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Index » Regional/Local » USA/Canada » It's the economy stupid. Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
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aflanigan

aflanigan Avatar

Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 2, 2016 - 1:06pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

This one is accessible and an obvious illustration of the broken window fallacy, a concept baked into Keynesian economics.

There is of course more to it—Keynes was wrong about more than one thing—but this is a good starting point.

 
Where exactly did Keynes advocate the destruction of property to stimulate recovery during economic depressions?
black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 2, 2016 - 11:20am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

I guess I can think of worse things. The hole is a waste but what if, instead of buying hole-digging time, people bought Monster gold-plated speaker wire for their stereo? And threw out their old wire? The wire (either wire) might only ever carry Air Supply and Paul Harvey reruns. 

 
The above is the reality of our economy.  2/3 of the GDP is pure consumption. Consuming and creating waste...but it does make the world go around. So we consume, but how are we financing our consumption?  Increasingly with debt financing; both at the public level (national deficit) and private level among the middle and lower classes - credit is the "steam engine" of today's US economy. 

I'm no economist, but as a species it seems we move forward (create wealth?) when we create new technologies and systems that are more efficient. From this we can measure wealth in terms of leisure time, access to safe food and water... Otherwise we simply shift wealth, with my pile hopefully getting bigger than your pile, while you borrow the $ you need to consume...keep food on the table and the tv and cell phones turned on. 
Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 1, 2016 - 7:41am

 aflanigan wrote:
I'm sure an amateur Austrian economist as bright as you are can put together a much more convincing takedown of Keynesian economics.

Just don't forget the Law of Holes.

 {#Wink}

This one is accessible and an obvious illustration of the broken window fallacy, a concept baked into Keynesian economics.

There is of course more to it—Keynes was wrong about more than one thing—but this is a good starting point.
aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 1, 2016 - 6:57am

 Lazy8 wrote:
The company that makes Cards Against Humanity solicited donations to dig a giant hole.

No reason, just dig a hole. Just to dig a hole. An utterly pointless gesture.

They raised $100,573 and dug.

I'm posting this here just to point out the absurdity of some economic orthodoxy. This exercise increased GDP because money changed hands, but resulted in a net destruction of wealth. Diesel fuel was burned, earthmovers inched closer to their ends of life, people spent hours of their lives that fed, housed, healed, and improved the lives of no one. In the end the land in which the hole was dug has—by any measure—declined in value. The earth as a whole is worse off. But John Maynard Keynes calls it a win.

I'm sure somebody will step up to declare this a net positive because the guys who drove the earthmovers got paid, the refinery workers got paid, the people who make earthmover parts will eventually get paid a bit earlier than otherwise. Money moved! Hooray!

But wealth—the sum total of resources, land, and man-hours available to useful things—declined. Mankind is worse off. The money that changed hands didn't increase, it just changed hands. Whatever productive use it would have had at the hands of its original owners will not happen. This happened instead.

This is your economy on Keynes. Any questions?

 
I'm sure an amateur Austrian economist as bright as you are can put together a much more convincing takedown of Keynesian economics.

Just don't forget the Law of Holes.

 {#Wink}


miamizsun

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Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 1, 2016 - 4:41am

i don't like war, especially wars of aggression

imho they are the absolute worst


NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 30, 2016 - 11:24pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

I guess I can think of worse things. The hole is a waste but what if, instead of buying hole-digging time, people bought Monster gold-plated speaker wire for their stereo? And threw out their old wire? The wire (either wire) might only ever carry Air Supply and Paul Harvey reruns. 

 

ScottFromWyoming

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Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 30, 2016 - 10:39pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 haresfur wrote:
I'll try again.

You are saying it is bad in that it there is a net loss of wealth making mankind worse off. I'm saying that they not only did it for publicity (something that can be purchased that usually is believed to lead to profit) but that they got their target market to pay for it out of the market-people's entertainment budget. So you are basically arguing that the choice people made freely is bad for mankind. Sounds like Libertarianism to me.

Libertarianism consists of not stopping them. Not interested in stopping them.

My point was purely economic; people spending absurd amounts of money to fund a basketball stadium and bribe a team to stay in town are also net destroyers of wealth, and also seen as economy-boosting measures. GDP measures only money changing hands, ignoring what that money actually bought.

