American Middle-Class Malaise

I felt the video was merely illustrative of that statement, not ignorant of it. Study stats for a while and you realise you can basically plug in a formula to get the number you want if you don't get it the first time. Statistics are useful, and some people don't understand them, but if you're deliberately using that ignorance to make your stats look a certain way, then you're a liar.
What i was getting at is that the video you posted does exactly that.

I mean 0.000001% of 1 000 000 000 000 000 is 1 000 000 000, while 10% of 100 000 is 10 000. Yet i doubt that anyone would argue that the person paying 0.000001% is shouldering a bigger tax burden.
 
What i was getting at is that the video you posted does exactly that.

I mean 0.000001% of 1 000 000 000 000 000 is 1 000 000 000, while 10% of 100 000 is 10 000. Yet i doubt that anyone would argue that the person paying 0.000001% is shouldering a bigger tax burden.
Yes... That's what I mean when I say the video was illustrating what I meant.
 
I brought that up once on this forum too, and folks pointed out that this would simply fracture operations into multiple "companies," with the high earners in one, and that company "contracting" the other company where the low earners are.
That already happens, my company contracts out all support positions.
 
That already happens, my company contracts out all support positions.
I don't think I know of a single big company in Belgium (make fun all you want, I'll wait for you to stop laughing...But we do have an absolutely amazing amount of European and international headquarters due to Brussels) who doesn't. IT, cleaning, building maintenance (usually), dispatching, helpdesk stuff, logistics, security, counsel, payroll, HR,... heck, one of the biggest employers in the country nowadays is a company specialised in doing other companies' paper work.
Evolving down to the core business and pushing everything else out has a lot of great benefits, mostly in our tax system - but it also greatly improves turnover without increasing that pesky ^rofit you have to pay taxes on :p
 
So you used a misleading video to counter another misleading video?
Sigh. No. I used a video that presented statistics in an agenda-favourable way to point out that the other video was as guilty. You can use the numbers to fit whatever policy you want. I wasn't saying "This video counters that," but "This rebuttal is the same thing." Hence lies, damned lies, and statistics.
 
Sigh. No. I used a video that presented statistics in an agenda-favourable way to point out that the other video was as guilty. You can use the numbers to fit whatever policy you want. I wasn't saying "This video counters that," but "This rebuttal is the same thing." Hence lies, damned lies, and statistics.
So you used another video where they used statistics to show the first video could also be wrong?

I see the problem.

It doesn't actually work that way.

"One can use statistics to make the reverse point" doesn't actually imply that the first video is also wrong.

At most you can use it to show that it's easy to use statistics in a misleading way, in order to support your argument better, but you really should have made it more clear in your post.
 
So you used another video where they used statistics to show the first video could also be wrong?

I see the problem.

It doesn't actually work that way.

"One can use statistics to make the reverse point" doesn't actually imply that the first video is also wrong.

At most you can use it to show that it's easy to use statistics in a misleading way, in order to support your argument better, but you really should have made it more clear in your post.
Maybe so, but I wasn't saying that 'this video shows that the first video is wrong' - although in other points I noted where it was at best misleading, and at worst lying - I was saying simply that such a rebuttal showing similar stats in a different way can apparently demonstrate the opposite point.

Whether or not that was clear - it seems not to have been - is my fault, but I haven't claimed:
"One can use statistics to make the reverse point" [implies] [-ed. for clarity, Chad] that the first video is also wrong.
I feel like the video was misinterpreted as receiving my resounding support, and that in fact, we agree that all it does is show that statistics are malleable. I was unclear, perhaps. But my biggest problem with the original video was never its normative ideas about wealth, but about its honesty, and I felt that a similar video making the opposite point was demonstrating why I found that to be a problem.

I don't feel qualified or informed enough to make claims about what real wealth is, and what its current distribution is, or best distribution would be. But I do feel qualified enough to find deceit and decry it.
 
I don't feel qualified or informed enough to make claims about what real wealth is, and what its current distribution is, or best distribution would be. But I do feel qualified enough to find deceit and decry it.
Real wealth is happiness and growth as a person, and the best distribution is evenly amongst all people who I think deserve it.

...what? :p
 
but about its honesty, and I felt that a similar video making the opposite point was demonstrating why I found that to be a problem.

Like i said, it doesn't.

Some guy lying about something does not say anything about another person that told the truth about the same thing, or about another person that was lying in a different way.
 
