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A Quick Rant

ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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6/1/2015 12:03:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have a sh1tload of stuff I should be doing right now, but I need to take a short break to go on a rant. Ignore, of course, spelling and punctuation. We can consider this a politics/economics rant, though it's mostly on economics, and thus I'm placing it here.

The topic of my rant is on "pseudo economists": people who think that, because economics isn't a hard science and it's hard to actually *know* anything for certain, that it's plausible to toss any any random idea, as though it's fact, and fancy oneself a credible thinker who ought to be taken seriously. For a long time, deficit hawks in D.C. have taken on this role, as have inflationistas. For instance, they told us that welfare makes people "dependent," irrespective of whether they actually understand the complexities of the systems they desire to abolish (or, in Rick Perry's case, recall the names of the departments he actually wanted to do away) or the notion of poverty as an endemic feature of capitalism. They told us that quantitative easing by the Fed would lead to a spike in long-term interest rates and inflation, and that the dollar would lose its status as the global reserve currency. Heck, we even were told patently false nonsense like "women have babies to collect welfare payments," that anyone can actually live on the $130 a month they receive on food stamps, that tax breaks for corporations are needed lest we hurt their feelings and drive them out of the country (corporate welfare is great, but abolish food stamps!), that immigrants are "taking our jobs!", and more.

All of this is patently untrue, and betrays an ignorance not only of economics, but of factual reality, and represents the perils of living in a bubble of confirmation bias, full of people who also plug their eyes upon hearing facts that contradict their firmly ingrained ideology. All of their predictions have been - say it with me - patently wrong, but they refuse to readily acknowledge any of these or to adjust their worldview to comport with reality. Instead, they adjust reality to comport with their worldview, and this sets a dangerous, utterly toxic precedent moving forward if we're actually listening to people - like a few of our good friends who deny climate change because "only God controls the weather" - who think they know more than they do.

Economics is not a hard science, but there are things we know and can observe, and conclusions we can come to based on data and reality. People constantly come forward to challenge those conclusions, as well they should. Plenty of people have challenged, for instance, Thomas Pikkety's seminal work on inequality, and I don't begrudge those people at all, insofar as they're not being intellectually disingenuous - though, unfortunately, many are. There's a fundamental difference between engaging intellectual arguments and tossing around platitudes, like "government is always wrong," "the Fed is immoral," and more - and they're on par with the Rothshild-Rockefeller conspiracy theories of highly deceptive, intellectually bankrupt scam outlets like Infowars and WND.

If you want me to treat you like an anti-intellectual child spouting your theology as though it's fact, I'm happy to oblige. If you want, instead, to have a serious conversation, we can do that as well. Your choice.

/ end rant
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

DDO's Economics Messiah
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Posts: 12,398
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6/1/2015 12:08:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I should know that these Rhodes Scholars who think "only God controls the weather" are actually two Republican members of Congress.

As that other Congressmen in Religulous said - and I can't remember his name, nor do I care - said, as though from a Freudian slip, there *is not* an IQ test for admission to Congress. All that is necessary for one low-Iq, ignorant fckwit to convince a whole bunch of other lower-Iq, more ignorant fckwits that they're opponent is a socialist communist Marxist Nazi atheist Kenynan [Add your modifier of choice here], etc., and boom - they flock like the sheep they are.

Okay, NOW I can say this:

/ end rant
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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6/1/2015 12:29:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Welfare does make people more dependent. I know it's nice to think throwing money at problems solves them, but it often doesn't. It gets exhausting just laying out these facts, because it is simply a fact that welfare does this. You can look at my debate on welfare from about 6 months ago to see what I mean. You can look at 3 of my friends who are currently defrauding the system and getting free money every month. They make $1,000 to $1200 a month from social security and they are fit to work they just don't. I know that amount is less than they'd get at a job, but it's free money and enough for them to live off of.

Not to mention all the statistics you can find from the Cato institute which show that it does make people more dependent. For one it encourages single parenting by creating an incentive to remain unmarried. It's better to have a boyfriend and keep him off your lease to get more welfare money, than it is to get married and force the government to account for both incomes. Studies back me up on the effect on marriages which creates a cycle of poverty as you can see from what happens to children of single parents, who more often than children of married couples go on to live in poverty.

If Democrats cared about the poor they'd try to implement the global minimum income which has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt to be a superior alternative than welfare and would actually cost the same as a welfare system if not less. Why they continue to use a system that harms society instead of one that benefits society is beyond me. The GMI also encourages dependency, but atleast people don't have to lie or remain unmarried to fool a system. Atleast they don't have to worry going from part time to full time will hurt their benefits.

