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American Solidarity Fund - Redistribution to Fight Inequality

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28 minutes ago, American Swindle said:

 

I disagree.

Have you ever heard the argument that the wealthy folks do not just sit on their money and swim in it like Scrooge McDuck?  They actually take the money, much like how my small business was started, and invest it in business ventures which give people opportunities by way of jobs.  

That's why they should definitely earn the rewards from whatever becomes of said ventures or investments, because they are taking their own money (which resulted in time, energy, stress and tears to accumulate on their own, remember property rights...self-ownership) and risking it in a venture that could go bankrupt if it flops.  Unlike the bailouts of GM and the Banking Cartels, private ventures like this are not immune to free market forces (as in, if they have a fucking horrible idea and it flops, then they lose all of that capital they risked.) As opposed to government backed ventures, where the taxpayers are the ones taking the risks, they can do whatever the fuck they want (e.i. USPS) and stay in business (or like Solyndra, be able to get massive salaries thanks to taxpayers while you go belly up)  

 

 

 

I’d love to see some statistics related to what the  ultra wealthy do with their money. I do think some portion of it goes to private investments like you said...I wonder how that portion relates to general spending (houses, jets, cars, etc.) versus cash/stocks/bonds.

Obviously, at a basic level, you’re arguing that trickle down economics work which we know is not the case, but if anyone has stats related to the above I’d be curious what that money does.

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17 hours ago, Johnny Sack said:

So?  If the choice is the poor get a little richer and the rich get a lot richer versus both staying the same, the former is better.  See Margaret Thatcher’s explanation owning the socialists.  

Wealth inequality shouldn’t be the issue.  The issue should be standard of living.  

Is that your well-reasoned opinion, or the babbling of a cognitive cripple in an ideological straitjacket?

That is, do you really think wealth inequality is 'not the issue?' You think ever-increasing wealth inequality won't lead to bad outcomes for society? You think giving crumbs to the poor while they watch the wealthy grow ever more wealthy will make them happy? More importantly, have you not seen the increasing domination of policy outcomes by the economic elite, to the extent that the United States is functionally the equivalent of an oligarchy? Have you seen the evidence that inequality increases the fragility of economic growth? That there are links between inequality and increasing political polarization?

Put it this way: the logical extreme for wealth inequality would be for one individual to own everything and everybody else to own nothing. That individual would, in practice, have complete and total power over everybody else in the world, regardless of whatever ostensible political systems are in play at the time; they would be functionally meaningless. Obviously that's a reductio ad absurdam illustration, but it's where the system would go if it could go toward ever-increasing inequality for a long enough period of time. I'm assuming you wouldn't like this state of affairs; correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe you'd like it if you were the one person who owned everything, but let's stipulate that's not going to happen. I'm also assuming you don't find the present level of inequality objectionable. That means there must be some level in between the current state and the hypothetical future of one person owning everything that would be too much inequality, even for you. What would that level be? How much power should the wealthy class have over everybody else? How would you propose to forestall such a level?

Edited by Bat Guano

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Ok, how much is enough “wealth” for everyone to be given?

100k, 500k....

What about the guy who just can’t catch a break with their given wealth?  Do they get just a little more...only if they fit certain “desirable” classes....promises to vote D?

 

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2 hours ago, American Swindle said:

Have you ever heard the argument that the wealthy folks do not just sit on their money and swim in it like Scrooge McDuck?  They actually take the money, much like how my small business was started, and invest it in business ventures which give people opportunities by way of jobs.

Yes, I've heard of trickle down economics. Thanks.

Quote

Unlike the bailouts of GM and the Banking Cartels, private ventures like this are not immune to free market forces (as in, if they have a fucking horrible idea and it flops, then they lose all of that capital they risked.)

GM and the banking cartels were private ventures that required bailing out with public money. I don't follow you here.

Quote

As opposed to government backed ventures, where the taxpayers are the ones taking the risks, they can do whatever the fuck they want (e.i. USPS) and stay in business (or like Solyndra, be able to get massive salaries thanks to taxpayers while you go belly up) 

The USPS is fine. It operates at a profit. It's been under assault and regressives are trying to kill it with absurd pension moves, but it's a perfectly functional and profitable venture.

Solyndra is an example of a loan that went bad. I know people like you are stepped in paranoid right-wing conspiracies, but the reality is that the loan program that Solyndra was part of worked out pretty well overall even with some failures (like Solyndra itself).

Investments don't always work out, and that is true of both private and public investments.

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1 hour ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

I’d love to see some statistics related to what the  ultra wealthy do with their money. I do think some portion of it goes to private investments like you said...I wonder how that portion relates to general spending (houses, jets, cars, etc.) versus cash/stocks/bonds.

The diminishing marginal utility of wealth is well-established.

If Joe Rich has $30M and you give him $1k, he's not going to do anything with it. It's going to sit in an account where it will move slowly between big funds in the financial sector. Joe Rich has no incentive to make that $1k go to work because it's such a meaningless amount of money in his life.

If Joe Poor has $10 to his name and you give him $1k, he's going to put all of it back into the economy pretty much immediately. Joe Poor has tremendous incentive to put that $1k to work immediately to improve his life.

It's common sense and it's borne out in reality.

When we give a bunch of money to the people, they spend it in the economy.

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14 minutes ago, Bat Guano said:

Is that your well-reasoned opinion, or the babbling of a cognitive cripple in an ideological straitjacket?

