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Woolley Arguments.

Discussion in 'Economics, Business, and Taxes' started by Woolleybugger, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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  2. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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    Absolutely we should. But there has to be a zone between over regulated and under regulated where people can live and have freedom. I tend to think you see every regulation that comes out as a good thing, or at the very least you are ready to try a regulation first, and then discard it. I'm more prone to move cautiously any time the government is seeking to exercise more power -- because once it has exercised a power it is generally very difficult to get it to stop exercising it. The "discard" pile is very thin.


    And that is simply not true. I have picked out that era as one in which the authority of the federal government was appropriately held within the limits of the Constitution. That does not mean that it did the best job it could do within those limits. Much of what lead to the negatives in the Gilded Age amounted to commercial abuse that was well within the legitimate, constitutional regulatory authority over interstate commerce. My objections to later regulatory schemes is that they use distorted readings of the Constitution to achieve their regulatory goals -- defining as interstate commerce that is in no way interstate is just one example.

    For all the criticisms of that era, ... the nation grew in both population and GDP,[/quote]
    And it grew SLOWER than the historic average from 1933-1999.[/QUOTE]

    You attribute this to more regulation. I attribute it to a rapidly improving technological environment that provided great strides in productivity -- and I'll note that our heavy industry has fallen dramatically since the 1980s, in short, when we had most of the regulations on safety, pollutants and worker protections that you laud so highly. The jobs where those "expenses" had been "externalized" are now overseas -- and they won't be coming back.


    The steam engine was invented in the United States, or at least one very early version of it was (I'm drawing a blank on the name -- but there was a very early steamboat that ran up the Delaware to Philadelphia while George Washington was still alive). Setting aside that historical quibble, we did in the 19th century what the Chinese and Japanese do today -- other people had the inventions, but we had the practical uses and the production capabilities to make them useful. And yes, America had Jim Crow, the British effectively enslaved the Welsh, Irish, South Africans and the entire subcontinent of India, there were the atrocities of the French and Belgian Congos, the Chinese had coolies and also practiced direct chattel slavery. There wasn't a developed nation in the world that had any moral high ground on this issue. And yet around the world, it was a time of innovation and invention that was for the most part seen as more golden than gilded.

    Not really -- it was mostly with the donation of alternating sections of free land. This was used to capitalize bonds, which were then the result of a huge scandal involving the French government and numerous of our own home-grown robber barons (do some readings on the Credit Mobilier scandal).

    And yet the poor of Europe scrambled to get here. There are a lot of ways to measure poverty, Degs. America, at least, offered the hope of improving your status.


    They were not legally required to enter into those debts, but yes, we could require someone to pay off debts -- are you saying we shouldn't?


    d

    Perhaps "stellar" was too strong a word. The economy showed growth. And as I said, you keep dragging in issues such as racism, where no other country was better than our own, and the destruction of the Amerinds, where our government was a latecomer. If you can show me how these are relevant, then they might be a topic for discussion, but until then, well, tell it not to the Greeks but to the Sikhs, who received such great treatment from the British.

    As I ignore all irrelevancies.



    Really, I addressed this above. I've never said there is no place for federal regulation, and I think it was under-used in this period, and there are constitutional ways to address these and other problems. My sole legal objection to the sort of regulations you favor is that I seen no constitutional grounding for them outside of unnatural readings of various constitutional terms such as "commerce" and "general welfare."


    I could not control the income level of the family into which I was born -- but society has treated me better or worse because of that accident just as it would treat me better or worse because of my origins if I were Irish or Asian. It isn't the government's role to ameliorate this, and it is an exercise in futility for the government to try.
    And the one's that take away half their property if they die suddenly, etc., let's not forget those. How about the difference between someone who is middle class and elected to be responsible and not have children they couldn't afford -- they get taxed. But the slattern with three unsupported kids in the trailer across the road smoking an unfiltered Camel gets the earned income tax credit. Yeah --we're all equal before the law, just as we're guaranteed in the 14th Amendment, right?


    WE THE PEOPLE would include rich, poor, white, black all the same, Degs.
     
