Debt Ceiling: Big Deal or Not?


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<with a complete absence of shame presides triumphantly at the head of a page>
Hmm.
<sniffs air for smoke>
Ahhh.
Soon.
Sooner were it not for aviation.


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Galahad0430 wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Monopolies occur with or without state sponsorship, but they are only broken up by government intervention.
Not true, name one monoply that came into being through the free market. Even Standard Oil at its height only held a 60% market share and it made kerosene affordable to everyone. That had a tremendous effect on life in the US as before that most family activity stopped at sunset. Only the rich could afford kerosene lamps. With the price of kerosene dropped to affordablity, the average American was able to to stay up and do things like read which led to the huge jump in literacy among common people.

Since or before regulation prevented monopolies from forming? And are we going to include price fixing or 'non-competition' agreements in this too?

The odd thing is even with a 'free market' you don't really have one. After all some form of government is going to exist and by default will have a direct impact on the economy (either with taxes, tariffs, lack of regulation, over-regulation, preferential sales, or buying, etc) and 'natural monopolies' that can develop. A natural monopoly almost by definition is created by whoever gets there first and sets up shop fastest. A natural monopoly can very easily cause a monopoly (or oligopoly which is honestly just as bad) without any government interference or technical wrong doing on anyone's behalf.

However for some easy examples:

Monsanto Company, Western Union (though no longer a monopoly, they did develop a monopoly of services in their history 1943 is when it really started coming into its own), The NFL, AT&T, United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, De Beers (funny thing about diamond companies... they are literally price setting at all times -- diamonds are not rare, at all. However by controlling the flow and finding great PR opportunities like fighting against 'blood diamonds' they continue to show their market power to control prices and demand through withholding supply).

One of the chief problems of any 'free market capitalism' system is the idea that a 'perfect competition' can be maintained in any way naturally.

This idea is inherently in conflict with natural business practices and cannot be sustained without artificial influence on a market. Businesses naturally want more market share -- this helps them realize bigger profits through the easiest means possible: more sales. However the more market share they gain the more they have control over that market -- this is an inherent property of owning something (in this case market share), you have more control over it. Since all businesses want to grow and be more profitable they won't stop simply to allow their competitors to maintain a 'perfect competition' -- they want to snuff out competition in order to be able to survive. This isn't malice but simple survival theory -- taking out the competition allows more resources to be used for survival and growing... it's literally a natural phenomenon. Once control is gained just like any other creature the company will fight in any way possible to maintain control -- using methods we would consider 'unethical' or not as much as they can get away with.

However this natural phenomenon is in direct conflict with 'free market capitalism' without which any suggestion that a 'David' can stand up to the 'Goliath' is at best a grossly unlikely scenario.

In fact firms that show themselves to have compassion, mercy on competition or other humanistic traits continuously fall to the way side to those more willing to employ 'underhanded' tactics.

Another issue with any neoclassical economics is that it doesn't actually accept mergers and cohabitation.

Also the very idea of 'price taking' is flawed -- a company cannot simply take whatever price is currently offered -- this is due in part to overhead, but also the need for expansion (without which companies naturally fail). If you can't get workers under a certain wage then you simply can't lower the cost of the product below that point -- all prices have a floor naturally... but not a ceiling. Quality also becomes an issue -- in perfect competition every company needs to be offering the same quality of product -- if not then those offering a better quality product can use that leverage to charge more for their product, or those with a lower quality product that can be made cheaper can use this position to undercut the rest of the market -- since adjustments to such circumstances can never be instantaneous (or even completely predicted) the position of one firm can change radically and rapidly in comparison to its peers. Such change of course means that price taking isn't happening any more and that someone now has more control of the market (ruining the perfect competition).

Finally the idea that a 'new kid on the block' can somehow wipe out the existing giants is built on a sand foundation with sugar and dreams for brick and mortar. First off the new kid is going to need starting capital, unless we mean "someone will provide the stuff you actually need to get into the market" when they say zero barriers to entry he's going to need to get the base to actually be able to compete with the giant, this means employees, machines, designs, marketing -- costs. Even then he's not in the clear yet -- the giant isn't going to simply sit there and let someone new start up and try to outpace them -- if he is competitive they can easily offer a buy out -- often with much more than he had to start with, or at least enough to cause his investors to bite on the early return on their investment. Basically unless the new guy is opposing the giant on moral grounds he's going to have a hard time standing firm (and at the point you are using moral grounds you aren't following neo-classical economics since you aren't going to maximum gain).

