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sidd

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Economic Inequality
« on: August 23, 2017, 02:32:25 AM »
I start this thread to discuss economic inequality, and I shall kick it off a paper by Piketty et al.

1) Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States, Piketty et al. 2017 available at  http://gabriel-zucman.eu/usdina

The paper concentrates on income inequality in the USA, both pre and post tax, including benefits through redistribution. I attach

a) the upper panel of figure 3 showing the share of national income for the bottom 50%
b) the lower panel of fig 3 showing showing real income for the botton 50% flattening in the late 80s and that it has not recovered from the 2008 recession
c) The lower panel of fig 5 share of the national income going to the top 1%, showing steady increase.

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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2017, 02:37:43 AM »
Another paper by saez has figures for wealth as opposed to income, and I attach Figure 12, showing the rape of the bottom 90% by the top 1%. The top 1% in the USA recovered quite nicely since the 2008 recession, while the bottom 90% did not.

Saez  "Income and Wealth Inequality: Evidence and Policy Implications at http://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/

sidd


TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2017, 11:20:59 AM »
sidd
Interesting charts!


I believe chart 12, Family Wealth should have an additional $10,000,000 added to the top 3 numbers in the left y axis, correcting to $14M, $12M, $10M.


I'm always mentally adding broad vertical bands to these charts indicating which party held the presidency at such a time, keeping track of the house might also be helpful in some instances.


Those who were not adults when the Reaganites swept into power may see the reality of "The Reagan Miracle" in your charts. When the prices of raw materials turned deflationary many of us were not prepared & took an unexpected bath. 


Terry

gerontocrat

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2017, 03:36:25 PM »
The income inequality charts could be entitled "How to get a Trump as President".
A similar chart some years ago in Venezuela could be entitled "How to get a Chavez (and then a Maduro) as President".
How come the very well-off are so dumb?
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 04:54:00 PM »
The income inequality charts could be entitled "How to get a Trump as President".
A similar chart some years ago in Venezuela could be entitled "How to get a Chavez (and then a Maduro) as President".
How come the very well-off are so dumb?
I'm sorry, but I don't get the connection between a far right president and two leftist presidents, nor how all three are bolstered by charts showing how inequality has varied over a number of decades?


I may well be dumb, but I'm certainly not terribly well off, so what am I missing?
Terry

gerontocrat

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2017, 06:50:31 PM »
Hugo Chavez got elected because the previous regime, awash with oil money, and run by the rich, was too dumb to give some crumbs to the have-nots. The left, and Chavez especially, gave them hope for a better life. Trouble was he spent the oil money twice or three times, and killed the economy.

Trump (once upon a time a Democrat) found a message that resonated with a bunch of have-nots who hated both the establishment republicans and the establishment democrats. They happened also to be also those who believe that big Government is the problem - so naturally are Republicans. Do you remember how Trump prevaricated about signing the Republican oath of loyalty? He only signed it because his constituency was naturally Republican. But the message was "Drain the Swamp".

The charts only show what have-nots are experiencing - being screwed by guys in Armani suits showing off their wealth.

If you look at it through the political perspective of Left vs Right then you cannot see whether a Government is at least trying to improve the condition of the people - "We, the people".

"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2017, 09:13:15 PM »
The Saez paper has data for many countries. For this kind of research i have found Kuznets, Atkinson and Piketty very useful, and the Piketty, Saez, Zucman team has been prolific. I hve posted some references before, but I shall repost them here as i recall them.