Nobody cares about the poor in this country, they just use the poor to gain votes. If they cared about the poor they'd actually help them instead of trying to make them dependent.
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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6/1/2015 12:34:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/1/2015 12:29:03 PM, Wylted wrote:

If I don't respond to this later when I have more time, send me a notification.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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Wylted
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6/1/2015 12:39:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/1/2015 12:34:32 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 6/1/2015 12:29:03 PM, Wylted wrote:

If I don't respond to this later when I have more time, send me a notification.

No problem, I would like to send you a link to my debate also, so you can know what mental references I'm using to form my opinion on this. It's on my to do list when I get home.
lannan13
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6/1/2015 5:15:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/1/2015 12:03:59 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
I have a sh1tload of stuff I should be doing right now, but I need to take a short break to go on a rant. Ignore, of course, spelling and punctuation. We can consider this a politics/economics rant, though it's mostly on economics, and thus I'm placing it here.

The topic of my rant is on "pseudo economists": people who think that, because economics isn't a hard science and it's hard to actually *know* anything for certain, that it's plausible to toss any any random idea, as though it's fact, and fancy oneself a credible thinker who ought to be taken seriously. For a long time, deficit hawks in D.C. have taken on this role, as have inflationistas. For instance, they told us that welfare makes people "dependent," irrespective of whether they actually understand the complexities of the systems they desire to abolish (or, in Rick Perry's case, recall the names of the departments he actually wanted to do away) or the notion of poverty as an endemic feature of capitalism. They told us that quantitative easing by the Fed would lead to a spike in long-term interest rates and inflation, and that the dollar would lose its status as the global reserve currency. Heck, we even were told patently false nonsense like "women have babies to collect welfare payments," that anyone can actually live on the $130 a month they receive on food stamps, that tax breaks for corporations are needed lest we hurt their feelings and drive them out of the country (corporate welfare is great, but abolish food stamps!), that immigrants are "taking our jobs!", and more.

I realize that this is indeed impossible to live off of, but then again, when the government is now giving people on welfare cell phones, wyfy, and cars, it seems almost like we're creating FDR's Welfare state and no doubtably that will bankrupt this nation.

All of this is patently untrue, and betrays an ignorance not only of economics, but of factual reality, and represents the perils of living in a bubble of confirmation bias, full of people who also plug their eyes upon hearing facts that contradict their firmly ingrained ideology. All of their predictions have been - say it with me - patently wrong, but they refuse to readily acknowledge any of these or to adjust their worldview to comport with reality. Instead, they adjust reality to comport with their worldview, and this sets a dangerous, utterly toxic precedent moving forward if we're actually listening to people - like a few of our good friends who deny climate change because "only God controls the weather" - who think they know more than they do.

Economics is not a hard science, but there are things we know and can observe, and conclusions we can come to based on data and reality. People constantly come forward to challenge those conclusions, as well they should. Plenty of people have challenged, for instance, Thomas Pikkety's seminal work on inequality, and I don't begrudge those people at all, insofar as they're not being intellectually disingenuous - though, unfortunately, many are. There's a fundamental difference between engaging intellectual arguments and tossing around platitudes, like "government is always wrong," "the Fed is immoral," and more - and they're on par with the Rothshild-Rockefeller conspiracy theories of highly deceptive, intellectually bankrupt scam outlets like Infowars and WND.

There's not many of Friedman's policies that I disagree with, but I do believe that we need the Federal Reserve. Yes it needs improvement, yes it's made mistakes, but an audit on the fed would cripple this nation faster than Obamacare and his free community colleges.

If you want me to treat you like an anti-intellectual child spouting your theology as though it's fact, I'm happy to oblige. If you want, instead, to have a serious conversation, we can do that as well. Your choice.


/ end rant
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ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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6/1/2015 5:20:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/1/2015 5:15:16 PM, lannan13 wrote:
I realize that this is indeed impossible to live off of, but then again, when the government is now giving people on welfare cell phones, wyfy, and cars, it seems almost like we're creating FDR's Welfare state and no doubtably that will bankrupt this nation.

I haven't heard anything about them giving out phones or wifi - so I'm not sure where that came from. The so-called "Obamaphones" was a program begun by Ronald Reagan and expanded by Bush, but involves a *private charity.* I'm not even sure whether it uses public dollars. That aside, though, there's no evidence that the current welfare state will bankrupt the U.S., and in fact it's physically impossible for a country that issues its own currency to go bankrupt, which is why people who balk about Greece are irritating. Even the warfare state or the corporate-welfare state, both of which I detest, won't bankrupt us.

