How little the MSM knows about economics

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neverfail
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by neverfail » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:31 pm

cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:03 am
neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:28 am

To bring that off you would need to undertake a rollback of democracy itself in favour of something much more authoritarian. These countries would lose the very element that makes them worth living in. Unacceptable!
Not necessarily. I think it can still be done with some reforms. Under the present one man one vote system, the wealth takers and more powerful than the wealth makers as what Aristotle said thousands of years ago. For a sustainable democracy, I believe both groups should be equally powerful so that neither takes advantage of the other.

The US has two chambers - the Senate and the House. Suppose we change the rules so that the voters for the members of the Senate have an unequal number of voters based on the amount of taxes they pay. The more taxes you pay, the more votes you have.
Do you seriously expect the US to follow your advice? I have given up on the United States which is so structured within as to make any meaningful programme of reform impossible. I believe that it was the eminent 19th century French historian Alexis de Tocqueville in his enquiry into the causes and effects of the French revolution who made the point that when reform becomes impossible, revolution becomes inevitable.


I may not even live long enough to see it happen but I am waiting for the crash.

Furthermore, anything that denies universal male and female suffrage in favour of a system that allows discrimination based upon the perception "that some are productive whereas others are not" (thereby creating a second class level of citizenship) is NOT democracy.

You fail to grasp that democracy is inclusive, not exclusive.

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SteveFoerster
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by SteveFoerster » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:46 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:14 pm
By the way, Steve Foerster correctly points out, taxation money paid to the government is usually not horded. Instead, government spending is always a potent factor in keeping the money supply circulating thereby enabling further wealth to be generated.
Whoa, while government turns around and spends the money it collects, I certainly do not agree that sifting the money supply through the filter of government inefficiency enables further wealth to be generated in the slightest.
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cassowary
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by cassowary » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:24 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:31 pm
cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:03 am
neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:28 am

To bring that off you would need to undertake a rollback of democracy itself in favour of something much more authoritarian. These countries would lose the very element that makes them worth living in. Unacceptable!
Not necessarily. I think it can still be done with some reforms. Under the present one man one vote system, the wealth takers and more powerful than the wealth makers as what Aristotle said thousands of years ago. For a sustainable democracy, I believe both groups should be equally powerful so that neither takes advantage of the other.

The US has two chambers - the Senate and the House. Suppose we change the rules so that the voters for the members of the Senate have an unequal number of votes based on the amount of taxes they pay. The more taxes you pay, the more votes you have.
Do you seriously expect the US to follow your advice? I have given up on the United States which is so structured within as to make any meaningful programme of reform impossible. I believe that it was the eminent 19th century French historian Alexis de Tocqueville in his enquiry into the causes and effects of the French revolution who made the point that when reform becomes impossible, revolution becomes inevitable.


I may not even live long enough to see it happen but I am waiting for the crash.
That is so straight out of Marx. You expect capitalism to collapse and revolution comes to usher in Socialism. The only revolution of importance in the past 25 years was a capitalist one. Solidarity, the Polish workers' union, started a revolution against Socialism. Today, Poland is capitalist. The same thing appears to be happening in Venezuela.
Furthermore, anything that denies universal male and female suffrage in favour of a system that allows discrimination based upon the perception "that some are productive whereas others are not" (thereby creating a second class level of citizenship) is NOT democracy.

You fail to grasp that democracy is inclusive, not exclusive.
Currently, the Senate is also not democratic. Each state sends two Senators to Washington. So tiny Rhode Island has equal say as large states like California and Texas. My proposal will correct this and give them representation based on population size as in the House of Representatives. So instead of giving disproportionate power to small population states, I give disproportionate power to those who contribute more to the public treasury. This makes more sense.

No, I don't expect the US to follow my proposal. But it will solve the problem pointed out by Aristotle. The way to solve the systemic problem of huge government debt caused by over bloated welfare states is to give wealth takers and wealth makers equal power. Right now, the latter is outvoted by the former.

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cassowary
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by cassowary » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:37 pm

cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:03 am
neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:28 am

To bring that off you would need to undertake a rollback of democracy itself in favour of something much more authoritarian. These countries would lose the very element that makes them worth living in. Unacceptable!
Not necessarily. I think it can still be done with some reforms. Under the present one man one vote system, the wealth takers and more powerful than the wealth makers as what Aristotle said thousands of years ago. For a sustainable democracy, I believe both groups should be equally powerful so that neither takes advantage of the other.

The US has two chambers - the Senate and the House. Suppose we change the rules so that the voters for the members of the Senate have an unequal number of voters based on the amount of taxes they pay. The more taxes you pay, the more votes you have.

The idea is that those who pay taxes should decide how that money is to be spent. But the one man one vote rule in the lower House will remain. This Senate will be the place where the wealth makers are stronger than the wealth takers. In the Lower House of Representatives, the wealth takers will be more powerful than the wealthy makers.

