The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Intended for constructive conversations. Exhibits of polarizing tribalism will be deleted.
Jason
Posts: 2764
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Jason »

Hey, I love "The Wire." Which admittedly, is the paid subscription television equivalent of saying I have a black friend.

And I don't mean to jack this thread as I'm not sure it is relevant to the specific topic, but I admit to agreeing with Allan Bloom and his belief that there is a Western Literary Canon. But I have believed this since I was a teenager and unlike his co-hort Saul Bellow, I would never ask "Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus."

But enough of this of this theorizing. I have to go help my sponsor child with his spoken word project.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1295
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Give your sponsor child a copy of Le Rouge et le Noir or Martin Eden so he will know the hard work and alienation that awaits him. Keep his American Mind from closing.

enigmaT120
Posts: 1176
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by enigmaT120 »

Jason wrote "It's come to a point where I'm seeing English letters but reading a foreign language."

Hey, don't you say that about some of 7Wannabe5's posts?

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6117
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am
Location: Clinton River Watershed

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by 7Wannabe5 »


thegreatvoid

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by thegreatvoid »

Sam Harris´s newest podcast episode " Universal Basic Income "touches on many of the topics discussed in this tread .

Jason
Posts: 2764
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Jason »

@ET120

The difference is that with 7W5 I would say "I'm READING (as opposed to SEEING) English WORDS (as opposed to LETTERS) but NOT UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE FUCK SHE IS SAYING (as opposed to READING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE)." So the divide is conceptual, attributable to either her fucked up way of expressing herself or my reading comprehension skills or combination thereof. But since she is typing standard English words using basic rules of grammar, understanding can be reached if both parties put in a good faith effort.

I have problems with certain authors, Cormac McCarthy for instance. I have tried numerous times to get through one page of Blood Meridian but can't. I am reading English words in standard grammatical form but have no comprehension. Come to think of it, he's like the 7W5 of great American authors. I bet Cormac McCarthy reading 7W5 is like me reading the bumper sticker "Gas, Ass, or Grass, Nobody Rides for Free." Although that might be a bit of an exaggeration as I have had the benefit of it reading it on my car for all these years.

Jason
Posts: 2764
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Jason »

Self-conscious, experimental nonsense, written by a pseudo-intellectual of Jewish extraction. I can read my own blog for that type of bullshit.

But I guess I see your point.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6117
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am
Location: Clinton River Watershed

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Jacob:

Zukofsky's "Little" is possibly the most challenging novel I ever read. Wouldn't make my top 100 list, but worthwhile. Saul Bellow, OTOH, I love him so damn hard, I was going to name my DD27 Augie. You should give "No Country for Old Men" a whirl, bit more approachable. The novelist I have great trouble with is Nicolas Sparks, due to the little bit of vomit that kept coming up when I attempted to read "The Notebook."

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1295
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Chad wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:06 am
Also, who is saying they want a nobility?
I do.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g28pOEo0OKE

wolf
Posts: 1046
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by wolf »


Campitor
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Campitor »

wolf wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:37 am
found on youtube
https://youtu.be/a2-IwnoTrOI
A string of declarative statements with no evidence to back up his claim. First it was the 1% that was the problem, now it's the 9.9% that is the problem, and next it will be the next income bracket when this argument doesn't gain any traction either.


jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12426
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by jacob »

Haidt is often used to suggest that somehow conservatives are more morally rich/nuanced than liberals, but that's an oversimplifcation. According to Greene, Haidt's "conservative" allocation of the moral foundations (equally distributed between care, fairness, loyalty, authority, and purity) is about what's morally required for different individuals to function in groups. Whereas the "liberal" allocation of the moral foundations (restricted to care and fairness) is about what's morally required for different groups to function in society.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kfrSgPUvvI (go to 14:30 or the part about meta-morality or 'common currency'.

Or read the book: https://www.amazon.com/Moral-Tribes-Emo ... 143126059/ for much more detail.

This explains why urban people tend to be liberal: When there are people from different groups living right next door, one cannot insist on things like purity, authority, and loyalty without conflict. For example, I might belong to one group, but I live right next door to someone who belongs to a different group. Thus, I have to be considerate (fairness+care) of out-groups. At the same time I have to reduce the value of loyalty, authority, and purity as far as interacting with others are concerned lest I start a neighbor-feud or get into a bar-fight. Therefore urban morality is essentially the intersection in Venn diagram of the different moralities of the various groups. One thing all groups can maybe agree on is to treat other groups fairly. However, it would be very difficult for two different groups to agree on who to be loyal to or who is the authority.

Since population density in rural areas is low, there is no conflict with out-groups having different values. Therefore, values like loyalty or authority does not interfere with one's neighbors because they belong to the same group, not a different group.

