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Rich (Now with the Upper Middle Class) Rich (Now with the Upper Middle Class)

09-30-2010 , 09:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvn
So you would agree that people who sell things to corn farmers benefit from corn subsidies, but you're not sure if corn farmers themselves benefit?
I think Phone Booth's point is that rents do not necessarily accrue to who appear on the face of it to have benefited, for instance due to competition over said rents. Corn farmers benefit from subsidies because they own their land and the value of it increases as subsidies increase (but if they didn't, their rents would be absorbed by their landlords).
09-30-2010 , 09:50 AM
Your point Nichlemn?
09-30-2010 , 09:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zan nen
Your point Nichlemn?
It doesn't justify the rents, but it does at least make the finger-pointing of who benefits harder.
09-30-2010 , 10:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nichlemn
I think Phone Booth's point is that rents do not necessarily accrue to who appear on the face of it to have benefited, for instance due to competition over said rents. Corn farmers benefit from subsidies because they own their land and the value of it increases as subsidies increase (but if they didn't, their rents would be absorbed by their landlords).
It's awfully convenient that government distortions in the economy are unfair, which justifies further government distortions in the economy in order to correct the unfairness

Kinda makes one think we should have been skeptical about letting the scope of these government distortions get so large in the first place.
09-30-2010 , 10:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nichlemn
It doesn't justify the rents, but it does at least make the finger-pointing of who benefits harder.
Phone booth was replying to a post that basically said group X benefits from handouts. The fact that group Y also might get some scraps falling off the table doesn't really change anything (nobody was saying ONLY group X benefits).
09-30-2010 , 11:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvn
Phone booth was replying to a post that basically said group X benefits from handouts. The fact that group Y also might get some scraps falling off the table doesn't really change anything (nobody was saying ONLY group X benefits).
It is plausible that Group X might not benefit while Group Y does. For instance, a subsidy to gold prospectors probably wouldn't be of much benefit to the prospectors, as it would simply motivate more people to take up prospecting and compete away the extra gains. However, resources that are supplied to the prospectors would increase in value, benefiting the original owners.
09-30-2010 , 12:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by T50_Omaha8
It's awfully convenient that government distortions in the economy are unfair, which justifies further government distortions in the economy in order to correct the unfairness

Kinda makes one think we should have been skeptical about letting the scope of these government distortions get so large in the first place.
You're assuming that there's such a thing as a fair distribution and that in the absence of government intervention, there's some mechanism for ensuring that rent will be distributed fairly. I'm somewhat surprised that most are misunderstanding the argument here, given a strong hint (poker) and a link to another post explaining the role of rent-seeking. To the extent that market creates surplus, it must necessarily create rent. That's what rent means - it's economic surplus due to economic transaction(s) over cost. While the government does influence how rent is distributed and changes the available set of rent-seeking strategies, the fundamental problem behind incentives for rent-seeking isn't one created by the government.

After all, this is how the most cynical of you think government exists in the first place - it's a collective enterprise for rent-seeking! But that situation, of there being rent to be sought, cannot both have been created by government and cause government to exist in the first place at the same time.

Either way, the above is just a trivial piece of political and economic reality. The much more important point is why and how we can be fundamentally right at almost every step - there can be an incredible amount of insight and correctness behind both "I earned the money I made" and "You made money through handouts you thief!" - yet miss the symmetry and arrive at an absurd conclusion. If you believe that government intervention is so pervasive and negative as to allow you to question whether other people deserve the money they made, you cannot coherently also believe that you unquestionably deserve to keep the money you made. Again, I think it's hilarious that a forum full of professional poker players can argue that they deserve the money they made, that lack of financial incentives will cause people to create less value for other people, while expressing faux outrage at those other people who are supposedly taking advantage of the system.

Regardless of how correct they seem, arguments about unfairness, are pretty much always caused by emotional issues, as opposed to correct perception of reality. While in some cases, those emotional issues are caused by actual unfair treatment, by the time they become rhetoric about the society at large, any connection is tenuous. I suppose this is what makes modern politics interesting - trying to achieve something, while being guided by those incoherent, irrational, excess emotions.
09-30-2010 , 12:33 PM
I never remotely said anything about what I think is fair or not (my take on what was considered unfair was inferred from your argument), nor does what I'm saying have anything to do with your point about rent seeking in the free market. I think those are perfectly legitimate reasons to argue in favor of progressive taxation, and why I am a supporter of the same.

