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Old 06-25-2019, 02:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
. . . Jeff Bezos started Amazon in his garage. His wife literally couldn't use the hair dryer . . .
And he's paying for that now. Dearly.
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
And he's paying for that now. Dearly.

Yeah, but that's because he decided to play a little humpalumpadingdong with someone else. Given how she's a multi-billionaire, she still is glad he started Amazon.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Manchester NH
9,558 posts, read 2,641,528 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
If ever there was a fallacious statement, that one is it. In one sentence, you manage to betray your complete misunderstanding of how the economy works.

Successful economies are not 'managed.' Instead, in successful economies, capital goes where it finds return on its investment, the cumulative decision of millions of investors. Managed economies wind up failing over time chiefly under the cumulative weight of bad decisions by the managers. The more heavily they're managed, the more quickly the process happens. Conversely, markets function best when they are information gathering tools. When a government bureau gets in the way of pricing model, it creates distortions in the system. The housing bubble was a perfect example of that.

The farm crisis that contributed to the Great Depression is another fine example. Before tariffs were levied on imports, the American farmer sold a bushel of wheat for roughly $1. After the tariffs were levied with the inevitable retaliatory tariffs, that same farmer was lucky to get 25¢. In turn, this led to rural banks failing, etc., etc. Everybody reads The Grapes of Wrath, clucking their tongues at how bad the Joads had it. However, they never think for a minute how some seriously stupid 'management' of the economy contributed to the plight of Okies.

One of the great lies of the Great Depression, by the way, was that Roosevelt swooped in and saved the country from the hapless, laisez-faire Herbert Hoover. Nope. Hoover's intervention in the economy was widespread and ultimately destructive. He essentially tripled income taxes on the top earners, increased Federal spending 50%, and signed the disastrous Hawley Smoot act. The Federal Reserve helped out by tightening credit. Roosevelt came along and did more of the same. In fact, Morgenthau, FDR's Treasury secretary, praised Hoover's programs as the foundation of the New Deal. The result? Unemployment in 1938 was almost as bad as it was in 1933. The true savior of the American economy, sad to say, was Adolph Hitler and how he set fire to the world. That's Exhibit A why 'managed' economies lead to disaster.

I'll give you the perfect operational example of why you are wrong, by the way. Let's look at Paul Krugman, the perpetual darling of Keynesians. Coasting on his Nobel Prize for years, he's basically nothing more than a political gadfly at this point. Why? Because the few times has ventured to make a prediction about anything, he has proved spectacularly wrong. He famously opined in 1998 that the Internet would have no more economic impact than the fax machine. He egged on the housing bubble. He also was completely blindsided by the housing bubble when a lot of us were bailing out of the financial markets as fast as we could sell. He claimed that fracking would have absolutely no effect on the price of oil, and the US would remain sidelined as a player in the energy markets. That the election of Trump would cause an immediate market crash. The only thing Paul Krugman excels at is fooling dupes in the Op-Ed pages of the Times.

Now, Paul Krugman is entitled to his opinions because he's largely harmless, a bloviating hack. But the minute you put a handful of Paul Krugmans into positions of power 'managing' the economy, to use your term for it, you run into real problems. That's because you've just trusted the entire direction of the economy to the predictive ability of a few economists and their craven minions. Anybody who knows anything about the predictive ability of economists knows that's a idea that's beyond awful. I mean, hell, you have proof of it at the end of every fiscal quarter, when economic bureaus have to compare their predictions with actual performance--and are uniformly wrong.

Instead, capital goes where the efficiencies are going to be, whereas labor is backwards looking. Labor doesn't care if the allocation of capital is inefficient or efficient. All it seeks to do is enlarge its share of the pie. This is why guys like you rend your garments when a factory closes, regardless of how much money it's losing for its owner. Meanwhile, if it makes economic sense to build a plant in the US rather than outsource the manufacturing to China, that's the decision capital will make. Institute policies that make it cost-effective to produce in the United States, then productivity rises. When productivity rises, wages rise along with it.

