did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Retention of Wealth

1

SO VERBOSE. NO WONDER YOU NEVER MADE ANY MONEY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED ANDREW CARNEGIE | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 5:29 AM
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Tangentially relevant graph.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 5:39 AM
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I don't really believe the flow-not-pool thing, but even accepting it, a confiscatory wealth tax--or even a non-confiscatory one to start with--would be a great way to get capital churning. Anyway, no one really needs, say, $100 million. Or $10 million. Or $5 million. (There is a point sometime soon where the American medical system starts to say oh, yes, actually, you might need that.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 5:42 AM
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The economy is a climax forest, nutrients and energy passing continually from organism to organism. The rich cut down trees and bury them to make coal for their grandchildren.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 5:49 AM
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After legal fees, $5 million is barely enough to pay for four mistresses to keep quiet about you getting them pregnant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:10 AM
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Because every porn star you don't impregnate is a porn star you're not paying for silence, the decision not to be a juvenile asshole is a decision to deprive others.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:14 AM
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Because every dollar you have is a dollar you're not giving to somebody else, the decision to retain wealth is a decision to deprive others.

There are some senses in which that is strictly true - basically variants of the cash under the mattress scenario. And looking at a local picture, clearly wealthy people stashing their wealth offshore so it can't be taxed are depriving people of services funded through taxes. That doesn't really apply to, saying holding on to the wealth by buying a sculpture for yourself - after all, you're paying the artist/dealer/gallery for it, and they will go on to pay other people for other things.


If nothing else, a nearly completely confiscatory tax at a high ceiling would do an awful lot to appease our overlords' fears of popular uprising without materially impinging on their quality of life or, I suspect, their productivity.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:27 AM
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And, obviously, you're depriving someone else of a sculpture if you don't give it away.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:34 AM
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I don't want a sculpture of Lakshmi Mittal, tbth.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:38 AM
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SELL EVERYTHING YOU HAVE AND GIVE TO THE POOR, AND YOU WILL HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN. THEN COME, FOLLOW ME.


Posted by: OPINIONATED JESUS CHRIST | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:44 AM
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ALSO:

IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE THAN FOR SOMEONE WHO IS RICH TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.


Posted by: OPINIONATED JESUS CHRIST | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:47 AM
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If it makes the rich feel better (that is: makes it easier to pass a real wealth tax, along with corresponding enforcement of tax haven ostracization), I would be okay with giving knighthoods or life peerages (after the necessary Constitutional changes) once they pay $XX million in taxes. I figure replacing real goods with imaginary ones only the government can mint is a good trade.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:47 AM
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You need to say the last part quietly.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:48 AM
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I would be okay with giving knighthoods or life peerages (after the necessary Constitutional changes)

We could probably let rich people purchase commissions as officers in SPACE FORCE!! without even changing the constitution.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 7:11 AM
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We could probably let rich people purchase commissions as officers in SPACE FORCE!! without even changing the constitution Dianetics manual.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 7:17 AM
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I've never had an obscene amount of money and I'm never likely to, but the problem with a confiscatory wealth tax is that if I have $51 billion and the government takes $50 billion, we know in advance it's going to spend most of that on a couple of F-35s, whereas I could set up a trust to eradicate Schistosomiasis (multiply similar goals until you run out of money). On the other hand, nobody knows in advance if I would do that or try to put a dozen suicidally inclined people on Mars. Would it even be legal to pass a bill levying a 99% charge on billionaires and stipulating that the take could not be used for defence or incarceration? (Academic question, as no such bill would ever pass in your country or mine.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 7:40 AM
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I don't care how many suicides you put on Mars, I care if you establish a foundation dedicated to, say, the destruction of the modern state and the institution of hereditary plutocracy. Just hypothetically.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 7:43 AM
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16: I think so. It's common (at least at some levels of government) to pass a law establishing funding source foo can only be used to pay project bar. For example, our county introduced an alcohol tax, the proceeds from which can only be used to fund public transportation. The county executive has tried to use it for other means and been blocked.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 7:49 AM
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IDK, I'd boil the essay as:

1 Hypothesis: We can alleviate suffering through redistribution of wealth. This is the overriding consideration against all others.

2 Method: This redistribution is 'better' done through direct intervention with taxes versus reinvestment / usage (in whatever sense) of people with wealth as they see fit.

3 [anything on the 'moral' argument here]

I would certainly not argue against 1a, though 1b has some squickiness.

I would definitely argue against the 'better' in 2a but 2b has some definite squickiness and doesn't fix 1a in current form.

3 is just extraneous, providing some nice emotional support for 1a (and the others with some very large squickiness).



Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:00 AM
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19: Arguments under your (3) are anything but extraneous. Without a moral framework there's no reason to hold (1).


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:11 AM
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An excess of arrangements like 18 were a principal cause of the decline of the Ming. Just saying.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:12 AM
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20: If your hypothesis is 3, then sure. If it starts with 1 then, nah.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:18 AM
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the problem with a confiscatory wealth tax is that if I have $51 billion and the government takes $50 billion, we know in advance it's going to spend most of that on a couple of F-35s

But this is simply nonsense. It's nonsense about the US and it's even more nonsense about other countries. Do you honestly believe that defence spending makes up more than 50% of the government budget in any country outside North Korea? The US, like the UK and all advanced countries, spends most of its government budget on health and welfare. (Medicare, Social Security and so on.)

Failing to understand this, and imagining that the military budget is some sort of bottomless pit of pointless spending that can be raided without consequence, is the left-wing equivalent of conservatives thinking that 25% of the budget goes on foreign aid and most of the rest goes on waste, fraud and inefficiency. There's really no excuse for it at all.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:20 AM
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20 was sloppy. Second take:
Arguments under your (3) are anything but extraneous. Without a moral framework there's no reason to hold (1.b), nor any reason to care about the suffering in (1.a); further, holding that money can alleviate said suffering entails holding a theory of value.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:22 AM
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If I have $51 billion and personally spend that on my own private air force and comprehensive security team, won't that alleviate my concerns about being a victim of a popular uprising? Game, set, match, socialists.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:23 AM
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The biggest single shift in UK government spending in my lifetime, for example, is that we decided over the course of the late 1980s and 1990s that we should take roughly half the military budget and spend it on universities. It's invisible because it suited no one to talk about it at the time and it suits no one to talk about it now.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:23 AM
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20. Pragmatism? Self-interest (enlightened or otherwise)?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:23 AM
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25: lots of other very rich people have thought to themselves, mere seconds before their lives changed radically, "I'm safe. I've got a highly paid and therefore loyal personal security team."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:25 AM
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24 to 22.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:25 AM
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24: Ok.

I was purposefully removing moral framework to dig into the policy proposal, but certainly a moral framework would needed to get to 1.

Which moral framework would lead you there? Which is better? Which is right? Are any right? We can all agree some are wrong!

3 is not a great starting point for determining policy (excluding the obvious extremes that we all can agree are abhorrent). Much better for appealing to voters though.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:29 AM
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20: 3 is the only starting point for determining policy (not the details, but the goals), for the reasons in 20 and 24.
(TBC, I'm referring only to Montissimoo's gloss, haven't read OP link. Based on excerpts though it contains a lot of handwaving in which are embedded moral premises.)


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:33 AM
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31 to 30.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:34 AM
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31: The goal seemed to me to be clearly stated in my original hypothesis and I noted that the method is separate (and squicky).

Are we talking about different goals?


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:40 AM
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28: That's why I'm spending some of my $51 billion on automating personal security, and also on work to prevent AI from taking over the world. When you add it all up, I'll have very little to spend on things like schools and roads and making health care affordable, and besides there's such a strong public interest in preventing my future robot army from destroying the country I really should be getting public funding for my R&D, which of course should be self-regulated because we all know what happens when the government gets involved.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:42 AM
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35

21: For any sufficiently advanced economic policy, there is a Chinese dynasty that was destroyed by it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:44 AM
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OT, well, hopefully, but "The 2020 Commission Report" by Jeffrey Lewis is excellent. I read it on holiday and so should all of you.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:45 AM
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I'm including "pharmaceutical firms really want to get you hooked on opiates" and "surely these foreign mercenaries are trustworthy" and "a little systemic corruption never hurt anyone" as economic policies.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:46 AM
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if I have $51 billion and the government takes $50 billion, we know in advance it's going to spend most of that on a couple of F-35s, whereas I could set up a trust to eradicate Schistosomiasis

I think while there is uncertainty as to where the money ultimately goes on both sides, (1) in theory, there is an inherent advantage to it being subject to the public trust and a semi-democratic process, and (2) in practice, it's more likely to go to good uses than in private hands.

Also even when it goes to good private charities, that entrenches the noblesse-oblige pseudo-morality of the current wealth structure. Which is better than houses, planes, hookers, and blow, I suppose, but still not a good model and worth moving away from even in short steps.

(Nitpicking, even though the F-35 program as a whole is ridiculously expensive, the highest per-plane estimates I've seen are $122m in low-rate initial production. And they won't up its budget or other wastes like it just because the Bezos check cleared - new revenue supports the whole budget, so you need to look at percentages.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:47 AM
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39

||

I'm in a six hour training session with Kenny from 30 Rock.

|>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:52 AM
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40

Also even when it goes to good private charities, that entrenches the noblesse-oblige pseudo-morality of the current wealth structure.

