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  #2511  
Old 04-16-12, 14:24
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rhubroma rhubroma is offline
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Originally Posted by Scott SoCal View Post
You know, this is getting a bit tedious.

You and others here simply can't debate or argue without demonizing those that disagree. You assign positions to me that I don't hold then blast me for it. You are not stupid so I can only assume you do this on purpose.



No more so than, say, higher learning. Mindless is no longer wishing to progress.


.

I am confident, if you had your way, the unintended consequences of what you long for would not please you. You are looking for a sort of utopia. Good luck.



This might have had a chance to be an interesting point. The problem is you consistently make assumptions about me that are simply incorrect. You do it on purpose which then renders the above as nothing more than nonsense.



This is bordering on the psychosis you assign to me. You aspire to a system of government that has failed every time it has ever been implemented. Now, surely you will point to some of the Scandinavian countries as a proof source however none of those countries have anywhere near as much socialism as you advocate. Typical rabid extreme liberalism. Your cherished dream utopia has only never worked because you yourself have never been in charge, right? Talk about an ego...
You are so fixated on "socialism and government," Scott, the eternal conservative boogymen, that it has really become your obsession, and demonstrates that an acute form of mental atrophy hasn't only just begun to set in, but has long since become debilitating.

Your continued reliance upon past models as "evidence" of dismal public failure, while accusing me of utopian designs (my wishful thinking?), only evidences your unwillingness to deviate from the present model, or to think beyond your tiny universe. I have merely called you to task for it. Furthermore all the evidence suggests otherwise, if we consider the standard of living, social wellbeing and guarantees European democracy established in the post-war period, until neoliberalism as international mandate from we know which establishment began to place the model under assault. All of which is predicated upon an ideology that says that economies must eternally grow, but not function better; that the consumption of the emerging states in no way should be accompanied by a diminishing appetite of the already developed world; that wealth acrues in mere relation to wealth itself and not in function to where it is most useful to society (this is most apparent in the dark workings of corporate finance): hence capital takes on an intrinsic value that it in fact not only doesn't have, but becomes a weapon of mass destruction against entire sectors and societies. My thoughts are not utopian, consequently, but are rather set in dialectical opposition to the dystopian order the present course of globalization has produced and which you sustain.

While there have been problems of course with Europe’s model, the present European crisis has been exaggerated, “instrumentalized” for political reasons and exacerbated by US financial speculation against the euro. This becomes increasingly evident, unnatural and grotesque when we look at the state of US debt and trade deficit, which far outdistances any of those among the European Union. The model, moreover, is the one which offered the combined highest living standard with the greatest social justice in the history of civilization. Its wholesale abandonment desired by certain US economists and politicians on the right (as well as theireconomically liberal cronies in the EU parliament) is lamentable, and thus represents a recrudescence of barbarism, a step backward to the social evils of feudalism and industrialization, not progress.

Rather the model seems to me to be the one place from which any new departure should stem, even if the global environment today, again because of a certain capitalist molded culture that fosters conspicuous consumption and insalubrious competition between nations, is wholly inimical to it and makes such a chosen path all the more arduous to take up. Don't get me wrong, Europe, especially the one of the economic union, suffers from the same malady as the US, just not as severely; whereas there is at least a basis of social cohesion and identity that is lacking across the Atlantic, at any rate in any institutionalized way. Even the present crisis of immigration to European shores is inextricably linked to the grotesquely imbalanced world in terms of wealth and poverty that the neoliberal capitalist model has wrought: and so by the boundless appetites of those whose stomachs are long since full, at the expense of those who are literally starving to death. While the rich continue to be encouraged in their eating habits, otherwise they don't continue to fatten up. Now, using a biological metaphor, is this what denotes sound and healthy economic policy? Or is it rather pathological addiction?

