With a wide open country in my eyes

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(If these guys are going to keep this up, then Bill really needs to learn the sax solo for “Jungleland.”)

“I don’t think any of the people I write about would punch an old lady in the face, but they would inflict the same level of harm when they are abstracted away from the outcomes of their actions.”

It is better to do good to the undeserving for the sake of the deserving, than by guarding against those that are less good to fail to meet in with the good.”

“For one thing, making money is easy, knowing what to do with it is hard. And you don’t know spit unless you know why you should practice the classical virtue of generosity.”

“Money, in short, allows us to hoard. Someone with a million forks is clearly insane. But someone with a million dollars?”

A hard core of white evangelical adults continues to insist that religion drive political rhetoric. If the current trend continues, they will find themselves even more at odds with the American public.”

“[American Center for Law & Justice] will not comment further on this personnel matter.”

“While it is unclear whether the men are at the age of consent or old enough to consume alcohol, it appears that Henderson provided them with alcohol and marijuana.”

“Calling [Rep. Scott] DesJarlais a hypocrite is a fun way to spend an afternoon, but the sordid tale’s real value is in demonstrating what’s really going on with the anti-abortion movement.”

Political leadership ought to be … reserved for the hands of males.”

“We’ve become used to the idea of lunatic fringe attacks … but this one was complete misrepresentation.”

I’m going to end this interview now because that’s just not true. Mr. Fischer, uh, thanks for sharing your views, I guess.”

“It’s like saying the Moon is made of cheese and calling it a ‘dairy issue’ — evidence that the Moon is made of Moon and not of gouda might be inconvenient for gouda enthusiasts, but that doesn’t mean we’re being rude to the goudists by pointing out they’re being dumb.”

“I believe he has ideas about becoming a Scientist; on his present showing this is quite ridiculous.”

“It ought to be possible find art and music and styles of worship that reflect the best of culture, and not the best of another culture that was meaningful to another time, and not the worst of our contemporary culture.”

“He had watched attentively as the woman made her way across the ice, and he was preparing to seize her when, he later admitted to a local abolitionist, he heard her baby whimper and something unexpectedly moved inside him.”

Academic Men Explain Things to Me

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  • JustoneK

    ahahahahahahahahahaaaa.  hoo.  gay nazis.
    I’m useless for the rest of the day now.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Alvin Toffler wrote in one of his books (probably The Third Wave, circa 1980) that there was totes legit a Gay Nazi movement.

    Don’t ask me how they squared that circle, considering the Nazis’ generally traditionalistic and violently homophobic stances once actually in power post 1934.

  • Kaleberg

    The gay Hitler and his buddy Nazis thing was popular in stage shows during World War II. For example, they’d have a stage Hitler start fondling Goering’s ass or vice versa. They called it “abnormal’ sex back then, and this was for adults only. In reality, Hitler himself was into the middle aged haus frau type. We’d probably say “MILF” these days.

    The gay Nazi thing we are familiar with these days was developed by Tom of Finland, a gay guy from Helsinki who got into the leather Nazi look back around ’39. After the war he did a lot of “gay Nazi” art with the now traditional jackboots and leather bondage. The Nazis would have gassed him as they did so many other homosexuals.

  • aunursa

    It seems clear that a person with 1,000 forks has a bit of a fork-problem. How many forks do you really need? You only need as many as you have use for… Someone with a million forks is clearly insane. But someone with a million dollars?

    Author Richard Beck is a professor and department chair of Psychology at Abiline Christian University.  Insane — is that a clinical diagnosis?

    Maybe the fork owner simply likes to collect forks.  I have hundreds of bicentennial coins that I never spend and don’t need.  Does that make me insane?  My mother-in-law has more than 25,000 postcards.  I doubt that she needs to keep them.  Is she insane?

  • The_L1985

     True.  But think about how much space a million forks would actually take up.

    From a children’s magazine I read (possibly American Girl?), in which readers submitted stories about the best teachers they’d ever had:

    “My teacher had us collect 1 million soda can tabs, so we could see how big a million was.  They filled up half the gym!”  (note: I don’t have the magazine in front of me.  I’m paraphrasing–this one really stuck with me for some reason.)

    Picture a school gymnasium.  Now bear in mind that a fork is about 4x as long as a can tab.  That means that 1 million forks would require roughly 2 such gymnasiums to store them in.

    Now picture that amount of space inside a house.  Where on earth would you fit THAT many forks?  Are you going to rent out 5 or 6 storage units just to store forks?  If you tried to keep them in your house, would there even be enough space for furniture at all?

    So yes.  Collecting a few hundred forks, maybe even a thousand, is not insane.  But having one million of them?  Clearly an extreme hoarder.

  • gocart mozart

    A million forks when all you need is a spoon . . . isn’t it ironic.

  • The_L1985

     Don’tcha think?

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Maybe the fork owner simply likes to collect forks.

    There are some key distinctions between “collecting” and “hoarding”. 

    I have hundreds of bicentennial coins that I never spend and don’t need.

    These coins, how much time and effort do you expend acquiring them?  How often do you add to your collection? Do you feel a sense of relief or comfort when you add to that collection? If you go a long time without adding any coins to the set, do you feel anxiety or fear?

    Are they kept in a manner that preserves them from damage and makes them easy to display, or once acquired are they set aside carelessly?

    Does the thought of losing those coins create anxiety in you? Do you have any intentions of ever selling or otherwise liquidating those coins? Can you imagine a scenario where you had half as many coins, or even 1/10th? Does imaging such scenarios create a sense of panic?

    My mother-in-law has more than 25,000 postcards.  I doubt that she needs to keep them.  Is she insane?

    Depends. The above questions all apply, plus a few extras that I skipped with the coins.
    Are the postcards unique, or does she had 500 or 1,000 of the same exact postcard?
    Is there some property of those postcards that make them distinctive, uncommon, or unique? 
    Does she have criteria for whether or not she keeps a particular postcard? Does it need to be mailed to her, or purchased at an unusual location, or will any postcard from any place sent to any person qualify for keeping?

    Having a million different and unique forks, organized and categorized, some or all on display, ranging from antiques to novelty items to some mass-produced flatware, is a collection. Having a million forks, piled in boxes and bags, purchased from garage sales and thrift stores and junkyards, with no sense of what a given item’s history or connection to the whole is beyond “it’s a fork” is a hoard. 

  • Turcano

     “You bring the Fork! Happy day! The blind shall see! The lame shall walk! The short shall tall! Forks for all!”

  • Beleester

    The original argument in the link was that having a million forks was crazy because it’s more forks than you “need.”  By a similar argument, a million dollars is more dollars than you “need.”

    You point out that it’s legitimate to have a million forks if it’s a collection – if you enjoy having a million forks, if you put effort into gathering your forks and organizing them, then there’s nothing wrong with a million forks.

    By the same token, if you enjoy having a million dollars, if you enjoy putting effort into making money, what’s wrong with a million dollars?  You and aunursa are in agreement here, I think.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with being rich – a lot of cool people like Bill Gates are rich.  It’s how you get rich and what you do with the money that matters.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    You point out that it’s legitimate to have a million forks if it’s a collection –

    Yes, and I tried to suggest certain elements that distinguish a collector from a hoarder, and a collection from a hoard.

    One million forks, with a wide variety of styles, origins, and history are a collection. One million copies of the same fork, or even a thousand copies of a thousand different types of forks is much more of a hoard. It is not an accumulation of exotic specimens as part of a larger appreciation of the context they are drawn from, it is a compulsion to gather items beyond their practical use as a means of alleviating abnormal levels of anxiety.