It's interesting to consider how the government compares to the average charity in charitable-efficiency terms (percentage of money actually going to "good causes" however we define those rather than to administration, fundraising etc).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:54 AM
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That's why I'm spending some of my $51 billion on automating personal security,

Don't get me started on how many very rich people have thought to themselves, mere seconds before things changed radically, "I'm safe; my life is in the hands of a highly sophisticated and complex automatic system".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:56 AM
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3 is not a great starting point for determining policy (excluding the obvious extremes that we all can agree are abhorrent). Much better for appealing to voters though.

Donald Trump's political career (and the careers of many like him) would seem to argue otherwise. Morality doesn't mean much to voters, but once you come unmoored from decency, you end up in a bad place as a practical policy matter.

But maybe Trump, McConnell, Ryan, Bush II, Cheney, Gingrich, Hastert Boehner et all fit in your category of "obvious extremes."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 8:57 AM
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It's interesting to consider how the government compares to the average charity in charitable-efficiency terms (percentage of money actually going to "good causes" however we define those rather than to administration, fundraising etc).

Yeah - it's an interesting question because you have many that are probably much better than governments, including some big ones, but then plenty more that are the equivalent of lighting the money on fire.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:03 AM
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We're focusing more on the transitionary phase where money is taken from very rich people, then the steady state future where there are no very rich people. Confiscatory taxes doesn't just affect Bill Gates, it affects the person who wants to be the next Bill Gates. The process of becoming Bill Gates (or Andrew Carnegie, or...) probably has more negative effects than his late-in-life philanthropy has positive.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:04 AM
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45

I think I conjured up that image in 43 because I was, prior to this thread, daydreaming about a PSA to donors to food-distributing charities that shows someone showing up, putting down five banknotes, and lighting four of them on fire, followed by voiceover: "You wouldn't do this - so why this?" and then show the person handing over a bunch of food bought at retail, to underscore how wasteful that is. Of course charities don't want to put out such a message on their own for fear of alienating donors, but it's nice to think about.

(The real light-on-fire offenders I was thinking about in 43 were f course the ones that turn over 90 cents on the dollar to phone fundraisers.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:07 AM
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33: (Reiterating, IDK what the OP author does.) The point is that the goal cannot be determined without moral presuppositions.
Your gloss
1.a: We can alleviate suffering through redistribution of wealth.
1.b: This is the overriding consideration against all others.
Implicitly,
1.c: We should redistribute wealth.
This I take to be the goal. But 1.c doesn't follow from 1.a and 1.b without a bunch of other premises:
(A) for 1.a:
Aa: Suffering is material, thus amenable to alleviation by wealth. (Theory of value.)
Ab: There is enough wealth to alleviate suffering, but it isn't distributed such as to do so. (Empirical.)
(B) for 1.b:
Ba: Suffering is bad. (Theory of value.)
Bb: Suffering is bad enough to outweigh other values. (Theory of value.)
Of those four suppressed premises, three are moral; note also that Ab presupposes Aa. Without the moral premises, you have no reasons to select your policy goal. This applies equally to all policy goals; without a theory of value, we have no reason to want anything.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:08 AM
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Yeah - it's an interesting question because you have many that are probably much better than governments, including some big ones, but then plenty more that are the equivalent of lighting the money on fire.

It would be hellishly difficult to do. I mean, do you count (in UK terms) the whole NHS budget as "good cause" spending? Because some of that is going on administration - the people who do the nurses' holiday requests, or order more syringes when the clinic runs out, or sort out cleaning contracts, or train ambulance drivers. It isn't all on buying medicines and medical equipment and paying patient-facing staff. But then would a charity that ran a hospital count all of the hospital's budget as "good cause"?

ISTR that famine-relief charities reckon they're doing well if 25% of the food they get into the country actually reaches hungry people. The rest is stolen or given away as bribes. That's far worse than the most inefficient of governments, and those bribes are going to far worse people.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:16 AM
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46: Ok. I mean I already agreed there needs to be a moral arguement in place to get to my first statement. I literally agreed in that post.

Gloss is a negative term I assume? I've been wrong before about terms here.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:16 AM
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Gloss, in that usage, is neutral.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:18 AM
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42: I think if the examples are Trump and the others you mentioned, whatever moral framework they worked under were terrible for setting policy. The problem is that moral framework.

I think that reinforces my point on the specifics of a wealth/estate distribtion discussed above as a policy, but maybe I misunderstand what you mean?


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:18 AM
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49: I was only familiar with the used term of gloss over, as in to treat with less care than needed.

Thanks!


