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(CBS News)   How did a 700-page book on economics surge to No. 1 on Amazon? Here comes the math   (cbsnews.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Amazon, Thomas Piketty, economics, New York Review of Books, e-books, Lawrence Mishel  
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12628 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Apr 2014 at 11:46 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



161 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-04-26 08:44:52 AM  
I have not read the book but its description from the article leads me to think all I have to do is look at the disparaging gap that is increasing at an increasing rate between the wealthy & the rest of us.
 
2014-04-26 08:48:04 AM  
Well, if it's about the current economic system, there'll be a lot more rape in it than other books that have topped the Amazon best seller lists, like the Song of Ice and Fire books.  Figurative rape, to be sure, but rape nonetheless.
 
2014-04-26 09:02:54 AM  
If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.
 
2014-04-26 09:18:53 AM  

BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.


One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-04-26 09:43:03 AM  

BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.


They do.  This one has a bestseller on Amazon.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-04-26 09:44:04 AM  
PreMortem:
One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

 Or just be born to the right grandmother.
 
2014-04-26 10:50:08 AM  
So the top limit on investment yields should be capped at the country's rate of growth?
 
2014-04-26 11:08:34 AM  

BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.


In the exact same way that physicists can travel faster than light and students of english literature can all write classic novels.
 
2014-04-26 11:56:26 AM  

vpb: PreMortem:
One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

 Or just be born to the right grandmother.


Generally, they have both the birth and the psychopathy required.
 
2014-04-26 11:57:04 AM  
"Psychic wins lottery, again!"
-no headline ever
 
2014-04-26 12:02:28 PM  
Here's my review of the book

tl:dr
 
2014-04-26 12:10:38 PM  
If you laid all of the economists in the world end to end they would fail to reach a conclusion.

or, something like that
 
2014-04-26 12:10:45 PM  
It's books like these that make me love my kindle. I can read a 700 page book without the hassle of lugging around a 700 page book. Of course, I guess everyone doesn't get to see how deep and serious I am reading my huge book on economics.

/off to Amazon to pick it up
 
2014-04-26 12:12:08 PM  

SDRR: If you laid all of the economists in the world end to end they would fail to reach a conclusion.

or, something like that


If you laid all the capital in the world in a line, people would steal lots of it.
 
2014-04-26 12:14:17 PM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's books like these that make me love my kindle. I can read a 700 page book without the hassle of lugging around a 700 page book. Of course, I guess everyone doesn't get to see how deep and serious I am reading my huge book on economics.

/off to Amazon to pick it up


Grab an obsolete computer book, and print off a "new" cover.
 
2014-04-26 12:16:52 PM  
From Wikipedia: "The book has been compared to Marx's Das Kapital, improving his analysis by using modern economic data."

That's all I need to know. If you want to learn economics, start with "Economics in One Lesson" and move on to "The Failure of the New Economics," both by Henry Hazlitt.
 
2014-04-26 12:17:27 PM  
I'm not sure if I'll read it or not, but I do find it delicious that a book about income inequality and the 1% by a left-leaning French academic becoming a surprise best seller in the US public is freaking American conservatives right the fark out.
 
2014-04-26 12:18:26 PM  

BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.


And the $700 "stimulus" bill from 2009 would have worked.

And it wouldn't have been needed because the economy wouldn't have crashed in the first place.
 
2014-04-26 12:19:01 PM  

PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.


Or produce something of great value to others.
 
2014-04-26 12:20:58 PM  

DrPainMD: And it wouldn't have been needed because the economy wouldn't have crashed in the first place.


Because politicians are known for listening to broad economic consensus and not cherry-picking the "experts" that tell them what they want to hear.
 
2014-04-26 12:23:22 PM  

DrPainMD: From Wikipedia: "The book has been compared to Marx's Das Kapital, improving his analysis by using modern economic data."

That's all I need to know. If you want to learn economics, start with "Economics in One Lesson" and move on to "The Failure of the New Economics," both by Henry Hazlitt.


Considering I have you favorited as "economic moron http://www.fark.com/comments/8128743", I'm sure those books are complete trash. I'll give them a look over though, to see where people get crackpot theories.
 
2014-04-26 12:24:09 PM  
The economy is like the weather: I generally dislike it except for a brief period every fall, like mid-September to late October.

I have no idea what I'm talking about. Wasted last night, still recovering.
 
2014-04-26 12:27:49 PM  
Haven't read it yet, but wonder if Piketty took into account the biggest demographic upheaval in history.  Places like Brazil and India have seen their fertility rates plummet drastically to about 2.5 kids per woman, just above replacement level.  The US is already below replacement, and in many industrialized countries like South Korea or Germany, it's just above 1.0 kids per woman.  Every time I see a picture of third-worlders in National Geographic or somewhere, they're all holding smartphones--usually of newer vintage than my cellphone--and it's obvious that women in the third world are catching on to the idea that there's more to life than sitting in a hut and popping out babies like a Pez dispenser.  Women in the industrialized countries would rather have a career than lie back and think of England.

Truth is, the only real scam that's ever existed is the 1% of the 1% (most 1%ers are doctors, engineers, or other people who actually contribute to society) have always depended on a never-ending supply of peasants to keep the price of labor low.  And if there's too many of us, they throw a war or two.  In spite of their self-serving objectivist crappola, they really depend on us peasants more than we depend on them, and it takes a lot of us to support the lifestyle of one of them.

Most people are limiting the number of kids they have mostly in their own self-interest.  They're prolly just out of college and with a huge loan debt, working some crappy non-paying internship, and simply can't afford kids.  Or, perhaps the 'greed is good' mentality has gotten to them and they went Galt on society by deciding that stocking their wine cellar is more important than having a child.  If the meme ever gets out that cutting back on kids is the only real way to hit back on the plutocrats, expect long lines outside of Planned Parenthood clinics.  And I doubt that the plutocrats will ever take away all our birth control without risking a revolution--and remember that women are about 51% of the voting population in nearly every country.  Either way, I think this is going to make for a massive demographic upheaval in the long run, say in a generation or two...
 
2014-04-26 12:28:53 PM  

DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.


To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.
 
2014-04-26 12:31:14 PM  

Tigger: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

In the exact same way that physicists can travel faster than light and students of english literature can all write classic novels.


Only after they bring me a latte.
 
2014-04-26 12:31:24 PM  

PreMortem: One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.


Jerry Seinfeld is worth $800 million. Who did he screw over?

Yoko Ono is worth $500 million. Who did she screw over?

Stephen King is worth $400 million. Who did he screw over?

JK Rowling is worth a billion. Who did she screw over?
 
2014-04-26 12:32:14 PM  

impaler: DrPainMD: From Wikipedia: "The book has been compared to Marx's Das Kapital, improving his analysis by using modern economic data."

That's all I need to know. If you want to learn economics, start with "Economics in One Lesson" and move on to "The Failure of the New Economics," both by Henry Hazlitt.

Considering I have you favorited as "economic moron http://www.fark.com/comments/8128743", I'm sure those books are complete trash. I'll give them a look over though, to see where people get crackpot theories.


Or, just maybe, you'll learn something.
 
2014-04-26 12:33:19 PM  

PreMortem: DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.

To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.


What did it cost you to get to work today? How much did you earn today?
 
2014-04-26 12:34:55 PM  

PreMortem: DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.

To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.


If the person thinks that the thing is worth $10 (and he wouldn't buy it otherwise) then he hasn't been screwed over. What the buyer thinks is totally relevant.
 
2014-04-26 12:35:05 PM  

TheHighlandHowler: So the top limit on investment yields should be capped at the country's rate of growth?


No, because it's good that people can earn outsize returns for backing good ideas. In particular, risky projects can only get capital because of the possibility of huge returns. And anyways, with the globalization of financial markets and the increasing role of technology in the economy, capital will probably inevitably become more important, and so better paid, relative to labour. Cutting off returns in any one country would just push a lot of money elsewhere.

Income inequality is not such a bad thing in and of itself, provided those on the bottom are taken care of. Higher capital gains taxes and a stronger welfare state are probably the best that can be done. In particular, healthcare and education need to be available to all.
 
2014-04-26 12:36:40 PM  

DrPainMD: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

And the $700 "stimulus" bill from 2009 would have worked.

And it wouldn't have been needed because the economy wouldn't have crashed in the first place.



$700 is barely enough to buy the sign telling me about the project paid for with stimulus funds.
 
2014-04-26 12:37:28 PM  
Subby: How did a 700-page book on economics surge to No. 1 on Amazon?

Answer: Panicky hyperbole generated by reactionary conservatives that has created a media buzz.
 
2014-04-26 12:37:56 PM  
www.smbc-comics.com
 
2014-04-26 12:41:50 PM  

PreMortem: DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.

To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.


Your understanding of commerce is about on the same level as your spelling ability. You're a lib, aren't you?
 
2014-04-26 12:42:51 PM  
Holy crap, has anyone looked at all the right-wing 1-star reviews on amazon for this book?
Not even having a verified purchase. :)

Also, see this:
Krugman's the Picketty Panic

Krugman, you genius.

Piketty Panic.
Picketty Panic.

Say it with me.
Piketty Panic.

So when the right-wing gets their panties in a bunch it'll be a Pilketty Panic. :)
 
2014-04-26 12:43:54 PM  

DrPainMD: PreMortem: One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Jerry Seinfeld is worth $800 million. Who did he screw over?

Yoko Ono is worth $500 million. Who did she screw over?

Stephen King is worth $400 million. Who did he screw over?

JK Rowling is worth a billion. Who did she screw over?


One of those things is not like the others.
 
2014-04-26 12:44:08 PM  

DrPainMD: PreMortem: One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Yoko Ono is worth $500 million. Who did she screw over?


Music fans.  You may have a point on the other ones.
 