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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2017, 12:42:03 AM »
A perceptive article from the guardian about leftward shift of the young in the usa

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/02/socialism-young-americans-bernie-sanders

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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2017, 08:19:57 PM »
Chancel and Piketty on economic inequality in India:

wid.world/document/chancelpiketty2017widworld/

Figures from India are ... difficult. This work is a painstakig reconciliation of several different data sources.

i attach figures showing the share of the top 1% and the bottom 50%

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2017, 05:13:42 AM »
Inequality in lifespan between the top and bottom income in the USA, from a NAP study:

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/health360/2015/09/18/implications-of-the-growing-gap-in-life-expectancy-by-income/

i attach a graph from the study

See also:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/09/12/i-watched-my-patients-die-of-poverty-for-40-years-its-time-for-single-payer/

" I spent a decade at Mount Sinai Hospital, a not-for-profit hospital for the poor in North Lawndale, a neighborhood of concentrated poverty in Chicago. Sinai cares for a mostly minority population that is mostly uninsured or on Medicaid. In my 27 years at these two safety-net hospitals, not one of my patients received an organ or bone marrow transplant. Yet the organs that fed the transplant centers across the region came from the dying patients in these hospitals.  Our patients — the poorest of the poor — gave, but they never received."

Amazing. We got the dystopic organ market right here.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/health/disparity-in-life-spans-of-the-rich-and-the-poor-is-growing.html

"The experience of other countries suggests that disparities do not necessarily get worse in contemporary times. Consider Canada, where men in the poorest urban neighborhoods experienced the biggest declines in mortality from heart disease from 1971 to 1996, according to a 2002 study. Over all, the gap in life expectancy at birth between income groups declined in Canada during that period. And a study comparing cancer survival rates found that low-income residents of Toronto had greater survival rates than their counterparts in Detroit. There was no difference for middle- and high-income residents in the two cities."

The USA is getting rid of poverty by killing the poor.

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johnm33

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2017, 10:57:36 AM »
It didn't help to have $27T of bailouts to bankers when $8T Could have cleared everyones mortgages. skip to 9:45

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2017, 01:31:42 PM »
Sidd

"Why can’t we just rob the rich?"

Operationalism was rejected decades ago but economists still cling to it.

Of course Piketty is one of the few post 1930's economists on the side of the angels.

Since the 1930s economists have been influenced by the fallacious rejection of utilitarianism by Lionel Robbins.

Robbins changed economics, which as a "science" does not have moral content, in ways that made our moral judgements, which are not "science", harder to apply. The key point is that "happiness"/"utility" can be perfectly good scientific terms - although when we "happiness" for moral judgement we step outside scientific method. See Lionel Robbins didn’t understand science. Ravens do.

In Thomas Piketty or Robin Hood? I wrote:

In arguing that concentrations of wealth “stirs discontent and radically undermines our democratic values” Piketty plays on the fears of the affluent. We don’t want to be disturbed by discontent and don’t want to believe that we are undemocratic.

A much simpler justification was used by earlier economists, such as Bentham and Mill, that it is right to take from the rich to give to the poor because the rich value what has been taken less than the poor that receive it. This is the utilitarian principle of maximising human satisfaction (or utility or happiness).

Piketty may be avoiding the utilitarianism because of the objections that some moral philosophers can put forward. In the 21st century, few would regard the Roman Games, where the audience delighted in Christians being eaten by lions as morally correct – even if the total pleasure of the crowd exceeded the negative pleasure (the pain) of the Christians. But economics won’t help here either: It has nothing to say. A utilitarianism approach is the best economics can do in the moral field: Not perfect but good enough.

A more depressing reason for Piketty’s coyness may be the legacy of Robbins: the muddled claim that the utilitarian principle was unscientific. A broad moral brush is all that economics can provide, it can’t do better the maximum happiness principle.

Another piece I have written Feeding the geese and robbing the rich asks the question "Why can’t we just rob the rich?" and uses Hume's distinction between theory&facts and internal feelings

The philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) pointed this out a long time ago. My paraphrase of his view is this:

(1) Theory and facts alone cannot drive our actions

(2) Internal feelings drive our actions.

(3) Some internal feelings are “moral sentiments”
I apologise if this comes across as a bit obsessive but I studied Philosophy of Science in the 1960s. Then in the 1970s developed a proposal for unemployment. (Later, made into proper economics by my good friend Kim Swales.) This led me into economics. I was shocked to find they had swallowed Percy Bridgman's view on scientific method, operationalism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says:

Both in philosophy and in psychology operationalism is nowadays commonly regarded as an extreme and outmoded position
Wake up, you economists! I have been waiting for over 40 years to say this.