That is, do you really think wealth inequality is 'not the issue?' You think ever-increasing wealth inequality won't lead to bad outcomes for society? You think giving crumbs to the poor while they watch the wealthy grow ever more wealthy will make them happy? More importantly, have you not seen the increasing domination of policy outcomes by the economic elite, to the extent that the United States is functionally the equivalent of an oligarchy? Have you seen the evidence that inequality increases the fragility of economic growth? That there are links between inequality and increasing political polarization?

Put it this way: the logical extreme for wealth inequality would be for one individual to own everything and everybody else to own nothing. That individual would, in practice, have complete and total power over everybody else in the world, regardless of whatever ostensible political systems are in play at the time; they would be functionally meaningless. Obviously that's a reductio ad absurdam illustration, but it's where the system would go if it could go toward ever-increasing inequality for a long enough period of time. I'm assuming you wouldn't like this state of affairs; correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe you'd like it if you were the one person who owned everything, but let's stipulate that's not going to happen. I'm also assuming you don't find the present level of inequality objectionable. That means there must be some level in between the current state and the hypothetical future of one person owning everything that would be too much inequality, even for you. What would that level be? How much power should the wealthy class have over everybody else? How would you propose to forestall such a level?

Socialism makes everyone poorer.  But it tightens the wealth gap.  Capitalism makes everyone wealthier and with a higher standard of living, but there is a much greater wealth gap.  I prefer the latter.  You apparently prefer the former.

Rich people aren't just going to sit around and say fuck it, take all my shit.  Capital will be moved to places that won't confiscate wealth.  Just like the estate tax.  It raises about $10 billion a year.  That isn't shit.  All it does is make a lot of money for lawyers and accountants.  It's main benefit is incentivizing charitable giving through foundations.  American private foundations have well over a trillion dollars in wealth and give about $60 billion a year away.

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If you want people to have money, they need to have jobs. And to have a job, they have to work for a company. And for a company to hire people to do jobs, the  companies need money. For the companies to have money, they need tax cuts and government hand outs. If we just give corporations enough money and tax breaks we can certainly count on them to use that money to hire more workers and pay them well. This is just basic macroeconomics. 

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3 minutes ago, Johnny Sack said:

Socialism makes everyone poorer.  But it tightens the wealth gap.  Capitalism makes everyone wealthier and with a higher standard of living, but there is a much greater wealth gap.  I prefer the latter.  You apparently prefer the former.

Rich people aren't just going to sit around and say fuck it, take all my shit.  Capital will be moved to places that won't confiscate wealth.  Just like the estate tax.  It raises about $10 billion a year.  That isn't shit.  All it does is make a lot of money for lawyers and accountants.  It's main benefit is incentivizing charitable giving through foundations.  American private foundations have well over a trillion dollars in wealth and give about $60 billion a year away.

Well, at least you answered the first question.

What I prefer is a capitalism that has appropriate controls so that the vast majority of people are not horribly exploited by the wealthy few. Some inequality is inevitable, but too much will lead to the system destroying itself, as history shows us.

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America is #13 right now in HDI Standard-of-Living measurements.

As for capital flight, I ain't that worried about it. It already happens and has been happening for decades. We can fight capital flight; there are plenty of ways of dealing with the wealthy who engage in the practice and the nations who serve as havens.

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2 hours ago, bad_teammate said:

Yes, I've heard of trickle down economics. Thanks.

GM and the banking cartels were private ventures that required bailing out with public money. I don't follow you here.

The USPS is fine. It operates at a profit. It's been under assault and regressives are trying to kill it with absurd pension moves, but it's a perfectly functional and profitable venture.

Solyndra is an example of a loan that went bad. I know people like you are stepped in paranoid right-wing conspiracies, but the reality is that the loan program that Solyndra was part of worked out pretty well overall even with some failures (like Solyndra itself).

Investments don't always work out, and that is true of both private and public investments.

What you call trickle down economics, I call economic reality.  As I said, if you have a ton of liquidity, you just don't let it sit in a bank account, you put it in vehicles that put that money to work: businesses, investments, gold, bitcoin...whatever.  Many jobs are created (yes, poor people are among those that get employed in all of this) to facilitate the services that are required to run said business and administer said investments.  If you want to label that trickle down economics as if it is a bad connotation, then whatever...

As it comes to GM and the banks, they were kept up by the bailouts.  Do smaller businesses have the same luxury to be bailed out?  Hell to the no.  Why not allow the market to correct itself and allow GM and the banks fail?  Oh yeah, cronyism.  The exact thing that gets exponentially worse the bigger government gets.  And you want to invite more of the same by centralizing more power to a supposed panel of people that decide who gets to distribute the money from the estates of the fallen wealthy?  That wouldn't invite more corruption or croynism at all would it? 

 

As far as USPS and profitability, I may need to dig into more numbers since 2015 and can't find any info, but below is what is out there:

https://freebeacon.com/issues/u-s-postal-service-has-not-earned-a-profit-in-almost-a-decade/

https://www.thoughtco.com/postal-service-losses-by-year-3321043

 

Interesting history of USPS below:

Quote

 The post office has been on the loser list for many decades. Most recently, it has been included on the GAO's high-risk list, increasing its debt to $10.2 billion and incurring a cash shortfall of $1 billion.