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:21 AM
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Gloss, in that usage, is neutral.

I prefer "gloze" -
There is no bar
To make against your Highness' claim to France
But this, which they produce from Pharamond:
"In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant,"
"No woman shall succeed in Salique land;"
Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze
To be the realm of France, and Pharamond
The founder of this law and female bar.
Yet their own authors faithfully affirm
That the land Salique is in Germany..
[several hundred lines of hilarious gibberish]
So that, as clear as is the summer's sun
King Pepin's title and Hugh Capet's claim,
King Lewis his satisfaction, all appear
To hold in right and title of the female.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:24 AM
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48: Your 30.3 ("3 [moral argument] is not a great starting point for determining policy") appears to contradict 30.1 and 48.1 ("I already agreed there needs to be a moral arguement in place to get to my first statement").
48.2: It isn't a negative term. It's a restatement or interpretation of another's words. I'm talking about your interpretation of OP link, not the link itself, hence gloss. (Pwned on preview.)


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:25 AM
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53: I guess we are talking past each other now. Was interesting to explore with you!


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:34 AM
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47.1: If one analyzes it simply as cost per given outcome (heart surgery, literacy at age 6, whatever) it's difficult, but I think doable.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 9:43 AM
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47: I really like this: ISTR that famine-relief charities reckon they're doing well if 25% of the food they get into the country actually reaches hungry people. The rest is stolen or given away as bribes. That's far worse than the most inefficient of governments, and those bribes are going to far worse people.

I have no idea how to contrast against a US/UK/top 1st world government tax on wealth (estate/other) but are there stats on what amount of aid to famine-adjacent/acute governments actually goes to hungry people? I googled, but came up empty.

What is the bar (and results/applications) we should set to compare. It's kind of similar to investment funds compared to an index in methodology.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 10:23 AM
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Try "mouse orgasms."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 10:39 AM
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As a hobby or a search term.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 10:50 AM
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I got nothing, except some sweet onsies ads on my browser. Who knew there was a sexy mouse halloween costume?


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 11:24 AM
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50: For any x, there is a sexy x Halloween costume.

What is x divided by 0?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 11:29 AM
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60: For 50 please substitute 59. Also replace x with WHY????


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 11:30 AM
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34 should be acknowledged for its verisimilitude and it's charming and horrifying logic.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 12:10 PM
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For any of you, perplexed by the moral questions posed by 46, etc I recommend this

https://www.amazon.com/Suffering-Moral-Responsibility-Oxford-Ethics/dp/0195154959/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1534271722&sr=1-1&keywords=suffering+and+moral+responsibility#reader_0195154959


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 12:11 PM
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63 is obviously me, as I'm the only one here.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 12:16 PM
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I'm here too, peep, but pretty tired after all the driving and socialisting I did this weekend. There was a really sad/awesome socialist prom-type party in the middle of the conference and the highlight was definitely the djs following Billy Bragg's "Internationale" with "Bitch Better Have My Money."


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 12:58 PM
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65: Hi Thorn! That sounds cool! Where was it?

All power to all the people!

(guess what movie I saw last night?)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 1:22 PM
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Tremors?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 1:40 PM
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65: "Pay me what you owe me" is labor solidarity. Good conference overall?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 1:44 PM
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68: I think David Graeber would disagree.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 1:47 PM
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68 "Pay Me My Money Down"


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 1:52 PM
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61: Well obviously, because in -Python, Why = Mouse Poop.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 2:11 PM
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The conventional distinction is that wealth is a stock and income is a flow. There is a folk belief that the rich have just piles of "wealth" that can we can just spend, but the process of redistribution is more indirect. Most wealth is in the form of ownership of companies. We can take the shares and sell them, but somebody has to buy them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 2:15 PM
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We? Expropriate him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 2:21 PM
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I'm fine with the rich paying their taxes in equity, assuming it can be fairly priced and it gives voting rights.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 2:26 PM
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74: They do already. Any cash paid (or avoided) for taxes comes through providing cash to the IRS/relevant tax entity from income/selling equity/shares/ownership of a good/company/currency. Cutting out the middle step of selling or transacting to provide cash doesn't change anything.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 2:40 PM
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74: I'm assuming 72 meant 'stock' in the accounting definition sense.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 2:43 PM
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68: Yeah, your folks did a really good job. And I got to push my radical agendas successfully.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 3:11 PM
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75: I was riffing on 72, assuming a world where there might not be enough liquidity for the rich people to liquidate to pay their confiscatory taxes because they're all trying to do it. (I'm pretty sure I'm saying it some ignorant things there, and not really considering second order effects well, but don't really care due to being tired and doing dinner prep.)

