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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #6041
    I think that Ludwig von Mises was definitely ignored in his own time, probably rightly so. But he wasn't anywhere near the ideologue that Rothbard was.

  2. #6042
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    From what I can tell, mainstream economics is not really supportive of trickle-down theory at all.
    Oh, sure. I didn't read your post very well.

  3. #6043
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Nah, I think it's an accident. It's comforting to think there's a plan here, even an evil one, but I don't think there is one. I think the rich all recognize that there's a problem brewing, but they're each too selfish and stupid to unilaterally do anything about it. They're all waiting for the other rich people to act first, so they can seize whatever money gets left on the table. I call it guillotine chicken.
    I guess, in some ways, Putin is more single handedly competent than all of America's billionaires. And he's not particularly good at what he does, so, interesting.

  4. #6044
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    You know, I've been thinking about this **** and it's pretty baffling proof that venture capital is ****ed. I mean:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...ption-is-socks

    I mean, people did crowdfund Solar Roadways of all things, but I don't think anybody could raise 100 million for techno-socks without appealing to the whims of wealthy techno-dick investor idiots.
    That company seems like a reasonable investment to me. :shrug:

    Specialty apparel is an underserved market with strong growth. If you want to set up production and a distribution network that can serve an entire country you're probably gonna need $100 million, so the amount doesn't even seem strange to me. Venture capitalists are all in the Bay Area now so it also makes sense that the funding would go through there, even if it's just "boring" socks instead of some f**k app.

    Maybe the real story is the opportunity cost?
    Last edited by Jon`C; 12-03-2017 at 01:57 AM.

  5. #6045
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I guess, in some ways, Putin is more single handedly competent than all of America's billionaires. And he's not particularly good at what he does, so, interesting.
    If the billionaire class was anywhere near as competent as actual successful mob bosses, who literally have to outsmart their competition to avoid being assassinated, the cohort of morons who have turned the country into their own little country club might as well be in diapers.

    (Why do you think Trump resents the CIA so much?)

  6. #6046
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    That company seems like a reasonable investment to me. :shrug:

    Specialty apparel is an underserved market with strong growth. If you want to set up production and a distribution network that can serve an entire country you're probably gonna need $100 million.
    Eh. Maybe so, I'm outraging myself over nothing. For as much as Silicon Valley has a bunch of worthless startups, I guess optimizing sock production is among the more okay things.

  7. #6047
    Do the socks contain ads?

  8. #6048
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    If the billionaire class was anywhere near as competent as actual successful mob bosses, who literally have to outsmart their competition to avoid being assassinated, the cohort of morons who have turned the country into their own little country club might as well be in diapers.

    (Why do you think Trump resents the CIA so much?)
    Funny thing being most mob bosses are really incompetent and stupid, and many get assassinated.

  9. #6049

  10. #6050
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Funny thing being most mob bosses are really incompetent and stupid, and many get assassinated.
    Merry Christmas, fellas.


  11. #6051
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    How bad is this in mainstream economics? From what I can tell, as long as you stay away from mises.org or other crank webpages, many economists recognize this sort of thing. Not sure why they don't speak louder about the consequences of this stuff, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Do they really? How is this not a softball, I remember Jon`C savaging mainstream economic thought.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    From what I can tell, mainstream economics is not really supportive of trickle-down theory at all.
    Mainstream economics is schizophrenic about it. They "recognize" that wealth is real stuff, and they "recognize" that a lot of production happens without any exchange of money, such as managing a household or human capital formation during child rearing. But then they get to currency, they say currency is a store of wealth, and they take off running with the idea. They invented economic indicators based entirely around money, and "recognize" that they aren't entirely accurate, but when it comes to policy recommendations they behave as though the indicator is the economy.

    I'm putting airquotes around "recognize" because they recognize these things mostly by saying they recognize them, but there's no evidence they actually do. It's a magical incantation invented by the original creator, recited to absolve the economist of their sins.

  12. #6052
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Do they really? How is this not a softball, I remember Jon`C savaging mainstream economic thought.
    I think there's a problem of visibility. Economists who say ****ty, stupid things get attention because they say ****ty, stupid things.