2014-04-26 12:47:49 PM  

PreMortem: DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.

To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.


Shouldn't the real definition of value be what you're willing to pay? If I buy something that I like, and I feel I paid a fair price, I don't give a shiat how much it cost to make. That person found and brought this item to my attention and did everything necessary for me to obtain it. There's value in that. A quarter for a bouncy ball is ok regardless of the fact it was made for a penny because I'll get one cent's worth of entertainment. Bouncy Balls Inc did not rip me off.
 
2014-04-26 12:48:22 PM  

DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: Holy crap, has anyone looked at all the right-wing 1-star reviews on amazon for this book?
Not even having a verified purchase. :)

Also, see this:
Krugman's the Piketty Panic

Krugman, you genius.

Piketty Panic.
Piketty Panic.

Say it with me.
Piketty Panic.

So when the right-wing gets their panties in a bunch it'll be a Piketty Panic. :)


Annnnd, apparently I can't spell worth a damn.

FTFM.

Oh well.
 
2014-04-26 12:48:55 PM  

CruJones: PreMortem: DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.

To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.

Shouldn't the real definition of value be what you're willing to pay? If I buy something that I like, and I feel I paid a fair price, I don't give a shiat how much it cost to make. That person found and brought this item to my attention and did everything necessary for me to obtain it. There's value in that. A quarter for a bouncy ball is ok regardless of the fact it was made for a penny because I'll get one cent's worth of entertainment. Bouncy Balls Inc did not rip me off.


There's a sucker born every minute.
 
2014-04-26 12:49:00 PM  

ForeRight: DrPainMD: PreMortem: One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Yoko Ono is worth $500 million. Who did she screw over?

Music fans.  You may have a point on the other ones.


I threw her in because of Farkers hero-worship of John Lennon. I could have gone with Oprah ($2.9 friggin' billion).
 
2014-04-26 12:49:04 PM  

neon_god: TheHighlandHowler: So the top limit on investment yields should be capped at the country's rate of growth?

No, because it's good that people can earn outsize returns for backing good ideas. In particular, risky projects can only get capital because of the possibility of huge returns. And anyways, with the globalization of financial markets and the increasing role of technology in the economy, capital will probably inevitably become more important, and so better paid, relative to labour. Cutting off returns in any one country would just push a lot of money elsewhere.

Income inequality is not such a bad thing in and of itself, provided those on the bottom are taken care of. Higher capital gains taxes and a stronger welfare state are probably the best that can be done. In particular, healthcare and education need to be available to all.


It is a problem in and of itself insofar as it it undermines democracy.

Even if there is an adequate safety net for the poor and working class, concentrating an ever increasing proportion of wealth in the top 1% means concentrating an ever increasing share of political power in that tiny group.

And it's not like there is much social mobility either up and down the latter. Sure you can always point to ordinary people who struck it rich, but these are rare exceptions, and in any case, the increasing concentrations of wealth in the top 1% means that that wealth is becoming increasingly hereditary, not self-made.

We are headed to a society where the levers of power are going to be increasingly wielded by a few super-rich, politically powerful dynastic families. And that undermines democratic and meritocratic ideals.
 
2014-04-26 12:49:56 PM  

ForeRight: DrPainMD: PreMortem: One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Yoko Ono is worth $500 million. Who did she screw over?

Music fans.  You may have a point on the other ones.


PS. I'm still waiting for my royalty check, since I'm a member of the Plastic Ono Band.
 
2014-04-26 12:51:27 PM  

PreMortem: CruJones: PreMortem: DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.

To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.

Shouldn't the real definition of value be what you're willing to pay? If I buy something that I like, and I feel I paid a fair price, I don't give a shiat how much it cost to make. That person found and brought this item to my attention and did everything necessary for me to obtain it. There's value in that. A quarter for a bouncy ball is ok regardless of the fact it was made for a penny because I'll get one cent's worth of entertainment. Bouncy Balls Inc did not rip me off.

There's a sucker born every minute.


Do you know how much everything you buy cost to make? Do you know how much anything you buy cost to make?
 
2014-04-26 12:52:46 PM  
It is no.1 because it's the cold hard truth, backed up with facts, figures, charts, graphs and plenty of research. It's the kind of book that should not only be standard reading in ALL college economics courses (and AP high school as well), but mandatory for every member of congress, every state governor, and every state legislator.

This book rips the lid off the bullsh*t the republicans have been pumping for the last 30 years, and they are scare. All the more reason for everyone to read it.
 
2014-04-26 12:54:23 PM  

happydude45: PreMortem: DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.

To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.

Your understanding of commerce is about on the same level as your spelling ability. You're a lib, aren't you?


My point is not about commerce but about morality. Something conservatives, which you appear to be, don't understand.
 
2014-04-26 12:54:26 PM  
Again, folks, the biggest news that's not getting reported is the plummeting birth rates around the world.  If Piketty's or any other economist's treatise doesn't take this into account, they've left out a very important detail.  IIRC, after the Black Plague killed off about 1/3 of Europe, the peasants had their biggest increase in the standard of living since the collapse of the Roman Empire.  With birth rates in nearly all industrialized countries plummeting to well-below replacement levels, I think that the standard of living around the world will ultimately rise in the long term...

/and if a robot can replace a worker drone, it can also replace a CEO drone as well
 
2014-04-26 12:54:51 PM  

DrPainMD: PreMortem: One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Jerry Seinfeld is worth $800 million. Who did he screw over?

Yoko Ono is worth $500 million. Who did she screw over?

Stephen King is worth $400 million. Who did he screw over?

JK Rowling is worth a billion. Who did she screw over?


Dumbledore.
 
2014-04-26 12:56:57 PM  

DrPainMD: That's all I need to know. If you want to learn economics, start with "Economics in One Lesson" and move on to "The Failure of the New Economics," both by Henry Hazlitt.


Reading info on that guy is awesome.  All the names are there.  Hayek! Rand! Friedman! RONPAUL!

Oh, apparently he was chummy with Joe McCarthy.  Wonderful.
 
2014-04-26 12:57:12 PM  

Hardy-r-r: I have not read the book but its description from the article leads me to think all I have to do is look at the disparaging gap that is increasing at an increasing rate between the wealthy & the rest of us.


bull. the biggest gain for the uber wealthy has been the federal reserve, a creation of government. the 0.01% borrow money for nothing, while elderly folk get one percent on their cd's.
 
2014-04-26 12:57:21 PM  

rewind2846: It is no.1 because it's the cold hard truth, backed up with facts, figures, charts, graphs and plenty of research. It's the kind of book that should not only be standard reading in ALL college economics courses (and AP high school as well), but mandatory for every member of congress, every state governor, and every state legislator.

This book rips the lid off the bullsh*t the republicans have been pumping for the last 30 years, and they are scare. All the more reason for everyone to read it.


Have you read it? If you're looking for the cold hard truth, backed up with facts, figures, charts, graphs and plenty of research, I would suggest "Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis" by Ludwig von Mises
 
2014-04-26 01:01:57 PM  

impaler: DrPainMD: From Wikipedia: "The book has been compared to Marx's Das Kapital, improving his analysis by using modern economic data."

That's all I need to know. If you want to learn economics, start with "Economics in One Lesson" and move on to "The Failure of the New Economics," both by Henry Hazlitt.

Considering I have you favorited as "economic moron http://www.fark.com/comments/8128743", I'm sure those books are complete trash. I'll give them a look over though, to see where people get crackpot theories.


Here's "One Lesson." pdf only (unless you want to buy the paperback).

Here's "The Failure..." in epub or pdf

Enjoy.
 
2014-04-26 01:02:35 PM  

PreMortem: CruJones: PreMortem: DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.

To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.

Shouldn't the real definition of value be what you're willing to pay? If I buy something that I like, and I feel I paid a fair price, I don't give a shiat how much it cost to make. That person found and brought this item to my attention and did everything necessary for me to obtain it. There's value in that. A quarter for a bouncy ball is ok regardless of the fact it was made for a penny because I'll get one cent's worth of entertainment. Bouncy Balls Inc did not rip me off.

There's a sucker born every minute.


Who's the sucker? If you see the price of something and decide you'll get enough enjoyment out of it to justify the cost, what's the problem? Sure, you'd like to pay less, and whoever's selling it would like you to pay more, but you both agree that it's worth buying and selling at that price, otherwise you wouldn't do it. Besides, who's to say what something "should" cost? How do you value the time of each person involved, or their skills? What about things that cost money to produce but can be sold repeatedly for little extra money? Things are worth what people are willing to pay for them.
 
2014-04-26 01:03:03 PM  

DrPainMD: From Wikipedia: "The book has been compared to Marx's Das Kapital, improving his analysis by using modern economic data."

That's all I need to know. If you want to learn economics, start with "Economics in One Lesson" and move on to "The Failure of the New Economics," both by Henry Hazlitt.




If the first book was called Economics in One Lesson, why did he have a second book?
 
2014-04-26 01:03:16 PM  

PreMortem: My point is not about commerce but about morality. Something conservatives, which you appear to be, don't understand.


Selling a product at a price that the buyer is willing to pay is immoral? How so?
 
2014-04-26 01:04:25 PM  
Oh, well, this has gotten tiresome fast.  Gotta finish my power slacking after my trip to Munich.

/tschüss
 
2014-04-26 01:05:41 PM  

DrPainMD: PreMortem: My point is not about commerce but about morality. Something conservatives, which you appear to be, don't understand.

Selling a product at a price that the buyer is willing to pay is immoral? How so?


I guess it'd depend on the product, a luxury item like an iPhone:  Sure bilk them for all their worth.  A basic necessity like water or Burger King Onion rings?  Morally bankrupt.
 
