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  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    I think what people are missing is the fact that both taxing and selling bonds takes money from rich people and gives it to poor people.

    What does "taxing bonds" mean ?

    Actually this entire paragraph is nonsensical to me.

    iwog says

    I think what people are missing is the fact that both taxing and selling bonds takes money from rich people and gives it to poor people. BOTH are wealth redistribution and BOTH function in the federal budget in exactly the same way.

    Total bullshit. Investors in bonds choose to invest in bond versus all other investments. It is NOTHING MORE THAN THE GOVERNMENT BORROWING MONEY FROM INVESTORS.

    What the fuck Iwog ?

    iwog says

    From 1983 until 2014 trillions were taken out of the hands of rich people and given to working class people. The growing national debt mitigated wealth disparity.

    Are you really choosing to become more stupid for the sake of winning an argument ?

    Money wan't taken out of the hands of rich people. Those rich people knowingly chose to invest money in bonds rather than keep it in other investment vehicles, presumably out of some desire to be diversified. Bonds perform very well in some situations that other investments don't.

    You are allowed to have a totally convoluted frame of reference on this. But that doesn't mean that anyone (besides tatapu) is going to buy it.

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    When you remove the taxation but continue the spending, you will have a slow growth in wealth disparity like we had from 1981 until today.

    If you remove taxation AND government spending, you will have a much faster growth in wealth disparity because all those entitlements and government jobs go away.

    When you remove the borrowing you force one of two things.

    Either:

    1) Progressive taxes have to increase, while spending stays close to the same, decreasing wealth disparity.

    or

    2) Politicians cut spending on entitlements, causing republicans to fall out of power, and democrats to come in to power, again eventually decreasing
    wealth disparity.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Wells Fargo's grim retirement planning reality: some want to 'die early', marcus said:

    What is this country going to be like 15years from now ?

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Wells Fargo's grim retirement planning reality: some want to 'die early', marcus said:

    APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch says

    SUCK ON A SEARS OVERUNDER

    What ?

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    I never realized Iwog was such a black and white thinker.

    But i was aware of the thing about him not being willing to lose an argument, even when he's wrong. Although I'll admit to not seeing him wrong all that often. With women's issues, he definitely enters territory that isn't his strong suit, but it's interesting, and provocative. Is there ever a time in Patrick.net history when Iwog said, yes, I do see that you have a pretty good point there ?

    (that is, when it was possible to perceive thatthe other person's pov in any way as in opposition to his point of view ?)

    Just an observation. Maybe he just is THAT brilliant.

    iwog says

    Saying it caused wealth disparity is ridiculous

    But saying it was a part of the cause, is one of those things that some of us like to refer to as "the truth."

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    adarmiento says

    iwog says

    The country accumulated a massive national debt. Unprecedented in fact. The money from this borrowing was paid in war wages which had a huge affect on wealth disparity after the war.

    How can anyone say debt causes wealth disparity when it did exactly the opposite in the 1940s?

    How come all that trillions dollar of Obama Administration debt for the stimulus, GM, and AIG did not have any positive impact on middle class wealth ?

    Sometimes positive is when things are getting less negative. But yeah, it doesn't show up on the graph does it. Certainly a lot of that did go to the stock market and to the 1%. MY opinion is that it could have been necessary without going all that much to the middle class. Although the middle class is invested in 401ks (just much less than the wealthy folks).

    I think a lot of the stimulus went to jobs, as did the GM bailout. Actually, a lot of the "stimulus" went to states, and local govts, who couldn't afford to pay their teachers, cops and firemen.

    http://www.edutopia.org/economic-stimulus-education-school-budget

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    That was a great run from the early 60s to 1981 or so. I like that if we are to believe that graph, the inflation stagflation of the 70s didn't stop the upward climb of middle class wealth.

    It might be that the graph is depicting total middle class wealth in such a way that the increasing number of people in the middle class is a big part of it (as opposed to wealth per middle class family increasing), although presumably it's both.

    In any case. It is interesting.

    My strong fear is that if and when we have our next significant inflationary surge, that both interest rates and wages will not keep up. Real interest rates will probably go negative if it were to happen in the next several years.

    I hope I'm wrong.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    igh debt worked out there because the debt represented a transfer of wealth via bonds from the rich to the poor. (mostly in the form of war wages, two income households, and contractor work)

    I believe you're right here, but that it's not significant. If you look at Vicente's grapgh at the top, the real increase in middle class wealth kicked in after the war. That would be a time when spending was dropping after the war, but was still high compared to before the war on highways, infrastructure, new govt jobs, ongoing military expenditures etc.

