Total Posts:32|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

The Butler Paradox

Eye_of_the_Needle
Posts: 15
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/23/2017 10:27:58 PM
Posted: 1 month ago
If Trump cuts taxes for the rich, does that mean the wealth will trickle down to the poor and leave everybody more well-off?

This is what they would have us believe, but I have a question for our libertarian friends. As individuals become richer, they can afford more services from others as their economic leverage increases - like butlers. But if the butlers are all becoming richer, because of trickle-down economics, does that mean the butlers can now afford butlers of their own? If these tax cuts are getting us all rich, will there be a greater need for butlers since more people can now afford them?

The right will tell you we are all supposed to get richer, but the paradox prevents that. We can't all have butlers. We can't all increase our wealth because as our wealth increases so too does our leverage over others. The wealthy need more goods and services, and in order to provide goods and services there must be poor people to work low-paying jobs who can't afford these services for themselves. Butlers can't hire butlers because the economy is zero-sum; the more the rich have, the less the poor must have. Therefore it is physically impossible to make the rich richer without making the poor poorer.
The Ends cannot justify the Means.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,849
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/23/2017 10:48:24 PM
Posted: 1 month ago
The idea of trickle down economics is often touted that people will be become richer or wealthier, which, frankly is a silly notion. It depends on individuals, first and foremost, and a business is not likely to start handing out raises that matter.

However, the question isn't if trickle down economics makes others richer, becomes if there is a trickle down effect for the economy, and I believe there is. While I may not suddenly become richer, I may have an easier time being employed. The costs of goods may lower. With more money in the banks (because the rich aren't going to suddenly spend it), it provides capital for banks to lend. I mean, if taken to extremes, surely you can see how taxation can hinder (or help) the economy, and, of course, it is also how the tax dollars are used.

It is the multiplier effect in economics, but working in a different manner. The true paradox is how taking from me to give to you will create a multiplier effect for the economy, but if I instead give that same money to someone else, such as a bank, that multiplier doesn't exist.
At least the noble sheep provides us warm sweaters. All your hides would provide are coward pants. - Dick Solomon
dylancatlow
Posts: 13,661
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/25/2017 3:52:20 PM
Posted: 4 weeks ago
For economics goods where the supply is fixed relative to the population, yes, not everyone can become "rich enough" to afford the good, since if everyone became rich enough to afford e.g., butlers at their present average cost and tried to buy one, the price of a butler would increase in response to the extra demand, but since the supply cannot increase forever, it is inevitable that the price would rise until some people in society could not afford one at the new price i.e., until the wealthier people in society who really wanted a butler outbid the rest of the population to ensure that they could purchase one of the limited number of butlers.

But you're wrong to think that every economic good is like this. If the rich cannot become richer without the poor becoming poorer then we should never see an increase in the total economic pie, which we do. For example, people today are wealthier than they were 100 years ago. I'm not a proponent of trickle down economics, but this counterargument is far too simplistic.
Greyparrot
Posts: 19,309
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/25/2017 4:17:28 PM
Posted: 4 weeks ago
At 12/23/2017 10:27:58 PM, Eye_of_the_Needle wrote:
If Trump cuts taxes for the rich, does that mean the wealth will trickle down to the poor and leave everybody more well-off?

This is what they would have us believe, but I have a question for our libertarian friends. As individuals become richer, they can afford more services from others as their economic leverage increases - like butlers. But if the butlers are all becoming richer, because of trickle-down economics, does that mean the butlers can now afford butlers of their own? If these tax cuts are getting us all rich, will there be a greater need for butlers since more people can now afford them?

The right will tell you we are all supposed to get richer, but the paradox prevents that. We can't all have butlers. We can't all increase our wealth because as our wealth increases so too does our leverage over others. The wealthy need more goods and services, and in order to provide goods and services there must be poor people to work low-paying jobs who can't afford these services for themselves. Butlers can't hire butlers because the economy is zero-sum; the more the rich have, the less the poor must have. Therefore it is physically impossible to make the rich richer without making the poor poorer.

If the economy is built on voluntary labor and production, why would you claim the economy is a zero-sum game? What stops a butler from working so many hours? What stops a millionaire from producing so many widgets? (assuming a free market and not a centrally managed communist economy)
Greyparrot
Posts: 19,309
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/25/2017 4:25:10 PM
Posted: 4 weeks ago
At 12/23/2017 10:48:24 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
The idea of trickle down economics is often touted that people will be become richer or wealthier, which, frankly is a silly notion. It depends on individuals, first and foremost, and a business is not likely to start handing out raises that matter.

However, the question isn't if trickle down economics makes others richer, becomes if there is a trickle down effect for the economy, and I believe there is. While I may not suddenly become richer, I may have an easier time being employed. The costs of goods may lower. With more money in the banks (because the rich aren't going to suddenly spend it), it provides capital for banks to lend. I mean, if taken to extremes, surely you can see how taxation can hinder (or help) the economy, and, of course, it is also how the tax dollars are used.