Basically put neo-classical economics require a passive nature on the behalf of the firms involved, a lack of desire to capture market share, an ability to simply "start" or "stop" as needed (or desired) with little to no loss or barriers to doing so as well as the ability to enter or leave the market at will with no barriers or 'losses' (to outside situations), while relying on a 'perfect condition' that simply has never, and will never exist.

It's the the mirror opposite of communism honestly -- exactly the same only on the other side.

IF we were to consider one possible example of a possible 'perfect competition' market it would be for unskilled labor. And we see how that works out for the laborer involved. NO firm is going to be in that position if it can do anything about it, because they know exactly the sort of death that ends with.


Galahad0430 wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

No country lasts with a weak government -- no country with a small government has a strong government. We are a big nation, we are going to need a big government. The government operating the way we want it to, providing the things we want (even just the simple services of clean water, and a safe infrastructure) is going to be expensive.

Every service that has been turned over to private industry has taken a nose dive in quality and increased the cost of that service.

This is due to greed for profits (put off and squeak through on the thinnest efforts possible), the increased cost of workers in the private sector compared to the (quite frankly) chumps of the public sector and corporate inability to give a flying care about anything beyond their profits.

Wow!!! Talk about a complete lack of knowledge of history or economics. Every service that has been done by private industry has ALWAYS increased quality and decreased cost. Also, privatre sector employees average about 3/4 of the wages of public sector employees. Throw in the benefits and the total average cost of a private employee is just 2/3 of the cost of a public sector employee.

Neither of these extremes is accurate - there are examples in both directions. That said if they where both run at the same efficiency and with the same wages and benefits the private sector company should cost more because it has an extra stage of having to pay out profits.

They tend to also be particularly problematic when they get attached to the government tit because they have more incentive to shake down the tax payers for their services.

A good example of this is the privatization of some of teh prison system in Arizona. Its been noted here that the prisons generally failed to offer the tax payers any savings. They lowballed the costs associated with running the prisons to get the contracts - once they had the prisoners they demanded more money. Then finding that profits where pretty minimal they cut back on guards and especially expensive well trained professionals in order to create a pool of money that could be used as profit to pay out to the investors. The result has been a series of scandals - some of which have cost the tax payers significant chunks of change. Cheap, untrained, prison guards means more jail breaks for example and its expensive to try and run down fugitives from the law.


Well put Jeremy -- however I would point out that private industry has at least 2 extra stages that the government doesn't have:

1. Profits which you pointed out (and I had before).
2. Taxes -- after all it's still a business and they are still going to be paying taxes... the government doesn't pay said taxes because... well it would be the monetary equivalent to masturbation (yes I realize that government employees still have to pay taxes, yes I still feel that it is in effect the same as masturbation and of no real value to anyone but the accountant making sure its done).


LilithsThrall wrote:

The first thing a person is going to do in a zombie apocalypse (afteer the initial panic) is find people he/she can trust. Everyone has to sleep sometime. There's strength in numbers. This is your foraging stage where you find what resources are easily available. People organize into bands.

Sure.

LilithsThrall wrote:


After you're fairly certain that you've got all the low hanging fruit resources, you start providing your own resources (multiple small gardens constantly in different places - hopefully you've got enough resources from your foraging stage to last you til the gardens to produce). You, also, develop trade between your group and outside groups. This is your horticulture stage. The person who rules is the person who is the best entrepreneur - manages resources best in order to provide for everyone. These groups will split from time to time due to power struggles.

If history is any indication its less likely a good entrepreneur and more likely a charismatic warrior. Some one the other warriors will follow. Failing that some kind of bureaucratic type tends to take over - humans are usually pretty conservative, we want to try and play it safe. Successful entrepreneur's generally have a personality type that goes against the grain - they have big ideas and are willing to gamble big on those big ideas. The Entrepreneur wants to take some of the precocious grain supply and use it to make fuel - if it works much respect in the community will be his but the group as a whole rarely wants this guy actually calling the shots.

LilithsThrall wrote:


The group's long term survival will depend on their ability to sacrifice one garden in order to protect the others.
The population grows, largely in an attempt to build diversity of labor specialists. Families are largely works of useful fiction which help slow down the spread of the zombie virus. Walls may be built, but only marginally because they are announcing the group's presence to marauders.
As the group becomes larger and their anti-zombie tech becomes stronger, they will begin to run out of land for their gardens and may put them all in the same spot, maybe using crop rotation to keep from burning out the soil. An official government is built.

