• unenlightened
    5.3k
    A person who does something useful or worthwhile or creates something of the like should be rewarded.Outlander

    Why?I just created that worthwhile post; reward me.

    Nothing is given for free.Outlander

    Everything is given for free. We come into this world with nothing and helpless to even feed ourselves.
  • ssu
    3.5k
    And a charity shop volunteer isn't contributing, but commercial shop worker is contributing?unenlightened
    It's called voluntary work, if you have not noticed.

    Can you just unmuddle this for me? I say that society doesn't need people to work very much because automation. So most employment is people scratching each other's backs and picking each other's nits. And if people do a bit less or a lot less of that, it needn't matter very much to anyone, as long as everyone still gets food and shelter.unenlightened
    I understand your point. My point is that "scratching each other's backs" is important as then the transfer of wealth, the payment, is voluntary. No nail polisher of football player will just come to your house and demand you pay part of their income. Yes, we don't have anymore 12 hour workdays six days a week. Heck, I can write to you in PF and do my work and still my boss is happy. A fitting mix of work & leisure is what we need.

    You are saying:
    1. society can well tolerate high unemployment - agreed.
    2..there is a social stigma to unemployment - yes, but there needn't be.
    3. welfare doesn't motivate employment - yes but that doesn't matter because 1.

    So what is your argument against a basic income?
    unenlightened
    Well, I do live in a welfare state where there is a) free education even to the university level, b) assistance to housing, c) perpetual unemployment benefits and d) universal free health care. When you have those, you already have been taken care of what universal basic income is for, especially with the unemployment benefit. Then for those who do have income and pay taxes, it is questionable if this is basic income is necessary as it's basically a payback of the taxes.
  • unenlightened
    5.3k
    Well, I do live in a welfare state where there is a) free education even to the university level, b) assistance to housing, c) perpetual unemployment benefits and d) universal free health care. When you have those, you already have been taken care of what universal basic income is for, especially with the unemployment benefit. Then for those who do have income and pay taxes, it is questionable if this is basic income is necessary as it's basically a payback of the taxes.ssu

    Right. The difference is one of principle and psychology, rather than of mere economics, but I think it has important implications, and it is those implications that you resist. But you have dropped the 'we can't afford it' line at least, since it obviously costs almost nothing to give with one hand and take back with the other.
  • ssu
    3.5k

    Well, here we have been having deficits for a long time and it hasn't gone into investments, but upholding the welfare state. If taxes don't cover the costs, then the government takes on debt.

    The true question, which I already mentioned, is if we really can go along the lines of Modern Monetary Theory and assume that it doesn't matter how much debt the government has, that it won't have an effect on creditworthiness or the value of the currency. It's a quite current issue you especially now.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    The GLOBAL ECONOMY is completely, entirely, centerd on and around money. Even to someone who's utterly economically illiterate as I am can see this truth stand out like a sore thumb in the way economies are run both within and between countries. If money is flowing into the bank accounts, all is good is the mantra I suspect.

    Unfortunately, the way economies are run, perhaps its something inherent in its very nature, has, :smile: "costs" that can't be translated by economists or anyone else apparently into money. Stuff like pollution, environmental degradation, deforestation, global warming, etc. haven't been transliterated into dollars and dollars seem to be the only language people, especially the ones who call the shots, understand. It's as if mother earth, Gaia, hasn't been able to keep up with the way human language has evolved from Hindi, Chinese, English, German, Japanese, etc. into the now global language that's money. In the past, Gaia, could speak to us in moving verse and thought-provoking prose, of course at the cost of losing precious trees to make the paper on which they're written. Now, this simply fails as the language has changed into what to Gaia is unspeakable nevertheless "understandable"

    I've been led to believe this lamentable state of affairs is changing but not in the way some of us would've liked.

    What's happening is people (economists?? I'm not sure) have begun the process of translation between Gaia and us but the chosen language is, for better or for worse, money - dollar costs of environmental degradation, dollar costs of deforestation, dollar costs of biodiversity loss, etc.