It is the multiplier effect in economics, but working in a different manner. The true paradox is how taking from me to give to you will create a multiplier effect for the economy, but if I instead give that same money to someone else, such as a bank, that multiplier doesn't exist.

https://en.wikipedia.org...
JFK once claimes "A rising tide lifts all boats."
It's not a matter of making the butlers millionaires, it's a matter of improving the standard of living for the butler. Instead of comparing butlers to millionaires, we should be comparing butlers to butlers. We are all not created equal.
Quadrunner
Posts: 4,748
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/25/2017 6:50:42 PM
Posted: 4 weeks ago
At 12/23/2017 10:27:58 PM, Eye_of_the_Needle wrote:
If Trump cuts taxes for the rich, does that mean the wealth will trickle down to the poor and leave everybody more well-off?

This is what they would have us believe, but I have a question for our libertarian friends. As individuals become richer, they can afford more services from others as their economic leverage increases - like butlers. But if the butlers are all becoming richer, because of trickle-down economics, does that mean the butlers can now afford butlers of their own? If these tax cuts are getting us all rich, will there be a greater need for butlers since more people can now afford them?

The right will tell you we are all supposed to get richer, but the paradox prevents that. We can't all have butlers. We can't all increase our wealth because as our wealth increases so too does our leverage over others. The wealthy need more goods and services, and in order to provide goods and services there must be poor people to work low-paying jobs who can't afford these services for themselves. Butlers can't hire butlers because the economy is zero-sum; the more the rich have, the less the poor must have. Therefore it is physically impossible to make the rich richer without making the poor poorer.

Taxes don't make anyone richer
Death23
Posts: 1,143
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 4:26:26 AM
Posted: 4 weeks ago
It's just a bunch of bullsh!t the right tells you. We don't need to give money to capitalists and hope that they create jobs. Who knows what they'll do with that money. It's a much better bet to use the power of government to tax the wealthy and use that capital to create jobs directly.
Greyparrot
Posts: 19,309
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 4:54:08 AM
Posted: 4 weeks ago
At 12/26/2017 4:26:26 AM, Death23 wrote:
It's just a bunch of bullsh!t the right tells you. We don't need to give money to capitalists and hope that they create jobs. Who knows what they'll do with that money. It's a much better bet to use the power of government to tax the wealthy and use that capital to create jobs directly.

Yah, Stalin wuz a genius.
kevin24018
Posts: 4,681
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 7:13:47 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/26/2017 4:54:08 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:26:26 AM, Death23 wrote:
It's just a bunch of bullsh!t the right tells you. We don't need to give money to capitalists and hope that they create jobs. Who knows what they'll do with that money. It's a much better bet to use the power of government to tax the wealthy and use that capital to create jobs directly.

Yah, Stalin wuz a genius.

government creates jobs? LOL when? oohh those civil servants that produce no goods and offer little services, yet get healthcare for life and benefits most working people don't.
you don't need to even put a specific name, just ask them to name one successful socialist country, obviously there aren't any successful communist ones.....
Greyparrot
Posts: 19,309
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 7:19:14 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/26/2017 7:13:47 PM, kevin24018 wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:54:08 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:26:26 AM, Death23 wrote:
It's just a bunch of bullsh!t the right tells you. We don't need to give money to capitalists and hope that they create jobs. Who knows what they'll do with that money. It's a much better bet to use the power of government to tax the wealthy and use that capital to create jobs directly.

Yah, Stalin wuz a genius.

government creates jobs? LOL when? oohh those civil servants that produce no goods and offer little services, yet get healthcare for life and benefits most working people don't.
you don't need to even put a specific name, just ask them to name one successful socialist country, obviously there aren't any successful communist ones.....

Ooh...ooh... teacher!...raises hand....Venezuela? Didn't they create all those petroleum jobs for the poor?
https://en.wikipedia.org...

In 2006, Rafael Ramirez, the energy minister, gave PDVSA workers a choice: Support President Hugo Chavez, or lose their jobs. The minister also said: "PDVSA is red (the color identified with Chavez's socialist political party), red from top to bottom". Chavez defended Ramirez, saying that public workers should back the "revolution". He added that "PDVSA's workers are with this revolution, and those who aren't should go somewhere else. Go to Miami."
kevin24018
Posts: 4,681
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 7:22:40 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/26/2017 7:19:14 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 7:13:47 PM, kevin24018 wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:54:08 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:26:26 AM, Death23 wrote:
It's just a bunch of bullsh!t the right tells you. We don't need to give money to capitalists and hope that they create jobs. Who knows what they'll do with that money. It's a much better bet to use the power of government to tax the wealthy and use that capital to create jobs directly.

Yah, Stalin wuz a genius.

government creates jobs? LOL when? oohh those civil servants that produce no goods and offer little services, yet get healthcare for life and benefits most working people don't.
you don't need to even put a specific name, just ask them to name one successful socialist country, obviously there aren't any successful communist ones.....

Ooh...ooh... teacher!...raises hand....Venezuela? Didn't they create all those petroleum jobs for the poor?
https://en.wikipedia.org...