Right - so we ultimately get government. With government and enough people we get trade - to facilitate trade we need a unit of barter. Our community forged from nothing in the wilderness probably has no gold and the coins have been melted down because metal is valuable...if its by the sea then maybe sea shells can provide the unit of barter.

The problem is that people are scared to give away large chunks of their crops from their family garden for a bunch of sea shells unless they are really certain that the unit of barter will actually hold value - they get this certainty from their government which promises to enforce the sea shell standard...which works...especially when the government decides that the people no longer have to haul some percentage of their crops to the government (to feed the leader, the warriors and the rest of his advisers etc.) and can just pay in sea shells...which are distributed to the warriors who use them to buy the things they want. The people are now certain that the sea shell standard is solid...because they know that the warriors won't allow themselves to be short changed and they have power.

Since we both agree that sea shells are not inherently valuable (or not very valuable anyway) it becomes clear that they can form a unit of barter only because there are governments in existence that say they are a unit of value...our sea shell economy is fundamentally based on fiat just like our paper money economy.


Galahad0430 wrote:


Since "spending our way out of debt" has never worked in history and is obviously ludicrous just by the statement,

World War II is a good counter example.

Galahad0430 wrote:


There is huge parts of Federal spending that is wasted and unnecessary.

The government will find precious little 'waste' - they'll cut programs.


Galahad0430 wrote:


I did look, large on claims, short on specifics. Also, they continue the false assumption of raising taxes increasing tax revenues, when all of history shows the opposite effect.

You have some seriously skewed views of of history. Raising taxes very often raises revenue. Take a look at the tax revenue in the United States in 1890 and then look again circa 1930. You'll find that tax rates where very low in 1890 and revenue was also pretty tiny. In 1930 tax rates where much higher and, low and behold so was revenue.

For modern examples compare America to much of western Europe. For an example in the opposite direction compare America to Mexico.


Galahad0430 wrote:
Uh, check your history, spending did not get us out of the Great Depression. It actually extended it. We were in it for 13 years and it wasn't until the second year of WWII that we got out.

...Because of massive government spending resulting in a government debt that, between 1946-1948 was 117.5% of the total US GDP - making the current level of US debt seem rather tame by comparison.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Random question.

Are there Democrats that say we need to cut military spending, including benefits, and then say we need national health care?

Liberty's Edge

Galahad0430 wrote:


Nice of you to assume what I read. First, I read from many sources. Second, I read actual source documents. And Third, you are completely wrong about the roads. Federal spending on roads (in quantity) is relatively new (1930s+). Roads in the 1800s were almost exclusively built and run by either State government or private companies.
As to the Libertarian charge, I agree with some of their free market ideas, but am usually against their governmental ideas.

Yes most roads were built "privately" in the sense that the government didn't pay for the building of roads that didn't directly connect major cities.

And so most "roads" were dirt paths with the exception of some toll roads built by private investors, generally to connect to the "National" roads.

You were arguing roads were better in the 1800's than in the 1900's, which is a qualitative vs quantitative argument. Were the private roads better maintained. Yes.

Were there enough of them to be useful interconnections for businesses and citizens to use, relative to the 1900's. No. And in fact, often conflicts over roads destroyed businesses unable to get goods to market, functionally adding a transportation tax on anyone using the private roads. Not to mention private road owners colluding with some business monopolies (don't even get me started on the railroad robber barons...)

Which is why (in large part) they built more public roads. The other part was the automobile, but that was a later thing.

Liberty's Edge

Galahad0430 wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Monopolies occur with or without state sponsorship, but they are only broken up by government intervention.
Not true, name one monoply that came into being through the free market. Even Standard Oil at its height only held a 60% market share and it made kerosene affordable to everyone. That had a tremendous effect on life in the US as before that most family activity stopped at sunset. Only the rich could afford kerosene lamps. With the price of kerosene dropped to affordablity, the average American was able to to stay up and do things like read which led to the huge jump in literacy among common people.

What sources are you reading? Because that is grade a cherry picking, right there. In 1904, Standard controlled 91% of production and 85% of final sales. It wasn't altruistically selling cheap kerosene, it was undercutting competition...which it stopped doing around 1900 which led to the anti-trust suits. When it was broken up it was down to about 64% of the market, largely due to them being forced to allow competition.

Or at least that is what I got out of a quick skim.

The Trust Problem in the United States by Eliot Jones

First off, feudalism itself is an agrarian monopoly of the land by the king, who became head of state after starting off as "large land owner" with the mechanism for breaking his monopoly being wars against him to take his land by force.

