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1 lostlakehiker  Sat, Nov 10, 2012 8:12:36pm

Behind all the talk of disposable income, job creation, and so on, lies the physical reality that supports human societies. An industrial civilization runs on energy, land, and water. It runs on farmland that doesn't blow away as dust, on electricity that can be kept up and running through thick and thin, and so on.

If we take care of this, and build the new energy infrastructure and abstain from trashing the climate too badly, the rest will sort itself out. We're bright enough, and our computers are just getting faster. We can invent our way around any raw material shortage given enough energy. Given a halfway reasonable climate, seedtime and harvest will cycle like usual. And then we're set.

We're not much at risk of falling into a semi-permanent bad-government trap such as has swallowed North Korea. We're not much at risk of falling into one of any number of religious fundamentalism traps that have plagued history. Social collapse isn't in the cards unless driven by physical collapse.

2 Barflytom  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 12:40:30am

What a stupid, pointless article.
No-one in their right mind disputes the need for property rights or infrastructure to create a prosperous society.
The argument against leftie policies is that they make property rights less secure, and divert money that could go towards infrastructure towards bribing various special interest groups.
As to whether investors create jobs, well someone has to own the accumulated capital in an economy. Is it better for that to be owned by private individuals or by some government collective ? I think that question answers itself.
For some real world examples of "millionaires islands", try Hong Kong and Singapore.

3 gwangung  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:57:33am

re: #2 Barflytom

What a stupid, pointless article.
No-one in their right mind disputes the need for property rights or infrastructure to create a prosperous society.
The argument against leftie policies is that they make property rights less secure, and divert money that could go towards infrastructure towards bribing various special interest groups.
As to whether investors create jobs, well someone has to own the accumulated capital in an economy. Is it better for that to be owned by private individuals or by some government collective ? I think that question answers itself.
For some real world examples of "millionaires islands", try Hong Kong and Singapore.

Hm. Strongly regulated, with a lot of government involvement in business.

What a stupid pointless critique.

4 Obdicut  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 5:08:19am

re: #1 lostlakehiker

Large parts of the country are already in the religious fundamentalism trap. The parts of the country like Louisiana, for example, where religious schools are now being funded with taxpayer money despite having terribly anti-science curriculum.

Those parts of the country still matter and we shouldn't abandon them.

5 Romantic Heretic  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 7:04:41am

re: #2 Barflytom

English isn't you first language, is it?

6 Kronocide  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 7:41:20am

re: #2 Barflytom

As to whether investors create jobs, well someone has to own the accumulated capital in an economy.

You reject ideas you can't even begin to understand. Poor thing.

My own experience correlates with the author. My business and profession caters to the 1%, sometimes the .1%. They build mega estates that employ 40-60 people full time for 2-3 years (sometimes this is their 3rd home). I am well aware of the impact this can make on a local economy and am thankful for their employ.

But Barfly Tom thinks this is the beginning of job creation. It is not. Who created the .1%'s jobs? Except for hedge fund and derivatives traders, the ultra wealthy cater to the mass of 99%'ers. Their VC firms fund startups that cater to the 99%.

The job creators are the 99%.

7 Vicious Babushka  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 7:55:01am

Henry Ford was an asshole in many ways, but his business model included paying his workers enough so that they would be able to purchase his product. Every job creator should want to maximize their customer base, because really they are not primarily JOB creators, they are SERVICE or PRODUCT providers, the job creation is the result of an increased demand for products and services.

8 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 8:33:42am

re: #2 Barflytom

You clearly didn't read the article before spouting off your stupid propaganda point. Not surprising.

The article doesn't advocate putting more money in the hands of the government. It advocates a change in the current business culture that focuses on profits at the expense of all else. It suggests that businesses should pay their own employees more. With more disposable income the employees therefore would demand more products and services from their own and other businesses. And that's who really creates the jobs, customers with enough income to afford products and services.

I could also go into why the details of your comment are wrong and stupid, but it's a red herring and not worth pursuing.

9 Joanne  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 11:15:51am

re: #6 Kronocide

The job creators are the 99%.

Exactly. I would respond to that idiot barflytom three words: Supply And Demand.

If the 99% do not have disposable income they cannot spend. The 99% provide the demand for the supply (see how that works, Tommy?) Most of those 1% do not even create "supply". They are financial people who do not actually create anything but wealth, which does little to spur economic growth.

10 Barflytom  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 12:27:56pm

re: #8 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

Actually, I did read the whole piece, and didn't bother to say anything about his proposed solutions because he's not being serious.
For example, saying "rebuild our manufacturing base". How profound.
That's like saying "improve education", as if the thought has never occured to anyone before.
Great idea. Ok, how ?
As for paying employess more, how about creating more competition for workers by curbing unskilled immigration for a start ? That's one area where dems (who want to import more democrat voters) and big businesses (who want cheap labour) are lined up against blue collar / middle class people.
As for spreading profits more evenly, the principle of encouraging wider share ownership seems like a better idea than raising wages. The market cap of Apple for example works out to about $ 8 million per employee. One thing that has always struck me about the USA is the surprisingly low net worth of many people who actually have good incomes, and it's not hard to find government policies which help cause that.

