Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wealth

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CorruptUser
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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:57 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:In either case, it's a sad statement of the fact that being wealthy has very little to do with hard work or merit and everything to do with how wealthy your parents are.


Umm... Most billionaires made their own money. Sure, starting off well off helps a lot, but that alone isn't enough. Unless you want to claim that Elon Musk or Steve Wosniak got billions just for existing?



As for restricting breeding rights of the poor, that is a VERY sensitive topic that would likely have justified invocations of Godwin's Law. Personally, I'm of the belief that you should have 'no more kids than you are both willing and capable of raising'. It becomes an issue when you get fundies like the FLDS who actually intend to have as many kids as possible and intentionally milk the welfare system to 'starve the beast'.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby leady » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:09 pm UTC

I was stirring a little, but simple maths will prevail that if poor people are outbreeding the wealthy (significantly) and that wealth is somewhat corelated to child success then you get the diffusal of the small wealth of the poor and the concentration of the wealth of the rich. Couple that will the mass immigration of people that are also destined to be poor and well practically any intention to address wealth (not income) inequality is doomed in the modern western world.

But then I don't really have any problem with wealth inequality, it doesn't affect me. I suspect people read stats like this main one and picture people with piles of cash rather than the reality of non-fungible assets that are very difficult to sell without crashing the assets price.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Dauric » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:40 pm UTC

leady wrote:But then I don't really have any problem with wealth inequality, it doesn't affect me. I suspect people read stats like this main one and picture people with piles of cash rather than the reality of non-fungible assets that are very difficult to sell without crashing the assets price.


Even so, the concentration of those assets in a tenth of a percent of the population is worth noting. They're things like company ownership and company assets which a high concentration of ownership in relatively few individuals would indicate a market with little practical competition between players, as well as an enormously high bar to get over to enter the market and become competitive.
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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:45 pm UTC

Leady. How much do you make? How do you feel about your tax bite?

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:11 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:In either case, it's a sad statement of the fact that being wealthy has very little to do with hard work or merit and everything to do with how wealthy your parents are.


Umm... Most billionaires made their own money. Sure, starting off well off helps a lot, but that alone isn't enough. Unless you want to claim that Elon Musk or Steve Wosniak got billions just for existing?


Elon Musk was definitely born into the 1%, if not the 0.1%. His father is an engineer; his mother is a dietation, model, and entrepreneur. He went to one of the top private high schools in the world, the annual tuition of which is three times the median annual income in his home country of South Africa (in an American context, that would be as if we went to a school that charged 100k per year in tuition). He wasn't a billionaire, but this definitely isn't a rags-to-riches story. It's a riches-to-more riches story. The odds of someone in his situation ending up in the bottom quintile of income or wealth is tiny. I'm not exactly sure why you think this example disproves my point.

I can't find enough information about Steve Wosniak's parents to say much about his situation, beyond that apparently his father was also an engineer with enough disposable income to have an electronics shop in his home.

Anyway, why point to these guys? How about Brett Icahn, who was given three hundred million dollars in start-up money from his father, and later topped up with a further 3 billion? The guy is now worth almost twice as much as Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak combined.

[edit]Of the top 15 richest Americans, by the way, 7 of them inherited a substantial portion of their wealth.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:40 pm UTC

Social mobility does not mean that someone's destination is independent of their origin. Social mobility means that people can move both up and down. Perhaps you'd like the story of Bernard Kerik, the son of a drug addicted prostitute who became one of the most powerful people in the US, or perhaps you'd like the story of Bernard Kerik, one of the most powerful people in the country who screwed up so royally he went to the bottom?

Yes yes, we should work to provide basic education and welfare to everyone so that if the next Elon Musk was born to a drug addicted sex worker he'd still have a chance of becoming an inventor, but the reality is if he was just the average shlub given his opportunity he wouldn't have done nearly as well as he has. Is there something difficult to understand about this?

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:03 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Social mobility does not mean that someone's destination is independent of their origin. Social mobility means that people can move both up and down. Perhaps you'd like the story of Bernard Kerik, the son of a drug addicted whore who became one of the most powerful people in the US, or perhaps you'd like the story of Bernard Kerik, one of the most powerful people in the country who screwed up so royally he went to the bottom?

Yes yes, we should work to provide basic education and welfare to everyone so that if the next Elon Musk was born to a crack whore he'd still have a chance of becoming an inventor, but the reality is if he was just the average shrub given his opportunity he wouldn't have done nearly as well as he has. Is there something difficult to understand about this?


I'm not saying that hard work and intelligence don't matter. It's certainly a contributing factor. But for every person like him, how many people are there who work just as hard and never do anything of significance, and don't become billionaires? He's an extreme outlier. Usually, when you want to talk about these things, you want to look at these things called "statistics" because they give you a much better indication of what is likely to happen, rather than just picking a single example. The reality is, parental income is a strong predictor of the child's income. It is also a strong predictor of the child's educational achievement (which is, of course, related to income). If you are born into the top 20%, or the top 1%, then the odds are significantly stacked in your favour of staying in the top 20% or the top 1%. Is there something difficult to understand about this?

