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Old 05-11-2019, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
7,227 posts, read 2,524,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PamelaIamela View Post
Thread reeks of nasty and bitter.
Nothing of value.. too bad.
Start with a reeking subject, add in the usual apologists for greed, and you expect daisies?
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:09 PM
 
8,095 posts, read 8,889,714 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zoidberg View Post
Your analogy holds no water. I use Microsoft software daily, and no degree was needed for its creation. A degree means nothing. A prole is a prole. Some doctors are proles. Most engineers are proles.

So my next crushing chest pain will be my first, but I would not seek medical attention personally. I’d just let nature take its course. But nice elitist shots at tire repair shops and Sam’s Club. I’m sure you think you’re an elite too?
Way to go all three year old and totally miss the point.
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:15 PM
 
4,980 posts, read 5,022,077 times
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So much of that talk about ever increasing productivity is just digital bs that cannot be translated into caring for the old etc. or anything else that engages material world? As far as socialism goes, it is hilarious to realize that American power elite treats the plebians as Pavlov' dogs. After you see this Texas sized conditional reflex to the word it is hard to take the rest of the circus seriously.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:57 PM
 
3,458 posts, read 1,498,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zoidberg View Post
Never, ever was my point. If you could read I said that simply having a degree does not make someone superior. Period. That’s it. Nothing more. You really need to read more carefully.

You disagree. That’s fine. Go get another degree to feel good about yourself.
Looks like you are old school. From late 90's at least a million Engineers having from abroad filled the skill gap . So yes, having a degree doesnt help , but having a right degree helps.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:30 PM
 
3,657 posts, read 3,441,476 times
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Might it be possible to get back to talking about economics, socialism, and Buffett, and get away from petty insults and sarcastic rejoinders?

Why is Buffett a Democrat? Because he's 89 years old and in his day, the Democratic Party was far more conservative than what we have today.

What's missing from the national debate on fiscal policy is the notion of balancing the federal budget and beginning to pay off the national debt. Most candidates for national office give lip service to it, but few manage to get anything done.

According to Snopes (which marked it "true"), Warren Buffet said a few years ago that we could end the deficit by passing "a law that says anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."

I believe that what is also lost from the national debate is the concept of lowering the cost of living rather than simply increasing social welfare benefits to cover rising costs, e.g. medical care.

Fifty years ago, we had a much more affordable cost of living. People don't remember that today, but it used to be possible to support a fairly large family on a single income. We're in what seems to be a permanent downward spiral of rising costs, rising taxes, and rising debt. If only there were a way to reverse this trend. Economic growth is part of the answer, but every time we experience a boom, we hear cries about unfairness, greed, and the need to spread the wealth. People have lost faith in our basic free enterprise system to fairly distribute wealth.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
7,227 posts, read 2,524,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
I believe that what is also lost from the national debate is the concept of lowering the cost of living rather than simply increasing social welfare benefits to cover rising costs, e.g. medical care.
You've almost got it. I think you're thinking only in terms of "living costs" set by outside forces.

What if families simply voluntarily reduced their spending as well?
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:44 PM
 
7,655 posts, read 4,908,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
According to Snopes (which marked it "true"), Warren Buffet said a few years ago that we could end the deficit by passing "a law that says anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."
[quote=blisterpeanuts;55164679]While almost certainly Buffett did say this, it was more of a whimsical lament than an outright problem-solving prescription. To reduce the deficit, let alone the debt, real pain has to be inflicted onto real people. Around the margins, this can work. In dire times, we can muster the political will. But in normal times, and in amounts that really matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
I believe that what is also lost from the national debate is the concept of lowering the cost of living rather than simply increasing social welfare benefits to cover rising costs, e.g. medical care.
The problem is that one person's lower cost of living is another person's reduction in salary. One reason that healthcare in America is so expensive, is that it supports lots and lots of lucrative jobs. If we're cumulatively going to pay less for healthcare - not just shift the costs around, but in aggregate pay less - then doctors and nurses and medical-researchers are going to earn less. Drug companies will make less profit. Their stock-price will suffer, and so will our 401Ks. And so forth. If we "fix" a large and glaring problem, such as healthcare, then lots of currently comfortable people are going to become less comfortable. Is that an acceptable trade-off? Maybe. Maybe it's an excellent trade-off. But let's not delude ourselves into belief that it's 100% up-side.

Simply put, a high cost of living is in fact lucrative and comfortable for a large part of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
...I get that the appeal to authority vis a vis academic accomplishments thing can be tiresome but the simple fact is subject matter experts are in fact experts. ..
Good point, and a point that in these recent times of populism and crowd-wisdom, we too often forget. Returning to our thread's topic, Buffett is an expert in his field. He's not always right, and in subjects only loosely connected to his field, he may often be flagrantly wrong. But his financial advice is worthy of attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanLB View Post
Excesses...?! Like what?? The “capitalist system,” also known as just reality, isn’t supposed to “work” for everyone, it’s supposed to provide everyone a fair chance to keep what they earn and be paid according to the market for the work they do. It’s not supposed to “work” for stupid, lazy losers. ...
No system is going to work "for everyone", and arguably trying to construct such a system would ruin and pervert more than it could possibly fix. But it's a vapid simplification to split the world into winners and losers. Many are losers in one or another crucial capacity, but are spectacular winners in others. Some experience both loser-hood and winner-hood. Sure, I resent being despoiled of what I earn, especially seeing where my taxes go. But how much of what earn, could I have ever earned, were it the case, that others at the time weren't paying taxes, that went to my personal benefit?

