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Friday, July 15, 2016

An army group in Turkey says it has taken control of the country, with bridges closed in Istanbul and aircraft flying low over Ankara. read more


"That's not what Bernie was advocating."

Yeah, actually it is.

Unless I missed the part where Bernie pointed out what people are going to be obligated to provide in return for all this free stuff.

Was there some sort of service requirement attached to the promise of free college? Was there an expectation that if I received a $15 minimum wage I was going to be obligated to provide a commensurate level of service? Did my free health care come with the understanding that I was going to behave responsibly, and stay away from drugs, alcohol, and risky behavior that would result in additional and unnecssary costs for taxpayers?

If I'm wrong, I'll be more than happy to admit it.

"If the coerce mechanism is market fores, that's proper, just, and the maximally efficient result of voluntary actions with good intent. If the coercive mechanism is government, it's unethical, immoral, and at its worst a tool of men with evil intent."

Should I assume that you missed the obvious difference in that I choose to participate in the market. I do what the government says or get a bullet to the head-metaphorically speaking. Sometimes. Sometimes not.

"Your education is going to benefit society how?"

Hmmm. Good question. Unfortunately, I can't answer. You'd have to direct that question to all the employer on Linkedin than want to hire me. It's also a worthwhile question to the American people, since I technically work for them at the moment.

Maybe military aviators don't benefit society. I have my ideas, but I may be biased. You should go down to Coronado tomorrow and ask that question.

"Nobody on the progressive side is suggesting "pure" socialism, only that our mixed economy (which already has elements of socialism) should be have a little more socialism in the mix. All the other leading economies are also a mix. The idea is that capitalism needs to respond more to democratic (small "d") government; that the economy should meet the needs of all the people, not just the most "successful"."

The resulting outcome of economic inputs is determined by the production and consumption habits of every individual operating within the economy. In order to achieve an arbitrary outcome, which is what you're talking about, requires that the government or other coercive mechanism alter the behavior of individuals who are acting in their own best interest. In other words, they need to be forced to act in a way that doesn't represent the best opportunity they have available.

The other very important thing that's often missed by American progressives in search of more free stuff is that traditional socialism wasn't a one-way street. I think that Lenin would be perplexed by a modern socialist system where the drawing of breat was considered sufficient societal contribution to warrant free healthcare, and college, and housing, and food, and all these things at a level rivaling most of the world. The Soviets emphasized the worker, but the workers were expected to work. I'm not sure they would have considered being an urban farmer or interpretive street dancer as real forms of labor. You would have had your ration card pulled until you got your ---- together and reported to the salt mine for your daily detail.

"According to you, they are both equally efficient, provided the government didn't mandate any spending. Before I point out why you're wrong, how do you define efficiency here?"

Efficiency as defined as loss to a non-stake holding party. For instance, if the government takes a dollar from me and gives it to someone else, there is a non-value added cost incurred in the transaction. The government takes a dollar from the government, but the end user gets less than one dollar. If I spend a dollar, my whole dollar is spent on something value added. If I give a dollar to someone and it's spent, same thing. That's efficiency.

"I'm not telling you what to do. I'm telling you the economic consequences of your (in)action."

I don't think you need to worry. People aren't burying money in their backyards anymore.

"One Ferrari can support one Ferrari dealership and one truck driver."

Are you looking at it from a production or consumption perspective? My point was that there's probably not a lot of difference in terms of job creation between one Ferrari and one common Ford.

"If you believed this, you'd understand that through the exigencies of human existences, the minimum wage impoverished worker is at disadvantage to the rich person who wants to buy his labor, and thus setting a floor on the cost of that labor is a way to address the human aspects of economic reality."

That's what your philosophy preacher might tell you, but NOT your economics professor. Because economically there is no advantage inherent to any factor of production. Prevailing market conditions may result in "buyers" or "sellers" markets, but there is no inherent bias; especially when you consider that all purchasers of labor, rich or poor, are as beholden to market conditions as the most skilled or unskilled laborer.

I think the problem may be in your conflating philosophy with economics. They are very different, despite the fact that many consider Marx to be an economist. And your positions, thought different from Marx's, assume a "class-warfare" relationship between employers and employees. That's rarely the case.

"Until then it's just a way to justify greed and screwing others over."

I also don't think that you're able to grasp that you're in favor of screwing others over as well. And doing so as a non-stakeholder, third party. It's just that you feel morally justified in doing so.

BTW it's more greedy to demand what others have created than to want to keep that which you have created.