77: they're really impressive. If anything, I'm embarrassed to be associated with them due to my comparative low energy and generally not being much of a socialist in practice. Happy to give them money, though--I should probably see about rejiggering it so I give less to National and more to local. Glad your agenda did wel.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 3:31 PM
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78.last: My agenda included just such a suggestion! (Others had it too; I just voiced it first. The best turned it to "all power to the locals!")


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 3:39 PM
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78: What you said is fine, certainly not ignorant, and your point is not in the mechanism (price of equity, in whatever form, which would simply move), and I kinda picked on that.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 3:59 PM
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I'm surprised nobody's brought up Piketty. His work seems to clearly answer the question of why wealth accumulation by the rich is bad: once it starts, it grows and grows, and crowds out asset-ownership by the rest of society. But some measure of wealth is necessary: both for intergenerational transfer of class (e.g. my parents funding my college education, someone's parents helping their kid who got into some money trouble, grandparents helping their grandkids when their children "didn't amount to much") and for cushioning the asset-owners' lives (retirement, temporary unemployment, illness, etc).

Excessive accumulation by the rich makes all these socially-valuable uses of wealth less achievable, b/c wealth grows of its own accord unless it's stopped by the state (or war/catastrophe).


Posted by: Chet Murthy | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 4:28 PM
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I didn't bring it up because I thought we were all working within the bounds of the problem as he described--wealth taxes being the solution to inequality increasing over the generations (and the obvious and less obvious problems that entails) is pure Piketty, and his book was an Unfogged book club choice back when it came out.

Those are all good points. I'd also recommend the book by his student, Gabriel Zucman, about how we can't hope to implement Pikettismo until we solve tax havens, and how we might go about that. (It's really short, but expensive for its length; if it's eligible for kindle loaning I'm happy to loan it if anyone's interested.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 4:56 PM
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While we are mentioning new books, authors, and recent book club mentions, I'd throw this Tooze one out there (interview podcast in the link).

https://www.barrons.com/articles/how-the-u-s-saved-the-world-from-financial-ruin-1533328064


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 5:11 PM
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82: Mossy disagrees, to my discontent.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 5:12 PM
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84: Not to put words in his mouth, but I think Mossy at least (assuming he is not Baron Mosley "Mossy" Character of Chumbleydon-super-Mare in Northamptonshire) agrees that income inequality is bad:

...I care if you establish a foundation dedicated to, say, the destruction of the modern state and the institution of hereditary plutocracy.

...but he has concerns with the form of the argument.

I checked and the Zucman book is available for loan if anyone wants it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 5:39 PM
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85: and by ref 82: Mossy disagrees on topic of 82. I agree on topic of 82. Had a good discussion, and no worries. Discontent sure.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 5:45 PM
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I'm not getting into this this. Suffice to say, 84/86 are wrong, 31 is my final statement.
The Zucman book is interesting, but too angry for its own good. I'm reading the Tooze now.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 5:59 PM
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Fair enough. I didn't think it was a very angry book, but maybe the translation muted some of the righteous gallic fury. It's less dry than Piketty, not that that's saying much.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:37 PM
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Tooze is interesting in that I cannot ever pin him down on a needy political angle, which is rare these days.


Posted by: montisimoo | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 6:58 PM
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It's really a testament to the pervasiveness of economics as propaganda that one must justify why giving control of society to a handful of heirs and sociopaths is a bad idea.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-18 10:38 PM
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Locke got off easy.


Posted by: Discredited Robert Filmer | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 12:09 AM
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https://podtail.com/sv/podcast/politics-theory-other/-20-adam-tooze-on-crashed-how-a-decade-of-financia/ is a slightly better interview with Tooze, IMO.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 4:54 AM
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A wealth tax is a no-brainer. Property is a government service. It requires a police force, an army, courts, laws, accountants and a host of others. They all have to be equipped and paid. The more you own, the more you have to protect, so the more government services you use.

(I suppose we could limit government services to protecting one's first $1,000,000 or so ,and let wealthy people take their chances. That is, if someone did steal all but $1,000,000 of their goods and chattels, the government would stay out of it unless they tried to steal it back.)