But I think most economists will have a large dose of Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance when it comes to their operationalist roots. Richard Layard sticks to them even though he is an advocate of measuring happiness.

I feel better after that.

sidd: Thanks for the opportunity.

And, of course, thanks to Neven.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 01:38:09 PM by GeoffBeacon »
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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2017, 06:41:23 AM »
Mr. Beacon, 

I  do not read bruselsblog as often as i should. Thanx for the reminder.

That said,i do not see Piketty as an economist as much as an empiricist, laying bare the gutting of the poor. In the large, i find economists devoid of compassion, and I sympathise with many of the current pope's theses, although I am far from religious. The encyclicals are very good, but here are some extracts from the "Economy and Communion" meeting.

http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2017/02/04/170204a.html

"The principal ethical dilemma of this capitalism is the creation of discarded people, then trying to hide them or make sure they are no longer seen. A serious form of poverty in a civilization is when it is no longer able to see its poor, who are first discarded and then hidden."

"Gambling companies finance campaigns to care for the pathological gamblers that they create. And the day that the weapons industry finances hospitals to care for the children mutilated by their bombs, the system will have reached its pinnacle. This is hypocrisy!"

"The economy of communion, if it wants to be faithful to its charism, must not only care for the victims, but build a system where there are ever fewer victims, where, possibly, there may no longer be any."

sidd

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2017, 09:51:40 AM »
sidd

Wow. That amazes me.

The only reference I can find in the main stream media is a picture of the Pope comforting a crying baby: The Telegraph, Pictures of the Day: 5 February 2017

Nothing of what the Pope said is reported.

Thanks

Geoff
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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2017, 07:46:14 AM »
That the corporate media choose not to report on those papal sayings is not too surprising. They are agencies of power, and a very large part of their function is to distract from systematic inequality engendered by power. In that context of distraction Postman has things to say:

"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions". In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us."

Ellul is a useful guide also. But this is getting quite far afield of this thread subject, perhaps we need a new thread about corporate media as agent of power.

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2017, 05:12:10 AM »
A paper that probably belong on this thread is  Gilens and Page (2014) doi:10.1017/S1537592714001595

It is open access. I have posted about this paper before in another thread. I attach some of my previous comment and part of figure 1.

--
I attach two panels of Fig. 1 from the paper, which states:

" ... economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

"Not only do ordinary citizens not have uniquely substantial power over policy decisions; they have little or no independent influence on policy at all."

" ... our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts."
--

Rob Dekker

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2017, 06:05:21 AM »
Income inequality is already reaching epic proportions in the US (see posts above).
Now Trump wants to make it a even worse :

https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156362122272908/

Here is another one :
https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156361093587908/

I find it quite astounding why the people that voted this buffoon into power don't realize that they were voting big time against their own interest.

Are they really surprised that this self absorbed billionaire wants to decrease tax rates for the top 0.1 % to be paid for by the rest of us ?

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2017, 06:27:46 AM »
I have posted about russian inequality before in another thread. I repost:

--
What the Harvard boys did to Russia, as Zucman says, in one graf:

"From soviets to oligarchs, in one graph"

That graf is Fig 11a in Novokment et al. (2017)

http://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/NPZ2017


Rob Dekker

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2017, 08:42:24 AM »
Sidd, another graph from the same article suggests that billionaire wealth (income of billionaires) in Russia is much worse than any western country, including the US, especially over the past 10 years of the Putin regime :


sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2017, 10:11:41 PM »
Comparison of fig2 and fig 11a in Novokment et al. shows something interesting. The billionaire fraction takes off about 10 years after the top 1%. The authors do point out in the text that the billionaire fraction is from Forbes, and the data is not complete and cannot be independently cross verified. But recall an exodus of bilionaires from Russia in the 2000s after Putin jailed Khodorkovsky in 2003, and i wonder if being outside Russia raised the visibility of expatriate billionaires in Forbes's vision.

sidd

Rob Dekker

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2017, 08:23:03 AM »
Figure 2 shows that "resident" and "citizen" billionaire income is almost the same.
So the argument that "Putin jailed Khodorkovsky in 2003" does not seem to have had a lot of influence.