    Coin collectors, for example, do not save every penny and nickel and dime they find. They gather the unusual, the uncommon, the obscure, and the historical, because the physical item of coins can have those properties. “Wealth” or “money” does not. 

     if you enjoy having a million dollars, if you enjoy putting effort into making money, what’s wrong with a million dollars?  …It’s what you do with the money that matters.

    The article points out that the people who accumulate money, the “misers” don’t enjoy “having a million dollars”. They find relief from anxiety in accumulating money, but there is no point at which they will have “enough”. The act of gathering a hoard gives relief from abnormal anxiety, even though the hoard itself may have no use, or even become hazardous. 

    It’s easy to look at a person who has filled their home with shopping bags and still goes to thrift stores and say “that person has an unhealthy compulsion”. It’s harder to look at a person who has a million dollars and yet still seeks to get more money and see the same unbalanced compulsion un-tethered from reality.

    Bill Gates isn’t rich because he pursued money; he’s rich because he built a company. Warren Buffet isn’t rich because he pursued money, he’s rich because he wanted to invest and build a better nation. Some hedge fund traders and futures market brokers are pursing profit solely for the purpose of pursing profit. Their enjoyment comes not from making or building or destroying or changing things, but from acquiring money itself. Which, as the article points out, is a rational behavior… up to a point. It’s rational to pursue money to meet your survival needs. But there is a threshold beyond which it’s obviously irrational.

  • The_L1985

     This, so much.  Being wealthy is not inherently good, or inherently evil.  It doesn’t make you better or worse than other people.  It’s the means that are important.

  • LoneWolf343

     Could be an obsessive-compulsive disorder, but psychs tend to leave it alone unless it interferes with quality of life.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

    That last link is simultaneously funny, sad, and also slightly embarrassing to myself.

    On the third point:

    I find myself explaining things to everyone.  EVERYONE.  It doesn’t matter if you know more than me, less than me, what your gender is, or anything else; it’s just a really, really bad nervous habit I have, specifically because it prevents conversation from going in any other directions which could become unpleasant.  (Politics and religion are usually what I’m trying to avoid; but there are others too.)

    I guess the point being that some folks like myself are just nervous chatterboxes   (I spent most of my birthday explaining to my dad the differences between various tanks of WWII.  Not that my dad was particularly interested in such; but it was that, or risk the topic drifting into territory I didn’t want it drifting into >..<

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     Ack! I know! I do the same thing. I’m trying to break myself of the habit because it really must annoy other people.

    I also do the thing where a person tells me things. I then go and check with an authority figure. And then tell the first person exactly what they told me.

    This maybe why much mansplaining flies right over my head. Anyone doing stuff like that to me I just assume they’re shy and overcompensating like me.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Ah, yeah… I do that too… all the time.  The whole sort of thing where you state your opinion almost as though it were fact, with the expectation of being corrected if you’re actually wrong…

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     In RL I’m totally the opposite of that.  I state totally definite facts about subjects in a sort of hemming-hawing “maybe this could possibly be true I hope you believe me but if not I guess that’s OK” kind of fashion ><

    It'd be funny if it weren't so blasted ridiculous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Yep, that’s generally my way, too.  Sets me back considerably.

  • Magic_Cracker

    The weird thing about hoarding the millions dollars is that unless its in a suitcase or something, it’s just everybody imagining that someone’s hoarding a million dollars.

  • Julian Elson

    Hitler pretty much violently disbanded the stormtroopers shortly after getting into power. Whatever the proportion of gays in the SA vis-à-vis the proportion of gays in the SS, wehrmacht, etc, it doesn’t seem that he needed whatever gay superpowers the SA had to do most of his serious atrocities.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Re: Money and forks.

    The author is making an analogy. American culture in particular places an unreasonable emphasis on those chits or markers we call dollar bills, and uses them to measure, in one number, how “good” someone is.

    Just like a person’s overall GPA (an aggregate number) tells you nothing about them blowing away all the math exams and bombing their chemistry ones (I knew someone like this: brilliant at calculus, complex numbers, what have you, but terrible at physics), a person’s income or wealth tells you nothing about how they get that money or wealth, and whether or not they, say, act with kindness to all or whether they are very selfish.

    Just as a person with an extreme desire to collect forks would rightly be considered having far more than necessary, a person with an extreme desire to accumulate money should really be prevented from doing so, rather than being actively aided and abetted by society.

    There is a reason why the top tax rate shot up to 92% during WW2 – Roosevelt on down wanted to send the message that rich people, especially under conditions of wartime, could not expect to simply accmulate money without limit at a time when society as a whole needed resources more than a few individuals needed them.

    It is also why those tax rates persisted well into the 1960s: politicians and the wealthy knew that the social message had been ingrained into society after years of Depression and wartime sacrifice: the wealthy must chip in what society expects of them, not what they themselves grudgingly feel is “appropriate”.

  • LMM22

    @Invisible_Neutrino:disqus : Most people seemed pretty clueless about Hitler’s real motives. Some assimilated (‘German’) Jews saw anti-Semitism as a cultural issue, not a racial issue — the Nazis were against non-assimilated Jews, not them. (I suspect this makes more sense if one assumes that most non-assimilated Jews were recent Eastern European immigrants. I’ve heard a decent argument that, had WWII not occurred, Judaism as an identity would likely be non-existent in Western Europe today — not due to genocide but simply due to natural, largely voluntary assimilation.) 

    As another statement, the second-to-last link is perhaps the best story of salvation I’ve ever seen — and I say that as an atheist.

  • Kaleberg

    Assimilation had nothing to do with the Nazi abhorrence of Jews. The hatred was racial and this was explicitly and repeatedly stated. Hitler didn’t snub Jesse Owens because he used the wrong fork. If you look at the records and listen or read the accounts of the era, most of the Jews were quite assimilated, more or less indistinguishable from their non-Jewish neighbors. In fact, many Jews who had converted to Christianity decades before the Nazis came to power were still considered and persecuted as Jews.

    The Nazis formally drew a distinction between Jews who accepted to the Talmud and those who did not. So, for example, the Kairene Jews who lived on the Black Sea were not to be persecuted, though the typical SS officer in the field wasn’t fussing about minor details like this one.

  • LMM22

    Assimilation had nothing to do with the ways the Nazis viewed Jews. It had everything to do with the ways Jews (or former Jews or *descendants* of former Jews)  viewed other Jews — and, by extension, the way they viewed anti-Semitism.

    The latter — the conscious rejection of another person of your ethnicity — is, IMHO, usually portrayed as more of a tragedy than the former, for all the wrong reasons. It’s easy to condemn the other for failing to recognize themselves as such. It’s far harder to condemn the population for failing to accept the ways in which that person identifies when that change itself is not portrayed as innate.

    Fritz Haber was not a Jew who thought he was a German. Fritz Haber was a German who happened to be born Jewish — and who therefore had to spend his life proving his loyalty.

  • AnonymousSam

    I seem to recall homosexuals being persecuted and killed by the Nazis. Ah, but when have little things like facts and history had any relevance to this man of clay and his ilk?

  • JustoneK

    it’s like Jewish Nazis!  dark skinned gay jewish nazis with bum knees.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     I’m assuming they’re of course communists as well, naturally.

  • Kaleberg

    Yes, they had to wear pink triangles. Jews got six sided gold stars. The Nazis were also anti-abortion – we’d say pro-life nowadays – and many abortionists died horrible deaths in the camps.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    the pink triangle was originally worn by gays in concentration camps.