And re #3, [Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

For an example of a "Millionaire's Continent", how about the USA ?
A bunch of people with skills - and access to capital - arrived in a wilderness. Notice how that turned out ?

11 Barflytom  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:15:33pm

re: #6 Kronocide

....The job creators are the 99%.

It's pointless to argue about whether it's customers or investors who create jobs - you need both.
If you increase the risks involved in providing capital for a new venture, and decrease the potential returns with higher taxes, you'll get less investment.
It doesn't matter how many potential customers there are for iPads if no-one goes to the trouble of developing and manufacturing them in the first place.

12 Obdicut  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:22:26pm

re: #11 Barflytom

Great. So we can tax trades of stock as high as we want, because stock-trading doesn't actually benefit the company at all past the initial sale of stock.

Likewise with capital gains tax on most things. The only thing that would be privileged in your point of view would be direct investment in a business.

You're making a compelling argument for taxes focusing on most forms of unearned income, I'll give you that.

13 Kronocide  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:26:52pm

re: #11 Barflytom

It's pointless to argue about whether it's customers or investors who create jobs - you need both.

You just popped the GOP's key Balloon of Logic.

14 Gus  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:27:39pm

re: #2 Barflytom

Yes. Let's start with Singapore.

TOC Special Feature: Is Singapore really slum-free?

15 Varek Raith  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:28:19pm

Somalia: Barflytom's Paradise.

16 Gus  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:32:33pm
17 Romantic Heretic  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:33:15pm

re: #15 Varek Raith

That's because he regards himself as a 'Meanest-Son-of-a-Bitch-in-The-Valley'. In Somalia no one would fuck with him more than once.

18 Gus  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:35:21pm
19 Gus  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:37:14pm

Having fun yet? There's more.

20 Gus  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:37:36pm

Human Rights in Singapore

Election returns brought no changes to Singapore’s reliance on the Internal Security Act to hold, without charge or judicial review,those suspected of subversion, espionage, and terrorism. Laws requiring mandatory death sentences, judicial caning, and criminalization of male same-sex relations remain in force. Government authorities still curtail rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. They deny legitimacy to associations of ten or more, if they deem the groups “prejudicial to public peace, welfare or good order. ” The government requires police permits for five or more people planning a public event, and it uses contempt of court, criminal and civil defamation, and sedition charges to rein in critics.

21 Vicious Babushka  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:39:16pm

re: #17 Romantic Heretic

That's because he regards himself as a 'Meanest-Son-of-a-Bitch-in-The-Valley'. In Somalia no one would fuck with him more than once.

That's because the first time the Somalian warlords would fuck with him, he'd be fucking dead.

22 Varek Raith  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:43:31pm

re: #19 Gus

Having fun yet? There's more.

Guess he's not.
;)

23 Romantic Heretic  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:44:23pm

re: #21 Vicious Babushka

That's because the first time the Somalian warlords would fuck with him, he'd be fucking dead.

That's exactly what my wife said. GMTA.

24 Varek Raith  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:46:22pm

Hong Kong and Singapore.
What great beacons for Barflytom to put up.
Yep, I'd want to live in any of those two places instead of the good ol USofA.
Wait, no I wouldn't.

25 Gus  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:46:49pm

re: #24 Varek Raith

Hong Kong and Singapore.
What great beacons for Barflytom to put up.
Yep, I'd want to live in any of those two places instead of the good ol USofA.
Wait, no I wouldn't.

Patriotism.

26 Gus  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:47:45pm

re: #2 Barflytom

I had to re-read this again...

The argument against leftie policies is that they make property rights less secure, and divert money that could go towards infrastructure towards bribing various special interest groups.

For entertainment purposes.

27 Varek Raith  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:48:51pm

re: #26 Gus

I had to re-read this again...

For entertainment purposes.

Hah!

28 Barflytom  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:48:54pm

re: #12 Obdicut

.....stock-trading doesn't actually benefit the company at all past the initial sale of stock......

Except that an initial investor is unlikely to put up money if he can't cash in his investment at some point. So then he needs a second investor to buy his shares, who in turn needs a third investor if he's going to realise a profit at some stage.....etc
So the only benefit of stock trading is that it makes raising capital possible in the first place....
I thought you could think things through a bit better than that.

29 Vicious Babushka  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:49:47pm

re: #28 Barflytom

Except that an initial investor is unlikely to put up money if he can't cash in his investment at some point. So then he needs a second investor to buy his shares, who in turn needs a third investor if he's going to realise a profit at some stage.....etc
So the only benefit of stock trading is that it makes raising capital possible in the first place....
I thought you could think things through a bit better than that.

What you just described is a Ponzi scheme.

30 Varek Raith  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:50:03pm

Rofl...

31 Varek Raith  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:52:44pm

If bliss requires this amount of ignorance....