Posted by: Kaleberg | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:11 AM
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Property is a government service.
This is excellently put.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:18 AM
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Probably the wrong thread, but anyway: I'm supposed to go on a work retreat. Among more work-things, I'm supposed to pick a spa treatment. Should I go for massage, manicure, or pedicure? Or just skip it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:18 AM
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95: You only get one? Inhumane! Demand at least two!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:23 AM
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I think I could just pay for another one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:25 AM
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97: What??? Unionize!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:30 AM
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Massage. For both a manicure and a pedicure, the process isn't particularly pleasant (not unpleasant, but just not actively enjoyable), the benefit is that your hands or feet look better. If you haven't cared about it up till now, you won't enjoy it. Massages, on the other hand, are awesome.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:32 AM
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Speaking of Tooze, Brad Delong has been linking to lectures from his course "War in Germany: 1618-2018", which are pretty interesting if you're into that sort of thing.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:52 AM
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The pedicure is supposed to do more than make my feet look better. It's supposed to soothe tired, achy feet. Which is the kind of feet I have.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:54 AM
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Also, I'm wondering how awkward it might be to hang around a spa that might also be where 🐄orkers I just met are.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 8:02 AM
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The new book, to this point, is somewhat in need of an editor.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 8:07 AM
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You're really supposed to have one of those before you publish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 8:08 AM
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That's the whole point, it's a bonding experience. Anyone you run into will also, in theory, be blissed out and sipping ice water with little slices of cucumber floating in it as you listen to New Age music, and you'll have a positive experience to have shared before you start annoying the crap out of each other.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 8:10 AM
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It's massage, not an enema.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 8:19 AM
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Best way to bond with coworkers is a coffee enema, I always say.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 8:31 AM
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To bond with yourself, a glue enema.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 8:38 AM
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I highly recommend going with the water-soluble glue for that one.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 8:39 AM
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If you're going to give up that easily, why bother eating?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 8:43 AM
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108, 109: My recommendation in this case is a simple no. Nancy Reagan's advice wasn't always bad.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 8:44 AM
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it's a bonding experience. Anyone you run into will also, in theory, be blissed out and sipping ice water with little slices of cucumber floating in it as you listen to New Age music, and you'll have a positive experience to have shared

To be honest, I think experience shows that sharing a highly negative and stressful experience is a far better way to bond with others than sharing a positive and chilled-out one. You're far more likely to form lifelong friendships with people you were at Pirbright with (or Parris Island, mutatis mutandis) than the people you were at Glastonbury (or Burning Man) with.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:02 AM
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So you're saying enema.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:12 AM
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All you need to do is to cultivate enough tension and insecurity that the spa experience is nerve-wrackingly unpleasant. Bingo, the person in the fluffy bathrobe next to you is your foxhole buddy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:16 AM
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So you're saying enema.

Nothing binds people together like having a common enema.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:20 AM
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It beats learning golf.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:20 AM
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. It requires a police force, an army, ...

This perspective seemed normal to me until I visited Texas. Now I understand a little why so many people there like the idea of self-sufficiency in a way that seems crazy in cities.

Also, there are lots of places where the "courts, laws, and accountants" parts of government for land ownership do not work well at all. Free market types (well, Hernando de Soto) argue that these failures hurt the poor pretty badly.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:20 AM
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You don't have to be a free market type to realise that badly functioning courts, laws and accountants (and for that matter land registries) tend to hurt the poor pretty badly.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:24 AM
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There's also the empirical fact that a lot of property is held in tax havens with relatively weak government.
Doesn't help with the social problems most of us would like to see improved, but it's a limiting example for the scope of the claim that property rights require good government.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:26 AM
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119: Switzerland, Singapore, Luxembourg, notorious dens of swirling anarchy...


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:28 AM
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107, 116: https://goop.com/wellness/detox/you-probably-have-a-parasite-heres-what-to-do-about-it/


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:29 AM
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I can't read Goop because I don't even have a vagina to steam.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:37 AM
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Borrow one at the retreat?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:41 AM
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Hey, you got your steamer in my vagina! Hey, you got your vagina in my steamer! Wait a minute...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:42 AM
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120. Caymans, Seychelles, Cyprus(well, until recently-- how much can residents there withdraw per week from an ATM?), offices of Mossack and Fonseca.
I thought Switzerland had seen some net outflows, at least UBS and HSBC there. I could be wrong about that, not sure if there's authoritative public information.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:43 AM
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net outflows

Neb's real name.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:44 AM
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inflow/0 = outflow/0 in the complex plane, so there's no way to tell which name is real.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:47 AM
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"There's also the empirical fact that a lot of property is held in tax havens with relatively weak government."

As Mossy says: no it isn't. Very few tax havens have a weak government.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:51 AM
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The Cayman Islands etc may have uncooperative governments but that's not the same as being weak.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:53 AM
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125: Per the Zucman Switzerland remains central, though not in the same way as before. The case you listaren't especially strongly governed, but the services they provide to the rich are still government services. Your Panamanian shell company is worthless without a Panamanian company register and, more important, recognition of that register by the other states on whose territory the actual assets ultimately sit, under state protection.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:55 AM
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For a tax haven you want a strong government. For an actual haven, where you can flee to escape justice for your crimes, you want a weak government. Come on, all rich people know ths.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 10:04 AM
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CORRECT.