2014-04-26 01:07:55 PM  

DrPainMD: rewind2846: It is no.1 because it's the cold hard truth, backed up with facts, figures, charts, graphs and plenty of research. It's the kind of book that should not only be standard reading in ALL college economics courses (and AP high school as well), but mandatory for every member of congress, every state governor, and every state legislator.

This book rips the lid off the bullsh*t the republicans have been pumping for the last 30 years, and they are scare. All the more reason for everyone to read it.

Have you read it? If you're looking for the cold hard truth, backed up with facts, figures, charts, graphs and plenty of research, I would suggest "Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis" by Ludwig von Mises


I am on chapter 4 on my Kindle.
And as I said, any book that has conservatives as scared as you are is worth a weekend's read.
I especially like reading their kneejerk reactions and hearing the cries of "SOSHULIZMZ" and "MARXISISMZ".
I especially enjoy the squirming.
/he's gonna sell a lotta books
 
2014-04-26 01:08:45 PM  

DrPainMD: PreMortem: One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.


Jerry Seinfeld is worth $800 million. Who did he screw over?


Didya see the Seinfeld series finale?
 
2014-04-26 01:09:52 PM  

rewind2846: It is no.1 because it's the cold hard truth, backed up with facts, figures, charts, graphs and plenty of research. It's the kind of book that should not only be standard reading in ALL college economics courses (and AP high school as well), but mandatory for every member of congress, every state governor, and every state legislator.

This book rips the lid off the bullsh*t the republicans have been pumping for the last 30 years, and they are scare. All the more reason for everyone to read it.


It's not an easy read and I paid $22 for the Kindle edition, so I don't think everyone will read it.

Here is an extensive review:

Link
 
2014-04-26 01:11:05 PM  

jake_lex: Well, if it's about the current economic system, there'll be a lot more rape in it than other books that have topped the Amazon best seller lists, like the Song of Ice and Fire books.  Figurative rape, to be sure, but rape nonetheless.


Still a better love story than twilight
 
2014-04-26 01:12:07 PM  

Doc Daneeka: neon_god: TheHighlandHowler: So the top limit on investment yields should be capped at the country's rate of growth?

No, because it's good that people can earn outsize returns for backing good ideas. In particular, risky projects can only get capital because of the possibility of huge returns. And anyways, with the globalization of financial markets and the increasing role of technology in the economy, capital will probably inevitably become more important, and so better paid, relative to labour. Cutting off returns in any one country would just push a lot of money elsewhere.

Income inequality is not such a bad thing in and of itself, provided those on the bottom are taken care of. Higher capital gains taxes and a stronger welfare state are probably the best that can be done. In particular, healthcare and education need to be available to all.

It is a problem in and of itself insofar as it it undermines democracy.

Even if there is an adequate safety net for the poor and working class, concentrating an ever increasing proportion of wealth in the top 1% means concentrating an ever increasing share of political power in that tiny group.

And it's not like there is much social mobility either up and down the latter. Sure you can always point to ordinary people who struck it rich, but these are rare exceptions, and in any case, the increasing concentrations of wealth in the top 1% means that that wealth is becoming increasingly hereditary, not self-made.

We are headed to a society where the levers of power are going to be increasingly wielded by a few super-rich, politically powerful dynastic families. And that undermines democratic and meritocratic ideals.


That's true to a certain extent, although I think you'd find that mobility into and out of the very top 0.01% is higher than you'd expect. Ordinary people striking it rich are rare, but the total number of the super rich is small. You're right that the creation of a hereditary upper class of the super rich is a problem. I think the solution lies more in taxing large estates and in ensuring that everyone has access to the education necessary to advance socially than in preventing the accumulation of large fortunes in the first place.
 
2014-04-26 01:14:53 PM  
Kinetic King:
he 'greed is good' mentality has gotten to them and they went Galt on society by deciding that stocking their wine cellar is more important than having a child.  If the meme ever gets out that cutting back on kids is the only real way to hit back on the plutocrats, expect long lines outside of Planned Parenthood clinics.  And I doubt that the plutocrats will ever take away all our birth control without risking a revolution--and remember that women are ...Either way, I think this is going to make for a massive demographic upheaval in the long run, say in a generation or two...


Could you speed things up here a bit?  I'm not getting any younger, and I would really like to see some kind of Hunger Games/Running Man mashup, with 1% ers as the contestants.
 
2014-04-26 01:16:20 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: DrPainMD: From Wikipedia: "The book has been compared to Marx's Das Kapital, improving his analysis by using modern economic data."

That's all I need to know. If you want to learn economics, start with "Economics in One Lesson" and move on to "The Failure of the New Economics," both by Henry Hazlitt.

If the first book was called Economics in One Lesson, why did he have a second book?


He wrote a bunch of books, most of which you can get for free (epub and/or pdf files). He wrote "Failure" to refute, line by line and page by page, Keynes' "General Theory." Not that he had to... anybody who reads it can tell that Keynes doesn't know what he's talking about. He gives a half-dozen different and contradictory definitions of the term "the marginal efficiency of capital" for Pete's sake. His "liquidity preference" theory of savings goes directly contradictory to the facts it claims to explain. Heck, many of his assumptions contradict his own formal definitions. In Chapter 6 he explains how saving and investing "have been so defined that they are necessarily equal in amount, being, for the community as a whole, merely different aspects of the same thing." (p. 74). He then spends much of the rest of the book talking about how great investing is and how bad saving is.
 
2014-04-26 01:16:55 PM  

Kinetic King: Haven't read it yet, but wonder if Piketty took into account the biggest demographic upheaval in history.  Places like Brazil and India have seen their fertility rates plummet drastically to about 2.5 kids per woman, just above replacement level.  The US is already below replacement, and in many industrialized countries like South Korea or Germany, it's just above 1.0 kids per woman.  Every time I see a picture of third-worlders in National Geographic or somewhere, they're all holding smartphones--usually of newer vintage than my cellphone--and it's obvious that women in the third world are catching on to the idea that there's more to life than sitting in a hut and popping out babies like a Pez dispenser.  Women in the industrialized countries would rather have a career than lie back and think of England.

Truth is, the only real scam that's ever existed is the 1% of the 1% (most 1%ers are doctors, engineers, or other people who actually contribute to society) have always depended on a never-ending supply of peasants to keep the price of labor low.  And if there's too many of us, they throw a war or two.  In spite of their self-serving objectivist crappola, they really depend on us peasants more than we depend on them, and it takes a lot of us to support the lifestyle of one of them.

Most people are limiting the number of kids they have mostly in their own self-interest.  They're prolly just out of college and with a huge loan debt, working some crappy non-paying internship, and simply can't afford kids.  Or, perhaps the 'greed is good' mentality has gotten to them and they went Galt on society by deciding that stocking their wine cellar is more important than having a child.  If the meme ever gets out that cutting back on kids is the only real way to hit back on the plutocrats, expect long lines outside of Planned Parenthood clinics.  And I doubt that the plutocrats will ever take away all our birth control without risking a revolution--and remember that women are ...


You sir, are (mostly) correct.
The U.S. is at the replacement rate (due to immigration)
 
2014-04-26 01:17:46 PM  

Kinetic King: Again, folks, the biggest news that's not getting reported is the plummeting birth rates around the world.  If Piketty's or any other economist's treatise doesn't take this into account, they've left out a very important detail.  IIRC, after the Black Plague killed off about 1/3 of Europe, the peasants had their biggest increase in the standard of living since the collapse of the Roman Empire.  With birth rates in nearly all industrialized countries plummeting to well-below replacement levels, I think that the standard of living around the world will ultimately rise in the long term...

/and if a robot can replace a worker drone, it can also replace a CEO drone as well




In theory that is what should have happened.

That's not what actually happened.

King Edward III passed a law forbidding serfs and peasants from charging more

In other words, The Golden Rule. He who has the gold, makes the rules.
 
2014-04-26 01:20:20 PM  

Doc Daneeka: It is a problem in and of itself insofar as it it undermines democracy.

Even if there is an adequate safety net for the poor and working class, concentrating an ever increasing proportion of wealth in the top 1% means concentrating an ever increasing share of political power in that tiny group.

And it's not like there is much social mobility either up and down the latter. Sure you can always point to ordinary people who struck it rich, but these are rare exceptions, and in any case, the increasing concentrations of wealth in the top 1% means that that wealth is becoming increasingly hereditary, not self-made.

We are headed to a society where the levers of power are going to be increasingly wielded by a few super-rich, politically powerful dynastic families. And that undermines democratic and meritocratic ideals.


This is correct. And a winner are you as well.
 
2014-04-26 01:24:21 PM  
This book on economics explained things in a more clear way than my Econ 101 professor ever did.
 
2014-04-26 01:28:07 PM  

SDRR: If you laid all of the economists in the world end to end they would fail to reach a conclusion.

or, something like that



yea, and scientists/engineers never got us to the moon.  it was all belief and religion that did it.

moron
 
2014-04-26 01:31:07 PM  
Economics in 'murica:  where's my goddamned money/stuff and f*ck you!


stay classy and civilized, 'murica.   your future looks bright.
 
2014-04-26 01:34:30 PM  

DrPainMD: Darth_Lukecash: DrPainMD: From Wikipedia: "The book has been compared to Marx's Das Kapital, improving his analysis by using modern economic data."

That's all I need to know. If you want to learn economics, start with "Economics in One Lesson" and move on to "The Failure of the New Economics," both by Henry Hazlitt.

If the first book was called Economics in One Lesson, why did he have a second book?

