ERE: Should or can?

Intended for constructive conversations. Exhibits of polarizing tribalism will be deleted.
BennKar
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:42 am

Post by BennKar »

@SW, just a thought on your mention of Iksil & JPMorgan. While I can agree that his ill advised bets cost JPMorgan $7-9 billion, they made $7-9 billion for the people on the other side of those bets. His "value" to society (as a whole) was really close to zero, other than possibly any secondary costs / benefits from his actions (which would be hard to quantify). Referring to "do-nothing bums" as being worth $7-9 billion more to society than him is totally off the deep end here. The only major cost to society would have been if his actions caused another freeze-up in the banking sector like occurred in 08-09. That didn't happen here.
Just saying...


Felix
Posts: 1272
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:30 pm

Post by Felix »

I've interpreted it as a difference in the belief in the validity of government intervention in capitalism. One group believes that government serves a worthwhile function despite a massive waste of resources and that participation is worthwhile. The other group believes that it can only be a large hindrance to the private sector and the natural workings of capitalism no matter what it does.


Felix
Posts: 1272
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:30 pm

Post by Felix »

I say this because according to your definition I see myself firmly in the latter camp but have argued for and caused major shitstorms as a member of the former.


Seneca
Posts: 915
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:58 pm

Post by Seneca »

I am stuck in SFO, and will miss my connecting flight. Second trip in a row and in two weeks.
I change my earlier answer, it's all about FU money. ;-)
If we must attempt to bifurcate the forum again, I see the difference, as being belief government can do a better job of helping, or if individuals/private entities can.
I feel the market signals work better in the latter (both in prioritizing problems, in making sure people feel them and In solving them), but also believe the government should play a role in education, because as Jacob mentions, you need the tools to become self actualized. I also think some small number of people really are not going to catch up to a changing economy and the government has a role there too.


secretwealth
Posts: 1948
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am

Post by secretwealth »

"While I can agree that his ill advised bets cost JPMorgan $7-9 billion, they made $7-9 billion for the people on the other side of those bets. His "value" to society (as a whole) was really close to zero"
In that case, every single merchant and every single transaction in human history is worth zero.


secretwealth
Posts: 1948
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am

Post by secretwealth »

"I see the difference, as being belief government can do a better job of helping, or if individuals/private entities can."
No, that's definitely not it--I think individuals and private entities very often CAN do a better job of helping people, but very often they DON'T. An important distinction.


Seneca
Posts: 915
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:58 pm

Post by Seneca »

If we think individuals do a better job but aren't, it seems to me the right solution is to address that detail, not decide to use the economically inferior solution.
In other words, spend the time making bottom up work rather than spend the resources to fight the inefficiencies of top down.
I think that is exactly what we are all doing by attempting to live the renaissance lifestyle.


User avatar
C40
Posts: 2542
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Post by C40 »

I don't think those two camp groups have much at all to do with political disagreements**. IMO the fact that ERE is attractive to people with varied political beliefs is a strength. (while the fact that it is attractive to only a small portion of personality types severely limits how quickly it could become popular). Instead of trying to convince each other about politics or economics, we should be happy that we don't agree about every single thing - that we aren't all exactly the same person.
**(I certainly don't get how Libertarians would fit into the category that wants to dictate what everyone else does. My gut is that you listed them there simply because you disagree with them often.. If I recall correctly, you (maybe it was someone else??) once wrote here in the forum that no one should have more than 1 (or 2?) children because the world has too many people -- and that anyone doing so is irresponsible. Everyone believes they know what other people should be doing, at least when it comes to some certain things. Nearly everyone with strong political beliefs feels that people whose political beliefs are different than theirs are the ones who want to dictate what everyone else does (and often that they themselves do not)... A democrat thinks that of GOPers or Libertarians, GOPers think that of Dem's, Libert's think that of Dem & GOP)
@secretwealth - on the merchant/transaction thing - I think value is added when a product is created (or at times, transported), or when services are rendered, not during a transaction. (Except in cases where the act of buying something itself is so important to people that they value it highly and will pay extra.. which is, sadly fairly often). I suppose merchants add value by moving a certain selection of things near customers.


secretwealth
Posts: 1948
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am

Post by secretwealth »

" you (maybe it was someone else??) once wrote here in the forum that no one should have more than 1 (or 2?) children because the world has too many people -- and that anyone doing so is irresponsible."
Nope--wasn't me.
I try hard not to tell people what they should do, but I do certainly try to tell people what they should think.