32 Kronocide  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:54:03pm

How dare you oppress Barfly with your facts and reality.

33 Barflytom  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 1:57:38pm

re: #29 Vicious Babushka

What you just described is a Ponzi scheme.

So the whole stock market is a Ponzi scheme ?
You're a lost cause. Time for a beer !!!

34 Vicious Babushka  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 2:01:20pm

re: #33 Barflytom

So the whole stock market is a Ponzi scheme ?
You're a lost cause. Time for a beer !!!

This is a Ponzi scheme:

So then he needs a second investor to buy his shares, who in turn needs a third investor if he's going to realise a profit at some stage.....etc

35 Varek Raith  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 2:03:15pm

re: #33 Barflytom

You really have no clue how the stock market works...

36 Romantic Heretic  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 2:14:49pm

I can think of at least one influential and respected economist who believes that the stock market often behaves like a Ponzi scheme.

I'm of the opinion that unless a person buys IPOs or new stock issues they are simply gambling that the price will go up, or down if buying short. The company whose stocks are being bought and sold don't see any of that money otherwise.

Not to say the market doesn't serve a purpose, but as long as people gamble on stocks that purpose is not to raise capital for companies.

37 Obdicut  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 2:16:00pm

re: #34 Vicious Babushka

No, he's just describing it wrong. What he's arguing is that the initial investor wouldn't ever invest if they couldn't eventually sell their shares.

It's probably confusing you because it's obvious bullshit-- an investor can invest in a project that returns money directly to them through dividends or pass-through income. It doesn't take an outside person to buy the shares.

38 Romantic Heretic  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 2:19:16pm

re: #33 Barflytom

So the whole stock market is a Ponzi scheme ?
You're a lost cause. Time for a beer !!!

Try to limit yourself to fewer than six this time. Alcohol does not contribute to rational thinking.

39 Barflytom  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 2:20:25pm

re: #35 Varek Raith

You really have no clue how the stock market works...

It's exasperating trying to make a point to you lot with simplified arguments.
What Obdicut seemed to be suggesting is a lower or nil rate of capital gains tax on start up investments, which is fine as far it goes. But if you then tax dividends and capital gains on traded stocks at, say, 40%, you've reduced the price that an investor in a secondary market is going to be willing to pay by about 40%.
So you've still reduced the return the initial investor makes - in effect "taxing" him, even though he hasn't paid it directly.
Try reading a bit of history on the development of joint stock corporations and capital markets, and see how much, or rather how little, economic development there was before they existed.

40 Barflytom  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 2:24:04pm

re: #37 Obdicut

No, he's just describing it wrong. What he's arguing is that the initial investor wouldn't ever invest if they couldn't eventually sell their shares.

It's probably confusing you because it's obvious bullshit-- an investor can invest in a project that returns money directly to them through dividends or pass-through income. It doesn't take an outside person to buy the shares.

I'm well aware of that, but not everyone wants to own a stake in some business or other in perpetuity. If you can't sell a stake in a business, you've reduced the value of that investment however much it pays in dividends.

41 Prideful, Arrogant Marriage Equality Advocate  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 2:45:20pm

re: #10 Barflytom

And where did you learn history? Please tell me about your knowledge of North American history.

42 Obdicut  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 3:44:52pm

re: #40 Barflytom

I'm well aware of that, but not everyone wants to own a stake in some business or other in perpetuity. If you can't sell a stake in a business, you've reduced the value of that investment however much it pays in dividends.

So what? You haven't reduced any real value or wealth being produced. You've just dinged an arbitrary slider on a financial scale. We don't want investors to be too bound to investments, but we don't want them to be completely unconstrained too, because as we've seen that leads to financial instruments of purely fictional wealth becoming the dominant way to make money.

A capital gains rate tied to inflation but otherwise set at normal income levels, plus another few steps in our progressive taxation system to restore the sensible, conservative taxes of yore, would be fine. That would help to halt some of the intense short-term interest in the market, and reduce the amount of paper profits lining us up for another financial doomsday.

Because one is coming, you know. There's not nearly enough regulation, there's far too little enforcement of what there is, and the bank systems are always naturally going to head towards gaming the system.

43 Interesting Times  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 4:10:08pm

Oh look, barfing bigot is soiling up yet another thread. Just the way he'd soil his pants if he had to go through this.

(I'm going to bring that up every time I see this cowardly little homophobe polluting this site with his presence. What he said was utterly vile. And yes, I second the notion he should haul his prejudiced ass over to a place like Somalia, which is so much more consistent with his "values")

44 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Sun, Nov 11, 2012 10:39:15pm

re: #43 Interesting Times

Yep. I didn't even care to respond when I saw the kind of drivel he came up with as an reply. Everything was either an off topic distraction (some with fairly obvious answers) or canned, and long refuted, spin. Why bother when he can't even address the actual thesis of an argument. It's classic troll behavior.


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 Frank says:

Is that a real poncho or a Sears poncho?