    And then again, with the Kennedy tax cuts. IT turns out that it s possible to have taxes so high, that reducing them is stimulative and beneficial to all levels of the economy. But we have never been in such a state since then.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    The debt itself REVERSED wealth disparity. It didn't increase it.

    Ongoing deficits that subsidize tax breaks for the rich were defintiely not a part of what was happening then. Which is why that genius humanity probably said:

    humanity says

    This is true NOW.

    iwog says

    It's not relevant to increasing wealth disparity. Using your example of someone blowing out all their credit cards, he is lowering wealth disparity.

    MY (his) example wasn't meant to have anything to do with wealth disparity. IT was just an example of how that one situation did not prove that excessive debt is a good thing, even if it was in that case.

    You said:

    iwog says

    How can anyone say debt causes wealth disparity when it did exactly the opposite in the 1940s?

    How can anyone say taking on way to much debt is bad, if I can give you an example of a time when it was good ? One example is meaningless.

    In any case back to the issue, we know it was completely different after WW2. There were no ongoing deficits. The war spending was over. Our economy was ready to boom, and on and on. (you have one single example that is radically different than our debt and deficits now)

    iwog says

    Debt in the United States MITIGATES the effects of regressive taxation.

    Here you are stepping out on a limb. I dissagree.

    More accurate to say, regressive taxation is impossible without excessive deficits.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    One would think that deficits and total debt would be just as much an argument for raising taxes as it is an argument for lowering spending.

    But somewhere around the time of St. Reagan we (or rather the republicans) started believing in some magic fairy nonsense about reducing taxes being a way to increase tax revenues, even when taxes are at moderate to low levels.

    They say, raising taxes is an abomination, because the liberals will just spend it.

    (as if having deficits that are just large rather than massive is ticket for liberals to spend ).

    iwog says

    It's a ridiculous claim

    By your reasoning, the only reason to raise progressive taxes is to lower the wealth of the rich. I don't agree with that. I believe that higher progressive taxes will actually make more money available for the government to spend on programs and jobs that benefit the middle class. That is I believe there are limits to "deficit spending."

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    Someone making the claim that the national debt or deficit spending CAUSES wealth disparity needs to step up and make a case or shut the hell up. It's a ridiculous claim.

    Wtf ? You claim that lower progressive taxes cause wealth disparity, but lower progressive taxes has an an intermediate affect of raising deficits.

    Bellingham Bill says

    Pretty simple case to make here; deficit spending is essentially substituting borrowing for taxation.

    Yes.

    Deficit spending equals tax revenues minus spending.

    iwog says

    That deficit spending is still mostly paid out as entitlement programs

    More accurate to say that a lot of the spending goes towards entitlements. Spending and deficit spending are not the same thing. The latter is as much a function of tax revenues as it is a function of gross spending.

    Less progressive taxes are what make a larger chunk of that spending "deficit spending," rather than simply spending. But deficits put pressure on us to spend less on programs that primarily benefit the poor and middle class.

    The one and only argument that the right has to decrease entitlement spending, and also to decrease spending on government jobs (more state and local), is the level of deficits (and aggregate debt).

    iwog says

    Someone making the claim that the national debt or deficit spending CAUSES wealth disparity needs to step up and make a case or shut the hell up. It's a ridiculous claim.

    Just because something isn't the root cause, doesn't mean it's not a cause. When someone says that weather patterns are caused by global warming
    they aren't wrong because they attributed it to global warming rather than the causes of global warming.

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    HydroCABRON not hydrocarbon says

    ending deductions for all expenses,

    What ? You're kidding right ?

    The rest seems reasonable, although I would cap taxes on gains well below ordinary income (but not at 15%).

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    That's true, however Mell was offering the point that the national debt was responsible for increased wealth disparity in the 1980s and onward.

    It's not that far off, it's an indirect connection to the one you're making. After all, when taxes on the rich are lower than they should be, those cuts are in a sense, financed with government debt. And then we all pay the piper for that debt, disproportionately it hits the middle class.

    So government debt is a mechanism through which wealth is distributed upwards.

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Obama jokes like an Asshole, marcus said:

    I see someone is still peddling worn out lies from 2009. Can't you find some brand new shiny 2014 lies to sell us ?

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in McDonald's Vows Fresh Thinking After Revenues Decline 30%; Mish Offers Advice, marcus said:

    I like the sausage and egg McMuffin. I've heard the McGriddles are good too, but haven't tried it. But Yeah, I agree. Only once in a blue moon do I eat anything besides breakfast at McDs. And then it would be the filet of fish.

