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  1. #101
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    personally, I'm a fan of: keep to self, help others when able to.

    my ideal life:
    -Keep to myself
    -everything gets paid on time
    -occassionally socialize
    -don't worry about what the person across the street is doing
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  2. #102
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Such Irony View Post
    I'm not advocating for *total* equality. I'm okay with some diversity in income. For example, a lawyer or doctor working a grueling 80 hour week in a high-stress job requiring intensive training should earn more than the average. On the other hand, there are people like professional athletes and famous celebrities who make multi-millions a year, way more money than they would ever need in a lifetime to live comfortably and then some. Then you have people who can barely make ends meet even though they are working hard to better themselves. Yes there are lazy people out there who will take advantage of welfare and government freebies but in general I think most people want to make a real contribution to society and do meaningful work and feel like they earn what they make.
    Famous celebrities have to make multi-millions so they can support the Democratic party.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  3. #103
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    The proper response to that article is "no shit".

    I've cited similar things to actually advocate interventions for equalizing income, because leaving things to chance will never result in anything close it it. This is not just because equality is a vastly more narrow concept than inequality, but because of the aggregation of wealth (wealth gives one greater means to wealth).

    Of course, I've never spoken to a person who wanted exact inequality. Any attempt to argue with those imaginary people is a straw man. Nothing in the article says that there cannot be variations between more and less inequality, and that interventions to produce less inequality are impossible. By pointing out that random chance is very unlikely to help, however, it gives just another reason for why there need to be policies.

    Since it looks likely here, let us also not forget that being natural does not mean being good. That's yet another fallacy.

    But, to be blunt, my experience with the creator of this thread is that he willfully misunderstands everything.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #104
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    I don't know if this is true, but I heard on a cable news show that the only instances where income inequality has narrowed in the US is during wartime and during the Depression.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  5. #105
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    I don't know if this is true, but I heard on a cable news show that the only instances where income inequality has narrowed in the US is during wartime and during the Depression.
    It was my understanding that it did so from the the depression up into the 1970s, but I don't have any data on hand to verify that.

    But the USA is just one country. What about others?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #106
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan
    What about others?
    The after-tax Gini indices for Italy, the USA, Greece, and the UK are shown here:

    Gini Coefficient

    The US Gini index went from 0.34 to 0.38 from 1985 to 2010.
    The UK Gini index went from 0.31 to 0.34 from 1985 to 2010.
    The Greek Gini index went from 0.34 to 0.31 from 1985 to 2010.
    The Italian Gini index went from 0.31 to 0.34 from 1985 to 2010.

    I don't view these figures as all that remarkable. The level of inequality has remained relatively stable from 1985 to 2010.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  7. #107
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    The Gini coefficient is a single number, which hides a lot of complexity. For a better/different high-level overview of inequality, see Picketty Looks at Inequality in Six Charts.



    So you can see in terms of the top 1% we are up to near Gilded Age levels in the US (depending on how one counts). Picketty ascribes the period of reduced inequality mostly to the World Wars' destruction of capital and the high growth rates during the post World War periods. I think he underestimates the effects of unions, progressive taxation, high inheritance and un-earned income taxes (especially in the US)... but he's not entirely wrong in terms of Europe.

    Even looking at the Gini coefficients (which really, as a single number, are very low resolution), income equality has been on the rise in the US, the UK, Brazil, China and various other countries:

    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #108
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The proper response to that article is "no shit".

    I've cited similar things to actually advocate interventions for equalizing income, because leaving things to chance will never result in anything close it it. This is not just because equality is a vastly more narrow concept than inequality, but because of the aggregation of wealth (wealth gives one greater means to wealth).

    Of course, I've never spoken to a person who wanted exact inequality. Any attempt to argue with those imaginary people is a straw man. Nothing in the article says that there cannot be variations between more and less inequality, and that interventions to produce less inequality are impossible. By pointing out that random chance is very unlikely to help, however, it gives just another reason for why there need to be policies.

    Since it looks likely here, let us also not forget that being natural does not mean being good. That's yet another fallacy.

    But, to be blunt, my experience with the creator of this thread is that he willfully misunderstands everything.
    To be blunt, you only have two responses to everything: "you're full of shit," and "no shit." In this way, even things you agree with are somehow wrong because they are so obvious.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  9. #109
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  10. #110
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    It's an interesting metaphor, and even though the statistical physics may not strictly apply, there is sound reasoning here. Instead of distribution of heat/energy, we look at distribution of wealth/income. If the analogy holds, the implication isn't so much that wealth distributions "should be" unequal, but offers a potential explanation as to why: lots of random interactions, in aggregate, result in a power curve. We see this same kind of distribution over and over again, as per the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80-20 rule).

    If we know why, then we have an idea as to what the cost of reducing inequality might be. In this case, the analogy would suggest that reducing inequality would reduce overall wealth. That is to say, barring the most exceptional methods of assigning wealth, we have to allow for some degree of randomness (in a power curve distribution), and that randomness implies that if we reduce the spread of wealth (inequality), then we also reduce overall wealth (peak wealth, median wealth, and average wealth). This argument, of course, has been made before, in other contexts.

    tl;dr: it's an interesting observation, and a potential model, but the political arguments/decisions remain the same.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

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