There's not many of Friedman's policies that I disagree with, but I do believe that we need the Federal Reserve. Yes it needs improvement, yes it's made mistakes, but an audit on the fed would cripple this nation faster than Obamacare and his free community colleges.

I don't think Obamacare or free community college will cripple us, but I'm actually elated that you're now opposed to an audit.

I'll respond to anything else - and to Wylted, for that matter - in a little bit.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

DDO's Economics Messiah
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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6/1/2015 5:24:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
oops, I meant I haven't heard anything about the government giving out *cars* and wifi.

Note to self: Finish project before procrastinating on DDO.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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Fly
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6/2/2015 5:22:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/1/2015 12:03:59 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
I have a sh1tload of stuff I should be doing right now, but I need to take a short break to go on a rant. Ignore, of course, spelling and punctuation. We can consider this a politics/economics rant, though it's mostly on economics, and thus I'm placing it here.

The topic of my rant is on "pseudo economists": people who think that, because economics isn't a hard science and it's hard to actually *know* anything for certain, that it's plausible to toss any any random idea, as though it's fact, and fancy oneself a credible thinker who ought to be taken seriously. For a long time, deficit hawks in D.C. have taken on this role, as have inflationistas. For instance, they told us that welfare makes people "dependent," irrespective of whether they actually understand the complexities of the systems they desire to abolish (or, in Rick Perry's case, recall the names of the departments he actually wanted to do away) or the notion of poverty as an endemic feature of capitalism. They told us that quantitative easing by the Fed would lead to a spike in long-term interest rates and inflation, and that the dollar would lose its status as the global reserve currency. Heck, we even were told patently false nonsense like "women have babies to collect welfare payments," that anyone can actually live on the $130 a month they receive on food stamps, that tax breaks for corporations are needed lest we hurt their feelings and drive them out of the country (corporate welfare is great, but abolish food stamps!), that immigrants are "taking our jobs!", and more.

All of this is patently untrue, and betrays an ignorance not only of economics, but of factual reality, and represents the perils of living in a bubble of confirmation bias, full of people who also plug their eyes upon hearing facts that contradict their firmly ingrained ideology. All of their predictions have been - say it with me - patently wrong, but they refuse to readily acknowledge any of these or to adjust their worldview to comport with reality. Instead, they adjust reality to comport with their worldview, and this sets a dangerous, utterly toxic precedent moving forward if we're actually listening to people - like a few of our good friends who deny climate change because "only God controls the weather" - who think they know more than they do.

Economics is not a hard science, but there are things we know and can observe, and conclusions we can come to based on data and reality. People constantly come forward to challenge those conclusions, as well they should. Plenty of people have challenged, for instance, Thomas Pikkety's seminal work on inequality, and I don't begrudge those people at all, insofar as they're not being intellectually disingenuous - though, unfortunately, many are. There's a fundamental difference between engaging intellectual arguments and tossing around platitudes, like "government is always wrong," "the Fed is immoral," and more - and they're on par with the Rothshild-Rockefeller conspiracy theories of highly deceptive, intellectually bankrupt scam outlets like Infowars and WND.

If you want me to treat you like an anti-intellectual child spouting your theology as though it's fact, I'm happy to oblige. If you want, instead, to have a serious conversation, we can do that as well. Your choice.


/ end rant

I get the idea from reading your posts that neither major US party has a solid handle on economic principles. But one of the major reasons I don't think I'll ever call myself a Republican again is their ability to look reality straight in the face and say, "No, I don't think so."

PS Good luck getting all your stuff done.
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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6/5/2015 5:30:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/1/2015 12:29:03 PM, Wylted wrote:

This is a bit late, but I suppose it's better late than never.

Welfare does make people more dependent. I know it's nice to think throwing money at problems solves them, but it often doesn't.

It's not a question of throwing money at the problem. That is not, to me, the intention of welfare: it's to develop a safety net to counterbalance the inherent risks to capitalism. Markets are great if they work properly, but the gains are *not* - and this is critical - broadly shared. If they were, welfare payments would necessarily dwindle naturally as people are weaned off the system.

