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

10-02-2010 , 12:09 PM
Sklansky wasn't trying to define the word for everyone else or say what other people's definition of rich is. He was saying what he considers to be rich.
10-02-2010 , 12:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkidd
Sklansky wasn't trying to define the word for everyone else or say what other people's definition of rich is. He was saying what he considers to be rich.
Sure -- and I don't doubt that it was exaggerated greatly for effect, or to make the point about relative conceptions of wealth.

This was already covered back when this was in the low content thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian J
if [Sklansky's definition] is rich then rich has lost it's meaning and instead now means "more than me"
10-02-2010 , 12:25 PM
So why is his view silly?
10-02-2010 , 12:28 PM
Also, even if he didn't exaggerate his position, you certainly did by substituting "eat at an expensive restaurant most nights" with "eat at the most expensive restaurant in the country every night".
10-02-2010 , 12:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkidd
So why is his view silly?
If we agree that the post was "greatly exaggerated for effect" then I hardly know what else there is to say.

Alternatively, I would argue that it is silly to maintain personal definitions for words which one knows to deviate substantially from the common view.
10-02-2010 , 12:40 PM
I don't agree that his definition was exaggerated. He listed a bunch of stuff rich people do. Eat out at nice restaurants, travel in style, drive a nice car, live in a nice house. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

You exaggerated it by changing "eat at an expensive restaurant most nights" to "eat at the most expensive restaurant in the country every night".
10-02-2010 , 12:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkidd
Also, even if he didn't exaggerate his position, you certainly did by substituting "eat at an expensive restaurant most nights" with "eat at the most expensive restaurant in the country every night".
Indeed I did. I only ask that we note that my original post about Per Se appeared before Sklansky's one about "four star" restaurants. And that dinner at any four star restaurant is going to be quite expensive.

Whether or not his post was exaggerated, well, here it is; I'll let others review for themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sklansky
To me rich means being able to:

Fly first class once a month

Stay in a suite instead of a room in four star hotels four times a year

Own a Mercedes (replace every three years) a small boat and a million dollar house

Have a maid and a nanny

Eat out at a four star restaurant most nights

Send your kids to any college

Pay for full time home health care for your elderly parents

Retire with ten million at age 60

So what income does that work out to for a thirty year old?
10-02-2010 , 12:54 PM
Looks like a reasonable definition to me.
10-02-2010 , 01:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkidd
Looks like a reasonable definition to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkidd
I'd say probably 300k or so might be the average cut off.
OK. There is, without question, a wide gulf between these two values.

Last edited by Sholar; 10-02-2010 at 01:05 PM. Reason: Now, to repost #677...
10-02-2010 , 01:03 PM
I didn't say it was the same as my definition. I said it was reasonable. Different people mean different things when they say "rich".
10-02-2010 , 01:05 PM
David probably has a "well-to-do" category that roughly coincides with my "rich" category. This is perfectly reasonable.
10-02-2010 , 05:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone Booth
So I think we're on the same side here - how does this have anything to do with money creation, as opposed to just plain market failure? Can't high-up employees raid the shareholders in any system? How does money creation facilitate this process?
well money creation enables bubbles that distort profits and accounting in general. this what gives incentive for those who are around to leak out as much as possible since the gravy train aint gonna last. it cant happen in any system or at least not at the same levels because a lot of the issues are supposed to be balanced by performance and accountability from the shareholders. However this isnt possible in a system where the financial state of firms are misleading and then there are the problems with transparency which are immense in an environment where banks are protected by the fed and other federal agencies from properly disclosing their financial state.

Last edited by Zygote; 10-02-2010 at 05:15 PM.
10-03-2010 , 12:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle0468
So what? We are not the rest of the world, thank god. In this country rich is simply a perspective of the viewer. I see rich as having enough money to pay off all of my bills and live debt free at a comforable level.
Jesus, holy logic fail.
10-03-2010 , 12:29 AM
I like David's definition.

Has Henry commented on this thread?
10-03-2010 , 12:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sholar
That's a good way of putting it. What constitutes "rich" is obviously hard to define precisely.