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:08 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:In either case, it's a sad statement of the fact that being wealthy has very little to do with hard work or merit and everything to do with how wealthy your parents are.


There is a significant correlation between parents being rich and kids being rich as well. It's roughly as strong as the correlation between educational attainment and wealth.

I dare say the latter involves a degree of hard work and merit, and therefore, your representation of "very little" and "everything" is pretty clearly hyperbole.

Mutex wrote:I like the implication that only "lefties" would have a problem with restricting people's right to breed.


That is a strange one. I don't consider myself particularly leftist, but I believe it is impossible to make a system that restricts breeding without creating a horrific violation of rights of all sorts. Using it as a solution is much akin to pointing out that mass executions of poor people will solve inequality. Technically true, perhaps, but utterly devoid of a realistic perception of problems. Inequality has certain traits associated with it, true, but...it is not the absolute worst thing out there. You cannot simply ignore costs in attempting to fix it.

Dauric wrote:You also have to have jobs where those houses are. It doesn't do any good to have cheap, empty houses somewhere with few openings for livable employment.


Plus, crime rates, terrible police protection, utility problems...I would much rather have a house in the middle of nowhere than in the middle of Detroit. There isn't a US-wide shortage of homes. There is a shortage of homes in many subsets of the US. Particularly in affordable ranges.

Looking at the US as a whole often gives a skewed perception. The US is frigging huge. Comparing it's house to person ratio, and then comparing that to a vastly smaller country is going to obscure important information. In this case, that some areas and markets have a shortage, while other areas and markets have a surplus.

Diadem wrote:I don't understand how even the bottom 50% has positive wealth.


Many simply do not. This is not limited to the bottom 50% by income, either. Trump was brought up earlier as an excellent example. Dude has had access to piles of money over his life. He has not, however, been very successful at building wealth. Bankruptcy and debt are problems for him. He has had money, but he doesn't seem particularly good at managing it(quite the reverse). Negative wealth is quite possible, and not really that uncommon.

If memory serves, the savings rate for the early-20s folks now is something like -2%. That's...not a good sign for them building wealth via savings.

sardia wrote:Tyndmyr, why would moving towards a more ideal monetary policy have to deal with inequality? It seems odd to argue despite x affect on inflation (deflation) and growth rate of gdp. It's more akin to a strawman or distraction from the issue. Why would lower asset prices help against inequality more than the deflation and recession hurt? it was a half assed answer from orm and leady and they should be called out on it.


Which one hurts more is a math question(and different measurements, assumptions can significantly change the answer). However, pricing spikes have historically hurt the poor more on many goods...typically anything that is largely consumed by them. Food, housing, gasoline...these may alter somewhat based on income, but there is a practical limit to how much food one can eat, or how much one can drive. Therefore, we can expect these items to take up a larger share of income among poorer families, and price changes to hurt them more. Surely, this is of great relevance to equality.

CorruptUser wrote:No I am saying that since Walmart is the one that ends up with the food stamp money, they are the real beneficiaries of the welfare system. If I have everyone $100 for rent, I'm really giving $100 to the landlords...


Or Walmart's suppliers are the real beneficiaries. Or the employees of those suppliers. Or the people who sell things to those employees.

There is no end.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:22 pm UTC

Monetary policy is a large sledgehammer used for large scale changes to the economy. While I understand that changing britains interest rate from zero to eight percent would definitely affect assets, why would you ever make inequality the basis of your monetary policy? Isn't that what fiscal policy is for? Well, I can think of one big one, it doesn't require political courage, unlike raising funds to fix problems.

Edit. Just a reminder. The housing shortages are in the uk Britain. Not the usa. Stop being so ethnocentric. All of you keep thinking me and orm were discussing American housing. Stop it.
Last edited by sardia on Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:25 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:25 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:In either case, it's a sad statement of the fact that being wealthy has very little to do with hard work or merit and everything to do with how wealthy your parents are.


There is a significant correlation between parents being rich and kids being rich as well. It's roughly as strong as the correlation between educational attainment and wealth.

I dare say the latter involves a degree of hard work and merit, and therefore, your representation of "very little" and "everything" is pretty clearly hyperbole.


There's a strong correlation between educational achievement and your parents being rich. Higher education does much less for social mobility than a lot of people make it out to be, because the people most likely to reap the benefits of advanced education are the children of the well-off. There are exceptions, of course, but this too, on balance, favours the wealthy. This problem is exacerbated by poor funding models for schools. Basing school funding on, as is common in the United States, local property taxes means that schools in rich neighbourhoods will receive far greater funding per student than those in poor neighbourhoods, to the tune of thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars per student per year.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Mokele » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:31 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Social mobility does not mean that someone's destination is independent of their origin. Social mobility means that people can move both up and down. Perhaps you'd like the story of Bernard Kerik, the son of a drug addicted whore who became one of the most powerful people in the US, or perhaps you'd like the story of Bernard Kerik, one of the most powerful people in the country who screwed up so royally he went to the bottom?