Billionaires in Russia seem to have more control over the economy than in any other state mentioned, including the US.

So Russia is more of an Oligarchy at this point than any other state mentioned in the report.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2017, 04:53:42 PM »
1) I trust the Forbes data in figure 2 much less than the rest of the analysis.

2) Immense wealth alone does not necessarily translate into control of the economy, or into political control. For a counterexample, see China, where the central Ministries have much more control than the billionaires.

3) Russia under Yeltsin was more politically influenced by oligarchs than under Putin. Yeltsin was installed with considerable western help, and served his purpose. Putin was originally seen as another subservient lackey, but alas, that proved not to be the case. Rather, Putin brought the oligarchs to heel, jailing some, exiling some, intimidating others.

What would be nice is a Gilens and Page type analysis of political influence in Russia, broken up by economic class, after the fall of the USSR.

sidd



sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2017, 09:01:04 PM »
2016 data for the USA released.

"the bottom 10 percent owns -0.5 percent of the wealth in the country (they are net debtors) while the top 10 percent owns 77.1 percent of the wealth in the country."

"In 1989, the top 1 percent owned 29.9 percent of the wealth in this survey. In 2016, it was up to 38.5 percent."

graphs at the link.  the graphs are interactive, mouseovers have a lot of data in them. i attach a screenshot of one, but do read the article.

http://peoplespolicyproject.org/2017/09/27/new-fed-data-the-top-10-now-own-77-of-the-wealth/


sidd

A-Team

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2017, 10:12:22 PM »
"the bottom 10 percent owns -0.5 percent of the wealth in the country (they are net debtors)"
Fascinating graphic, it looks like the lower 50% have essentially no net worth. Maybe a sofa, fridge and widescreen tv that could bring in some cash at eBay but everything else like home, car, cable, phone, visa, insurance, schooling is on paycheck to paycheck payments. These people may work very hard all their lives yet have nothing to show for it. Has to be stressful, having no reserves to fall back on.

Rob Dekker

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2017, 05:30:51 AM »
Fascinating graphic, it looks like the lower 50% have essentially no net worth. Maybe a sofa, fridge and widescreen tv that could bring in some cash at eBay but everything else like home, car, cable, phone, visa, insurance, schooling is on paycheck to paycheck payments. These people may work very hard all their lives yet have nothing to show for it. Has to be stressful, having no reserves to fall back on.

Spot-on, A-team.
And the Trump administration and Republican Congress intends to make that even worse.
I could not have put it better than Bernie did right here :

https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156367822642908/

When will the US Republican voting population wake up and

STOP ... VOTING .. AGAINST .. YOUR .. OWN .. INTEREST
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 05:44:55 AM by Rob Dekker »

Rob Dekker

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2017, 05:34:32 AM »
...
3) Russia under Yeltsin was more politically influenced by oligarchs than under Putin. Yeltsin was installed with considerable western help, and served his purpose. Putin was originally seen as another subservient lackey, but alas, that proved not to be the case. Rather, Putin brought the oligarchs to heel, jailing some, exiling some, intimidating others.

Yes. Putin keeps his billionaires on a short leash.
Which is another suggestion that the true political power in Russia rests with one man, and one man only.

I think that is generally called a dictatorship.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2017, 07:22:12 AM »
"Fascinating graphic, it looks like the lower 50% have essentially no net worth ... paycheck to paycheck payments. These people may work very hard all their lives yet have nothing to show for it. Has to be stressful, having no reserves to fall back on."

Quite. One emergency away from homeless.