Note that the post office is not being shut down for this mess. On the contrary, it is being subsidized not only with tax dollars but, most importantly, with laws. Title 18 (I.83.1696) says that "Whoever establishes any private express for the conveyance of letters or packets" can be fined and jailed. Moreover, another law (39.I.6.606) says that any letter delivered by unlawful means can be seized and stolen by the government. It is immune from antitrust action and criminal liability. You can read the whole Post Office Gosplan here.

If the post office were really a market institution, it would go belly up in about half an hour. So, no, there is no competition here. Only the government is permitted to deliver first-class letters. How do UPS and Fed-Ex get away with it? They slip through a hole in the law by delivering packages, not mail. And even then it wasn't easy for them to survive .

Just as in the 19th century when the federal government waged war on Lysander Spooner's American Letter Mail Company and on Wells Fargo (and Benjamin Tucker defended "private enterprise in the letter-carrying business"), the government has been hounding private services in our time, whether through wicked labor-union bullying or by restricting their services as much as possible.

The freedom of UPS and Fed-Ex to operate at all is hard won. But the government has succeeded in destroying the private marketplace in the one area that government monopolizes by law. It took the innovation of digital messaging to finally horn in on that area. And this has worked in a big way, with a massive collapse in the number of people choosing government mails over digital alternatives.

 

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2 hours ago, bad_teammate said:

The diminishing marginal utility of wealth is well-established.

If Joe Rich has $30M and you give him $1k, he's not going to do anything with it. It's going to sit in an account where it will move slowly between big funds in the financial sector. Joe Rich has no incentive to make that $1k go to work because it's such a meaningless amount of money in his life.

If Joe Poor has $10 to his name and you give him $1k, he's going to put all of it back into the economy pretty much immediately. Joe Poor has tremendous incentive to put that $1k to work immediately to improve his life.

It's common sense and it's borne out in reality.

When we give a bunch of money to the people, they spend it in the economy.

30 million of assets(wealth) and 30 million of liquidity are two vastly different things.  Joe Rich with 30 million in assets can definitely need and use the next $1000 in many cases.  

Many midwestern farmers have lots of assets(land, buildings, equipment) but very little cash.

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38 minutes ago, American Swindle said:

What you call trickle down economics, I call economic reality. 

ok bud!

Quote

As I said, if you have a ton of liquidity, you just don't let it sit in a bank account, you put it in vehicles that put that money to work: businesses, investments, gold, bitcoin...whatever.  Many jobs are created (yes, poor people are among those that get employed in all of this) to facilitate the services that are required to run said business and administer said investments.  If you want to label that trickle down economics as if it is a bad connotation, then whatever...

You are further outlining the theory of trickle down economics and you're doing a great job. What you're failing to realize is that we have been doing this type of economics for decades and it has been a failure. A widely-regarded failure that's even a joke among Republicans now.

37 minutes ago, Incredulity said:

30 million of assets(wealth) and 30 million of liquidity are two vastly different things.  Joe Rich with 30 million in assets can definitely need and use the next $1000 in many cases.  

Many midwestern farmers have lots of assets(land, buildings, equipment) but very little cash.

Midwestern farmers with $30M in assets is an EXTREMELY narrow group of people. (I mean, physically they're probably pretty wide, but you know what I mean.)

The reality is that, taking the average American with $30M in assets over the average American who has nothing or is in debt, that $1k's marginal utility is obviously higher with the broke guy. You're trying to find narrow exceptions, but it just proves the rule.

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This is the part of the thread where bad_teammate keeps repeating the same platitudes in increasingly hostile tones, just blatantly ignores any numbers and actual data you provide in response to his challenges, especially those that refute claims he makes that are factually incorrect, and then proclaims victory while asserting you are the one flailing about and digging your hole deeper.

He is an effective troll, but when he reaches this stage it gets pretty repetitive.  I’d hold out for the next soak the rich thread and start fresh - it will be more fun for all involved.

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3 minutes ago, bad_teammate said:

ok bud!

You are further outlining the theory of trickle down economics and you're doing a great job. What you're failing to realize is that we have been doing this type of economics for decades and it has been a failure. A widely-regarded failure that's even a joke among Republicans now.

Midwestern farmers with $30M in assets is an EXTREMELY narrow group of people. (I mean, physically they're probably pretty wide, but you know what I mean.)

The reality is that, taking the average American with $30M in assets over the average American who has nothing or is in debt, that $1k's marginal utility is obviously higher with the broke guy. You're trying to find narrow exceptions, but it just proves the rule.

You're conveniently glossing over the whole government intervention into the free market theme in my argument though. Why do you think Higher Education costs more now and Electronics have gotten cheaper and way more advanced?  

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I re-pointed that out to show that what we consider ideal is not the 100% elimination of wealth inequality, simply addressing yet another lie from the fiscal conservatives.

Also, it indicates that we want less economic inequality.

There is nothing misleading about the chart; it is clearly labelled as "What They (Americans) Would Like It To Be".

It is not labelled as "What Is Reflected In Other Modern Countries" or "What Is A More-Comfortable-To-Llano Distribution Curve".

It doesn't mean they suck at math. There's no math for them to suck at there, because it's a roughly desired distribution averaged across 5000 people's responses. Unless you think 5000 people all came up with that exact chart... which I guess you might think.

 

BT talks more out of his ass. They do suck at math. They’re wishing/desiring for a distribution which can’t occur except in very very narrow distribution of wealth, the math simply doesn’t work. You should lookup the survey you’re discussing before talking out of your ass more. They were shown that chart and preferred it.