Yes yes, we should work to provide basic education and welfare to everyone so that if the next Elon Musk was born to a crack whore he'd still have a chance of becoming an inventor, but the reality is if he was just the average shrub given his opportunity he wouldn't have done nearly as well as he has. Is there something difficult to understand about this?


I'm not saying that hard work and intelligence don't matter. It's certainly a contributing factor. But for every person like him, how many people are there who work just as hard and never do anything of significance, and don't become billionaires? He's an extreme outlier. Usually, when you want to talk about these things, you want to look at these things called "statistics" because they give you a much better indication of what is likely to happen, rather than just picking a single example. The reality is, parental income is a strong predictor of the child's income. It is also a strong predictor of the child's educational achievement (which is, of course, related to income). If you are born into the top 20%, or the top 1%, then the odds are significantly stacked in your favour of staying in the top 20% or the top 1%. Is there something difficult to understand about this?


I would posit that anyone with name recognition is an outlier - such extreme amounts of wealth only come from exceptional and rare circumstances, making it hard to draw a meaningful conclusion (as opposed to dueling anecdotes). I think we'd be better served by comparing, say, the 1% minus the 0.1%, and possibly also the 10% minus the 1%. These are people who, in all likelyhood, still have "jobs" in the way most of us understand the term, and overall similarities.

The analogy that springs to mind is height. Tall people are, statistically, slightly healthier than short people, all else being equal. But exceptionally tall people tend to be the product of various hormonal issues and consequently have significant health problems.

How billionaires got their money is, I would argue, less informative about social mobility than, say, how many doctors came from wealthy vs. poor backgrounds. At the very least, sample size goes WAY up.
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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:39 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Monetary policy is a large sledgehammer used for large scale changes to the economy. While I understand that changing britains interest rate from zero to eight percent would definitely affect assets, why would you ever make inequality the basis of your monetary policy? Isn't that what fiscal policy is for? Well, I can think of one big one, it doesn't require political courage, unlike raising funds to fix problems.

Edit. Just a reminder. The housing shortages are in the uk Britain. Not the usa. Stop being so ethnocentric. All of you keep thinking me and orm were discussing American housing. Stop it.


Ah, the ever popular "imply your opposition doesn't have courage". Uh, none of us are politicians. No idea here is going to require that WE have political courage.

Housing shortages exist in some places in the US as well. Especially affordable housing. It's a topic that is generally applicable(much like inequality), not a concern specific to Britain.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby leady » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:43 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Leady. How much do you make? How do you feel about your tax bite?


enough and it hurts when I look at it. I'm also one of those people who essentially self limits because of it - screw losing shed loads of free time to get 50% of incremental earnings :)

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Ormurinn » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:54 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:I like the implication that only "lefties" would have a problem with restricting people's right to breed.


This sentiment always really troubles me. Creating a new life is a right? The future welfare of the children created isn't of any concern?

We used to have strict cultural restrictions on childbirth and childrearing. Sometimes they were even codified by the state. Now having a kid is a "right." Cant interfere with muh bodily autonomy, and who gives a shit about the long term incentives created.

Tyndmyr wrote:
sardia wrote:Monetary policy is a large sledgehammer used for large scale changes to the economy. While I understand that changing britains interest rate from zero to eight percent would definitely affect assets, why would you ever make inequality the basis of your monetary policy? Isn't that what fiscal policy is for? Well, I can think of one big one, it doesn't require political courage, unlike raising funds to fix problems.

Edit. Just a reminder. The housing shortages are in the uk Britain. Not the usa. Stop being so ethnocentric. All of you keep thinking me and orm were discussing American housing. Stop it.


Ah, the ever popular "imply your opposition doesn't have courage". Uh, none of us are politicians. No idea here is going to require that WE have political courage.

Housing shortages exist in some places in the US as well. Especially affordable housing. It's a topic that is generally applicable(much like inequality), not a concern specific to Britain.



Because raising the interest rate would have so many additional bebneficial effects. We'd be incentivizing saving again, for instance.

Pretty much all the problems in our current economy are down to using the easy option of expanding cheap credit to paper over an inefficient, decrepit, low-efficiency, red-tape-bound economy. Burn it all down.

