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  1. #71
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  2. #72
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Adam Carolla lives in a bubble. He doesn't realize that the difference is HOW people earn their money. It used to (back when Adam Carolla was a kid) that if you were getting rich in the US you were probably creating jobs and helping to improve the lives of others in some way. That's not necessarily the case anymore. There are lots of people who earn a living by firing people, reducing their wages, making them work more hours without extra compensation, etc. This trend has been going on for a while now, and while most people probably haven't reasoned through it all, they still sense the change. One of the moral justifications of capitalism is the whole "rising tide raises all boats" thing, but that has been breaking down. Do I need to list some of the banking scandals over the last few years?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #73
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Then your Economics 101 professor was wrong. Humans are not rational calculators, they make irrational, emotional decisions quite often. As for people responding to incentives, that is true only for a narrow scope of activities (simple/repetitive...like working at a cell phone kiosk). When it comes to complex and/or creative activities, incentives fail.
    Whatever people want to use money on is a rational choice. There is no optimum use of funds. Utility is up to the individual to define.
    You lose.

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  4. #74
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Adam Carolla lives in a bubble. He doesn't realize that the difference is HOW people earn their money. It used to (back when Adam Carolla was a kid) that if you were getting rich in the US you were probably creating jobs and helping to improve the lives of others in some way. That's not necessarily the case anymore. There are lots of people who earn a living by firing people, reducing their wages, making them work more hours without extra compensation, etc.
    Which improves productivity; increased productivity by definition means increased wealth, which means, again by definition, an increased standard of living.
    You lose.

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  5. #75
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeeekyyy View Post
    Whatever people want to use money on is a rational choice. There is no optimum use of funds. Utility is up to the individual to define.
    That's naive to say the least because those choices do not exist in a bubble. They have effects which loop back and effect the long term sustainability of the process.

    The flat truth that nobody wants to admit is that scarcity will always be a problem so long as humans refuse to limit birth rate. The rich know this and instead of working to solve problems of scarcity simply hope to hoard as much wealth as possible to get through any possible revolution unscathed.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  6. #76
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    taxes aren't fair.
    neither is life.

  7. #77
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    And, no offense to you, but your post doesn't address what I said, and I don't think you understand the US economy, or what is ailing it, particularly well, and I would not look to you as an authority on matters related to it. If your grandmother or your family are not paying for your grandmother's care, then somebody is. In the past, she would have stayed with your family, and eventually died, and society wouldn't have foot any bill. How much is society supposed to pay for each of the millions of other people out there like your grandmother? Cuz the cost of paying for people like her, including us when we get to that age, is too much to bear. I'm not trying to be callous about it, and I'm sorry you, your grandmother, and your family, have had to go through this ordeal, but these are the facts. This isn't politics. It's math.
    Back in the day, there were larger families and families didn't split apart.. People had lower life expectancy rates, non-quality medical care, and if they didn't have money for food they just starved. I'm assuming people now would rather pay a little more to ensure things like that don't happen again. Events like the great depression are really easy to forget.. but we teach them to show just how savage we used to be as a nation because we thought of things like welfare, social security, medicaid, nursing homes, and free clinics and such were all just people being greedy somehow. In reality, it's us as a nation being savagely selfish... putting ourselves before others.. No team can work like that.

    Now a days, we have people who's families are killed from drunk drivers. We have children that are born with diseases and disorders. We have people who never had children. Whether you agree with people's lifestyles or not, to say that someone else ought to care for them (as in, anyone but you and your precious money) is just low. These are the sort of words that come from someone who has never had to deal with a situation like that. You've never NEEDED, truly needed, things like food stamps and to sit for hours in free clinics. I currently feed a family of anywhere between 3-6 people depending on who needs to eat that day on $260 a month. It's a pitiful ration for other people, but it suits us well enough. It's what food stamps provide us. We won't need it forever, but until the broken system gets its act together it is what is making the difference between malnourished family members and sustainable, working class citizens.

    Its why I say that young people who have never needed it--who have never been truly poor--are never going to understand. It's too easy to just use a logical fallacy like the one you used--that the family used to care for them. But we live in a society where the State can easily tell us that we're 'neglecting' my grandmother by being gone at work instead of caring for her. We live in a system that's starting to require nursing homes. It's not necessarily a bad thing.. but it is important. It makes the difference between her living longer and potentially dying from choking on something she thought was food while we were at work trying to sustain her, the house, and our own lives.
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  8. #78
    redundant descriptor netzealot's Avatar
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    Economics are simple if you remember what money was originally invented for: a central medium by which goods or services could be exchanged for fair value without bartering.

    It's not complicated... the reason China will outshine the US in the global economy soon is because they work harder. Before, they were willing to give the US lots of service in exchange for little money, but eventually realized they would could get more value by working for themselves, and eventually they will.

    The US economy is struggling and also has record high obesity. It's laziness... not a coincidence. The only thing to offset this is natural resources and that only offsets so much. Calling anything else the "problem with the US economy" is only a symptom and ignoring the basis of what money is... and more importantly what it isn't.


    edit: in case it wasn't clear how this applies to taxing the rich, the rich don't always get richer. The poor just needs to take a lesson from China instead of going on welfare. In this sense, the rich are often offset by natural resources, of sorts... their business wealth, inherited or otherwise. It only offsets so much. Obviously massive amounts of it can offset quite a bit, but that's as uncommon as massive amounts of natural resources in the real world sense. Without hard work, their fortunes can suffer just like the US economy... happens all the time.

  9. #79
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeeekyyy View Post
    Which improves productivity; increased productivity by definition means increased wealth, which means, again by definition, an increased standard of living.
    To bother proposing policy or writing laws at all one must be looking at this systematically and not as a mess of lonely atoms. An individual's choice effects other individuals, and while people are different there are things we can roughly generalize to be desirable amongst the populace. For those two reasons at least we try coming up with some objective markers for utility.

    Anyhow, in the context of what Lateralus said he's right even about individuals serving their own interests. People do indeed act in ways that undermine their ability to get what they want.
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  10. #80
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LevelZeroHero View Post
    Economics are simple if you remember what money was originally invented for: a central medium by which goods or services could be exchanged for fair value without bartering.

    It's not complicated... the reason China will outshine the US in the global economy soon is because they work harder. Before, they were willing to give the US lots of service in exchange for little money, but eventually realized they would could get more value by working for themselves, and eventually they will.

    The US economy is struggling and also has record high obesity. It's laziness... not a coincidence. The only thing to offset this is natural resources and that only offsets so much. Calling anything else the "problem with the US economy" is only a symptom and ignoring the basis of what money is... and more importantly what it isn't.


    edit: in case it wasn't clear how this applies to taxing the rich, the rich don't always get richer. The poor just needs to take a lesson from China instead of going on welfare. In this sense, the rich are often offset by natural resources, of sorts... their business wealth, inherited or otherwise. It only offsets so much. Obviously massive amounts of it can offset quite a bit, but that's as uncommon as massive amounts of natural resources in the real world sense. Without hard work, their fortunes can suffer just like the US economy... happens all the time.
    That's bullshit because you can (and we have been) increasing efficiency while decreasing wages. I mean theoretically in terms of cost/value a slave state is much much more utilitarian, but poverty results from more than just low work:time ratio. Not that the US shouldn't increase the amount of time people devote especially to school and study when young, but I think you are not looking at how these issues are intertwined and impact one another. People will not work hard if they feel there is no incentive to do so, and because many Americans -feel- (yes, I believe affect precedes cognition so sue me) that they will not be able to rise above whatever class they were born into (because of economic pressures or otherwise) then they will not TRY to.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

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