President Trump

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Re: President Trump

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vhstapes wrote: Lol, you were.
You seem so confident enough about what the effects would be that it's funny to you, but why is it just so obvious to you what the effects would be?

I have to wonder if the last few posts in this thread have been more about dismissal of what allegedly won't help, and very little about actually finding what will. "Closing the income disparity gap... should be something we do," so should my takeaway from the people that actually did post ideas (regarding healthcare, schooling, public transportation, public housing, and a financial system overhaul) be that it can only be done with massive changes to spending overall? If that's the only way, what might that look like?


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Re: President Trump

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AdmiralMotti89 wrote:I think it's pretty surprising to see the number of sole proprietorships and partnerships that exist. About 3 million people make at or below the minimum wage, for example, and there are 7.4 million partnerships and S corporations and 23 million sole proprietorships. Not the cleanest statistics, but I would guess quite different from what a lot might expect.
Can you elaborate some more about what you are trying to convey here? I'm unable to see how these statistics tell us anything about how many poor people are looking to start businesses but find the licensing requirements too steep.
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Re: President Trump

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Gergall wrote:
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:I think it's pretty surprising to see the number of sole proprietorships and partnerships that exist. About 3 million people make at or below the minimum wage, for example, and there are 7.4 million partnerships and S corporations and 23 million sole proprietorships. Not the cleanest statistics, but I would guess quite different from what a lot might expect.
Can you elaborate some more about what you are trying to convey here? I'm unable to see how these statistics tell us anything about how many poor people are looking to start businesses but find the licensing requirements too steep.
The point was that it's surprising (at least I thought when I looked it up) how many sole proprietorships there are relative to minimum wage (or lower) earners. That it's not about tens of millions of poor trying to break into a realm with only a few (hundred, ten?) thousand opportunities. That particular paragraph was not about who is looking but can't because of licensing, but rather if there is any opportunity in which to endeavor.

Let's say that in the next 5 minutes we get full information about the topics I mentioned, and we happen to find out for sure that the things I mentioned might help actually don't help in any meaningful way. What things do you think might help?
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Re: President Trump

Post by Gergall »

AdmiralMotti89 wrote:
Gergall wrote:
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:I think it's pretty surprising to see the number of sole proprietorships and partnerships that exist. About 3 million people make at or below the minimum wage, for example, and there are 7.4 million partnerships and S corporations and 23 million sole proprietorships. Not the cleanest statistics, but I would guess quite different from what a lot might expect.
Can you elaborate some more about what you are trying to convey here? I'm unable to see how these statistics tell us anything about how many poor people are looking to start businesses but find the licensing requirements too steep.
The point was that it's surprising (at least I thought when I looked it up) how many sole proprietorships there are relative to minimum wage (or lower) earners. That it's not about tens of millions of poor trying to break into a realm with only a few (hundred, ten?) thousand opportunities. That particular paragraph was not about who is looking but can't because of licensing, but rather if there is any opportunity in which to endeavor.
In that case, might these be the better numbers to compare?
-3 million people making at or below minimum wage.
-43 million people living below the poverty line.

So even if we help all 3 million people earn more money (not just with the licensing stuff, but in general) and each of those 3 million people supports a family of 4, we've still got a ton of work to do.

Let's say that in the next 5 minutes we get full information about the topics I mentioned, and we happen to find out for sure that the things I mentioned might help actually don't help in any meaningful way. What things do you think might help?
Looking at countries that do better with income inequality and copying their ideas.
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Re: President Trump

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Gergall wrote:
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:
Gergall wrote:
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:I think it's pretty surprising to see the number of sole proprietorships and partnerships that exist. About 3 million people make at or below the minimum wage, for example, and there are 7.4 million partnerships and S corporations and 23 million sole proprietorships. Not the cleanest statistics, but I would guess quite different from what a lot might expect.
Can you elaborate some more about what you are trying to convey here? I'm unable to see how these statistics tell us anything about how many poor people are looking to start businesses but find the licensing requirements too steep.
The point was that it's surprising (at least I thought when I looked it up) how many sole proprietorships there are relative to minimum wage (or lower) earners. That it's not about tens of millions of poor trying to break into a realm with only a few (hundred, ten?) thousand opportunities. That particular paragraph was not about who is looking but can't because of licensing, but rather if there is any opportunity in which to endeavor.
In that case, might these be the better numbers to compare?
-3 million people making at or below minimum wage.
-43 million people living below the poverty line.