But you'll say that is government...which is hard to refute since ownership of property of any kind is dependent on government.

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Random question.

Are there Democrats that say we need to cut military spending, including benefits, and then say we need national health care?

I would say that if we had good national health care, that part of the defense budget would be under general healthcare funds rather than the defense budget.

Which is what they do in other countries which makes our numbers somewhat misleading.

However if we weren't in two wars, the defense budget would come down. If we didn't make two engines for one plane, the defense budget would go down, etc...

The Exchange

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Random question.

Are there Democrats that say we need to cut military spending, including benefits, and then say we need national health care?

This seems a pretty standard party line, from what I have seen.


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Crimson Jester wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Random question.

Are there Democrats that say we need to cut military spending, including benefits, and then say we need national health care?

This seems a pretty standard party line, from what I have seen.

Except that the Democrats don't usually want to cut the benefits part of Defense spending. Except incidentally, a smaller military will have less troops who will collectively get less benefits. That's a long term change though, we'll be paying benefits, particularly coverage for the wounded, from the current wars for decades.

The real savings in defense spending come from not buying expensive boondoggles that the Pentagon doesn't even want. Oh, and not starting wars.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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Generally, cutting waste leads to diminishing returns very quickly. Identifying waste is itself a costly process.


ciretose wrote:
Galahad0430 wrote:
Hudax wrote:

The US is capable of taxing expats. The issue is, the 1% currently pay NO taxes, through various loopholes and blatant tax evasion (ie: offshore bank accounts). This won't change if they live somewhere else, they will continue to pay nothing if these laws aren't changed.

Actually, the top 1% pay 38% of the taxes annually.

And they make 23% of all of the income, which is more than the entire bottom 50% of earners combined.

Numbers are fun!

Even still, wouldn't the fact that they get 23% of the income but pay 38% of the taxes mean they are actually carrying an uneven share? Shouldn't they be paying 23% of the taxes?

Liberty's Edge

pres man wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Galahad0430 wrote:
Hudax wrote:

The US is capable of taxing expats. The issue is, the 1% currently pay NO taxes, through various loopholes and blatant tax evasion (ie: offshore bank accounts). This won't change if they live somewhere else, they will continue to pay nothing if these laws aren't changed.

Actually, the top 1% pay 38% of the taxes annually.

And they make 23% of all of the income, which is more than the entire bottom 50% of earners combined.

Numbers are fun!

Even still, wouldn't the fact that they get 23% of the income but pay 38% of the taxes mean they are actually carrying an uneven share? Shouldn't they be paying 23% of the taxes?

Except Children don't pay taxes, so what percent of the population are they?

And of course the elderly and disabled aren't income earners, so what percentage are they.

Numbers are very easy to manipulate on both sides.

The fact is we are in debt. The difference between a balanced budget and the current debt is more or less the cost of the two wars, the Bush era tax cuts, and the interest we are paying on the debt accrued for not funding either.

That isn't just hyperbole, you can look up the numbers on any non-partisan site and it will check out.

That is not to say that there isn't a lot of waste and inefficiency in government, or that we shouldn't be doing all we can to audit this and reduce it.

This is to say that when you cut income coming in, but spend lots of money, which you then have to repay with interest, it is problem.


pres man wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Galahad0430 wrote:
Hudax wrote:

The US is capable of taxing expats. The issue is, the 1% currently pay NO taxes, through various loopholes and blatant tax evasion (ie: offshore bank accounts). This won't change if they live somewhere else, they will continue to pay nothing if these laws aren't changed.

Actually, the top 1% pay 38% of the taxes annually.

And they make 23% of all of the income, which is more than the entire bottom 50% of earners combined.

Numbers are fun!

Even still, wouldn't the fact that they get 23% of the income but pay 38% of the taxes mean they are actually carrying an uneven share? Shouldn't they be paying 23% of the taxes?

Well yes they are. That's why it's called a progressive tax system. It's just a lot less progressive than it used to be and lot less than many people think it is.

That's only the income tax portion of our tax system as well. The rest of it is far less progressive. Many taxes actually work out to be quite regressive. FICA taxes are flat up to ~$106,000 and 0 after that, making them very regressive. Sales taxes tend to be regressive since middle class and poorer people tend to spend more of their income while the rich can gamble more of it in the stock market. (Exempting basic necessities from sales tax helps with this, but isn't universal.)


