These comments were excerpted from here.
Maya Marisa Joelson
I don't think he actually consumes them. They seem to crumble out of his mouth back into the air...
@Maya, kinda like how the 1% don't actually use most of their 99% to consume anything. Most of that $$ (or cookies, i guess) is re-invested into the economy, coincidentally benefiting the other 99% with ever-more-affordable goods and services. A complete lack of understanding of economics is what leads people to think that a cookie monster analogy makes any sense in the real world.
"Most of that $$ (or cookies, i guess) is re-invested into the economy, coincidentally benefiting the other 99% with ever-more-affordable goods and services"
That's the claim, but unfortunately it doesn't actually work that way. Money given to a lower-income person gets put back into the economy much faster than if it's retained by a higher-income person, on average. <
@Woozle, again if you had even a basic understanding of economics you would know the important role that savings play in creating a healthy economy.
Gil Birman: did I say I disagreed with that?
I think you must be arguing with your preconceptions about my position rather than my actual position. <
"Money given to a lower-income person gets put back into the economy much faster than if it's retained by a higher-income person, on average" << Did I misunderstand your statement? It sounds like you're saying that wealthier people save more. Assuming I agree with you (which I don't), what you're essentially arguing against is savings.
Gil Birman: indeed, I agree that wealthy people are able to save more than poor people, and that savings are good for the economy.
I agree, in fact, that creating more wealthy people (who are, as we both agree, able to save more and therefore help the economy) would be a good thing.
Therefore we need to distribute the money more evenly, so that more of society is wealthy (i.e. has an income sufficiently over their basic needs to permit them to accumulate savings). Yes?
This is indeed one of the very foundations of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Gavin Marcus Lee
?@Woozle ya all those rich people should just give all there money I mean they've never given the world anything right? What happens when you raise the taxes again and what's left of the business owners takes the businesses and currency elsewhere? Then we can be left with just a bunch of whiners who don't pay taxes themself. THEN THEN when all the rich people are gone the US will be perfect right? Cuz then everyone will be equal then all debt will be gone forget debt being the basis of all economies and forget student loans not being forced on anybody right? FUCK it everythings free and we can raise the minimum wage to 30 dollars an hour. How bout some personal responsibility?
Gavin Marcus Lee: (1) why would they do that now? They didn't under Reagan, when taxes were much higher. (2) If all they care about is profit, then good riddance to 'em.
Gavin Marcus Lee
@woozle during that time there were less regulations and less taxes on them so over all it was cheaper also things like minimum wage were less it is way more expensive to hire people or be in this country than it ever has been ever not even close. And they should only care about profit THATS THE POINT OF A BUSINESS PROFIT if there product sucks NO ONE BUYS IT. If there service is bad STOP GOING if you don't want to pay back a loan and not get foreclosed on cuz your derpa derp self can't pay it back DON't GET IT...
You see, cookies trickle down from the top. And while the monster at the top gets to eat all the cookies, there are plenty of crumbs on the ground.
@Gavin: you seem to conveniently forget that it was the shoddy business practices of the 1% in convincing themselves (by using HORRIBLE mathematics, I might add) that they could make even more money off bad debt by offering ludicrously high mortgages to people who were high financial risk in the first place, specifically with he intention of putting them in a worse financial place than they already were, by lying to them and claiming they could easily afford the american dream when they couldn't. If those people are at fault for getting themselves into bankruptcy and insurmountable debt, then the people in the banks ad real estate business who swindled them are at fault for putting themselves in the holes they created that resulted in them asking the govt for a bailout, which you might recall, was approved by the bush administration already, before the obama administration was operational. Which the GOP then attempted to blame on the "liberals". Let's call a spade a spade here, and admit that both sides are to blame.
Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest men in the world, wrote an editorial for the N.Y. Times a month or two ago in support of increasing taxes on the ultra-wealthy. In it, he mentioned that he pays, on a $7 million annual income, approximately 15% income tax as opposed to his office secretary, who makes about $55,000, who pays near 30%. NOW do we see an imbalance? Even a flat tax without exceptions would at least be fair. What you conservatives NEVER address is the fact that there are LITERALLY dozens of loopholes for the wealthy to get out of paying a fair income tax, whereas for those working class who do pay their amount, there are very few options other than to dutifully pony up every year. And the disparity only makes it worse when you consider how much more of a difference that percentage of income the lower-income worker is paying into the government makes to them as opposed to the same percentage levied against the ultra-wealthy. I'm not saying that we need to lessen the burden on the lower or middle class. I'm saying that it's only right and considerate that everyone pay an equivalent percentage. Setting a flate amount tax is ludicrous because if you set it too high, some will be eternally in debt & if you set it too low things don't function. Bottom line, everyone needs to pull their own weight.