So even if we help all 3 million people earn more money (not just with the licensing stuff, but in general) and each of those 3 million people supports a family of 4, we've still got a ton of work to do.
I think whatever question we're trying to answer (with whatever numbers being brought in) is getting nebulous. I don't see how those numbers (3 and 43) really address if there are opportunities available, which is an essential consideration in regarding the effect of easing of licensing requirements, and answering if it would help 1% (or more or less than that, and besides I'm not claiming any one thing would help all of the 3 million anyways, it could be a lot less than that and still be a good start, as I suggested from the beginning), which is the question I thought we were trying get at. I'm not sure my numbers do a good job either at addressing the opportunity question either, by the way. And in any case I think we can both agree that if we wanted to commit the time to get serious about that question, we need a lot more than just two numbers to compare.

Your point about having a ton of work to do would seem a lot more appropriate to my argument if I had said something like "easing licensing requirements will solve poverty and/or income inequality," but of course that wasn't my argument. In any case, it sounds like we both agree that at least some of the things I mentioned will do more than nothing and less then everything to help the poor, and if this topic is still worth the time it seems like it should shift to what to do about the gap between the stuff I mentioned and a complete solution, and I must confess I don't think I learned anything from your answer about what that might be:
Gergall wrote:
Let's say that in the next 5 minutes we get full information about the topics I mentioned, and we happen to find out for sure that the things I mentioned might help actually don't help in any meaningful way. What things do you think might help?
Looking at countries that do better with income inequality and copying their ideas.
Which ideas? If you don't have the time or inclination to specify, that's cool, but considering there are places with lower income inequality that I would hazard a guess we would agree are less desirable places to live, there's a chance that interaction with other factors could make things worse overall.
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Re: President Trump

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AdmiralMotti89 wrote:In any case, it sounds like we both agree that at least some of the things I mentioned will do more than nothing and less then everything to help the poor
I'm not sure that they do address income inequality. I'm concerned that they may disproportionately benefit the wealthy. I'm most interested in ideas that very clearly favor the poor.

For example whenever someone talks about universal healthcare or education, I always want to hear more about how those would work, because I have little doubt that they'd be a massive boon for the poor while doing not-very-much for the rich.
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Re: President Trump

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Gergall wrote:
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:In any case, it sounds like we both agree that at least some of the things I mentioned will do more than nothing and less then everything to help the poor
I'm not sure that they do address income inequality. I'm concerned that they may disproportionately benefit the wealthy. I'm most interested in ideas that very clearly favor the poor.

For example whenever someone talks about universal healthcare or education, I always want to hear more about how those would work, because I have little doubt that they'd be a massive boon for the poor while doing not-very-much for the rich.
It's one thing to say the things I mentioned won't help the poor a lot, and that's a fair possibility. But it's quite another to characterize them together that they disproportionately benefit the wealthy. I don't think that's anywhere close to a reasonable if you take even a cursory anticipative look. If there is a barrier that disproportionately negatively affects the poor relative to the rich, then removing that barrier would have a disproportionately positive effect on the poor, correct?

Here's the list I posted before:
1.suspension of driver's licenses for unpaid tickets
2. debt monetization (increasing inflation)
3. charter schools (probably going to get assassinated just for mentioning it)
4. squeezing out food trucks/carts
5. lobbyist-influenced fed dietary guidelines
6. efforts to rein in money-managing (often "cryptocurency") apps that have lower fees than payday lender
7. soda tax (kinda silly, but pros and cons I suppose)
8. bacon wrapped hot dogs in LA (seriously)
9. Elvis Summers and homes for the homeless
Which of these (apart from maybe the soda tax, which was already admitted as my weakest example and not worth arguing) doesn't have a clear disproportionate effect regarding the poor, where any positive results would be disproportionately for the poor? With 5 the rich can already eat whatever they want, but dietary guidelines that influence programs like school lunches result in choices that are only alleged to be healthy. 2 deals with inflation, which hits people with less money harder. 1, 4, 6, and 8 all deal with fees/fines, which obviously hits people with less money harder. With 3, the rich already have the opportunity to get out of bad schools so considering the possibility that a kid could get a better education at a charter gives the poor access to such opportunity. 9 shouldn't need explanation. Another one I didn't think of at the time was the cost of bail from jail, I'm sure the application of the argument is obvious there too.