Greene calls it a meta-morality (suggesting that liberals are more morally advanced than conservatives) but I think it's just an expression of humans living at higher densities and needing and habituating to overriding their tribal instincts because people are basically forced to get along when they live close to others. Humans tend to be 66/33 (conservatives/liberals) at low population density. As we move towards the city, once density exceeds 400 people/square mile, the ratio begins to change. 50/50 is reached at ~800 people/square mile after which people become predominantly liberal going towards 10/90. The higher the density, the more liberals there are. See first graph: http://davetroy.com/posts/the-real-repu ... on-density ... as the link notes: red state values are simply incompatible with density. Well, at least we have observed data and a possible theory for that claim.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1295
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Given that we have a significant libertarian or libertarian-sympathetic contingent here in ERE land, can I posit a wrinkle in your theory Jacob?

The amenities offered in urban areas usually exceed amenities offered in rural areas a good deal. Personally I enjoy the urban amenities a good deal. I like being in a place where a lot of things are going on and there are a lot of women to date. However, with those increased amenities comes an increased cost. Because, of course, everyone wants the amenities.

My personal choice (and forgive me if my take is heavy on my personal psychology) has been to live outside of urban areas or to only live in urban areas when I have a major financial incentive (job) there. This is because I am intentionally trying to run up as large a surplus/savings rate as possible. The idea that I can move to the city, without a job there or a prospect of a job, for the purpose of enjoying the amenities, to me seems grossly irresponsible. That is very rational and ERE-like.

I would very much like to live in a happening urban area with great amenities, but I have made the conscious decision to forego said amenities to have a high savings rate. So it irks me a great deal when I see my “peers” make the conscious decision to enjoy the amenities and have a no savings/negative savings rate, and then complain afterwards that they are broke. They want to have their cake and eat it to.

However, many of those who are not “rationals” will choose to live in urban areas even if it is very financially self-destructive to do so, because “they cannot live without the amenities.” (They want the amenities for free.) Is it any surprise that waiters and struggling actors and Uber drivers in urban areas are liberal? It is in their self-interest to be so. It does not matter to them that the urban area is already saturated with waiters and struggling actors and Uber drivers, and that they are not adding all that much value to the community themselves, and that they are very easily replaceable. The world revolves around them- and they want the amenities. And they want someone else to pay for it.

That’s how I feel about it.

Campitor
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Campitor »

@Jacob

Interesting video by Josh Greene. I agree with his recommendation of a meta-morality. I would need to see more data regarding the reason why cities tend to be more liberal. Correlation doesn't equal causation but perhaps the book you linked provides the data for dense populations being liberal.

Or maybe cities being the largest beneficiaries of state supplied money and services, is more beholden to a small minority that happen to be liberal minded. Attitudes get adjusted to liberal ideology, at least in public, unless you want to become a social pariah and unemployed. And if population density = liberal, why would Oklahoma City be so conservative? Perhaps those in power running government are conservative and keep the populace beholden/indoctrinated with conservative views?
This explains why urban people tend to be liberal: When there are people from different groups living right next door, one cannot insist on things like purity, authority, and loyalty without conflict. For example, I might belong to one group, but I live right next door to someone who belongs to a different group. Thus, I have to be considerate (fairness+care) of out-groups. At the same time I have to reduce the value of loyalty, authority, and purity as far as interacting with others are concerned lest I start a neighbor-feud or get into a bar-fight.
I would say that liberals have been negligent in their open-mindedness lately and at the expense of attacking members of their own group who may diverge from their liberal dogma. Being narrow minded and intolerant isn't regulated to just conservatives. I believe most liberals and conservatives have more in common politically than they realize and the greatest and most hotly contested divergences are between the ultra left and right.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12426
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by jacob »

There's AFAIR no discussion of density in Greene's book.

Oklahoma City is specifically mentioned in the last link. Basically the argument is that it doesn't really reach the density of a real city.
the last link wrote: Atlanta, New Orleans, St. Louis, Dallas, and Indianapolis are all in red states — and they all voted blue. And there are no true “cities” in red states that voted red. The only cities in red states that didn’t vote blue were Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City. And by global standards, they are not really cities — each has population density (about 1,000/sq. mi.) less than suburban Maryland (about 1,500/sq. mi.).
FWIW, the population density where I live is 14,000/sq mi --- so 14x the density of Oklahoma City --- and that's 8 miles from downtown Chicago.

To add some more data/cover some points above:

People generally drift to cities because cities are more productive. This has held since cities were invented and it can be argued that this is the very reason why cities were invented. The larger the city, the greater productivity per capita. See e.g. https://www.citymetric.com/business/cit ... ritish-782 by the guy who wrote Scale which has been mentioned in another thread. Even if you're a mime or an uber driver you'll make more living in Chicago than you would being a mime or uber driver in the sticks.

Another data point is that counties that went to Clinton in 2016 are responsible for 2/3 of US GDP vs 1/3 of US GDP coming from Trump counties. That's because the counties that went to Clinton are pretty much every single city (minus the two mentioned above). http://metrocosm.com/election-2016-map-3d/ (note: the taller, the bluer)

Because they make twice as much money, blue states also pay more in in federal taxes at a similar ratio. http://thefederalist.com/2017/11/17/red ... ax-makers/

Also note that US left-left (think Bernie) looks towards Europe with its much higher population density for policy inspiration and aspiration. The reason the US is comparably to the right [of Europe] is a) a below average pop density; and b) the federal system with the electoral college/senate which favors land-count vote rather than head-count vote making it possible for the right to hang on despite losing the head-count vote more often than not. (Same reason some countries in the EU enjoy more power than their size otherwise warrant.)