So they neutralize each other. Neither can take advantage of the other.
By the way, as a rule I do not regard the supportive social welfare nets charistic of these lands as either "socialist policies" or "free stuff" - just as sensibly supportive.
That is Steve's view. The old definition of Socialism means the collective ownership of the assets of production eg farms, factories etc. But those who consider themselves Socialist nowadays mostly do not advocate this. For example, Bernie Sanders is an unabashed Socialist. But he does not call for nationalization as in the Socialists of old. Here was his election manifesto during the primaries.

Today's Socialists seem to be having the Nordic model in mind - a welfare state sitting on top of a large welfare state. I go by what modern Socialists say, not old out of date definitions. Their objective is to redistribute wealth.
Cassowary, whenever you write about the Western welfare state, I usually end up with the feeling that you do not bloody-well know what you are talking about!
And you are wrong. I think it is you who do not know what you are talking about.
Typo. I meant, "free market economy."

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cassowary
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by cassowary » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:43 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:17 pm
cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:03 am
neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:28 am


Cassowary, whenever you write about the Western welfare state, I usually end up with the feeling that you do not bloody-well know what you are talking about!
And you are wrong. I think it is you who do not know what you are talking about.

I have only had decades of experience living in one and you have not Cass. So doesn't first hand experience qualify me tp speak up?
You don't have to live in one to know better. Your views are that of the western left - the sort of people who voted for Clinton. About half voted for her and the other half voted for Trump. So half is correct and the other half is wrong. My views are simply closer to the right because my own country seems to be more in line with the Republicans rather than Democrats. And we have done well under such policies.

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cassowary
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by cassowary » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:52 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:14 pm
cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:19 am
Sertorio wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:44 am
cassowary wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:15 pm

One danger is the budget deficit. With aging boomers drawing on Social Security and Medicare for medical treatments, something must be done to curb government spending. Otherwise, the US will go broke.
Solving budget deficits does not need curbing government spending. You may increase revenue by increasing taxation on the wealthier people. In Portugal we are on the way to solve our budget deficit - and containing our public debt - by higher taxes on the rich, while restoring the income of the poorer people. This was condemned by the European Commission, which has now been forced to recognize that it worked. So much so that the Portuguese Minister of Finance was elected the new president of the Eurogroup (the countries belonging to the euro area). And, by the way, the Portuguese economy is growing faster than at any time this century (2.5%).
The trouble with raising taxes is that you stifle GDP growth.
CASS; did you actually read sertorio's post? He stated unequivocally that the Portuguese economy is growing faster than at any time this century (2.5%). and you did not contradict that.

Clearly the higher taxes on the rich in Portugal have not stifled growth there.
I did not reply because I know almost nothing about insignificant Portugal. It will probably require two hours of research before I can give a good reply.
By the way, Steve Foerster correctly points out, taxation money paid to the government is usually not horded. Instead, government spending is always a potent factor in keeping the money supply circulating thereby enabling further wealth to be generated.

Seems to me that you have already made up your mind and no amount of contrary evidence will change it. The sure sign of a blinkered ideology like the socialist ones you condemn..
Well, I have history on my side. Let's compare capitalist vs socialist economies while holding the ethnic variable constant. Capitalist Singapore, HK, and Taiwan vs Communist China (before Capitalist reforms by Deng Xiaoping). Capitalist South Korea vs Socialist N Korea (present day). Capitalist West Germany vs Socialist East Germany (during Cold War days). Capitalist Chile (Pinochet) vs Socialist Cuba (Castro).

In call cases, capitalism works while Socialism led to poverty and dictatorship. There were capitalist dictators but economic freedom leads to political freedom after a certain level of prosperity is reached.

neverfail
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by neverfail » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:11 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:28 am

Do you seriously expect the US to follow your advice? I have given up on the United States which is so structured within as to make any meaningful programme of reform impossible. I believe that it was the eminent 19th century French historian Alexis de Tocqueville in his enquiry into the causes and effects of the French revolution who made the point that when reform becomes impossible, revolution becomes inevitable.


I may not even live long enough to see it happen but I am waiting for the crash.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:03 am
That is so straight out of Marx. You expect capitalism to collapse and revolution comes to usher in Socialism.
Not out of Marx at all but the product of my own informed, observant freethinking - though I pay tribute to Alexis de Tocqueville (who you have probably never heard of before now) for the original inspiration.

I was talking about the impending collapse of the United States; not of capitalism - which will no doubt survive and prosper elsewhere. Do you have the flexibility of imagination to distinguish between the two?
cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:03 am
The only revolution of importance in the past 25 years was a capitalist one. Solidarity, the Polish workers' union, started a revolution against Socialism. Today, Poland is capitalist.
As usual, you expose your ignorance of the reality by looking at the world through your capitalism versus socialism set of horse blinkers.