But your post contended that government intervention distorts the distribution of economic rent--thus those who have rent are likely to have it a result of government intervention, which is unfair--so people need not raise such a fuss when some action is taken to redistribute this rent to a degree; and I don't necessarily disagree with this idea. My point is that if this is the case, we should be skeptical of the intervention of the first place, and count this among the other negatives of a particular government action which may or may not outweigh the positives. In the event that an overwhelming benefit overcomes the negative impacts of a government action, I agree that this could be another justification for (further) progressive taxation.
09-30-2010 , 12:49 PM
Do the Rich Work Harder Than Everyone Else?

Quote:
Research by Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, “being wealthy is often a powerful predictor that people spend less time doing pleasurable things and more time doing compulsory things and feeling stressed.”

His study found that people who earn less than $20,000 a year, for instance, spent more than a third of their time in passive leisure, like kicking back and watching TV. By contrast, those earning more than $100,000 a year (more affluent than wealthy), spent less than a fifth of their time in passive leisure.
09-30-2010 , 01:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by T50_Omaha8
But your post contended that government intervention distorts the distribution of economic rent--thus those who have rent are likely to have it a result of government intervention, which is unfair--so people need not raise such a fuss when some action is taken to redistribute this rent to a degree; and I don't necessarily disagree with this idea.
I think you missed the following:

Quote:
Even if we presume the existence of a market outside of such government intervention
Quote:
Furthermore, if lawyers are given free money by government intervention
When someone says "even if we presume..." the chance is that the speaker does not agree with the presumption.
09-30-2010 , 02:02 PM
So then you do disagree with the idea?
09-30-2010 , 02:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvn
Phone booth was replying to a post that basically said group X benefits from handouts. The fact that group Y also might get some scraps falling off the table doesn't really change anything (nobody was saying ONLY group X benefits).
Jesus Christ. No. He was saying that to whatever extent ElliotR's salary can be termed as a result of government violence coercion tyranny SO CAN ANYONE ELSE'S.

It's not a complex point. It's actually kind of simple. Faceplams all around.
09-30-2010 , 02:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWf
Jesus Christ. No. He was saying that to whatever extent ElliotR's salary can be termed as a result of government violence coercion tyranny SO CAN ANYONE ELSE'S.

It's not a complex point. It's actually kind of simple. Faceplams all around.
Yes, that is a simple point. It's also wrong.
09-30-2010 , 02:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by econophile
anecdotally, the $20k/yr ppl are probably really tired from standing on their feet 8-9 hours a day with a much higher likelihood of demanding, physical labor while the 100k/yr ppl I would imagine would typically have a longer commute (train, sit in traffic for an hour) that eats into that time which isn't really "work" but certainly isn't "leisure".

It also speaks nothing of "active leisure" which I would imagine the 100k/yr ppl get more of (go play racquetball, insert rich person activity here) because it wasn't mentioned in the article and might hurt the narrative.

"Hard" is very subjective as well. Many people would argue that 8 hours construction is "harder" than 10 hours of accounting for example.
09-30-2010 , 02:40 PM
If they paid the same I would much much rather do 8 hours construction than 10 of accounting. Or even 8 of accounting.
09-30-2010 , 02:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvn
Yes, that is a simple point. It's also wrong.
Which you completely missed. But now that I've explained it, you're sure it's wrong for reasons you can't explain.
09-30-2010 , 03:00 PM
Do you think inflation doesn't really favor any particular parties because the money eventually gets spread all around anyway?
09-30-2010 , 03:09 PM
Republican double rainbow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8QHa...layer_embedded
09-30-2010 , 03:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkidd
If they paid the same I would much much rather do 8 hours construction than 10 of accounting. Or even 8 of accounting.
Or even 4 of accounting.