I see the role of the State as safeguarding the public wellbeing, not inhibiting private initiative. However, when private initiative does damage to the former, then it is the civil duty of the State to take measures to protect the collective. Certain economic praxis of the neoliberal State, therefore, should be abolished (of these I have previously spoken in the General Politics thread), to spread real wealth to where it is most needed and not to further enrich the worst kind of predatory speculators: Central America and Africa are two of the most appalling examples of the disaster capitalist development has brought to these regions, while they were certainly better off as tribal “primitives” than they are as the most lucrative hunting grounds of the Western and global (Chinese) markets. Lastly, at some point the current construct of “boom or bust” will have to give way to a more reasoned and principled economic thought.

Last edited by rhubroma; 04-16-12 at 19:15.
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  #2512  
Old 04-16-12, 14:48
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MarkvW MarkvW is offline
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Originally Posted by Bala Verde View Post
I think we touched on something interesting in the last couple of posts, and which also seems to become inculcated in the Obama campaign. It seems he is trying to position himself as a champion of "fairness."

Now, instead of hammering campaigns for saying this or that, perhaps it would be interesting to explore the concept of fairness. What is it and how do we ensure it, is it important at all, can we do without, has the us abandoned fairness in its society, or is it just a different type of fairness, different from fairness in various European countries.

May fairness considerations restrict freedoms, when, and if not, why not?

And if fairness is not important, how does a society deal with individual members who are struck by bad luck i.e. you are born with a diseas that will require you to spend 10k per month for medical care; after 30 years, you are laid off, just because the economy is bad (if the economy improves, you might get a/your job, but what to do in the meanwhile); you got shot in Afghanistan and now you miss both legs (what is a fair remuneration for a soldier when CEOs make millions of dollars, while the risks are infinitesimally smaller for a CEO; is my comparison fair?), what if you are born in a household with an income of <poverty line (23k per year?) and having a "fair shot" at life (or a fair shot at the -IMO- myth of the American dream)

Any comments?
Fairness in the context of free markets is always a problem. Paradoxically, you need strong governmental regulation to keep a free market free. Otherwise, the market gets taken over by monopolies and cartels and is no longer free because the monopolists drive all the other players out of the market.

My personal gripe is the total BS being spouted about corporations working for shareholders. They work more for Wall Street and corporate insiders. The constant focus on the short term only benefits the middlemen--not shareholders seeking to hold value. And all those stock options are just another means of watering stock and diluting shareholder value.
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  #2513  
Old 04-16-12, 15:42
Scott SoCal
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Originally Posted by rhubroma View Post
You are so fixated on "socialism and government," Scott, the eternal conservative boogymen, that it has really become your obsession, and demonstrates that an acute form of mental atrophy hasn't only just begun to set in, but has long since become debilitating.

Your continued reliance upon past models as "evidence" of dismal public failure, while accusing me of utopian designs (my wishful thinking?), only evidences your unwillingness to deviate from the present model, or to think beyond your tiny universe. I have merely called you to task for it. Furthermore all the evidence suggests otherwise, if we consider the standard of living, social wellbeing and guarantees European democracy established in the post-war period, until neoliberalism as international mandate from we know which establishment began to place the model under assault. All of which is predicated upon an ideology which says that economies must eternally grow, but not function better, that the consumption of the emerging states in no way should be accompanied by a diminishing of that of the already developed world, that wealth acrues in mere relation to wealth itself and not in function to where it is most useful to society: hence capital takes on an intrinsic value that it not only doesn't have, but becomes a weapon of mass destruction against entire sectors and societies. My thoughts are not utopian, consequently, but are rather set in antithetical opposition to the dystopian order the present course of globalization has produced and which you sustain.

While there have been problems of course with Europe’s model, the present European crisis has been exaggerated, “instrumentalized” for political reasons and exacerbated by US financial speculation against the euro. This becomes increasingly evident when we look at the state of US debt and trade deficit, which far outdistances any of those among the European Union. The model, moreover, is the one which offered the combined highest living standard with the greatest social justice in the history of civilization. It's wholesale abandonment desired by certain US economists and politicians on the right (as well as theireconomically liberal cronies in the EU parliament) is lamentable, and thus represents a recrudescence of barbarism, a step backward to the social evils of feudalism and industrialization, not progress.