The only 'management' that really works long-term is to allow capital to seek out the right opportunities, not cleave to some hazy standard of what is fair and what is not, whipped up by those who wouldn't succeed under any system. If I create a widget that changes the world, I'll be damned if some lazy ivory tower thinker is going to tell me how much I 'deserve.' I would tell that person to go jump in the lake. I mean, who were the first to be led to the firing squads in post-revolutionary Russia and China? The idealists. The Communist revolutions in both those countries simply replaced one set of oligarchs with a far more ruthless bunch who felt that the law and property rights were for chumps.

So as far as your statement that no one should become super rich, you really don't have the right to decide that. Jeff Bezos is super rich because he gave the world what it wanted. Bill Gates is super rich because he gave the world what it wanted. Warren Buffett is super rich because he gave the world what it wanted. And the value of what they provided the world is way more than how the world has rewarded them in return.

The problem with your entire mindset is that it fails to take into account that the super rich weren't super rich to begin with. Instead, you view wealth as static, the result of entitlement the unfairness of the world. But this isn't the Medieval period with titled aristocracy. You either produce, invest, or you aren't rich for very long. Jeff Bezos started Amazon in his garage. His wife literally couldn't use the hair dryer or vacuum cleaner because it would fire the circuit breakers, thereby cutting off power to the servers. Bill Gates started out as some kid peddling software. Warren Buffett started out in the financial backwater of Omaha, Nebraska, with a clear-eyed understanding of value investing and entrepreneurship. They all created something of enormous value, whether it is an operating system, a distribution system, or just consistent returns on investment. And became incredibly rich because of it.
Despite what you think the market is managed by corporations, its is not a free wheel of demand that just appears. There is inventory management, trade agreements, and marketing. It doesn't have to be state owned to be 'managed'.

And why should people become rich? Is Bezos labor worth a thousand times more than that of the average worker? No? Then why does he have access to such wealth and the power that comes with it.

Being wealthy in excess is destructive to our society and can only be proliferated through extreme materialism (which is itself damaging to society). Why would you support extreme materialism when it degrades society?

And furthermore what do you mean by "gave the world what it wanted"? What could that possibly mean?

Is this what people want, to be consumers with no mental challenge to life. Just have whatever you want whenever you want? And did people know what the consequences would be (greater job loss to china, destruction of local communities, and harm to local mom and pop stores); did they want that too?

People don't choose, business models that has the highest profitability will always beat out other models because that is all investors can see, total calculations. People don't choose this, people don't want it, they just comply with the economic model they are given. Just like the interstate highway plan required Americans to own cars to get to work/get around, online retail is the most efficient model so investors like it the best and they promote it. And money gain from ownership of capital has nothing to do with ingenuity, just concentration of capital.

And so what they were once poor? The problem isn't whose rich, the problem is why society punishes poverty so much and promotes the importance of concentrated wealth? The government is funded by the wealth of people like Bezos, so they need them making money. Promoting corporate wealth is a top objective of government policy. And you say these people 'earned' it.

No one earns a billion dollars. No one earns even 10 million dollars. It is how the economy is modeled.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Manchester NH
9,558 posts, read 2,641,528 times
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Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
Yeah, but that's because he decided to play a little humpalumpadingdong with someone else. Given how she's a multi-billionaire, she still is glad he started Amazon.
Money is no replacement to family. Life can not technically be measured by mathematical equations, and it is not something the market can solve.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:15 PM
 
71,459 posts, read 71,629,249 times
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Personally I couldn’t care less how things are supposed to work .. all I care about is the results I got .. it is like asking these 100 plus year old people how they got to be so old ....who cares ,, whatever they did won’t help your outcome ....

I am retired and where i am because of actions I took ... what worked for me likely will help no one here . I started with nothing and ended up with something and that is all I care about , not what others think is possible or not by individuals
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:48 PM
 
25,966 posts, read 32,962,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
Major tangent but hey...