Why exactly do you think there's even a possibility for disproportionate benefit for the rich with those? Even if there were little to no help for the poor, how could it possibly disproportionately benefit for the rich?

Also, as I've said numerous times in this thread, if you focus too much on fighting inequality, you might not be putting enough focus on fighting poverty. Not saying you can't do both, but a careful consideration of priorities might shift the focus more towards absolute poverty

It's cool that you want to hear about other people's ideas about education and healthcare, but what are yours? Or ideas on other ways to help? If changes to healthcare and education are the best ways to significantly close the gap, what changes should be made?
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Re: President Trump

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so this is going to be out of left field but

i really honestly hope that lebron james runs for president, and campaigns on "every school should be an I Promise school" and then accomplishes that goal.
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Re: President Trump

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mikefrench wrote:so this is going to be out of left field but

i really honestly hope that lebron james runs for president, and campaigns on "every school should be an I Promise school" and then accomplishes that goal.
I'll sign on for this on the condition that at some point (either in the primaries or general) he ends up running against Michael Jordan.
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Re: President Trump

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And MJ runs on a “legalize gambling” platform, obviously
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Re: President Trump

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And no one mentions Kobe Bryant the whole time.

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Re: President Trump

Post by WiseMarsellus »

now that lebron is with the lakers, i wholeheartedly endorse his campaign for president
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Re: President Trump

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@Motti Your list is too ambiguous for me to be convinced that they disproportionately favor the poor. For example #3 just says "Charter schools". What about charter schools? Make more of them? Give them money? What? The same goes for your whole list. I cannot agree with you on supporting any of those things as written. If they were more fleshed out it might help (but unfortunately, it didn't help in the case of the licensing requirements).

It's cool that you want to hear about other people's ideas about education and healthcare, but what are yours? Or ideas on other ways to help? If changes to healthcare and education are the best ways to significantly close the gap, what changes should be made?
Not really my strong area. I don't know anything about how education or healthcare work. I prefer listening.
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Re: President Trump

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Gergall wrote:@Motti Your list is too ambiguous for me to be convinced that they disproportionately favor the poor. For example #3 just says "Charter schools". What about charter schools? Make more of them? Give them money? What? The same goes for your whole list. I cannot agree with you on supporting any of those things as written. If they were more fleshed out it might help (but unfortunately, it didn't help in the case of the licensing requirements).
Perhaps you missed this paragraph, right under the copy/paste of the list (about which I said "I'm pretty sure I included enough info for each for a google search if anything is of interest.")? I mentioned charter schools in more detail there.
AdmiralMotti89 wrote: Which of these (apart from maybe the soda tax, which was already admitted as my weakest example and not worth arguing) doesn't have a clear disproportionate effect regarding the poor, where any positive results would be disproportionately for the poor? With 5 the rich can already eat whatever they want, but dietary guidelines that influence programs like school lunches result in choices that are only alleged to be healthy. 2 deals with inflation, which hits people with less money harder. 1, 4, 6, and 8 all deal with fees/fines, which obviously hits people with less money harder. With 3, the rich already have the opportunity to get out of bad schools so considering the possibility that a kid could get a better education at a charter gives the poor access to such opportunity. 9 shouldn't need explanation. Another one I didn't think of at the time was the cost of bail from jail, I'm sure the application of the argument is obvious there too.

Why exactly do you think there's even a possibility for disproportionate benefit for the rich with those? Even if there were little to no help for the poor, how could it possibly disproportionately benefit for the rich?
(here's the list for simplicity)
Spoiler
Show
1.suspension of driver's licenses for unpaid tickets
2. debt monetization (increasing inflation)
3. charter schools (probably going to get assassinated just for mentioning it)
4. squeezing out food trucks/carts
5. lobbyist-influenced fed dietary guidelines
6. efforts to rein in money-managing (often "cryptocurency") apps that have lower fees than payday lender
7. soda tax (kinda silly, but pros and cons I suppose)
8. bacon wrapped hot dogs in LA (seriously)
9. Elvis Summers and homes for the homeless
I am surprised that a good chunk of these aren't clear as to what I'm talking about just from the original list (and perhaps a quick google search as suggested), much less after the paragraph going into a little more detail. Something (be it a license, traffic ticket, check-cashing fee, foodservice citation) costs $X. Reducing the cost of that thing is more of a proportionate benefit for whom, someone who has $Y, or someone who has $10Y? I understand a few of them might have been (and still are) vague, but the fact that you claim to not have had enough information on any of them is hard to believe. For example, you must have your own opinion on how debt monetization increasing inflation would affect the poor relative to the rich. Perhaps you think it hurts the poor more, perhaps you think it hurts the rich more. Or maybe it was a totally new concept to you and you therefore had no opinion. But in that case, is it really an issue of ambiguity?

