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Will poverty ever be history?

#141 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-August-06, 16:17

View Postbarmar, on 2014-August-06, 16:06, said:

Unless you implement perfect communism, obviously some people will be poorer than others. But the people at the bottom of the ladder don't have to be so poor that they're miserable and in imminent danger of dying from starvation, exposure, or disease most of their lives. When people talk about eradicating poverty, that's what they're talking about, not making everyone rich.

Yes. It is important to have incentives to make sure that the economy produces enough goods and services to meet the needs of the population, so differences are always needed. But we need to provide a sensible baseline for everyone unable (or unwilling) to participate in the economy. Doing so in the US would benefit businesses and the economy, not only those assisted.
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#142 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-August-06, 16:56

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-August-06, 16:17, said:

Yes. It is important to have incentives to make sure that the economy produces enough goods and services to meet the needs of the population, so differences are always needed. But we need to provide a sensible baseline for everyone unable (or unwilling) to participate in the economy. Doing so in the US would benefit businesses and the economy, not only those assisted.

Beware: to the right you are now officially a progressive/marxist/socialist. :P
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#143 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2014-August-06, 17:37

Also note it isn't a case in the US of grow the pie xor share it more fairly. Inequality hurts the economy. The latest report from S&P, not exactly a left wing org.
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#144 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-August-06, 18:08

View Postwank, on 2014-August-06, 03:07, said:

happiness is a function of comparison to others. without people worse off than ourselves we would be less content about our own situations.


I doubt that this is true for most people.
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#145 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-August-06, 18:55

View Postbarmar, on 2014-August-06, 16:06, said:

Unless you implement perfect communism…

Yeah. Good luck with that.
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#146 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-August-06, 19:06

View PostMbodell, on 2014-August-06, 17:37, said:

Also note it isn't a case in the US of grow the pie xor share it more fairly. Inequality hurts the economy. The latest report from S&P, not exactly a left wing org.



To be fair the article and research does not prove any such thing regarding inequality. It makes an argument and presents a theory.

At the very least S&P has a very damaged reputation when it comes to research.
As discussed in many other threads I tend to trust or find more value in research that sets out to prove something and instead finds the theory to be false or untrue.

As far as education, I encourage readers to scroll back and read my posts in this thread on the subject of education and national income.
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#147 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-August-06, 20:09

View Postmike777, on 2014-August-06, 19:06, said:

As far as education, I encourage readers to scroll back and read my posts in this thread on the subject of education and national income.

That would be easier to do if you would start a separate thread of just your posts, copying all the relevant posts from this and the other related threads.
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#148 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-August-06, 21:27

Regarding the role of academic economic theory in making or not making direct government economic policy and practice I recommend reading Ariel Rubinstein. Rubinstein is one of the leaders in the field of game theory.

I paraphrase but to him economics is like a fable, theory is there to simulate ideas, indirectly inspire practice but not to direct or determine practice. Economics is not a science and should not be there to advise policy.
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#149 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 06:06

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-August-06, 16:17, said:

Yes. It is important to have incentives to make sure that the economy produces enough goods and services to meet the needs of the population, so differences are always needed. But we need to provide a sensible baseline for everyone unable (or unwilling) to participate in the economy. Doing so in the US would benefit businesses and the economy, not only those assisted.

Perhaps. But unable and unwilling are two very different situations. This is where you lose many people.
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#150 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 08:46

View Postbillw55, on 2014-August-07, 06:06, said:

Perhaps. But unable and unwilling are two very different situations. This is where you lose many people.


So where do you place the poor 10-year-old, unable or unwilling?
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#151 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 09:50

View PostWinstonm, on 2014-August-07, 08:46, said:

So where do you place the poor 10-year-old, unable or unwilling?

Unable, clearly. But I know you can give me a tougher case than that Posted Image
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#152 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 10:07

Really? A hundred years ago (and now, in most of the world), it was clearly unwilling...
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#153 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 10:15

View Postmycroft, on 2014-August-07, 10:07, said:

Really? A hundred years ago (and now, in most of the world), it was clearly unwilling...

Presumably we are discussing ways to reduce poverty in an attempt to make the world a better place. I choose to remain consistent with that theme, so no child labor.
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#154 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 10:39

I am not about to suggest there is anything simplistic about poverty and motivations - I do know that I have not lived in others' shoes so cannot know how they think, feel, or react to poverty. I did. though, recently read a book titled "Gang Leader for a Day", in which a sociology PhD candidate spent 5 years or so virtually living with a gang in the Chicago projects - some of these young people had been to college or worked and then left for various reasons and returned to gang life - and gang life was not what I imagined in that intragang violence was discouraged as bad for the crack business. In fact, these gangs seemed to have more in keeping with organized crime families or Amway, as the money flows to the top few.