Polish Solidarity was as much about wresting Polish independence back from the Soviet Union as it was to rid itself of the totalitarian straitjacket that the USSR had imposed upon that hapless country in the form of the Polish Communist Party (or did you harbour the illusion that the Poles ever had a free choice in the matter of how they were governed?). It was also very much a Catholic revolt against atheistic Communism in which the role of the Polish Church was pivotal. It was not on the agenda of Polish solidarity to overthrow the socialist economy. The fact that it happened subsequently was because, having wrested power from their Communist Party, they rapidly discovered in practice that Poland had nowhere else to go.

Poland today seems to be dangerously regressing back towards nationalism and authoritarianism - just like Poland prior to the Second World War. Lamentably, the Poles seem to have learned nothing from their sad and sorry history.

cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:03 am
The same thing appears to be happening in Venezuela.
Not as far as I can see!

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cassowary
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by cassowary » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:59 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:11 pm
neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:28 am

Do you seriously expect the US to follow your advice? I have given up on the United States which is so structured within as to make any meaningful programme of reform impossible. I believe that it was the eminent 19th century French historian Alexis de Tocqueville in his enquiry into the causes and effects of the French revolution who made the point that when reform becomes impossible, revolution becomes inevitable.


I may not even live long enough to see it happen but I am waiting for the crash.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:03 am
That is so straight out of Marx. You expect capitalism to collapse and revolution comes to usher in Socialism.
Not out of Marx at all but the product of my own informed, observant freethinking - though I pay tribute to Alexis de Tocqueville (who you have probably never heard of before now) for the original inspiration.

I was talking about the impending collapse of the United States; not of capitalism - which will no doubt survive and prosper elsewhere. Do you have the flexibility of imagination to distinguish between the two?
In that case, we are in agreement that unless the US reforms, it will go bust. But where we disagree is what ails it. As I said in my book, the current constitution in the US and other mature democracies need to be reformed. I diagnosed the ailment as a serious flaw in the one-man-one-vote system in the US and EU. The flaw was noted by Aristotle whom I quoted many times before.

In a nutshell, the wealth makers are outnumbered by the wealth takers. The more motivated, frugal, better skilled and more entrepreneurial are out outnumbered by those who are less so. That is why all democracies have unsustainable welfare states funded by higher taxes and government debt.

The wealth makers are also job creators. So by penalizing them with higher taxes, you are also hindering job creation. The majority of politicians knows this. But they also do their sums. They know that the majority of voters are wealth takers. So they must pursue redistributive policies. That is why reform is impossible.

You need to go to the root of the problem. How to balance the needs of the majority wealth takers with those who create the jobs and thus drive economic growth? I am not advocating that wealth creators (ie the rich) have more power than the wealth takers. That would also be unstable. See what happened to the Ancient Regime in France when the top 1% had all the power?

Instead, I want wealth makers to have equal power with the wealth takers so that neither can take advantage of the other. That is why I came up with the idea that voting rights for senators be based on the amount of taxes you pay. The House retains the one man one vote system. As the senators fight against high taxes and spending, the rich voters will have less political power because they pay less taxes.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:03 am
The only revolution of importance in the past 25 years was a capitalist one. Solidarity, the Polish workers' union, started a revolution against Socialism. Today, Poland is capitalist.
As usual, you expose your ignorance of the reality by looking at the world through your capitalism versus socialism set of horse blinkers.

Polish Solidarity was as much about wresting Polish independence back from the Soviet Union as it was to rid itself of the totalitarian straitjacket that the USSR had imposed upon that hapless country in the form of the Polish Communist Party (or did you harbour the illusion that the Poles ever had a free choice in the matter of how they were governed?). It was also very much a Catholic revolt against atheistic Communism in which the role of the Polish Church was pivotal. It was not on the agenda of Polish solidarity to overthrow the socialist economy. The fact that it happened subsequently was because, having wrested power from their Communist Party, they rapidly discovered in practice that Poland had nowhere else to go.

Poland today seems to be dangerously regressing back towards nationalism and authoritarianism - just like Poland prior to the Second World War. Lamentably, the Poles seem to have learned nothing from their sad and sorry history.
Religion and authoritarian government were also factors. But it was not the crucial one, The most important one was that Socialism does not work. A Socialist economy (in the old fashion sense of state owned industries) needs an authoritarian government. It takes no compulsion for capitalism to function since each man does what is good for himself. But compulsion is need for Socialism to function and it functions very badly.