Blah, blah...lots of words from me from six years ago.
wealth-hoarding individuals can't be permitted to continue stockpiling the nation's wealth*. Doing so just constipates the economy. Their accumulated wealth [could] be released back into society in several ways: Through charity, outright assassination/theft, government intervention/taxes, exhaustion, obsolescence, or other means. It would be best for society as a whole if this was done in a steady, controlled manner to equalize the pressure gradually, since the likelihood that our future will end up being one of turmoil and upheaval increases as that gap grows wider. This is a thing which is so blatantly and painfully obvious that I marvel daily that something isn't already being done about it to head off that inevitability.
"Investment" is, by definition, a bit like fishing, or making rock candy. You put some of your own money out there in the hopes that other money will stick to it to be collected (harvested?) later. This "for-profit" mechanic generates a sort of economic pressure which drives wealth from (many) lower tiers into (fewer) upper tiers. The lender is gambling on not losing his investment, the borrower is gambling that future expansion/profit/whatever will be sufficient to make up for the short-term loss of whatever premium the lender is charging. Either way, wealth ultimately moves upwards. The only way to really relieve this "pressure" is for the higher-ups to infuse a bunch of wealth down into the lower tiers without any sort of compensation. Otherwise the inequality just continues to build until that pressure becomes severe enough that some form of "correction" occurs.
IF the only time anyone is willing to front capital is when there's money to be made from doing so (that whole "for-profit" mentality--a bank is ultimately not in the business of lending money, they are in the business of creating debt) THEN that economic flow I mention earlier will continue to only flow in one direction (when it flows at all), and that is from those with less towards towards with more. Hence, "stockpiling" occurs as a result. This is fundamentally unsustainable and a correction of some sort must eventually occur.

Six years later, and I feel vindicated.
If you simulate this economy, a variant of the yard sale model, you will get a remarkable result: after a large number of transactions, one agent ends up as an “oligarch” holding practically all the wealth of the economy, and the other 999 end up with virtually nothing. It does not matter how much wealth people started with. It does not matter that all the coin flips were absolutely fair. It does not matter that the poorer agent's expected outcome was positive in each transaction, whereas that of the richer agent was negative. Any single agent in this economy could have become the oligarch—in fact, all had equal odds if they began with equal wealth. In that sense, there was equality of opportunity. But only one of them did become the oligarch, and all the others saw their average wealth decrease toward zero as they conducted more and more transactions. To add insult to injury, the lower someone's wealth ranking, the faster the decrease.
[...]
We find it noteworthy that the best-fitting model for empirical wealth distribution discovered so far is one that would be completely unstable without redistribution rather than one based on a supposed equilibrium of market forces. In fact, these mathematical models demonstrate that far from wealth trickling down to the poor, the natural inclination of wealth is to flow upward, so that the “natural” wealth distribution in a free-market economy is one of complete oligarchy. It is only redistribution that sets limits on inequality.
(From the article "Is Inequality Inevitable?" published Nov 1, 2019 in Scientific American)

Yeah, I'm going to keep posting this stuff, because like I say in my very first quote up there: "This is a thing which is so blatantly and painfully obvious [to me] that I marvel daily that something isn't already being done about it to head off [the] inevitability."

--Patrick
 
Sounds like a feature to me... i mean, what's the point of the game if you can't beat everyone to win it...
 
what's the point of the game if you can't beat everyone to win it...
Call me old-fashioned, but I thought this “game” was supposed to be a team thing where all of Humanity benefits, and not the glorified global concentration camp it is becoming.

—Patrick
 
Call me old-fashioned, but I thought this “game” was supposed to be a team thing where all of Humanity benefits, and not the glorified global concentration camp it is becoming.

—Patrick
But not everyone agrees. Therein lies the problem.
 
But not everyone agrees. Therein lies the problem.
Plenty of board games around where most players are cooperative, but one or two act as a saboteur and have to try and undermine the people from within.
The brazenness with which people can just plain say they're the bad guys and just continue on is striking, though.
 
Call me old-fashioned, but I thought this “game” was supposed to be a team thing where all of Humanity benefits, and not the glorified global concentration camp it is becoming.
When was this in fashion again?
 
But not everyone agrees. Therein lies the problem.
I’m pragmatic enough to realize there is probably some kind of feedback mechanism at work. There are those predisposed to rugged, selfishly individualistic "What's mine is mine and you can't have any!" behavior which is probably a desirable trait when a population is spread thinly over a large area and every individual must be self-reliant in order for the whole species to survive. But as population density increases, a tendency towards sharing and cooperation becomes more important to that species' survival... which no doubt grates on the nerves of those with the more individualistic alleles.