In 2006, Rafael Ramirez, the energy minister, gave PDVSA workers a choice: Support President Hugo Chavez, or lose their jobs. The minister also said: "PDVSA is red (the color identified with Chavez's socialist political party), red from top to bottom". Chavez defended Ramirez, saying that public workers should back the "revolution". He added that "PDVSA's workers are with this revolution, and those who aren't should go somewhere else. Go to Miami."

for all the complaining and anti-America you don't see Americans trying to get into any country illegally and in many cases, they just visit but wouldn't want to live there. Yep let's keep complaining about the best system the world has, though not perfect by any stretch, it is the best.
Greyparrot
Posts: 19,309
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 7:28:08 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/26/2017 7:22:40 PM, kevin24018 wrote:
At 12/26/2017 7:19:14 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 7:13:47 PM, kevin24018 wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:54:08 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:26:26 AM, Death23 wrote:
It's just a bunch of bullsh!t the right tells you. We don't need to give money to capitalists and hope that they create jobs. Who knows what they'll do with that money. It's a much better bet to use the power of government to tax the wealthy and use that capital to create jobs directly.

Yah, Stalin wuz a genius.

government creates jobs? LOL when? oohh those civil servants that produce no goods and offer little services, yet get healthcare for life and benefits most working people don't.
you don't need to even put a specific name, just ask them to name one successful socialist country, obviously there aren't any successful communist ones.....

Ooh...ooh... teacher!...raises hand....Venezuela? Didn't they create all those petroleum jobs for the poor?
https://en.wikipedia.org...

In 2006, Rafael Ramirez, the energy minister, gave PDVSA workers a choice: Support President Hugo Chavez, or lose their jobs. The minister also said: "PDVSA is red (the color identified with Chavez's socialist political party), red from top to bottom". Chavez defended Ramirez, saying that public workers should back the "revolution". He added that "PDVSA's workers are with this revolution, and those who aren't should go somewhere else. Go to Miami."

for all the complaining and anti-America you don't see Americans trying to get into any country illegally and in many cases, they just visit but wouldn't want to live there. Yep let's keep complaining about the best system the world has, though not perfect by any stretch, it is the best.

I'd rather cowtow to a millionaire for my job over a aristocratic politician with guns pointing at my head. Why would anyone choose to become a slave to a person with a gun? Are all Socialists afflicted with Stockholm syndrome? What ever happened to "live free or die?"
kevin24018
Posts: 4,681
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 7:49:30 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/26/2017 7:28:08 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 7:22:40 PM, kevin24018 wrote:
At 12/26/2017 7:19:14 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 7:13:47 PM, kevin24018 wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:54:08 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:26:26 AM, Death23 wrote:
It's just a bunch of bullsh!t the right tells you. We don't need to give money to capitalists and hope that they create jobs. Who knows what they'll do with that money. It's a much better bet to use the power of government to tax the wealthy and use that capital to create jobs directly.

Yah, Stalin wuz a genius.

government creates jobs? LOL when? oohh those civil servants that produce no goods and offer little services, yet get healthcare for life and benefits most working people don't.
you don't need to even put a specific name, just ask them to name one successful socialist country, obviously there aren't any successful communist ones.....

Ooh...ooh... teacher!...raises hand....Venezuela? Didn't they create all those petroleum jobs for the poor?
https://en.wikipedia.org...

In 2006, Rafael Ramirez, the energy minister, gave PDVSA workers a choice: Support President Hugo Chavez, or lose their jobs. The minister also said: "PDVSA is red (the color identified with Chavez's socialist political party), red from top to bottom". Chavez defended Ramirez, saying that public workers should back the "revolution". He added that "PDVSA's workers are with this revolution, and those who aren't should go somewhere else. Go to Miami."

for all the complaining and anti-America you don't see Americans trying to get into any country illegally and in many cases, they just visit but wouldn't want to live there. Yep let's keep complaining about the best system the world has, though not perfect by any stretch, it is the best.

I'd rather cowtow to a millionaire for my job over a aristocratic politician with guns pointing at my head. Why would anyone choose to become a slave to a person with a gun? Are all Socialists afflicted with Stockholm syndrome? What ever happened to "live free or die?"

good question, you'd think after all of the many years of broken promises they still believe that they will get free stuff and that it's magically free, talk about living in a fantasy land and out of touch with reality, it really is a mental disorder.
Death23
Posts: 1,143
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 9:20:47 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/26/2017 4:54:08 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:26:26 AM, Death23 wrote:
It's just a bunch of bullsh!t the right tells you. We don't need to give money to capitalists and hope that they create jobs. Who knows what they'll do with that money. It's a much better bet to use the power of government to tax the wealthy and use that capital to create jobs directly.

Yah, Stalin wuz a genius.

A few bad apples
Greyparrot
Posts: 19,309
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 9:21:39 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/26/2017 9:20:47 PM, Death23 wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:54:08 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/26/2017 4:26:26 AM, Death23 wrote:
It's just a bunch of bullsh!t the right tells you. We don't need to give money to capitalists and hope that they create jobs. Who knows what they'll do with that money. It's a much better bet to use the power of government to tax the wealthy and use that capital to create jobs directly.

Yah, Stalin wuz a genius.