"Prior to America's rise to becoming a first world nation? Seems like you're fist ------- yourself with such pathetic --------."

I see we've never seen the inside of an economics classroom, eh? And whatever the US was prior to Smoot-Hawley; developing world, first world, whatever, one thing is for sure. Smoot-Hawley made the country --------. You can probably find a fringe economist out there who will tell you that Smoot-Hawley was a good thing, but most will look at him or her sideways, understanding that SMH prolonged the effects of the Great Depression.

Maybe you can take comfort in the fact that it was republicans who sponsored the legislation.

"Raising tariffs won't cut off America like it did in 1933."

Is that what you're economics professor is telling you?

Mine always told me the opposite.

"All because of high tariffs paying for everything, while encouraging domestic production."

You're not going to be able to provide free college, healthcare, housing and happiness through tariffs. Sorry.

"As in billions in cash, hoarded overseas, not being put to use."

If I make a billion dollars, it's my billion dollars. If I want to watch as it's value declines due to inflation, who are you to tell me what to do. But that's another of your many theoretical. Nobody buries money in their back yard. It's being put to use, probably just not in a way that benefits you.

"The most efficient person is the one who lives paycheck to paycheck, hand to mouth."

So If I make $15k a month and spend $15k a month, I'm a more efficient consumer than someone who makes $3k a month but only spends $2k?

"As though producing and selling one Ferrari is equivalent to the economic activity generated by making selling fifty Fords."

How many people and how much time do you think it takes to make a Ferrari. Now compare that to how many people and how much time it takes to produce 50 fords. 'Nuff said.

"Apparently he has an MBA, but he don't know a thing about economics, though of course that's understandable since an MBA is a business degree, and economics is a social science."

Have you ever taken an economics course? I know Clown hasn't, but there are sometimes signs that maybe you did. Then again, there are more signs that you didn't. Maybe you took econ 101 as a Freshman. Or maybe you took philosophy and studied Marx, and made the incorrect assumption you were studying economics. What I do know beyond any shadow of a doubt is that my economic positions were formed in the classroom. As a result of instruction from professors. And they told me that Smoot-Hawley was bad, that as costs go up demand goes down, and that economics is mostly the study of human behavior. All these things that people like you and clown argue against.

" But it's a flat out lie to try to paint these two levels of performance as "everyone's doing better."

How so. If the average income in the bottom quintile was $15,000 in 1950, and it's $15,001 in 2016, how can you not say that they are doing better economically. And that's what we're talking about, right, economics?

"Those aren't real jobs. They're for students and young people."

If they're not real jobs, then isn't it safe to say it's not real labor being used? So why on earth would you support paying $15 an hour for something you admit is not a real job?

"You cannot have both. Once enough people are unable to afford food and shelter there will be an uprising."

Maybe. That was the case in France. Of course we're light years from being at that point. The vast majority of Americans are sitting pretty in the top 1% of global income earners. You're bitching about not getting as much free ---- as you think you're entitled to.

I'd also like to point out that the developing world does not seem to be rising up against Americans, and people like you in particular. Even though you'd seem to be willing to commit them to abject poverty for eternity if got you more free stuff or relieved you from economics obligations.

"Second. As I already pointed out. Goods and services in America cost more than they do in developing nations."

Also total horsehit. When was the last time you went grocery shopping in a developing country. I was doing it four months ago. Meat was a little cheaper, as was bread. Cereal cost about $15 a box. You can survive for less, but at a standard of living you've never experienced. To live like you live now in any given developing country is going to cost you roughly the same as it does here. Some things will cost more, some less. But if an American could simply transfer their lifestyle to another country and live that way at a fraction of the cost, every retiree would be doing it.

"First off. Sweatshop wages aren't helping any developing nation drag itself out of poverty. It's simply forcing the nation to remain impoverished."

"If employers were paying employees in developing nations the same rate as they would here in America. Then I would have nothing to comment on."

"You're doing a disservice to both countries."

Dude, you're willfully disregarding reality. At least I assume it's willfully. I've already posted several articles on how globalization created the global middle class. Not socialism. Not communalism. Not feel-good foreign policy, but free trade. I'd be happy to post them again, but I have a sneaking suspicion that your faith will immediately override you willingness to listen to the experts or engage in any sort of critical thought.

"Your purchasing power increases as a result of government interference allowing you to buy at the PX for a fraction of what most consumers pay."