Posted by: BIN LADEN | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 10:07 AM
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ADMITTEDLY, STRONGER AIR-DEFENSE RADAR WOULD HAVE BEEN GOOD.


Posted by: BIN LADEN | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 10:08 AM
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Because of consulting and all that, I'm not going to manage to have a clean break in my life between my past job and selling out, but today marks the main shift. I log out, drop my key, close the door behind me. Then I am no long affiliated with any university except in the kind of way where they ask me for money every year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 2:04 PM
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Congrats, Moby.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 2:08 PM
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Congratulations!


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 2:08 PM
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Thanks, but I'm trying to be mawkish here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 2:18 PM
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137: It's ok to weep, Moby. Play "End of the Innocence" by Don Henley as you walk out the door.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 2:26 PM
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I don't know how to make my phone play music.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 2:36 PM
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Some fucking blue guy kicked me off my gym, so I end as I started, with no Pokemon on a gym.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 3:08 PM
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Is it a consensus here that economics is commonly propaganda for the rich?


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 3:13 PM
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Congratulations, Moby. You're living my dream. (Are you team red?)


Posted by: Blank Stare | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 3:32 PM
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Like all good people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 3:43 PM
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Sellout.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 4:16 PM
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122: How about a Regina?
https://youtu.be/Dyzd1eTaR5w


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 4:37 PM
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143 to 144.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 5:17 PM
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This probably isn't an original observation, but Inspector Barnaby really sucks at his job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 5:49 PM
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But now he's about to get himself murdered by a teenager.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 5:56 PM
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This is a creepy episode.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 6:18 PM
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As I prefer to benefit unfairly from the hard work of others, I'm team blue.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 6:37 PM
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Yes. You guys have all the gyms.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 6:39 PM
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It's annoying. If I come across a red or yellow (those guys really have it hard) gym, I can take it over. If I come across a partially full blue gym, I can hop in on it. But a full blue gym is almost worthless, beyond getting a bit of extra stardust and getting my extra items for my high-level gyms. And that reduces potential earnings. Then again, the upside is that blue gyms probably have more people healing them and fewer people attacking them, so once you get in one you probably last longer.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 6:55 PM
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I got knocked off like four gyms today.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 6:57 PM
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That usually happens to me, too, unless I go to the isolated gyms in the park. Whether I make my full 50 coins is a crapshoot, and I haven't gone gold in any gym yet.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:02 PM
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Congrats Moby!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:04 PM
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It's not actually that hard to get on that many gyms, but thanks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:07 PM
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Congrats Moby!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:10 PM
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Anyway, for the next two hours, please stay away from the synagogue on Forbes closest to Oakland.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:11 PM
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My word is my bond, any turf west of the pharmacy is safe from me.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 7:16 PM
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The Hick-Riata Pact of 2018 will live in infamy.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-18 9:23 PM
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Somebody kicked me off at 1 am, when I only had 40 coins. Who stands outside a synagogue at that time?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 5:01 AM
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||

I'm not going to have a chance to be on my computer until this afternoon, unfortunately. I might try to post from my phone if I get a chance.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 6:50 AM
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161: The question answers itself.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 6:51 AM
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163: Other than Moby Hick? Elijah?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 6:53 AM
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Such a shame there's only the one FPP.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 6:55 AM
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164: The guy who keeps stealing my extra wine?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 7:06 AM
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I thought he made more?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 7:13 AM
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I thought Elijah would be the one person who wouldn't have to stand.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 7:16 AM
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||

NMM to Aretha Franklin.

|>


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 7:33 AM
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Damn


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 7:44 AM
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I got to see her live in Baltimore back in the 90s.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 7:48 AM
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Double damn


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 7:51 AM
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Is it a consensus here that economics is commonly propaganda for the rich?
Even among well-intentioned economists there's a strong, unscientific bias towards markets as the best way to organize social interactions. When their logic leads to constructs like Negishi weights and they don't turn away in horror it's hard not to see this as a bias towards having everyone work to satisfy the whims of the rich.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 8:13 AM
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Economists do have a tendency to overrate markets (there is a tendency to think that markets just happen, rather than being the result of a social process), but many people have a strong bias the other way. Our ancestors lived like shit. Life on Earth was complete garbage for almost everybody. Now a significant fraction of the population lives much better than any time in history, and it's not because of poetry, or philosophy, or religion. It partly is because of markets, and there is a lot of denial about this point among non-economists.

Negishi weights can be anything. You can achieve any set of Negishi weights through taxation. Economists are biased towards thinking that the solution is always redistributive taxation plus markets, not markets alone. (Republican economists are against redistribution, but that's because they're Republicans not because they're economists.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 8:53 AM
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141
Is it a consensus here that economics is commonly propaganda for the rich?

