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Old December 4th, 2017, 06:53 PM   #101
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Old December 4th, 2017, 06:54 PM   #102
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Old December 5th, 2017, 12:12 PM   #103
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Sorry, but you missed the main point entirely. Reasonable people understand that the poor will always be with us and no reasonable American voter thinks that we the people will purge our capitalism completely.
That's the limits of liberal dogooderism! Why should the poor always be with us? And why should some be allowed to continue amassing wealth far and beyond what they could ever use in a hundred lifetimes? We'll toss a few coins in your tin cup, but don't demand anything better or you'll get the Republicans back!

I don't intend to be "reasonable" about capitalism. It's not as if capitalism has always existed and is some essential part of human nature. This is a system created by banks loaning money into existence and forcing people to work for them to pay off artificial debts by working longer and longer hours, consuming more and more, and it's a system that cannot exist in a no-growth environment. We will hit the limits to growth one way or another.
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Old December 5th, 2017, 12:23 PM   #104
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Where'd you get the idea that libertarians desire inflicting poverty and suffering? You might want to quit listening to whoever's force feeding you such nonsense.
If someone is drowning and you tell them to "pull yourself up by their own bootstraps" and let them sink under the water, then you are just as good as guilty of 2nd degree murder! On the grand scale, libertarian gutting of all social programs and relief for the poor is essentially the same damn thing! It's an ideology for the selfish sociopath.
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What you're describing are socialists, not libertarians. It's not libertarians who are responsible for long bread lines, grocery stores full of empty shelves, things that result in black markets, things that result in increased crime rates, more laws that throw more people in prison, walls with guns to keep people from defecting, etc.
In this convoluted mess you're claiming that socialists create breadlines and empty shelves. If this unidentified example is Eastern Europe before and after the end of state communism, one Bulgarian I heard described his homeland back in the early 2000's this way: 'under communism, we worked and got paid, but had little to spend our money on and had to get up at 5 in the morning before work to buy rations. After communism ended, we were out of work, the old people lost all their pensions and the store shelves were full....we just didn't have any money to buy anything!' So, in essence he was saying that with all their gripes and complaints about the old system, things became and continue to be much worse under capitalism! Worth noting that Bulgaria was welcomed into the EU back in the 90's, but its economy is still the lowest per capita in the EU...even worse than Ukraine.
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Old December 5th, 2017, 03:49 PM   #105
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If someone is drowning and you tell them to "pull yourself up by their own bootstraps" and let them sink under the water, then you are just as good as guilty of 2nd degree murder!
What do you think makes more people wind up in bad situations like that? Is it libertarian policies or socialist policies? History shows me that it's socialist policies that make people wind up in poor and undesirable situations & libertarian policies are essentially about or in line with letting what history shows works better be the policy.

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On the grand scale, libertarian gutting of all social programs and relief for the poor is essentially the same damn thing!
It's the policies that socialists created & implemented that made so many people poor & living in poverty, jobless, homeless, etc. in the first place. In that case all the objective thinking person (you can call that person a libertarian or someone in agreement with libertarianism) is doing is simply saying that the socialist experiment not only didn't work as they believed or hoped it would, but it has caused even more damage to the economy. Furthermore, the socialist thinks that the way to put out a fire they made worse by throwing gasoline on it is to throw even more gasoline on it. There's a saying that goes, "insanity is defined as trying the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results." I think this is what socialists/Democrats/Liberals/"the Left"/etc. do, they want taxes raised, for example, and when things get worse they say "we need to raise taxes" as if that'll change the direction of things in some magical or physics-defying way. Same with gun bans and restrictions; they or folks of their ilk will say "we need more gun bans and restrictions" when something happens involving guns in a place that already has gun bans and restrictions, while at the same time ignoring that places that don't have gun bans or restrictions don't have anywhere near the same level of problems with guns, crimes committed with guns, or crime in general.

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Originally Posted by right to left View Post
It's an ideology for the selfish sociopath.
That's exactly what socialism seems to be, to me.

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Originally Posted by right to left View Post
In this convoluted mess you're claiming that socialists create breadlines and empty shelves.
What - you think they didn't?

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Originally Posted by right to left View Post
If this unidentified example is Eastern Europe before and after the end of state communism, one Bulgarian I heard described his homeland back in the early 2000's this way:
As a 2nd-hand account this is a bit anecdotal (not to mention possibly a case of cherry picking being one person from one of the Eastern Europe countries in question), so there's that (or those) problem(s), but for the sake of argument I'll indulge.