User avatar
C40
Posts: 2542
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Post by C40 »

ahh, my bad..
I remember being surprised by who said it.. I got interested and looked up what the average square footage of habitable land on earth per person (about 150 yards by 150 yards)... I tried to find the thread a few months ago but couldn't..


tylerrr
Posts: 651
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:32 am
Location: Boston
Contact:

Post by tylerrr »

You can regulate corporate abuse and punish criminals without raising taxes on the rest of us. I don't think Wall Street should get away with their criminal behavior during the housing crisis.
Some want the U.S. to become economically like Sweden or France, or other European countries who provide more social welfare programs with higher taxes.
I just don't think that is America's place in the world economically. I don't want to go down that road and neither do most Americans.
If you like it so much, why don't you move there to take advantage of the wonderful welfare programs that you believe in so strongly? I'm not being sarcastic. I really don't understand why some of you don't move to heavily taxed countries because you repeatedly support those kinds of policies and believe in it so much.
The middle class pays a higher percentage of their income in taxes than any other portion of America. It's only getting worse under Obama especially with rising energy costs.
I personally don't think you can tax your way to economic growth. I don't think you can tax your way to a good life. It just doesn't make any sense to me.
Does anyone remember the Boston Tea Party in their history books? Taxation is overall oppressive. It chokes creativity, production, freedom of all kinds.
I've lived in S.F. Bay Area, Miami, Boston, and Louisville, Ky.
Every one of those areas have tons of do-nothing bums who want more of a handout from the government. They want others to take care of them because they are lazy, moronic bums.
Sorry, I don't have any sympathy for them.
I do have lots of compassion for people in real need. I even started a thread on this forum about getting EREs together to support a charity. I think it should be done out of your own volition. Not because you are forced under heavy taxation from a tyrannical government(governments always become tyrranical over time and steal your money).
That is my opinion and I'm sticking to it...
:)


secretwealth
Posts: 1948
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am

Post by secretwealth »

The word "tax/taxes" shows up in this thread 16 times. Here's a breakdown:
11 times the word is used by tylerr

3 times the word is used in a quote of tylerr

2 times the word is used to respond to tylerr
You have an obsession, tylerr. I think you should contemplate your obsession a bit more instead of railing against the "bums".
I do want to answer one of your questions:
"If you like it so much, why don't you move there to take advantage of the wonderful welfare programs that you believe in so strongly? I'm not being sarcastic."
Firstly, lumping Sweden and France together is amusing--their tax codes and financial systems are about as different as lingonberry jam and red wine. Secondly, I did live in a country with a deep, comprehensive welfare system for years. I might go back some day; mostly I came back to America for work and weather. If Scandinavia was a bit further south, I might have stayed.
Here are some facts about that experience that may surprise you, but which you will probably just dismiss:
1. My tax rate was substantially lower than it is in the U.S.

2. Scandinavia countries are much worse at collecting taxes from the ultra rich than America. In other words, if you are a multi-millionaire, it is easier to pay 0% taxes if you're a Swede than if you're American.

3. The overall social benefits of the Scandinavian vs. U.S. system don't rest on tax revenue, but rest on more efficient systems (paper checks are unheard of, centralized computer systems allow business operations to occur much faster) or cultural cohesion (Swedes/Danes/Finns/Norwegians tend to embrace generous social welfare because they see their compatriots as part of their group, whereas America is more ethnically, culturally, racially, and geographically decisive).
So, my advice to you would be:
1. Stop obsessing over taxes.

2. Stop generalizing about whole countries you have never visited.

3. Travel more.


tylerrr
Posts: 651
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:32 am
Location: Boston
Contact:

Post by tylerrr »

@secretwealth, Well, I've traveled to Britain, Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Peru. Is that enough travel to meet your standards or am I not qualified to post on a forum?
It's interesting you said you left your country and came here to the U.S.A for work.....But when you get here, you immediately start advocating for policies that negatively affect your country of origin's economy in the first place. I hate to tell you, but you can't have it both ways. If you want a better paying job like we have here in the U.S.A in certain areas, then you can't have your social welfare state simultaneously. You can't HAVE BOTH. So please stop trying to convert the U.S.A into the place you left and talking down to people who disagree with you.
Now about taxes. Since I pay at least 50% of my income in taxes(state, federal, property, gas, etc. infinity), I can "obsess" about it as much as I'd like to....It's a pretty big deal to a lot of us because we don't think we get a very good return on all that money being sucked up by various, corrupt governments. Again, 50% of my income is a big deal to me and I won't shut about it because some guy like you doesn't want people to talk about it.
BTW, today, I walked by a circle of do-nothing-BUMS who were flipping gang signs to each other and making rude remarks to women who walked by, while the rest of us were walking to jobs and doing other more constructive things with our lives. I really despise do-nothing-bums who offer nothing and suck off the rest of us like leeches.