I know a guy who lost his home in the last wipeout in 2008, marriage went bust too. Homeless forawhile. Got free of debt last year, working construction, asphalt, mowing lawns whatever it took. He's fifty two years old, was just getting on his feet again.

He didn't vote for anybody last few elections, but he used to. But now he figures the game is rigged, lost faith.

Had a heart attack couple months ago, woulda died except someone took him to emergency. Then they found something else wrong. No insurance. Huge bills and more coming. He looked me in the eye and told me he'd rather have died than work himself out of this hole again.

As Mr. AbruptSLR posted in another thread,

--
Anne Case and Angus Deaton (November 2, 2015), "Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century", PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1518393112


http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/29/1518393112
--

He owns firearms. I worry he will b part of the statistic, eat a bullet. I go shoot pool with him now and then. Do what i can.

sidd


Rob Dekker

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2017, 08:55:46 AM »
You can't acknowledge Bernie's message, can you sidd ?
Please tell your friend to

START .. VOTING .. FOR .. YOUR .. OWN .. INTEREST

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2017, 10:26:53 AM »
I voted with my feet  :)


Terry

Neven

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2017, 10:27:34 AM »
sidd, tell your friend to become a superdelegate.
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TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2017, 11:34:19 AM »
Russia's flat rate income tax will need to be changed in the near future. It's strange that Forbes, who campaigns for such a tax in America, is so eager to point out the problems it has manufactured in another country.


Terry


BTW
Dictators are not elected, and Putin is far more popular than any recently elected American President.

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2017, 11:57:48 AM »
Sidd


I regret appearing to have taken your friend's situation so lightly.
I have no advise, or soothing words to offer. I have friends in the States who have died in similar circumstances and it's but one of the horrors awaiting those who fall through the ever widening cracks.


Climate change, nuclear winter, American health care, hurricane victims left to their own devices, crooked oligarchs, crooked politicians, destitution, racism, ...


It's too much to take in. At some point we have to look away from the big picture and do what we can for our pool playing buddies.


Best of luck to you both.
Terry
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 11:00:40 PM by TerryM »

johnm33

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2017, 12:30:26 PM »
I realised in the mid 90s that not since the 60s had any government done anything to improve things for me or people like me, and haven't voted since, apart from for lost causes like the greens, it's a dog and pony show, part of the entertainment industry. It looks like that in the US too.
With a small elite having access to an endless stream of low interest credit, which never really gets repaid, just rolled over [from even cheaper credit], capitalism died. We now have a new game call it financialism or what have you, but it's all about using the endless credit to secure rentier rights on assets, a game our [UK] pathetic politicians are happy to go along with. Most of the hard won technology developed by working people has been bought up and exported to shift profits and income abroad, improving the income and tax position  for the rentier class, with no thought to the future for those disposessed of their living.
Worse yet with a reduced manufacturing base there are very limited opportunities for the parasitic management class to operate their usual nepotistic placement games, so in the most ridiculoulsly inefficient way they sell off and 'privatise' state assets for 10p in the pound creating endless muddles of management jobs, in one of the most blatant make-work schemes ever devised. Former british rail and the NHS being prime examples.
There can be no happy ending.
It looks much the same, but different, in the US. Same underlying cause
https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/09/15/thad-beversdorf-death-of-an-economy/comment-page-1/#comment-12186
IIRC Putin called meetings with each of the oligarchs and informed them that as long as they stayed within the law, and kept out of politics he would leave them alone. Those who didn't show up for the meets were immediately subject to multiple investigations, they sued for peace, those who didn't abide by the offered terms were dispossessed by all legal means available. How they aquired their fortunes is a whole other story.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2017, 08:50:19 PM »
Mr. Dekker writes:

"You can't acknowledge Bernie's message, can you sidd ?"

Dear me. Since my comment said nothing about Bernie's message, or my thoughts thereof, I fail to see how Mr. Dekker comes to that conclusion.