Theres no housing shortage in Britain. It's just all been bought as an investment. Huge high-rises in London just sit empty to accrue the gains of asset appreciation because neither government will ever let house prices crash.
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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:00 pm UTC

Personally I'm more of the opinion that, while taxes hurt my income, I probably get so much more than I pay in, indirectly. Sure, I'd rather pay (numbers made up) 0% on 60k than 30% on 60k, but I'd rather pay 30% on 60k than 0% on 20k. People look at taxes and it's AMAGAD GUBMENT STEELIN MA MONEE. They never seem to notice how much of that money can from government in the first place. All the revenue that Walmart makes, how much of it was from foodstamps? How much of your revenue came about due to public education, or the public education of your employees? How much came about due to research funded by grants? How much came about from all the other government programs. Sure, we can turn around and argue about whether spending several billion more to build yet another aircraft carrier is really going to bring more benefit than opening up 10,000 more spaces for medschool, but no one can really say they owe the government nothing.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:02 pm UTC

Tyndmyr is in favor of setting government interests rates to tackle inequality? Why is it more effective than expanding transfer payments that we already have?

Also I'm not implying that the opposition has no balls, I'm stating a fact that politicians of all stripes are wary of taxing their constituency. So they gin up deceptive laws so it looks good on paper. Eg tax credits instead of grants, fines instead of taxes, back loading bills beyond 10 years so it doesn't get reported by the cbo. That's what I mean by political courage. The only people dumb enough to tell truthy things are greens and libertarians. We all know what a joke they are.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:12 pm UTC

The reason for rising wealth inequality is that the value of assets is rising faster than inflation. Interest rates can fix that.

The problem with transfer payments is that 'earn' never enters into it. People don't 'deserve' anything simply for existing. All that I ask is that society is set up so that 1) people get roughly the value they add to society, and 2) we have a basic social system so that no one is ever hampered in their ability to provide to society. Admittedly, the second one is probably more than we are currently providing, and we have a lot of issues with the first one as well. Beyond that, gas grass or ass; no free rides.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:17 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:We used to have strict cultural restrictions on childbirth and childrearing. Sometimes they were even codified by the state. Now having a kid is a "right." Cant interfere with muh bodily autonomy, and who gives a shit about the long term incentives created.
Ideologies regarding limitations on childbirth and childrearing -- even to the point of using medical procedures to limit or prevent births -- were very popular in the US (and even the UK!) back in the 20s and 30s; then, something weird happened between 1939 and 1945, and it suddenly became incredibly unpopular.

I'm not sure why; just one of those impenetrable mysteries of history, I guess.

(On a more serious note, the reason we have largely abandoned this practice in recent decades is because the application is largely arbitrary, and utterly horrifying.)

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:26 pm UTC

Except forced sterilizations continued in the US until the 70's. 80's in Switzerland. 90's in Ireland. Don't worry, the good news is that it typically happened to rape victims, especially when the perpetrator was someone powerful and the victim refused to hush it up. Wait, that wasn't good news at all.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:33 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Except forced sterilizations continued in the US until the 70's. 80's in Switzerland. 90's in Ireland. Don't worry, the good news is that it typically happened to rape victims, especially when the perpetrator was someone powerful and the victim refused to hush it up. Wait, that wasn't good news at all.
Right, the link I supplied describes an incident of the US eugenics policy continuing into the 70s. Which leaves me confused, because your use of 'Except' implies that something I said contradicts what you said.

Eugenics did become unpopular throughout the West post-WW2; that doesn't imply it wasn't still practiced (and isn't still in practice even today).

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Dauric » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:35 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:No I am saying that since Walmart is the one that ends up with the food stamp money, they are the real beneficiaries of the welfare system. If I have everyone $100 for rent, I'm really giving $100 to the landlords...


Or Walmart's suppliers are the real beneficiaries. Or the employees of those suppliers. Or the people who sell things to those employees.

There is no end.


While I see your point, I would argue that there is indeed an end. If I have $100 in cash I have a greater flexibility in how I use it than I do if I have $100 in food stamps. While the food stamps do benefit those who have them that would otherwise have nothing, Wal Mart reaps the benefits of opportunity that the initial beneficiary did not get when they turn those stamps in to the government in exchange for regular currency. The initial beneficiary can only buy food with that $100, Wal Mart can use that money towards whatever the company wants.
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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Ormurinn » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:54 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:We used to have strict cultural restrictions on childbirth and childrearing. Sometimes they were even codified by the state. Now having a kid is a "right." Cant interfere with muh bodily autonomy, and who gives a shit about the long term incentives created.
Ideologies regarding limitations on childbirth and childrearing -- even to the point of using medical procedures to limit or prevent births -- were very popular in the US (and even the UK!) back in the 20s and 30s; then, something weird happened between 1939 and 1945, and it suddenly became incredibly unpopular.

I'm not sure why; just one of those impenetrable mysteries of history, I guess.

(On a more serious note, the reason we have largely abandoned this practice in recent decades is because the application is largely arbitrary, and utterly horrifying.)


I'm not even referencing Eugenics - there used to be strict cultural norms that led to children being raised in functioning families through a combination of shotgun weddings, opprobrium aimed at single parents (excepting widows and widowers), ostracism of the sexually promiscuous, and (usually religious) orphanages which also took unwanted children.