A few bad apples

Yah, Hugo Chavez wuz a genius. (hint, can go on for pages of "few" apples.
linate
Posts: 325
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 9:24:27 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
if the world was split between socialist and capitalist ountries then these either or games would make sense. but it can go in the other direction too. where are the successful capitalist countries? they are all third world countries. the socaialist ones have problems, but they are generally better off, and they will always push their budgets so pointing to tightening budgets is misleading. but that doesn't mean socialism is better. it means we take the mature middle ground and have a hybrid system. i can see trying to spin the lopsidedness one way or the other, but at that point it's all just a matter of degree

on the larger point as always it comes down to whether there is a single pie or we can expand the pie. i'm sure there's some expanding of the pie going on, but there's still a lot of limited slices going on, just a bit larger slices. and as far as the tax cuts go, it's an expanding pie at the expense of future pie that is running up the debt and borrowing from our children, so it's harder to justify it.
linate
Posts: 325
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/26/2017 9:26:58 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
i think you could spin the circumstances such that expanding the economy will enable current butlers to retire and perhaps eventually hire their own butlers, because there will be a new generation of would be butlers who didnt reap the benefit.
Greyparrot
Posts: 19,309
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/27/2017 8:19:28 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/27/2017 5:49:52 PM, Danielle wrote:
I don't even know where to begin in this thread lol. Welcome back though, Rob! <3

Oh I didn't notice that was Rob!
Danielle
Posts: 26,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/27/2017 8:52:55 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/23/2017 10:27:58 PM, Eye_of_the_Needle wrote:
I have a question for our libertarian friends.

The real advocates of "trickle down" are liberals: they believe if we tax everyone and give money to the government, that it will eventually come trickling down to the poor. Yet we have spent over 22 trillion dollars on anti-poverty programs these last 50 years, and poverty still persists. It appears this paradigm doesn't work. What DOES work is providing tax incentives, i.e. lower taxes, to stimulate economic investment. We know that is true because of how cities offer tax incentives to attract or keep businesses in their towns, and because -- as the Bernie Sanders crowd points out -- companies leave the US to avoid paying high taxes. Look at how cities all over the country are foaming at the mouth trying to bring the new Amazon HQ to their city, and they're doing it by promising Amazon a low tax rate which is one of the considerations and requirements. Amazon is being offered billions in tax cuts to attract new jobs (https://www.reuters.com...).

Now onto your question about the "Butler Paradox." You ask if people including butlers become richer, will they now be able to afford butlers of their own. The answer is yes and that is a good thing. The general standard of living for people in most parts of the world (especially the US) have increased over the years. Many things that seem like necessities today were once considered luxuries like butlers are now. For example, ancient people considered the use of forks to be a godly extravagance; now you would be looked at as a savage if you did not use one. Two or three generations ago, an indoor bathroom was considered a luxury; today every home has at least one. Forty years ago, having a car was the sign of being wealthy. Now most lower to middle class households have multiple cars. Accounting for inflation, the cost of things like cell phones, travel, flat screen TVs and internet is far cheaper today than it was in the past, so many more people have access to these things.

Thus while the wealth gap IS an essential feature of the market economy, it's not a bad thing. It accounts for supply and demand. It makes competition work. The one who best serves the consumers profits most and accumulates riches. Are there barriers, luck and injustices involved? Of course. Life is inherently unfair and/or unequal (and we should seek to minimize corruption/aggression, as that is intentionally harmful). But that doesn't make the entire concept of inequality unjustified or unjust.

Do you think Brett Hundley ought to be paid the same as Aaron Rodgers? Why or WHY NOT?! After all, Hundley works just as hard and just as many hours as Rodgers. Perhaps he works even harder-- yet I'm sure you realize why their income inequality is justified. Therefore you cannot suggest that inequality in itself is somehow a bad thing, which you implied by saying it impossible to make the rich richer without making the poor poorer. Not only is that false, but I think you deep down acknowledge that inequality is fair, or at the very least a natural byproduct of the world. If you got Liam Hemsworth's genetics, you would have a much easier time picking up hot women. Is that unfortunate for you? Yes. Does that mean Liam should be forced to make himself uglier or something so your chances are more equal...? Of course not.

Consider that I would LOVE to play in the NFL. However being born a woman, I never stood a chance in life. Never mind the fact that I'm short and a terrible runner. I was BORN pretty much having no chance in my lifetime to ever, ever accomplish that dream. Does that mean the NFL is therefore inherently unjust to the point of being an overall net negative in society? We would both argue no.

The reality is some people in life are smarter, more ambitious and work harder. If doing so allows them to afford a butler -- great. Let's not penalize them or pretend they haven't "earned" their wealth. And to the people who simply lucked out to inherit or otherwise come into their wealth, it happens (just as Liam Hemsworth can win the genetic lottery), but that doesn't mean the solution is to simply confiscate, shame or condemn wealth in general.

Now, would you take a job as a butler? You would if it paid enough to be worthwhile to you, and the same goes for everyone else. If they didn't want or need a job, or could find a better paying job or one that was preferable to them for whatever reason, one would not become a butler. The butler gig would have to be worthwhile to someone to take -- as in they feel they are better off having that job than not having it. Why is that a bad thing? Yes some people have more power (choice) than others. Aaron Rodgers has more talent than Hundley among other advantages. Again we cannot account for every injustice in life; we can only minimize intentional harm.