Or perhaps Mr. Dekker takes issue with the very fact of the omission ? I will draw his attention to the fact that the subject comment did not discuss the price of tea in China either, or the opium wars, the East India Company and the structure of the modern corporate capitalist state. All those might be relevant, and I might discuss them elsewhere and elsewhen. But those discussions will take place when I see fit, and perhaps not entirely in accordance with Mr. Dekker's desires.

"Please tell your friend to ..."

I thank Mr. Dekker for his, no doubt well meaning, advice. But perhaps he will give me leave to consult my own judgement in my conversations with my friends.

Neven writes:

" .... tell your friend to become a superdelegate."

If that is intended as levity, forgive me if I do not smile.

sidd

Neven

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2017, 10:15:47 PM »
It was sarcasm meaning to portray how difficult it is for your friend to vote for his own interest.

So far, that is. Maybe Bernie becomes a real option that cannot be eliminated by the machine. Maybe there will be a real movement this time, and your friend will have something to vote for.
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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2017, 11:49:06 PM »
When I first started grad school, the university's advisors reviewed my aptitudes and strongly recommended pursuing an advanced degree in Leisure Studies (not joking), the argument being that in the future, no one would need to work and only those with a strong background in teaching recreational crafts and enjoying outdoor pursuits would be employable.

I said no to that, mainly because I didn't want to be the only one working while everyone else was goofing off. Not because I didn't believe robotics + living simply could have taken us a long ways towards the three-day work week.

Indeed they have, at least for the narrowly held capital ownership of the robotics. Still, there's been trickle-down: I can sit in the living room today enjoying a mass-produced artisanal beer and just say "Alexa! Post something lite to one of those Arctic forums."
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 12:49:51 AM by A-Team »

Rob Dekker

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2017, 06:05:37 AM »
Mr. Dekker writes:

"You can't acknowledge Bernie's message, can you sidd ?"

Dear me. Since my comment said nothing about Bernie's message, or my thoughts thereof, I fail to see how Mr. Dekker comes to that conclusion.

You completely ignored it. That's why.
And you can call me Rob.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 06:22:37 AM by Rob Dekker »

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2017, 07:59:50 AM »
Rob writes that I completely ignored Mr. Sanders' message, As I explained in my reply, I choose not to comment on a great many subjects.

For example, if I were uncharitable, I might comment that since Rob is silent about the role of slavery, therefore he does not acknowledge the role of racial bias in economic inequality. But, since I am not uncharitable, I do not. Unfortunately, it seems that same courtesy is not extended to me.

This is getting quite offtopic on economic inequality so here is something on topic: Amartya Sen has been  an early and a  strong voice on this subject and I attach a link to a 1997 article by him.

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dludden/PovertyDefinitionAmartyaSen2.pdf

And I notice I have not linked to a seminal work: "Capital in the 21st Century"  by, of course, Piketty, available in a bookstore near you. Part of the book, the figures, supplementals and the data tables are at:

http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/en/capital21c2

Do read them.

sidd

Rob Dekker

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2017, 08:31:43 AM »
Rob writes that I completely ignored Mr. Sanders' message, As I explained in my reply, I choose not to comment on a great many subjects.
Your choice. I still find it suspicious that so far you have not commented on ANY Sanders message, even though I have posted numerous ones.

Incidentally, since Terry intervenes with his pro-Putin messages like "Putin is far more popular than any recently elected American President", I would like to hear your opinion about that too.

For example, if I were uncharitable, I might comment that since Rob is silent about the role of slavery, therefore he does not acknowledge the role of racial bias in economic inequality. But, since I am not uncharitable, I do not. Unfortunately, it seems that same courtesy is not extended to me.

When you post about slavery, I'd be happy to respond.

This is getting quite offtopic on economic inequality so here is something on topic: Amartya Sen has been  an early and a  strong voice on this subject and I attach a link to a 1997 article by him.

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dludden/PovertyDefinitionAmartyaSen2.pdf

Exactly what is the message of this "strong voice on the subject" ?