    Neutrino- the super high tax rates of the 60’s were not the cause of the good times. that makes no sense. They were possible because of them.  thrift is a  virtue.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    decade
    top tax rate (%)
    growth (% per year)

    1950s
    88-91
    4

    1960s
    91-70
    4.4

    1970s
    70-50
    3.2

    1980s
    50-28
    2.8

    1990s
    31-39.6
    3

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    Interesting. Source? (Not accusing, genuinely interested).

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’ve hand-calculated growth rates in the past, but the data is quoted by Ravi Batra in several of his books.

  • Joshua

    the pink triangle was originally worn by gays in concentration camps.</blockquote
    What does that have do to with anything? Who exactly did not know this already?

    Neutrino- the super high tax rates of the 60’s were not the cause of the good times. that makes no sense. They were possible because of them.  thrift is a  virtue.

    Invisible Neutrino did not make a statement either way, that I can read.

  • Joshua

    My typing is just not having a good day today. I’ll try again.

    the pink triangle was originally worn by gays in concentration camps.

    What does this have to do with anything? Who here did not know this already?

    Neutrino- the super high tax rates of the 60’s were not the cause of the good times. that makes no sense. They were possible because of them.  thrift is a  virtue.

    Invisible Neutrino did not make a statement either way, that I can read.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    thrift [sic] is a  virtue.

    And investment isn’t?  Why do you hate capitalism?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The end-around capitalists like to use is to invoke a form of Say’s Law.

  • EllieMurasaki

    In Say’s view, a rational businessman will never hoard money; he will promptly spend any money he gets “for the value of money is also perishable.”

    ???

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Most of us posting here have lived in countries which have been able to back up their currency for an incredibly long time, historically speaking. We’re under the impression that money has somehow attained a value of its own, and we’ve forgotten the fact that it is actually valueless. We’re all living in a dream world that only works because we’re all sharing the dream.

    I’m not one of those gold standard weirdos. Gold isn’t really inherently valuable anyway — yes, it’s good for some industrial applications, but it doesn’t have as much real value as food, cotton, or wood. Governments printing money/backing up electronic credit seems to work best in our society today, anyway. But that works only so long as enough people have faith that the government can keep doing it.

    When I was a kid, the Canadian dollar was sort of a joke. Obviously it was a real currency, but everyone knew it would always be worth less than the U.S. dollar. Then the (first) 21st century Depression happened. The value of the Canadian dollar bypassed that of the U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar has caught up quite a bit, but the Canadian dollar is still worth more than the U.S. dollar. It’s still difficult to wrap my mind around — going to Canada to buy things was cheap! People did it all the time! (I lived in Michigan.) Now… no more.

    Money = clapping so a fairy gets its wings. People who hoard money (i.e. Mitt Romney) will be no better off than the rest of us if the government crashes. They’ll have millions of nothing. They’d be better off if they’d hoarded forks, in that situation. And their hoarding makes it more likely that the government will crash. Money is a method of exchange — people who treat it like a means in itself are asking for trouble.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Canadian here, so opposites day! :D

    In the 1990s it became almost an article of faith that since the US dollar was worth so much more, we could just keep exporting stuff to you guys and piggyback off the (at one point) 60% markup the US dollar gave us in relation to our money.

    It was aruond 2003 or 2004 when the dollars started equalizing and at first it was a little hard to believe that our dollar was starting to become worth as much as a US dollar. :)

    That said, it’s proven to throw a real wrench in our economy, some ways good, some ways bad. The good is that it’s forced us to insulate ourselves more, because trade as a fraction of GDP has gone down since the early 2000s. The bad is that it’s hurt the manufacturing sector. :|

  • Kaleberg

    This isn’t the first time the Canadian dollar has beaten the US dollar. When I went to Nova Scotia for the ’72 solar eclipse the US dollar was below the Canadian dollar, at least according to the financial pages of the newspapers, but the Canadians were so used to the inverse that they still gave us discounts because we paid in US currency. We tried to explain, but Canadian dollar inferiority was so ingrained, or perhaps we had very hospitable hosts who were enjoying the influx of astronomy oriented visitors, that we got a much better exchange rate than we deserved.

  • LMM22

    Gold isn’t really inherently valuable anyway — yes, it’s good for some industrial applications, but it doesn’t have as much real value as food, cotton, or wood.

    I got into a debate with my friend once after reading a book with Libertarians! In! Space! Basically, no, gold isn’t terribly useful for industrial applications — it’s okay for wiring and the like, but if you want a catalyst (and if you want oxygen in a hurry — and a backup generator for the catalyst to *make* oxygen in a hurry — dear God do you want a catalyst), you want rhodium. Palladium or platinum (*), maybe, depending upon your process — but if you want to found a currency in space on a precious metal, your choice is going to be rhodium. Gold does jack shit, and, if you need to lose weight in a hurry, you’ll probably dump it.

    (*) Fun fact: Both are used in catalytic converters. Both, by virtue of their use in catalytic converters, are increasingly getting deposited in dust by the side of the highway. I’ve been told that, given our current rate of consumption (and the number of internal-combustion vehicles), we’ll have run through most of the world’s supply of the two metals in about three or four decades.

    … Which, hm, has serious implications for long-term biofuels technologies. “Green” chemistry, far too often, seems to consist of a dozen disciplines talking past one another.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Perhaps I should have quoted more context.  The “thrift” that I took Chris to be referring to, and that I referred to in turn, is that of the government, and spending/investment of taxes.  It sounds like you thought I was talking about the rest of the discussion, about individuals with a million forks/dollars?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    yeah, I think I was assuming a more general definition. :)

  • LoneWolf343

     Sly’s Law.

  • EllieMurasaki

    DuckDuckGoing that without quotes gives me a bunch of law firms with attornesy named Sly. With quotes, just http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=25210&count=0. What are you talking about?

  • LoneWolf343

     I guess it is “Say’s Law.” i was remembering my macroeconomics class wrong.

  • Kaleberg

    High tax rates have always led to economic booms, and tax cuts to economic weakness. Did you ever hear of the “roaring 20s”? They were fueled by the WWI income tax rates. The big tax cuts of the late 20s led to the Great Depression. High taxes caused the recovery and an unprecedented era of economic growth which only ended as tax rates were lowered. The data suggest that the peak marginal tax rate should be around 65%, if you run the numbers.

    Thrift is less of a virtue than you think. Right now, millions of people are out of work and more are taking wage cuts because of thrift. The thrifty of the world, the 1% (or less) have sucked the waters of life from our economy, so it won’t recover until more  waters are produced (by inflation) or prised from their hoarders (by taxation).

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think the cause may be a little more indirect – high tax rates tend to chip at wealth and income inequality, pushing more money into the hands of ordinary folks (such as when you fight a war and need soldiers, drawn usually from the lower classes), and so when the people who never had money before start spending it, that’s what kicks off the next economic expansion.

    JFK had it tweaked about right to lower the top rate to 70%, as evidenced by the fastest growth rates of the post-WW2 era for the decade.

  • Kaleberg

    That sounds quite plausible to me. Once again, the problem is the “thrift” of the wealthy. (Mind you, you have to take in more than you spend if you want to get rich. That’s sort of the idea. It’s just that you have to put back into the pot which bothers a lot of the wealthy.)
    – Seth

  • Carstonio

    I think of that as demand-side economics. I suspect that what we call depressions and recessions involve not a lack of money but a lack of money’s fluidity. While I have no data to back this, my guess is that lower tax rates on the wealthy lead to specific types of hoarding that remove wealth from circulation. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You’re not the first to put forth that idea – it’s definitely a point made by economists (even the ones who generally get pooh-poohed like Lester Thurow or Ravi Batra) that higher levels wealth inequality tends to provoke more frequent recessions because the money that the rich have which would otherwise get taxed away and pushed back into the hands of the poor gets locked up in their hands and doesn’t keep rolling like it should.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    thrift is a virtue.