Of course there are obvious extremes and cases of abuse. But generally, we can't reliably behold, what is a win and what's a loss, and who's the incumbent behind each.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanLB View Post
Why?! Do you actually think that any society could possibly have every single person or even 90% of them living "the good life"?
No. But the criticism - and an appropriate one - is that current society misallocates its fruits and its thorns, so that only a shrinking percentage live a good life, and a very good life indeed - while vast numbers of others, live an increasingly worse life. Personally I am not convinced that this criticism is accurate, but I'm not prepared to declare it to be outright preposterous.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:54 AM
 
3,657 posts, read 3,441,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
You've almost got it. I think you're thinking only in terms of "living costs" set by outside forces.

What if families simply voluntarily reduced their spending as well?
Yes, easy credit that feeds over-consumption is clearly a major factor in the equation. If credit were harder to obtain--and children were taught by parents & teachers to be thrifty and avoid borrowing--then people could be thriving on less money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
While almost certainly Buffett did say this, it was more of a whimsical lament than an outright problem-solving prescription. To reduce the deficit, let alone the debt, real pain has to be inflicted onto real people. Around the margins, this can work. In dire times, we can muster the political will. But in normal times, and in amounts that really matter?
A true and permanent resolution of the debt problem is not going to happen until we hit rock bottom. Until then, we are just kicking the can down the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
The problem is that one person's lower cost of living is another person's reduction in salary. One reason that healthcare in America is so expensive, is that it supports lots and lots of lucrative jobs. If we're cumulatively going to pay less for healthcare - not just shift the costs around, but in aggregate pay less - then doctors and nurses and medical-researchers are going to earn less. Drug companies will make less profit. Their stock-price will suffer, and so will our 401Ks. And so forth. If we "fix" a large and glaring problem, such as healthcare, then lots of currently comfortable people are going to become less comfortable. Is that an acceptable trade-off? Maybe. Maybe it's an excellent trade-off. But let's not delude ourselves into belief that it's 100% up-side.

Simply put, a high cost of living is in fact lucrative and comfortable for a large part of people.
In your healthcare example, a lot of those lucrative jobs are in non-medical fields, e.g. legal, administrative, insurance-related, and government regulatory agencies. I'm fine with cutting those jobs down to the bare minimum. If a couple million bureaucrats and non-producers become redundant and have to retrain as coders, baggers, and manufacturing workers, isn't that a net plus for our economy... and for our society? Let them do something productive instead of tapping into our medical costs.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:40 PM
 
7,655 posts, read 4,908,777 times
Reputation: 13170
Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
In your healthcare example, a lot of those lucrative jobs are in non-medical fields, e.g. legal, administrative, insurance-related, and government regulatory agencies. I'm fine with cutting those jobs down to the bare minimum. If a couple million bureaucrats and non-producers become redundant and have to retrain as coders, baggers, and manufacturing workers, isn't that a net plus for our economy... and for our society? Let them do something productive instead of tapping into our medical costs.
That's an interesting question. So many of the finer jobs offered by modernity are neither jobs where something is "done" (build houses, teach children, fix broken bones, grow food, write software, develop new jingles for TV commercials) or where some service is rendered (field phone calls, deliver food, bathe and feed the elderly) or even where there's commerce involved (sell cars, sell vegetables at the market, speculate on price of gold)... but in administration. We have administrators in schools, in hospitals, in charities, in corporations, and most infamously in government. We hate administrators even more than we hate lawyers!

But what happens if we get rid of all (or most) of the administrators? Sure, around the margins, there's some savings to be had. But consider: how many mid-career or late-career professionals are essentially administrators? How many engineers did engineering for 15 or 20 years, and thereafter did proposal-review, analysis of alternatives, tiger-teams, quality review and the like... essentially, administration? If we purged those who don't really do stuff, or service people, or engage in commerce - that is, the administrators - then millions of people in comfortable and lucrative jobs, who really have no skills beyond a firm handshake and a knack for writing pithy taglines in Powerpoint briefings, would suddenly find themselves unemployed.

We laugh at philosophy majors who end up slinging coffee at Starbucks. But some philosophy majors go on to fine and remunerative careers. Not in philosophy, but in administration - be it at the hospital network, the drug company, the oil company, the city school board, or the community theater guild. Administration is the natural home for people who aren't as sharp or vigorous or motivated as they used to be, when they were young engineers, young chemists, young anything.

So... cut the fat a little bit, yes, that might be tractable and useful. Cut too much fat, and we cut ourselves.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
7,227 posts, read 2,524,096 times
Reputation: 11165
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
That's an interesting question. So many of the finer jobs offered by modernity are neither jobs where something is "done" (build houses, teach children, fix broken bones, grow food, write software, develop new jingles for TV commercials) or where some service is rendered (field phone calls, deliver food, bathe and feed the elderly) or even where there's commerce involved (sell cars, sell vegetables at the market, speculate on price of gold)... but in administration.
What you're touching on here, really, is the size of government.

Those who scream for "smaller government" and point to government size of yore, even relative to population or GNP or whatever, are completely lacking in any understanding of complex systems. When systems - be they communities, schools, hospitals, corporations or the State Department - grow past certain thresholds, the "control" problems multiply. Not increase linearly, but multiply.

You're right, there's always going to be some waste and slack and excess in administration/management/governance. But the size of that component must be proportional to the level of issues and problems it addresses... which cannot be held to some linear and minor value.
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