And I notice I have not linked to a seminal work: "Capital in the 21st Century"  by, of course, Piketty, available in a bookstore near you. Part of the book, the figures, supplementals and the data tables are at:

http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/en/capital21c2

Do read them.

sidd

Exactly what is the message in this "seminal work" ?

[edit] Sidd. What is your response to this message, that the Trump tax plan benefits the wealthy and not the 99% :
https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156369697367908/
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 09:20:13 AM by Rob Dekker »

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2017, 08:53:47 AM »
Johnm33 writes: " ...  Putin called meetings with each of the oligarchs and informed them that as long as they stayed within the law, and kept out of politics he would leave them alone"

This is the same deal that the chinese have with their plutocrats. And they enforce it, more rigorously than Russia does. They dont care how rich you get, but you cannot play in the political realm. Unlike for example, Citizen's United Supreme court decision in the USA.

The powers that be in China, the state council and politburo have had  a mission for the last two decades, that Mandate of Heaven, if you will:  to raise 10 million souls a year out of crushing poverty. Arguably, they have succeeded. They have done this at great expense, turning their economy into a outsource for western consumers, including the huge pollution hit entailed.

But now that is changing. In 2011 they announced that China would no longer be a trade driven economy by 2020. Nobody much paid attention, but that is happening now. I believe the term was "The Great Rebalancing."  The Middle Kingdom is turning inward. And that will entail more pain for the underclass in the USA.

One definition of Fascism used to be the union of State and Corporate power. But that vision saw the State as dominant. What we have in the USA and many other countries is corporate power dominant. And so here we are. Sheldon Wolin "Inverted Totalitarianism" is a useful book in detailing how that came to be.
So is Chomsky's work.

sidd

Neven

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2017, 10:03:52 AM »
Exactly what is the message in this "seminal work" ?

I haven't read Piketty's book, but I believe the message is that economic inequality keeps growing.

And that's the problem, of course. There is nothing wrong with inequality per se, in the sense that some people have more others, or that some jobs pay better than other jobs. That's a healthy thing, in principle (I think).

But if that inequality - the economic gap between different social classes - grows and keeps on growing indefinitely, you eventually get huge societal problems (not to mention things like AGW, resource wars, financial bubbles, etc).
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TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2017, 10:43:24 AM »
Rob


You're aware of course that my mention of Putin's popularity was a response to you're characterization of him as a dictator.


Terry

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2017, 11:50:42 AM »
Rob

You're aware of course that my mention of Putin's popularity was a response to you're characterization of him as a dictator.

Terry
Mao Tse Tung was popular.
Stalin was popular.
Mussolini was popular.
Hitler was popular.
Ghengis Khan was popular.
Hugo Chavez was popular.
Erdogan is popular.
Putin controls the judiciary, the executive and the legislature. I think that makes him dictator in reality even if not on paper. And he is very popular.

And they were all (or becoming) dictators and in the end did or will leave a right old mess behind them.

Either you believe in "we the people" ( = the right to make the mess  belongs to the people) or you don't.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2017, 04:50:10 PM »
Rob

You're aware of course that my mention of Putin's popularity was a response to you're characterization of him as a dictator.

Terry
Mao Tse Tung was popular.
Stalin was popular.
Mussolini was popular.
Hitler was popular.
Ghengis Khan was popular.
Hugo Chavez was popular.
Erdogan is popular.
Putin controls the judiciary, the executive and the legislature. I think that makes him dictator in reality even if not on paper. And he is very popular.

And they were all (or becoming) dictators and in the end did or will leave a right old mess behind them.

Either you believe in "we the people" ( = the right to make the mess  belongs to the people) or you don't.


I disagree.


Yeltsin, when his tanks were bombarding the Duma, was acting as a dictator, and not a terribly popular one. You may remember Yeltsin due to the electoral support he received from Bill Clinton?