    If I want to do the unhealthy fast food, burgers etc, I gotta say Jack in the Box is surprisingly good. Yeah, Wendy's too.

    We have "in and Out here" which tastes great, but doesn't sit well with me for some reason.

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Obama jokes like an Asshole, marcus said:

    CaptainShuddup says

    Obama jokes like an Asshole

    I would think that you would respect Obama for behaving like you do.

  • On 20 Oct 2014 in In praise of the dragging down Boomers, marcus said:

    thunderlips11 says

    It's absolute nonsense to dismiss exit polls on those grounds. As somebody who is a teacher - a math teacher - you should certainly understand that generally speaking, the larger the sample size less the margin of error. You'll see that the source features an average sample number much higher than 100-200 people.

    Why craft a response to some imaginary straw man bs ?

    Did you miss it WAY earlier when I pretty much conceded the numbers ?

    How can you so totally misinterpret what I said. You're nonsense about me being a teacher etc., I guess I struck a nerve about you being a history major ?

    Let me try again.

    Accepting that in the Reagan election, the boomers between 16 and 21 didn't vote, and the ones between 21 and 30 slightly favored carter, and the ones between 31 and 34 favored Reagan.

    Also TOTALLY accepting that in later elections anywhere from 50 to 54 percent of boomers voted for republicans (given all the propaganda, and self interest reasons I mentioned)

    This still means that you are talking about making generalizations about
    each 100 boomer voters (and the other 100 that didnt vote), based on what a few people did. If 4 of those 100 voters voted the other way, you would not be making this generalization.

    So, yes, I basically just repeated what I said before. IT's doubtful that you are going to get it. I am not challenging the exit polls, although I did at one point (a little - 1988 an extremely low turn out election, but evidently the bible belt came out in full force.

    But I'm not talking about that

    Those 4 people out of 100 (really out of 200) are only statistically significant relative to an election, the outcome of which is determined by majority of the people that actually vote.

    IT's not an indictment of the entire group, and it's not information upon which an interesting generalization cane be made, nor does it make sense to talk about blaming boomers collectively.

    It's disappointing, but not surprising at all, given all the reasons I've already spent too much time spelling out, probably the biggest being that at least 25% are really stupid. That and all the conniving republicans have been doing the last 50 years.

    25% or more of the boomers are idiots, but you aren't going to generalize about boomers being idiots (which makes sense) because it's the same for all the other groups.

    But oh no, 3 percent more are republicans than democrats, even with the Christian right etc, they get it up to just a few percent more than democrats in some big elections, and you you say boomers as a group need to own up to that.

    You're fucking retarded.

    thunderlips11 says

    Why has the politics shifted so that Progressive positions are untenable? Why have the democrats believed they have to shift so far to the right?

    I've repeated myself enough. I answered this already. Politics is a battle for the minds of the voters, especially the minds of the less intelligent folks. But a lot of this appeals to normal family types, hard working folks trying to live decently in times of slowly decreasing standard of living.

    marcus says

    1) The middle became more and more important politically (it always is), as claims that the left were soft on defense and that they were all about "tax and spend."

    2)The lies about welfare (welfare queens), but also the justified perception that welfare was not totally good in the way that it impacts communities, and individuals. Welfare was and is necessary, but there were some negatives that come with it.

    3) The "starve the beast" strategy of running up deficits (Reagan lowering taxes while increasing spending (esp military)) based on the machiavellian plan that this would preempt liberals from being able to bring home the bacon so to speak, and that the resulting high debt could be used to argue against "tax and spend" liberals.

    4) The southern strategy, which was put into motion before the boomers were nearly as big a part of the electorate. But we see the aftermath today: Guns, gays and god.

    5) The amazing but believed lie, that if lowering taxes, when taxes are above a certain level can cause tax revenues to increase, because of how stimulative it is to the economy, that therefore even when taxes are relatively low that this effect holds.

    A lot of people are selfish enough about their taxes that they don't even want to think this through they just take it on faith. Combine this with #2 and #3 above and you have a powerful issue.

  • On 19 Oct 2014 in Challenge to Keynesians "Prove Rising Prices Provide an Overall Economic Benefi, marcus said:

    A quote from Mishs world:

    If falling prices stop people from buying things, how are any computers, flat screen TVs, monitors, etc., ever sold, in light of the fact that quality improves and prices decline every year?

    That's just prices on certain technology items. Of course those drop. It's one of the few things that help to mitigate our decreasing standard of living.