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'under communism, we worked and got paid, but had little to spend our money on and had to get up at 5 in the morning before work to buy rations.
I have no problem believing this.

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After communism ended, we were out of work, the old people lost all their pensions and the store shelves were full....we just didn't have any money to buy anything!'
This is one of the things that annoys me about what socialists do. They implement things that force people to be stuck in them and it's difficult for society to free itself from it without having to cause some problems. For example, here in the US we have this Ponzi scam called Social Security & it's set up so the money that people paying into it today is what goes to people who paid into it and are now qualified to collect it, and the money they were paying into it went to the previous generation layer, etc. There's no way to get us out of this Social Security Ponzi scam without one or another generation layer losing what they had to pay into it.

These old people you mention who lost their pensions were probably the ones who lost in a similar kind of Ponzi scam. Don't even do it to begin with if you don't want it to happen later on! Learn from history FFS.

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So, in essence he was saying that with all their gripes and complaints about the old system, things became and continue to be much worse under capitalism!
I suppose it depends on what you mean by capitalism - free market capitalism or central planning state capitalism?

If the form of capitalism they're under now is closer to a free market system, here's where things are having a problem adding up. If there are now full store shelves, that means there's staff that had to stock them, which means there are people who have jobs. Not only that, but it also means that truck drivers had to deliver the goods to make the store shelves full; more jobs. It also means that there were people who made or grew the actual products that go into the bags, boxes, cans, etc. - more jobs. It also means that there were people who made the boxes, bags, cans, etc. - more jobs. Last but most important, it's an expense to pay all those workers filling all those jobs, and that expense cannot sustain itself - unless these stores have customers buying up these products on the store shelves. If people are buying up the things on the store shelves, then that means the economy is pretty healthy; how can that possibly be worse than empty store shelves, limited to rations, having to get up at 5 am, etc?

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Originally Posted by right to left View Post
Worth noting that Bulgaria was welcomed into the EU back in the 90's, but its economy is still the lowest per capita in the EU...even worse than Ukraine.
One of the problems with citing things like per capita income is that it's used for statistics, and there's a saying that goes, "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics."

A good or services might be much less expensive in one country than it is in another for the exact same good or service, I don't know why, but if I were to guess it would be because they have to pay less in taxes in the country where things are cheaper. That right there means it's invalid to measure countries by comparing per capita income. A better way to measure would be to see what percentage of people have homes, are they able to put food on their plates, have a job and transporation to get to it, make ends meet, etc.

Here's another way to look at this sort of thing from a GDP perspective: https://mises.org/library/how-gdp-me...r-view-economy
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Last edited by Neil; December 5th, 2017 at 03:55 PM.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 12:15 AM   #106
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First Off: my apologies for not getting back to reply sooner. I didn't forget this thread, just haven't had time in the last few days to spend time on the forum.
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What do you think makes more people wind up in bad situations like that? Is it libertarian policies or socialist policies? History shows me that it's socialist policies that make people wind up in poor and undesirable situations & libertarian policies are essentially about or in line with letting what history shows works better be the policy.
Do you have any data to go with that history? And a definition of "libertarian policies" and "socialist policies" might help. Offhand, I can't think of one Friedmanesque experiment in unbridled capitalism and open trade that hasn't produced greater inequality and gaps in income and wealth.

Let's go to the topdown example of Stalinism as the socialist example vs present day anarcho-capitalism. With all that's been said and written about the fall of communism in the Soviet Union and East Bloc countries in 1989, very little attention is given to the fact that these nations have never provided as good a quality of life for the working majority of citizens after the fall as they did under mostly Stalinist governments..with the exception of Yugoslavia. A couiple of years back, I discovered the blog:globalinequality by economist - Branko Milanovitch. In his blog post “For Whom the Wall Fell,” Milanovic asserted that for 80 million people in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia, and Serbia (roughly one-fifth of the total population in all of the independent postcommunist countries), the basic standard of living (when measured by real GDP per capita) was still below its level in 1990. Milanovic explained that these were “countries with at least three to four wasted generations. At current rates of growth, it might take them some 50 or 60 years—longer than they were under communism!—to go back to the income levels they had at the fall of communism. globalinequality: For Whom the Wall Fell? A balance-sheet of transition to capitalism Add to this facts such as life expectancies for Russian men declining 7 full years after the fall of communism...and still at levels far below the 67 year average prior to 1989. Certainly high rates of alcoholism before and after communism have played a major part in shorter Russian lives, but why is the situation worse today? "Russia provided the direst example, with male life expectancy falling by more than seven years between 1985 and 2002. While Soviet men lived to an average of sixty-seven years, their Russian counterparts barely survived to sixty." (from "Red Hangover: Legacies of Twentieth-Century Communism" by Kristen Ghodsee)