See, the vilified defined benefit pension plans are funded with an investment account, just like many other retirement plans. The distributions are just made in a different way. Whether transparent to the employee or not, the investments may be more conservative than a young investor would choose for him or herself. This takes a higher contribution amount to fund, especially when an 18-year-old gets hired and wants "30-and-out".

But I can't blame them. If you can put in 30 years in a big city job (esp union) and walk away with a six figure pension (if spiked with overtime), a 401(k) AND group healthcare for LIFE? Why would you -ever- turn that down?
I will walk away with a pension, but it will be a far cry from a “ six figure “ one. And group health care for life???? LOL. I don’t know anyone that has such a benefit. Back in the day, maybe.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:51 PM
 
5,449 posts, read 2,289,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterfall8324 View Post
Despite what you think the market is managed by corporations, its is not a free wheel of demand that just appears. There is inventory management, trade agreements, and marketing. It doesn't have to be state owned to be 'managed'.

And why should people become rich? Is Bezos labor worth a thousand times more than that of the average worker? No? Then why does he have access to such wealth and the power that comes with it.

Being wealthy in excess is destructive to our society and can only be proliferated through extreme materialism (which is itself damaging to society). Why would you support extreme materialism when it degrades society?

And furthermore what do you mean by "gave the world what it wanted"? What could that possibly mean?

Is this what people want, to be consumers with no mental challenge to life. Just have whatever you want whenever you want? And did people know what the consequences would be (greater job loss to china, destruction of local communities, and harm to local mom and pop stores); did they want that too?

People don't choose, business models that has the highest profitability will always beat out other models because that is all investors can see, total calculations. People don't choose this, people don't want it, they just comply with the economic model they are given. Just like the interstate highway plan required Americans to own cars to get to work/get around, online retail is the most efficient model so investors like it the best and they promote it. And money gain from ownership of capital has nothing to do with ingenuity, just concentration of capital.

And so what they were once poor? The problem isn't whose rich, the problem is why society punishes poverty so much and promotes the importance of concentrated wealth? The government is funded by the wealth of people like Bezos, so they need them making money. Promoting corporate wealth is a top objective of government policy. And you say these people 'earned' it.

No one earns a billion dollars. No one earns even 10 million dollars. It is how the economy is modeled.

There you go again with fallacious assumptions. A whole batch of them. It's kind of breathtaking to learn people actually think this way be honest. Let's tackle these one by one.

And why should people become rich? Because they want to. I want you to go out and ask 1,000 people if they would enjoy being wealthy. The very large majority would do so. If you were even remotely correct in your assumption, no one would buy lottery tickets. Oh, wait. Let me guess. You'd outlaw lottery tickets because you don't approve of how other people spend their money.

Is Bezos labor worth a thousand times more than that of the average worker? No? Then why does he have access to such wealth and the power that comes with it. Again, a complete failure to understand the difference between the value of labor and the value of an idea. You could have put 10,000 workers together in the same large room for five years with magic markers and whiteboards, and they would have never created the distribution model that Jeff Bezos did.

Being wealthy in excess is destructive to our society and can only be proliferated through extreme materialism (which is itself damaging to society). The wholly discredited 'zero-sum' argument that whatever wealth I have has been wrested from someone else. You realize that global poverty numbers have plunged dramatically over the past 25 years, right, even in the creation of titanic wealth? If your thesis was even remotely close to the truth, global poverty would have increased. Instead, the opposite has occurred.

And furthermore what do you mean by "gave the world what it wanted"? Seriously? I really, really have to spell this out for you? I mean, the very fact that you typed out your post on a computer keyboard is per se evidence that you wanted a computer and the software system that ran it, something that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs delivered up to the world. Not much on self-awareness are you?

I mean, if you really want to go back to quill pens in lieu of your unwanted computer, have at it. I bet the Unabomber's cabin is vacant. As far as Jeff Bezos is concerned, he created a masterful distribution center that means that I don't have to spend every Saturday dashing to the mall, the Home Depot, or wherever else to get what I need. This has proved incredibly popular as evidenced by Amazon's spectacular success.