    But even you Mish know that if prices of everything or even just most things were dropping, wages and employment would have to be dropping as well. Iwog is right, you might want to learn about the great depression.

    The good thing that would happen with inflation, which is also the reason why it's hard to imagine it happening, is that A LOT of debt gets paid back in dollars that are worth less than the ones that were borrowed. That would be economically beneficial. It's like just taking debt of the books.

    But the pressure of all that debt is actually what's causing the deflationary pressure.

  • On 19 Oct 2014 in Challenge to Keynesians "Prove Rising Prices Provide an Overall Economic Benefi, marcus said:

    Here's a challenge for Mish.

    Prove that Keynes or "Keynesians" ever said inflation provides overall economic benefits ? He didn't. He was concerned about the negative effects of inflation, but he was willing to tolerate them when the alternative was deflation and unemployment.

    Inflation is a tax (sometimes) at least according to Keynes, in the sense that in emergencies a government can literally print money. Ultimately the value of that money comes from somewhere. But that's a reference to the money supply inflation which only sometimes translates to price and wage increase devaluation of money (as opposed to devaluation against other currencies which can also happen at the same time).

    I'm concerned about inflation happening now, because it seems unlikely that wages can keep up.

  • On 19 Oct 2014 in In praise of the dragging down Boomers, marcus said:

    thunderlips11 says

    one could make the claim that they are innocent of responsibility for the current mess.

    One could make that claim anyway because the older group put leaders into power that gave us the circumstances causing slightly over 50% of the boomers to vote republican.

    thunderlips11 says

    Why did democrats shift to the right, and the Progressive Wing lose all power?

    The biggest reasons I can think of:

    1) The middle became more and more important politically (it always is), as claims that the left were soft on defense and that they were all about "tax and spend."

    2)The lies about welfare (welfare queens), but also the justified perception that welfare was not totally good in the way that it impacts communities, and individuals. Welfare was and is necessary, but there were some negatives that come with it.

    3) The "starve the beast" strategy of running up deficits (Reagan lowering taxes while increasing spending (esp military)) based on the machiavellian plan that this would preempt liberals from being able to bring home the bacon so to speak, and that the resulting high debt could be used to argue against "tax and spend" liberals.

    4) The southern strategy, which was put into motion before the boomers were nearly as big a part of the electorate. But we see the aftermath today: Guns, gays and god.

    5) The amazing but believed lie, that if lowering taxes, when taxes are above a certain level can cause tax revenues to increase, because of how stimulative it is to the economy, that therefore even when taxes are relatively low that this effect holds.

    A lot of people are selfish enough about their taxes that they don't even want to think this through they just take it on faith. Combine this with #2 and #3 above and you have a powerful issue.

    You say that Obama won because of Gen Y. That's partly true. But that's because of the pendulum finally swinging back (not enough), but it's also because democrats finally got on the lowering taxes message. Obama promised to lower taxes, and he did. But this was a little fucked up, because he had to wait a while to finally let the Bush tax cuts expire as intended (after they had finished redistributing the Social Security Tax surplus up to the rich) - further shackling the democrats from having any juice now that they had come to power.

  • On 18 Oct 2014 in Does Everything Happen for a Reason?, marcus said:

    It's interesting to think about time. I don't agree or disagree with the OP in this reddit thread, but it leads to an interesting discussion. Actually I guess I dissagree. The OP was probably high.
    http://www.reddit.com/r/philosophy/comments/2ixlv4/metaphysics_of_time/

    Maybe the thinking behind "everything happens for a reason" meme is that people on some level are aware that eventually it will be seen that way. That is, if we could remove ourselves from time, as if (sort of) the future had already happened, then it could be seen that there was an effect to whatever happens, and therefore, everything happens for a reason.

    It's just that, because of the way we experience time, we don't know yet
    what the reason is. Convoluted maybe, but I think that's what people are thinking.

    The idea that it's a positive or beneficial reason ? That's a little bit more dicey. I guess that's more about just positive thinking and trying to create a positive result, to the extent that we can. It's a variation on, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  • On 18 Oct 2014 in In praise of the dragging down Boomers, marcus said:

    thunderlips11 says

    If Boomers repeatedly voted against - even by a small margin - the people who propose these things, but the old fucks swung the vote anyway, one could make the claim that they are innocent of responsibility for the current mess.

    If boomers who voted, making up roughly a third of the half or so of the people who voted, voted for these things by a small margin, it says absolutely NOTHING about boomers, other than that they were like everyone else:

    1) Just like everyone else, they are susceptible to big money advertising
    and the effect of big money in general in politics.