 

Wealth inequality is different than economic inequality which is different than income inequality. You’re conflating the two in your post above. NYT and Slate have both conflated the 2 when using that same Norton survey.

 

Here’s an article about those very same Norton and Ariely charts. They swapped Swedish “income distribution” for “wealth distribution” and then surveyed. http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/25/swedish-inequality-datapoint-of-the-day/

 

They admit they’re comparing apples to oranges in the footnotes to show contrast. “We used Sweden’s income rather than wealth distribution because it provided clearer contrast to the equal and United States distributions...”

 

“We took a survey of 5000 people and asked if they’d prefer diamonds or graphite, they uniformly liked diamonds.” Great survey, that tells me jackshit about American carbon.

 

If you’re going to have millionaires and you’re going to have 0 or negative wealth people, which I think we can all agree is going to happen in any real world scenario. The math doesn’t allow for the bottom quintile to control 10% of wealth. It just can’t happen in the real world.

 

Real world wealth distribution

73cddc8b94e24ad60e7d1ceec85e61ec.jpg

Fake wealth distribution

6b4c40eced59984b5a5dcdd0888bcd17.jpg

 

“I prefer the one that can’t exist, we should base our economic policies on the one that can’t exist.” Kick ass survey, glad you talked to 5000 people.

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36 minutes ago, longhornmatt said:

... just blatantly ignores any numbers and actual data you provide ... 1

Like what? Please point out data and numbers I have ignored.

Are you talking about the UTIMCO fund manager pay? I acknowledge that the management of large funds is expensive and complicated; I acknowledged this straight up front. I don't know what more you wanted to discuss about it.

"IT'S GOING TO BE EXPENSIVE!"

- "Yes, I know."

"BUT IT'S GOING TO BE EXPENSIVE!"

- "Yes, we just went over this."

"YOU WON'T EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT'S GOING TO BE EXPENSIVE!"

Quote

You're conveniently glossing over the whole government intervention into the free market theme in my argument though.

Because it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. You argued that the banks and GM were not private, which was false.

I agree that the buyouts were bad. We should've nationalized those industries permanently. Tied to the economy thread, we invested a ton of money in reviving dead private businesses but got basically nothing in return when we just handed them right back to the private market to send us careening towards yet another crisis.

The topic here is establishing a permanent wealth fund paying dividends to all Americans. We can use Alaska as a model or UTIMCO/PUF as a model.

Quote

If you’re going to have millionaires and your going to have 0 or negative wealth people, which I think we can all agree is going to happen in any real world scenario. The math doesn’t allow for the bottom quintile to control 10% of wealth. It just can’t happen in the real world.

The journal that the Harvard and Duke professors published that in was Perspectives on Psychological Science.

The purpose of the study was to capture attitudes, not develop a statistical model for wealth redistribution. The chart is an indicator of the average American's desires, not a statistical analysis from 5,000 economists. It indicates that Americans, on average, want a very different spread of wealth than the nation currently has.

The researchers from Harvard and Duke knew what they were doing, and your purposeful and repeated mischaracterization of their work doesn't mean they're dumber than you; it just means you're intellectually dishonest.

If the particular data on that particular chart is infeasible, that's fine, because the ASF isn't predicated on hitting the numbers of those charts from a psychological journal. The ASF isn't designed to eliminate wealth. The ASF isn't designed to create a completely flat curve.

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Oh, we’re making comprehensive economic policy based on attitudes and desires, not anything that could actually happen.  Why didn’t you say so sooner?

In that case, I would like to modify your solidarity fund idea so that it doesn’t buy boring stocks, but rather it uses the funds to give everyone their own pony that craps gold. 

Edited by longhornmatt

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17 minutes ago, bad_teammate said:

Because it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. You argued that the banks and GM were not private, which was false.

I agree that the buyouts were bad. We should've nationalized those industries permanently. Tied to the economy thread, we invested a ton of money in reviving dead private businesses but got basically nothing in return when we just handed them right back to the private market to send us careening towards yet another crisis.

The topic here is establishing a permanent wealth fund paying dividends to all Americans. We can use Alaska as a model or UTIMCO/PUF as a model.

It has everything to do with it.

It's simply this: Free Market Enterprise based on *VOLUNTARY* Exchange vs Socialism. You want the latter, but you think the former is what got us here when in reality we do not have the former, we have a corrupt/crony version of it.  

 

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7 minutes ago, longhornmatt said:

Oh, we’re making comprehensive economic policy based on attitudes and desires, not anything that could actually happen.  

No. The ASF proposal is not built on the Harvard/Duke study.

The Harvard/Duke study simply represents attitudes and desires. It's from a psychology journal. It is not an economic study and no one is trying to make it seem like one except extremely dishonest people here.

Just now, American Swindle said:

It has everything to do with it.

It's simply this: Free Market Enterprise based on *VOLUNTARY* Exchange vs Socialism. You want the latter, but you think the former is what got us here when in reality we do not have the former, we have a corrupt/crony version of it. 

So you're just angry about "socialism" here in a vague sense? Does any of this relate to the topic (ASF)?

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Sweden has a nice balance of Capitalism and Socialism, but the majority of the funds do not come from the rich:

I know it's John Stossel, but it seems pretty objective with PBS continent.

CHIEF

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This guy kind of puts it into perspective, theres no problem with capitalism, only crony capitalism. Basically, the more governments get involved in the economy, the more fucked everything gets.