    So is appropriate capitalisation.

    Less snarkily, thrift is also very bad for the consumerist capitalism basket we’ve put all our eggs in. Hmm.

  • JustoneK

    Re:  a million forks
    Some of us share forks, out of necessity, because we need them for specific jobs or other.  This gets labeled as communism.  Some of us who have extra forks give them to folks we recognize has needing and not having.  This gets labeled as coddling.

    By and large, what I’ve learned is that Some of Us deserve forks because we do right, and the Rest of Us are unworthy because they aren’t doing enough right.  It’s never enough that some of us need and don’t have.

  • caryjamesbond

    Something no one has brought up- 

    One million dollars isn’t that much money.  At least- not in 2012.  If you make 30K a year (not really a fantastic salary)  you will make a million dollars in 33 years.  30K isn’t really enough to save for retirement-and, incidentally, the figure suggested for a happy, comfortable retirement is about one million dollars. 

    Accusing someone with a million dollars just sitting around of “hoarding” doesn’t make much sense.  Several tens of millions….maybe. I’d expect Bill Gates has a couple accounts with tens of millions of dollars he never touches, just in case.  

    Money and forks are different. A fork has an extremely limited range of uses. Money can be used for pretty much anything. Ten million forks means you have a large garage.  Ten million dollars means you can have a house anywhere you want, or climb mount Everest, or drink good champagne every day of your life. 

    Very few people pursue money qua money- Warren Buffet might. He still lives in the same house, drives a mid range car, etc. etc.  But your investment bankers have a rack of thousand dollar suits, a great apartment, classy car, eat out in the finest restaurants, buy property- I don’t know of any daytraders who show up to work in an off the rack suit and make a million dollars.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    One million dollars isn’t that much money.

    No. Bullshit. It is a lot of money.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That depends. If you want to buy a house where I live, it’s (sometimes) just barely enough.

    Which, in and of itself, should tell you the ridiculousness of the state of affairs here in Vancouver, BC, Canada. (-_-)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Nope, still not buying it.

    I live in a city with high cost of living too–house prices especially. That doesn’t negate the fact that a million dollars is a lot of money. I find claims to the contrary to be deeply offensive to poor people–that is, most of my family and my former self. So it doesn’t buy everything you can imagine all at once? Big deal. It’s a lot of bloody money.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     It depends what you’re comparing it to.  If your entire wealth is worth 1 million dollars you’re nowhere near the hyper-rich but definately a street above most people.

    Then again http://posters-for-good.tumblr.com/post/542977597/if-you-have-food-in-your-fridge-clothes-on-your

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The fact that a house should cost $800,000 in the first place is stunningly bizarre. You ddi catch that part, right?

    For purchasing almost anything in any G-8 country aside from wonky housing markets, a million bucks is way more than enough cash to set oneself up very nicely.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    The fact that a house should cost $800,000 in the first place is stunningly bizarre. You ddi catch that part, right?

    Bizarre, yes. Standard for parts of Melbourne and Sydney – yes.

    It’s not like Sgt Pepper’s is talking about conditions she’s not familiar with.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Hey, I’m not arguing that a million bucks is somehow “not that much” money. I AM saying that in some cases, it doesn’t buy a helluva lot compared to what it could buy. :

  • P J Evans

    You can be a  millionaire on paper, without actually having a million dollars. You can make a million dollars in a lifetime, without actually being a millionaire.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    You can be a  millionaire on paper, without actually having a million dollars. You can make a million dollars in a lifetime, without actually being a millionaire.

    The origin of this particular discussion was the framing as “hoarders” of people with a million dollars sitting around, not people who may have a million dollars pass through their hands over a 20-30 year period. So your second point is true, but irrelevant to this discussion.Re the hypothetical $800,000 house, it was introduced when IN said:

    That depends. If you want to buy a house where I live, it’s (sometimes) just barely enough.

    Let’s say you live in one of the least affordable cities in the world wrt house prices (3 of the 10 are Australian btw, and I do have some idea of what I’m talking about). First of all, the affordability measure almost always refers to median price but people tend to read it as floor price. If the median price is $800,000 that doesn’t mean you must pay $800,000. It means you will pay $800,000 to live in a house that is more expensive than half the houses in that city. And the figures are often based on houses, leaving out flats and townhouses which skew cheaper. So for a start, I say that if your floor price for accommodation is the median for *houses* in your location, you’re doing OK.But leaving all that aside, let’s say you decide to buy a $800,000 house and want to call this triple-layered privilege (home ownership, excluding the bottom half of the market, and getting a free-standing house) “just barely enough”. To say there’s not much left from a million dollars means you’re buying a house *outright*, no mortgage–and still having 6 figures change–well, bloody hell, someone call World Vision.Any amount of money you can have sitting around that would allow you to buy a freaking house *in cash* is a lot of money!Re Becka Suton:

    It depends what you’re comparing it to. If your entire wealth is worth 1 million dollars you’re nowhere near the hyper-rich but definately a street above most people.

    Exactly. We weren’t talking about entire wealth but money sitting around–in investments or whatever, but not committed to buying your groceries next week. But that aside, of course I’m comparing to “most people”. I’m heartily sick of my peer group (viz, the upper middle class) looking at gazillionaires and crying about how far we are below them rather than acknowledging that we are so much more comfortable than average–and, heaven forbid, poor–people. My financial concerns are a piece of piss but in a middle class-dominated society they suck all the political oxygen so there’s not enough financial support left for people who actually need it to have a decent quality of life.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Neutrino- during the Industrial Revolution there were way higher rates of growth and no income tax. 

    Randy- There’s nothing wrong with saving. People invest when they feel it’s more valuable to do so than to save. business cycle theory

  • EllieMurasaki

    The Industrial Revolution also had no worker protections, no minimum wage, and a variety of other things that led to “Sixteen Tons” and Triangle Shirtwaist. I do not want to go back to “Sixteen Tons” and Triangle Shirtwaist.

  • P J Evans

    The Industrial Revolution also had
    No overtime, no sick time, no vacations, and half-day weekends (so you could go to church), to go with the lack of worker protections and minimum wages.

  • Kaleberg

    The Industrial Revolution did not raise living standards until King William sided with the increasingly violent Chartist workers’ movement and England started regulating wages and hours which drove up wages a bit. There might have been “growth”, but not that most Englishmen would have noticed in any way, save perhaps, longer hours. In the 1850s, living standards started rising, and, as many social historians have pointed out, in the 1950s, the queen started congratulating centenarians.

    Usually there is nothing wrong with saving, but it’s a prisoner’s dilemma sort of thing. Since we are born, grow up, grow old and die, there is a borrowing and savings cycle to human life. Unfortunately, if everyone is saving, the economy collapses which is no good for anyone.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie- the point was that high tax rates wouldn’t in themselves lead to growth. 
     
    Randy -our government doesn’t practice anything resembling thrift. spending rates are many many times higher than during the 60’s.  Why aren’t growth rates?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick
  • reynard61

    From the article: “There’s been much angst on the right over the Republican Party’s growing demographic problems, most memorably by GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, who said the party was running out of ‘angry white guys.'”