As for the claim that the blood, sweat and toil of the working class is freely given and justly compensated, note the vast difference between the cost of living's increase due to inflation, and the adjustment of the national mandatory minimum wage the past 30 years, and then justify that "compensation". Those of you who think $7.25/hour is a livable wage in the current economy, I challenge you to give up your houses full of amenites, get a job at your choice of fast food or retail job that pays that wage, and try to get an apartment and consistent transportation to & from work. Go ahead, do it for even 3 months. Then tell me how great of a quality life it is.
Gavin Marcus Lee said "during that time there were less regulations and less taxes on them" -- uh, no, wrong. There were more taxes and more regulation. Glass-Steagall was still in effect, for starters... and the EPA hadn't been gutted, unions were more effective at enforcing safety regs, execs at regulatory agencies hadn't yet been replaced by Bush's political cronies... shall I go on? I can probably think of more.
Heh... crumble-down economics. ♥
"Money given to a lower-income person gets put back into the economy much faster than if it's retained by a higher-income person." This then begets one of my favorite maxims. "The rich get richer because they repeat the behaviors that caused them to become rich in the first place. The poor become poorer because they repeat the behaviors that caused them to be poor in the first place." Rich vs. poor is not defined by station or education or any other outside influence. It is defined by behaviors, work ethic and life choices.
Thank you Moishe and Woozle... The picture is getting viral. Also: "crumble down economics" = brilliant metaphor.
Shawn Farwell : this is true -- but of course "behavior that makes money" is not necessarily the same as "good behavior" or "behavior that we want to encourage" or even "behavior that we like".
In the case of the banksters on Wall Street, fossil fuel companies that irresponsibly exploit common resources, manufacturers who take jobs overseas in order to shave off a few percent in profit, and many many other examples I could think of, people get rich for going things that are utterly reprehensible.
By the same token, it is often those who work the hardest at providing vital services and maintaining their communities who are monetarily rewarded the least.
Crumble Down Economics. Great term. Here I was using "Trickle Out" to highlight the fact that given the first opportunity, all of the US jobs were out sourced. I think Crumble Down is much better.
@Wozzle - Agreed, but you are referring to probably .5% of the "rich" in this country. The rest of them earned it. And if by "exploiting common resources" you mean companies that spend millions to find, extract, and refine the resources into a useful commodity like power or gasoline and in the process give a hearty living to thousands of people, than I suppose you are right. As for the rest...sure. Some companies will willingly ship their operations off continent to save some bucks. Locally, we have a factory owner who wants to double his production and take on twice as many local workers. He doesn't want a tax break. He doesn't want local concessions of any kind from the city. But the EPA will charge him over a million dollars and two years time for the freaking permit process. As bad as we need the jobs here, I don't blame him for building a new factory in China. BTW...as a 20 year military vet who is still out in the workforce trying to improve his own station because my "retirement" doesn't cover the mortgage, it is downright obscene to see what some of the teachers and police officers make and retire on these days. Don't kid yourself...they ain't that poor.
Shawn Farwell: I agree that there are some very bad regulatory processes. Like the process that required a 10-year. thousand-page environmental review just so a power plant could set up operation.
That was an offshore wind farm in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the Deepwater Horizon was approved in a few weeks, with a few pages of environmental review.
One of these projects should have been more carefully looked at because it was likely to cause environmental problems... while the other is likely to have minimal and highly localized impact at worst.
I know which one *I* think should have taken 10 years to be approved...
Meanwhile... I do blame Apple for outsourcing their manufacturing to China just to shave their prices a little, yes. iPads and iPhones might cost more -- by what, $25? And yet more people would be able to afford them, because they would be employed... AND we wouldn't be responsible for enabling the horrible working conditions at Foxconn (not to mention China's despicable human rights record, with which the US is rapidly catching up).
You know some rich teachers? How much do they make and where do they work? I have some relatives who might be interested in relocating.
The ones in Wisconsin were bitching about retiring on a measly $62,000 a year...
Shawn Farwell: got a source for that?
As the price of fuel goes up, the price of out sourcing will also go up (unless shipping over seas is supported by a cheap and renewable energy source)and eventually jobs will return to the homeland. So use up as much gas as possible, it's going to create more jobs. ;)
I'll see what I can find, but gems like that never stick around the web very long.