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All right, cool, we lasted to Page 3 before being completely hijacked by conservatives furious about socialism even though that's not the topic of the thread.

Thanks for holding out this long, guys.

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20 hours ago, bad_teammate said:

How the fuck would that $150k/year engineer have over $20M to leave behind? Can you read?

It's amazing how stupid the smart people are.

Also, did someone just unironically post Jordan Peterson?

Kamala Harris was able do just that as a public servant, ask her?

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7 minutes ago, bad_teammate said:

All right, cool, we lasted to Page 3 before being completely hijacked by conservatives furious about socialism even though that's not the topic of the thread.

Thanks for holding out this long, guys.

It's a simple question really:

Do you believe in property rights?  If yes, then should the individual owner of their property determine who gets it when they pass or should the government get to have it and redistribute it for what they deem necessary in the name of economic equality? 

 

Draw up a poll and see how it pans out.  

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Zavala said:

This guy kind of puts it into perspective, theres no problem with capitalism, only crony capitalism. Basically, the more governments get involved in the economy, the more fucked everything gets.

Peter Schiff is great, I'd hope the likes of BT would give it a view.

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I'm anything but a conservative, you stupid motherfucker. I'm for a voucher system for healthcare, education, and even for vouchers to move those with no means to move, to be able to move to an area with greater opportunity, (truck drivers, cooks, retail sales, maid service in places like North Dakota, Midland and Odessa) even vouchers to subsidize their housing until they get on their feet. I am NOT for just giving people money, or assistance to just sit in an area with no employment and very little economic opportunity.

Our country is failing these people by not moving them to areas to make the most of their possible opportunities. 

Swedens VAT is how they pay for things. It sits at about 25%. Our highest sales tax around here is about 8.25%

One of two things will happen, demand for the product will go down, due to the higher price, or the price will come down to decrease demand under that scenario. It sure as hell has worked for them. Even true Swedish Democratic Socialists have come to an agreement. The last 10 minutes of the video it points you to at http://www.freetochoose.tv/program.php?id=sweden has discussion of why it would work in America, but the two political sides are two polarized to sit down and have an adult conversation like Sweden had too.

 

CHIEF

Edited by CHIEF

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Question 1: Do you think there is a wealth inequality problem in America?
...
- We dramatically underestimate how bad the problem actually is.
us-wealth-distribution-mother-jones.jpg?w=590

In the OP you posted the chart as an example of Americans underestimating wealth inequality. The chart comparing actual wealth inequality to estimated wealth inequality, to a completely fictitious wealth inequality model (Sweden’s income inequality by quintile)

Yes, there would be. And... what? What's your point?
Look at the chart again:
us-wealth-distribution-mother-jones.jpg?w=590
Is the American ideal a situation in which everyone has the exact same amount of wealth and wealth inequality is 100% eliminated?
Look hard.
Look really hard.


Last page you cited the chart specifically the last bar (which can’t exist) as a the “American ideal” for wealth inequality. You told me to “look hard. Look really hard.”

I re-pointed that out to show that what we consider ideal is not the 100% elimination of wealth inequality, simply addressing yet another lie from the fiscal conservatives.
Also, it indicates that we want less economic inequality.


Then you defended the impossible last model again as the ideal for wealth distribution. And call fiscal conservatives liars.



The purpose of the study was to capture attitudes, not develop a statistical model for wealth redistribution. The chart is an indicator of the average American's desires, not a statistical analysis from 5,000 economists. It indicates that Americans, on average, want a very different spread of wealth than the nation currently has.
...
If the particular data on that particular chart is infeasible, that's fine, because the ASF isn't predicated on hitting the numbers of those charts from a psychological journal. The ASF isn't designed to eliminate wealth. The ASF isn't designed to create a completely flat curve.


Again you point to the chart as some want of the American people, but finally admit it may be infeasible to hit the completely fictitious last bar.

It's from a psychology journal. It is not an economic study and no one is trying to make it seem like one except extremely dishonest people here.[/Quote]

Oh, now it’s not an economic study at all, or a model for wealth distribution. Glad we got that dishonesty out of the way.

Now can we can get back to discussing the completely infeasible ASF in the real world

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58 minutes ago, Llano Estacado said:

In the OP you posted the chart as an example of Americans underestimating wealth inequality. The chart comparing actual wealth inequality to estimated wealth inequality, to a completely fictitious wealth inequality model (Sweden’s income inequality by quintile)

Yes. What's your point?

Quote

Then you defended the impossible last model again as the ideal for wealth distribution. And call fiscal conservatives liars.

No I didn't. Quote me.

Quote

Again you point to the chart as some want of the American people, but finally admit it may be infeasible to hit the completely fictitious last bar. 

When did I ever say it was feasible? Quote me.

Quote

Oh, now it’s not an economic study at all, or a model for wealth distribution. Glad we got that dishonesty out of the way.

I never called it one. Quote me.

[edit]

Removed accurate-but-hostile language.

Edited by bad_teammate

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The goal of this idea, as I see it, is to make ordinary citizens more of a stakeholder in corporate America, which is currently turning in plenty of profit. Seems like a better way to do that is the old tried-and-true method of ensuring that employees of those companies are treated as stakeholders, along with the stockholders, rather than as disposable units of labor value. Again, there is a tried and true model for doing this: increasing union representation and collective bargaining rights. Enable the workers to organize so they're on an even footing with management, and they'll be able to get fair remuneration for their labor. There are many advantages to this over the OP proposal, not the least of which are the dignity of earning a fair wage for a fair day's work and the proven history of success in past decades of the union-inclusive economic model. When the Rs busted the unions it led to a steep decline in the middle class, and restoring union power is the best way to reverse that.