george
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:41 am

Post by george »

Changing the topic slightly
Two pieces to this post
1. whether someone ERES or not I have no strong opinion, but I do struggle with people who contribute taxes to the government and believe that is their contribution. In order for a community to prosper, we need to care for each other. People who are rude to doctors, teachers, police have often not been in a position where they have cared for others. If you're one of these people go and help out in a rest home, you'll feel better too.
2. i live in a country where operations etc are free, you have to go on the waiting list, which you can jump if you pay for it, need it quickly, or have insurance. I listen to stories of people who lived 50 years ago, when people were committing suicide due to financial obligations from medical care.
So many of these threads end in political generalisations...... sigh


JohnnyH
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:00 pm
Location: Rockies

Post by JohnnyH »

I think your onto something, secret... But I think it might be more of a quadrant thing, but I don't feel up to the task of attempting to elaborate on your insightful OP.
"multi-generational wealth in Manhattan and multi-generational poverty in rural Guatemala." Why is multi-generational wealth a bad thing? Because poverty hasn't been stamped out entirely?
I think there are many more issues at play rather that just (pun ;) social welfare... For example how difficult is it to get legal title to your land in Guatemala compared to NY?
You guys should come out slumming with me in the rurals, I can show you a galaxy of do nothing welfare magicians... Outside of the large wages of the urban centers, life is much harder in the lower middle class brackets than simply giving up and kissing the ring. A LOT of hardworking, competent people barely scrape by, paying for themselves AND high taxes. Meanwhile, many of their neighbors have more disposable money and do not work. At all.
Not that they ever enraged me as you suggest, however. Just slightly amusing parasites accepting free stuff from Uncle Sucker's broken ambitions. Whereas the bankers are more threatening and not amusing parasites.


Dragline
Posts: 4436
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Post by Dragline »

Like these people? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q6G_WqLp1w
Yes, the full movie is even more appalling.


JohnnyH
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:00 pm
Location: Rockies

Post by JohnnyH »

@Dragline: Yes, but nothing near so extreme... *shudder* The horror, the absolute horror. I never would have believed...
Most are rather good fellows, who just drink a lot of beer, ski, hunt, fish, occasional under the table job, fill out a tax return once a decade or so... Even some interesting philosophical gardening monk/hippy types.


Seneca
Posts: 915
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:58 pm

Post by Seneca »

"Philosophical gardening" HA!
I think you are referring to what I call "high risk gardening and trade".


secretwealth
Posts: 1948
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am

Post by secretwealth »

" If you want a better paying job like we have here in the U.S.A in certain areas, then you can't have your social welfare state simultaneously."
I thought you'd go that route. I didn't come to America because the jobs were better paying; I came because the language spoken is English, and my linguistic skills in the language of the country I lived in just wasn't good enough to get a job there. If I could have worked in English, and I was offered a job, I definitely would have stayed.
"Why is multi-generational wealth a bad thing? Because poverty hasn't been stamped out entirely?"
I wasn't saying that it was a bad thing insomuch as the fantasy of the self-made man and the evil lazy bums is nonsense. That being said, it is clearly a bad thing in many cases, but not all. When the recipient of the wealth lives on just dividends and a trust fund without contributing value to society, that's not as good as that money being redistributed to those who would bring a greater value to society. Of course, there are those who are born into money who make great use of it; I don't think generalizations are of any value on this point.


secretwealth
Posts: 1948
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am

Post by secretwealth »

"For example how difficult is it to get legal title to your land in Guatemala compared to NY?"
I missed this question but wanted to address it as well as I can (which isn't very well, since I know very little about the country).
However, the village I was in was populated with families who had owned very small land parcels for generations. I do think you're onto something, but it isn't just a matter of rule of law--political instability (largely caused by the U.S.), generational poverty, the lack of an Age of Enlightenment like the Europeans had, mass genocide from generations of imperialism...these are all problems that rich western countries haven't had to deal with. Hence the wealth in NYC and the poverty in Guatemala.


Post Reply