Economics in general, maybe not. I wouldn't know. Economics as practiced for the past 30 years or so in the mainstream of the Anglosphere, that sounds accurate to me.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 8:55 AM
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Like, you think the way to get published in top journals and get a job in a top department is to write propaganda for the rich?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 10:49 AM
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||

This headline from this week's Science magazine is great:

"New case of alleged bullying rocks the Max Planck Society:

Colleagues say empathy researcher Tania Singer created an
atmosphere of fear at her lab"

|>


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 11:04 AM
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Won't somebody think of the upper middle class?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 11:14 AM
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177: People without empathy probably aren't as good at fucking with peoples' minds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 11:24 AM
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In 2013, she started an ambitious study, The ReSource Project, in which 160 participants were trained for 9 months to demonstrate that meditation can make people more kind and caring.

Almost every current or former lab member brought up Singer's treatment of pregnant women. "People were terrified. They were really, really afraid of telling her about their pregnancies," one former colleague says. Bethany Kok, a former lab member, says Singer reacted kindly when she first told her she was pregnant with twins. But the next day, Kok says, "She started screaming at me how she wasn't running a charity, how I was a slacker and that I was going to work twice as hard for the time I would be gone." A few weeks later, Kok says, she miscarried one of the twins and missed a lab meeting for an urgent medical appointment; she says Singer reproached her in an email


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 11:29 AM
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180: Maybe Singer was in the control group.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 11:32 AM
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Everyone talks about how horrible babies are, but nobody tries to do anything about them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 11:40 AM
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|| I'm not sure if it belongs here or in the Heist thread, but dsquared's book is very fun. |>


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 12:33 PM
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177, 179: Knowing your enemy is a legitimate motivation for research.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-16-18 11:43 PM
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179 is a great and rather menacing remark.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 12:53 AM
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It's why Bush sent actual psychologists to work at Guantanamo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 3:43 AM
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And why the War on Terror was won so quickly and efficiently.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 4:16 AM
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In my experience the most tyrannical bosses (in science) are the ones with inspirational and idealistic quotes plastered around the labs. Looks like making empathy the focus of the research itself is even more of a warning sign.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 6:44 AM
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188: And, the old professor with the "Age and treachery will always triumph over youth and talent" sign turned out to be a sweetheart.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 6:53 AM
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It's why Jimmy John's is the most dystopian of sandwich chains. Where all the motivational quotes on the walls are libertarian-bootstraps nonsense.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 6:53 AM
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Call center hell loved the shit out of inspirational quotes.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 6:55 AM
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Vaguely related because heard about it through a podcast: the 1940 deception plan Operation CAMILLA, which was a complete success and as a result a disastrous failure. The British, planning to attack the Italians in East Africa, had decided to strike at Eritrea, rather than Somaliland. So, in order to deceive the Italians, they mounted a very elaborate deception campaign - deliberately indiscreet telegrams, fake radio signals, fake troop movements etc - to make the Italians think the British were going into Somaliland. Then the British would go into Eritrea, which at least wouldn't be expecting them and ideally would have been weakened because the Italians might have moved troops out of Eritrea to reinforce Somaliland against the attack they expected it.

It worked perfectly; the Italians became completely convinced that the British were about to invade Somaliland, and hastily moved all their troops out of Somaliland (because hanging around there sounded really dangerous! it was about to get invaded!) and into a place of safety. Specifically, Eritrea.

There is probably a moral to that story.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 7:06 AM
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Join the Italian Army?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 7:10 AM
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Germans and British think more alike than either thinks like Italians, regardless of who is Allied at the time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 7:27 AM
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When it comes down to it, genetically speaking, the English are just failed Germans mixed with successful Vikings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 7:29 AM
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192 is possibly the greatest story ever told. Yes, better than the Gospel.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 7:44 AM
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The moral that the officer in charge drew from it is that the point of deception is not to make the other person believe what you want; it is to make the other person do what you want.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 7:52 AM
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Though to be fair I also wouldn't be super enthusiastic about getting killed defending Somaliland.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 7:55 AM
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Honestly, putting a whole army that doesn't want to fight right where you are attacking seems like not a bad outcome.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 7:56 AM
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the English are just failed Germans mixed with successful Vikings.

I question the assumption that a German who makes it to Britain has failed in life, but a Norwegian who makes it to Britain has succeeded. Other way round, I'd say.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 8:20 AM
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192 Which podcast was that?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 8:22 AM
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200: It depends on whether or not they were kicked out by the other occupants of where they started.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-18 8:25 AM
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