Now it's considered offensive to question the "right" of an unemployed teen to get knocked up and live off the state, or a fifty-year old spinster to get pregnant via IVF, or for men to purchase children like commodities from exploited foreign surrogates, only to refuse to take them when they don't meet their standards.

What a wonderful culture.
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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:58 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:No I am saying that since Walmart is the one that ends up with the food stamp money, they are the real beneficiaries of the welfare system. If I have everyone $100 for rent, I'm really giving $100 to the landlords...


Or Walmart's suppliers are the real beneficiaries. Or the employees of those suppliers. Or the people who sell things to those employees.

There is no end.


While I see your point, I would argue that there is indeed an end. If I have $100 in cash I have a greater flexibility in how I use it than I do if I have $100 in food stamps. While the food stamps do benefit those who have them that would otherwise have nothing, Wal Mart reaps the benefits of opportunity that the initial beneficiary did not get when they turn those stamps in to the government in exchange for regular currency. The initial beneficiary can only buy food with that $100, Wal Mart can use that money towards whatever the company wants.
the reason it's food stamps and not money is because conservatives campaigned against welfare queens. So we gussied it up to make it sound better. Blame the right.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:59 pm UTC

Was this back in the days when healthy young men would abandon their wives and children in the Old Country and move to the US and marry a new wife?

And the other reason it's foodstamps and not money is because if it was money, the landlords would jack up the rents by exactly that much.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:08 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:We used to have strict cultural restrictions on childbirth and childrearing. Sometimes they were even codified by the state. Now having a kid is a "right." Cant interfere with muh bodily autonomy, and who gives a shit about the long term incentives created.
Ideologies regarding limitations on childbirth and childrearing -- even to the point of using medical procedures to limit or prevent births -- were very popular in the US (and even the UK!) back in the 20s and 30s; then, something weird happened between 1939 and 1945, and it suddenly became incredibly unpopular.

I'm not sure why; just one of those impenetrable mysteries of history, I guess.

(On a more serious note, the reason we have largely abandoned this practice in recent decades is because the application is largely arbitrary, and utterly horrifying.)


I'm not even referencing Eugenics - there used to be strict cultural norms that led to children being raised in functioning families through a combination of shotgun weddings, opprobrium aimed at single parents (excepting widows and widowers), ostracism of the sexually promiscuous, and (usually religious) orphanages which also took unwanted children.

Now it's considered offensive to question the "right" of an unemployed teen to get knocked up and live off the state, or a fifty-year old spinster to get pregnant via IVF, or for men to purchase children like commodities from exploited foreign surrogates, only to refuse to take them when they don't meet their standards.

What a wonderful culture.


And yet, somehow, during those periods the fertility rate was around seven children per woman. Now it's down to below two.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:11 pm UTC

Orm is upset about that; good Brits have less than two but evil polish immigrants have more. Soon Britain will be overrun with white people!

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Ormurinn » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:41 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Orm is upset about that; good Brits have less than two but evil polish immigrants have more. Soon Britain will be overrun with white people!


I don't particularly care about differential fertility there. If we die out as a people it's because we deserved to.

I do have concerns about IQ drain due to differential fertility, but that seems to be slight, and hopefully we'll have widespread genetic engineering before it becomes a problem (whether that genetic engineering is politically feasible is another matter)

As an aside, I've liked every eastern European I've ever met, they have statistically good effects on the economy, they integrate well into British society. I'd like to see a lot more eastern European immigration.

LaserGuy wrote:And yet, somehow, during those periods the fertility rate was around seven children per woman. Now it's down to below two.


I don't really care about limiting population growth. I think a western world that had more children per person would be an improved one.
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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:45 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:I do have concerns about IQ drain due to differential fertility, but that seems to be slight, and hopefully we'll have widespread genetic engineering before it becomes a problem (whether that genetic engineering is politically feasible is another matter)
....

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:55 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:I'm not even referencing Eugenics - there used to be strict cultural norms that led to children being raised in functioning families through a combination of shotgun weddings, opprobrium aimed at single parents (excepting widows and widowers), ostracism of the sexually promiscuous, and (usually religious) orphanages which also took unwanted children.
Please tell me you agree that it's a good thing we're moving away from those cultural norms.

Except the orphanages; I think orphanages actually had an overall positive effect.
Ormurinn wrote:Now it's considered offensive to question the "right" of an unemployed teen to get knocked up and live off the state, or a fifty-year old spinster to get pregnant via IVF, or for men to purchase children like commodities from exploited foreign surrogates, only to refuse to take them when they don't meet their standards.
Yes, because -- except for the latter case -- restricting those rights is, in all basic functionality, the worst bit of eugenics.

You're talking about controlling who can and can't have children. Just because you're not doing it to maximize certain genetic traits -- but rather to prohibit the types of behavior you find troubling -- doesn't suddenly make it okay.