Rather the model seems to me to be the one place from which any new departure should stem, even if the global environment today, again because of a certain capitalist molded culture that fosters conspicuous consumption and insalubrious competition between nations, is wholly inimical to it and makes such a chosen path all the more arduous to take up. Don't get me wrong, Europe, especially the one of the economic union, suffers from the same malady as the US, just not as severely; whereas there is at least a basis of social cohesion and identity that is lacking across the Atlantic, at any rate in any institutionalized way. Even the present crisis of immigration to European shores is inextricably linked to the grotesquely imbalanced world in terms of wealth and poverty that the neoliberal capitalist model has wrought: and so by the boundless appetites of those whose stomachs are long since full, at the expense of those who are literally starving to death. While the rich continue to be encouraged in their eating habits, otherwise they don't continue to fatten up. Now, using a biological metaphor, is this what denotes sound and healthy economic policy? Or is it rather pathological addiction?

I see the role of the State as safeguarding the public wellbeing, not inhibiting private initiative. However, when private initiative does damage to the former, then it is civil for the State to take measures to protect the collective. Certain economic praxis of the neoliberal State, therefore, should be abolished (of these I have previously spoken in the General Politics thread), to spread real wealth to where it is most needed and not to further enrich the worst kind of predatory speculators: Central America and Africa are two of the most appalling examples of the disaster capitalist development has brought to these regions, while they were certainly better off as tribal “primitives” than they are as the most lucrative hunting grounds of the Western and global (Chinese) markets. Lastly, at some point the current construct of “boom or bust” will have to give way to a more reasoned and principled economic thought.

Quote:
You are so fixated on "socialism and government," Scott, the eternal conservative boogymen, that it has really become your obsession, and demonstrates that an acute form of mental atrophy hasn't only just begun to set in, but has long since become debilitating.
Dude, I'm not the one groaning about the 'present model'. You are looking for govt to be all things to all people. I know it's not possible.

Quote:
Furthermore all the evidence suggests otherwise, if we consider the standard of living, social wellbeing and guarantees European democracy established in the post-war period, until neoliberalism as international mandate from we know which establishment began to place the model under assault. All of which is predicated upon an ideology which says that economies must eternally grow, but not function better, that the consumption of the emerging states in no way should be accompanied by a diminishing of that of the already developed world, that wealth acrues in mere relation to wealth itself and not in function to where it is most useful to society: hence capital takes on an intrinsic value that it not only doesn't have, but becomes a weapon of mass destruction against entire sectors and societies.
Yep, economically speaking, you are a member of the flat earth society. The leader of the zero-sum game crowd. You decry folks that have wealth and at the same time pity those that don't. You will forever be tough to please.

Quote:
While there have been problems of course with Europe’s model, the present European crisis has been exaggerated,
Your boy Krugman disagrees with this;

"So it’s hard to avoid a sense of despair. Rather than admit that they’ve been wrong, European leaders seem determined to drive their economy — and their society — off a cliff. And the whole world will pay the price. "

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/op...cide.html?_r=1

Quote:
I see the role of the State as safeguarding the public wellbeing, not inhibiting private initiative. However, when private initiative does damage to the former, then it is civil for the State to take measures to protect the collective. Certain economic praxis of the neoliberal State, therefore, should be abolished (of these I have previously spoken in the General Politics thread), to spread real wealth to where it is most needed and not to further enrich the worst kind of predatory speculators:
Cool. Let's start with your wealth while allowing someone you disagree with politically (as well as nearly everything else) decide where your wealth "is most needed".
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  #2514  
Old 04-16-12, 15:46
Scott SoCal
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Originally Posted by MarkvW View Post
Fairness in the context of free markets is always a problem. Paradoxically, you need strong governmental regulation to keep a free market free. Otherwise, the market gets taken over by monopolies and cartels and is no longer free because the monopolists drive all the other players out of the market.

