The Banana Republic and ERE

Intended for constructive conversations. Exhibits of polarizing tribalism will be deleted.
gibberade
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Post by gibberade » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:57 am

Check out this op-ed piece by Kristof for the NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/opini ... ef=general
First he establishes the huge (and growing) inequality in the United States. The wealthiest 1% earn roughly a quarter of the US's income, a 15% rise since '76.
The stats don't lie. Is the US even a democracy, or is it a plutocracy?
That's worth reflecting upon, especially because it has strong ramifications in our day-to-day lives.
For example, the article notes that with rising inequality, bankruptcies spike. The reason?

"When inequality rises, the richest rake in their winnings and buy even bigger mansions and fancier cars. Those a notch below then try to catch up, and end up depleting their savings or taking on more debt, making a financial crisis more likely."

Divorces also surge.

"In short, inequality leaves people on the lower rungs feeling like hamsters on a wheel spinning ever faster, without hope or escape."
Boy, this really hit the spot. This is what ERE strives to escape from.


jacob
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Post by jacob » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:54 am

It's not just money. It's also career-level, status, ... essentially whenever you have a pyramid that can be defended from above. People sometimes believe it's a ladder when it isn't.
This is actually determined by demographics to a large extent. If there's a constant supply of people at the bottom and a constant demand, it's a ladder. If the demand outstrips supply you have a boom time where people can go and become very rich by simply being first (like dotcoms in 1998, real estate in 2003, blogs in 2005, IPOs in 2007). If supply exceeds demand, it's a pyramid. Here people may believe they're fighting themselves (the false ladder belief) or they're fighting the gatekeepers, but in many cases, they're really fighting each other.


CestLaVie
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Post by CestLaVie » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:20 am

I live in one of the country's poorest states where people overwhelmingly vote for Republicans whose policies, according to the author, will only widen the gap between the haves and the have nots... If people at the bottom of the pyramid clamor to give people like me a tax cut so that we can become even richer, who are we to refuse?


Chad
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Post by Chad » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:16 pm

It's called a conscience. As you have so aptly demonstrated you have none.
You have also demonstrated the root problem behind this entire mess. Basically, you are willing to do anything or allow anything to happen that gives you more money. This includes the outright economic lies told by the Republican party (ex.: "Government low income loans caused the mortgage crisis!" No, they didn't. These loans only make up roughly 15% of the loans currently in trouble. Loans made willingly by banks make up the other 85%. I could have just as easily used the "Bush tax cuts will make millions of jobs", as those jobs obviously never matrialized.), government welfare for rich companies (oil subsidies, bank bailouts, etc.),the willingness to sacrifice long-term gain for short-term gain, etc.
This also means you are willing to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. At some point the middle class will collapse and then you will have to find another golden goose. Allowing the goose to live reduces the growth of your income now, but improves it long-term and improves your security.


CestLaVie
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Post by CestLaVie » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:41 pm

Chad, you obviously have no appreciation for sarcasm.


Chad
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Post by Chad » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:56 pm

I could easily see half the Republicans I know saying that, so my sarcasm meter didn't register.


dragoncar
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Post by dragoncar » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:12 pm

The saying "if that's what they want, then let them have it" seems more like the opinion of a high-earning Democrat who is getting tired of losing votes to people who don't want to be helped.
However, I think most of those people (in poor areas) end up voting Republican primarily on social issues (teh gheys!), and only secondarily on an ignorant belief that tax cuts will help them.


Chad
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Post by Chad » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:30 pm

Oh, I'm not saying I don't see Democrats doing evil, just not this evil.


George the original one
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Post by George the original one » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:21 pm

Here in Oregon, republican vs. democrat is primarily a rural vs. urban divide.


dragoncar
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Post by dragoncar » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:55 am

George: Do you mean that Democrat policies are seen as hurting the rural population, and if so how?


JohnnyH
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Post by JohnnyH » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:07 am

This gap exists because of concentrated and fortified power and resources. And time. And a distracted and ignorant population.
If you honestly believe the inequality is due to the minute differences in the two parties; I am embarrassed for you.
Besides, it's not as if there is a finite amount of wealth for us to fight over for eternity... The inequality was much less 30, 50, 100 years ago, but the standard of living has improved for common people tremendously. What's the problem? Are the poor not well fed and housed? Should we create some egalitarian social programs to correct their lack of representation in the nations castles?
This has a lot to do with globalization and little to do with democracy.


jacob
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Post by jacob » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:12 am

Let's keep the following ground rules in mind:

1) Don't write anything you wouldn't like to see on the front page of a national newspaper.