If what you say is true about Poland become more authoritarian, the people obviously do not mind so much authoritarian rule. Thus authoritarianism was not the key factor behind Solidarity's revolution. If what you say is true, then authoritarianism is something they can live with. But they cannot live with socialism. Further evidence that the Poles cannot stand Socialism is that in 2015, the leftist parties got wiped out in the Polish elections. See this article:

The Left wing got wiped out in the Polish elections

The Poles are so fed up with Socialism after suffering under it for decades, that they can't even tolerate its current watered-down form of a welfare state sitting on top of a market economy.

neverfail
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by neverfail » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:28 am

cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:59 pm



In that case, we are in agreement that unless the US reforms, it will go bust. But where we disagree is what ails it. As I said in my book, the current constitution in the US and other mature democracies need to be reformed. I diagnosed the ailment as a serious flaw in the one-man-one-vote system in the US and EU. The flaw was noted by Aristotle whom I quoted many times before.


Aristotle was a man of his time and you should be a man of your own - instead of trying to bolster your authority with the borrowed authority of select quotes from long deceased sages. The "democracy" that Aristotle was talking about bore no resemblance to our own.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:59 pm
In a nutshell, the wealth makers are outnumbered by the wealth takers. The more motivated, frugal, better skilled and more entrepreneurial are out outnumbered by those who are less so. That is why all democracies have unsustainable welfare states funded by higher taxes and government debt.

The wealth makers are also job creators. So by penalizing them with higher taxes, you are also hindering job creation. The majority of politicians knows this. But they also do their sums. They know that the majority of voters are wealth takers. So they must pursue redistributive policies. That is why reform is impossible.

Might I say that I hate your cavalier attitude to modern social welfare with a passion. How would you bloody-well know anything about the mission of the welfare state since you do not live in one. Since you identify yourself as a "wealth creator" I can safely dismiss your ignorant blatherings as giving venting to egocentric pride: you know - my sort are the very salt of the earth). You ignore the crucial role played by government in keeping the money circulating possibly because you are myopic about how it works. I find it hard to believe that a person like you who claims to have had higher education could be so ignorant about how a modern political economy functions.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:59 pm
You need to go to the root of the problem. How to balance the needs of the majority wealth takers with those who create the jobs and thus drive economic growth? I am not advocating that wealth creators (ie the rich) have more power than the wealth takers. That would also be unstable. See what happened to the Ancient Regime in France when the top 1% had all the power?
Stop right there Cass!

Money talks louder than votes. Whether you like it or not rich people, especially the very wealthy, are never victims. Even in a well ordered democracy like the one I am privileged to be a citizen of rich individuals, even more so rich multi-national corporations, have too many ways to dodge paying their fair share of taxes even when the authorities crack down on their dodges. e.g.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... udget-2016

..and that represents just a small drop in the ocean.

Yet though they underpay their taxes they still exert a disproportionate amount of influence over government policy: even governments by parties that are supposed to be "worker friendly". The US system of government, more open to manipulation from outside by monied interests than ours, is especially disgraceful in terms of its infatuation with money politics.

The point is that the rich are well organised to manipulate politics in their own favour whereas ordinary citizens - your so-called "wealth takers" (how damned disrespectful of you to stigmatise them/us as such) are characteristically not well organised and poor political lobbyists to boot. Which does not mean they are less deserving. It is just that as a rule they (we) lack the ruthlessness for getting their own way characteristic of successful politicians and the wealthy alike. No wonder the two are too inclined to see eye to eye.

So please friend, quit this self-pitying "poor little rich boy" spin that surfaces in your posted position.

Might I say that I find your suggestion that the rich should be turned into a latter-day aristocracy by having unequal representation in government through a loaded voting franchise a reactionary hankering to regress conditions back to the 18th century. How could you be taken seriously?

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cassowary
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by cassowary » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:24 am

neverfail wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:28 am
cassowary wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:59 pm



In that case, we are in agreement that unless the US reforms, it will go bust. But where we disagree is what ails it. As I said in my book, the current constitution in the US and other mature democracies need to be reformed. I diagnosed the ailment as a serious flaw in the one-man-one-vote system in the US and EU. The flaw was noted by Aristotle whom I quoted many times before.


Aristotle was a man of his time and you should be a man of your own - instead of trying to bolster your authority with the borrowed authority of select quotes from long deceased sages. The "democracy" that Aristotle was talking about bore no resemblance to our own.
What Aristotle said thousands of years ago still applies today. There are more poor people than rich people. Just look at the income redistribution graph. So to win a majority of votes, politicians promise welfare redistribution schemes like welfare. So, as Aristotle said, the poor have more power than the rich in a democracy because there are more of them. TAke a look at this graph:

Image

The British median income is GBP407 per week and the mean (ie average) weekly income is GBP507.

For simplicity, let's say the before with below average income are poor. Those above average income are the rich.

So you can clearly see that the majority of people are poor, proving Aristotle correct.

... continue later.

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