Sklansky's personal definition of the minimum boundary of "rich" is so excessive that we can be confident that his definition is "wrong" (in the sense of not capturing how the word is commonly understood), without being able to agree on more marginal cases.
So is a definition more "right" the more people agree with it? If 60% of Americans think fart jokes are funny, does that mean someone who thinks fart jokes aren't funny is wrong? Also, what group are we polling here? Americans? But why is that any better than a broader category (say, all humans) or a stricter one (all those within a city?)
10-03-2010 , 07:30 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayTeeMe
I like David's definition.

Has Henry commented on this thread?
No but there was a BFI thread about the subject. Henry's definition is pretty close to David's.

Quote:
As expected Shoe comes into this with a definition of rich that would qualify a homeless person as rich.

I actually have lower requirements than the chart. I would consider someone rich at $8-10M in assets and $400-500k/year in income.
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...6&postcount=11
10-03-2010 , 01:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nichlemn
So is a definition more "right" the more people agree with it?
Context, of course, matters. I am no linguist; it is simply my preference that words have meanings. I understand that this is a radical position around here, but it's not one that is so interesting to me that it's worth defending further.

Quote:
If 60% of Americans think fart jokes are funny, does that mean someone who thinks fart jokes aren't funny is wrong?
No. A joke is funny when the audience laughs. See the above paragraph.

Quote:
Also, what group are we polling here? Americans? But why is that any better than a broader category (say, all humans) or a stricter one (all those within a city?)
One answer would be the participants in the conversation here. And yet that's not even necessary; the choice was done fairly explicitly in this case (30 year old American male).

Otherwise, I will stick with Post #677 as my final answer.
10-03-2010 , 01:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sholar

No. A joke is funny when the audience laughs.
what %?
10-03-2010 , 01:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian J
what %?
Heh. Good work.
10-03-2010 , 01:44 PM
And anyone who doesn't laugh with the rest of the audience is silly, right?
10-04-2010 , 04:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sholar
Context, of course, matters. I am no linguist; it is simply my preference that words have meanings. I understand that this is a radical position around here, but it's not one that is so interesting to me that it's worth defending further.
1. Wealthy: having a lot of money and possessions

Is this is a reasonable definition? How much is a "lot"?
10-04-2010 , 03:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvn
except the person who said this:
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
Effect cannot be calculated =/= effect is none/equal

Difficulty of calculating effects of an entire system of governance =/= difficulty of calculating effects of specific policies.


Quote:
Wow, that's a disingenuous question. I just said that you can't ALWAYS identify a particular individual in every case, but you can in many. Given that, you should be asking me to supply a case where I can identify an individual, rather than you cherry picking a case.
I asked two questions, the first of which is exactly what you're now asking for. I didn't see an answer.


Quote:
It might be! which is why I said we can't determine the absolute size of the benefit. Of course, if the cost does completely outweigh the benefit, the "beneficiary" would eventually figure this out and decline the subsidy/handout/whatever (unless he can somehow externalize this cost).
But what if the cost has already been paid up-front? How does a doctor with large student loans decline the subsidy of government-regulated health care, assuming government both pays for and sets the price? Quit being a doctor? And what can be known about the size of the benefit? That it's somewhere between nothing and something? If it's nothing, then it can be less than nothing, because he can be partially paying for the cost of subsidizing it, correct? So what do we know?


Quote:
Being pretty sure about person in Group X benefiting from a particular political action is not sufficient to solve a general case of economic calculation.
Apparently, you don't have to solve a general case of economic calculation to be pretty sure about the effects of some policies, correct? Policies can be determined effective, as long as you can be pretty sure about the effects, correct? Then what's the problem for the central planner? He doesn't have to solve the economic calculation problem to enact effective policies - he just has to be pretty sure about some stuff.

FWIW, I don't disagree on whether you can know about the effects of specific policies, I'm just amused by how far you're willing to take this, since this refutes standard AC arguments and has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Of course you can know the effects of some policies. If I enact a policy that says you pvn, get $10000 from the Treasury every year, the first-order effect of that policy is predictable. But this has no bearing on the larger question here of who deserves what - maybe ElliotR is helped by policy X and policy Y, but hurt by policy C and policy D. So what now? If your contention is that such policy is inherently illegitimate, how do we know if anyone is a net beneficiary or not? My contention has always about effects of the entire system of governance, because that's the only thing that matters for the larger discourse here.