@Woozle - Couldn't find exactly what I was referring to. May have been one specific case. Looks like they averaged $100,000 per year w/benefits and get 48% of that in retirement. Collective bargaining be good to them. On the other hand, the garbage collectors union in Wisconsin doesn't do near as well. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703408604576164290717724956.html
@Woozle, in response to your last reply to my comment, one reason wealth redistribution doesn't work is because the specific accumulation of wealth is actually important to a productive economy. Simply putting money into someone's hands does not mean that that person will be just as productive as another person with the same amount of money. Another way to look at it: money represents scarce resources. The actual money itself doesn't matter as much as what it can buy. Different people will do different things with scarce resources, but in a healthy economy those people who can provide the most value for the rest of society will control the most resources. In contrast, an unhealthy economy is based on the mis-allocation of resources. Free trade is the mechanism that society uses to decide who's product or service is providing the best value for the rest of society. Every time you buy something on the free market you are "voting" with your dollars that the salesman is best utilizing scarce resources for your benefit. You want democracy? Capitalism is pure democracy. Those people who provide the most benefit for society will end up with the most money. That is, unless there exists a monopoly corporation ("government") which uses force to thwart the free market and create winners based on political affiliations. In a non-free market with such a monopoly corporation you should expect entrepreneurs to spend less time actually producing goods and services people are willing to buy at ever-decreasing prices (because of competition), and more time lobbying the monopoly corporation to use their monopoly on force to eliminate their competition and siphon stolen money (taxes) directly or indirectly to the corporations.
I think that on a very basic level, your view of economics assumes that the law of scarcity does not exist. I wish that were the case but it's not.
"The average Milwaukee public-school teacher salary is $56,500, but with benefits the total package is $100,005, according to the manager of financial planning for Milwaukee public schools." - WSJ article
"Compensation" includes things like retirement -- so don't count it twice -- and medical care, which many people (including myself) think should be free -- or at the very least a negligible expense.
$56k sounds about right for someone to whom we are entrusting the next generation. Sounds like Wisconsin is... er, *was*, until Scott Walker and his thugs came along... doing something right.
What happens to wealth distribution when the wealthy run out of money????
?Marilyn Honsaker: then they're poor, and you distribute wealth back to them! :-) ...but seriously, no, wealth redistribution is about leveling the playing field a bit -- it's *not* about indefinitely taking away money from one group and gi...See More
If you're born poor, it's a lot more difficult to become rich than if you're born to a rich family. Don't tell me that our 'station' in life has nothing to do with your personal success. Although there are those born poor who are so talented that they break out of the poverty they were born into and some who are rich squander their money until they are broke, these are the exceptions, not the rule.
Gil Birman said:
one reason wealth redistribution doesn't work is because the specific accumulation of wealth is actually important to a productive economy. Simply putting money into someone's hands does not mean that that person will be just as productive as another person with the same amount of money.'
This is the reason crumble-down, uh, trickle-down economics doesn't work -- most rich people don't need most of their money, so it just sits in savings where it may get invested domestically, or maybe overseas... or maybe it will go into some financial Ponzi scheme, which will then have to get bailed out by the taxpayers because it's "too big to fail".
In contrast, an unhealthy economy is based on the mis-allocation of resources.
This is exactly what we have now, and exactly what OWS is about.
Capitalism is pure democracy. Those people who provide the most benefit for society will end up with the most money. That is, unless there exists a monopoly corporation ("government") which uses force to thwart the free market and create winners based on political affiliations.
That may be how this started, but the situation is now reversed: the wealthy now control the government, and are using it to set new rules that benefit themselves at everyone else's expense. Again, this is what OWS is about.
I think that on a very basic level, your view of economics assumes that the law of scarcity does not exist. I wish that were the case but it's not.
I'm not sure what the "law of scarcity" is -- Wikipedia says "The page "Law of scarcity" does not exist." -- but I do not pretend that resources are unlimited.
What I do say is that we have more than enough resources to feed, clothe, and house everyone -- and yet we have grocery stores throwing away unbought food (sometimes inedible but more often just "unsellable"), big-box retail stores throwing away unsold clothing, and rows of newly-built houses standing empty because the "market" is "down".
How about this. Instead of taking money from the rich, invite real-estate developers to rent out their unsold new construction housing at cost. Invite big-box grocery and retail stores to donate their unsold stock to food banks and thrift stores.
Oh wait, haven't we been doing that for 50 years or more? So by now everyone should be taken care of, right?
Maybe there's a better solution, but taxing the rich sure sounds like a good idea to me. They've had plenty of time to figure out other ways to distribute the wealth more evenly, and all they've done (overall) is make things worse.