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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 161
    More: Interesting, Amazon, Thomas Piketty, economics, New York Review of Books, e-books, Lawrence Mishel  
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12346 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Apr 2014 at 11:46 AM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



161 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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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, a
Guatemalan 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.
 
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