He wrote a bunch of books, most of which you can get for free (epub and/or pdf files). He wrote "Failure" to refute, line by line and page by page, Keynes' "General Theory." Not that he had to... anybody who reads it can tell that Keynes doesn't know what he's talking about. He gives a half-dozen different and contradictory definitions of the term "the marginal efficiency of capital" for Pete's sake. His "liquidity preference" theory of savings goes directly contradictory to the facts it claims to explain. Heck, many of his assumptions contradict his own formal definitions. In Chapter 6 he explains how saving and investing "have been so defined that they are necessarily equal in amount, being, for the community as a whole, merely different aspects of the same thing." (p. 74). He then spends much of the rest of the book talking about how great investing is and how bad saving is.




You know, I can tell you take economics seriously, because you took a one line joke and gave me a paragraph missing the point.

Since you are into economics guy, I figured a chart will help
cyberbrethren.com
 
2014-04-26 01:37:29 PM  
My book, "Serving The Rich" is not 700 pages long.

Some chapters:
Boiled Rich
Fried Rich
Beer Battered Rich
Butterflyed Rich
 
2014-04-26 01:39:13 PM  

DrPainMD: He wrote a bunch of books, most of which you can get for free (epub and/or pdf files). He wrote "Failure" to refute, line by line and page by page, Keynes' "General Theory." Not that he had to... anybody who reads it can tell that Keynes doesn't know what he's talking about.


I find it utterly fascinating how you often try to shift the thread to be about literally anything than its topic - you don't actually argue against that topic, you just try to derail the thread.

Normal people don't do this. I've seen you try to do it a dozen times, always when there's some story that reflects poorly on either a right-wing position or person.
 
2014-04-26 01:45:39 PM  

Gunther: DrPainMD: He wrote a bunch of books, most of which you can get for free (epub and/or pdf files). He wrote "Failure" to refute, line by line and page by page, Keynes' "General Theory." Not that he had to... anybody who reads it can tell that Keynes doesn't know what he's talking about.

I find it utterly fascinating how you often try to shift the thread to be about literally anything than its topic - you don't actually argue against that topic, you just try to derail the thread.

Normal people don't do this. I've seen you try to do it a dozen times, always when there's some story that reflects poorly on either a right-wing position or person.


The subject isn't economics?
 
2014-04-26 01:47:13 PM  

DrPainMD: And the $700 "stimulus" bill from 2009 would have worked.


A $700 "stimulus" bill isn't going to provide very much stimulus in any case...
 
2014-04-26 01:47:35 PM  

Kinetic King: Haven't read it yet, but wonder if Piketty took into account the biggest demographic upheaval in history.  Places like Brazil and India have seen their fertility rates plummet drastically to about 2.5 kids per woman, just above replacement level.  The US is already below replacement, and in many industrialized countries like South Korea or Germany, it's just above 1.0 kids per woman.  Every time I see a picture of third-worlders in National Geographic or somewhere, they're all holding smartphones--usually of newer vintage than my cellphone--and it's obvious that women in the third world are catching on to the idea that there's more to life than sitting in a hut and popping out babies like a Pez dispenser.  Women in the industrialized countries would rather have a career than lie back and think of England.

Truth is, the only real scam that's ever existed is the 1% of the 1% (most 1%ers are doctors, engineers, or other people who actually contribute to society) have always depended on a never-ending supply of peasants to keep the price of labor low.  And if there's too many of us, they throw a war or two.  In spite of their self-serving objectivist crappola, they really depend on us peasants more than we depend on them, and it takes a lot of us to support the lifestyle of one of them.

Most people are limiting the number of kids they have mostly in their own self-interest.  They're prolly just out of college and with a huge loan debt, working some crappy non-paying internship, and simply can't afford kids.  Or, perhaps the 'greed is good' mentality has gotten to them and they went Galt on society by deciding that stocking their wine cellar is more important than having a child.  If the meme ever gets out that cutting back on kids is the only real way to hit back on the plutocrats, expect long lines outside of Planned Parenthood clinics.  And I doubt that the plutocrats will ever take away all our birth control without risking a revolution--and remember that women are ...


unfortunately.......    look at the ratio of old to young.   Also, India is overpopulated which is why Indians want to GTFO.
 
2014-04-26 01:48:42 PM  

DrPainMD: The subject isn't economics?


I think you are wrong on most econ things, but, yeah....your posts were on topic.
Don't know what he is talking about.
 
2014-04-26 01:50:44 PM  
I have to read a book to know that there's a million-light-year-long gap between rich and poor in this country? It's pretty blatant just by simply going outside or turning on the tv/internet. But we're not alone by a long shot. We're still not as bad in that department as Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, much of the Middle East, China, and way too many others to name. And it's been that way since time immemorial, and will stay that way. So just gotta suck it up.

Kardashians make more than doctors or firefighters.
Politicians make more than the people they send off to die in wars that they profit from, only to toss said people off to die in sub-marginal health care (the VA) and minimal pay.
People get rich in ridiculous lawsuits over medial bullshiat while innocent people sent off to prison for decades wait years on end to get compensation after being released.

The disparities are far too many to name, and I wouldn't waste money on a book to tell me about it.
 
2014-04-26 01:51:44 PM  

naris: DrPainMD: And the $700 "stimulus" bill from 2009 would have worked.

A $700 "stimulus" bill isn't going to provide very much stimulus in any case...


$700 would stimulate me all to hell.
Just sayin'.
 
2014-04-26 01:52:07 PM  

kling_klang_bed: The disparities are far too many to name, and I wouldn't waste money on a book to tell me about it.


it's not that there is, but why it is bad besides the envy angle.
 
2014-04-26 01:56:00 PM  

DrPainMD: PreMortem: One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Jerry Seinfeld is worth $800 million. Who did he screw over?

Newman

Yoko Ono is worth $500 million. Who did she screw over?
The Beatles

Stephen King is worth $400 million. Who did he screw over?
Carrie

JK Rowling is worth a billion. Who did she screw over?
Lord Voldemort
 
2014-04-26 01:57:36 PM  

vpb: PreMortem:
One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

 Or just be born to the right grandmother.


Or just trust your grandmother to not have made dumb decisions all her life.
 
2014-04-26 02:04:36 PM  

Kinetic King: Again, folks, the biggest news that's not getting reported is the plummeting birth rates around the world.  If Piketty's or any other economist's treatise doesn't take this into account, they've left out a very important detail.  IIRC, after the Black Plague killed off about 1/3 of Europe, the peasants had their biggest increase in the standard of living since the collapse of the Roman Empire.  With birth rates in nearly all industrialized countries plummeting to well-below replacement levels, I think that the standard of living around the world will ultimately rise in the long term...

/and if a robot can replace a worker drone, it can also replace a CEO drone as well


ratio of old to young........
 
2014-04-26 02:08:20 PM  
The book looks very boring and French.
 
2014-04-26 02:27:36 PM  

TheHighlandHowler: So the top limit on investment yields should be capped at the country's rate of growth?


GDP growth +10% for incentive to improve. Anything over that cannot be declared as profit, you have to invest in your business, distribute to employees as bonuses, or pay out as dividends. Rule #2: No employee or officer of the firm can earn more than ten times the pay of the lowest paid worker, bonuses and stock options are not exempt from this rule.
 
2014-04-26 02:32:26 PM  
A left wing French socialist comes out against capitalism? color me shocked. Also, show me a better system.
for all the folks yapping about the 1%, the interesting thing there is the 1% is not static - if you look at the 400 richest people 20 years ago, I believe there is only 1 name on the same list today. fortunes come, fortunes go. I don't begrudge anyone who invented something, started a company, etc, who became wealthy from their ideas and efforts.
 
2014-04-26 02:46:16 PM  

snocone: My book, "Serving The Rich" is not 700 pages long.

Some chapters:
Boiled Rich
Fried Rich
Beer Battered Rich
Butterflyed Rich


Rich Gumbo
Pan-Seared Rich
Rich Salad
Broiled Rich
Rich Flambe'
Rich Soup
Stir-Fried Rich
Rich with a light cream Sauce
Oven-Roasted Rich
Rich Tartare
Baked Rich
Barbequed Rich


/just might get to that 700 pages
 
2014-04-26 02:48:09 PM  

DrPainMD: The subject isn't economics?


You seem really eager to dismiss the book this thread is about out of hand.

You'd prefer we discuss obscure Austrian economists whose theories have been debunked. So lets do that. Milton Friedman showed definitively that Austrian economics bears no resemblance to reality in the 60's and the predictive failure of it since the financial crisis hit in '08 should really have nailed the coffin shut. The people that still cling to it remind me of Harold Camping's followers trying to rationalize their prophet's failure after the world stubbornly continuted to exist in 2011.
 
2014-04-26 02:50:58 PM  

impaler: DrPainMD: From Wikipedia: "The book has been compared to Marx's Das Kapital, improving his analysis by using modern economic data."

That's all I need to know. If you want to learn economics, start with "Economics in One Lesson" and move on to "The Failure of the New Economics," both by Henry Hazlitt.

Considering I have you favorited as "economic moron http://www.fark.com/comments/8128743", I'm sure those books are complete trash. I'll give them a look over though, to see where people get crackpot theories.


Ooh! Ooh! Do me next!!
 
2014-04-26 02:56:24 PM  

cwheelie: A left wing French socialist comes out against capitalism? color me shocked. Also, show me a better system.


If you'd read so much as a short summary of it you'd know that's not what it's about. Delay posted a link to a review above; you could skim it and not seem like an ignorant asshat.

cwheelie: if you look at the 400 richest people 20 years ago, I believe there is only 1 name on the same list today.


You might believe that but it's farking nonsense.
 
2014-04-26 02:56:44 PM  
Amazon's best-seller list depends on sales rate, not sales volume. A couple of years ago a relative of mine wrote a lengthy but well-received historical biography. A few days after it came out he did a long interview on NPR to discuss the topic, and at the end of that interview every university librarian in the US ordered a copy from Amazon. The result: his book was number eight on the Amazon best seller list for a day ... on the basis of a few hundred sales.
 