  3. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    you keep going for strawmen. Try again. What is it that distorts markets at its most fundamental (rather than the rather technical measurments I've mentioned before)?

    Not according to the very Court who's rulings you celebrate. And you keep ignoring that this is the same Court that UPHELD LEGALLY ENFORCED discrimination against all but white Christian males.

    And it grew SLOWER than the historic average from 1933-1999.[/QUOTE]

    You attribute this to more regulation. I attribute it to a rapidly improving technological environment that provided great strides in productivity[/quote]
    You simply lack the data to support your claim. Seriously. Productivity increases and access to the exercise of liberty have rarely gone hand in hand. Acutally the opposite has been true precisely because productivity increases REDUCE employment demand, thus harming the middle class

    When the choice is borrow or starve, that is not a choice.
    And the 13th Amendment precludes forcing anyone into servitude. Yet the Courts of the Era you celebrate allowed just that even though the Servitude clause of the 13th Amendment was EXPLICITLY INCLUDED to try and address this issue.

    You aren't ignoring "irrelevancies", you are ignoring that the VAST MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION had no access to the exercise of theoretical liberties and were in servitude, often essentially involuntary. That's hardly irrelevant when it comes to the "right to liberty".

    The growth the economy showed WAS WORSE OVERALL than it has shown since we have had more regulation.

    And again you are making things up. The USA was one of the last nations in the world THE LAST Major nation in the world to ban slavery. And then it allowed for the reinstitution of slavery via involutary servitude debt laws.

    The fact that this MASSIVE wealth transfer existed during that time has to be subtracted out of the growth rate if you want to accurately model what the lack of regulation allowed.

    And again you cherry pick your data points. While it is true you weren't treated worse than if you had been born Irish or Asian AT THIS STAGE of the nation, that is NOT true for Asians in the Gilded Age, nor is it true if you had been born Black or Meztiso. And you know it.

    First off no such regulations exist. Secondly, if you die, you don't have any property to own. in fact if you wanted everyone to be treated equally (as you claim you do) you would strongly advocate that ALL INCOME - including inherited income - was taxed the same way.

    Notice how you are not talking about this in an economics neutral manner. You are larding on emotional push buttons that have nothing to do with economics.

    Yes we use EITC for children. Because of those stupid emotional push buttons. But if we were to run things purely on "Marginal Utility of Income" we would still give a subsidy to the poorest and tax the wealthy the most. And ECONOMETRICALLY that would work the best.

    And that Middle Class family essentially pays the same tax rate as the poor do ON THE FIRST $10,000 of income. And the poor pay the same rate on the next $1,000,000 of income as do the wealthy. Completely consistent with the 14th Amendment.
     
  4. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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    You attribute this to more regulation. I attribute it to a rapidly improving technological environment that provided great strides in productivity[/quote]

    If you ignore the impact of industry, heavy industry and the modernization of that industry in the period you introduced, then you're ignoring a large swathe of U.S. history. America was once the factory to the world, building everything from safety pins to jet aircraft. Today, the small things are built overseas, and the big things we still build face a host of problems -- many of which are caused by regulation although that is not the sole source of our economic problems today. During the era you mentioned, our growth was spotty during the last 20 years (from 1979 to 1999), when it existed at all. During the period from 1939 to 1969, are you really going to argue that technology did not impact productivity? Alternatively are you going to argue that during this time when America had the strongest economy in the world that the numbers don't reflect that growth?



    Same choice we all face, Degs, just in different ways. Much more volition than say, retiring without using Social Security that you've been forced to pay for -- but you say that choice is a free one.

    Show me the decision. Debt payment is not illegal servitude in any case.

    Irrelevancy. Yawn. We're not talking about racism, we're talking about the economy. The racism of the era was universal, so it has no bearing on a comparison of the 1890 U.S. economy with the 1890 economy of Great Britain. It is an irrelevancy and I'll continue to ignore it.