    The problem with the GOP isn’t a *shortage* of “angry white guys”. The GOP is up to it’s glut in “angry white guys”. You probably couldn’t have thrown a stone at the Republican National Convention last August without hitting an “angry white guy”. The problem with the GOP is that there’s not much *else* in the GOP. There aren’t many “angry black guys” left — unless you count batshit insane unindicted war criminals like Allen West or political hacks like Michael Steele. There aren’t many “angry latino guys” left — unless you count liars like Marco Rubio. There aren’t many “angry white women” left — unless you count batshit insane Joe McCarthy-wannabes like Michele Bachmann. (And after the past few months, I’d be willing to bet Real Money that the few non-batshit-insane “angry white women” still left are angrier at their own party and politicians than they are at anyone else…except maybe themselves for belonging to a party that would let such idiots and wingnuts attain leadership positions.)

    So, no, Senator Graham; there are plenty of “angry white guys” in your little club. But that seems to be turning into a bug rather than a feature, wouldn’t you say? Maybe you need to think about bringing a few calm, rational guys — and women — of *ALL* colors and persuasions into the fold before the GOP goes the way of it’s predecessors, the Whigs.

  • Carstonio

    I’m still astounded by the deliberate cluelessness of Kathleen Parker, often an apologist for the religious right. Here she treats her party’s woman problem as a bug and not a feature, as if this was simply a need for a new marketing strategy. Her little aside about the “liberal goal of reversing sex roles” is infuriating, and she wrongly defines the pro-life position as simply opposition to abortion instead of support for banning the procedure. Above all, she seems willfully blind to the reality that “small government and individual liberty” has always been a euphemism for perpetuating economic and social privilege.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/08/26/what-s-wrong-with-the-republican-party.html

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Kaleberg – thrift is a virtue  wether it’s the top or bottom 1%. It’s always wise to live within your means.
     
    this “Did you ever hear of the “roaring 20s”? They were fueled by the WWI income tax rates. The big tax cuts of the late 20s led to the Great Depression. ”
     
    makes no sense.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depression_of_1920%E2%80%9321 There was a massive and painful recession in 1920-21, after which the boom occured, for a number of reasons having very little to do with tax rates. 
     
    “waters are produced (by inflation) or prised from their hoarders (by taxation).”

    actually the reverse is true: inflation and high taxes destroy economies, they don’t restore them.  Ask anyone on fixed income how inflation is helping them.

    “The Industrial Revolution did not raise living standards until King William sided with the increasingly violent Chartist workers’ movement and England started regulating wages and hours which drove up wages a bit.”

    Maybe in England but we were talking about tax rates in America. We had no income tax in the 1800’s and living standards raised rapidly. Wether you like this era or see it merely as a prelude to the progressive era is a matter of taste I guess, but the point is growth is obviously not dependent on high taxes

    We wtill would have had the massive growth of thr CLinton years without the 39.6 tax rate on the wealthiest, we would perhaps have ran large deficits though.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Kaleberg – thrift is a virtue  wether it’s the top or bottom 1%. It’s always wise to live within your means.

    Hmm. Moral philosophy question: is something still a virtue if it’s ridiculously easy to do–so easy that it requires effectively no moral effort?

    Frex, I don’t gamble. I see no attraction in it; in fact, I find the idea off-putting. Gambling would involve me doing something I have an active distaste for. Is it virtuous that I don’t gamble? I don’t think it is. I think it’s virtuous that my friend who is drawn to gambling strives not to gamble because of the negative effects it has on him and his family. This takes some moral effort on his part; it takes none on my part. I think in his circumstances he’s being virtuous whereas in mine I’m being morally neutral.

    The point of this is: it’s really bloody easy to live within your means when you’re rich. I live within my means without batting an eyelid, and I’m in the top 15% with two households to support. I practice thrift because it’s a good idea and I’m already in the habit. But I don’t think doing so is a virtue.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Neutrino- high tax rates do not put more money in the hands of the poor. I deliver packages for a living. if tax rates are raised on the rich, it’s likely sales will go down slightly. Thats less money for me.

    That money going to the government isn’t going to go back to me, it’s going to go to paying interest on the debt and so forth. 

    Lmm22- nothing is inherently valuable really. It’s worth whatever anyone else is willing to pay for it. diamonds are much more expensive than water, which we need to live but diamonds are les plentiful and shinier! 

    for a variety of reason gold has been used as currency for thousands of years. in part brecause it’s relatively scarce, is portable, heavier than other metals, maleable.  Mostly though because someone at some point said “can I give you this in exchange for that” and another person said “okay” and other people felt this was a good idea.

    I agree gold has less utility currently than other metals. it’s being driven higher because of monetary inflation.  so it’s regained it’s role as a currency

    http://static.safehaven.com/authors/casey/23377_l.png

  • EllieMurasaki

    That money going to the government isn’t going to go back to me, it’s going to go to paying interest on the debt and so forth.

    Do you own savings bonds? Do you know what savings bonds are?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Neutrino- high tax rates do not put more money in the hands of the poor.
    I deliver packages for a living. if tax rates are raised on the rich,
    it’s likely sales will go down slightly. Thats less money for me.

    That makes absolutely no goddamn sense. Your deliveries have little connection with what rich people do. There are a lot more middle-class and working-class and plain poor people than the rich. How many people do you think will do the mail ordering if only rich people can mail order stuff?

    Or do you really think that the tips you get from wealthy deliver-ees is somehow generally applicable across the entire population?

    And shit, didn’t you say you were a veterinarian last time?

    Or some kind of retail store worker?

  • P J Evans

    I see our libertarian troll is back, misunderstanding economics again.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Do most poor people own savings bonds? and how are the yields on those nowadays? not even keeping up with inflation

  • EllieMurasaki

    Do you, you personally, Chris Hadrick, do you or do you not own savings bonds?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    To be fair to Chris Hadrick, the majority of people who hold bonds have so little in comparison to wealthier bondholders the interest they get back plus principal when the bond matures isn’t really that much, if you’re not into the thousand-dollar range.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, I know, it’s just that he was saying that he wouldn’t get any of the national-debt-payment money, and if he had savings bonds (which I understand most middle-class folk in the US do) then that’d be false.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie – no. I don’t think anyone is interested in my portfolio

  • EllieMurasaki

    In that case, it is entirely fair to say that money that goes to pay down the national debt is not money that will come to you. I do have savings bonds. Some of that money will come to me. I am all for paying down the national debt. Just so long as we don’t wreck the rest of the economy by trying to run a budget surplus in order to use that to pay down the debt when we need to be running a budget deficit in order to keep money moving.

  • Beroli

     Since when has “no one is interested” stopped you from posting something?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “How many people do you think will do the mail ordering if only rich people can mail order stuff?”

    I work in a wealthy neighborhood. If they have less money they will buy less stuff. they have budgets like everyone else. I don’t get tips.

    Ellie- the point is if they raise taxes on the very top earners the IRS  doesn’t take that money and put it in an envelope and send it to poor people.   They keep it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ellie- the point is if they raise taxes on the very top earners the IRS
     doesn’t take that money and put it in an envelope and send it to poor
    people.   They keep it.

    This fallacy is committed so often by right-wing people it needs its own damn TV Tropes page.

    Do you really think the government just shovels all your money down a black hole, year after year after year? Come the fuck ON. You’re not that gullible, are you?

    What do you think pays police – teachers – fire fighters – sanitation inspectors – trash collectors – soldiers – sailors – FBI agents – the CIA…?

    Your tax dollars. Collected by the government. They get paychecks! They spend money! They might even

    wait for it

    MAIL ORDER THINGS FOR YOU TO DELIVER TO THEM.

    So your taxes might just indirectly have paid your salary if a government employee had mail ordered something you delivered.