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It's the policies that socialists created & implemented that made so many people poor & living in poverty, jobless, homeless, etc. in the first place.
So, providing public housing makes people homeless? But taking it away reduces poverty and homelessness?
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In that case all the objective thinking person (you can call that person a libertarian or someone in agreement with libertarianism) is doing is simply saying that the socialist experiment not only didn't work as they believed or hoped it would, but it has caused even more damage to the economy.
Again, I want an example of this "socialist experiment." Cause even if you're not happy living in that experiment, the numbers on poverty, inequality and health are better than any libertarian paradise I've seen!

Quote:
Furthermore, the socialist thinks that the way to put out a fire they made worse by throwing gasoline on it is to throw even more gasoline on it. There's a saying that goes, "insanity is defined as trying the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results." I think this is what socialists/Democrats/Liberals/"the Left"/etc. do, they want taxes raised, for example, and when things get worse they say "we need to raise taxes" as if that'll change the direction of things in some magical or physics-defying way. Same with gun bans and restrictions; they or folks of their ilk will say "we need more gun bans and restrictions" when something happens involving guns in a place that already has gun bans and restrictions, while at the same time ignoring that places that don't have gun bans or restrictions don't have anywhere near the same level of problems with guns, crimes committed with guns, or crime in general.
You're all over the map on this one, especially since gun control has nothing to do with economic issues. As far as taxes go...I'd hate to defend Democrats...especially scared neoliberal centrist Democrats of our age, but the "insanity" belongs to Republicans and their tax cuts, which cause economic decline, increased unemployment and poverty, and LESS tax revenues coming in to state governments...such as Sam Brownback's experiment in Colorado, or Donald Dump's latest experiment which will increase taxes for college graduates and those earning under $50,000 while giving tax breaks to those earning over a million per year! If Trump can't be indicted for all his influence peddling and real estate scams over the years, bad economic numbers are going to make him a one term president anyway because of this give to the rich tax plan, and occupying the Oval Office at the wrong time...when all the financial bubbles are about to pop!
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Old December 10th, 2017, 11:55 PM   #107
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First Off: my apologies for not getting back to reply sooner. I didn't forget this thread, just haven't had time in the last few days to spend time on the forum.
No problemo. I'm the same. I might go a week or more without responding to something.

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Do you have any data to go with that history?
No, because I think it's obvious enough by looking at outcomes that it doesn't necessitate having to delve into any data.

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Originally Posted by right to left View Post
And a definition of "libertarian policies" and "socialist policies" might help.
I don't know if these are things that can be defined ("definition" is probably not the appropriate word), but I'll give my thoughts & perspective on them to give you an idea of what those things mean to me:

Socialist policies impose constraints & restrictions on things that have no victims, break people up into members of groups or classes rather than seeing each person as simply a unique individual, and try to centralize things.

Libertarian policies is substantially this: if there is no victim there is no crime. As long as there's no victim, if you want to do something you can do it & if you don't want to do something you don't have to; that includes choosing who you want to associate with, where you want to go, what career you want to have, starting your own business, owning firearms or being armed, engaging in trade to buy or sell whatever you want to at whatever price you want to buy or sell something as long as the other party agrees, etc. There should be no taxation for anything, unless it goes towards funding essential state & government operations.

In practice, socialist policies are not compatible with economic principles; they tend to concentrate power into crony capitalists or despots, and force people to trust or rely on their nation's rulers. They typically disarm people and concentrate the use of force into their military and police forces.

In practice, libertarian policies let the best ideas spread and flourish, which is why free market capitalism is a libertarian policy.

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Offhand, I can't think of one Friedmanesque experiment in unbridled capitalism and open trade that hasn't produced greater inequality and gaps in income and wealth.
This doesn't make any difference to me, since my position is that income inequality is not a problem that needs solving (and I don't see why it's any different when it comes to wealth inequality).