    Wouldn't it have been better if we'd done it the other way - learned to speak mother earth, Gaia's language, perhaps requiring a getting in touch with our softer, mellow side that has a primeval connection to the Earth?

    Something must be done about the so-called global economy.
  • Athena
    948
    You think that speculative bubbles happen in times when interest rates are high and banks don't lend or what? Tell me an example of a speculative bubble happening in that kind of environment.ssu

    That is an interesting thought. I absolutely love it. I tried to warn people of the housing bubble several years ago and no one would listen. Somehow the whole nation has lost its judgment. No one seems grounded in reality.
  • ssu
    3.5k
    I tried to warn people of the housing bubble several years ago and no one would listen.Athena
    Then you are one of the people that understand reality and don't go with the hype as the majority will do.
  • ssu
    3.5k
    Wouldn't it have been better if we'd done it the other way - learned to speak mother earth, Gaia's language, perhaps requiring a getting in touch with our softer, mellow side that has a primeval connection to the Earth?

    Something must be done about the so-called global economy.
    TheMadFool
    For starters, not everything important has to do with the economy. The economy is first and foremost a tool, if it works well, then the prosperity should be used to preserve nature and make the environment a better place to live for every living creature.

    The simple fact is that economy is important just up to a point, it isn't itself a reason.
  • Athena
    948
    Then you are one of the people that understand reality and don't go with the hype as the majority will do.ssu

    Heavens no. I don't go along with the hype because I am too skeptical. But I only know enough to know how much I do not know.

    This may have nothing to do with what you all are talking about, but there was a time when the there was a formula for determining the prices of things. One third the price of something was the cost of making it. One third of the price was invested in the company. The last third was profit. I was absolutely horrified when large manufactures of cars went bankrupt!

    Something has gone very wrong with our capitalism. Successful business should not need to depend on banks for loans, because they should have their own reserve for growth, and bad times.

    Far too many industries/businesses are dependent on government contracts! How many bombs does the world need and should we be arming the world because that is good for our economy?

    Should we count the whole world as our supply of resources, or should we be aware of our own resources and the nations we depend on for mineral resources? When it comes to mineral resources and the cost of defending our economic interest, I think we are way out of touch with reality.

    Can we ignore global warming or should we figure the cost of ignoring it as part of our reality?
  • Athena
    948
    For starters, not everything important has to do with the economy. The economy is first and foremost a tool, if it works well, then the prosperity should be used to preserve nature and make the environment a better place to live for every living creature.

    The simple fact is that economy is important just up to a point, it isn't itself a reason.
    ssu

    What you have said is kind of like figuring the value of a homemaker. Traditionally a man supports the woman, and we know his value by what he earns. The wife does not earn money, so her value is zero, right?

    The earth is our mother. We have exploited her and diminished what she has to give. The value of what we take from her is what the men earn. She can be ignored as the homemaker is ignored. :wink:

    :lol: I can imagine some men totally regretting the forum is open to women who do not know what they are talking about. While they take their fantasies of economics very seriously. I come to the discussion with point of view of a woman who came of age before women were liberated, and also from a geological perspective. I lost any trust in economist when I realized they are not grounding their thoughts on economics with geological reality.
  • ssu
    3.5k
    What you have said is kind of like figuring the value of a homemaker. Traditionally a man supports the woman, and we know his value by what he earns. The wife does not earn money, so her value is zero, right?Athena
    That's the classic example how economics get's things wrong: if the mother stays at home, looks after the children and takes care of the house, that isn't seen in the GDP. A bigger problem is in Third World countries where a lot of people are subsistence farmers. Farmers that live off their land and have minimal amount of transactions again aren't counted in the economics statistics, which is the reason why some countries seem even poorer than they are.

    I lost any trust in economist when I realized they are not grounding their thoughts on economics with geological reality.Athena
    Some do that, but many just choose the fancy mathematical models that nobody else understands to make their findings "academic" or "professional" and are happy focusing on the mathematic models and equations. As long as everybody else is saying the same things, it doesn't matter if the World then develops totally differently as one has described. Just call it a black swan event.
  • Athena
    948
    A person who does something useful or worthwhile or creates something of the like should be rewarded.
    — Outlander

    Why?I just created that worthwhile post; reward me.