The PX doesn't have special pricing-Wal Mart is actually cheaper-the advantage is you don't have state sales tax.

"a ha ha ha, no. Wages are only 17% of the price of a finished good."

A ha ha ha...then, or now?

"I can understand an ideological objection, but as a pragmatic matter you are completely ignoring the reasons why, reasons even you can understand."

So explain. I'm waiting.

"One reason you consistently refuse to acknowledge is that in an economy where the bulk of GDP is consumer spending, the economy does better when consumers have more to spend."

Minimum wage doesn't really do that though. First, it's --------, to claim that you can take a dollar from me and spend it more efficiently than I could, but for this academic exercise I'll pretend.

If this is the case, then why not have the government simply cut a check for those who earn less than the going rate approved by progressives? By relying on minimum wage you're going to miss a large segment of potential spenders. Like those who make more than minimum wage but work fewer hours. Or those that don't want to work at all. Or those that can't work at all. Or those who want to work, bt whose labor is not worth minimum wage. You can understand this right? It's not too complicated?

"Also. The lower and middle classes fuel our economy by consuming, paying taxes, and keeping money in circulation."

Actually, the don't. The bottom two quintiles don't contribute to the General Fund. [...]

"Do you think the status quo is the result of a government determined to rob the poor of their ability to sell their labor?"

Yes. These things come about as a result of progressives like you attempting to wrest control of the economy away from society and the individuals who comprise it. When you tell someone they can't sell their labor, who do you make them completely dependent on? You guessed it. Government. And there is no more reliable voter than one who is wholly and legally dependent on government in meeting their basic needs for survival. It's honestly a brilliant move on the part of progressives. And make no mistake, if they don't have the legal right to sell their income as free men, they are indentured servants. They're just indentured to the government.

"I pay taxes. I pay for my health insurance, co pays and out of pocket costs. Swing and a miss. Try again."

Are you not a supporter of single payer? If so, why would you support paying the same amount for lower quality care?

"You mean like "Since 1975, nearly all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households?"

Add in a few more data points and you find that since 1950 the top 60% of income earners have experienced increased incomes. The bottom two have seen small gains, but remain largely static. For reason that are both predictable, and correctable for those within that 40%, should they choose to do so.

"But with a "myriad of benefits", you should be able to list a few."

Walk into a department store and look around. 40 years ago virtually every item you see would have cost half to four times as much. I could list these products out-I shouldn't have to, but I could. And much of this was achieved through technology and outsourcing low skill labor. Move away from that, and the average cost of a stereo goes back to being $700 USD. The cost of a bottom of the line refrigerator goes back to being $3,000. In any case, my purchasing power declines as a result of government interference in the market to protect those who are unwilling to to put forth the effort required to earn a high wage on their own.

There shouldn't be a single American who is concerned about outsourcing low skilled jobs. We should be applauding it.

"Free market corporatists want freedom from paying for the society they benefit from through tax cuts."

Kind of like you want freedom from paying for the benefits of healthcare and other services?

You focus on corporations, and, I get it, you need a bogeyman. Anyone who is at some point going to buy or sell a product will want to do so in A) a market where a buyer is forced to buy a product at a higher rate than they otherwise would have, B) a market where a seller is forced to sell a product at lower price than they otherwise would have, or C) a market where buyer and seller come to an agreement that benefits both.

I support free markets not because they benefit corporations, but because they benefit me. Government gets involved to shift the power out of society's hands and in to the hands of those who can't achieve their desired end-state through their own merits. When I want to sell a used car, I want to be able to sell it for an amount that I come to an agreement with the seller. I don't want the government to tell me how much I need to sell it for, or how much the buyer needs to pay for it. We're capable of doing that without government interference. If I want to sell my labor for $4 an hour, I can't legally do that right now. the government has passed a law stating that, unless my labor is worth $7.25 an hour, I'm not allowed to sell it. I guess it's not mine to sell.

Fair trade and free trade are the same thing. Trade does not occur, cannot occur, unless the terms are agreed to by both parties. Me stealing your gold watch and throwing you a five dollar bill is not an example of trade, but it does come pretty close to describing what occurs when government forces consumers to purchase or sell goods or services and prices they otherwise would not have. And if we're being honest, when government does set ceilings and floors, the next step is for them to mandate that employers hire labor at less than it's value, or consumers purchase goods at a greater cost than the value of said goods. Just because you make a law saying that someone has to pay a minimum wage doesn't mean that the worker has a value that will compel an employer to pay it.

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