But as you say, there are those folks for whom accumulating a mere sufficiency of stuff is not enough, they must opportunistically and unendingly divert resources to grow their personal fame and fortune at the expense of others (MOAR!), literally becoming a cancer threatening the remainder of society. Well, fuck cancer. It outright infuriates me when an otherwise perfectly workable solution to some conflict gets discarded or stonewalled merely because some people are like, "That's great and all, but what we're really looking for is something that not only solves the problem, but does so in a way that crushes our enemies and makes sure WE come out on top!" A mentality like that is SO stupid and short-sighted.
When was this in fashion again?
Mid-18th Century, again in the late 19th-early 20th Century, and no doubt elsewhen, and I have no idea it won't eventually come back into fashion again.

--Patrick
 
But as you say, there are those folks for whom accumulating a mere sufficiency of stuff is not enough, they must opportunistically and unendingly divert resources to grow their personal fame and fortune at the expense of others (MOAR!), literally becoming a cancer threatening the remainder of society. Well, fuck cancer. It outright infuriates me when an otherwise perfectly workable solution to some conflict gets discarded or stonewalled merely because some people are like, "That's great and all, but what we're really looking for is something that not only solves the problem, but does so in a way that crushes our enemies and makes sure WE come out on top!" A mentality like that is SO stupid and short-sighted.
The ENTIRE Trump family. From Old Man Fred all the way to that 13-year-old brat. If cheeto is gonna publicly attack children, no way does that little shit-stain of a spawn get a pass.
 
The ENTIRE Trump family. From Old Man Fred all the way to that 13-year-old brat. If cheeto is gonna publicly attack children, no way does that little shit-stain of a spawn get a pass.
As far as I know, the kid hasn't done anything. Is he a spoiled brat that will grow up to be a grifter just like everyone else in the Trump family? Probably, at least that's what has happened to his previous children. But until then he's just a kid.
 
When was this in fashion again?
Definitely when we realized we'd have better chance of our species surviving against saber-toothed cats if, instead of abandoning the weakest members a la herd animals, we banded together and fought them off.

Possibly at later points in time, too.
 
Definitely when we realized we'd have better chance of our species surviving against saber-toothed cats if, instead of abandoning the weakest members a la herd animals, we banded together and fought them off.

Possibly at later points in time, too.
Damn communist hunter-gatherers...

But yeah, that is super-duper ol'fashioned.

Those where literally times when hoarding the wealth at the top caused the whole stack of cards to eventually collapse...
 
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And yet, income inequality was at a lower level than it is now.
But that's down to the physical limitations at the time, not from a lack of trying.

Well, that and the labour movement being a thing, instead of unions being demonized for decades.
 
Just a warning in case you were wondering where things might be headed:


To put that in coronavirus terms, the number of people overextending themselves is rising uncomfortably.

--Patrick
 
Headed for another automobile industry bailout, then? :facepalm:
No, this is about people willingly signing up for things they may not be able to pay in the future. It's potentially another 2008 housing crisis in the making, but with cars.

--Patrick
 
10% loans in the current economy are frickin' predatory and should be illegal.
In the 1980s with inflation at almost the same that was sensible, now? Just a way to push the poor deeper into poverty.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
No, this is about people willingly signing up for things they may not be able to pay in the future. It's potentially another 2008 housing crisis in the making, but with cars.
I was attempting a joke. People are overextending themselves, and they'll end up in debt they can't pay off, which will cause a crash in the automobile market, which will result in businesses getting a bailout (possibly both the automobile makers and the banks), when it's really poor people who need the help.
 

Dave

Staff member
New cars cost so god damned much you HAVE to do this long term or you won't be able to afford it.
 
New cars cost so god damned much you HAVE to do this long term or you won't be able to afford it.
I had to do 72 months on my 2013 Elantra. I was still in over my head most of the time. Never ever buying new again.
 
Yeah, those small practical affordable European cars Americans like to make fun of might not be that terrible after all ;)
Tough if my car suddenly up and died I couldn't possibly replace it with anything decent either.
 
I was attempting a joke.
Ah, playing the long game, I see.
New cars cost so god damned much you HAVE to do this long term or you won't be able to afford it.
That's pretty much any significant purchase these days. Rich people are the only ones allowed to buy anything brand new, and you can have your turn with it only once they're done enjoying it.

--Patrick
 
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