    2) Just like every other age group, there are plenty of fundamental Christianists and others who are either highly gullible or below average intelligence or education level or all three.

    3) Just like every other age group, they are especially vulnerable to propaganda about taxes and government spending and war and race, and "family values" and guns, just like so many people in other groupings are manipulated in politics.

    But bottom line: if it's a total of 53% or something like that that ended up on the conservative (fuck you I've got mine) side of the spectrum, there is no generalization that particularly makes sense or is interesting about this age group. Were talking about a handful of people out of 100 being a reason to generalize about the 100**, when there are all kinds of factors influencing the people, 30% or more of whom are idiots.

    (**and really we're talking about a handful of people out of 200 and generalizing about the 200 based on that, since half didn't vote. Sure that says something about the group too, but it's not different than any other group.)

    If I had to guess, you majored in history or social sciences of some sort. You definitely aren't a science, math or logic person.

  • On 18 Oct 2014 in In praise of the dragging down Boomers, marcus said:

    Yes, I have been all about overturning misleading narrative.

    It's fine to take note of the voting record of an age cohort, where a few percentage points more republicans is significant in elections, and nearly half not even voting is significant in elections too.

    But then to talk about blame or agency ? Why can't boomers own up to what ?

    Yeah, I think I'll go back to fuck you. Fuck you.

  • On 18 Oct 2014 in In praise of the dragging down Boomers, marcus said:

    Americans (and I guess humans in general) in their arrogance often seem to spend way to much time in life comparing ourselves to others.

    I find this a pathetic human attribute, but I understand it.

    After thinking about it, I get what the real issue is. And I don't mean that you feel inferior to boomers when you compare yourself. But you feel like we had it easier in some ways, better in some ways. And then in some twisted way, you blame us that things aren't the same for you.

    I can tell you, that this is less true than you think, except with respect to housing (and that is mostly with the aid of hindsight). At least not if you have reasonable intelligence and skills (and experience)

    I would say that times are more noticeably worse for low income and or low skills folks now than 30 years ago.

    But the fact that you blame boomers for what you feel when you get all wrapped up in those ego based comparisons is sad.

    So I do finally understand now. I've shifted from anger on this to sympathy. I would say empathy, but I don't know. I'd like to think I would do better job of framing your circumstances in a more honest and healthy way than you do (that is if I were in your shoes).

  • On 18 Oct 2014 in In praise of the dragging down Boomers, marcus said:

    Okay, I've looked at some numbers in more detail, and see that I've been a little bit wrong on parts of this. A lot of my analysis was based on this graph.

    marcus says

    I now see based on this report,
    http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p20-542.pdf

    that I'm wrong. Even in the year 2000 when boomers (defined as born 1946 to 1964), voted a little more than those older than them.

    I was thinking that they wouldn't over take the older voters until after that. Maybe more people die between say 60 and 75 than I was thinking.

    So yeah, in 2000 there were about 44 million boomers that voted and about 38 million older folks that voted. Obviously those older voters have a lot of people in the Fox News crowd (these are very accurate numbers).

    I never said the boomers aren't a huge number of people. I just said that generalizing about them as you do, and assigning blame to them as you do, makes no sense.

    You could cite other groups, such as men, or white men, or Christians, or democrats, or capitalists, or tax payers, or working folks, or college educated, or women, or married, or parents....

    These are all large groups, and they are all comprised of nearly half idiots who are apathetic about a lot of important issues. In many elections half or so don't even bother to vote.

    So the boomers didn't save us from ourselves ? The boomers aren't enough different from other groups. Although they are more progressive than the group older than them. Turns out the boomers get manipulated and played just like everyone else.

    If just doesn't make any sense. I haven't seen a shred of evidence indicating that the boomers are worse than other age groups. Yes, they are bigger than other age groups, especially if you limit the time intervals to be the same length. Notably, the boomers are especially bigger than younger groups. You and Dan seem to have retarded reasoning that goes something like this.

    1) America is pretty messed up. Politically our priorities are skewed towards the interests of the rich and away from the interests of the people or the planet for that matter.

    2) Boomers are a very significant chunk of the electorate, and yet they are a lot like everyone else in the country. Maybe a little wiser on average than those older than their group, but not enough to matter.

    3) Hell, the game has become even more rigged during the period when they were a big chunk of the electorate, and the boomers didn't prevent that.

    Therefore you blame them. It's their fault.

    For the 10th time,...this is assinine.

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