All I know is that there are people who have given up looking for work and thus are not counted in the statistics from the labor bureau - when these discouraged workers are estimated, the unemployed figures almost double from the "official" one.

Worldwide, many children are malnourished or starving.

To look on this problem as one of non-motivated louts who steal our money is a fantasy-based projection of some kind. I will leave it to others to figure out the motivations of these types.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#155 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 12:32

View Postbillw55, on 2014-August-07, 06:06, said:

Perhaps. But unable and unwilling are two very different situations. This is where you lose many people.

For sure! Nevertheless, we need to face up to the fact our capacity to produce goods and services relies less and less on people as workers.

Many jobs today are actually useless in themselves, but serve the economy solely by putting money in the pockets of folks who spend it. For years, the US has spent $8 billion apiece to build M1 tanks that were shipped directly to the desert in Nevada, joining 3,000+ other M1s rusting there. The ACA allows insurance companies to siphon off 15-20% of premiums paid to pay for completely unnecessary services. And there is a large bureaucracy dedicated to figuring out if claimants are truly unable to work or are unwilling to do so.

In my experience, very few people are truly lazy, but there are lots of reasons why folks might be unwilling to hold a job. It might be to spend some time raising kids or caring for a sick relative. It might be to gain the time to finish a novel, a research project, or an invention. It might be to gain education in a new area of interest. It might be to play bridge or chess or golf.

The thing is, folks who hold jobs unwillingly tend to be much less productive than those who enjoy what they are doing: Companies can be much more efficient without them. But companies need an expanding base of customers with money to spend. Guaranteeing a reasonable life for folks who, for some period in their lives cannot -- or prefer not -- to hold a job, would be a win-win.
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#156 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 12:58

I think you mean 8 million per tank, not billion. You could probably get an aircraft carrier for that.

It is a complex problem. But I think it must be acknowledged that the loss of incentive for productivity is one potential problem with freely available government support. It may not be the dominant factor, but it is there.
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#157 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 13:35

According to Wikipedia, the cost of an Abrams M1 MBT is "US$6.21 million (M1A2 / FY99) Estimated in 2012 as US$8.58 million (with inflation adjustment)". There are currently two Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carriers in construction, at at estimated cost of $11.3384 billion (FY14) each.
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#158 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 13:53

View Postbillw55, on 2014-August-07, 12:58, said:

I think you mean 8 million per tank, not billion. You could probably get an aircraft carrier for that.

It is a complex problem. But I think it must be acknowledged that the loss of incentive for productivity is one potential problem with freely available government support. It may not be the dominant factor, but it is there.

Million, yes. :)

And yes, what you say is true. On the other hand, when 10% of the population can more than provide enough good and services to provide a comfortable life for everyone, what should be done with the other 90%?
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#159 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 14:53

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-August-07, 12:32, said:

For sure! Nevertheless, we need to face up to the fact our capacity to produce goods and services relies less and less on people as workers.

Many jobs today are actually useless in themselves, but serve the economy solely by putting money in the pockets of folks who spend it. For years, the US has spent $8 billion apiece to build M1 tanks that were shipped directly to the desert in Nevada, joining 3,000+ other M1s rusting there. The ACA allows insurance companies to siphon off 15-20% of premiums paid to pay for completely unnecessary services. And there is a large bureaucracy dedicated to figuring out if claimants are truly unable to work or are unwilling to do so.

In my experience, very few people are truly lazy, but there are lots of reasons why folks might be unwilling to hold a job. It might be to spend some time raising kids or caring for a sick relative. It might be to gain the time to finish a novel, a research project, or an invention. It might be to gain education in a new area of interest. It might be to play bridge or chess or golf.

The thing is, folks who hold jobs unwillingly tend to be much less productive than those who enjoy what they are doing: Companies can be much more efficient without them. But companies need an expanding base of customers with money to spend. Guaranteeing a reasonable life for folks who, for some period in their lives cannot -- or prefer not -- to hold a job, would be a win-win.



Win-win does not really apply, because there are more than two players. If you take some money from me, money I was planning on saving rather than spending, and gave it to someone who would spend it, that would be a win for the person that you gave it to, and a win for the mercahnt that he bought something from, but it would not be a win for me.I suppose two out of three ain't bad, as they say.

I am not just trying to be cute here. Most of us our willing to give some assistance to those in need. But at least for me, I expect some effort on the part of the person being helped. At the personal level of assistance I can be quite effective with making my expectations clear. In a large scale social policy, such clarity is tougher but I think that those who wish to push for greater help need to address the issue of what is expected from those on the receiving end. If the answer is "nothing", then I think that the program is not apt to have wide support.
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#160 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-August-07, 14:53

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-August-07, 13:53, said:

And yes, what you say is true. On the other hand, when 10% of the population can more than provide enough good and services to provide a comfortable life for everyone, what should be done with the other 90%?

That sounds like an exaggeration, but I can't be sure. Do you have a source?
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