2014-04-26 03:14:02 PM  
cwheelie - Name 1 person who became wealthy without the support of society. When you have wealth you are dependent on a multitude of public resources to create, amass, and maintain it. The sooner people stop pretending that wealth is "self made", the sooner we can stop the petty arguing and try and fix things so that society is better off as a whole.
 
2014-04-26 03:24:45 PM  
"Here comes the math" == Unless a famous pop writer or celebrity has a new release, it doesn't take much to make the NYT best seller list or Amazon #1.
 
2014-04-26 03:34:08 PM  
Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organised political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights. (Albert Einstein, 1949)
 
2014-04-26 03:35:04 PM  

BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.



yea, because everyone worships money.  everyone just lives for the dollar.
 
2014-04-26 03:35:40 PM  

vpb: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

They do.  This one has a bestseller on Amazon.



damn, you stuck that one in deep.  lol
 
2014-04-26 03:38:53 PM  

ForeRight: DrPainMD: PreMortem: One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Yoko Ono is worth $500 million. Who did she screw over?

Music fans.  You may have a point on the other ones.


the vast majority of wealth in 'murica is inherited wealth, dinky.   and they loves them some GOP too.  bush jr himself got rid of the estate tax.  the estate tax's purpose was to prevent an Aristocracy from getting a firm foundation in 'murica.

course. bushie boy knows better.  you can't fool him.
 
2014-04-26 03:40:40 PM  

orbister: Amazon's best-seller list depends on sales rate, not sales volume. A couple of years ago a relative of mine wrote a lengthy but well-received historical biography. A few days after it came out he did a long interview on NPR to discuss the topic, and at the end of that interview every university librarian in the US ordered a copy from Amazon. The result: his book was number eight on the Amazon best seller list for a day ... on the basis of a few hundred sales.



keep hoping, Repug.  all you have to do is believe.    lol
 
2014-04-26 03:42:25 PM  

rewind2846: snocone: My book, "Serving The Rich" is not 700 pages long.

Some chapters:
Boiled Rich
Fried Rich
Beer Battered Rich
Butterflyed Rich

Rich Gumbo
Pan-Seared Rich
Rich Salad
Broiled Rich
Rich Flambe'
Rich Soup
Stir-Fried Rich
Rich with a light cream Sauce
Oven-Roasted Rich
Rich Tartare
Baked Rich
Barbequed Rich


/just might get to that 700 pages



or.............you just might get Ideas out to the little people that just might ream your people a new asshole.
 
2014-04-26 03:43:21 PM  

BalugaJoe: The book looks very boring and French.



yea, especially for someone who has never been out of the lower 48.
 
2014-04-26 03:43:56 PM  
"...despite its huge sales, the book only has 57 reviews on Amazon, which could indicate that people are buying it, but potentially either not cracking the cover or finishing it. By comparison, Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys" -- No. 6 on Amazon's best-seller list -- has already drawn more than 600 reviews on Amazon..."

Which is all that counts to make number one. THAT is economics. But actually read it? Nah.
 
2014-04-26 03:44:21 PM  

cwheelie: A left wing French socialist comes out against capitalism? color me shocked. Also, show me a better system.
for all the folks yapping about the 1%, the interesting thing there is the 1% is not static - if you look at the 400 richest people 20 years ago, I believe there is only 1 name on the same list today. fortunes come, fortunes go. I don't begrudge anyone who invented something, started a company, etc, who became wealthy from their ideas and efforts.



keep f*cking that dying chicken, Repug.  lol
 
2014-04-26 03:44:39 PM  

roc6783: cwheelie - Name 1 person who became wealthy without the support of society. When you have wealth you are dependent on a multitude of public resources to create, amass, and maintain it. The sooner people stop pretending that wealth is "self made", the sooner we can stop the petty arguing and try and fix things so that society is better off as a whole.


So yeah, I paid 33% last year. I'm going to pay 40% this year.  My boss is going to pay mid-40's.  At a certain point, I am paying for it.   If you want to implement all sorts of policies that lower my costs at the same time as you raise taxes (Read: Make the infrastructure-building process sane and less expensive and build way more housing while importing more illegals*), we can have that chat.  Until then, I'm desperately trying to figure out how to afford a house when the average house around here costs half my anticipated lifetime post-tax income.

*Seriously, aGuatemalan illegal nanny costs about 1/3rd of a mortgage payment.  You can afford literal servants before you can afford a house (And practically no one can afford either).  I think reversing that would be a good idea, but preferably not by reducing the standard of living.
 
2014-04-26 03:47:00 PM  

Gunther: cwheelie: A left wing French socialist comes out against capitalism? color me shocked. Also, show me a better system.

If you'd read so much as a short summary of it you'd know that's not what it's about. Delay posted a link to a review above; you could skim it and not seem like an ignorant asshat.

cwheelie: if you look at the 400 richest people 20 years ago, I believe there is only 1 name on the same list today.

You might believe that but it's farking nonsense.



all those Trillions are passed to Family and extended Family, numb nuts.  that is how you build an Aristocracy in 'murica.  ain't Freedom great!!
 
2014-04-26 03:48:01 PM  
As long as their is available credit won't the return on capital always exceed the growth rate of the economy?

What does one have to do with the other and why is it a problem?
 
2014-04-26 03:48:28 PM  

BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.



Read it, it is a deeply researched analysis covering a great deal of history about how capital has always concentrated over time into the possession of a small group of people with mostly inherited wealth.

The usual way to be rich is to be born rich and over time that becomes more ever more true.
Knowing this doesn't help you to be born rich and "have all the money" it only helps you understand the world you live in.
 
2014-04-26 03:48:33 PM  
i am reading it now. it is quite interesting
 
2014-04-26 03:50:05 PM  

meyerkev: roc6783: cwheelie - Name 1 person who became wealthy without the support of society. When you have wealth you are dependent on a multitude of public resources to create, amass, and maintain it. The sooner people stop pretending that wealth is "self made", the sooner we can stop the petty arguing and try and fix things so that society is better off as a whole.

So yeah, I paid 33% last year. I'm going to pay 40% this year.  My boss is going to pay mid-40's.  At a certain point, I am paying for it.   If you want to implement all sorts of policies that lower my costs at the same time as you raise taxes (Read: Make the infrastructure-building process sane and less expensive and build way more housing while importing more illegals*), we can have that chat.  Until then, I'm desperately trying to figure out how to afford a house when the average house around here costs half my anticipated lifetime post-tax income.

*Seriously, aGuatemalan illegal nanny costs about 1/3rd of a mortgage payment.  You can afford literal servants before you can afford a house (And practically no one can afford either).  I think reversing that would be a good idea, but preferably not by reducing the standard of living.



how many of these so called "success stories" and "self made" wealthy assholes would have done the same thing if they had been born in Somalia????????

you already know that answer, Repug.  keep f*cking that dying chicken, though.
 
2014-04-26 03:53:09 PM  

CodeMonkey4Life: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.


Read it, it is a deeply researched analysis covering a great deal of history about how capital has always concentrated over time into the possession of a small group of people with mostly inherited wealth.

The usual way to be rich is to be born rich and over time that becomes more ever more true.
Knowing this doesn't help you to be born rich and "have all the money" it only helps you understand the world you live in.



in 'murica, with a very few exceptions, you inherit wealth.    the zuckerbergs are very rare.  if you work for someone else, you will never be wealthy.  hopefully, you'll be payed a decent wage instead of being cornholed so that some rich f*ck can  afford a second 19 year old girlfriend and a second home in Europe.
 
2014-04-26 03:54:00 PM  
Because this is the Age of Confusion, Ruled by the New Dumb™
 
2014-04-26 03:54:49 PM  

some_beer_drinker: i am reading it now. it is quite interesting



the truth is always more interesting than the lie.   and in 'murica, lies have had the keys to the store for 30 years.
 
2014-04-26 03:57:25 PM  

Clemkadidlefark: Because this is the Age of Confusion, Ruled by the New Dumb™



that is how the Owners take over a former Democratic Republic.  you have to dumb the population down.  lower the taxes going to the public schools . pump them full of religion/propaganda.  its all part of the plan in 'murica.  FreedomLand.

the Freedom for the Wealthy and Big Business to do as they damn well please.
 
2014-04-26 04:00:51 PM  

DrPainMD: PreMortem: One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Jerry Seinfeld is worth $800 million. Who did he screw over?

Yoko Ono is worth $500 million. Who did she screw over?

Stephen King is worth $400 million. Who did he screw over?

JK Rowling is worth a billion. Who did she screw over?


As for the last one, Dumbledore.
 
2014-04-26 04:02:53 PM  
TWO COWS ~{Matthias Varga}

SOCIALISM
You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour

COMMUNISM
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk

FASCISM
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk

NAZISM
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you

BUREAUCRATISM
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then
throws the milk away

TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM
You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy
grows.
You sell them and retire on the income

ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND (VENTURE) CAPITALISM
You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by
your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption
for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States , leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

SURREALISM
You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to
produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why
the cow has dropped dead.

A GREEK CORPORATION
You have two cows. You borrow lots of euros to build barns, milking sheds, hay stores, feed sheds,
dairies, cold stores, abattoir, cheese unit and packing sheds.
You still only have two cows.

A FRENCH CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three
cows.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce
twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called a Cowkimona and
market it worldwide.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows,
but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

A SWISS CORPORATION
You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

AN INDIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You worship them.

A BRITISH CORPORATION
You have two cows.
Both are mad.

AN IRAQI CORPORATION
Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the ** out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least you are now a Democracy.

AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION
You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive...


CRONY (American) CAPITALISM: you have two cows. you agree to give free milk for life to your state's Congressman as long as he agrees to look the other way whenever you ask him to. also, he agrees to do you favors that may hurt the community, but will help you. he also agrees to go to bed with you if you are gay. and he agrees to tell you he loves you, even if he does not. he also agrees to tell the community/Nation what an outstanding citizen you are and how much you love America and Freedom.
 