    There's plenty of good, mainstream economic work on income inequality and growth. Also consider the work by Piketty, Krugman. The rub is sorting out how to determine good economics from bad.

  13. #6053

  14. #6054
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    Why are SocDems so obsessed with daycare subsidies?

    Because it converts "unproductive" parental labor into "productive" childcare and non-childcare labor.

    The same work is being done, arguably worse. But unlike the unpaid labor of a parent raising their own child, daycares show up in GDP.

  15. #6055
    Maybe people who measure economic activity by the number of transactions are no better than corporations which measure programmer productivity in terms of the number of lines of code written.

  16. #6056
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Maybe people who measure economic activity by the number of transactions are no better than corporations which measure programmer productivity in terms of the number of lines of code written.
    Holy ****, I can write really productive code then man.

  17. #6057
    IBM is famously supposed to have measured productivity by the number of lines of code written, so maybe you should work for them.

  18. #6058
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    IBM is famously supposed to have measured productivity by the number of lines of code written, so maybe you should work for them.
    Payment is based on the height of the stack of punchcards used to catalog Jews in Auschwitz

  19. #6059
    dark

  20. #6060
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Mainstream economics is schizophrenic about it. They "recognize" that wealth is real stuff, and they "recognize" that a lot of production happens without any exchange of money, such as managing a household or human capital formation during child rearing. But then they get to currency, they say currency is a store of wealth, and they take off running with the idea. They invented economic indicators based entirely around money, and "recognize" that they aren't entirely accurate, but when it comes to policy recommendations they behave as though the indicator is the economy.

    I'm putting airquotes around "recognize" because they recognize these things mostly by saying they recognize them, but there's no evidence they actually do. It's a magical incantation invented by the original creator, recited to absolve the economist of their sins.
    That sounds like a fair criticism to me. As though they recognize the model has faults, but don't investigate the faults far enough to understand how it limits their views.

  21. #6061
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Finally got done reading this. Very interesting, though I felt the tone was at first too pessimistic.

  22. #6062
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Unironically though Nazis and Jews get along well much of the time today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    This has made me think of the experiences of Chomsky and Finkelstein, both good Jewish scholars who did work/talked about Israeli human rights violations against Palestine, and the **** they've been accused of as a result.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Payment is based on the height of the stack of punchcards used to catalog Jews in Auschwitz
    It's weird how much you talk about Jews. It's a little awkward.

  23. #6063
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Why are SocDems so obsessed with daycare subsidies?

    Because it converts "unproductive" parental labor into "productive" childcare and non-childcare labor.

    The same work is being done, arguably worse. But unlike the unpaid labor of a parent raising their own child, daycares show up in GDP.
    This coincides, I think, with the increasingly widespread adoption of of some very irritating terminology that I frequently see on the pages of the New York Times. For example, the use of the phrase "emotional labor", which is used to describe ways in which women are called on to manage and care for people's feelings (especially men's) in a way that men often are not. The idea is that 1) emotional labor is a type of productive labor, and therefore 2) women are exploited because they are not compensated for the work they do in caring for people's feelings (for example, as a wife, as a friend, as a mother, or in an office-setting). The argument seems to be that when a woman has a conservation with another person about an emotional issue, she's being violated when she isn't paid for it, because what she does is work.

    It strikes me that something very neoliberal is happening here. The word "labor" is being used metaphorically to describe certain social interactions as economic activities, even though until very recently we didn't understand them as being economic (because, after all, why would we? They don't create anything). I think this way of talking satisfies a neoliberal demand to be able to quantify everything in terms of currency. I'm curious what you make of this. Maybe I'm betraying a conservative outlook here, and perhaps this doesn't raise any flags from a more materialistic, economically-minded perspective, where most aspects of human life are seen as having an economic dimension anyway (or being a manifestation or effect of material, or economic, conditions), and there isn't an impulse to make a strong distinction between social activity and economic activity (as there is, for example, among certain philosophers).
    Last edited by Eversor; 12-03-2017 at 05:38 AM.

  24. #6064
    Perhaps soon we will see the Winklevoss twins cash out their first billion dollars of bitcoins, and invest the money into the nascent market for emotional labor securities.