That's not a complete theory of politics and morality, but it's certainly a lot of very interesting correlations that all fit together...

But I think I'm drifting way off thread here.

To bring it back, I think the 9.9 percenters best personal strategy would seem to be to live outside the city in a gated area, maybe with guards. It's the historically tried and true way. Castle on the hill, away from the teeming masses. This, incidentally is also what they do now. In Brazil, having armed guards outside is normal. In the US, there's just a rent-a-cop asking for your ID and signature in the guest-log, either at the gate or at the entrance of fancy high-rises. Whereas the best public strategy would be a controlled reversion of the Gini index before it gets reverted catastrophically. (It's mean reverting.)

I have yet to figure out where FIRE sits in all this. If it takes $1.2M to be in the 9.9%, then the NW of regular FIRE is right around being in the 9.9% and for the most part all FIRE would definitely be in the 19.9%. OTOH, in terms of spending habits, we're more in the bottom 20%... so the question is whether stability is derived from differences in wealth or difference in income. I suspect it's more of the latter.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2959
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by IlliniDave »

jacob wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:56 pm

To bring it back, I think the 9.9 percenters best personal strategy would seem to be to live outside the city in a gated area, maybe with guards. It's the historically tried and true way. Castle on the hill, away from the teeming masses.
As you pointed out, you certainly see a lot of that now where the real wealth on a per capita basis is clustered in the suburban counties surrounding large metro areas (though the uberwealthy can effectively carve out their own micro-suburbs within a city's borders), with the wealthiest counties disproportionately huddled around Washington DC. Many of them are purple counties though on balance they probably lean blue. Interestingly such voluntary segregation tends to isolate the wealthy from the impacts of real world policies that stem from their voting tendencies. That's true for wealthy blue voters as well as wealthy red voters.

Just a guess but I'd bet the deepest colored of the tallest bars on the relevant election map are not dense populations of high education/income/morally ascendant individuals. For generations the blue team has had superior organization and branding that appeals to poorer urban populations. The deepest red is generally in the lowest bar, poorest rural areas, which while not having a lot of GDP do feed all the tall bars. One of the "quirks" of the US system is that its founders took steps to make it more difficult for urban populations to rule over rural populations and large states to rule over small. I don't think it's a bad system, although for now the Socialists feel it thwarts them and so it is increasingly under attack. It will be interesting to see how things go later this fall and in 2020 if the economy holds together.

I am skeptical that Socialism could work on a US-sized scale (history has not reflected well on the possibility) or even have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too socialism that exists successfully in small pockets of Europe. In the US individual states could pursue the latter if they wanted, and some do to a degree, but in the US socialism-with-someone-else's-money and/or forcing socialism on people that don't want it seems to be what's most popular, which makes me concerned about what the motivation for it truly is.

It would be good I think to pinch the wealth gap a little, although it appears some inequality is necessary for overall growth. In the past that was done in the US with heavy-handed tax policy because I think, ironically, people feared the rise of Socialism in the US. Guys like Bernie think we can go back to that pre-WWII era socialist flavor and double down on it. I think he is more benign than many of his neighbors on the far far left.

I think FIRE and maybe more so ERE don't fit into this at all because it goes somewhat against what is viewed as the ultimate goal: maximizing spending as a univariate measure. I tend to prioritize wealth because at least for now wealth is out of the government's revenue expansion cross hairs (and thereby the Socialists' short-term redistribution cross hairs) until I die. Then, having a cake, I can eat it very slowly.

Solvent
Posts: 215
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:04 pm
Location: ኢትዮጵያ
Contact:

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Solvent »

I have guards, but they're not armed. I guess the federal police with AK47s on every street corner subsume that need. AMA...

Riggerjack
Posts: 2906
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Riggerjack »

@ Jacob

You say:
People generally drift to cities because cities are more productive. This has held since cities were invented and it can be argued that this is the very reason why cities were invented. The larger the city, the greater productivity per capita. See e.g. https://www.citymetric.com/business/cit ... ritish-782 by the guy who wrote Scale which has been mentioned in another thread. Even if you're a mime or an uber driver you'll make more living in Chicago than you would being a mime or uber driver in the sticks.
But I hear:
People generally drift to cities because cities are more consumptive. This has held since cities were invented and it can be argued that this is the very reason why cities were invented. The larger the city, the greater consumption per capita. See e.g. https://www.citymetric.com/business/cit ... ritish-782 by the guy who wrote Scale which has been mentioned in another thread. Even if you're a mime or an uber driver you'll use more living in Chicago than you would being a mime or uber driver in the sticks.

And I wonder what the ratio between the increased consumption and increased productivity is? City folks are more productive. And less able. It's a trade-off, like everything else in life.

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by BRUTE »

Solvent wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:30 am
I have guards, but they're not armed. I guess the federal police with AK47s on every street corner subsume that need. AMA...
does Solvent care to elaborate?

Post Reply