2014-04-26 04:20:19 PM  
You buy a $100,000 house. You make a $50,000 down payment and take out a 5 year $50,000 mortgage.

In 5 years you have doubled your money, an 18% return on your $50,000 investment. The growth rate of the economy had nothing to do with.

The French socialist knows nothing at all about basic finance or economics.
 
2014-04-26 04:35:29 PM  

Tigger: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

In the exact same way that physicists can travel faster than light and students of english literature can all write classic novels.


Economists spend a lot of time in the abstract, which does have value, but it's not usually practical. Ceteris Paribus is a common phrase in textbooks and very unusual in the real world.

Anyone looking for a great book about major economic thinkers should check out 'The Worldly Philosophers' by Heilbroner. It's also very accessible.

BA Economics '00 Mizzou.
 
2014-04-26 04:53:24 PM  
"Repetition of 150-year-old observation, therefore i dunno progressive taxation lol"
I just saved you $40.

meyerkev: Until then, I'm desperately trying to figure out how to afford a house when the average house around here costs half my anticipated lifetime post-tax income.


Organize for a higher wage.
 
2014-04-26 05:15:43 PM  

cwheelie: A left wing French socialist comes out against capitalism? color me shocked. Also, show me a better system.
for all the folks yapping about the 1%, the interesting thing there is the 1% is not static - if you look at the 400 richest people 20 years ago, I believe there is only 1 name on the same list today. fortunes come, fortunes go. I don't begrudge anyone who invented something, started a company, etc, who became wealthy from their ideas and efforts.


With your already displayed bias, it doesn't matter what you're shown, you'll state it could never work and claim only the status quo is possible.

Also, the changing in and out of a few extremely wealthy people on the top 400 list is an irrelevant variable. It has no reflection on the current social mobility of the middle class, nor does it mean that wealth inequality isn't a highly corrosive force in our brand of capitalism.
 
2014-04-26 05:48:10 PM  

RanDomino: "Repetition of 150-year-old observation, therefore i dunno progressive taxation lol"
I just saved you $40.

meyerkev: Until then, I'm desperately trying to figure out how to afford a house when the average house around here costs half my anticipated lifetime post-tax income.

Organize for a higher wage.


Won't work.  There's too many people, not enough houses (And if we're going to be completely blunt, not enough schools where you can avoid kids who don't speak English and have a disproportionate amount of resources thrown at them.  This may change at some point, but meh).

Raising wages only increases the amount of money that people have to blow on housing.

/And uh, if everything goes right, I'm a 1%er in the next 5 years, and I'm already a 10%er.  So me asking for more money just looks tacky.
 
2014-04-26 05:57:18 PM  

cchris_39: You buy a $100,000 house. You make a $50,000 down payment and take out a 5 year $50,000 mortgage.

In 5 years you have doubled your money, an 18% return on your $50,000 investment. The growth rate of the economy had nothing to do with.

The French socialist knows nothing at all about basic finance or economics.


Umm.... an asset isn't money.  You can change it into money, but it's not money.
 
2014-04-26 06:07:32 PM  

Shakin_Haitian: cchris_39: You buy a $100,000 house. You make a $50,000 down payment and take out a 5 year $50,000 mortgage.

In 5 years you have doubled your money, an 18% return on your $50,000 investment. The growth rate of the economy had nothing to do with.

The French socialist knows nothing at all about basic finance or economics.

Umm.... an asset isn't money.  You can change it into money, but it's not money.


Actually nothing is money until you use it as such.
Conversely, Everything can be money.
 
2014-04-26 06:09:22 PM  

Shakin_Haitian: cchris_39: You buy a $100,000 house. You make a $50,000 down payment and take out a 5 year $50,000 mortgage.

In 5 years you have doubled your money, an 18% return on your $50,000 investment. The growth rate of the economy had nothing to do with.

The French socialist knows nothing at all about basic finance or economics.

Umm.... an asset isn't money.  You can change it into money, but it's not money.


An asset is capital.  And Picketty's argument is about capital.  If you can't ever convert assets into money (which is merely an exceedingly fungible representation of capital), then his entire book is BS.

Personally, I'd ask why, since capital appreciates at 5%, and fine art appreciates at 2%*, super-rich people invest tons of money in fine art.

BTW, if we start the Mona Lisa at $50K and appreciate it up to $1B over 500 years, which is probably more realistic, that's still only 2% annual appreciation.http://fofoa.blogspot.com/2013/12/eye-for-gold.html.   Crazy gold nutter, but I like this one subpoint and at least find the article interesting when he isn't talking about gold.
 
2014-04-26 06:20:16 PM  
 A large part of the problem is that the rich and their inheritors have become LAZY. Why work at something when you can let your money make money. They have also lost Noblesse oblige...With wealth and power comes responsibility. They have become selfish beyond reason. When taxes were high in the late 40's and 50's they had no choice but to work at gaining their wealth. Once wealth was gained and taxes lowered by the 70's and 80's they bought politicians to create laws that created conditions where they no longer had to build a business model that relied upon employing people to do things that made money. They no longer had to work at it. This is true for a lot of them but not all.
 
2014-04-26 07:37:17 PM  

cchris_39: In 5 years you have doubled your money, an 18% return on your $50,000 investment. The growth rate of the economy had nothing to do with.

The French socialist knows nothing at all about basic finance or economics.


i2.photobucket.com

There is no way the phrase "you have doubled your money" in that context that makes the slightest bit of sense in terms of either economics or personal finance.  Makin' that French socialist look like a genius.
 
2014-04-26 07:43:27 PM  

MayoSlather: cwheelie: A left wing French socialist comes out against capitalism? color me shocked. Also, show me a better system.
for all the folks yapping about the 1%, the interesting thing there is the 1% is not static - if you look at the 400 richest people 20 years ago, I believe there is only 1 name on the same list today. fortunes come, fortunes go. I don't begrudge anyone who invented something, started a company, etc, who became wealthy from their ideas and efforts.

With your already displayed bias, it doesn't matter what you're shown, you'll state it could never work and claim only the status quo is possible.

Also, the changing in and out of a few extremely wealthy people on the top 400 list is an irrelevant variable. It has no reflection on the current social mobility of the middle class, nor does it mean that wealth inequality isn't a highly corrosive force in our brand of capitalism.


No, I'd really like to see someone posit a new economic system that could work. Socialism & Communism are both political & economic systems and abject failures due to the human variable. Capitalism is far from perfect,  but there's nothing better out there.
I don't disagree with you that the top 400 list is irrelevant to middle class social mobility - I wasn't trying to equate the two. I was merely pointing out to the those who vilify & blame the 1% for everything. (and there is a lot to blame) that it's not some core cabal running the world from the Star Chamber.
 
2014-04-26 07:56:31 PM  

Gunther: cwheelie: A left wing French socialist comes out against capitalism? color me shocked. Also, show me a better system.

If you'd read so much as a short summary of it you'd know that's not what it's about. Delay posted a link to a review above; you could skim it and not seem like an ignorant asshat.

cwheelie: if you look at the 400 richest people 20 years ago, I believe there is only 1 name on the same list today.

You might believe that but it's farking nonsense.


This was the Limbaugh talking point yesterday so I'm not surprised to see it parroted here multiple times today.
 
2014-04-26 08:02:00 PM  
People are just dimwitted morons.

There are many problems with capitalism, the main one is that it is like a long-running game of Monopoly. Eventually someone or a few own all the finite resources just by getting bigger and bigger leaving the rest to peddle around hoping not to get farked just for playing.
 
2014-04-26 08:04:19 PM  

meyerkev: Personally, I'd ask why, since capital appreciates at 5%, and fine art appreciates at 2%*, super-rich people invest tons of money in fine art.


It was my impression that buying art was consumption (mostly of the conspicuous variety) rather than investment.

Or is this another example of the fleecers fleecing the stupid rich people by convincing them that their art purchases are an investment, despite the obvious fact that if it's old and well-appreciated, then its value won't increase much over inflation, while if it's new, then there's a far higher likelihood that it will be worthless in ten years than that it will have appreciated at all?
 
2014-04-26 08:04:38 PM  

PawisBetlog: Gunther: cwheelie: A left wing French socialist comes out against capitalism? color me shocked. Also, show me a better system.

If you'd read so much as a short summary of it you'd know that's not what it's about. Delay posted a link to a review above; you could skim it and not seem like an ignorant asshat.

cwheelie: if you look at the 400 richest people 20 years ago, I believe there is only 1 name on the same list today.

You might believe that but it's farking nonsense.

This was the Limbaugh talking point yesterday so I'm not surprised to see it parroted here multiple times today.


Yeah, stop using this point.

All countries have equal social mobility except India which is still a de facto caste system.

http://www.amazon.com/Son-Also-Rises-Surnames-Princeton-ebook/dp/B00 HN F5Z96/

img.fark.net

/Mind you, the increased mobility on and off the 400 in the last 50 years is a good thing for the upper middle class and a mild rebuke to Piketty's theory.  If the super-rich of yesteryear are merely the rich of today, well, regression to the mean takes a bit, but it bites.
 
2014-04-26 08:21:11 PM  
The gap has grown larger now that Obama is in charge. I guess that's the change he was promising everyone.
 
2014-04-26 08:59:29 PM  

cchris_39: You buy a $100,000 house. You make a $50,000 down payment and take out a 5 year $50,000 mortgage.

In 5 years you have doubled your money, an 18% return on your $50,000 investment. The growth rate of the economy had nothing to do with.

The French socialist knows nothing at all about basic finance or economics.


Or you're a farking idiot.

/was that poe's law?
 