  25. #6065
    Also, speaking of turning everything into an economic unit for fun and profit, is that why the NSA is doing that dragnet surveillance program? More surveillance = bigger budget = more contracts with our buddies. Is it all one big boondoggle?

    And thinking about the word boondoggle, it strikes me that conservatives really don't even understand socialism based on the same definitions as socialists must. I think for a conservative, every cent the government spends is either evil, immoral redistribution, a boondoggle, or a convenient conflating of these two scourges. But really, this has nothing to do with socialism (although it might have something to do with the way democracy creates battles over funding, which we are told would intensify if we increased the scope of federal programs that purport to help people), but rather how our government seems to be susceptible to corruption. Of course communist governments were also plenty corrupt in who they chose to allocate funds to, but conservatives act like its an inherent property of government that the money will be wasted by definition.

  26. #6066
    And hey, you guys are all benefiting from my posts. This is involuntary exploitation of my thought labor, so where's my paycheck?

  27. #6067
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    And hey, you guys are all benefiting from my posts. This is involuntary exploitation of my thought labor, so where's my paycheck?
    You should hire an intellectual property lawyer.

  28. #6068
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Also, speaking of turning everything into an economic unit for fun and profit, is that why the NSA is doing that dragnet surveillance program? More surveillance = bigger budget = more contracts with our buddies. Is it all one big boondoggle?

    And thinking about the word boondoggle, it strikes me that conservatives really don't even understand socialism based on the same definitions as socialists must. I think for a conservative, every cent the government spends is either evil, immoral redistribution, a boondoggle, or a convenient conflating of these two scourges. But really, this has nothing to do with socialism (although it might have something to do with the way democracy creates battles over funding, which we are told would intensify if we increased the scope of federal programs that purport to help people), but rather how our government seems to be susceptible to corruption. Of course communist governments were also plenty corrupt in who they chose to allocate funds to, but conservatives act like its an inherent property of government that the money will be wasted by definition.
    This just seems like a byproduct of a certain kind of free market fundamentalism. If you believe that free markets are inherently more efficient at providing services (and thus inherently cheaper) you're going to think that every dollar spent funding government services is a dollar wasted. And since free markets are also, from this point of view, the most efficient and fairest way to dispense rewards, there's a moralistic dimension to it too. Inequality is not only tolerable, but just, because those who have wealth are more deserving of it, and those who don't have wealth don't deserve it. Because free-markets are so efficient at dispensing rewards, the argument goes, if you have managed to acquire wealth, it could only be because you deserve it, because, since the market is efficient, you are deserving of wealth to the extent that you are wealthy, and the amount of wealth you have is the metric that represents how deserving you are (and vice versa for those who don't have wealth: if you don't have wealth, it's only because you haven't earned it, and therefore you don't deserve it). Therefore, government programs that provide services to everyone whether they have wealth or not are unjust and immoral, because they allow people to get what they haven't earned through work, and, for that reason, what they don't deserve.
    Last edited by Eversor; 12-03-2017 at 08:34 AM.

  29. #6069
    There would be something compelling about that worldview if 1) there was real equality of opportunity in America and 2) opportunity was so pervasive that the only thing determining whether a person was financially successful or not was how hard they worked and 3) inherited wealth didn't give some people distinct advantages in economic competition over others. Maybe if those things were true, it would actually be reasonable to say that nobody was guaranteed the basic necessities of life unless they worked and earned them themselves, because it really would be the case that if you didn't have any wealth it was because you were lazy, and it would be much easier to interpret having access to basic necessities without working as a form of freeloading (because people would receive wealth in one form or another without producing anything through work themselves, and they could reasonably be accused of failing to hold up their end of some social-economic contract). But none of those things are true, and clearly its becoming increasingly difficult even to maintain the illusion that they are.
    Last edited by Eversor; 12-03-2017 at 10:44 AM.