  • EllieMurasaki

    They might even

    wait for it

    MAIL ORDER THINGS FOR YOU TO DELIVER TO THEM.

    That was my job for several months, actually, putting state-government-issued documents in envelopes for Fedex or UPS to deliver to their recipients.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Ellie- the point is if they raise taxes on the very top earners the IRS doesn’t take that money and put it in an envelope and send it to poor people. They keep it.

    The fuck do you think food stamps are? Free and reduced price lunch at public schools? Public schools themselves?

  • Daughter

     The IRS helps poor people and seniors even more directly. They fund thousands of free tax clinics around the U.S. where low income households and seniors can get their taxes done for free, which often (especially due to the Earned Income Tax Credit, which often exceeds the tax burden), results in a tax refund for those individuals. So the IRS is directly putting money in an envelope and sending it to a lot of poor people.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    neutrino –  if taxes on the rich were raised from 35 to 39.6 they would not hire a dozen more CIA agents in my area with that money and for that I am very thankful.  If the tax rate were LOWERED to 25 percent on the other hand, for example, all my current customers would have more money to potentilly  buy more and/ or marginal items with.  I don’t know if you have sales tax holidays where you are but they are always a success here because it’s a big sale, if things cost less people are more apt to buy them.   

    Your argument is that people will “hoard” money  so it should be taken from them and spent by the government on things the government wants. it doesn’t add up. take it to the extreme. lower the tax rate to zero and there is tons of money in the economy, raise it to 100 percent and all that money goes to washington and you  have a fully centrally planned economy and soviet type problems, namely http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_calculation_problem

    saying the government will take money from people “hoarding” it  and spend it in a good way is just another excuse for central planning.  you end up with less resources being spent on less valuable things.

    Ellie- the things you and Neutrino are talking about are a small portion of the budget and in many cases not even part of the federal budget. roads are paid with gas tax not income tax. property tax covers most schools.  If you take money out of the economy in the form of higher taxes 100 percent of that will nto come back in services.  They have wars, debt, beauorcracy subsidies and so forth to pay for. money isn’t fungible the way say oil is. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    money isn’t fungible

    I’ma just go die laughing now.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie- that sounds like a pretty boring job.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Better than mail carrier. Less exposure to the elements.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    cash itself is fungible of course but all spending is not equal is what I meant.  If we put all our money together and build a giant house of cards that falls down we wasted the money.

  • EllieMurasaki

    At this point I’d gladly pay for a giant house of cards. Hire long-term unemployed folks to make the cards and others to stack the cards and more to clean up the cards when they fall down, and for however many days the project is ongoing, these people have paychecks, which means these people have money to spend that they did not have before, which means these people will spend money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    And all oil is equal??  You do know there are different grades of crude, not to mention the refined products, right?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Randy -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fungibility   Yes, there are different types of oil products
     
    Ellie- thank you for your honesty on that. look at what you’re advocating though: A massive pointless project that yields only 1 short term result: some weird jobs.  
     
    Here’s a good statment on public works projects
     
    “Government spending is good when two conditions are met. The first is that the benefits are greater than the costs. The second is that private spending cannot do a better job. Even if government spending can be shown to produce net benefits, it cannot be justified if private activity can do the job better. When government spending produces net costs it destroys the stock of wealth in society and can never be justified….
     
    In 1956, President Eisenhower championed and Congress authorized the interstate highway system, which cost about $450 billion in today’s dollars. The benefits of that system greatly exceed $450 billion and only government could have completed the project on a nationwide scale. The interstate highway system passes the two-pronged test of good government spending.”
     
    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2012/08/06/the-internet-and-obamas-stimulusgood-government-spending-and-bad
     
     
    he goes on to advocate a bunch of stuff obviously I would take issue with this but the point is you need to create something that is worth borrowing for. 
     
     if you build a bridge  in a congested area you save people time . You build a bridge to nowhere that no one needs and that doesn’t move any elements around for the better you are not doing anything to create wealth. You aren’t creating SYNERGY!!

  • EllieMurasaki

    Jobs are jobs are jobs are money getting moving again which is the important thing here. Of course I would prefer to hire people to fix the damn potholes and repair the damn bridges and wire every damn house and apartment in the country for broadband access than to hire people to build a giant house of cards. Building a giant house of cards seems like something with half a chance of success on the metric of does it get paychecks into people’s hands. It would fail on every other metric, but the things that would pass on those metrics too, those projects aren’t going anywhere either. Nobody’s willing to pay for infrastructure repair, and it isn’t even worth suggesting we hire enough teachers to get the student-teacher ratio below 15:1 in every school, not when teachers are getting fired everywhere.

    Private spending being able to do a better job, one, requires defining ‘better job’ (do I doubt that the average private school not run by evolution-and-climate-change-and-sex-ed denialists produces better-educated students than public schools? not really, no. do I want a world where only kids whose parents can afford private school get a decent education? fuck no.), and two, requires private spending to actually make the attempt.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “Jobs are jobs are jobs are money getting moving again which is the important thing here.”
     
    If we were in the garden of Eden that would be true but there are in fact limits to our resources.
     
    Solyndra, to use an obvious example, which now provides no jobs to anyone was not a wise use of tax payer dollars.  the money was burned through and is now gone. You are suggesting hundreds of Solyndras would be good.
     
    “Of course I would prefer to hire people to fix the damn potholes and repair the damn bridges and wire every damn house and apartment in the country for broadband access”
     
    So would I but our government is never going to do those things. They don’t care about us. Lately they’ve been talking about Syria. Do you want to get involved in Syria???  thats what they’re thinking about tonight in DC.
     
    Anyway, the difference between the house of cards, i realize you don’t actually want to construct this all that much,  and your other suggestions are that the other ones are things we need, at least ostensibly.  Whne you start suggesting things that we don’t actually need or even want you are crossing a line.  We want roads that don’t have potholes and bridges that don’t fall down FOR A REASON, not just to provide peopel with jobs fixing them. getting flat tires slows traffic down, you lose time etc. bridges that need extensive reparing due to neglect the same thing. 
     
    “do I want a world where only kids whose parents can afford private school get a decent education? ”
     
    How about where every kid can afford a private school education? and I’m not an education expert, believe it or not, but it’s pretty clear private schools do a better job than public schools if only because they can afford the best teachers and materials

  • EllieMurasaki

    I am saying that hundreds of Solyndras would be better, at least for a while, than what we have now. This is an entirely different thing from saying that hundreds of Solyndras would be good.

    So how are you proposing to get to a world where every kid can afford a private school education?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    and I’m not an education expert, believe it or not, but it’s pretty clear private schools do a better job than public schools if only because they can afford the best teachers and materials

    I do believe it.

    Citation, please, because “it’s pretty clear” is not evidence.

    Finland has the best school system in the world, which coincidently is almost entirely public.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    our priorities are the problem.  We’ve been taught that things like food and education need to take up this small part of our budget and that their quality isn’t important so much beyond the  need to look after our kids while we work and fill our stomachs. Everyone who uses organic farm products knows that it tastes better than the mass produced stuff but they can’t afford it.  I’m tired I’ll get back to this thread tomorrow. thank you though it was stimulating.

    Also, it could be worse. http://home.wlv.ac.uk/~le1958/t2.htm  i’m reading this study of toilet paper under communism. it’s horrifying

    “Back in USSR there wasn’t enough toilet paper produced. I was told by my friends that some lucky ones had connections that gave them access to toilet paper. I remember seeing on the streets people walking with enormous quantities of toilet paper rolls. The lines that people had to stay in to buy it (when rarely it has been sold) were huge — you’ll stand for a couple of hours. So people like my parents and I used newspapers. When I was a kid, it was my work to cut newspapers for my family.”

