Economics

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7,179
Exorcet
OE Exorcet
I'm not sure if @Liquid would want this to take over the other thread so I moved it here in case it generates a lot of responses.

That is simply and obviously not true. The rich do not have the same responsibilities as everyone else. I believe that the more money one makes, the more they should contribute to society.
Is it just your belief? As much as you think that I feel the opposite. Cooperation is a strength that all people rely on heavily whether they realize it or not but even with all its benefits I don't see any reason or justification to force people into it.

And since people are naturally greedy and likely won't voluntarily give up some of their income to fund the military, education, services for the poor/disabled, etc, we have a tax system in place. A flat tax system would leave the lower class paying more than they should and the rich not paying enough. The uber-wealthy in the US pays fewer taxes than the middle-class on average. How is this fair?
It's more than likely, people do voluntarily give up their money to support all kinds of things. This includes the wealthy. Even the selfish can be motivated into cooperation. The military protects them and they seek to obtain education. We have taxes in part because taxes are how people decided to solve the issue of funding government. It works and people are willing enough to contribute be that because of a genuine interest in supporting society, indifference to something common through out the world, or just fear of imprisonment. This doesn't rule out alternative systems of funding.

A flat tax, as I imagine it, would have people paying what it costs to receive a service from the government. In that way it seems to fit the amount that one should pay, what it costs. I don't see why that cost would vary from person to person, so a flat rate seems fair. That it increases the cost for the less wealthy is no less fair than living in a world with limited resources that not everyone can have. I'd rather not see people struggle financially though so I'd be willing to lessen others' burdens with my own money. I'd also consider organizing with the less wealthy and their supporters in ways that could benefit them. I'd prefer taking that route to increasing the standard of living than just demanding that other people support society.

Capitalism is not inherently corrupt. With the right amount of regulations and oversight, a capitalist economy can run smoothly with very little corruption. Like Finland for example, it has been called the "capitalist paradise". There is a market economy there, yet poverty is very low, everyone has healthcare access, wages are fair, while there still are many large corporations in Finland that are able to churn out immense profits. Free-market capitalism, however, relies on corruption; the exploitation of the poor so that the capitalists in control can be uber-rich. Capitalism does not free people from being treated unfairly; under free-market capitalism, workers, usually lower-wage ones, are oppressed by the capitalist class in the sense that they barely have enough money to get by (leaving them no buying power) long and inflexible hours, little or no sick/vacation days or paid leave, and if they protested any of this, they'd almost certainly get fired. This is not freedom by any means. That being said, there will always be poorer people in any society and people who own corporations have the right to wealthy, but this does not mean that low-wage workers should be injusticed just so the rich can be rich. Think about all the workers protections we have in first world countries (America included) like no child labor or unsanitary/hazardous conditions, ability to protest/strike, and equal pay laws for women and minorities. The free market didn't do this. Common people protested and progressive politicians listened to them. Don't you think there's a reason why during these times, big corporations would fight hard against these reforms? Because they care about their bottom line far more than the welfare of their employees. There are still many strides that need to be made.

Low wage workers (nor anyone else) should not face injustice. I see that as the government's job primarily and that job still exists in a free market. Corporations do have the right to set their terms for employment, but so do prospective workers. I'm totally fine with them organizing to influence businesses into meeting their standards for employment. Government should facilitate this. Beside this being more fair in my mind it allows for increased flexibility. Something like an absolute minimum wage may sound like an improvement for everyone besides business owners, but it can actually make it more difficult for someone to find a job when they're not looking to maximize pay. Say someone looking to build experience or looking for a side job for a little extra money and not a living wage. Those niche cases may be less common but I think it's good to leave room for them. It's totally understandable to seek a higher overall quality of life for everyone, but I don't see strict regulation as the only way to achieve that. It's certainly the way that society is setup to work currently but I'm not convinced that it has to be this way.
 

Joey D

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I'll follow @Exorcet lead.

A flat tax system would leave the lower class paying more than they should and the rich not paying enough. The uber-wealthy in the US pays fewer taxes than the middle-class on average. How is this fair?