My personal gripe is the total BS being spouted about corporations working for shareholders. They work more for Wall Street and corporate insiders. The constant focus on the short term only benefits the middlemen--not shareholders seeking to hold value. And all those stock options are just another means of watering stock and diluting shareholder value.

The same can be said for our current political structure. Replace 'corporations' with 'politicians' and 'shareholder' with 'ordinary citizens'.
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  #2515  
Old 04-16-12, 16:02
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VeloCity VeloCity is offline
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Originally Posted by Scott SoCal View Post
"So it’s hard to avoid a sense of despair. Rather than admit that they’ve been wrong, European leaders seem determined to drive their economy — and their society — off a cliff. And the whole world will pay the price. "

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/op...cide.html?_r=1
What Krugman is arguing is that Europe should've adopted massive stimulus spending, like Canada and (to a lesser extent) the US did. His argument is that it's the austerity measures - the same that the Rs in the US want for the US - that's killing Europe right now.

Last edited by VeloCity; 04-16-12 at 16:05.
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  #2516  
Old 04-16-12, 16:17
Scott SoCal
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Originally Posted by VeloCity View Post
What Krugman is arguing is that Europe should've adopted massive stimulus spending, like Canada and (to a lesser extent) the US did. His argument is that it's the austerity measures - the same that the Rs in the US want for the US - that's killing Europe right now.
Yes, I read that.

Massive new debt on top of massive old debt... but flooding the market with more currency, allowing inflation to run seems to be Krugman's answer to most current economic problems.

I guess debt isn't really debt if you own the printing press.
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  #2517  
Old 04-16-12, 16:55
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VeloCity VeloCity is offline
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Originally Posted by Scott SoCal View Post
I guess debt isn't really debt if you own the printing press.
Or if you were a Republican during the Bush years, when deficits and debt didn't matter.

But as Krugman also points out, the anti-debt people don't really know what they're talking about.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/op...=1&ref=opinion

Last edited by VeloCity; 04-16-12 at 17:00.
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  #2518  
Old 04-16-12, 16:56
aphronesis aphronesis is offline
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Originally Posted by Scott SoCal View Post
Yes, I read that.

Massive new debt on top of massive old debt... but flooding the market with more currency, allowing inflation to run seems to be Krugman's answer to most current economic problems.

I guess debt isn't really debt if you own the printing press.
Right, so now that you've dropped your farcical MLK "everyone has a dream," moment of fatigue; which part of your wealth is your wealth?

Easy question Scott. Please do explain it to me.

The fundamental disagreement here is that you want to talk politics, but only "as the economics guy," problem is: most people here don't think that the economic is separable from the social or the political. In that regard, Krugman and Velocity might actually be the closest to you.

So in that sense it seems you really only want to talk about what a bummer it is lately to make a buck--or 300,000.

You've maintained in the past that politics are thoroughly corrupt and yet the economy is just "ailing" "weak" "in trouble." Please Scott, do enlighten everyone and explain how the "economy" (something like an 18th century garden I guess) can be extricated from the political and set back on its feet again? And while you're at it, please do it in such a way that the US economy is autonomous from all other world economies and therefore not debt financed.
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  #2519  
Old 04-16-12, 17:09
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VeloCity VeloCity is offline
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Romney’s tax bill in 2010 was $3 million, on income of $21.6 million, according to returns he released in January. He paid an effective 13.9 percent tax rate.

Earlier Friday, the president released his returns, showing he and first lady Michelle Obama paid $162,074 in taxes at a rate of about 20.5 percent.
http://www.boston.com/Boston/politic...H1M/index.html

Ignoring the two individuals involved, does this make sense to anyone?
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  #2520  
Old 04-16-12, 17:19
Scott SoCal
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Originally Posted by VeloCity View Post
http://www.boston.com/Boston/politic...H1M/index.html

Ignoring the two individuals involved, does this make sense to anyone?
Considering the guy paying the lower rate has bee unemployed for some years, yeah, it makes some sense.
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