    So in theory if every choice were regulated, our economy would be infinitely better? Or is there some point at which you would also agree that enough is enough? Your period of regulation (1939 to 1999) experienced growth for a host of reasons, especially during its first half, when American industry was at its Zenith and basically the industries of today's modern countries didn't exist (Germany, England and Japan had been bombed. France under DeGalle was no economic powerhouse, nor was Spain under Franco, and China was undergoing the cultural revolution -- America was the factory to the world.


    Again, what decision? I think you're talking about the system that operated under the rules my grandfather operated as a sharecropper. He assumed debt, and had to raise a crop to pay off that debt. Involuntary servitude? No, it was an exchange of money today for work to be done over the next year.

    Fine -- so why is our industry fleeing to Mexico and China using every possible means?

    I know it, but it is immaterial. It wasn't then, nor is it now, the job of the government to ameliorate social attitudes.


    .


    They do if for some reason you die intestate with a substantial estate. The state will get 50 percent of your wealth if that happens.

    And that's the fallacy. It's your property to dispose of while you're still fogging mirrors, and it remains the property of your estate, not the government's, on your death. There is no moral reason for the outrageous government intervention of taking a single dime of it.


    I'm describing scenes from the real world -- I'm sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, but occasionally even you need a break from view atop that tower of ivory.
    And we don't do these things, in part because doing so would extend our government into areas where it doesn't belong, according to our constitution.

    The poor don't pay any tax at all on their first $10,000 or even their first $20,000. And saying that there is such a division of taxation is both untrue, and it ignores that you get taxed differently if you make more. No, my income is not divided into neat $10,000 segments, and if someone makes more than me, neither is their's -- although the courts see equal treatment in that, the rest of us do not.
     
  5. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Where do I ignore it? Remember that , Germany, UK and even France were ahead of us in industrialization and GDP and GDP per Capita. In many ways we were like the PRC is today, backwards and able to catch up largely by imitating and copying.

    No Trap its not. And as someone who's immediate family has actually faced real starvation its rather insulting for you to make that comparison.

    The most significant being the overturning of the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Essentially this allowed Jim Crow to be used to force involuntary servitude.

    No it was not. The UK formally abolished Slavery in 1833 even though the Chief Justice had abolished in effect in 1701 via emancipation of any slave arriving on British Soil. Took the USA 164 more years.

    its not irrelevancy to economics when you are invoking slavery and legally enforced servitude.

    No actually you are not. you are leaving out a whole lot of things and using emotional examples to represent a population generally. That's inaccurate. I can similarly describe to you a newly divorced mother of 2 still in college. Her ex was abusive so divorce was the only option. Receiving food stamps, AFDC and student loans. Goes on to finish a masters degree, and pay more in taxes than you ever will.

    Simply not true. Whoever told you this is ignorant or a liar.

    Ah yup. And when you dispose of it by giving it to others - they get to declare it as what it is... UNEARNED INCOME. Why does that magically change when you die?

    That's simply not true. FICA is a tax on income about 10%. EVERYONE pays FICA and EITC does not make up for FICA.

    And EVERYONE, the rich and the poor alike pay the same tax rate on their first $10k, their second $10k and their Last $1,000,000 of income.
     
  6. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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  7. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    49-69 is outside your scope of stated preference. You have said that you think the proper balance is PRE wickard. Well that's pre 1949. You forget that the period from 49-69 is one durin gwhich the USA thrived AS more regulatins were added. Hell the very 40 hr work week that the Tea Partyers would be loathe to return is the product of that nasty term "unionization" and the NLRB from exactly that time period and so are many other things you take for granted now, but which were similarly regulatory innovations

    Near starvation ain't it dude. I seriously doubt they were in a Nazi forced labor camp.

    RE the 1875 Civil Rights act - I've cited it before to you 109 U.S. 3

    Ghandi got his rights BEFORE the Blacks in the US South did BTW and well before women in the USA got full equal rights.

    Definitional reasoning on your part. It is an influx of assets. QED economically it is income. you choose to define it as a specialized income.

    Plenty? Like what percentage of the US Population?