2014-04-26 09:01:30 PM  

garkola: The gap has grown larger now that Obama is in charge. I guess that's the change he was promising everyone.


Nah.  That's the fault of the export-driven growth model. (Ctrl-F Spain, go to the 3rd one, read that list).  I'd also throw in Communism for providing the world with an infinite supply of cheap labor since they failed to grow their economy as fast as the Capitalist West and turned most of *that* into militarization.  And of course, tech, for making me in Silicon Valley perfectly fungible with some guy in Hyderabad because the servers are in VA.

Ooh.  And computers.

Because back in the day, Henry Ford designs a REALLY good car, figures out how to produce it in under 160 man-days of labor (I know this because it was $5/day and an $800 car), does some *really* interesting things to productivity, gets some serious economies of scale, and turns a luxury item into the product of the middle class (while paying his workers well primarily to reduce turnover costs).

So on the one hand, Ford was rich.  On the other hand, there was this whole group of engineers doing alright, and this humongous group of factory workers and workers in subsidiary industries doing pretty good.  (Funnily enough, the factory workers actually made more than the engineers, which explains everything about American cars).  And a whole bunch of subsidiary industries to the point where even today, the Midwest is cars.  So the income inequality wasn't terrible.  Even without the UAW being completely insane, it's not bad.

Move forward to today.  Youtube/Facebook/Google/et al is free to the end user.*  Netflix is (still?) $7/month.  Every single person above about the 5th percentile can trivially afford these things if they so choose.  I'm old enough to remember when phone calls to the next town over cost actual money, and today, domestic phone calls are  free, and every single piece of media is there for the having for the low, low cost of an internet connection.  It's been the single greatest explosion in the standard of living since mankind first walked the earth, for reasons that Cracked explained beautifully:

"Futurists and sci-fi writers talk about a "post-scarcity" society, meaning it's like Star Trek, where matter replicators and fusion reactors have ended all shortages. On one hand, that now looks like a ridiculous pipe dream, but in a lot of areas of our life, we're already there. Think about the porn. There's more porn than air now. Literally -- air is limited, but we have machines that can convert energy into .jpegs of titties from now until the heat death of the universe. Titties are post-scarcity."-http://www.cracked.com/article_18817_5-reasons-futu re-will-be-ruled-by -b.s..html

The problem is the business model.

"Software can be very expensive to produce, but nearly all the cost is one-time, and that means that the single most important thing to achieve with software is volume. Software is far more subject to economy of scale than any other kind of product we know of.
Moreover, software is extremely subject to network effect, which is where the perceived value of each unit to its buyer rises as a function of how many other people also have bought it.
Some products are not enhanced by network effect. The value of a pill which cures me of a horrible disease is not increased by knowing that there are a lot of other people also being cured by it; I'm not concerned with them, I'm concerned with me.
But with many kinds of products, the more of them there are out there being used, the more valuable each of them is to its owner, and software is an extreme case of that.
What Gates saw in the early 1980's was that in software that the more units you could sell, not only would the producer cost per unit fall but the perceived value to the customer would rise." -
http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2002/11/Goodengineeringisntbest-o .sh tml

So the net effect of our "Nth-thing is functionally free" society is that winners take all and economies of scale matter.  From that last link (2002 here):

"That's because Apple can only pay for its mammoth expense in developing its own proprietary operating system by selling its hardware at a greater markup than anyone else in the industry. When you buy a new Mac, part of what you're paying for is the cost of development of the OS.
That's true for the PC, too, but the cost of the OS is distributed over 25 times as many PCs, so your contribution to the Microsoft-NT-reimbursement-fund is far lower for a modern WinXP system than it is for a new Mac with OSX on it.
That is the irreducible fact of Apple's business model: they're financing OS development out of hardware sales, and when hardware volume is low, then the surcharge for OS development per hardware unit sold must be high. (Revenue from sales of OS upgrades to existing users is small; the majority of the money for the OS comes from hardware sales.)"


Which means that ANY industry is inherently going to have a very few big winners.  Just the nature of the beast.  (And mind you, a lot of this is going on on a not-software level because of globalization and the economies of scale that derive from being a multinational company).

And now let's look at how these companies are structured

* The founders have the vast percentage of the shares.
* The VC's have most of what's left.  But this is only fair because they're invested in about 10 of these for every one that survives,and meanwhile they gave you the money to become a billion dollar company over the last decade.  So returning them a 10x isn't entirely without point.
* The engineers get a pretty decent salary and maybe a tenth of a percent, which is enough to either buy a house, or seed your own startup at some point and become a founder.
* And the factory workers who made the cars back in the day are SOL.  Purely SOL.  (Or they're doing other things.  See 8% unemployment compared to "size of Silicon Valley".  They're clearly getting jobs though they're not as good).

And while I think that the elimination of the factory workers from the process is actually pretty cool (See: Nth thing is free/Titties are post-scarcity), the income inequality that arises from this process is HUGE.  Because the most popular person/group/corporation is able to leverage that popularity to such an insane degree that no one can catch up.

*Yes, oink, oink.  Insert Pig Cartoon here.  The point is that it's not the average consumer paying for it directly.
 
2014-04-26 09:28:15 PM  
meyerkev - I am not really sure what your response has to do with my comment. Are you saying that because you paid 33% and 40% in income taxes, you can claim that you are wealthy only because of your efforts, and have succeeded despite society, rather than because of it?
 
2014-04-26 09:31:37 PM  

DrPainMD: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

And the $700 "stimulus" bill from 2009 would have worked.

And it wouldn't have been needed because the economy wouldn't have crashed in the first place.


Hmm, not sure if joking or not. The stimulus did work because went didn't have wholesale failure of every bank in the world.

And yes, there would not have been a 2008 meltdown if people had listened to certain economists in the 80s warning about derivatives markets and trickle-down policies.

Anyone got a link to that pic of Reagan laughing captioned with "And we told them the wealth would trickle down"?
 
2014-04-26 09:31:45 PM  
Those more interested in the book's theme than Austrian red herrings should check out Moyers' interview with Krugman: http://billmoyers.com/2014/04/25/the-power-of-piketty%E2%80%99s-capit a l/
 
2014-04-26 09:36:59 PM  

PreMortem: DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.

To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.


So you might want to look into "consumer surplus."
 
2014-04-26 09:56:36 PM  
Fark comments are an example of the tragedy of the commons.
 
2014-04-26 10:42:57 PM  

Runningjoke: Fark comments are an example of the tragedy of the commons.


It's a tradition here to have strong opinions about things we obviously haven't read, be it the bible, the constitution or any other tl;dr; pile of words.

arguing is much more fun than learning and requires less work.

The rate of ranting exceeds the growth of knowledge so the inevitable result is an ever increasing percentage of posts being stupid ;)
 
2014-04-27 12:32:53 AM  

CruJones: PreMortem: DrPainMD: PreMortem: BalugaJoe: If economists knew what they were talking about then they would have all of the money.

One has nothing to do with the other. You have to be a psychopath who is willing to screw over your grandmother.

Or produce something of great value to others.

To me, making something for a dollar and selling it for ten is screwing someone over. Whether they think they are getting screwed over or not is irrelavent.

Shouldn't the real definition of value be what you're willing to pay? If I buy something that I like, and I feel I paid a fair price, I don't give a shiat how much it cost to make. That person found and brought this item to my attention and did everything necessary for me to obtain it. There's value in that. A quarter for a bouncy ball is ok regardless of the fact it was made for a penny because I'll get one cent's worth of entertainment. Bouncy Balls Inc did not rip me off.


The fundamental and basic concept of any transaction is that each party is trading one item in exchange for another item he or she values more than the thing he or she is giving up.  If someone purchases something for $10 dollars, that item is worth more than $10 to them, and the amount it cost to produce said item is irrelevant.
 
2014-04-27 12:39:58 AM  

DrPainMD: Have you read it? If you're looking for the cold hard truth, backed up with facts, figures, charts, graphs and plenty of research, I would suggest "Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis" by Ludwig von Mises


1. 90-year-old "facts, figures, etc."
2. The truths in Mises' book that are still relevant today are not mutually exclusive with Picketty's book. This is why today's right wing is garbage--no nuance whatsoever, just any regulation or increase in taxes (even to levels America used to have) is automatically "SOSHULIZM!@!!"
 
2014-04-27 12:50:05 AM  

cwheelie: No, I'd really like to see someone posit a new economic system that could work. Socialism & Communism are both political & economic systems and abject failures due to the human variable. Capitalism is far from perfect, but there's nothing better out there.


Again--failure to grasp nuance.  Nobody sane is arguing for leaving capitalism.  Just fine-tuning measures, like increasing taxes on the rich back to previous levels seen in America, or social safety nets universal to every first-world country, that of course today's right wing immediately calls "socialism" because their tiny brains can only deal with all-or-nothing concepts.
 
2014-04-27 12:50:28 AM  
I want to know why we have increasing income taxes as ones income goes up (which is good) and yet we have no such thing when it comes to capital gains taxes!?!

And why exactly are capital gains tax at a lower level than income from wages?

Now I can accept that a family with one investment unit or some shares should probably be given a bit of a break when selling them (so a lower tax) but when you are selling your apartment block (rather than your apartment) or selling $bil in shares I expect you to be eaten up in taxes higher than the highest income bracket.

All countries need an uber tax level, not sure what it should be but something like - for income >$500k -> 80% tax and for capital >$500k -> 90% tax.  We can debate the specifics but this step is really needed (alas the two groups in those brackets are the biggest funders of legislators (and judges ;)
 
2014-04-27 01:14:39 AM  

meyerkev: RanDomino: "Repetition of 150-year-old observation, therefore i dunno progressive taxation lol"
I just saved you $40.

meyerkev: Until then, I'm desperately trying to figure out how to afford a house when the average house around here costs half my anticipated lifetime post-tax income.