As for "the poor getting poorer," that's true if you look at certain metrics like income inequality in the US for example. However it's not true if you look at standard of living quality both here and all over the globe. If more people in the world gain access to safe housing, clean food and water, basic health care, and reading materials for education, wouldn't we consider this a great victory for mankind? That's what has been occurring when we started investing and outsourcing jobs to the "third world," transforming them from third world countries (characterized by political instability, high infant mortality, high rate of disease, significant lack of literacy and education etc.) to ones that now have an economy that can account for different demands. China is a good example. Now will there be inequality within those economies, just as there may be inequalities among theirs and ours -- at least for now? Sure. But that is righteous compared to the realities of any proposed alternative, and we have seen it have a net positive benefit overall. You might argue otherwise from an environmental standpoint lol because I know you, but in terms of standard of living, the merits and repercussions of capitalism prove to be beneficial.
Greyparrot
Posts: 19,309
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/27/2017 9:20:51 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/27/2017 8:52:55 PM, Danielle wrote:

As for "the poor getting poorer," that's true if you look at certain metrics like income inequality in the US for example. However it's not true if you look at standard of living quality both here and all over the globe.

Thanks Dani, this is what I meant to say when I said we should be comparing "Butlers to Butlers" not Butlers to Millionaires.

If more people in the world gain access to safe housing, clean food and water, basic health care, and reading materials for education, wouldn't we consider this a great victory for mankind? That's what has been occurring when we started investing and outsourcing jobs to the "third world," transforming them from third world countries (characterized by political instability, high infant mortality, high rate of disease, significant lack of literacy and education etc.) to ones that now have an economy that can account for different demands. China is a good example. Now will there be inequality within those economies, just as there may be inequalities among theirs and ours -- at least for now? Sure. But that is righteous compared to the realities of any proposed alternative, and we have seen it have a net positive benefit overall. You might argue otherwise from an environmental standpoint lol because I know you, but in terms of standard of living, the merits and repercussions of capitalism prove to be beneficial.

"A poor person never gave me a job."

To create a job, you MUST NECESSARILY HAVE the capital to produce the supply to meet a demand. Having a demand for a supply that does not yet exist will never produce a job on its own. If that was the case, all the starving poor people in Venezuela with an overwhelming demand for food would have already produced infinite jobs with their infinite demand for food. You can't kill the goose (the supply) that lays golden eggs and expect the poor to be better off.
Philosophy101
Posts: 1,541
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/28/2017 7:56:31 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/27/2017 8:52:55 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 12/23/2017 10:27:58 PM, Eye_of_the_Needle wrote:
I have a question for our libertarian friends.

The real advocates of "trickle down" are liberals: they believe if we tax everyone and give money to the government, that it will eventually come trickling down to the poor. Yet we have spent over 22 trillion dollars on anti-poverty programs these last 50 years, and poverty still persists. It appears this paradigm doesn't work. What DOES work is providing tax incentives, i.e. lower taxes, to stimulate economic investment. We know that is true because of how cities offer tax incentives to attract or keep businesses in their towns, and because -- as the Bernie Sanders crowd points out -- companies leave the US to avoid paying high taxes. Look at how cities all over the country are foaming at the mouth trying to bring the new Amazon HQ to their city, and they're doing it by promising Amazon a low tax rate which is one of the considerations and requirements. Amazon is being offered billions in tax cuts to attract new jobs (https://www.reuters.com...).

Now onto your question about the "Butler Paradox." You ask if people including butlers become richer, will they now be able to afford butlers of their own. The answer is yes and that is a good thing. The general standard of living for people in most parts of the world (especially the US) have increased over the years. Many things that seem like necessities today were once considered luxuries like butlers are now. For example, ancient people considered the use of forks to be a godly extravagance; now you would be looked at as a savage if you did not use one. Two or three generations ago, an indoor bathroom was considered a luxury; today every home has at least one. Forty years ago, having a car was the sign of being wealthy. Now most lower to middle class households have multiple cars. Accounting for inflation, the cost of things like cell phones, travel, flat screen TVs and internet is far cheaper today than it was in the past, so many more people have access to these things.

Thus while the wealth gap IS an essential feature of the market economy, it's not a bad thing. It accounts for supply and demand. It makes competition work. The one who best serves the consumers profits most and accumulates riches. Are there barriers, luck and injustices involved? Of course. Life is inherently unfair and/or unequal (and we should seek to minimize corruption/aggression, as that is intentionally harmful). But that doesn't make the entire concept of inequality unjustified or unjust.

Do you think Brett Hundley ought to be paid the same as Aaron Rodgers? Why or WHY NOT?! After all, Hundley works just as hard and just as many hours as Rodgers. Perhaps he works even harder-- yet I'm sure you realize why their income inequality is justified. Therefore you cannot suggest that inequality in itself is somehow a bad thing, which you implied by saying it impossible to make the rich richer without making the poor poorer. Not only is that false, but I think you deep down acknowledge that inequality is fair, or at the very least a natural byproduct of the world. If you got Liam Hemsworth's genetics, you would have a much easier time picking up hot women. Is that unfortunate for you? Yes. Does that mean Liam should be forced to make himself uglier or something so your chances are more equal...? Of course not.