    Not on the same income I don't. Nor do you Am 14 is satisfied. And even if the rate was different, Am 14 would still be satisfiable by simply basing the tax rate on the Marginal Utility of Income. Equal impact on the MUoI is "equal protection".

    Again your BELIEF is coloring what you see as "equal".
     
  8. imreallyperplexed

    imreallyperplexed Council Member

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    I am enjoying this discussion between AoD and you.

    Vis a vis, AoD, I started out as a control systems analyst so I do have a fond memory of root locus plots. Haven't done this sort of analysis in awhile but I do seem to recall that you can stick a control system on an aerospace vehicle (be it a booster rocket or a satelite and move the root locus from the right to the left (i.e. stabalize an inherently unstable system.)

    I thought that your point above was quite interesting. What I am wondering is whether an economy can fall out of orbit and why it might fall out of orbit.
     
  9. imreallyperplexed

    imreallyperplexed Council Member

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    trap,

    I'll let you argue the details with degs. In my opinion, as Obama has been saying about him and Romney, we have two different visions of America and where we would like to see it go. I think that America will be a better (both economically and morally) place for me, my children and grandchildren if the nation is strongly influenced by "progressive" (and constitutional) values. You seem to think that America will be a better place (both economically and morally) for you, your children, and your grandchildren if the nation is strongly influenced by "conservative" (and constitutional) values. (BTW, I would emphasize that I think the liberal interpretation of the constitution is as valid as the conservative interpretation.) On the economy, I agree with Obama's argument that it works better to grow the economy from the middle out rather than the top down.

    That said, I would be amazed if anything that I said caused you to fundamentally change your position. I am sure that there is not much that you can tell me that would cause me to shift my position in a fundamental way either. I do believe that the United States is big enough to contain both perspectives and - despite the conflict - that the country is better off containing strong proponents of both views. I assume that if Obama is elected that you will continue to work within the system. If Romney by some chance wins, I will live but I will not stand silent if I think that he is pushing the country in a terrible direction (no matter how many conservatives might support his positions.)
     
  10. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Well the problem IRP with that approach is that essentially it leaves us shouting slogans at each other. And I'm not willing to settle for that. That's precisely why I AVOID making arguements based on "moral values", and instead look purely to pragmatic outcomes. Pragmatic outcomes I can demonstrate. Morality arguements essentially rely on belief. And that makes even NCMusician's racism "valid".
     
  11. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Well that's Keynes great insight. That any economy has metastability points. the Macro 101 model of assymptotically rising Demand/Price curves and asymptotically falling Supply/Price Curves turns out to not really exist in the real world. So its quite possible to have multiple intersection points: What if supply was sinusoidal driven by price point shocks and demand linearly inceasing as per the below curve. We'd then have FOUR "optimal supply demand" intersections. So which one is TRULY "optimal"?

    SupplyDemand.
     
  12. imreallyperplexed

    imreallyperplexed Council Member

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    I understand where you are coming from degs. Here are my thoughts.

    I consider myself a pragmatist but not a full-blown positivist. A full-blown positivist will typically argue that you can separate scientific (empirical) arguments from normative (moral) arguments. I am very sympathetic to this approach in the natural sciences. I am more skeptical of this approach in the social sciences because I think that it is very difficult (perhaps impossible) for a social scientist to separate himself or herself from moral judgements about what constitutes a good society. That is, I don't think that it is fully possible to separate empirics and morality. I think that it is incumbent on people to try to separate the two as much as possible (and I do think that there are few folks that are good at it.) That said, I am a realist about the limits of reasoned argument to persuade people one way or the other.

     
  13. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    I'm pretty close to a full blown positivist. But here's my distinction. I leave the moral judgements to politics, with the notion of presenting a full informed set of choices to the body politic.

    I suspect that if Trapdoor had realized that by voting for Reagan in 1984, he would not get to go to college (which to the rest of us was pretty obvious from Reagan's policies) - that he would likely have voted differently, regardless of his political "morality"
     
  14. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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  15. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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  16. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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    Lord -- don't strike him down. Please Degs, every statement you make is overladen with moral judgements. Rich people are bad, people who don't like Obama's policies are a racists, and people who don't want more taxes are greedy. Cast the mote out of thine own eye (sorry, Biblical reference).
     