    When toilet paper was available, it was the type that was hard and glossy on one side, and very rough on the other. We used to call it “the sandpaper.”
      

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    *sigh*

    Chris, nobody is advocating setting up a horrifically mismanaged centrally planned economy in the US or Canada.

    What is being advocated for is a government that doesn’t actively redirect wealth and income so that the Romneys of the world can grab for even more than what they already have.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    daughter – They would do that regardless of the level of taxation among the rich.  and I don’t know many poor people who are big fans of the IRS
     
    Sgt peppers- right so a school with better teachers and better materials will perform better than one with worse teachers and worse materials.  If you live in a rich town you are likely to have a decent  public school.  If not you are condemend to a crappier one. No one is condemned to a crappy private school.

    Neutrino-  so you feel leBron james who gets paid some crazy sum, has had wealth re directed to him and we should take some of his money and spend it on stuff beaurocrats dream up so it’s circulating?

  • EllieMurasaki

    No one is condemned to a crappy private school.

    Bet?

    My experience was that we realized Mercy Cross was crappy and my parents moved me back to Biloxi public schools. But some parents do not consider public schools an option. Even in Biloxi Fucking Mississippi, public school ninth grade biology had a unit on evolution. Also a unit on anatomy including both reproductive systems, which I remember mostly because the teacher gave us a heads up the previous day so we could get the immature giggling over with before she tried to teach us anything.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You are not fit to breathe the same air as John Maynard Keynes. Shoo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    and [sic] I don’t know many poor people who are big fans of the IRS[.]

    Pay no attention to the enormous anti-tax propaganda behind the curtain.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’d be surprised if he even knew any poor people at all. Libertarians like him all fantasize they’re Donald freakin’ Trump.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    You know that if everyone went to private schools then what you’d have is an extremely expensive public school system? The only systemic benefit of private schools is that they screen out the riffraff. If they had to start excepting all the plebs every advantage they have would disappear.

    Why do you want to make a system vastly more expensive?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Would everybody in private school be more expensive, or would it just shift who’s paying? I don’t know what average private-school tuition is or how much various levels of government spend on average per public school student.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The idea of a universal private-school system sounds to me like it would just defeat the purpose.

    Private school carries a lot of cachet with parents because of:

    1. The perception of exclusivity.
    2. The fact that they pay lots of $$$, perceiving a better education arising from that.
    3. In particular for private schools in which politically and economically powerful people send their kids to, the “soft power” of interpersonal connections among the next generation cannot be overlooked.

    In short, parents can, if they can afford it, help their children only if the private school remains a subset of the public system or if there is wide differentiation among the available private schools.

    The obvious answer is to have well-funded and provisioned public schools as a societal goal and measure of progress so that what you know and not who you happened to bunk in with gets you ahead in life.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Good points all. I hadn’t thought past ‘ensuring every kid gets an education that is at least decent’.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I’m basing my comment on my knowledge of the Australian data, in which total per student expenditure is higher for private schools than public schools.

    We have an unusually high percentage of students enrolled at private schools, which governments also considerably subsidise, so I can’t say how representative our funding experience is of the international picture.

    Personally, I would like to see the subsidy for private schools reduced and redirected to public schools. I want an excellent public school system that is accessible for everyone, and if someone chooses to opt out then that’s fine but they bear the financial cost of their choice. Same principle for health care too, for that matter. We have a bastardised system where there’s a public option but we also massively subsidise people who want something different.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    John Meynard Keynes died a long time ago. His terrible ideas were largely discredited by the stag flation of the 70’s, which Keynesian economics had no answer for.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Actually, Keynesian economists were well-aware of the concept, and called it a “price-wage spiral” as far back as the 1950s when analyzing wage and price controls for the Korean War.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    neutrino- Phillips Curve

  • EllieMurasaki

    Since we have demonstrated the simultaneous existence of high unemployment and high inflation, surely it is possible to achieve simultaneous existence of low unemployment and low inflation.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    People like Milton Friedman, whose policies you would love (since he founded the monetarist school), repudiated at least part of the Phillips Curve theory, claiming the NAIRU concept.

    It has since been found that it is actually a rather amorphous and not ‘hard and fast’ thing, as evidenced by Alan Greenspan letting unemployment in the USA hit 3,8% without inflation taking off like a rocket.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie – absolutely. economic growth doesn’t cause inflation.

    neutrino- I’m familiar with the policies of Milton Friedman. There are substantial differences between the Chicago school and Austrian school. That system sounds silly. chits?

    If we completely eliminated public schools and ended up devoting more resources to our schooling I think that would be appropriate.  the system has been set up in such a way that education is a minor cost without much resources put towards it. Same with food, feed the cows corn even though it makes them unhealthy and fat and they prefer grass. put a billion chickens in a room and see how bad you can make it and still turn a profit.  We can create this ersatz America where we have a shadow of what we could have and the rest of our wealth gets sucked out for military adventures and so forth.

    I’d rather spend extra money on higher quality education and food than most other things.   real beef, real vegatables. Why go cheapsies on important stuff. Would you fly on a plastic fixer upper airplane?

    schools are a bit of a tougher question thuogh because there are many excellent public schools and many terrible ones.  community involvement blah blahb blah just want to say I hated the presidential debate. it was like watching a debate in the Roman Empire right before it fell.  The pandering to Israel was off the charts

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    If we completely eliminated public schools and ended up devoting more resources to our schooling I think that would be appropriate.

    How exactly are you devoting more resources to schooling after you’ve abolished public education?

    the system has been set up in such a way that education is a minor cost without much (sic.) resources put towards it.

    Actually, in adjusted dollars the US spends more per student than any other OECD country–about 70% above the average. Education accounts for around one in eight dollars of public expenditure in the US.

    And yet for all that expense you get bad results. The problem is clearly not how much you spend but how you spend it. What is unusual about the US system compared to all those countries that get better results for less money?

    [Hint: we see this pattern with what I shall generously call your health care, too]

  • EllieMurasaki

    Actually, in adjusted dollars the US spends more per student than any other OECD country–about 70% above the average. Education accounts for around one in eight dollars of public expenditure in the US.

    Seriously?

    *fact-checks* Seriously. Wow.

    Not the same root cause, though. The right wing thinks and is willing to say out loud that health care ought to be a privilege. I have never heard anyone say education ought to be a privilege, though I suspect some people believe it; I’ve just heard lots of folk complaining about the things Them Liberals have the nerve to [want to] teach Our Kids.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    I have never heard anyone say education ought to be a privilege, though I suspect some people believe it….

    Kind of funny, seeing you say this right after reading “more of our personal budgets[.]”

  • EllieMurasaki

    Chris Hadrick hasn’t out and out said that people who can’t afford education shouldn’t be educated, though. People have definitely said that people who can’t afford health care should suffer.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “How exactly are you devoting more resources to schooling after you’ve abolished public education?”

    more of our personal budgets

  • Beroli

     Of course, it’s abundantly obvious that whenever you say “we,” you mean “the tiny group of people who are rich enough not to be utterly screwed over should my monstrous wishes be enacted.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    “How exactly are you devoting more resources to schooling after you’ve abolished public education?”

    more of our personal budgets

    Yeah, that’s not going to make education harder to attain for people with low family incomes AT ALL.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    more of our personal budgets

    And how will you make that happen?

    You know that the US has one of the highest private expenditures on education in the world already, right? That doesn’t seem to be helping.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    *Karate headdesk reverb*

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Beroli= They’re being ripped off now.  Everyone has to send thousands of dollars to washington and unless they are really well off, have to send their kids to public schools and just hope it’s one of the good ones.