What's insufficient to convince you about my licensing requirement argument, by the way? It often costs money to get a license. Who is that more of a barrier to, a person with a lot of money, or a person with a little money? So if the cost is reduced, who would gain more of a relative benefit? Or is there another consequence that would run counter to the decreased cost in terms of the effect on the poor?

Or let's make that example entirely specific, that one situation I linked with that one person wanting to braid hair. Can't really get less ambiguous than that. If you're concerned that allowing people to braid hair without a cosmetology license will "disproportionately benefit the wealthy," why?

Perhaps there are some unintended consequences I'm missing. If you'd like to engage directly on any of the three paragraphs immediately above, then I'd be happy to go into more detail about anything on the list that remains vague if you'd like to specify which one(s).
Gergall wrote:
It's cool that you want to hear about other people's ideas about education and healthcare, but what are yours? Or ideas on other ways to help? If changes to healthcare and education are the best ways to significantly close the gap, what changes should be made?
Not really my strong area. I don't know anything about how education or healthcare work. I prefer listening.
Gergall wrote: For example whenever someone talks about universal healthcare or education, I always want to hear more about how those would work, because I have little doubt that they'd be a massive boon for the poor while doing not-very-much for the rich.
Surely for you to declare them to be a massive boon for the poor, you must have had SOMETHING in mind as to how improving them would help. But not a single specific problem to identify in education, for example, that you could guess a change might improve? Class sizes? Funding? Curriculum? Teacher tenure or pay? Discipline policy?
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Re: President Trump

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I am surprised that a good chunk of these aren't clear as to what I'm talking about just from the original list (and perhaps a quick google search as suggested), much less after the paragraph going into a little more detail. Something (be it a license, traffic ticket, check-cashing fee, foodservice citation) costs $X. Reducing the cost of that thing is more of a proportionate benefit for whom, someone who has $Y, or someone who has $10Y? I understand a few of them might have been (and still are) vague, but the fact that you claim to not have had enough information on any of them is hard to believe. For example, you must have your own opinion on how debt monetization increasing inflation would affect the poor relative to the rich. Perhaps you think it hurts the poor more, perhaps you think it hurts the rich more. Or maybe it was a totally new concept to you and you therefore had no opinion. But in that case, is it really an issue of ambiguity?
Sorry for the misunderstanding. I think we're not on the same page. Here is what I am trying to say about your list:
I don't understand what change you are proposing.
Example: 8. bacon wrapped hot dogs in LA (seriously)

What are you proposing to do about bacon wrapped hot dogs? Make more of them? Give them out for free? Eliminate a tax that's been imposed on them? Decriminalize them?

I hope that helps you understand where I am coming from.

What's insufficient to convince you about my licensing requirement argument, by the way? It often costs money to get a license. Who is that more of a barrier to, a person with a lot of money, or a person with a little money? So if the cost is reduced, who would gain more of a relative benefit? Or is there another consequence that would run counter to the decreased cost in terms of the effect on the poor?
Lets say that the license requirement goes away and then there is one rich person who starts a business and one poor person who starts a business. The rich person saves 10k and doesn't really care. The poor person saves 10k and cares a great deal. Okay, terrific.

But suppose instead that the license requirement goes away and there are 5000 rich people who start a business and one poor person who starts a business. The 5000 rich people save 10k and they don't really care. The one poor person still saves 10k and cares a great deal. That's cool for the one poor person but this change hasn't proven overall to be more beneficial for the poor than for the rich.

Surely for you to declare them to be a massive boon for the poor, you must have had SOMETHING in mind as to how improving them would help. But not a single specific problem to identify in education, for example, that you could guess a change might improve? Class sizes? Funding? Curriculum? Teacher tenure or pay? Discipline policy?
I have no specific ideas or suggestions. My instinct however is that since the rich already enjoy first-class healthcare and education, it's difficult to accidentally engineer a universal health or education system that will help them more than it helps the poor. I could be wrong, but as I said earlier I have little doubt about it.
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Re: President Trump

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Your hypothetical is missing the barrier aspect of the licensing issue.
Gergall wrote: Lets say that the license requirement goes away and then there is one rich person who starts a business and one poor person who starts a business. The rich person saves 10k and doesn't really care. The poor person saves 10k and cares a great deal. Okay, terrific.