Our disagreement comes down to a fundamental question of the underlying causes of poverty: you're suggesting - and correct me if I'm wrong - that poverty is a result of bad decisions made by poor people. I think that may be the case, though those instances are few and far between - and, for the most part, poverty begets poverty (assymetries in ability to access education is a great example). The WHO, for instance, released a report recently suggesting that economic inequality - i.e., slave-labor wages - promote unhealthy mental states that perpetuate bad decisions, so it's possible that both of us are right, though the root cause nevertheless is inherent inequities in the system itself.

As for dependency, I don't see any evidence that the current welfare system, especially in the post-Clinton era, induces dependency. There's certainly a level where that may be the case, but I don't think we're anywhere near that. Not to mention, welfare currently has a 60-month cap and stringent requirements regarding working or looking for work.

It gets exhausting just laying out these facts, because it is simply a fact that welfare does this. You can look at my debate on welfare from about 6 months ago to see what I mean. You can look at 3 of my friends who are currently defrauding the system and getting free money every month. They make $1,000 to $1200 a month from social security and they are fit to work they just don't. I know that amount is less than they'd get at a job, but it's free money and enough for them to live off of.

This really isn't more than an anecdotal example, so I fail to see how this could serve as an argument against the entirety of the welfare system. If there's fraud in the system, it should be dealt with, though I don't see much evidence of that either. For instance, the rate of fraud in food stamps is about 1.3%. I'm not sure what it is in SS, though I tend to think it would be a heck of a lot less because SS constitutes auto-pilot spending and is particularly hard to rig - and it's a check, in lieu of a card to purchase X, Y, and Z.

Not to mention, I could match your anecdotal example with my own examples of seniors who depended on Social Security - indeed, for many it comprises either all or most of their incomes - and for whom it was inadequate. I think there's a stronger case for expanding, rather than gutting, the program.

Not to mention all the statistics you can find from the Cato institute which show that it does make people more dependent.

Lol, dude, I don't think the Cato Institute is the least bit credible, though nevertheless there are a few economist who have published with Cato whom I read. I'd be willing to look at their studies, though I'm inclined to think there are, much like in the case of Heritage, easily discernible flaws in methodology designed to fool unsuspecting, otherwis well-intentioned observers into confirming the inherent bias of the researchers.

For one it encourages single parenting by creating an incentive to remain unmarried.

Even if this were the case, I don't see it as an issue - nor do I view it as "encouraging single parenting," though I nevertheless think that's a tangential issue. Rather, I think it grants people the autonomy to choose whether or not they marry, in lieu of being financially dependent on a spouse, or worse yet one's parents.

Here's a good example, even assuming you're right: let's say I graduate from college with $100,000 in student-loan debt, and the job market for the industry I'm skilled in sucks. What happens to me? I'm practically forced to depend on a partner, though marrying in no way enhances my productivity or provides me with a way to get off my feet: it's a means of sustenance. Welfare-to-work, or even accompanying jobs programs, would actually equip me with the skills I need to contribute to society - because, trust me, I (a) don't want to be on welfare (and *most* people actually feel this way, because of the stigma attached to it, much of which is racially charged) and (b) can't survive or live comfortably.

It's better to have a boyfriend and keep him off your lease to get more welfare money, than it is to get married and force the government to account for both incomes.

I can't imagine the financial gain from this - and, mind you, if I were actually living with a partner and keeping him/her off my lease, I'm fairly certain that's illegal - being that lucrative, or worth circumventing the law. But, even if it were the case, why should we care? I don't see giving people more financial freedom such that they're not dependent on a spouse for sustenance as a problem.

Not to mention, there are a number of ways that the tax code actually benefits married couples, so I'm not even sure what the cost-benefit calculus would yield.

Studies back me up on the effect on marriages which creates a cycle of poverty as you can see from what happens to children of single parents, who more often than children of married couples go on to live in poverty.

Sure, I don't deny that single parentdom could lead to poverty, but it's a question of what led to that poverty in the first place - and I don't think it's actually the act of having a kid out of a wedlock, but rather the circumstances which led to the abandonment by the spouse in the first place: i.e., abuse, illness, death in the family, dependency itself, etc. I think the question of causation is much more complex than simply saying that single parenting ipso facto induces poverty - I think it may compound it, but poverty begets poverty, and I think that's systemic.

If Democrats cared about the poor they'd try to implement the global minimum income which has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt to be a superior alternative than welfare and would actually cost the same as a welfare system if not less.

I've never seen anything suggesting that it's better "beyond a reasonable doubt" - nor do I like bringing politics into this - but I'm willing to take a look at it.