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This thread is like déjà vu all over again. :P

The people who can be convinced have been. Only the entrenched remain. LET IT GO.


No. This is fun.

Hmmm, let's see. I have no opinion about what type of currency we'll be using after the zombie apocalypse, but, yeah, we weren't very nice to our aboriginal populations were we?

Hmmm, money. Well, there's plenty of it around when they need to bail out Wall Street or pay for an invading force halfway around the world to secure American petro-interests, but when you need them to kick in a couple of hundred bucks for your grandpa's diabetes medicine, oh, no! we don't have any money, here's some coupons, good luck.

Oh, and just so we're clear about my position on larger taxes on the rich and the corporations, I'm against them. I think we should just take everything they've got and blow it all on housing and public works. And beer.

Hmmm, The Social Contract. I like Rousseau, I think he was pretty cool although I haven't read that much by him. But despite a sentimental attachment, I've had a sneaking suspicion that he wasn't actually right about much. :(

The Exchange

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

No. This is fun.

Hmmm, let's see. I have no opinion about what type of currency we'll be using after the zombie apocalypse,

I am all for sea shells. While it would not make me rich. It makes about as much sense as anything else.


Crimson Jester wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

No. This is fun.

Hmmm, let's see. I have no opinion about what type of currency we'll be using after the zombie apocalypse,

I am all for shotgun shells. While it would not make me rich. It makes about as much sense as anything else.

FIFY

Guns, gold, grub. Don't need no zombies rising to start hoarding this stuff up.

Oh and smurf.

The Exchange

Homicidal Inclinations wrote:
Crimson Jester wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

No. This is fun.

Hmmm, let's see. I have no opinion about what type of currency we'll be using after the zombie apocalypse,

I am all for shotgun shells. While it would not make me rich. It makes about as much sense as anything else.

FIFY

Guns, gold, grub. Don't need no zombies rising to start hoarding this stuff up.

Oh and smurf.

Now if we choose those I would be the smurf king.


Smurf it! Smurf it good!


Abraham spalding wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:

About 9 out of 10 government workers is most.

So teachers, soldiers, firefighters, park rangers, public defenders, judges, police officers, regulators, safety inspectors, postmen, VA doctors (or psychologist), FBI, CIA, ATF, tax collectors, social security admins, and air traffic controllers -- those aren't the majority of government workers and don't do anything useful?

I am sure 1 out of 10 of those guys are doing something useful.

Hell in that case I'm sure the same can be said of any private business out there.

I'm sorry but this part of your argument is the weakest, most mentally lazy piece of drivel I've seen recently (and that's including mainstream media in whatever flavor you want to show it). The rest of it I can almost follow and see something behind -- however your insistence that just because someone is on government payroll means that they are most likely lazy, ineffectual and not useful is absolutely inane.

I never said lazy. Not useful does imply ineffectual, but it really depends on your definition.

Processing Medicare payments is very effective at making old people dependent on government for their sickness care. In that sense it is effectual, the government wants more people dependent on it. I just don't consider it useful, because people don't take responsibility for their health. Result, skyrocketing medical costs and a sick, fat population that keeps getting sicker and fatter.

In any case, you and a few others shared opinions on how useful government workers are. So I shared my opinion.

Are you suggesting my opinion is wrong?

And considering Pareto's Principle in any business or organization 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. So if you count 80% of the work as useful then you really can't expect more than 2 out of 10 of your workers to be doing mostly useful work.


NPC Dave wrote:
Processing Medicare payments is very effective at making old people dependent on government for their sickness care. In that sense it is effectual, the government wants more people dependent on it. I just don't consider it useful, because people don't take responsibility for their health. Result, skyrocketing medical costs and a sick, fat population that keeps getting sicker and fatter.

Except that Medicare costs are growing slower than costs among the privately insured population, so it's hard to blame that on government programs. As for making old people dependent on government for health care, do you have a better solution?

Even before reaching Medicare age, private insurance is prohibitively expensive on the individual market and since people tend to use more medical care as they get older, it's only reasonable to assume costs would continue to rise with age. Any given individual may be able to take responsibility for his or her health by becoming independently wealthy, but everyone won't be able to. Someone, in fact a very large percentage will be working the low-paid jobs and not be able to save up that kind of money.
You can try to remain healthy and that helps your chances, but there are
still accidents, genetic and environmental diseases. In the end we all die of something and there's a good chance it will be slow and expensive.
NPC Dave wrote:


In any case, you and a few others shared opinions on how useful government workers are. So I shared my opinion.