Why is it that Americans are the only ones allowed to interfere in other nation's elections? Why are the CIA's enemies so often depicted as dictators, while their puppets are seen as legitimate- Iran's Shah for example.


As far as my support for allowing the people the right to make a mess, I'm still in favor of allowing Trump to finish his (elected) term. 8)


Terry

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2017, 05:57:00 PM »
I agree that Trump should complete his alloted term. When the people vote for someone they need to live with the consequences - the right to choose also includes the responsibility for the consequences thereof.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2017, 11:29:57 PM »
An article from 2015 details illusions held about economic inequality in the USA:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/economic-inequality-it-s-far-worse-than-you-think/

" ... indifference lies in a distinctly American cultural optimism."

" ... the United States is now the most unequal of all Western nations."

End with a famous quote from Carlin, and a question:

George Carlin joked that, “the reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.” How do we wake up?

The article is good and the references are better. Read the whole thing.

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #46 on: October 01, 2017, 11:36:53 PM »
Detailed report on geographical variation in income inequality over the USA:

http://www.epi.org/publication/income-inequality-in-the-us/

Very nice data.

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2017, 01:56:21 AM »
Mr Schwarz over at the intercept directs my attention to a charming and prescient article by Kalecki (from 1943 !) which details the roots of political opposition to government spending policy directed toward full employment.

Some quotes:

"Indeed, under a regime of permanent full employment, the 'sack' would cease to play its role as a disciplinary measure. The social position of the boss would be undermined, and the self-assurance and class-consciousness of the working class would grow."

"One of the important functions of fascism, as typified by the Nazi system, was to remove capitalist objections to full employment."

"In a democracy, one does not know what the next government will be like. Under fascism there is no next government."

"If capitalism can adjust itself to full employment, a fundamental reform will have been incorporated in it. If not, it will show itself an outmoded system which must be scrapped."

He ends with a warning:

"Fascism sprang up in Germany against a background of tremendous unemployment, and maintained itself in power through securing full employment while capitalist democracy failed to do so. The fight of the progressive forces for all employment is at the same time a way of preventing the recurrence of fascism."

Read the whole thing:

http://delong.typepad.com/kalecki43.pdf

sidd


sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2017, 04:41:25 AM »
A very apt article on a Sunday (in some places) : "The Land Belongs to God"

I am of no particular religious persuasion, but i think the discussion on historical treatment of Debt and Jubilee is compelling. This was aan address by Prof. Michael Hudson to Union Theological Seminary, Columbia, with some very cogent comments.

" An even greater argument occurs over the Lord’s Prayer. What does it mean: Is he saying forgive us our sins, or forgive us the debts? Well, most of religion’s leaders, certainly the vested interests, say: “He’s talking about sins,” that religion and Christianity is all about sin, it’s not about debt.

Actually, the word for sin and debt is the same in almost every language."

" At first Jesus said: “Good to be back in Nazareth, let me read to you about Isaiah.” In Luke 4 says it that this was all very good, and they liked him. But then he began talking about debt cancellation, and they tried to push him off a cliff.

"

"We no longer know about aphesis, the core New Testament term for forgiveness, but that is indeed the term you have brought up: the term for deror, for shmita, for yobul, for all the kind of debt release, for release of people from captivity, for release of land from being given away. And that is very much present in the New Testament. We just have kind of suppressed it. It’s suppressed in the theology that most of us have learned somewhere, and not accidentally.

We pray the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our debts.” But we think, “It’s not really debts, it’s sin.” If you listen to the stories from the New Testament you can see that debt and sin forgiveness are not apart. This separation only happens when Christianity was integrated into the whole system of Constantinian state theology: of an empire that lived on debt mechanisms.

"

"So sin is an economic term and it’s a pietistic term."

http://michael-hudson.com/2017/01/the-land-belongs-to-god/

Read the whole thing. I mean it.

sidd



sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #49 on: October 11, 2017, 01:52:07 AM »
Police killings undercounted in lower income couties of the USA.

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002399

Elegant work. Open access. Read all about it.

sidd