Organize for a higher wage.

Won't work.  There's too many people, not enough houses (And if we're going to be completely blunt, not enough schools where you can avoid kids who don't speak English and have a disproportionate amount of resources thrown at them.  This may change at some point, but meh).

Raising wages only increases the amount of money that people have to blow on housing.

/And uh, if everything goes right, I'm a 1%er in the next 5 years, and I'm already a 10%er.  So me asking for more money just looks tacky.


Use some of your comparatively-vast fortune to fund cooperatives in places where land and buildings are cheap, with the stipulation that they in turn help others in the same way, and so on. It won't help you tomorrow, but it might help in 50 years.
 
2014-04-27 03:59:20 AM  

cwheelie: A left wing French socialist comes out against capitalism? color me shocked. Also, show me a better system.
for all the folks yapping about the 1%, the interesting thing there is the 1% is not static - if you look at the 400 richest people 20 years ago, I believe there is only 1 name on the same list today. fortunes come, fortunes go. I don't begrudge anyone who invented something, started a company, etc, who became wealthy from their ideas and efforts.


it must be nice to be so naive.
 
2014-04-27 04:08:40 AM  

Langdon_777: I want to know why we have increasing income taxes as ones income goes up (which is good) and yet we have no such thing when it comes to capital gains taxes!?!

And why exactly are capital gains tax at a lower level than income from wages?

Now I can accept that a family with one investment unit or some shares should probably be given a bit of a break when selling them (so a lower tax) but when you are selling your apartment block (rather than your apartment) or selling $bil in shares I expect you to be eaten up in taxes higher than the highest income bracket.

All countries need an uber tax level, not sure what it should be but something like - for income >$500k -> 80% tax and for capital >$500k -> 90% tax.  We can debate the specifics but this step is really needed (alas the two groups in those brackets are the biggest funders of legislators (and judges ;)


but they just lie about how much they have, and hide it in swiss banks and caman island tax blinds.
 
2014-04-27 04:10:04 AM  

CodeMonkey4Life: Runningjoke: Fark comments are an example of the tragedy of the commons.

It's a tradition here to have strong opinions about things we obviously haven't read, be it the bible, the constitution or any other tl;dr; pile of words.

arguing is much more fun than learning and requires less work.

The rate of ranting exceeds the growth of knowledge so the inevitable result is an ever increasing percentage of posts being stupid ;)


yeah, but i read that whole book today. hope i'm not the only one.
 
2014-04-27 04:17:58 AM  
Good article. I was expecting a fluff piece but there's some focus on the reasons why we're seeing this concentration of wealth that most people would prefer to ignore.

Capital tents to flow towards people who already have a lot of it. It's a virtuous cycle - when you're rich you have all sorts of advantages that help you become richer, and the more money you have the greater the advantages. Meanwhile the poor have to deal with  poverty traps.

We've systematically destroyed a lot of the ways we used to keep this in check (progressive taxation, welfare, cheap tertiary education, unions, etc) since 1980 or so, meaning that social mobility happens less and less and classes are becoming stratified. We're already seeing the same level of inequality we had pre-WW1 in the US, a few more decades without change and we can experience the joys of the feudal system all over again.
 
2014-04-27 05:08:48 AM  

Gunther: Good article. I was expecting a fluff piece but there's some focus on the reasons why we're seeing this concentration of wealth that most people would prefer to ignore.

Capital tents to flow towards people who already have a lot of it. It's a virtuous cycle - when you're rich you have all sorts of advantages that help you become richer, and the more money you have the greater the advantages. Meanwhile the poor have to deal with  poverty traps.

We've systematically destroyed a lot of the ways we used to keep this in check (progressive taxation, welfare, cheap tertiary education, unions, etc) since 1980 or so, meaning that social mobility happens less and less and classes are becoming stratified. We're already seeing the same level of inequality we had pre-WW1 in the US, a few more decades without change and we can experience the joys of the feudal system all over again.


probably sooner.
 
2014-04-27 10:01:25 AM  

Linux_Yes: rewind2846: snocone: My book, "Serving The Rich" is not 700 pages long.

Some chapters:
Boiled Rich
Fried Rich
Beer Battered Rich
Butterflyed Rich

Rich Gumbo
Pan-Seared Rich
Rich Salad
Broiled Rich
Rich Flambe'
Rich Soup
Stir-Fried Rich
Rich with a light cream Sauce
Oven-Roasted Rich
Rich Tartare
Baked Rich
Barbequed Rich


/just might get to that 700 pages


or.............you just might get Ideas out to the little people that just might ream your people a new asshole.


Yea, I simply do not understand.

You think "the Rich" would could hesitate a New York Second before "eating" the poor plate?
 
2014-04-27 10:07:29 AM  
Tax 'em

Then tax the tax

Then tax the Rich 'till there are no more.

That is what society is "supposed" do do. Apportion resources fairly to all.

We are reaching the point where our remaining resources are the Rich' holdings, squirreled away to perpetrate their personal "Dynasty".

They did it wrong!
Time for a correction.
 
2014-04-27 10:32:36 AM  

Hardy-r-r: I have not read the book but its description from the article leads me to think all I have to do is look at the disparaging gap that is increasing at an increasing rate between the wealthy & the rest of us.



You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.  - bob dylan.
 
2014-04-27 11:02:35 AM  
Thought I seen "French economist" while I was dodging the popup and just closed the page...
 
2014-04-27 01:49:32 PM  
"When the rate of return of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income, as it did in the nineteenth century and seems quite likely to do again in the twenty-first, capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values on which which democratic societies are based," Piketty writes.

He says that like the societal collapse is a bad thing....

OK, so presuming it is -- could a country evade this selection pressure by adjusting capital gains taxation policy, such that the effective rate of return on capital would be based from the measured rate of growth in output and income?
 
2014-04-27 02:58:40 PM  

snocone: Tax 'em

Then tax the tax

Then tax the Rich 'till there are no more.

That is what society is "supposed" do do. Apportion resources fairly to all.

We are reaching the point where our remaining resources are the Rich' holdings, squirreled away to perpetrate their personal "Dynasty".

They did it wrong!
Time for a correction.


And when there are no more rich, who are you going to tax?

Socialism didn't work in the 20th Century, son, only a fool would think it'd work in the 21st.
 
2014-04-27 03:52:07 PM  

Mouser: Socialism didn't work in the 20th Century, son


Yes it did--not real socialism, but the teatard definition of "socialism" was rampant in America pre-Bush II, and is still universally rampant throughout the first world.  It worked/works just fine, because it's actually capitalism.
 
2014-04-27 04:33:39 PM  

some_beer_drinker: CodeMonkey4Life: Runningjoke: Fark comments are an example of the tragedy of the commons.

It's a tradition here to have strong opinions about things we obviously haven't read, be it the bible, the constitution or any other tl;dr; pile of words.

arguing is much more fun than learning and requires less work.

The rate of ranting exceeds the growth of knowledge so the inevitable result is an ever increasing percentage of posts being stupid ;)

yeah, but i read that whole book today. hope i'm not the only one.


It's a well researched, entertaining and interesting work.
Many things like the historical rate of growth and way countries that exceed it are always in a "catch up" mode came as surprises to me.

The use of 19th century literature to illuminate some of the raw numbers was fun, I might even read some Balzac later.
( no I won't)
 
2014-04-27 06:26:10 PM  

Mouser: snocone: Tax 'em

Then tax the tax

Then tax the Rich 'till there are no more.

That is what society is "supposed" do do. Apportion resources fairly to all.

We are reaching the point where our remaining resources are the Rich' holdings, squirreled away to perpetrate their personal "Dynasty".

They did it wrong!
Time for a correction.

And when there are no more rich, who are you going to tax?

Socialism didn't work in the 20th Century, son, only a fool would think it'd work in the 21st.


Works just fine for a century.
'Cause, they'll be baacckkk,,,
 
2014-04-27 06:29:21 PM  
You have, of course heard the Buffalo Herd Brain Cell Theory.

Well, lemme tell you the Eat The Rich Like Mushrooms Theory.
 
2014-04-27 07:11:06 PM  

Mouser: snocone: Tax 'em

Then tax the tax

Then tax the Rich 'till there are no more.

That is what society is "supposed" do do. Apportion resources fairly to all.

We are reaching the point where our remaining resources are the Rich' holdings, squirreled away to perpetrate their personal "Dynasty".

They did it wrong!
Time for a correction.

And when there are no more rich, who are you going to tax?

Socialism didn't work in the 20th Century, son, only a fool would think it'd work in the 21st.


so you WANT to be a peasant?
 
2014-04-27 07:13:41 PM  

some_beer_drinker: Mouser: snocone: Tax 'em

Then tax the tax

Then tax the Rich 'till there are no more.

That is what society is "supposed" do do. Apportion resources fairly to all.

We are reaching the point where our remaining resources are the Rich' holdings, squirreled away to perpetrate their personal "Dynasty".

They did it wrong!
Time for a correction.

And when there are no more rich, who are you going to tax?

Socialism didn't work in the 20th Century, son, only a fool would think it'd work in the 21st.

so you WANT to be a peasant?


HaHa.
You ARE what you farking are, peasant.
 
2014-04-28 12:02:25 AM  

BumpInTheNight: "Psychic wins lottery, again!"
-no headline ever


Maybe it's because after that they see the headlines: "Lottery-winning psychic killed by outraged, fearful mob" or "Lottery-winning psychic a possible threat to humanity, flown to unknown location to be questioned" or "Lottery-winning psychic disappeared like Jimmy Hoffa."

If you're psychic, you might not be comfortable letting the whole world know it.

/If being psychic works that way in the first place.  Psychics aren't omniscient.
 
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