Consider that I would LOVE to play in the NFL. However being born a woman, I never stood a chance in life. Never mind the fact that I'm short and a terrible runner. I was BORN pretty much having no chance in my lifetime to ever, ever accomplish that dream. Does that mean the NFL is therefore inherently unjust to the point of being an overall net negative in society? We would both argue no.

The reality is some people in life are smarter, more ambitious and work harder. If doing so allows them to afford a butler -- great. Let's not penalize them or pretend they haven't "earned" their wealth. And to the people who simply lucked out to inherit or otherwise come into their wealth, it happens (just as Liam Hemsworth can win the genetic lottery), but that doesn't mean the solution is to simply confiscate, shame or condemn wealth in general.

Now, would you take a job as a butler? You would if it paid enough to be worthwhile to you, and the same goes for everyone else. If they didn't want or need a job, or could find a better paying job or one that was preferable to them for whatever reason, one would not become a butler. The butler gig would have to be worthwhile to someone to take -- as in they feel they are better off having that job than not having it. Why is that a bad thing? Yes some people have more power (choice) than others. Aaron Rodgers has more talent than Hundley among other advantages. Again we cannot account for every injustice in life; we can only minimize intentional harm.

As for "the poor getting poorer," that's true if you look at certain metrics like income inequality in the US for example. However it's not true if you look at standard of living quality both here and all over the globe. If more people in the world gain access to safe housing, clean food and water, basic health care, and reading materials for education, wouldn't we consider this a great victory for mankind? That's what has been occurring when we started investing and outsourcing jobs to the "third world," transforming them from third world countries (characterized by political instability, high infant mortality, high rate of disease, significant lack of literacy and education etc.) to ones that now have an economy that can account for different demands. China is a good example. Now will there be inequality within those economies, just as there may be inequalities among theirs and ours -- at least for now? Sure. But that is righteous compared to the realities of any proposed alternative, and we have seen it have a net positive benefit overall. You might argue otherwise from an environmental standpoint lol because I know you, but in terms of standard of living, the merits and repercussions of capitalism prove to be beneficial.

Still, I don"t see why someone could win "the genetic lottery" and not want to give back. Do you think because a man or woman is beautiful they should be like Hugh Hefner or cheat on their wife? Do you think a person who has millions of dollars needs to hoard it such that others can"t have a piece of the pie. Sure you have Wilt Chamberlain and John Holmes who bedded every woman they could. And you have the Koch brothers and Donald Trump making every dollar they possibly can. But are these to be our role models? Bill Gates gave away billions of dollars to charity because he knows he doesn"t need to be the richest man in the world. If millionaires and billionaires could be required to administer a little higher percentage of the income, I"m sure they won"t sweat it. And those that may have been born unfortuneately, with mental or physical disabilities, should be able to depend on assistance. We can"t help everyone, but we should try to help those in need.
Danielle
Posts: 26,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/28/2017 8:19:47 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/28/2017 7:56:31 PM, Philosophy101 wrote:
Still, I don"t see why someone could win "the genetic lottery" and not want to give back.

How should someone whose inherently good looking "give back?"

Do you think because a man or woman is beautiful they should be like Hugh Hefner or cheat on their wife?

No, I didn't imply that at all.

We can"t help everyone, but we should try to help those in need.

I agree with that, and didn't suggest otherwise in my post.
Philosophy101
Posts: 1,541
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/28/2017 9:49:03 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/28/2017 8:19:47 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 12/28/2017 7:56:31 PM, Philosophy101 wrote:
Still, I don"t see why someone could win "the genetic lottery" and not want to give back.

How should someone whose inherently good looking "give back?"

They can't in any direct form or fashion, although they could use the charm of physical beauty to speak up for certain causes. But those who have won in the monetary lottery certainly could, simply by giving to charity - and in this case not sweating a little extra in taxes. Although, the money they administer to government should be appropriated properly, otherwise that is kind of indecent to the tax payer - rich or poor.

Do you think because a man or woman is beautiful they should be like Hugh Hefner or cheat on their wife?

No, I didn't imply that at all.

We can"t help everyone, but we should try to help those in need.

I agree with that, and didn't suggest otherwise in my post.
Danielle
Posts: 26,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/28/2017 10:53:13 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/28/2017 9:49:03 PM, Philosophy101 wrote:
They can't in any direct form or fashion, although they could use the charm of physical beauty to speak up for certain causes. But those who have won in the monetary lottery certainly could, simply by giving to charity - and in this case not sweating a little extra in taxes. Although, the money they administer to government should be appropriated properly, otherwise that is kind of indecent to the tax payer - rich or poor.

By highlighting that some have won the genetic lottery, I was pointing out that inequality is not natural (note I am not saying that something is right or wrong based on it being natural -- I'm just pointing out that differences among us are inherent).

Yes someone good looking can use their looks for a good cause, but they should not have to make their looks equal to others by downplaying their attractiveness. Likewise if someone rich decides to donate to charity or give someone a bonus, etc., they can use their blessings for good. But they shouldn't have to be harmed (have their blessings taken from them against their will) in order to make themselves more equal to others.