    Nothing is given for free.
    — Outlander

    Everything is given for free. We come into this world with nothing and helpless to even feed ourselves.
    unenlightened

    For thousands of years the woman's and the poet's reward was intrinsic . During the great Depression the arts were funded but we seem very reluctant to do that today. Mothers dependent on welfare are surely not rewarded for being mothers.

    Especially in our materialistic capitalism, we do not have a system for rewarding everyone who makes a contribution. Many of our essential workers are living below the poverty level without the protections of wealth. Just how well should they be rewarded?

    We might want to provide well for everyone, but being dependent on public assistance is not equal to having dignity and liberty and where is the money to provide for everyone going to come from?
  • Athena
    948
    I please there seems to be more agreement here than I expected. Okay, what can we do to get the whole world operating on a better understanding of reality? We desperately need a better grasp of reality. Third world countries are not going have our standard of living, making shoes and clothing for wages that keep these jobs in third world countries. That is not good for them nor all the people in the developed countries needing jobs.

    Even if somehow the economy of every country could afford a high standard of living, our planet is finite and the faster we consume its resources the closer we come to economic collapse.

    What is a realistic plan that is sustainable? I want to give the world birth control because war is a product of over population and I hate war.
  • ssu
    3.5k
    Third world countries are not going have our standard of living, making shoes and clothing for wages that keep these jobs in third world countries. That is not good for them nor all the people in the developed countries needing jobs.Athena
    Economic history tells how to do it.

    Actually many countries have become more prosperous thanks to globalization and thanks to the West's indifference on manufacturing going to cheaper countries. Yet that strategy of using cheap labor to lure low skill manufacturing to a country goes only so far. The next step, a huge one, would be to use that income to increase the education and the skill level of the future labor force that would then interest medium to high skill manufacturing to the country. To have those educated professionals, engineers, scientists etc. in your workforce. And in order to preserve them, as they simply don't migrate to the West, the income has to be near to the Western standards. This in turn then creates the class that every country wants to have: the educated middle class, which in turn will demand things like taking care of the environment. And above all, they are consumers, which themselves create the demand for a service economy. Not that poorer people wouldn't think that the environment is important, but if you face literally hunger, the environment isn't you biggest worries.

    So what could be done?

    Starting from the problems of the present globalization would be a good choice. Now it's the emphasis on globalization is on owners of companies getting as much as they can. This isn't the way things went in the West: the labor movements demanded and got labor laws, work safety standards and above all, negotiated collectively pay increases, which then made working class families more prosperous and created the consumer society. If you prevent the labor force in a Third World country to get also these important rights and higher salaries, then the country will stay poor as there isn't much of aggregate demand. No "take off" of the economy will happen.

    Secondly, Improving the institutions in other countries is important, but this is something they themselves have to do. Foreigners can help just so much, but they cannot run the system. Also the focus on economic and monetary policy should be the ordinary people, not the richest people. The elite in a country should understand it's role and invest in the country, not move the money to Swiss bank accounts or luxury real estate in the US (in fear of losing the money if it stays in the country).

    And thirdly, having the vast majority of people able to get a decent long term mortgage for a decent home will create prosperity in the long run. For example in Egypt, the vast majority of people rent their homes, meaning that all their life they haven't saved, but are as poor as when they entered the workforce. We take it granted that the financial sector (usually) works OK for us, but that isn't so in many countries.
  • Athena
    948