And I don't even regard entertainment (which consumes resources, land, and labor but produces nothing tangible) as bad. Art is inspiration—a meta-good, an essential part of civilization. Just don't equate it (directly) with economic progress.

 
I guess I can think of worse things. The hole is a waste but what if, instead of buying hole-digging time, people bought Monster gold-plated speaker wire for their stereo? And threw out their old wire? The wire (either wire) might only ever carry Air Supply and Paul Harvey reruns. 
Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 30, 2016 - 10:26pm

 haresfur wrote:
I'll try again.

You are saying it is bad in that it there is a net loss of wealth making mankind worse off. I'm saying that they not only did it for publicity (something that can be purchased that usually is believed to lead to profit) but that they got their target market to pay for it out of the market-people's entertainment budget. So you are basically arguing that the choice people made freely is bad for mankind. Sounds like Libertarianism to me.

Libertarianism consists of not stopping them. Not interested in stopping them.

My point was purely economic; people spending absurd amounts of money to fund a basketball stadium and bribe a team to stay in town are also net destroyers of wealth, and also seen as economy-boosting measures. GDP measures only money changing hands, ignoring what that money actually bought.

And I don't even regard entertainment (which consumes resources, land, and labor but produces nothing tangible) as bad. Art is inspiration—a meta-good, an essential part of civilization. Just don't equate it (directly) with economic progress.
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 30, 2016 - 9:14pm

 haresfur wrote:

I'll try again.

You are saying it is bad in that it there is a net loss of wealth making mankind worse off. I'm saying that they not only did it for publicity (something that can be purchased that usually is believed to lead to profit) but that they got their target market to pay for it out of the market-people's entertainment budget. So you are basically arguing that the choice people made freely is bad for mankind. Sounds like Libertarianism to me.

 
Ouch ...  
haresfur

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Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 30, 2016 - 7:33pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 haresfur wrote:
I don't see it as any less productive than most entertainment industries. NBA doesn't exactly build wealth in the way you are saying. It is marketing where you get your market to to pay for it rather than forking out the money yourself. Even that isn't new - look at the T-shirt industry.

I agree that it is a waste, much like the NBA.

I'll try this one more time.

The point isn't that the event itself is good or bad. The point is that it resulted in a net loss of wealth, but the metric most commonly used to measure the economy says it grew the economy. Mankind is worse off, but the numbers look great.

This stunt is basically a Keynesian stimulus without the pretense of actually accomplishing anything, something Keynes wrote favorably about.

 
I'll try again.

You are saying it is bad in that it there is a net loss of wealth making mankind worse off. I'm saying that they not only did it for publicity (something that can be purchased that usually is believed to lead to profit) but that they got their target market to pay for it out of the market-people's entertainment budget. So you are basically arguing that the choice people made freely is bad for mankind. Sounds like Libertarianism to me.
Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 30, 2016 - 6:11pm

 haresfur wrote:
I don't see it as any less productive than most entertainment industries. NBA doesn't exactly build wealth in the way you are saying. It is marketing where you get your market to to pay for it rather than forking out the money yourself. Even that isn't new - look at the T-shirt industry.

I agree that it is a waste, much like the NBA.

I'll try this one more time.

The point isn't that the event itself is good or bad. The point is that it resulted in a net loss of wealth, but the metric most commonly used to measure the economy says it grew the economy. Mankind is worse off, but the numbers look great.

This stunt is basically a Keynesian stimulus without the pretense of actually accomplishing anything, something Keynes wrote favorably about.
haresfur

haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 30, 2016 - 4:08pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
The company that makes Cards Against Humanity solicited donations to dig a giant hole.

No reason, just dig a hole. Just to dig a hole. An utterly pointless gesture.

They raised $100,573 and dug.

I'm posting this here just to point out the absurdity of some economic orthodoxy. This exercise increased GDP because money changed hands, but resulted in a net destruction of wealth. Diesel fuel was burned, earthmovers inched closer to their ends of life, people spent hours of their lives that fed, housed, healed, and improved the lives of no one. In the end the land in which the hole was dug has—by any measure—declined in value. The earth as a whole is worse off. But John Maynard Keynes calls it a win.

I'm sure somebody will step up to declare this a net positive because the guys who drove the earthmovers got paid, the refinery workers got paid, the people who make earthmover parts will eventually get paid a bit earlier than otherwise. Money moved! Hooray!