2) Don't write anything you wouldn't say to someone's face.


Marius
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Post by Marius » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:00 pm

Pretty amazing: Prof Sachs says on Bloomberg tv that Democrats and Republicans are financed by the same people, talks about massive inequality, global warming is being ignored because of campaign financing considerations, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCPz2SzROFQ


18X
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Post by 18X » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:09 pm

One of my favorite authors on this subject is Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor and economic adviser to Obama before he took office. His latest book - http://www.amazon.com/Aftershock-Econom ... 6TWVU5XWC2 is quite detailed on the subject of income inequality. You can check out the introduction by using the Amazon feature "look inside this book". His blog is also equally interesting. http://robertreich.blogspot.com/
His point is that the fundamental problem is Americans no longer have the purchasing power to buy what the U.S. economy is capable of producing. The reason is that a larger and larger portion of total income has been going to the top. What's broke is the basic bargain linking pay to production. The solution to remake the bargain.


jacob
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Post by jacob » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:22 pm

I love these ... [paraphrased]
Guest: "This is very important. The world is ending. Corporations have bought off the government..."

Anchor: "Okay, we only got a minute left before we break to commercials...some closing remarks?"


mikeBOS
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Post by mikeBOS » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:25 pm

@jacob
I know!!!
"Please tell us your proposed solution for the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. You have 12 seconds."
Give me a break. I've been hoping for years that with the inevitable shift in television/radio from a broadcast delivery system to an on-demand delivery system, time pressures will lessen and this type of thing will disappear. But who knows, maybe customers will prefer a downloaded/streaming show that's always 30 minutes rather than a show that's as long as it takes to explain an issue or conduct a proper interview.


Maus
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Post by Maus » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:47 pm

OK. 2 things. 1) You always have to remember with media that the content is the filler and the advertising is the revenue generator. As anyone who's tried to be paid for their content learns, the price is determined either by its effectiveness at delivering ads to the audience or its effectiveness in screening the audience from ads. The latter reason is why I favor books over television. I hate the ads! But 2) I do love some TV shows to distraction. After the first three seasons of House, I was so devoted that I explored trademarking the line: "I am the [H]ouse of Law(tm)." But I figured hubris like that would bite me in the a**.
So I disconnected the TV at home, but not the DVD player. That way I can indulge in the occasional movie (free from the library and no ads unless you count trailers). And when I visit someone who has TV, I sometimes lapse into watching while still hating the ads. Did I mention that I HATE THE ADS. Well, I do.


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Stahlmann
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Re:

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:05 pm

jacob wrote:
Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:54 am
It's not just money. It's also career-level, status, ... essentially whenever you have a pyramid that can be defended from above. People sometimes believe it's a ladder when it isn't.
This is actually determined by demographics to a large extent. If there's a constant supply of people at the bottom and a constant demand, it's a ladder. If the demand outstrips supply you have a boom time where people can go and become very rich by simply being first (like dotcoms in 1998, real estate in 2003, blogs in 2005, IPOs in 2007). If supply exceeds demand, it's a pyramid. Here people may believe they're fighting themselves (the false ladder belief) or they're fighting the gatekeepers, but in many cases, they're really fighting each other.
Very touchee, unfortunately -.-".

Before somebody suggest that I have unrealistic expectations of becoming CEO few years after graduations... nope, probably being able to save 1-2k USD/EUR is something I'd consider as dream position to be.

Edit: I've calculated that, compared to available data. This are very high expectations, even in America on JLF budget... ooops.

chenda
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Re: The Banana Republic and ERE

Post by chenda » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:43 pm

Here's some board archaeology; what became of maus, mikebos et al ? They were big names back in the day 🤔

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Stahlmann
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Re: The Banana Republic and ERE

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:59 pm

chenda wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:43 pm
Here's some board archaeology; what became of maus, mikebos et al ? They were big names back in the day 🤔
I simply google fu ERE forum for interesting discussion in the past. As back in the day community was even more close knitted or people weren't bored with replying for the same problems for 3213th time. It's also possible to take calmer look on how some situations developed... or simply somebody rubbed me in wrong way with some 5 year post.
Last edited by Stahlmann on Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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