    I am not sure how your idea of an economy works. Think of this as a computer game. describe your area, does it have a sea port? Is it inland? What are the natural resources. You know, what can be use to start your economy? What is your water supply? Can you feed your community? How? Do you have a source of energy? After telling me how these people meet their immediate needs and develop a product they can sell, what is the transportation system and who is the buyer of the product?
  • Caldwell
    296
    If someone thinks that prices are ALWAYS going up, meaning real prices (not that the currency is losing value), that simply is by any means quite a risky, speculative approach to investing.ssu
    This is just partially correct. You need to also include the fact that speculators ignore the (necessary) market fundamentals responsible for the increase in an asset's value. What supports a continued increase in value besides crossing fingers? One could expect, understandably, the value of an asset to keep going up during the times of sustained profitability, demand, production, and other sound economic conditions. This is not speculative bubble -- this is called sound investing.
  • Benkei
    3.8k
    If someone thinks that prices are ALWAYS going up, meaning real prices (not that the currency is losing value), that simply is by any means quite a risky, speculative approach to investing.ssu

    It's not just risky, it's counter intuitive. Increased efficiency and specialisation in production should lead to lower prices. Rising prices are purely a result in increases in the money supply or debt leveraging. If those funds are directed at the "wrong" sector or causes a general glut it's going to collapse.
  • Athena
    948
    It's not just risky, it's counter intuitive. Increased efficiency and specialisation in production should lead to lower prices. Rising prices are purely a result in increases in the money supply or debt leveraging. If those funds are directed at the "wrong" sector or causes a general glut it's going to collapse.Benkei

    What happens when a vital resource for a product becomes hard to get and the demand is greater than the supply?
  • Athena
    948
    Unfortunately, the way economies are run, perhaps its something inherent in its very nature, has, :smile: "costs" that can't be translated by economists or anyone else apparently into money. Stuff like pollution, environmental degradation, deforestation, global warming, etc. haven't been transliterated into dollars and dollars seem to be the only language people, especially the ones who call the shots, understand. It's as if mother earth, Gaia, hasn't been able to keep up with the way human language has evolved from Hindi, Chinese, English, German, Japanese, etc. into the now global language that's money. In the past, Gaia, could speak to us in moving verse and thought-provoking prose, of course at the cost of losing precious trees to make the paper on which they're written. Now, this simply fails as the language has changed into what to Gaia is unspeakable nevertheless "understandable"TheMadFool

    That is not exactly true. We can talk about the cost of pollution, environmental degradation, deforestation, global warming. Here is a google page that does that.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=economic+cost+of+global+warming&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS926US926&oq=economic+cost+of+glob&aqs=chrome.0.0i457j69i57j0j0i22i30l5.11171j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    It is up to us to change the conversation and Biden's administration is more likely to make new conversation possible then the Trump administration dependent on denial of the cost.

    We the people have a lot of work to do in the US because it is evident the population is very ignorant of things we need to know, to have good moral judgment. We need to become aware of the most important pieces of information and then be sure the media is addressing them and our schools are preparing the young for a different reality than the one we have lived up to now.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    That is not exactly true. We can talk about the cost of pollution, environmental degradation, deforestation, global warming. Here is a google page that does that.Athena

    Yes, the "cost" which is a monetary term to my knowledge. I feel like a nonphysicalist with an environmental agenda, equally apalled by the materialistic reductionism as I am about the, coincidentally, "green" reductionism. Isn't it odd that the greenback is at odds with the greenbelt? I guess, we're a bit confused about the whole issue - both are green after all.
  • Athena
    948
    Well, I do live in a welfare state where there is a) free education even to the university level, b) assistance to housing, c) perpetual unemployment benefits and d) universal free health care. When you have those, you already have been taken care of what universal basic income is for, especially with the unemployment benefit. Then for those who do have income and pay taxes, it is questionable if this is basic income is necessary as it's basically a payback of the taxes.ssu

    And we all live happily ever after, NOT.

    We no longer live in labor intense economy. Factories that once employed 300 people are run by a handful of people with high tech skills. Not only is does this mean not enough factory work, but everyone who got only a C average in school, has very little of chance of getting a job that pays a decent wage because the supply of these people is far greater than the demand for them. AND, who is paying taxes? Not the unemployed people, and not those working for low wages.