Eugenics would be perfectly fine if it didn't involve controlling who can and can't have children. It's the control over people's reproductive rights that makes it so awful.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:59 pm UTC

Alright I think I owe Orm a minor apology then. *grumbles* sorry I accused you of hating Poles *grumbles.

Anyway, the problem I have with genetic engineering is that it's going to limit diversity and harm us as a whole. Take a look at the American Kennel Club; did we choose our breeds of dogs based on their overall health and fitness, or did we inbreed them to the point of uselessness in order to adhere to some arbitrary metric of beauty? Fuck you AKC, dogs should be judged on health, trainability and temperament. Beauty is supposed to signal those things, it in itself should not be a goal. Is that what we want for humans? Sure, tall green eyed blondes everywhere, but with hip problems, shortened lifespans, and deafness? And how certain are we that a defect should be removed; a defective R5 receptor on white blood cells may cause you to be sick more often, but it can grant resistance to bubonic plague and HIV-1. So no I don't trust the average lay person nor the politician to do what's best.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Ormurinn » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:00 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:I do have concerns about IQ drain due to differential fertility, but that seems to be slight, and hopefully we'll have widespread genetic engineering before it becomes a problem (whether that genetic engineering is politically feasible is another matter)
....

You know what, forget it.


Do you want a source on it occurring? It has been demonstrated.

Heres a neutral source http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/scien ... ames-flynn.
(I could post to better evidence but it's mostly on HBD blogs)
They show a decline of between 2 and 6 IQ points every 20 years. Alarmingly, the reduction is greatest amongst the highest-iq cohort.
I've seen estimates of 8-12 IQ points per generation at the top end. Again, biased sources which you likely wouldn't credit.

The Great Hippo wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:I'm not even referencing Eugenics - there used to be strict cultural norms that led to children being raised in functioning families through a combination of shotgun weddings, opprobrium aimed at single parents (excepting widows and widowers), ostracism of the sexually promiscuous, and (usually religious) orphanages which also took unwanted children.
Please tell me you agree that it's a good thing we're moving away from those cultural norms.

Except the orphanages; I think orphanages actually had an overall positive effect.
Ormurinn wrote:Now it's considered offensive to question the "right" of an unemployed teen to get knocked up and live off the state, or a fifty-year old spinster to get pregnant via IVF, or for men to purchase children like commodities from exploited foreign surrogates, only to refuse to take them when they don't meet their standards.
Yes, because -- except for the latter case -- restricting those rights is, in all basic functionality, the worst bit of eugenics.

You're talking about controlling who can and can't have children. Just because you're not doing it to maximize certain genetic traits -- but rather to prohibit the types of behavior you find troubling -- doesn't suddenly make it okay.

Eugenics would be perfectly fine if it didn't involve controlling who can and can't have children. It's the control over people's reproductive rights that makes it so awful.


1. I think the orphanages were the best of that system and far far better than the current care system.

I also think the rest of those norms, while not very nice, did more good than harm.

2. Yes, I'm talking about controlling who can have children. We're ridiculously stringent about who can adopt. Somehow because a child is made from its parents gametes we should throw that concern out the window?

Creating life is a sacred trust and not everyone is cut out for it - less people than ever in our current society. When you create a child you don't just burden yourself, but the whole of society - wider society has an interest in who gets to have children, and under what conditions.
Last edited by Ormurinn on Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:04 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:03 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:And yet, somehow, during those periods the fertility rate was around seven children per woman. Now it's down to below two.


I don't really care about limiting population growth. I think a western world that had more children per person would be an improved one.


I'm not talking about population growth. You are saying that there were a variety of socio-cultural and in some cases legal barriers to people having children. It does not seem these barriers were effective, at all, at actually reducing the number of children people had. And despite those pressures being largely or completely removed, people have far fewer children now than they did during the periods where such views were held.

Do you want a source on it occurring? It has been demonstrated.

Heres a neutral source http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/scien ... ames-flynn.
(I could post to better evidence but it's mostly on HBD blogs)
They show a decline of between 2 and 6 IQ points every 20 years. Alarmingly, the reduction is greatest amongst the highest-iq cohort.
I've seen estimates of 8-12 IQ points per generation at the top end. Again, biased sources which you likely wouldn't credit.


And they don't attribute it to the effect you suggest...

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:06 pm UTC

Is that related to iq decreasing as man developed society and peace? I remember reading about how a bigger brain related to aggression and a violent ancient life.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:08 pm UTC

@Orm: What I find also find so amazing about the absurdity of the statement you just made is that you linked something that largely refutes the claim you're trying to make.
sardia wrote:Is that related to iq decreasing as man developed society and peace? I remember reading about how a bigger brain related to aggression and a violent ancient life.
I've read the opposite; that times of peace require more cooperation/collaboration, which requires more social skills, which requires a bigger brain.