But suppose instead that the license requirement goes away and there are 5000 rich people who start a business and one poor person who starts a business. The 5000 rich people save 10k and they don't really care. The one poor person still saves 10k and cares a great deal. That's cool for the one poor person but this change hasn't proven overall to be more beneficial for the poor than for the rich.
To put the finest point I can on it:

Rich people want to start businesses.
Poor people want to start businesses.
To start businesses, they have to meet licensing requirements.
To meet the licensing requirements, there are costs.
The costs are prohibitive for the poor. Those poor people do not complete the licensing requirements.
The costs are not prohibitive for the rich. Those rich people complete the licensing requirements.

The rich people start the businesses they wanted to start. The poor people do not start the businesses they wanted to start.
(Agree? Disagree? Problems with any of the premises?)
However, let's run through the same thing again, but without the costs for the licensing requirements. What do you think happens?

To use an analogy (and hopefully this is illustrative even though I know little about cars), let's say you and I want to drive down the road. There is a speed bump on the road. I am driving a car with very low ground clearance, and can't get over the speed bump. You have a large truck with high clearance and make it over the bump without trouble. Now let's try the same scenario again with no speed bump. We both can go down the road. The point is that because of your better resources, you were already down the road when I was stuck at the bump. Removing the bump doesn't do a whole lot to increase in the number of big trucks going down that road, since they already could. But it will allow cars with low clearance to go down the road, and they weren't able to before.

Your characterization of the costs as "saving" $X is off when applied to the poor (regardless of the ratio of poor to rich affected by easing). The point is not that that both the rich and poor already get the licensing, and then they saved $X. The point is that the costs are prohibitive to the poor from taking advantage of opportunities in the first place, and without opportunities, they can't generate wealth. Just look at the hair braiding example. That woman could not afford to start a braiding business. She needed easing of the licensing requirement to do so. A rich person already could afford to start a braiding business.

To continue the "speed bump" analogy, sometimes helping people over the bumps works too. A lot of people might be surprised to find how many people are very close to being able to generate wealth but have a small bump in the way, as this 11 minute FINCA International video shows.

I'll expound on #8 if we can get past the licensing issue (it's definitely in the 2nd division in terms of strength of example though). Any others on the list you care to comment on in the meantime? It's hard for me to buy that my whole list was ambiguous when you only bring up the ambiguity of two of them. What's ambiguous about the impact on the poor of suspension of driver's licenses for unpaid tickets? What's ambiguous about inflation? You might disagree that it impacts the poor more, but it shouldn't be ambiguous, what I was talking about.
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Re: President Trump

Post by Gergall »

There are two opposing factors at play here:

A) The barrier. I absolutely agree that in terms of the barrier to entry, the poor benefit more than the rich.

B) The raw total quantity of the "handout" (dunno if you're gonna give me a hard time over the use of the word handout, but lets not get sidetracked on semantics). Just making up numbers here, suppose the plan to eliminate some licensing reqs goes into play and after a year it turns out that $500 million in handouts go to the rich and $50k go to the poor. Oops.
Of course the numbers wouldn't be that bad, but I merely wish to illustrate that we don't know what those numbers would be. And there must be some point where B outweighs A. Surely if the numbers were 500M and 50k you'd agree that it wasn't worth it. (Right? Please tell me we at least have this tiny scrap of agreement). The question is if we would land on numbers where it is worth it, or not worth it.

Now for the most important part. I wish to reiterate that I am not saying you are wrong. I am saying that I don't know for sure which factor, A or B, will outweigh the other.
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Re: President Trump

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Gergall wrote:There are two opposing factors at play here:

A) The barrier. I absolutely agree that in terms of the barrier to entry, the poor benefit more than the rich.

B) The raw total quantity of the "handout" (dunno if you're gonna give me a hard time over the use of the word handout, but lets not get sidetracked on semantics). Just making up numbers here, suppose the plan to eliminate some licensing reqs goes into play and after a year it turns out that $500 million in handouts go to the rich and $50k go to the poor. Oops.
Of course the numbers wouldn't be that bad, but I merely wish to illustrate that we don't know what those numbers would be. And there must be some point where B outweighs A. Surely if the numbers were 500M and 50k you'd agree that it wasn't worth it. (Right? Please tell me we at least have this tiny scrap of agreement). The question is if we would land on numbers where it is worth it, or not worth it.