A flat tax is really the only fair way to do income tax. It's not a flat amount either, it's more along the lines of a flat percentage. If everyone were to pay 10% of their gross income then it would be fair since no matter how much you're making, you're paying the same rate as everyone else.

You also have to realize that the ultra-rich in the US doesn't have a ton in the way of income. A vast majority of their wealth is in investments and assets. Very little of it is actually liquid and it's not like they're getting a big paycheck every week. While they are certainly getting money, someone like Jeff Bezos doesn't just have billions under his mattress at home. So with income tax, they aren't paying a whole lot because they just don't have income like many people think they do. Still under a flat percentage system, they'd probably end up paying more since, ideally, the system would also get rid of all the deductions and loop holes.
 
8,667
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I'll follow @Exorcet lead.



A flat tax is really the only fair way to do income tax. It's not a flat amount either, it's more along the lines of a flat percentage. If everyone were to pay 10% of their gross income then it would be fair since no matter how much you're making, you're paying the same rate as everyone else.

You also have to realize that the ultra-rich in the US doesn't have a ton in the way of income. A vast majority of their wealth is in investments and assets. Very little of it is actually liquid and it's not like they're getting a big paycheck every week. While they are certainly getting money, someone like Jeff Bezos doesn't just have billions under his mattress at home. So with income tax, they aren't paying a whole lot because they just don't have income like many people think they do. Still under a flat percentage system, they'd probably end up paying more since, ideally, the system would also get rid of all the deductions and loop holes.

Not that I disagree with you in any significant way, but Bezos (and Gates and the others) probably earn close to a $1Bn ever year in dividends alone. Now whether they reinvest that or not is anyones guess.

A flat tax is theoretically fair, but I don't think its practically fair.
10% of a billionaire's income is proportionally the same as 10% of an impoverished person's income but the marginal cost of surviving does not scale. A jug of milk does not suddenly cost $200k if you're a billionaire. The baseline monetary requirements to like...live, are the same. Any money earned under this threshold, IMO, should not be taxed at all. I actually find the current system (if not the rates exactly) of marginal taxes to be, in effect, quite fair. The tech-billionaires first $39,475 is taxed at the exact same rate (well, nominally anyhow) as the apprentice plumber's $39,475. I do think income above some arbitrarily high number (lets call it $500m) should be taxed at close to 100%, as that money clearly could be better used not going to one person (that is to say, hopefully it incentives higher pay to more workers or reinvestment into the company to avoid paying such a ludicrous tax, both of which IMO are better for the broader economy as they provide far more liquidity)
 
600
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Ireland
There does not have to be relatively lower income jobs. There is nothing in economics that requires any job to pay or be worth any less than any other job. What determines the value of a job or work performed is supply and demand in the market, and supply and demand in the market could land on all jobs being worth exactly the same amount if those jobs are supplied and demanded at the exact same rate. Ultimately...
It's theoretically possible but realistically it's extremely unlikely.
But this does not mean the choice is made, and any one individual might not fit the statistics
The individual is free to choose as they please but for the group the choice is already made. We just don't know yet what choice each individual will make.

a particular choice is statistically likely for someone of a particular race or gender, and yet this does not mean that any individual with those characteristics has no choice in their outcome.
Of course not, but patterns in the choices of a group as a whole indicate that there are common factors influencing those decisions. It's not possible to know what choice each individual will make, and wrong to assume that statistical knowledge of a group proves anything about an individual.

So you cannot claim that people who were born into a particular situation are guaranteed a pre-set outcome,
Not absolutely guaranteed, but, given the right conditions, we can claim with a high degree of certainty that a predicted proportion of a group are guaranteed a predicted pre-set outcome. The only way to change it is to change the conditions. This doesn't mean that everyone in the group is guaranteed the same outcome.
 

Danoff

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It's theoretically possible but realistically it's extremely unlikely.

Exactly equal is unlikely, but that you agree to the theoretical possibility means that you understand that low-wage workers are not "required". There is nothing about our "system" that requires anyone to be "low-wage" for it to work.

The individual is free to choose as they please but for the group the choice is already made. We just don't know yet what choice each individual will make.

Oh that's so weird.