  30. #6070
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post

    And thinking about the word boondoggle, it strikes me that conservatives really don't even understand socialism based on the same definitions as socialists must. I think for a conservative, every cent the government spends is either evil, immoral redistribution, a boondoggle, or a convenient conflating of these two scourges. But really, this has nothing to do with socialism (although it might have something to do with the way democracy creates battles over funding, which we are told would intensify if we increased the scope of federal programs that purport to help people), but rather how our government seems to be susceptible to corruption. Of course communist governments were also plenty corrupt in who they chose to allocate funds to, but conservatives act like its an inherent property of government that the money will be wasted by definition.
    I get a special kind of satisfaction from getting conservatives to agree that I deserve my disability, and over the course of a conversation, getting them to effectively agree that socialized programs (kind of like the VA) are important and the only way to run society.
    sniff

  31. #6071
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    God, I get now why Ben Shapiro appeals to so many on the right. He's exactly like them, he thinks rambling off a bunch of statistics he stitched to create a bull**** narrative is some kind of ownage.

    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/...ds-philosopher

    ^ Fantastic article about the intellectual vapidity of the right.

  32. #6072
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    This coincides, I think, with the increasingly widespread adoption of of some very irritating terminology that I frequently see on the pages of the New York Times. For example, the use of the phrase "emotional labor", which is used to describe ways in which women are called on to manage and care for people's feelings (especially men's) in a way that men often are not. The idea is that 1) emotional labor is a type of productive labor, and therefore 2) women are exploited because they are not compensated for the work they do in caring for people's feelings (for example, as a wife, as a friend, as a mother, or in an office-setting). The argument seems to be that when a woman has a conservation with another person about an emotional issue, she's being violated when she isn't paid for it, because what she does is work.

    It strikes me that something very neoliberal is happening here. The word "labor" is being used metaphorically to describe certain social interactions as economic activities, even though until very recently we didn't understand them as being economic (because, after all, why would we? They don't create anything). I think this way of talking satisfies a neoliberal demand to be able to quantify everything in terms of currency. I'm curious what you make of this. Maybe I'm betraying a conservative outlook here, and perhaps this doesn't raise any flags from a more materialistic, economically-minded perspective, where most aspects of human life are seen as having an economic dimension anyway (or being a manifestation or effect of material, or economic, conditions), and there isn't an impulse to make a strong distinction between social activity and economic activity (as there is, for example, among certain philosophers).
    “Emotional labor” was coined to discuss literal jobs, like customer service, where you are required to both self-regulate your emotions and appease customers. The current popular usage refers to specifically the unpaid emotional labor which is predominately performed by women simply because it is much more socially acceptable for men to act burnt out, rude, absent minded, or otherwise inconsiderate of others. If it weren’t real work, companies wouldn’t pay people to do it, and people wouldn’t be so eager to offload it onto their partners.

    I don’t consider this creeping neoliberalism. I fact, I think it is the opposite. Recognizing that there is productive activity that happens independent of capitalists is an inconvenient fact for the boosters of capitalism, and an important realization if you want to teach people to accept socialism.

  33. #6073
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    ...it is much more socially acceptable for men to act burnt out, rude, absent minded, or otherwise inconsiderate of others.
    Vote to change Jon's title to Admiral of Emotional Labor?
    sniff

  34. #6074
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    I don’t consider this creeping neoliberalism. I fact, I think it is the opposite. Recognizing that there is productive activity that happens independent of capitalists is an inconvenient fact for the boosters of capitalism, and an important realization if you want to teach people to accept socialism.
    Makes sense.

  35. #6075
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    There would be something compelling about that worldview if 1) there was real equality of opportunity in America and 2) opportunity was so pervasive that the only thing determining whether a person was financially successful or not was how hard they worked and 3) inherited wealth didn't give some people distinct advantages in economic competition over others. Maybe if those things were true, it would actually be reasonable to say that nobody was guaranteed the basic necessities of life unless they worked and earned them themselves, because it really would be the case that if you didn't have any wealth it was because you were lazy, and it would be much easier to interpret having access to basic necessities without working as a form of freeloading (because people would receive wealth in one form or another without producing anything through work themselves, and they could reasonably be accused of failing to hold up their end of some social-economic contract). But none of those things are true, and clearly its becoming increasingly difficult even to maintain the illusion that they are.
    Right - wealth inequality that's a result of people being more productive is fine by my (and many socialist's) accounts. The question is, does the marginal product of the labor of CEOs equal the income they receive? In terms of direct productivity - I.E. how much they actually contribute to producing goods, rather than just being an expensive connected person who can offer advantages.