I bid out of my entry-level blue-collar job at my work for an office job that requires way more responsibility and use of my brain. I'm still working my old job while I've been training for my new one (training during my off hours for about 3 weeks now). It is maddening to work this job for only $0.90 more an hour (but its a good long-term step for my future with the company). There's so much to learn, so much more responsibility involved and likely alot of mental stress. It makes the blue-collar job I've been doing seem so stupid-easy and simple. When I come in for my regular hours and do my blue-collar job, I listen to my co-workers bitch about something they have to do and say **** like "Those pencil pushers in there have no idea what its like out here". I am laughing hysterically on the inside at these morons.
09-30-2010 , 03:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvn
Do you think inflation doesn't really favor any particular parties because the money eventually gets spread all around anyway?
Slow down and restart the subtangent, skippy. What does inflation have to do with Elliot being a lawyer?
09-30-2010 , 03:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWf
Jesus Christ. No. He was saying that to whatever extent ElliotR's salary can be termed as a result of government violence coercion tyranny SO CAN ANYONE ELSE'S.

It's not a complex point. It's actually kind of simple. Faceplams all around.
What's interesting is that everyone gets it when the logic is used to support their point. My argument has two parts 1) a simple change in rules governing economic transactions can have complex consequences 2) in general, those complex consequences cannot be predicted with any sort of precision.

The former is precisely the same logic behind the argument that minimum wages don't necessarily help poor people. And it's the same logic behind how tax cuts for the rich don't necessarily help the rich. In fact it's the same logic used by Todd Henderson himself to talk about how raising his taxes will hurt other people. The latter, of course, is the economic calculation problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by T50_Omaha8
So then you do disagree with the idea?
What idea?


Quote:
Originally Posted by pvn
Do you think inflation doesn't really favor any particular parties because the money eventually gets spread all around anyway?
A particular level of inflation financially favors people who bet on higher inflation when expected inflation was lower or people who bet on lower inflation when expected inflation was higher. Any change in inflation or general volatility generally benefits those who spend more cognitive resources on understanding that particular market over those who spend less. Beyond that, specifics can be debated.
09-30-2010 , 03:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone Booth
What's interesting is that everyone gets it when the logic is used to support their point. My argument has two parts 1) a simple change in rules governing economic transactions can have complex consequences 2) in general, those complex consequences cannot be predicted with any sort of precision.
I agree with that.

To go from that to "therfore, lawyers aren't benefitting" (or even "lawyers aren't benefiting more than anyone else") is missing at least a few steps.

We can conclude that group X benefits from policy Y even if we can't determine HOW MUCH they benefit with any particular degree of precision.

Quote:
A particular level of inflation financially favors people who bet on higher inflation when expected inflation was lower or people who bet on lower inflation when expected inflation was higher. Any change in inflation or general volatility generally benefits those who spend more cognitive resources on understanding that particular market over those who spend less. Beyond that, specifics can be debated.
You're missing something more specific. When money is created, the people who get that money first benefit at the expense of people who don't get the money until later (2nd, 3rd, or 100th-hand).
09-30-2010 , 03:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone Booth
Even if we presume the existence of a market outside of such government intervention, you can't discern who's benefitting from the intervention because to the extent that there are such inefficiencies, market tackles them collectively to close the holes and raise the opportunity cost of taking advantage of such subsidy. Furthermore, if lawyers are given free money by government intervention, so are those who sell things to lawyers and would-be lawyers, those who would have otherwise competed with lawyers in other professions, those who help people become lawyers, those whose cognitive style is complementary to what's necessary to become a lawyer, etc, etc.
PB,

I'd like you to re-write this. Because it looks to me like you're saying you can determine who is benefiting, but later you said you meant you can't tell how much a particular person is benefiting. I agree with the latter, and I would agree that in some cases the former is true as well. But there are clearly some cases where we CAN be pretty darn sure that a particular party IS benefiting.

Fly seems to be saying that because the benefits might filter down to anyone in the economy we can't make any conclusions about any particular person and if they gained a net benefit or not. That is pretty clearly wrong.
09-30-2010 , 03:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWf
Slow down and restart the subtangent, skippy. What does inflation have to do with Elliot being a lawyer?
Quote:
1) a simple change in rules governing economic transactions can have complex consequences 2) in general, those complex consequences cannot be predicted with any sort of precision.
and 3) we're not talking about a general case. There was a pretty specific subset that was in question.
09-30-2010 , 04:07 PM
Quote:
Fly seems to be saying that because the benefits might filter down to anyone in the economy we can't make any conclusions about any particular person and if they gained a net benefit or not. That is pretty clearly wrong.
WTF no. Start over. Read slower. Find an Obama voter if you run into words you don't know the meaning of.

      
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