Are you suggesting my opinion is wrong?

Yes

NPC Dave wrote:


And considering Pareto's Principle in any business or organization 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. So if you count 80% of the work as useful then you really can't expect more than 2 out of 10 of your workers to be doing mostly useful work....

The Pareto Principle is a rule of thumb, not a law of nature. And a sloppy one at that. If it does hold, it also implies that you can't actually fire those people and still get your work done, since you'd have to assume that it would apply recursively.

To take one example from above, you'd claim that you could fire 90% of the air traffic Controllers without any significant problems?

NPC Dave wrote:
1 out of 10 of those guys are doing something useful."

Since many airports don't have 10 on duty at a time, I guess the remaining ones can either just work longer shifts or the planes can just fend for themselves?

The Exchange

crack that Smurf
give the past the slip
step on a Smurf
break your momma's back
when a problem comes along
you must Smurf it
before the cream sits out too long
you must Smurf it
when something's going wrong
you must Smurf it


now smurf it
into shape
shape it up
get straight
go forward
move ahead
try to detect it
it's not too late
to smurf it
smurf it good

The Exchange

when a good time smurfs around
you must smurf it
you will never live it down
unless you smurf it
no one gets away
until they smurf it

The Exchange

I say Smurf it
smurf it good

I say smurf it
smurf it good


crack that Smurf
give the smurf the slip
step on a smurf
break your smurf's back
when a problem comes along
you must smurf it
before the smurf sits out too long
you must smurf it
when something's going wrong
you must smurf it


1 person marked this as a favorite.

CJ, if you don't like the thread, don't read it.
I'm actually finding the discussion to be interesting, except for all the blue poop you're leaving in it.

The Exchange

You called it man.

Scarab Sages

NPC Dave wrote:

Processing Medicare payments is very effective at making old people dependent on government for their sickness care. In that sense it is effectual, the government wants more people dependent on it. I just don't consider it useful, because people don't take responsibility for their health. Result, skyrocketing medical costs and a sick, fat population that keeps getting sicker and fatter.

In any case, you and a few others shared opinions on how useful government workers are. So I shared my opinion.

Are you suggesting my opinion is wrong?

And considering Pareto's Principle in any business or organization 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. So if you count 80% of the work as useful then you really can't expect more than 2 out of 10 of your workers to be doing mostly useful work....

HURRAY IGNORANCE!!! How big is that there paint brush?

I'm sure the old people that are on welfare would love to school you. The majority of elderly I know on Medicare are on it because their health insurance dropped them for getting old. My mom busted her ass trying to save for her retirement. She had a bad accident at work. Her insurance dropped her because one of the blood tests came back showing she had type 1 diabetes. The insurance company KNEW well in advance that diabetes runs in my family and that my mom had had thyroid cancer, which is a major contributor to her diabetes. Yet they choose to insure her. But they decided to drop her because of her "pre-existing condition" that didn't develop until after her accident. A lawsuit later, my mom won but she was wiped out financially. She can't work now, so guess where she ended up?

To sit there and say that they don't take care of themselves, just shows how much you simply don't know. And appareantly, that's a lot.


NPC Dave wrote:


In any case, you and a few others shared opinions on how useful government workers are. So I shared my opinion.

Are you suggesting my opinion is wrong?

And considering Pareto's Principle in any business or organization 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. So if you count 80% of the work as useful then you really can't expect more than 2 out of 10 of your workers to be doing mostly useful work....

Absolutely I'm suggesting your opinion is wrong. Doesn't mean you can't have it but I don't think its right.

However if we are going to accept Pareto's Principle then it does no good to reduce anything.

Also at the point that we are engaging Pareto's Principle then the government isn't going to be doing any worse than the private sector since Pareto's Principle applies to all work forms (and forces) -- therefore there's no reason to complain about the government behaving exactly like everyone else.

Liberty's Edge

Abraham spalding wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:


In any case, you and a few others shared opinions on how useful government workers are. So I shared my opinion.

Are you suggesting my opinion is wrong?

And considering Pareto's Principle in any business or organization 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. So if you count 80% of the work as useful then you really can't expect more than 2 out of 10 of your workers to be doing mostly useful work....

Absolutely I'm suggesting your opinion is wrong. Doesn't mean you can't have it but I don't think its right.

However if we are going to accept Pareto's Principle then it does no good to reduce anything.