    I agree that it would be reasonable to not guarantee basic necessities for able-bodied people, given open and free access to capital and little barrier to competition. So insofar as markets are actually free, that ideology is possible.

    As things are now, we need a minimum standard of living for all people.

  36. #6076
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    So check it out, I (for God knows what reason) ended up reading about anarcho-capitalism, and stumbled upon this:

    As a practical matter, in terms of the ownership of land, anarcho-capitalists recognize that there are few (if any) parcels of land left on Earth whose ownership was not at some point in time obtained in violation of the homestead principle, through seizure by the state or put in private hands with the assistance of the state. Rothbard says,

    It is not enough to call simply for defense of "the rights of private property"; there must be an adequate theory of justice in property rights, else any property that some State once decreed to be "private" must now be defended by libertarians, no matter how unjust the procedure or how mischievous its consequences.

    Rothbard says in "Justice and Property Right" that "any identifiable owner (the original victim of theft or his heir) must be accorded his property". In the case of slavery, Rothbard says that in many cases "the old plantations and the heirs and descendants of the former slaves can be identified, and the reparations can become highly specific indeed". He believes slaves rightfully own any land they were forced to work on under the "homestead principle". If property is held by the state, Rothbard advocates its confiscation and return to the private sector: "any property in the hands of the State is in the hands of thieves, and should be liberated as quickly as possible".
    I bet if people on the right knew this about Rothbard, they would do a 180 degree switch and call him a communist.

    I needn't have to say it but I'll say it anyway: this dream of Rothbard's is also a delusion. In what way is it going to be possible to liberate this property without a state? People aren't going to just hand it over. They'll definitely dispute ownership. How will the glorious Ancap society deal with it? Oh, I suppose they'll create a system where people can present their evidence and get ruled on it. These judicious people will also need a system to record and save their rulings, to ensure it's unbiased. They'll also need someone strong enough to go out and execute whatever the judicious people de-aw crap, we just reinvented government to deal with the dispute because government just makes sense you idiots.

  37. #6077
    That's pretty funny considering the kind of neo-confederate pseudo-intellectuals affiliated with the Mises institute, like Thomas DiLorenzo, who puts out books with titles like The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War.

  38. #6078
    Speaking of conservative intellectuals, I listened to the National Review podcast last night. Even they are mystified by how counter-productive and bad the GOP Tax Reform bill is: http://www.nationalreview.com/media/...pretender-cfpb

    The Republicans have lost the support of their flagship intellectual magazine for their bill to address their party's defining issue. What's left of ideological conservatism as a legislative agenda?
    Last edited by Eversor; 12-04-2017 at 03:17 AM.

  39. #6079
    The National Review doesn't like Trump at all. And why should they? William F. Buckley didn't even think we should have invaded Iraq.

    Incidentally, Mises Institute people hate the National Review / CIA.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 12-04-2017 at 03:40 AM.

  40. #6080
    Specifically, Rothbard hated NR.

    Chapter 12 and 13, full of rants about how it was a CIA front. (And maybe it was.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Murray Rothbard
    In the light of hindsight, we should now ask whether or not a major
    objective of National Review from its inception was to transform the
    right wing from an isolationist to global warmongering anti-Communist
    movement; and, particularly, whether or not the entire effort was in
    essence a CIA operation. We now know that Bill Buckley, for the two years
    prior to establishing National Review , was admittedly a CIA agent in
    Mexico City, and that the sinister E. Howard Hunt was his control. His
    sister Priscilla, who became managing editor of National Review , was
    also in the CIA; and other editors James Burnham and Willmoore Kendall
    had at least been recipients of CIA largesse in the anti-Communist
    Con- gress for Cultural Freedom. In addition, Burnham has been iden-
    tified by two reliable sources as a consultant for the CIA in the years
    after World War II. 10 Moreover, Garry Wills relates in his memoirs
    of the conservative movement that Frank Meyer, to whom he was close at
    the time, was convinced that the magazine was a CIA operation. With
    his Leninist-trained nose for intrigue, Meyer must be considered an
    important witness.



    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 12-04-2017 at 03:39 AM.

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