  17. imreallyperplexed

    imreallyperplexed Council Member

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    I think that you just told me that you are a conservative and don't really think that progressivism is REALLY legitimate (i.e. constitutional). I already knew that. I think that progressivism is TOTALLY legitimate (i.e. constitutional) and I think that the "living document" perspective is totally legitimate. (The opposite of a "living document" is a "dead document." Do you support the "dead document" theory of the constitution?)

    I also think that you exaggerate and mischaracterize liberal and progressive views. You claim that liberals "love" and "trust" government while objecting (above) when I say that you "admire" the gilded age and arguing that you just don't "loathe/fear" it as much as liberals do. Given your precedent, I think that it is fairer to say that degsme and I do not fear or loathe the governement as much as you do. I certainly don't have total confidence or blind trust in the government. A good government depends on an informed and engaged citizenry. I am an engaged citizen. The government is capable of enhancing both individual liberty and collective prosperity. It is also capable of threatening individual liberty and collective prosperity. The government should be as small as possible but no smaller. Where the proper line is - as the founders understood - is a matter of on-going debate.

    On that line, I think that in addition to good roads and good schools, I think that the government has a role in regulating commerce (state governments for intrastate commerce and federal government for interstate commerce) and in promoting the general welfare. I know that we disagree about what this means but the arguments that we might have about these things demonstrate that - in practice - the Constitution is a "living document" and that the Supreme Court and the judicial system is a "living institution." The Constitution is not a dead document and the Supreme Court is not a dead institution. BTW, I don't think that a "strong military" is equivalent to "providing for national defense" or an aggressive foreign policy where the United States is the supreme military power in the world, the world's policeman, and the United States attempts to impose its will on the world. I do think that that is the establishment Republican foreign policy and the foreign policy preferred by the Dick Cheneys of the world and the bulk of conservatives. I do not think that the "founders" envisioned this sort of aggressive foreign policy. They envisioned something more modest.

    Finally, there are also certain lines that I draw. If Romney returns to the Bush foreign and military policy and it is pretty clear to me that he is a disciple of Dick Cheney, I am sure that he will cross a line for me and millions of Americans. It won't be pretty. I am also a strong proponent of universal health care (and that is, I admit, a progressive position). I think that universal health care IS constitutional. I think that there are many ways to get to universal healthcare. Obamacare is one way. Since Romney has thrown Romneycare under the bus and has shown himself to be spineless, it seems clear to me that he - like Paul Ryan and conservatives - don't really care about healthcare and are not committed to universal healthcare. If they repeal Obamacare, they will not attempt to achieve universal healthcare. That is a line that I am not willing to cross. I think that millions of Americans agree with me. I think millions of Americans will again take to the streets.

    (I also don't believe that Romney and Ryan's policies for the economy will work any better than Bush's policies worked. In fact, I think that they would likely make things even worse. I don't know this for sure. But it is my (to use Lukey's term) my gut instinct. If Romney and the Republicans win the election, he will be on a short leash vis a vis the economy.) I am not a believer in supply side economics. And I don't have blind faith or total trust in the "captains of industry." They are salesmen. Just like politicians.



     
  18. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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    I DID go to college, I was merely not given the same access to government funding for college that I would have received if I'd been the "correct" race or gender. That fact was not a result of Reagan's policies, but the result of policies put in place before Reagan came to office that remain in place today.
     
  19. Woolleybugger

    Woolleybugger Mayor

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    I got all the funding I needed, race was not a factor. I fail to see how your sources for funding were tied or limited to your race. But then, you may have come of age after Ronnie destroyed funding sources like the one I used, BEOG. Ronnie did the same thing in California btw. During the 70s, the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant program let students borrow up to 2 grand a year at interest rates around 2%. This was when the prime was over 15%. I think I remember Ronnie cancelling it...too bad for you then.
     
  20. Woolleybugger

    Woolleybugger Mayor

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    Minsky moments....
     

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