Also at the point that we are engaging Pareto's Principle then the government isn't going to be doing any worse than the private sector since Pareto's Principle applies to all work forms (and forces) -- therefore there's no reason to complain about the government behaving exactly like everyone else.

For the record, the correct response to this post is "Oh snap!"


Kirth Gersen wrote:

CJ, if you don't like the thread, don't read it.

I'm actually finding the discussion to be interesting, except for all the blue poop you're leaving in it.

Oh yes, 'cause endless GRAR! WARS about real world poltics, economics, and religion "contribute" to the civilized discussion of the RPG hobby and Paizo's products. [/sarcasm]

Perhaps, for an encore, lets all wander over to the forums's of our respective computer manufacturers and start "Debt Ceiling" threads? [/sarcasm]

----

{sigh} OK, take two:

Kirth Gersen wrote:

CJ, if you don't like the thread, don't read it.

I'm actually finding the discussion to be interesting, except for all the blue poop you're leaving in it.

Oh yes, this is sewious!

Liberty's Edge

Abraham spalding wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:


In any case, you and a few others shared opinions on how useful government workers are. So I shared my opinion.

Are you suggesting my opinion is wrong?

And considering Pareto's Principle in any business or organization 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. So if you count 80% of the work as useful then you really can't expect more than 2 out of 10 of your workers to be doing mostly useful work....

Absolutely I'm suggesting your opinion is wrong. Doesn't mean you can't have it but I don't think its right.

However if we are going to accept Pareto's Principle then it does no good to reduce anything.

Also at the point that we are engaging Pareto's Principle then the government isn't going to be doing any worse than the private sector since Pareto's Principle applies to all work forms (and forces) -- therefore there's no reason to complain about the government behaving exactly like everyone else.

OH SNAP!!!


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

CJ, if you don't like the thread, don't read it.

I'm actually finding the discussion to be interesting, except for all the blue poop you're leaving in it.

Oh yes, 'cause endless GRAR! WARS about real world poltics, economics, and religion "contribute" to the civilized discussion of the RPG hobby and Paizo's products. [/sarcasm]

Perhaps, for an encore, lets all wander over to the forums's of our respective computer manufacturers and start "Debt Ceiling" threads? [/sarcasm]

You know this is the Off-Topic forums, right?


ProfessorCirno wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

CJ, if you don't like the thread, don't read it.

I'm actually finding the discussion to be interesting, except for all the blue poop you're leaving in it.

Oh yes, 'cause endless GRAR! WARS about real world poltics, economics, and religion "contribute" to the civilized discussion of the RPG hobby and Paizo's products. [/sarcasm]

Perhaps, for an encore, lets all wander over to the forums's of our respective computer manufacturers and start "Debt Ceiling" threads? [/sarcasm]

You know this is the Off-Topic forums, right?

That makes it acceptable to drop yet another flaming bag of poo here? Even with Lisa's post at the top of the forum?!


Hey now, this thread has been remarkably civil especially considering the subject matter, the passions involved, and the possible severity of the outcomes from the subject matter.

Let's not lose this over a side discussion about smurfs of all things.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:


Oh, and just so we're clear about my position on larger taxes on the rich and the corporations, I'm against them. I think we should just take everything they've got and blow it all on housing and public works. And beer.

This does not actually work. What you end up with is a bunch of pauper former wealthy people but practically no actual wealth. Basically speaking all those hundreds of billions are not really doing much of anything except sitting in little computer accounts pretending to exist. So long as this 'money' is nothing but a bunch of zero's in a computer program it has only a pretty marginal impact on the economy as a whole.

However if you throw a revolution - shoot all the rich - take all their 'money' and try 'distributing to the people' (by whatever mechanism) the 'money' actually hits the economy and when it does people try and use it to buy actual physical goods.

Here is the key - there are exactly the same number of actual physical goods after the revolution as there where before the revolution (discounting a bunch of high end cars and some mansions). The number of goods has not changed but the amount of money that is trying to buy those same goods just massively increased. The result, as we know, is inflation, the prices of the goods goes up to reflect the increased money supply now floating around in the economy and, once all is said and done, everyone is pretty much just as wealthy after the revolution as they where before it....its just that bread now costs $24.99 a loaf.

On the other hand if you redistribute the wealth by taxing wealthy people and using that by setting up programs that push the top strata of the lower class into the bottom strata of the middle class then these same people become blue collar workers - or maybe computer programmers or importers of low cost hot peppers from the Dominican Republic...in effect they make s#&& or facilitate it being traded for. Which actually tangibly increases the amount of stuff available in the economy...which means there is more crap for people to buy and the economy grows.