IWhy they continue to use a system that harms society instead of one that benefits society is beyond me. The GMI also encourages dependency, but atleast people don't have to lie or remain unmarried to fool a system. Atleast they don't have to worry going from part time to full time will hurt their benefits.

Again, I don't think the benefits of cheating the system are as profound as you're letting on, though I'd be willing to look into this proposal nevertheless. I feel to see, at present, how it would be much different - in fact, it may even be even *more* progressive than the current welfare system.

Nobody cares about the poor in this country, they just use the poor to gain votes. If they cared about the poor they'd actually help them instead of trying to make them dependent.

I don't think that's true at all - and even looking at the sheer number of people who were lifted out of poverty in the Clinton era I think speaks for itself. Maybe the GMI is even a superior method at alleviating poverty, but a proper diagnostic is necessary to actually solving the issue - and I think blaming it on single parenting (as the GOP does, as they slash food stamps and fund farm subsidies) is getting at the wrong problem.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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Wylted
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6/5/2015 6:06:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
There is a lot of things to deal with there, and I'm afraid I don't care to get into the details outside of a debate setting as they can get tedious. Just in our exchange so far we have enough material that if properly elaborated on would be about 10 different debate topics. Perhaps we'll find the time to debate one of those 10 things at some point. I will address one point though.

I do have a blame everyone type mentality and it's something different than me assigning blame on the underlying cause of an issue. Regardless of the political system somebody is under. Even if the system, economic environment or some other cause creates a situation where 99% of people live under the poverty line I still assign blame to those people for their situation. My view that we're ultimately in control of our own destiny is a separate thing from my political views.

A blame the amount of poverty not on the individuals. In a one on one state I would, but when looking through binoculars I blame policy. I think there is enough evidence that exists to suggest that welfare does create dependancy. This isn't to blame the person on welfare, but to blame policy makers who deincentivize getting off welfare. I blame the amount of poverty on other factors, such as overregulation (for example) which has a tendency to kill small businesses and create a bigger market share for big businesses.

Now I'm sure we have different opinions on whether the difference in the numbers of small businesses controlling an industry before and after an organization comes in is different. A lot of these regulatory agencies came into play just as industrialization was really taking off, so you could argue that industrialization caused the industries to be more geared towards big businesses owning most the market share, or maybe it's your opinion that the FDA is overall a good thing for people, even if it did kill the market share of smaller grocery store.

All that is really beside the point and that would be several debates itself. Unfortunately we're talking from a really zoomed out view, which means we have to go into a lot more detail to actually settle any of this.

The point I'm making (and since you brought it up in the last post), is that I'm not blaming people in poverty for their situation. As individuals they're responsible for it, but the total numbers when taking a zoomed out view is something policy makers are responsible for.

If my friend Sam is in poverty, it's his fault and he needs to stop being a Pvssy and fight through it, but if the poverty rate is at 10 percent it's the fault of policy makers. Right now I think we could probably cut the prison rate by 75% while simultaneously reducing or maintaining the crime rate. So the numbers of prisoners are a direct fault of policy, but if my friend Sam ends up in prison it is his fault.

Unlike a lot of conservatives I know I can flip from a zoomed out view to a zoomed in view pretty easily. I think conservatives do a great job of keeping a zoomed in view, but they stay in the mindset too long. The reverse is true of liberals. They stay in a zoomed out view and never zoom in, hopefully you're unique among liberals in that you don't do that, and I assume you're unique and can flip back and forth like me.

Take for example the crime rate among blacks. Conservatives will look at the total crime rate and say that blacks should commit less crime, a clear indicator they're struggling to zoom out. A liberal will look at a black man in prison and feel sorry for him, and make excuses for him. This is from their inability to zoom in. The rate of black people in prison is a failure of policy, but Tyrone being in prison is a failure of Tyrone.

Hopefully that has made my view more clear on how I assign blame. For individuals, they take the blame. For raw statistics, policy takes the blame. So I'm capable of two levels of looking at a situation. Well I'm capable of more, but want to keep it simple. For example their is a third level I flip into where I blame myself for everything. I even blamed myself for 9/11. I figured had I made more Muslim friends, they'd see us as human and just maybe that would spread and it would be harder to commit those horrible acts, but that's a different thing and beside the point.

I hope I made my position of how I assign blame more clear, though I haven't proof read this and rambled a bit so it's understandable if it is even less clear than before. It doesn't help that my thoughts touch on a crapload of subjects in an extremely short period of time.