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4 minutes ago, Bat Guano said:

The goal of this idea, as I see it, is to make ordinary citizens more of a stakeholder in corporate America, which is currently turning in plenty of profit. Seems like a better way to do that is the old tried-and-true method of ensuring that employees of those companies are treated as stakeholders, along with the stockholders, rather than as disposable units of labor value. Again, there is a tried and true model for doing this: increasing union representation and collective bargaining rights. Enable the workers to organize so they're on an even footing with management, and they'll be able to get fair remuneration for their labor. There are many advantages to this over the OP proposal, not the least of which are the dignity of earning a fair wage for a fair day's work and the proven history of success in past decades of the union-inclusive economic model. When the Rs busted the unions it led to a steep decline in the middle class, and restoring union power is the best way to reverse that.

GM says hello.

You ever work/interact with a Union Shop?  Fair isn't the correct adjective.

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18 minutes ago, Incredulity said:

GM says hello.

You ever work/interact with a Union Shop?  Fair isn't the correct adjective.

GM's problems have nothing to do with the unions.

Edited by Bat Guano

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7 minutes ago, Bat Guano said:

GM's problems have nothing to do with the unions.

The labor/pension agreements GM had with UAW were direct causes of it's collapse.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/05/20/what-explains-gms-problems-with-the-uaw/#6bdb4c69772a

 

Quote

But the extent of its problems with the UAW is astonishing—and the problems themselves warrant explanation. Consider some of the onerous arrangements that GM’s management agreed to.

Labor costs for a typical UAW worker at a GM plant were by some estimates $73 per hour—compared to the $44 per hour for workers at non-unionized Toyota and Honda plants in the U.S.

 

 

 

Or take the infamous “jobs bank”: surplus workers, rather than getting laid off, would receive 95% of their full salaries plus benefits while the company waited to reassign them. But instead of being temporarily idle, thousands of “bankers” would be there for months, if not years, while they watched movies, solved crosswords, and just passed the time. Some senior employees would even pull strings to get “laid off” so they could finish their remaining few years “working” in the bank before retiring with full benefits.

There was also the so-called “thirty and out” rule allowing union workers to retire with full pensions and health care benefits after thirty years of work. A worker might be able to retire in his early 50s and collect an annual pension of $37,500, paid wholly by GM. By 2008 there were 4.6 retired GM employees for each active worker. Did anyone think this was sustainable?

 

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2 minutes ago, Bat Guano said:

The goal of this idea, as I see it, is to make ordinary citizens more of a stakeholder in corporate America, which is currently turning in plenty of profit. Seems like a better way to do that is the old tried-and-true method of ensuring that employees of those companies are treated as stakeholders, along with the stockholders, rather than as disposable units of labor value. Again, there is a tried and true model for doing this: increasing union representation and collective bargaining rights. Enable the workers to organize so they're on an even footing with management, and they'll be able to get fair remuneration for their labor. There are many advantages to this over the OP proposal, not the least of which are the dignity of earning a fair wage for a fair day's work and the proven history of success in past decades of the union-inclusive economic model. When the Rs busted the unions it led to a steep decline in the middle class, and restoring union power is the best way to reverse that.

Oh I agree with your point regarding the necessity of a powerful labor movement. You are 100% right about how much we need power equity within companies. I'm with you every step of the way there. Please believe that all of my political and economic beliefs are fully and completely centered on the right of the working man to have a voice in the utilization of his labor and to receive the fruits of his labor.

Down with the blackleg, all workers unite.

I am curious, however, as to why you put the ASF and a strong union movement in opposition. I don't see the connection.

Let's say Bob's Widgets has a very strong union and its workers are powerful within management. Then the ASF sees the strength of the company and invests. Theoretically then, you have the ASF and the Union in opposition within the management of Bob's Widgets. Is that the issue?

It's an interesting thought, for sure.

I think the guidance within ASF fund management (let's call it ASIMCO) should be designed with human rights and worker's rights in mind. After all, we wouldn't want ASIMCO run like some fund that focuses on slashing jobs and shipping jobs overseas for short-term returns. Slow and steady growth would be just fine as the fund just grows and grows and absorbs more and more wealth to be shared among the people.

Workers go to work with a strong union protecting them, and they take home a good wage. Every month or quarter they get their ASF dividend to supplement that wage (just like every other American - hell, tag on Booker's Baby Bonds plan and put a dividend in for all babies into a fund they can access when they graduate from high school or college).

The Union says:
- I will protect you against the bosses
- I will give you a voice in the utilization of your labor
- I will give you a piece of the product (one might say, fruits) of your labor
- I will ensure your dignity against injury, injustice, and age

But that's just for workers in the market. And most of the nation is not working in the market and will not work in the market. The elderly, the infirm (mentally, emotionally, or physically), the domestic laborer (stay-at-home), the ex-con, the criminal, the imprisoned, and the child.

The ASF would help the non-working American in a way that unions just cannot.

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On 4/2/2019 at 10:18 AM, bad_teammate said:

Question 1: Do you think there is a wealth inequality problem in America?