Killing the rich gets you nothing but redistributing some of their wealth in order to enlarge the middle class (ala the 1950's and '60s or turn of the century Europe) has been really effective way of growing economies.


Expanding on my last post. Here I'm going to look at the role of the rich in our wealth distribution happy society.

The rich actually provide some significant utility in a capitalist style economy. They eat stuff like caviar and that means that people have to go out and catch the fish with which to make the caviar - which means that both more physical goods enter the society and there is another lower middle class worker who is both consuming and producing. Usually this rich group also provides some use to the society by taking the doctor and executive management roles which are both of value to the society. The thing is this rich groups value is great when they are being compensated up to a point - their making $225,000 a year means that they buy in a high end bracket that supports the production of a high end strata of goods - however giving them more money after this point is a massive case of diminishing returns.

You don't substantially change your consumption patterns whether you make $225,000 or 5 million. You pretty much buy the same high end vehicles - eat the same high end food and drink the same high end booze. There may be certain vanity items that you purchase and a small group of people may create these vanity items but by and large the millionaires provide just as many good points for society as a whole as the doctors making $225,000. If their wealth is actually coming at the expense of pushing people at the bottom of the social strata up the chain (or, worse yet, pushing the middle class down the social strata) then the society is actually being harmed. The people really at the bottom are not very good consumers and they are not very good producers - the better a society is at pushing them up the chain into the top tier of the lower class or even into the actual middle class the better off the society is because its really the middle class that is the bedrock of both the consumer and producer class which actually creates the wealth of the society.

Hence its not the hundreds of Chinese billionaires that are the key to China's growing prosperity - they are little more then a side effect - its the hundreds millions of Chinese that are changing from substance farmers into the working (and creating) middle class consumers.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Galahad0430 wrote:
Wow!!! Talk about a complete lack of knowledge of history or economics. Every service that has been done by private industry has ALWAYS increased quality and decreased cost. Also, privatre sector employees average about 3/4 of the wages of public sector employees. Throw in the benefits and the total average cost of a private employee is just 2/3 of the cost of a public sector employee.

You haven't been dealing with the Department of Motor Vehicles in New Jersey in recent years have you? Since it was privatized, services have become more expensive and are less available. A private contractor put in substandard concrete for the 14th street bridge that connects Hoboken and New Jersey a major feeder line for the Holland Tunnel. The post construction inspection found the bridge so unsound it had to be taken down and rebuilt AGAIN. You're not showing history or economic knowledge, you're just showing your religious adherence to a party line in absence of facts.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:


2. Taxes -- after all it's still a business and they are still going to be paying taxes...

Not always. Many of the larger corporations can inviegle ways to not on ly not pay taxes but actually get refunds from the government.


LazarX wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:


2. Taxes -- after all it's still a business and they are still going to be paying taxes...
Not always. Many of the larger corporations can inviegle ways to not on ly not pay taxes but actually get refunds from the government.

Well yes, so I'll admend my statement thusly:

"*In Theory* it's still a business and they *should* be paying taxes in addition to needing to make a profit."


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
stuff

I never actually suggested that we kill all of the rich people, although I must admit that in my darker moods I often have revenge fantasies about it that make me smile.


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Oh yes, 'cause endless GRAR! WARS about real world poltics, economics, and religion "contribute" to the civilized discussion of the RPG hobby and Paizo's products. [/sarcasm] Perhaps, for an encore, lets all wander over to the forums's of our respective computer manufacturers and start "Debt Ceiling" threads? [/sarcasm]{sigh} OK, take two: Oh yes, this is sewious!

Burned any books lately? Because, obviously, anything you personally find to be a waste of time must be banned for everyone else, too. How very enlightened.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Oh yes, 'cause endless GRAR! WARS about real world poltics, economics, and religion "contribute" to the civilized discussion of the RPG hobby and Paizo's products. [/sarcasm] Perhaps, for an encore, lets all wander over to the forums's of our respective computer manufacturers and start "Debt Ceiling" threads? [/sarcasm]{sigh} OK, take two: Oh yes, this is sewious!
Burned any books lately? Because, obviously, anything you personally find to be a waste of time must be banned for everyone else, too. How very enlightened.

I am far more bothered by the people who don't take the time to learn about a topic and complain about others that do than I am by people who I disagree with in an honest debate of ideas.


It's amazing how one can say something out of one side of one's mouth and completely contradict it with the other.

Just sayin'.

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