But wealth—the sum total of resources, land, and man-hours available to useful things—declined. Mankind is worse off. The money that changed hands didn't increase, it just changed hands. Whatever productive use it would have had at the hands of its original owners will not happen. This happened instead.

This is your economy on Keynes. Any questions?

 
I don't see it as any less productive than most entertainment industries. NBA doesn't exactly build wealth in the way you are saying. It is marketing where you get your market to to pay for it rather than forking out the money yourself. Even that isn't new - look at the T-shirt industry.

I agree that it is a waste, much like the NBA.
Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 30, 2016 - 1:52pm

The company that makes Cards Against Humanity solicited donations to dig a giant hole.

No reason, just dig a hole. Just to dig a hole. An utterly pointless gesture.

They raised $100,573 and dug.

I'm posting this here just to point out the absurdity of some economic orthodoxy. This exercise increased GDP because money changed hands, but resulted in a net destruction of wealth. Diesel fuel was burned, earthmovers inched closer to their ends of life, people spent hours of their lives that fed, housed, healed, and improved the lives of no one. In the end the land in which the hole was dug has—by any measure—declined in value. The earth as a whole is worse off. But John Maynard Keynes calls it a win.

I'm sure somebody will step up to declare this a net positive because the guys who drove the earthmovers got paid, the refinery workers got paid, the people who make earthmover parts will eventually get paid a bit earlier than otherwise. Money moved! Hooray!

But wealth—the sum total of resources, land, and man-hours available to useful things—declined. Mankind is worse off. The money that changed hands didn't increase, it just changed hands. Whatever productive use it would have had at the hands of its original owners will not happen. This happened instead.

This is your economy on Keynes. Any questions?
black321

black321 Avatar

Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 30, 2016 - 7:54am

OPEC reaches deal to cut production (oil prices rising), Trump wants to ramp up spending, while cutting taxes, bond yields jumping in the last month...say hello again to our little old friend inflation. 


Red_Dragon

Red_Dragon Avatar



Posted: Nov 29, 2016 - 10:05am

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time
Red_Dragon

Red_Dragon Avatar



Posted: Aug 21, 2016 - 11:23am


R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Jun 1, 2015 - 11:11pm

 kurtster wrote:
Real capitalism...
 
Much like real Christians and real Scotsmen there is no such thing...

I suspect you mean economic liberalism or Laissez-faire.
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 1, 2015 - 10:06pm

Read past the part of gold and it may mean something greater ...

The Phantom Of Interest-Rate Ideology Challenges Gold


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 27, 2015 - 3:42am

 aflanigan wrote:

Good point. Credentialism has been with us since the days of the guilds, right?

Letting go of old patterns and habits can definitely be difficult. There are various people sounding the alarm regarding credential inflation and pointing out that four year degrees/ advanced degrees aren't the bargain they used to be.  So far I don't think middle class parents are convinced.

Maybe we need to convince people that we've reached a sort of singularity/tipping point with respect to our current version of capitalism. If trying all the old tricks that worked in the past fail to yield results now, if the middle class continues to shrink and wealth/wage gaps of various kinds continue to grow, maybe we can accept that some fundamental changes beyond the usual approach are in order.

 
Ah yes, capitalism.  Real capitalism quit existing when the term too big to fail was introduced.  Too big to fail is the antithesis of capitalism.  In straight forward capitalism, nothing is too big to fail.  

Its a brave new / old world.  Earlier, I mentioned the unemployment rate for 4 year grads and yes you were correct as a lot of that had to do with the selection of majors.  In today's employment climate, it is unreasonable to expect full gainful employment with a degree in philosophy or art for example.  Yet there are many going into these areas.  Why ?  Is it poor counseling or wishful thinking on the part of the student ?

Someone needs to properly counsel on what majors will end up with good employment outcomes.  These are not the times where the pursuit of personal indulgence ends up with gainful employment.

An old factoid ... Back in the 70's I once heard that over half of over the road truck drivers had majored in psychology. 
aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 20, 2015 - 2:25pm

I alluded to the shrinkage of the middle class previously below. Another aspect of this issue is that, however we define middle class these days, regardless of their numbers, they are not doing so hot financially.

This was posted on Huffpo today presumably in anticipation of the SOTU speech tonight:

The Sad State of America's Middle Class, in 6 Charts 


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