So you're arguing that because a certain demographic will have a certain statistical bias in their outcome, that somehow this means there is no choice, that the "choice is made for them". That's bizarre. It almost requires that you define these words to mean something other than their ordinary meaning.

A group cannot choose. Individuals can choose. A group does not agree, it does not have a mind. Especially so for a group that is based on somewhat arbitrary characteristics, like socioeconomic status, skin color, gender, etc.
 
600
Ireland
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theoretical possibility
It's ignoring reality and probability but sure.
Oh that's so weird.

So you're arguing that because a certain demographic will have a certain statistical bias in their outcome, that somehow this means there is no choice, that the "choice is made for them". That's bizarre. It almost requires that you define these words to mean something other than their ordinary meaning.

A group cannot choose. Individuals can choose. A group does not agree, it does not have a mind. Especially so for a group that is based on somewhat arbitrary characteristics, like socioeconomic status, skin color, gender, etc.
Yes. If the same experiment is repeated we'll get the same results. If we lock a group of people in a room with a ball, someone will touch it. That someone will make that choice is predetermined.
this means there is no choice
The individual is free to choose
 

Danoff

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It's ignoring reality and probability but sure.

No it's investigating the underlying principles of economics, and understanding that low-paying jobs are not a requirement.

Yes. If the same experiment is repeated we'll get the same results. If we lock a group of people in a room with a ball, someone will touch it. That someone will make that choice is predetermined.

It sure doesn't. A group cannot make a choice.
 

BobK

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If we lock a group of people in a room with a ball, someone will touch it. That someone will make that choice is predetermined.

It is statistically likely that some one will touch it, yes, but it is by no means certain and certainly not predetermined.
 
600
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It is statistically likely that some one will touch it, yes, but it is by no means certain and certainly not predetermined.
It does't matter if nobody touches it. The statistics support that sometimes that will happen. It's also a predetermined outcome.
 
7,179
Exorcet
OE Exorcet
Not absolutely guaranteed, but, given the right conditions, we can claim with a high degree of certainty that a predicted proportion of a group are guaranteed a predicted pre-set outcome. The only way to change it is to change the conditions. This doesn't mean that everyone in the group is guaranteed the same outcome.
Can you clarify on what you mean by "The only way to change it is to change the conditions."? That's a reasonable way to change the statistical outcome if you understand the cause and effect relationship behind it, but couldn't you also further break down the group and address problems on an individual level?
 
600
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Can you clarify on what you mean by "The only way to change it is to change the conditions."? That's a reasonable way to change the statistical outcome if you understand the cause and effect relationship behind it, but couldn't you also further break down the group and address problems on an individual level?
Yes, but it would no longer be one group, or if it still is, the conditions would have changed. Scholarships allow some people to go to college that possibly wouldn't otherwise. They don't address the issue of why those people wouldn't go without a scholarship. Free third level education is one example of attempting to eliminate one of the factors thought to be a barrier preventing some people from continuing in education. That is changing the conditions for the whole group. Perhaps addressing the common factors is a better phrase than changing the conditions. Beyond the group there is also a need to address problems on an individual level, but the individuals in need of it most should be easier to identify if the problems of the group are also addressed.
 

BobK

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If we lock a group of people in a room with a ball, someone will touch it. That someone will make that choice is predetermined.

It does't matter if nobody touches it. The statistics support that sometimes that will happen. It's also a predetermined outcome.

So is it will or just sometimes will? If the latter, it can't possibly be a predetermined outcome.

Also, predetermined by whom?
 
600
Ireland
Ireland
So is it will or just sometimes will? If the latter, it can't possibly be a predetermined outcome.
It is possible that nobody in the group touches the ball but so unlikely it can be disregarded. So the sometimes is for a group that wouldn't form, but if it did, the factors that inform their individual choices not to touch the ball are what determine the outcome.

Also, predetermined by whom?
Nobody. We don't know what a person will choose but that doesn't make it any less predetermined. Everything that informs the decision predetermines the choice.
 

Danoff

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Everything that informs the decision predetermines the choice.

Just curious if you think anything is criminal, if there is a such thing as a moral act, or a meaningful act. By that rationale there is no such thing as charity, force, or even sentience really.

