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Thread: Political Chat Thread - All Topics & Rants Welcome

  1. #321
    When people talk equality how much equality are they talking about? Is basic needs equality where everyone has shelter, food, medicine without worry. Alternatively is it full equality where everyone has exactly the same and access to the exact same things?

  2. #322
    All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

  3. #323
    the $5/$10 example is conflating money with wealth

  4. #324
    The Pumpfaker Baconwfu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    This isn't really my complete understanding of zero sum. More like if I take money (or if the relative few hoard money from the many), that's less for you to take. And I understand the idea that there isn't a finite pool of attainable money for everyone. Though landlords are uh, doing rent-seeking I believe was the original argument. Broadly speaking it's hard to view billionaires gaining 3/4 of a trillion during this quarantine while the rest of the country faced down 33% unemployment and not see something like a zero-sum environment, but the better term is probably just vulture capitalism or exploitation at work.

    If the DG3 idea is that you can just use Instagram or create a crypto or get up at 5 AM and grind..............you're ignoring a great deal of the material levers people have access to actually pull.
    Zero sum explicitly means if I win, you lose. As mentioned, and I know you know, real economies are way more complex than that, but I won't get into much more on that, but I'll address the rest of your post
    One or few people hoarding money doesn't necessarily mean there is less for others. You have to remember that all these mega billionaires are only paper billionaires. I'm not saying that we should feel bad for them, but Jeff Bezos doesn't have $100 Billion dollars (or whatever the number is), he owns assets that, based on the price of the last share sold, the current market estimates is worth $100 Billion dollars, which are two different things even though they might not seem like it.
    To continue with the Jeff Bezos/Amazon example, I would say that, even though he's "worth $100 Billion" he's doing the opposite of hoarding money because Amazon does not pay dividends and spends ridiculous amounts of money on R&D. They don't pay dividends because they feel cash is more productive being reinvested in their business(es) and is the opposite of hoarding money.

    Rent seeking behavior isn't the concept of getting rent from someone in a landlord tenant relationship
    Rent seeking behavior is trying to influence external factors in order to extract more money from your assets. An example of rent seeking behavior might be lobbying to have your business be the only business allowed to sell X or even forming a guild that would limit the number of artisans who can perform services to the public.

    To whatever DG3 said about how he works hard for what he has done and others should too, that's not an unreasonable position in my opinion for someone who has done that, but as you mention it aint that easy (not to say what DG3 or didn't do was easy) for everyone.

  5. #325
    Quote Originally Posted by Baconwfu View Post
    You can make that argument until the cows come how and that's arguments that are fine to be made.
    My point could be criticized as overly technical and semantic, but I felt like making it because the concept that wealth creation is zero sum is just wrong. If one said zero sum and just really meant, "not equitable" then that's an argument, but saying zero sum when you mean "not equitable" is something I felt needed to be corrected.
    Deleted for clarity.
    Last edited by myDeaconmyhand; 07-29-2020 at 11:59 AM.
    Draxx them sklounst

  6. #326
    THE quintessential dwarf dartsndeacs's Avatar
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    Seems like none of these issues are with capitalism and all of the issues are based in the tax structure not being progressive enough.

    Itís not zero sum because if the boss makes an extra dollar heís taxed at 40% and If I do Iím taxed at 30%. It should be closer to 60% and 30%
    just drivin' round in John Voight's car

  7. #327
    bacon, can you please address how there is no zero-sum element to wealth in a world with scarce, finite resources?

  8. #328
    Quote Originally Posted by myDeaconmyhand View Post
    Let me try this again
    Wealth expansion vs zero sum.economics is not a useful topic in this context because wealth expansion is a top down economic concept that doesnt address the mediating circumstances of individuals lives. Unless you're lecturing on macroeconomics, its honestly insulting for anyone to speak about poverty detachededly, as if looking at an ant farm behind glass. When the topic is inequality and poverty, bringing up wealth expansion reads as a defense of extractive capitalism and inequity for the sake of a low tax, "business friendly" culture.
    Again doesnít seem to be the point heís making. Using inaccurate terminology when you mean something else tends to distract from the overall message. Thatís his post.

  9. #329
    Quote Originally Posted by JuiceCrewAllStar View Post
    bacon, can you please address how there is no zero-sum element to wealth in a world with scarce, finite resources?
    Knowledge and application of that knowledge has value?

  10. #330
    are you asking a question?

  11. #331
    Depends on how you define ďwealthĒ I guess.