If anything, aggression is usually associated with lower intelligence, as it is both A ) very energetically costly, and B ) very risky.
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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:20 pm UTC

Eh, the biggest drivers in raising the intelligence of the western world was all the basic sanitation and public health initiatives. Things like measles vaccines, water fluoridation, iodide enrichment, vitamin A and D added to milk, etc. Turns out that horrible diseases can have permanent damage, parasites will starve a growing brain, and malnutrition will do horrors to a growing body. No seriously, vitamin A deficiency kills 2m and permanently physically/mentally cripples another 2m every single year. Yet the fucking monsters at Greenpeace tear up golden rice fields.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:24 pm UTC

http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evo ... ain-001446
No, I was right. Brains are getting smaller. The exception is our frontal lobes which are bigger.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:25 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:1. I think the orphanages were the best of that system and far far better than the current care system.
I agree. They're basically little quasi-communist colonies that simulate a close-knit extended family. Children who emerge from them would often prosper far more than children placed in foster care systems.
Ormurinn wrote:I also think the rest of those norms, while not very nice, did more good than harm.
I cannot disagree more ardently: Victorian beliefs that couch matters of sexuality in ignorance, fear, and disgust have done severe damage to Western culture. You need look no further than the West's absurdly neurotic approach to sexuality in media for evidence of this damage.

Sex is a fun, normal, and completely ordinary activity. Those of us who want it should have it -- with as many consenting partners as we please. We should do so safely, under conditions that minimize the risk of disease or unwanted pregnancy. Families should be built out of relationships between people who love one another deeply and desire to spend their time together. Shame, opprobrium, and social ostracization are cruel practices that do (sometimes irrepairable) emotional damage to their victims while attempting to clumsily control them.

The fact that you seem to disagree with the above leaves me deeply saddened. I sincerely hope you one day realize why you are completely wrong.
Ormurinn wrote:2. Yes, I'm talking about controlling who can have children. We're ridiculously stringent about who can adopt. Somehow because a child is made from its parents gametes we should throw that concern out the window?

Creating life is a sacred trust and not everyone is cut out for it - less people than ever in our current society. When you create a child you don't just burden yourself, but the whole of society - wider society has an interest in who gets to have children, and under what conditions.
Do you not understand the difference between adoption and biological birth? Adoption is, by its very definition, a result of a mistake -- someone either couldn't or wouldn't care for this child. The rigor with which we examine potential parents is born out of our desire to not compound the first mistake with a second mistake.

But to restrict the right of a parent to produce a child in the first place? That is to deny our right to make any mistakes at all. Worst of all, it leaves determining what a 'mistake' is up to the state.

That is not a world I want to live in -- and I'm genuinely surprised (and a bit horrified) that it's one you want to live in.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:32 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Tyndmyr is in favor of setting government interests rates to tackle inequality? Why is it more effective than expanding transfer payments that we already have?


Not particularly. I would mostly simply advocate that we end a lot of price setting/inflating behavior(including pushing interest obviously artificially low), as that tends to have nasty side effects. Fixing the existing problem before proposing a new system is much neater and, while not particularly fast, less likely to burn lots of cash or go wildly awry.

leady wrote:
sardia wrote:Leady. How much do you make? How do you feel about your tax bite?


enough and it hurts when I look at it. I'm also one of those people who essentially self limits because of it - screw losing shed loads of free time to get 50% of incremental earnings :)


See also, why not to bother pursuing management. Who needs more stress and headaches for marginal gains?

Ormurinn wrote:
Mutex wrote:I like the implication that only "lefties" would have a problem with restricting people's right to breed.


This sentiment always really troubles me. Creating a new life is a right? The future welfare of the children created isn't of any concern?

We used to have strict cultural restrictions on childbirth and childrearing. Sometimes they were even codified by the state. Now having a kid is a "right." Cant interfere with muh bodily autonomy, and who gives a shit about the long term incentives created.


Well, yes. I do not treat them as a right, per se*. But I don't think we can have any real state-run system to limit reproduction that doesn't trample on a number of rights. Forced sterilization was a pretty horrible attempt at it not all that long ago...and hell, even forced lobotomizations aren't that ancient. Even if, in theory, reproductive limits offer rewards, it is highly likely that any real world implementation would go terribly amok.

*Because from a naturalistic perspective, you only have a "right" to raise whatever kids you can keep from dying, etc. Evolution rewards viable offspring only.

CorruptUser wrote:Personally I'm more of the opinion that, while taxes hurt my income, I probably get so much more than I pay in, indirectly. Sure, I'd rather pay (numbers made up) 0% on 60k than 30% on 60k, but I'd rather pay 30% on 60k than 0% on 20k. People look at taxes and it's AMAGAD GUBMENT STEELIN MA MONEE. They never seem to notice how much of that money can from government in the first place. All the revenue that Walmart makes, how much of it was from foodstamps? How much of your revenue came about due to public education, or the public education of your employees? How much came about due to research funded by grants? How much came about from all the other government programs. Sure, we can turn around and argue about whether spending several billion more to build yet another aircraft carrier is really going to bring more benefit than opening up 10,000 more spaces for medschool, but no one can really say they owe the government nothing.