    Ellie= health care and education are privileges.  I’m saying it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Ellie= health care and education are privileges. I’m saying it.
    Fuck you. And cross your fingers that you never find yourself needing health care and unable to afford it, or with children who need education you can’t pay for.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    The guy’s signed up to an evil ideology. It’s no secret. My working assumption is that he’s a child who may yet grow out of being an ignoranus*.

    *Someone who is both stupid and an arsehole, with credit to the Washington Post neologism contest.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, but there was still the faint hope that he’d consider it to be a step too far to deny education to children of poor parents on the grounds that the parents are poor. If for no other reason than that if he’s going to insist that people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps, his conscience should rebel at denying some people boots.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Actually, you know what this reminds me of? (Helps that the thing in question just came up on shuffle.)

    Nothing is an accident
    We are free to have it all
    We are what we want to be
    It’s in ourselves to rise or fall

    Of course, Radames doesn’t entirely buy that himself, as his next couple lines show. And while I haven’t actually seen Aida, just listened to the soundtrack a hundred times, I get the distinct impression that by the end of the musical, Radames doesn’t buy that attitude at all. Falling in love with someone who’d be queen of Nubia if Egypt hadn’t come with more spears than Nubia could muster probably taught him that sometimes one’s life is outside one’s own personal control.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    There are no rights. It’s the  law of the jungle

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Anarchy

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I wouldn’t deny education to anybody. I think everyone should have excellent education. wether they can afford to hae stephan hawkins teach their kid science or need to rely on charity.  school for everyone

  • EllieMurasaki

    Education should be a privilege…that everyone should enjoy.

    Why don’t you go think about that for a bit.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Chris Hadrick:

    You want education for everyone…

    to be paid for from the pockets of those who may not have enough to cover their kid’s K-12.

    Good god, you’re such a huge blockheaded dumbass.

    How the fuck you continue breathing is beyond me.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I will.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of John Steinbeck being added to the list of Nobel laureates. With that in mind,

    Beside them, little pot-bellied men in light suits and panama hats; clean, pink men with puzzled, worried eyes, with restless eyes. Worried because formulas do not work; hungry for security and yet sensing its disappearance from the earth. In their lapels the insignia of lodges and service clubs, places where they can go and, by a weight of numbers of little worried men, reassure themselves that business is noble and not the curious ritualized thievery they know it is; that business men are intelligent in spite of the records of their stupidity; that they are kind and charitable in spite of the principles of sound business; that their lives are rich instead of the thin tiresome routines they know; and that a time is coming when they will not be afraid any more.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I’m a pragmatist too though

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I shudder to imagine your idea of ‘pragmatism’. Does it mean just banning slavery so your Libertopia doesn’t get too bad for the poor?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Since you have no apparent idea what ‘privilege’ means, I doubt you know what ‘pragmatist’ means either. Let me explain:

    ‘Privilege’ refers to a thing that some people have and others do not, usually based on some personal characteristic that the first group has and the second does not. Sometimes it means something that should be first-group-only, sometimes it means something that should be everybody; this can produce confusion. You said “education should be a privilege”; that means you think education should be a thing that some people have and others do not, and your context implies that the distinguishing characteristic should be whether the person (if adult) or their parents (if under 25) can afford education for the person. You then said “I wouldn’t deny education to anybody. I think everyone should have excellent education.” That flatly contradicts your earlier statement.

    ‘Pragmatist’ means one who is practical, one who makes decisions based on what demonstrably does work rather than on what theory says should work. Assuming you want education for all, the pragmatic way to go about this is to have government fund everyone’s education, at least to a point (high school graduation was a good point when all it took to get a living-wage job was a high school diploma; college graduation is a good point now that a college diploma is all but required for a living-wage job). Assuming you want education only for those who can afford it…well, that’s not a pragmatic goal in itself, unless you also intend for people to get rich selling snake oil rather than selling products that work as advertised (not that that doesn’t happen with an educated populace, but it’s much more likely to happen with a populace that has no idea how to think critically or to evaluate a scientific claim), and you intend for the people getting rich to do so without the benefit of a broad skilled-labor pool.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “‘Pragmatist’ means one who is practical, one who makes decisions based on what demonstrably does work rather than on what theory says should work.”

    Human Action not human planning.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    What the fuck does that even mean?

    I reiterate: How do you manage to remember to breathe?

  • EllieMurasaki

    He doesn’t have to. There’s more operable brain cells controlling his autonomic reflexes than his cognition and communication.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    meaning you go by what people do, not what you think they ought to do.

    http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=category&ID=139

    Ellie-

  • EllieMurasaki

    If you plan to edit this comment to include whatever you meant to include after my name, please do a new comment instead. That way I’ll see it, because Disqus does not see fit to email notifs of edited comments and I rarely check a comments page once I have subscribed the thread and read all the comments predating my subscribing.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    meaning you go by what people do, not what you think they ought to do.

    So … because people steal, and people ought not to steal, criminal law is invalid?

    The logical consequence of that kind of simplistic thinking is that governments shouldn’t even exist to enforce laws that private individuals could not hope to enforce themselves.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    No it’s about consumer behaviour

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Yes, revealed preferences and all that rot.

    Which conveniently ignores that circumscribing the choices available to begin with artificially biases the “revealed preferences” results obtained through the price system.

    Anyway, I have no idea how we got to here from your laconic “pragmatism” remark.

    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/loopy.htm

    That, Chris Hadrick?

    Captures you in a nutshell.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    who’s limiting the choices?

  • EllieMurasaki

    You are, if the country conforms to your desire that education only be available to those who can pay. A kid who never learns calculus–and no kid whose parents can’t afford education and won’t take charity is going to learn calculus–is not going to have any idea that it’s possible for them to be an engineer. A kid who never learns chemistry–ditto–is not going to have any idea that it’s possible for them to be a pharmaceutical research-development type. No
    biology education? No medical school.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Their education is being paid for by charity now via property taxes. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Their education is being paid for by charity now via property taxes.

    Charity.

    And taxes.

    You are using that word, charity, in the context of taxes.

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    taxes are coerced charity.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Obligatory if belated retort: words mean things. One of the things ‘charity’ means is ‘voluntary’. One of the things ‘taxes’ means is ‘government-funded projects and programs for the public benefit’. If you do not want to be charitable, then do not spend any post-tax dollars for any purpose that does not directly benefit you. If you do not want to pay taxes, then move to somewhere where the government don’t fund squat.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I hear parts of Afghanistan don’t have much of a functioning government. Oh, did I mention the many Soviet land mines still present in parts of the country? And the local warlords?

    Liberto-paradise really amounts to whoever has the most guns and money already wins the game.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    bah

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That’s your fucking reply? “bah”?

    You troglodytish, infantile nincompoop!

    If you want to know why Libertarianism is greeted with ridicule, it’s because the level of thinking exhibited by the entire movement, for all its claims to grand sweeps of thought and high-flown rhetorical inveighing against the dead hand of the State, really amounts to nothing more than a five-year-old child’s squalling and yelling that Daddy made him share his toys with his little brother.

    If you can’t bring any order or logic to your thinking, instead just tossing out random links to the Mises website or trying to pass off half-assed replies as the real deal, then nobody around here will ever take you seriously.

    At least for God’s sake stop being an embarrassment to what you claim to be and engage your brain for more than the five seconds it takes to blabber off some weak argument about how your latest half-formed panacea will fix all the problems with the big Meany State.


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