So getting back to the low-paying jobs being "required" for some reason. Do you think that the CEO has a choice? Or is it just the minimum-wage folks who have no choice.

How do you square these statements?

Everything that informs the decision predetermines the choice.

The individual is free to choose as they please but for the group the choice is already made. We just don't know yet what choice each individual will make.

Why is it that a group, which cannot chose, has a predetermined choice based on everything that "informs" it, and individuals do not? Or do individuals also have predetermined choices based on everything that informs it?
 
600
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Just curious if you think anything is criminal
There are laws to help society function and it's necessary to have consequences for breaking them or we risk a breakdown of society. The threat of punitive measures informs the decision of whether or not someone will commit a crime. However, criminals are a product of their environment, their genetics, and, in some cases, biological abnormalities, and, as such, are not responsible for their choices.

if there is a such thing as a moral act, or a meaningful act.
Yes there are moral acts, and an act can be meaningful to the people involved, but there is no meaning to an act.

By that rationale there is no such thing as charity
Humans tend to be altruistic and empathetic. We like it when we make others happy and we like it when others make us happy. Charitable acts are good for society and for our own sense of self worth. But, yes, a decision to perform a charitable act is just as predetermined.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by force. If it's important I'll come back to it.

or even sentience
We experience, we know we're experiencing, and our experiences cause us to think and feel. All of our thoughts about an experience are informed by our previous experiences and emotions.

Do you think that the CEO has a choice?
They have choices to make, but what they choose is predetermined.

Why is it that a group, which cannot chose, has a predetermined choice based on everything that "informs" it, and individuals do not? Or do individuals also have predetermined choices based on everything that informs it?
Free to choose is not the right phrase. The individual is not compelled to conform to any choice that defines the group no matter how statistically likely (unless it's 100% certain). The illusion of free will is more convincing if we only consider individuals. Their experiences inform their decisions. Chance and random experiences affect the results for an individual more than a group.
 

Danoff

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There are laws to help society function and it's necessary to have consequences for breaking them or we risk a breakdown of society. The threat of punitive measures informs the decision of whether or not someone will commit a crime. However, criminals are a product of their environment, their genetics, and, in some cases, biological abnormalities, and, as such, are not responsible for their choices.


Yes there are moral acts, and an act can be meaningful to the people involved, but there is no meaning to an act.


Humans tend to be altruistic and empathetic. We like it when we make others happy and we like it when others make us happy. Charitable acts are good for society and for our own sense of self worth. But, yes, a decision to perform a charitable act is just as predetermined.


I'm not entirely sure what you mean by force. If it's important I'll come back to it.


We experience, we know we're experiencing, and our experiences cause us to think and feel. All of our thoughts about an experience are informed by our previous experiences and emotions.


They have choices to make, but what they choose is predetermined.


Free to choose is not the right phrase. The individual is not compelled to conform to any choice that defines the group no matter how statistically likely (unless it's 100% certain). The illusion of free will is more convincing if we only consider individuals. Their experiences inform their decisions. Chance and random experiences affect the results for an individual more than a group.

So is it safe to say that you view the universe as deterministic?
 
600
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So is it safe to say that you view the universe as deterministic?
I think it probably is. It's possible that true randomness exists in the quantum realm but it's also possible that our lack of understanding makes it appear random. Proving randomness seems unlikely but unless we prove otherwise it remains a possibility. Even if true randomness exists our decision making process still wouldn't afford us any control.
 

Danoff

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I think it probably is. It's possible that true randomness exists in the quantum realm but it's also possible that our lack of understanding makes it appear random. Proving randomness seems unlikely but unless we prove otherwise it remains a possibility. Even if true randomness exists our decision making process still wouldn't afford us any control.

That's an interesting religion you subscribe to. So why do you bother to post your opinion (which isn't really your opinion, it's just determined) on the internet. I guess you do it because that's how the universe must unfold, but it seems odd to me that you would spend your time doing anything at all. Why have an opinion on economics? It is deterministic. Economics doesn't exist in this view, it's purely physics. Neither, for example, does basically any other branch of science. It's all physics, all pre-determined. All of the governments of the world, and all of the people, and all of the economies of the world will behave as they will behave and there is nothing you can do to influence that or anything else. Not just because their behavior is pre-determined, but because yours is.
 