That isn't to say I don't believe in taxation; I'm not an anarchist and I see the utility of government. But here I'm explaining that I don't support the concept of equality, because we are not equal and I don't think ensuring that we all have the same is righteous or fair. Many people have earned their wealth through being smarter, more ambitious, having more talent, making better choices, etc. and the opportunity to excel by having these traits promotes good (advancements) in the world.

And yes, some people are simply lucky and come into wealth through inheritance, nepotism, winning the lottery, etc. and that's frustrating -- but it doesn't justify monetary equality, or the condemnation of capitalism in general.

In the OP, Rob argued that it's inherently immoral for people to get richer, because that requires others getting poorer. However what really happens is that employment makes everyone richer than they would be otherwise (or else they wouldn't work). So everyone who becomes a butler in his example is benefitting in some way.

By pointing out that a butler eventually becomes wealthy enough to have a butler of their own, he's acknowledging the potential for class mobility in a free society, and he's not proving that the new butler is somehow worse off. He's just explaining that the butler has less money than his employer. I think that's a good thing for aforementioned reasons.
Philosophy101
Posts: 1,541
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/28/2017 11:11:19 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/28/2017 10:53:13 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 12/28/2017 9:49:03 PM, Philosophy101 wrote:
They can't in any direct form or fashion, although they could use the charm of physical beauty to speak up for certain causes. But those who have won in the monetary lottery certainly could, simply by giving to charity - and in this case not sweating a little extra in taxes. Although, the money they administer to government should be appropriated properly, otherwise that is kind of indecent to the tax payer - rich or poor.

By highlighting that some have won the genetic lottery, I was pointing out that inequality is not natural (note I am not saying that something is right or wrong based on it being natural -- I'm just pointing out that differences among us are inherent).

Yes someone good looking can use their looks for a good cause, but they should not have to make their looks equal to others by downplaying their attractiveness. Likewise if someone rich decides to donate to charity or give someone a bonus, etc., they can use their blessings for good. But they shouldn't have to be harmed (have their blessings taken from them against their will) in order to make themselves more equal to others.

That isn't to say I don't believe in taxation; I'm not an anarchist and I see the utility of government. But here I'm explaining that I don't support the concept of equality, because we are not equal and I don't think ensuring that we all have the same is righteous or fair. Many people have earned their wealth through being smarter, more ambitious, having more talent, making better choices, etc. and the opportunity to excel by having these traits promotes good (advancements) in the world.

And yes, some people are simply lucky and come into wealth through inheritance, nepotism, winning the lottery, etc. and that's frustrating -- but it doesn't justify monetary equality, or the condemnation of capitalism in general.

In the OP, Rob argued that it's inherently immoral for people to get richer, because that requires others getting poorer. However what really happens is that employment makes everyone richer than they would be otherwise (or else they wouldn't work). So everyone who becomes a butler in his example is benefitting in some way.

By pointing out that a butler eventually becomes wealthy enough to have a butler of their own, he's acknowledging the potential for class mobility in a free society, and he's not proving that the new butler is somehow worse off. He's just explaining that the butler has less money than his employer. I think that's a good thing for aforementioned reasons.

Butlers cannot have their own butlers - this is the paradox as I understand it. If they were wealthy enough to afford butlers, they wouldn't be butlers. The truth is, the wealthier one becomes, the more they save. The problem is not with people getting richer, the problem is a growing income disparity. There is no reason some people should be ridiculously rich and others barely scraping by. In other words, if the owners of Walmart are getting richer, then the workers should be getting richer to. That doesn't happen precisely because the more money those at the top make, the more they invest into savings. They feel no need to invest in human capital, and little to invest in R & D, but instead become more wealthy as income for poor Americans remains stagnant. The rising tide only works when the people at the bottom become wealthier, the people at the top become wealthier as well. Trickle down economics is the exact opposite of this approach. In other words, we should care more about the lower class workers than the upper class employers. The upper class employers are doing just fine.
Quadrunner
Posts: 4,748
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/29/2017 12:12:00 AM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/23/2017 10:27:58 PM, Eye_of_the_Needle wrote:
If Trump cuts taxes for the rich, does that mean the wealth will trickle down to the poor and leave everybody more well-off?

This is what they would have us believe, but I have a question for our libertarian friends. As individuals become richer, they can afford more services from others as their economic leverage increases - like butlers. But if the butlers are all becoming richer, because of trickle-down economics, does that mean the butlers can now afford butlers of their own? If these tax cuts are getting us all rich, will there be a greater need for butlers since more people can now afford them?

The right will tell you we are all supposed to get richer, but the paradox prevents that. We can't all have butlers. We can't all increase our wealth because as our wealth increases so too does our leverage over others. The wealthy need more goods and services, and in order to provide goods and services there must be poor people to work low-paying jobs who can't afford these services for themselves. Butlers can't hire butlers because the economy is zero-sum; the more the rich have, the less the poor must have. Therefore it is physically impossible to make the rich richer without making the poor poorer.