Question 2: Do you think it is something we have the ability to either solve or, at least, improve?

Question 3: What makes it difficult to talk about or address?

1. Yes.

2. Yes

3. The only way to address wealth inequality is to confiscate the wealth of the extremely wealthy via very high taxes. Which will not happen in the near term.

Ideas like the Giving Pledge are an interesting way for billionaires to not give billions to their children but it doesn't necessarily impact wealth inequality. Sure the kids may not own the wealth but there's a good chance the money could be sitting in a family philanthropic fund that may never distribute the full funds. 

Take something the MacArthur Foundation which by all accounts is a fantastic foundation.  They reward interesting research that may benefit the public but this Foundation appears to also be collecting tremendous amounts of wealth.  The foundation started in '78 with ~1B USD.  The Foundation says they've awarded close to 7B over 40 years and still have another 7B in assets. (to be clear, I'm not saying the MacArthur Foundation is bad.)

Now in another 40 years, will they have 50B in assets?  Will it be 350B in 80 years? At some point even a foundation shouldn't be hoarding wealth as it pulls more wealth into the "owner" class which creates less opportunity for others.  Real estate becomes too expensive for a worker. Everyone becomes a renter, further increasing wealth for owners.

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19 minutes ago, bad_teammate said:

Oh I agree with your point regarding the necessity of a powerful labor movement. You are 100% right about how much we need power equity within companies. I'm with you every step of the way there. Please believe that all of my political and economic beliefs are fully and completely centered on the right of the working man to have a voice in the utilization of his labor and to receive the fruits of his labor.

Down with the blackleg, all workers unite.

I am curious, however, as to why you put the ASF and a strong union movement in opposition. I don't see the connection.

Let's say Bob's Widgets has a very strong union and its workers are powerful within management. Then the ASF sees the strength of the company and invests. Theoretically then, you have the ASF and the Union in opposition within the management of Bob's Widgets. Is that the issue?

It's an interesting thought, for sure.

I think the guidance within ASF fund management (let's call it ASIMCO) should be designed with human rights and worker's rights in mind. After all, we wouldn't want ASIMCO run like some fund that focuses on slashing jobs and shipping jobs overseas for short-term returns. Slow and steady growth would be just fine as the fund just grows and grows and absorbs more and more wealth to be shared among the people.

Workers go to work with a strong union protecting them, and they take home a good wage. Every month or quarter they get their ASF dividend to supplement that wage (just like every other American - hell, tag on Booker's Baby Bonds plan and put a dividend in for all babies into a fund they can access when they graduate from high school or college).

The Union says:
- I will protect you against the bosses
- I will give you a voice in the utilization of your labor
- I will give you a piece of the product (one might say, fruits) of your labor
- I will ensure your dignity against injury, injustice, and age

But that's just for workers in the market. And most of the nation is not working in the market and will not work in the market. The elderly, the infirm (mentally, emotionally, or physically), the domestic laborer (stay-at-home), the ex-con, the criminal, the imprisoned, and the child.

The ASF would help the non-working American in a way that unions just cannot.

It's not that the two ideas are in opposition; I just don't see the value of the ASF. As in my earlier comments, upwards of 80% of the stock market is owned by the investor class. Pumping more money into it will only increase their wealth and, by extension, their political power. I just don't see the redistributive aspect of it; it seems way more likely to increase inequality than decrease it. The labor movement is a much better place to put limited political capital, IMO.

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As in my earlier comments, upwards of 80% of the stock market is owned by the investor class. Pumping more money into it will only increase their wealth and, by extension, their political power. I just don't see the redistributive aspect of it; it seems way more likely to increase inequality than decrease it.

A necessary thing will be funding the ASF, and its funding should be directly taken from the wealth class via taxation/what-have-you.

If we funded it with a steep inheritance tax, do you really not see it as taking money away from the investor class? If $49.9B of Charles Koch's $50B fortune went into the ASF upon his death instead of the hands of his scions, how is that not redistributive?

Quote

The labor movement is a much better place to put limited political capital, IMO.

Sure. That's why all the (good) candidates are talking about labor and none are talking about direct redistributive schemes. But we're free of the constraints of political capital in theoretical discussions.

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17 minutes ago, bad_teammate said:

If we funded it with a steep inheritance tax, do you really not see it as taking money away from the investor class? If $49.9B of Charles Koch's $50B fortune went into the ASF upon his death instead of the hands of his scions, how is that not redistributive?

IdiAmin.gif

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On 4/3/2019 at 10:41 AM, Bat Guano said:

Well, at least you answered the first question.

What I prefer is a capitalism that has appropriate controls so that the vast majority of people are not horribly exploited by the wealthy few. Some inequality is inevitable, but too much will lead to the system destroying itself, as history shows us.

Can you give us all an example of how capitalism exploits people?  In your answer, please explain how those you deem being exploited are being held against their will.  Are they being forced to work?  What is their other option?

Would you say kids in Bangladesh are being exploited for having worked in the textile manufacturing plants?    

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5 minutes ago, American Swindle said:

Can you give us all an example of how capitalism exploits people?  In your answer, please explain how those you deem being exploited are being held against their will.  Are they being forced to work?  What is their other option?

Would you say kids in Bangladesh are being exploited for having worked in the textile manufacturing plants?    

