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Old 07-10-2017, 03:53 PM
 
6,817 posts, read 4,408,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
I presume that you mean it is a "problem" for investors? Because I'm pretty sure the average person who works for money cares quite a lot how it is parsed!
The average (mean or median, ha ha?) person still needs to invest for retirement. By the time that one is 50 or 55 or whatnot, returns on one's portfolio will likely overwhelm whatever one is able to earn in wages - whether as a fry-cook or an orthopedic surgeon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Productivity is basically synonymous with prosperity. But long term productivity increases rely on investments in infrastructure, research, education, facilities, etc. We've been lagging in these areas for a long time.
Absolutely agreed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Consumer capitalism is not sustainable if consumer incomes do not keep pace with growth. A slight imbalance in this eventually resulted in the Great Depression. During the next 45 years the imbalance was corrected. And now for the last 40 years, we've created an imbalance that is greater than ever. Globalization, fiat money, and finance have made it possible. But how long will they last?
If, due to automation or whatnot, prices fall more than wages fall, then consumer capitalism remains sustainable indefinitely. The problem is that prices for stuff (televisions, potatoes, underwear) remain muted, but prices for services (higher education, healthcare, child-care) keep rising.

In the meantime, if 10 penurious Indian peasants join the lower-middle-class, and one formerly middle class American drops out, we maintain a balance. I made up those numbers; I have no idea if it's 10 to 1. But the point is that ultimately there is a balance. What happens when India and Vietnam and so forth, start looking like America in 1970? Well then, we've reached a point of saturation. But it seems to me that we have decades and decades to go. And until then, who knows, maybe we'll have yet another "paradigm shifting" event.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:06 PM
 
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I was optimistic about America's future but after Trump's dismal appearance at the G-20 Summit I am not sure. America is now isolated on the Paris Accord, climate change and renewable energy. China and Europe are now in that leadership role and have pushed America aside. Meanwhile, Trump will tout coal, last century's fuel.

Also very concerning is the anti-science, anti-university component of Trumpism. The USA cannot compete globally unless we maintain our leadership position in science, R&D and venture capital. Reactionary populism will _not_ make America again, it will cause us to slip down a notch compared to other nations.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
We are around 27th in median wealth as of 2012:
In Australia, superannuation (pension) wealth is counted as personal wealth. Here, it's not, if the pension wealth is in a defined benefit plan, although it is counted if it's in a 401K or IRA. Also, using the median instead of the mean exaggerates the influence of poor people on wealth statistics; we have lots of them, and some of the countries in the list have very few.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
5,170 posts, read 4,730,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
The average (mean or median, ha ha?) person still needs to invest for retirement. By the time that one is 50 or 55 or whatnot, returns on one's portfolio will likely overwhelm whatever one is able to earn in wages - whether as a fry-cook or an orthopedic surgeon.
A person who saves 10% of their gross paycheck and earns 6% above inflation on it, will have almost 8x their yearly salary after 30 years. That isn't very overwhelming IMO; not nearly enough to retire on. And I think 6% is generous.

Quote:
If, due to automation or whatnot, prices fall more than wages fall, then consumer capitalism remains sustainable indefinitely.
That isn't the issue. Profits rely on production, and production relies on consumption, and consumption ultimately relies on consumer income. I say ultimately because consumption has been buoyed since ~1980 by unsustainable factors. By a rising number of women entering the workforce til ~2000, and by escalating public and private debt. All of these are played out, but maybe there is some financial wizardry that will keep the ball rolling long enough.

Quote:
In the meantime, if 10 penurious Indian peasants join the lower-middle-class, and one formerly middle class American drops out, we maintain a balance.
Those 10 Indians do not live in the US. The US is still an entity that must balance itself.

But consumer-capitalism is going to die by the hand of AI anyway. The oligarchs surely expect this and appear to be preparing for it, by gutting the middle class in advanced economies to enrichen themselves.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
5,170 posts, read 4,730,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
Also, using the median instead of the mean exaggerates the influence of poor people on wealth statistics; we have lots of them, and some of the countries in the list have very few.
You may want to think about that a minute, because it really isn't possible for the median to be skewed. The median is literally the average person; half are higher and half are lower. The US *mean* is skewed by a small number of super rich.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
The median is literally the average person; half are higher and half are lower.
It is entirely possible for 70% of people to be smarter than average. And it is undeniably true that at a total of four, the vast majority of people have greater than the average number of arms and legs.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:21 AM
 
2,240 posts, read 1,385,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pub-911 View Post
It is entirely possible for 70% of people to be smarter than average. And it is undeniably true that at a total of four, the vast majority of people have greater than the average number of arms and legs.
Which is why generally the statistics used for the averages being discussed here come from normal distributions.

Leave it to you to pull the ultra unique outlier exception where the mathematics, for good reason, breaks down and use that to try to make some kind of irrelevant argument.

Last edited by Thatsright19; 07-11-2017 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:38 PM
 
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Wrong is wrong. The key to being corrected less frequently will lie in not being wrong so often. In the wilds of messy real world data for instance, normal distributions are not what's normal. And if they were, nearly a third of all observations would lie at least one standard deviation away from the mean.
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,376 posts, read 2,424,586 times
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I listen to Jimmy Buffet, not Warren.
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:02 PM
 
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Huh? The guy can't keep track of a shaker of salt!
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