Now for the most important part. I wish to reiterate that I am not saying you are wrong. I am saying that I don't know for sure which factor, A or B, will outweigh the other.
I also considered the comparison of 1 person getting out of poverty to 5000 rich people getting more money like in your first example, this latest example really just doubles that I suppose, and I wrote a few sentences for the last post and I realized I was getting ahead of myself.

I do think, as I've admitted before, that I find it plausible there is some point where an income inequality can be dangerous for society (though it seems people are slow to offer explanations of why that's so), but the point at which that gets to be more of an emergency than absolute poverty tends to be forced. So I agree with the premise at its most basic.

But what's interesting is that your numbers, meant to be absurd, aren't actually particularly alarming when you consider the alternatives. It looks like Slovenia has the lowest CIA Gini available on wikipedia, and their richest people are a couple with wealth estimated at $800,000,000 (698M EUR). The median wealth of Slovenia is $43,000. Yes it's not apples to apples but when the ratio of increase of wealth for the rich to the increase to the poor in your supposedly absurd example is 10,000:1, and the ratio of the richest's wealth in the most equal country for which we have data to the median wealth is 18,600:1 (or 9,300:1 if you want to tabulate it that way as they are a couple), perhaps income inequality having negative effects doesn't work quite like how you imagined (or perhaps Slovenia needs a massive shift in how income is distributed)? Now of course, that is a much smaller ratio than would be the case in America of richest to median. But is Slovenia a better place to live than America? Perhaps, but it's hardly obvious. It's complicated, and copying the ideas of countries with lower inequality like you mentioned might not actually be a good idea as income inequality is far from being the most important measure of whatever makes a good society.

America is a place where you can make 500M or 50k. It's a lot starker than that, actually. A full time minimum wage worker makes about $15,000 a year. Warren Buffet makes $12,700,000,000 a year. That's really unequal wealth distribution. But 90% of human history was hunter/gatherer society, and that was pretty equal. A stark example, sure (and it seems we've been delving into the absurd anyways), but the point is that when comparing the importance of absolute poverty and relative poverty, absolute matters a lot more than is usually framed. That there even exists a society where someone can amass the wealth that is represented by $50k is impressive, and relatively new. And that there are 20+ countries where at least half of the population has amassed such wealth is more impressive still.

I would much rather focus on helping more people get closer to whatever is "comfortable" than on lowering the ratio. Sure, sometimes you can do both. Sometimes focusing on one may make the other worse. Sometimes you can make both worse. But if it's possible that the conditions that lead to more absolute wealth for everyone can also lead to an increased of ratio of wealth, then trying to dampen the latter may end up harming the former.

So yes, theoretically, at some point you could raise the income gap to such a point where the negative consequences of that income gap (whatever they may be, and weighed against what it would take to fix them, let's remember) could outweigh helping people out of actual poverty. But to be legitimately worried about that for even half of what I mentioned (I don't see how it applies to any of them, myself) is a Super-Pyrrho level of skepticism, IMO. And I'm not saying you would disagree, and it's not like either of us has the time to get serious about numbers but it's worth pointing out putting a valuation on getting out of poverty is a pretty tall order, especially when there's not a lot of experience for the valuator in actually living in it.
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Gergall
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Re: President Trump

Post by Gergall »

I read your entire post. I didn't feel you gave a black and white answer to this:

So if the licensing reqs plan went into effect and after a year we see that the rich got 500m and the poor got 50k, do we agree "Oops, that's a failure." ?
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Re: President Trump

Post by mikefrench »

Gergall wrote:I read your entire post. I didn't feel you gave a black and white answer to this:

So if the licensing reqs plan went into effect and after a year we see that the rich got 500m and the poor got 50k, do we agree "Oops, that's a failure." ?
assuming inflation isn't making that 50k worthless in any real sense, and assuming that removing licensing reqs didn't have unintended safety/environmental consequences that we would deem unacceptable, i would not agree that that was a failure. income inequality in and of itself is not a problem in my mind - the problem is poverty and the damage that it causes to humans. if we had a system in which no one was poor (ie they had food/shelter/health/jobs/leisure/etc) but some people were fabulously rich, i would be fine with that.
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