Any time a profitable company pays its full-time workers insufficient to afford the basic necessities of life - food, housing, clothing, health care - the workers are being exploited. Cue the McDonald's and Wal-Mart and other employees on food stamps, medicaid, and housing assistance. What is their other option? Well, I guess they could let their kids starve; that's an option. The term 'wage slave' exists because it is a real thing. Look at the factory conditions at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when capitalism existed in a more pure form and huge individual fortunes were created on the labor of thousands of underpaid, overworked people; if you don't consider that exploitation, I don't know what to tell you.

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19 hours ago, CHIEF said:

I'm anything but a conservative, you stupid motherfucker. I'm for a voucher system for healthcare, education, and even for vouchers to move those with no means to move, to be able to move to an area with greater opportunity, (truck drivers, cooks, retail sales, maid service in places like North Dakota, Midland and Odessa) even vouchers to subsidize their housing until they get on their feet. I am NOT for just giving people money, or assistance to just sit in an area with no employment and very little economic opportunity.

Our country is failing these people by not moving them to areas to make the most of their possible opportunities. 

Swedens VAT is how they pay for things. It sits at about 25%. Our highest sales tax around here is about 8.25%

One of two things will happen, demand for the product will go down, due to the higher price, or the price will come down to decrease demand under that scenario. It sure as hell has worked for them. Even true Swedish Democratic Socialists have come to an agreement. The last 10 minutes of the video it points you to at http://www.freetochoose.tv/program.php?id=sweden has discussion of why it would work in America, but the two political sides are two polarized to sit down and have an adult conversation like Sweden had too.

 

CHIEF

Sweden has a population of 8.8 million dude.  They don't nation build like the US and contrary to popular DSA-NPC opinion, Sweden actually succeeded economically not because of welfare state spending or government interventions, but due to a movement of classical liberalism and a laissez-faire attitude in the period of 1840 to 1870. During this period,  they wanted to reduce government to open up to free trade and deregulating industry.  As a result, between 1860 and 1910 real wages in Sweden increased by 25% per decade in manufacturing.  This was 20 years before the Social Democrats ever got power in Sweden.  So in historical reality, Sweden's wealth was built upon free-market capitalism, which gave them the ability to afford much of their welfare programs throughout the 20th century.  That, and the Swedish people had a high level of trust in government workers.  I can't say us Americans have that trust here (well, at least I don't, but it seems most on the Left do as most neo-conservatives.) 

 

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34 minutes ago, American Swindle said:

Can you give us all an example of how capitalism exploits people?  In your answer, please explain how those you deem being exploited are being held against their will.  Are they being forced to work?  What is their other option?

That's not what "exploit" means. You're stupid and should stop talking.

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6 minutes ago, Bat Guano said:

Any time a profitable company pays its full-time workers insufficient to afford the basic necessities of life - food, housing, clothing, health care - the workers are being exploited. Cue the McDonald's and Wal-Mart and other employees on food stamps, medicaid, and housing assistance. What is their other option? Well, I guess they could let their kids starve; that's an option. The term 'wage slave' exists because it is a real thing. Look at the factory conditions at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when capitalism existed in a more pure form and huge individual fortunes were created on the labor of thousands of underpaid, overworked people; if you don't consider that exploitation, I don't know what to tell you.

Are workers "expolited" if they can't provide "necessities of life" to the worker, the worker and spouse, the worker and family of 5?

McDonalds, Wal-Mart, ect..... didn't create the reality by which their employees are utilizing gov't benefits to survive.  They are part of the reality, its completely dynamic and changing at all times.  Paying your employee's more because "it's the right thing to do" is certainly a noble calling.  On the other side of the equation are competitive market forces and consumers demanding $100 televisions and the Dollar Menu.

Factory conditions of the IR and today in the US are apples and oranges.  Unions are dying because the Federal Gov't and State Gov'ts have become defacto Union negotiators.  Min Wage, Paid Sick Leave, FMLA, OSHA, O'care, .......   (that's not an argument against those worker benefits, just commentary on the current reality)

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Market capitalism encourages the exploitation of every possible resource to increase profits. Workers are one of those resources. Only government intervention prevents exploitation of "human capital".

This isn't hard to understand.

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3 minutes ago, bad_teammate said:

Market capitalism encourages the exploitation of every possible resource to increase profits. Workers are one of those resources. Only government intervention prevents exploitation of "human capital".

This isn't hard to understand.

sometimes it facilitates it.

The only fair thing to do is go back to hunter/gatherer lives in mud huts.

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5 minutes ago, Incredulity said:

sometimes it facilitates it.

The only fair thing to do is go back to hunter/gatherer lives in mud huts.

or heavily regulate and democratize market capitalism

You know, the obvious solution.

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On 4/2/2019 at 10:18 AM, bad_teammate said:

Question 1: Do you think there is a wealth inequality problem in America?

Question 2: Do you think it is something we have the ability to either solve or, at least, improve?

Question 3: What makes it difficult to talk about or address?

1. Yes

2. Yes

3. The low income folks seem to just accept it as their lot in life. The middle class think they are rich or will be rich someday. The 1% owns Congress and the President. 

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32 minutes ago, bad_teammate said:

That's not what "exploit" means. You're stupid and should stop talking.

Oh man, the OP got me here, can't have a civil discussion without tilting into name calling? 

 

I was not defining the term "exploit" as workers being held against their will, I was only trying to make the point that no one that you deem as being exploited is having a gun pointed to their head and forced to work.  Jees.  

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