. Oh, maybe in the middle class. All the middle class folks competing with each other for jobs and careers.

But the crooks on Wall Street, that shit will never change. You are either in the club or you aren't. And, you aren't. And you never will be. It doesn't matter how smart you are or how hard you work or how much education you get. But this is what they want you to believe.

Now I don't believe in wealth redistribution. But it's getting harder to argue that it's unfair when there are so many stories of flagrant corruption in the high echelons of the financial industry. I'd just like to be angle to believe its a level playing field.
"There is a saying in the scientific community, that every great scientific truth goes through three phases. First, people deny it. Second, they say it conflicts with the Bible. Third, they say they knew it all along."

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Re: Wealth distribution
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2013, 12:07:02 AM »
*Reads above posts* Eh, my head hurts now. I'll pray for it to go away.
Which means that to me the offer of certainty, the offer of complete security, the offer of an impermeable faith that can\'t give way, is the offer of something not worth having.
[...]
Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty & wisdom, will come to you that way.
-Christopher Hitchens

Re: Re:
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2013, 07:36:41 AM »
Quote from: "Xerographica"
Quote from: "AxisMundi"
Then there is the modern "conservative" ideal of a "free market", which in actuality is a "free-for-all" market. Jobs fly overseas, simple and inexpensive safety equipment/procedures are set aside to add a few more cents to a company's profits, and predatory lending takes hold.
When jobs fly overseas...who do we blame?

A. the consumer for wanting less expensive products
B. the American worker for wanting higher wages
C. the producer for wanting larger profits
D. all of the above  

In each case, the individual was simply trying to maximize their utility.  In other words, we all want the most bang for our buck.  

In a free-market, we're all free to shop around for the best deals.  Consumers, producers and workers can all try and avoid getting ripped off.  They all have the freedom to say "no thanks" when confronted with lemons.  

For example, here I am trying to sell you pragmatarianism.  If you don't think it's a valuable product...then you can say "no thanks".  Except, what I'm trying to sell to you is the importance of your freedom to say "no thanks".  So it's bittersweet when people say "no thanks" to pragmatarianism.  

Given that we can't say "no thanks" in the public sector...many times we end up having our tax dollars spent on public goods which do not match our preferences.  For example, pacifists end up having to pay for war.  This is known as the forced rider problem.  It's the inevitable consequence of compulsory taxation.  And why do we have compulsory taxation?  Because of the free-rider problem.  And why is there a free-rider problem?  Because people are utility maximizers.  

Public goods, such as national defense, are collective...so it's difficult, if not impossible, to prevent somebody from enjoying the benefits.  As a result, because people are utility maximizers, it's rational for people to expect that others will pick up the tab for national defense.  They could have all of the benefits of national defense at none of the cost.  But if nobody picked up the tab...or too few people picked up the tab...then we wouldn't have enough national defense and everybody would suffer as a result.

So we resort to forcing everybody to pick up a portion of the tab.  But this doesn't tell us your preferences for public goods.  Why?  Because somebody else is ordering for you.  Maybe it wasn't somebody you voted for.  Maybe it was somebody you voted for...but they aren't ordering what they said that they were going to order.  

The bottom line is that government planners are not omniscient.  They don't know what your true preferences are.  Without knowing the actual demand for public goods, it's impossible for them to supply the optimal amounts of public goods.  This is known as the preference revelation problem.  The solution is to create a market in the public sector and give taxpayers the freedom to shop for themselves.  They will use their own tax dollars to communicate their preferences (demand).  

Would they lie about their preferences?  Why would they?  The cost is a foregone conclusion.  Because they are utility maximizers, they will try and get the most bang for their tax dollars.  They will say "no thanks" to nonsensical uses of their tax dollars.  As a result, over time, the supply of public goods will better match taxpayers' preferences.  In other words, the allocation of society's resources will become more efficient.  We won't end up with too much national defense and not enough public healthcare.  Therefore the outcome will be the balance of public goods that maximizes society's benefit.

The only thing you can shop around in when you have no job is garbage cans.

And if you want an example, just look at the economic booms I grew up in during the past 50 years. Now look at each Republican held administration since Reagen. One sees all economic indicators droop when the "free-for-all market" types begin deregulation.

Re: Re:
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2013, 10:55:28 PM »
Quote from: "AxisMundi"
The only thing you can shop around in when you have no job is garbage cans.

And if you want an example, just look at the economic booms I grew up in during the past 50 years. Now look at each Republican held administration since Reagen. One sees all economic indicators droop when the "free-for-all market" types begin deregulation.
Again and again, I have nothing against regulations.  Clearly we need rules.  Except, just like it's possible to have not enough rules...it's also possible to have too many rules.  If there are too many rules then freedom will be restricted and if freedom is restricted then jobs are not going to be created.  If there aren't enough jobs then more people are going to shop around in garbage cans.  

So what is the optimal amount of rules that we should have?  That depends on allowing each and every person to consider the trade-offs.  If you want more environmental regulation...then you should be willing to pay for more environmental regulation.

Quote
One aspect of public goods that prevents the government making efficient decisions is the government's lack of knowledge of households' preferences and willingness to pay for public goods. - Gareth D. Myles, You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
How does it benefit society as a whole if the government supplies too much national defense and not enough environmental regulation?  We'll have both needless wars and global warming.  

Allowing taxpayers to choose where their taxes go will reveal what they are willing to pay for government regulations.  The demand for regulations will determine the supply of regulations.  That's how we'll ensure that we'll have an optimal amount of rules.  With the optimal amount of rules we'll maximize freedom and minimize the amount of people digging through garbage cans.
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Re: Wealth distribution
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2013, 04:01:24 PM »
If you think about how little some people make, sometimes pennies an hour for hard labor, these rich fucks could save millions of years tenfold and they don't. Billionaires need to spread the wealth or what is the point of keeping them around? to flash around their 98% of the wealth that 2% get? circulate the money better or the system will collapse. For example, I think Oprah could give away half her money (about 25 billion or whatever) and be fine for many lives if she had 9 lives.

 

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