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Let's go to the topdown example of Stalinism as the socialist example vs present day anarcho-capitalism.
What are you talking about present day anarcho-capitalism? There is no present day anarcho-capitalism because that cannot exist, not now & not ever; that's an oxymoron: Why ?Anarcho-capitalism? is an Oxymoron ? The Generalist

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Originally Posted by right to left View Post
With all that's been said and written about the fall of communism in the Soviet Union and East Bloc countries in 1989, very little attention is given to the fact that these nations have never provided as good a quality of life for the working majority of citizens after the fall as they did under mostly Stalinist governments..with the exception of Yugoslavia. A couiple of years back, I discovered the blog:globalinequality by economist - Branko Milanovitch. In his blog post “For Whom the Wall Fell,” Milanovic asserted that for 80 million people in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia, and Serbia (roughly one-fifth of the total population in all of the independent postcommunist countries), the basic standard of living (when measured by real GDP per capita) was still below its level in 1990. Milanovic explained that these were “countries with at least three to four wasted generations. At current rates of growth, it might take them some 50 or 60 years—longer than they were under communism!—to go back to the income levels they had at the fall of communism. globalinequality: For Whom the Wall Fell? A balance-sheet of transition to capitalism Add to this facts such as life expectancies for Russian men declining 7 full years after the fall of communism...and still at levels far below the 67 year average prior to 1989. Certainly high rates of alcoholism before and after communism have played a major part in shorter Russian lives, but why is the situation worse today? "Russia provided the direst example, with male life expectancy falling by more than seven years between 1985 and 2002. While Soviet men lived to an average of sixty-seven years, their Russian counterparts barely survived to sixty." (from "Red Hangover: Legacies of Twentieth-Century Communism" by Kristen Ghodsee)
I don't know about this business of measuring basic standard of living by real GDP per capita. I think things like basic standard of living, quality of life, etc., are the right things to measure (rather than income or wealth inequality) & I'll give you credit for bringing them forth here, but when they're being washed through things like "real GDP per capita" filters, it's a red flag to me that might mean some information is being lost or distorted.

There's nothing we can do but speculate about whether they might have ended up in this situation had they never been under Stalinit regime to begin with, but that's what we would have to do.

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So, providing public housing makes people homeless? But taking it away reduces poverty and homelessness?
You're asking a loaded question, one that's not based on reality. For instance, in reality there are waiting lists for such homes and there are still people who are homeless in places that "provide" public housing. In reality, people might not have ended up on these waiting lists if it weren't for socialist policies - as I said before - in the first place. It's probably also not homes for homeless people (without jobs, etc.), but rather for working people, with families to take care of, who can't afford a home that can accomodate their entire family. Even then, the funding for public housing is coming from taxation, so that right there is already wealth redistribution.

Anyways, I'm speaking rather generally about socialism. Under the right conditions, a socialist policy might turn out to work ok, but even if it did work for a while it might not last. A decentralized and free market system allows for something that only works for a little while but doesn't last to simply be done away with; the problem with socialism in this type of situation is that aside from being more difficult to do away with it because it's centralized and politicians have to agree to do away with it, people might also think that it can be fixed by simply passing some laws to decree things, raising taxes, raising the minimum wage, when in actuality it will still go nowhere, and those decrees will get in the way of other things, revenue from raised taxes will be wasted, and jobs will be lost to the raised minimum wage.

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Again, I want an example of this "socialist experiment." Cause even if you're not happy living in that experiment, the numbers on poverty, inequality and health are better than any libertarian paradise I've seen!
Really? Can you be more specific? Are you comparing a nation with more libertarian policies to a nation with more socialist policies at the same time in history? If you're comparing 19th century United States to 21st century Scandinavia, of course Scandinavia is going to seem better. They have modern day technology. 19th century United States didn't have modern technology.

If that wasn't what you meant, please elaborate.

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You're all over the map on this one, especially since gun control has nothing to do with economic issues.
You either failed to get the point, or you're feigning missing the point, neither of which are helpful to your cause. Either way, I'm confident the readers aren't missing the point.

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As far as taxes go...I'd hate to defend Democrats...especially scared neoliberal centrist Democrats of our age, but the "insanity" belongs to Republicans and their tax cuts, which cause economic decline, increased unemployment and poverty, and LESS tax revenues coming in to state governments...such as Sam Brownback's experiment in Colorado, or Donald Dump's latest experiment which will increase taxes for college graduates and those earning under $50,000 while giving tax breaks to those earning over a million per year! If Trump can't be indicted for all his influence peddling and real estate scams over the years, bad economic numbers are going to make him a one term president anyway because of this give to the rich tax plan, and occupying the Oval Office at the wrong time...when all the financial bubbles are about to pop!
Time will tell.
Thanks from Sabcat

Last edited by Neil; December 10th, 2017 at 11:58 PM.
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