Effects are also much more obvious when you look in the aggregate - if you subsidize behavior X, behavior X will become more common, but whether specific individuals are helped or not is much more difficult to discern. It's odd that you claim to be able to solve a much more difficult problem, while arguing that the central planner can't solve a much easier one.


Quote:
I'm not talking about specific subsidies or handouts. Someone used the example of Elliot being a lawyer, but that wasn't important to your response or my response to that response.
What are those specific subsidies you're sure about?


Quote:
Using an example doesn't mean the discussion is forever restricted to that one case. Saying that you can examine individual cases doesn't mean we are talking about one particular case, either.
So shifting the goalpost is fine as long as you're the one doing it? Why, then, were you accusing me of shifting the goalpost? Are you admitting that your accusation was wrong and you were the one guilty of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zygote
well money creation enables bubbles that distort profits and accounting in general. this what gives incentive for those who are around to leak out as much as possible since the gravy train aint gonna last. it cant happen in any system or at least not at the same levels because a lot of the issues are supposed to be balanced by performance and accountability from the shareholders. However this isnt possible in a system where the financial state of firms are misleading and then there are the problems with transparency which are immense in an environment where banks are protected by the fed and other federal agencies from properly disclosing their financial state.
Properly refuting this is way beyond the scope of this thread, so even though there's almost nothing close to right above, let's assume that you are right about everything. What does this have anything to do with money creation benefiting those who first get the money and how it's easy to figure out who's a net beneficiary of this process? You're effectively saying that inflation allows a game to be played and the winners of this game benefit at the expense of the losers. This is generally a restatement of what I was saying earlier:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone Booth
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.
Furthermore, since you believe that you understand this process better than others and are able to profit from the bubble both ways, you must, then, believe yourself to be one of the winners, or beneficiaries of the system. Correct? Despite not being able to get your hand on the newly created money first?
10-04-2010 , 07:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkidd
And anyone who doesn't laugh with the rest of the audience is silly, right?
Well, in addition to this being a poor analogy from the start, we've now switched the roles of comedian and audience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nichlemn
1. Wealthy: having a lot of money and possessions

Is this is a reasonable definition? How much is a "lot"?
I've already answered this (to my satisfaction) above. But let me try a different approach.

Consider the origin of this thread: I do not think that you would be able to convince most people making substantially less than $200K that most people making substantially more than $200K are not rich. That was the relevant context.

There is a range of reasonable beliefs. Where we find them to be unreasonable is something like the problem of sorites. To give one example, look at mjkidd opposing $250K only to propose $300K earlier in this thread.

I'm mostly replying just because this was bumped, and I'll strive to make this my last post on this tangent. It's not interesting enough to me to discuss further.

*

Edited to promote nonviolence.

Last edited by Sholar; 10-04-2010 at 07:58 PM.
10-04-2010 , 07:53 PM
I never "violently" opposed 250k. I said that I wouldn't always consider a family of 5 making 250k rich, depending on where they lived.

edit: I guess I should make sure to quote Sholar's posts in the future.

Last edited by SenorKeeed; 10-04-2010 at 07:59 PM.
10-04-2010 , 11:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone Booth
Properly refuting this is way beyond the scope of this thread, so even though there's almost nothing close to right above, let's assume that you are right about everything. What does this have anything to do with money creation benefiting those who first get the money and how it's easy to figure out who's a net beneficiary of this process? You're effectively saying that inflation allows a game to be played and the winners of this game benefit at the expense of the losers. This is generally a restatement of what I was saying earlier:
those who get the money first get all the benefits of counterfeiting. those who arent close to the counterfeiting process lose.

Quote:
Furthermore, since you believe that you understand this process better than others and are able to profit from the bubble both ways, you must, then, believe yourself to be one of the winners, or beneficiaries of the system. Correct? Despite not being able to get your hand on the newly created money first?
the winning in this sense is different. the early receivers of government money or contracts are benefiting in a way i cant. my connections are not quite the same and the strength of my theory is not directly correlated to my ability to make those connections. merely knowing someone else is receiving that money doesnt mean i can have access to its fruits.

the way id benefit from the boom bust is sensing economic trends and making bets, as would any speculator. even having the right theory doesnt mean those bets will be successful because there is an element of uncertainty which is difficult to quantify, namely human action in addition to environmental uncertainty. the art of predicting this is where most profits are made. sensing bubbles and determining their length, magnitude and scope in time are related but still very different.

      
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