If the Butler wants to become richer at a more rapid pace they should invest in their self to provide a service that others deem more valuable.
Eye_of_the_Needle
Posts: 15
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/31/2017 5:36:00 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/25/2017 3:52:20 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

The true paradox is how taking from me to give to you will create a multiplier effect for the economy

If I ask my daughter where her toy comes from, she will no doubt tell me that it comes from the store. She doesn't know that there are factories that make it that distribute it to the store.

If I ask a capitalist where a widget comes from, they will tell me that an individual created it, one who owns the means of production and who risked capital to produce it. It is just as na"ve an answer as what my daughter of seven years old would give.

You say that "taking from me to give to you" is unjustified, and capitalists generally agree that what is earned is earned justifiably; any taxing of these earnings should be minimized. But what you fail to recognize is that owners do not produce goods and services. It is the state that produces goods and services (state =/= government). Any one individual can only contribute a very small fraction of a percentage to the production of any good or service. They must depend on the state for most of the resources. Natural and governmental resources are the most obvious, but when you consider that any one individual produces almost nothing of what they use to survive and almost nothing of what they use to produce goods and services, this point becomes much more pronounced. You personally perform (probably) one function in society. But you live in a house full of thousands of different items, which required millions of different goods and services to produce. When you make a dollar in the economy, you must be willing to give a portion of that back to cover the resources that helped you earn it. If I earn a dollar selling hamburgers, some of that money needs to be returned to cover the cost of the land that the cows grazed on. The water they drank. The police and military I use to protect my land. The governmental administration that oversees it all. I didn't make the hamburgers with my bare hands, I used tools that you made, I survived on food he made, and wore clothes she made to sustain me the whole way through. Each of these activities, in turn, required resources to complete that weren't actualized in the dollar I got from selling the hamburger. Just because I owned the business or raised the cows, doesn't mean I did it myself.

So when you say that the taxes were "taken from you" then you have to assume, much as my young daughter might assume Wal-Mart makes toys, that you made goods and services all your own. You merely performed one tiny function among millions that allowed the product to come to life, many of which can't be realized directly because they were public resources.
The Ends cannot justify the Means.
dylancatlow
Posts: 13,661
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/31/2017 10:54:38 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/31/2017 5:36:00 PM, Eye_of_the_Needle wrote:
At 12/25/2017 3:52:20 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

The true paradox is how taking from me to give to you will create a multiplier effect for the economy


That is not me lol.
dylancatlow
Posts: 13,661
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/31/2017 11:20:52 PM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 12/28/2017 11:11:19 PM, Philosophy101 wrote:
At 12/28/2017 10:53:13 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 12/28/2017 9:49:03 PM, Philosophy101 wrote:
They can't in any direct form or fashion, although they could use the charm of physical beauty to speak up for certain causes. But those who have won in the monetary lottery certainly could, simply by giving to charity - and in this case not sweating a little extra in taxes. Although, the money they administer to government should be appropriated properly, otherwise that is kind of indecent to the tax payer - rich or poor.

By highlighting that some have won the genetic lottery, I was pointing out that inequality is not natural (note I am not saying that something is right or wrong based on it being natural -- I'm just pointing out that differences among us are inherent).

Yes someone good looking can use their looks for a good cause, but they should not have to make their looks equal to others by downplaying their attractiveness. Likewise if someone rich decides to donate to charity or give someone a bonus, etc., they can use their blessings for good. But they shouldn't have to be harmed (have their blessings taken from them against their will) in order to make themselves more equal to others.

That isn't to say I don't believe in taxation; I'm not an anarchist and I see the utility of government. But here I'm explaining that I don't support the concept of equality, because we are not equal and I don't think ensuring that we all have the same is righteous or fair. Many people have earned their wealth through being smarter, more ambitious, having more talent, making better choices, etc. and the opportunity to excel by having these traits promotes good (advancements) in the world.

And yes, some people are simply lucky and come into wealth through inheritance, nepotism, winning the lottery, etc. and that's frustrating -- but it doesn't justify monetary equality, or the condemnation of capitalism in general.

In the OP, Rob argued that it's inherently immoral for people to get richer, because that requires others getting poorer. However what really happens is that employment makes everyone richer than they would be otherwise (or else they wouldn't work). So everyone who becomes a butler in his example is benefitting in some way.

By pointing out that a butler eventually becomes wealthy enough to have a butler of their own, he's acknowledging the potential for class mobility in a free society, and he's not proving that the new butler is somehow worse off. He's just explaining that the butler has less money than his employer. I think that's a good thing for aforementioned reasons.

Butlers cannot have their own butlers - this is the paradox as I understand it. If they were wealthy enough to afford butlers, they wouldn't be butlers. The truth is, the wealthier one becomes, the more they save.

You could also think of the "paradox" as being that not everyone in society can afford a butler no matter how rich they get, as there simply aren't enough potential butlers for everyone to have one. The resolution to this "paradox" is that since the number of potential butlers is fixed relative to the size of the population, the price of a butler would always remain out of reach for the poorest members in society if everyone in society was "rich enough" to afford a butler at their current average cost and attempted to buy one.

As I pointed out to Rob, this is the case for some economic goods, but only a small fraction of them. If someone invented a robot butler, then everyone could enjoy the luxury of having a butler.