  12. #332
    Quote Originally Posted by JuiceCrewAllStar View Post
    are you asking a question?
    Sort of. It seemed pretty knee jerk obvious to me upon reading your question that services create value and therefore wealth. Is there a different way I should think about it to better understand your point

  13. #333
    Quote Originally Posted by 06deacon View Post
    Again doesnít seem to be the point heís making. Using inaccurate terminology when you mean something else tends to distract from the overall message. Thatís his post.
    Ok, I feel like a semantic argument about the definition implies a motive, but I'm willing to drop it.
    Draxx them sklounst

  14. #334
    Quote Originally Posted by Baconwfu View Post
    Zero sum explicitly means if I win, you lose. As mentioned, and I know you know, real economies are way more complex than that, but I won't get into much more on that, but I'll address the rest of your post
    One or few people hoarding money doesn't necessarily mean there is less for others. You have to remember that all these mega billionaires are only paper billionaires. I'm not saying that we should feel bad for them, but Jeff Bezos doesn't have $100 Billion dollars (or whatever the number is), he owns assets that, based on the price of the last share sold, the current market estimates is worth $100 Billion dollars, which are two different things even though they might not seem like it.
    To continue with the Jeff Bezos/Amazon example, I would say that, even though he's "worth $100 Billion" he's doing the opposite of hoarding money because Amazon does not pay dividends and spends ridiculous amounts of money on R&D. They don't pay dividends because they feel cash is more productive being reinvested in their business(es) and is the opposite of hoarding money.
    There are very real implications of that paper wealth on the material economy though, and you know that.

  15. #335
    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

    yep
    I love mankind...itís people I canít stand!!

  16. #336
    Quote Originally Posted by 06deacon View Post
    Sort of. It seemed pretty knee jerk obvious to me upon reading your question that services create value and therefore wealth. Is there a different way I should think about it to better understand your point
    take, for example, a not uncommon American household: four people, 1,500sf home, one car, basic energy usage for a refrigerator/lights/air conditioning, three decent meals a day, etc.

    you cannot extrapolate that lifestyle to everyone in the world -- there simply aren't enough raw materials accessible to make that happen

    thus, in a world where the people are steadily raising their wealth and material conditions, you come up on a limit where person X improving their wealth can only be done when person Y becomes materially worse


    an example: as people in China have improved their wealth, they have driven up the demand (and price) for meat -- meat costs have risen across the globe as a result of increased demand

    there is a finite amount of livestock this earth can support without destroying cropland or residential land; much of the earth's land cannot support livestock; not to mention the methane gas and environmental implications of meat and waste

    all that to say, there is scarcity and the improved ability for some people to access meat has resulted in others not being able to access it -- an example of zero-sum distribution of material things


    now, as I said, innovation can improve the amount of meat per acre, reduce the environmental harm of meat, grow it in a lab, etc. -- but at the end of the day, there are limits to this earth and what it can provide

    services are fine and dandy, but they don't increase the food supply or energy supply or amount of clean water

  17. #337
    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Angus View Post
    1. Who determines what $ amount constitutes a 'real, living wage'? And this living wage will fluctuate market to market, correct? Obviously the living wage in Manhattan will exceed the living wage in Topeka, KS.

    2. Is it still better for everyone in the end when businesses are forced to close because revenues do not increase enough to offset additional labor expense and now the employee earns $0 as the job no longer exists?

    1. I do, of course.

    2. There's no competitive disadvantage if every business plays by the same rules. And more income floating around to those more likely to spend it (on goods, services, etc.). Trickle up makes more sense than trickle down.



    [No time to engage more for a while]
    I love mankind...itís people I canít stand!!

  18. #338
    I want to reemphasize that I'm not saying there is a one-to-one relationship in my improving my lot by n points means it is accounted for by a loss of n points elsewhere in the economic ecosystem

    what i'm saying is that if you acknowledge something is finite then you must also acknowledge the existence of a zero-sum element


    who gives a fuck if we all have a million dollars if the trillionaires are the only ones that can access food?

  19. #339
    I have a difficult time placing good faith in an argument for economic expansion as a solution to inequity, when the economic controls and regulations have been explicitely designed to direct wealth into the control of very few. The only defensible evaluation of a society is the conditions of its most vulnerable populations. Its the egocentric puritan mindset of Americans that dismisses poverty as an inevitable result of Gods(Darwins) will, that perpetuates suffering.
    Draxx them sklounst

  20. #340
    Quote Originally Posted by dartsndeacs View Post
    Seems like none of these issues are with capitalism and all of the issues are based in the tax structure not being progressive enough.

    Itís not zero sum because if the boss makes an extra dollar heís taxed at 40% and If I do Iím taxed at 30%. It should be closer to 60% and 30%
    Plenty of the issues are related to capitalism in general though - specifically how the market gets regulated and to what degree. Unfettered capitalism produces its own problems.

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