Is this what people want, to be consumers with no mental challenge to life. Just have whatever you want whenever you want? I'm not sure what's more wrong with this statement, the fact that you so seriously misunderstand the mentality of the average consumer or that you're trying to decide what they can and can't have. Scratch a socialist and you get an autocrat, someone who wants to make these decisions for other people. Sounds as if that describes you to a T. You also obviously don't have to juggle a full-time job, a house, and a family. Anything that gives me 3-4 extra hours on my weekend to do whatever else I need to be doing is a freaking godsend, rather than spend it getting things I need for the house. Holy smokes. My wife and I bought Christmas presents for our kids on a Sunday morning in our pajamas without having to face the nightmare of a shopping mall. That's the kind of challenge we really don't need.

People don't choose, business models that has the highest profitability will always beat out other models because that is all investors can see, total calculations. People don't choose this, people don't want it, they just comply with the economic model they are given. Just like the interstate highway plan required Americans to own cars to get to work/get around, online retail is the most efficient model so investors like it the best and they promote it. And money gain from ownership of capital has nothing to do with ingenuity, just concentration of capital.

This statement is so mind numbingly wrong, so completely detached from reality, it really beggars description. A business model that works on paper but does not meet the needs of the customer will always fail. Every. Single. Time. The history of business is littered with models that failed either because they didn't meet the customer's needs in the first place or they failed to adapt to changing consumer needs and desires. I mean, when's the last time you walked into a video store to rent a movie, whether Blockbuster or your local Mom and Pop? Why? Because the customer decided to go with a better business model.

As for the second part of your screed, nobody puts a gun to anyone's head and forces them to live down the interstate. They choose to do so. In fact, you conveniently ignore the current trend of infill where consumers are electing to move back into the city centers because -- get this -- the homes there are better uses of individual capital.

Now back to your critique of online retail: Again, nobody is breaking into people's homes, putting a snub-nosed .38 to their heads and making them shop at Amazon or J. Crew or wherever else. They gladly, willingly do it, because the idea of traipsing to the mall or the little boutique down the hill is not something they really want to do on their Saturday. You have some really bizarre ideas about the autonomy of individual consumers. They are not mindless shopping robots.

No one earns a billion dollars. No one earns even 10 million dollars. It is how the economy is modeled.
Again, a fantastical notion. If I create something that cures a disease, improves the lot of hundreds of millions of people, or merely amuses a lot of people, then I deserve every damned dime I get from the enterprise.



Essentially your arguments are those not of an altruist concerned about the lot of the average worker. Instead, they are the ramblings of a protofascist spoiling to get his hands on the levers of power so that he can tell people how to live. That's the dirty little secret of socialism, communism, and pretty much any other managed economy. It's really nothing more than the quest for personal power in the guise of caring.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Winterfall8324 View Post
Money is no replacement to family. Life can not technically be measured by mathematical equations, and it is not something the market can solve.

The divorce rate among the working class isn't exactly a moral examplar either.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Manchester NH
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Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
The divorce rate among the working class isn't exactly a moral examplar either.
The death of typical families come from the society that we live in. Expenses are piled on each other, every one needs to afford 'basic' consumer goods like vacuums, washing machines, and TVs while work is no longer nearby since commute and concentrated capital makes it more 'efficient'.

And add childcare and the cost of raising kids, competitive work environments, and the destruction of local economies. In the case of the latter small towns which once had a local manufacturing facility now live off of welfare and succumb to alcoholism.

All these conditions are made by the system of business you love. The system where capital drives wealth and concentrated wealth run markets (in a way that's more 'efficient').
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Texas
43,534 posts, read 52,616,956 times
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Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
The rich just keep getting rich, whether at "the expense" of the poor, is up to debate.
The point is that the rich getting richer isn't stopping YOU from getting rich.
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