600
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So why do you bother to post your opinion (which isn't really your opinion, it's just determined) on the internet.
There's no way for me not to, except for the times that I don't.

it seems odd to me that you would spend your time doing anything at all.
I'm compelled to. It's infuriating :lol: It would be just as odd not doing anything. Sometimes i do things to please myself and sometimes I do things to please or help others. It feels good to feel good.

Why have an opinion on economics? It is deterministic. Economics doesn't exist in this view, it's purely physics. Neither, for example, does basically any other branch of science. It's all physics, all pre-determined. All of the governments of the world, and all of the people, and all of the economies of the world will behave as they will behave and there is nothing you can do to influence that or anything else. Not just because their behavior is pre-determined, but because yours is
The outcome is not known so, to us, any outcome is possible. In that sense what we do is still important in determining outcome. If I see someone about to step into traffic I would try to stop them. Refusing to act because the outcome is predetermined means someone might die. I don't want that so I act. It's the same with opinions. We all have our own. We can influence others, or be influenced. If we knew the outcome, and the way to achieve it, we wouldn't need opinions.
 

Danoff

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The outcome is not known so, to us, any outcome is possible.

To us... but it's not really... in your view.

In that sense what we do is still important in determining outcome.

Except not at all.

If I see someone about to step into traffic I would try to stop them. Refusing to act because the outcome is predetermined means someone might die.

No it doesn't. Whether or not they die is predetermined. Acting or not acting is also predetermined. You can literally refuse to act, and then say it was predetermined.

We can influence others, or be influenced.

No you can't. Your impact on others is predetermined. How they will act is predetermined. You can't influence anything. At least not in your... religion.
 
600
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To us... but it's not really... in your view.



Except not at all.



No it doesn't. Whether or not they die is predetermined. Acting or not acting is also predetermined. You can literally refuse to act, and then say it was predetermined.



No you can't. Your impact on others is predetermined. How they will act is predetermined. You can't influence anything. At least not in your... religion.
I explained some motivations for acting. I'm not suggesting that someone can perform an action that wasn't predetermined. Our actions influence the motivations of others. What we teach children will form part of their motivations throughout their lives. Without motivation we would never act. We cannot act in any way other than the way that we do.
 

Dotini

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From Blitzkrieg to Sitzkrieg, devolution to medieval siege lines and finally to metaphysical digressions. Who knew Economics could get so long-winded?

Old joke: What happens when you put 10 economists into a room?
answer: You get 11 opinions.
 

Danoff

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I explained some motivations for acting. I'm not suggesting that someone can perform an action that wasn't predetermined. Our actions influence the motivations of others. What we teach children will form part of their motivations throughout their lives. Without motivation we would never act. We cannot act in any way other than the way that we do.

Sounds like there's no point to acting. Also sounds like there's no point to conversing.
 

BobK

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No you can't. Your impact on others is predetermined. How they will act is predetermined. You can't influence anything. At least not in your... religion.

Not so much a religion, although I see your point. It's more like the the deterministic "clockwork universe" viewpoint that 19th century scientists held. Until quantum mechanics knocked the whole thing into a cocked hat.
 

Danoff

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Not so much a religion, although I see your point. It's more like the the deterministic "clockwork universe" viewpoint that 19th century scientists held. Until quantum mechanics knocked the whole thing into a cocked hat.

He seems to think it's true and, as far as I'm aware, it's far from scientific knowledge.
 
600
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@Danoff @BobK
It's possible that true randomness exists in the quantum realm but it's also possible that our lack of understanding makes it appear random.
Chance and random experiences affect the results for an individual more than a group
I don't argue against randomness in the universe. However, regarding what we're discussing, randomness doesn't give us any control over our decisions.
Everything that informs the decision predetermines the choice

it's far from scientific knowledge.
Opinions vary on the subject.
 
5,661
Simcoeace
In case you were wondering, the projected downturn in economic activity in the UK will be the worst since 1706.

1706.jpeg


That's even before Dotini's time.