Even if this is true, this in no way demonstrates that those programs are desireable, or better than alternatives.

The existance of a system does not justify the continued perpetuation of it forever and ever.

Dauric wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:No I am saying that since Walmart is the one that ends up with the food stamp money, they are the real beneficiaries of the welfare system. If I have everyone $100 for rent, I'm really giving $100 to the landlords...


Or Walmart's suppliers are the real beneficiaries. Or the employees of those suppliers. Or the people who sell things to those employees.

There is no end.


While I see your point, I would argue that there is indeed an end. If I have $100 in cash I have a greater flexibility in how I use it than I do if I have $100 in food stamps. While the food stamps do benefit those who have them that would otherwise have nothing, Wal Mart reaps the benefits of opportunity that the initial beneficiary did not get when they turn those stamps in to the government in exchange for regular currency. The initial beneficiary can only buy food with that $100, Wal Mart can use that money towards whatever the company wants.


Money being fungible, this is irrelevant. Even if they could only turn them in to buy more food, food stamps are a sufficiently small subset that it would not affect purchasing at all. It would only introduce another layer that would require government management for no additional gain. It's not ever very relevant to the buyer, because...money is fungible, and all people need to eat. It only matters if the people stop purchasing food...which would be...bad.

Izawwlgood wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:I do have concerns about IQ drain due to differential fertility, but that seems to be slight, and hopefully we'll have widespread genetic engineering before it becomes a problem (whether that genetic engineering is politically feasible is another matter)
....

You know what, forget it.


Outcomes are not strongly genetic. Oh, sure, genetics are a factor in everything, but nutrition, education, culture, etc are vastly, vastly more important. The vast majority of people are not hitting their genetic limits. As such, I do not think that (other than the generic benefits of genetic diversity), genetics are really that important to progress. Perhaps when we've hit the lower hanging fruit it will be, but I don't see why it should be a modern day concern.

Izawwlgood wrote:@Orm: What I find also find so amazing about the absurdity of the statement you just made is that you linked something that largely refutes the claim you're trying to make.
sardia wrote:Is that related to iq decreasing as man developed society and peace? I remember reading about how a bigger brain related to aggression and a violent ancient life.
I've read the opposite; that times of peace require more cooperation/collaboration, which requires more social skills, which requires a bigger brain.

If anything, aggression is usually associated with lower intelligence, as it is both A ) very energetically costly, and B ) very risky.


Depends on the kind of aggression. Warfare within one's own kind...actual, organized warfare is different from say, competing for a mate or what not. And yeah, while aggression of some kind is really common in the animal kingdom, the outliers on the intelligence scale tend toward violence. Chimps, dolphins, great apes, etc all have very complex, surprisingly violent behavior as part of their social norms.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:46 pm UTC

Well yeah, we always want to analyze the system and ask whether we could spend our money more efficiently. I'm just arguing that the rich do indeed see benefits from public spending. You may have built your business out of gumption and bootstraps, but did every one of your customers do so? If not, you benefited from a government program.

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Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:59 pm UTC

sardia wrote:http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/scientists-are-alarmed-shrinking-human-brain-001446
No, I was right. Brains are getting smaller. The exception is our frontal lobes which are bigger.

That bit of science journalism is abhorrent, and makes some absurd leaps from the conclusions. *PARTS* of our brains may be shrinking, but mass of a brain is not the sole determining factor in intelligence.

Tyndmyr wrote:Depends on the kind of aggression. Warfare within one's own kind...actual, organized warfare is different from say, competing for a mate or what not. And yeah, while aggression of some kind is really common in the animal kingdom, the outliers on the intelligence scale tend toward violence. Chimps, dolphins, great apes, etc all have very complex, surprisingly violent behavior as part of their social norms.
Modern Warfare is still at least partially based on risk behavior, and more aggressive people are more likely to take risks.

Chimps, dolphins, elephants, whales, dogs, etc etc etc also are shockingly stupider when they are seeking mates or fighting for supremacy. There are species of lizards where the males will posture and pose and dance to be the alpha until they literally die of starvation. Male hummingbirds fly up and down in the equivalent of doing pushups to show off, and have to shut off most of their brain function to maintain the astronomical caloric expense.

Generally speaking, all throughout the animal kingdom, aggression is extremely expensive to maintain, and potentially very risky, and more often than not associated with reduced intragroup intelligence. In fact, that's one of the interesting things about highly social animals; manipulating a social hierarchy is far LESS costly, and potentially just as rewarding. It's one of the interesting means beta males can still be reproductive successes.

EDIT: But sorry for the off topic rant. Orm's comment seemed dangerously egging towards 'poor people are stupid and breeding stupid babies', which set me off.
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