    Since early times governments have been supported by the source of income. At first the source of income was the land. Then as economies developed the source of income was the human time and energy invested in the production of products. Increasingly the source of income is the technology that has replaced the need for human labor and I think we need to rethink our tax system.

    At the very least, we need to respect how much time and energy a person gives to earn the wage. Someone working more than 40 hours a week should not be taxed at the same scale of someone who can earn that much money in a fraction of that time. To make our tax system just, it should compensate people for their time and energy. Working 60 hours to week consumes a lot from a human being, and this people should not be taxed the same as someone doesn't work for a living but lives well off of investments. We have a long ways to go before we express human value.
  • ssu
    3.5k
    One could expect, understandably, the value of an asset to keep going up during the times of sustained profitability, demand, production, and other sound economic conditions. This is not speculative bubble -- this is called sound investing.Caldwell
    True, but notice there are indicators as Price to earnings ration, the P/E. Usually with "normal" stocks this is something like 30, meaning that the company will pay in dividends it's stock price in 30 years. If a company grows and creates profits, that ratio could stay the same. If it anticipated to grow a lot, maybe the P/E would be 50 to 75. Now you have stocks in the P/E 100 - 1000. Now of course, the standard rhetoric is that these companies have a bright future, but now they aren't yet profitable, but will soon be. Amazon has an P/E of 98 now, is it this "small company destined to have far brighter future"? The company is over a quarter century old and is the leader in it's field, but I guess it will have to grow multiple times.

    How many multiple times bigger you think Amazon's revenues will grow?

    You see, there is an alternative reason for Amazon to have such a high P/E and that is index investing. In index investing, you just invest in the biggest companies because you want to mimic the index. And Amazon is on of the biggest companies in SP500 (or other indexes). Why? Because the index has gone up! Someone might notice the reason for a bubble when many follow this investment strategy.
  • ssu
    3.5k
    It's not just risky, it's counter intuitive. Increased efficiency and specialisation in production should lead to lower prices. Rising prices are purely a result in increases in the money supply or debt leveraging.Benkei
    True.

    The real problem in the "Market economy" of the present is that the natural market mechanism that would lead to asset prices to fall isn't tolerated. That isn't free market economics. Yet you have great examples from tiny countries like Iceland that the most healthiest thing to do is let the bubble burst, put the people who have done outright crimes to face legal actions and have that quick deflation, and then the economy is back to being healthy. It really is about political power.

    screenhunter_1003-oct-25-07-39.jpg?w=547&h=287
  • Athena
    948
    Yes, the "cost" which is a monetary term to my knowledge. I feel like a nonphysicalist with an environmental agenda, equally apalled by the materialistic reductionism as I am about the, coincidentally, "green" reductionism. Isn't it odd that the greenback is at odds with the greenbelt? I guess, we're a bit confused about the whole issue - both are green after all.TheMadFool

    I think a better understanding of our economy might include a study of Christianity. Especially Protestantism, that is tied to Calvinism, a very materialistic/supernatural understanding of life justifying the exploitation of humans and earth. By materialistic I mean a total rejection of animism-
    — the attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena. 2. the belief in a supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe.
    The supernatural power is the God of Abraham, His son the Holy Ghost, all completely separate from nature. The religion prevented us from understanding Gia until just recently and there is still very strong resistance to accepting the science of Gia that was known to aborigine's for centuries. Especially in the US we are in the throws of culture war, and this is a serious, social, economic and political problem that could destroy our democracy.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    I think a better understanding of our economy might include a study of Christianity. Especially Protestantism, that is tied to Calvinism, a very materialistic/supernatural understanding of life justifying the exploitation of humans and earthAthena

    I'm too ignorant to comment but if I had to say something about Christianity vis-a-vis the earth's present state it would be that Christian values are just too anthropocentric to permit an all-inclusive perspective, something necessary if we're to ever to get the global environmental movement off the ground. Just saying...I could be completely wrong of course.
  • ssu
    3.5k
    A lot to describe there, especially on a global scale.

    I think that for starters, we concentrate on how things change while something that has stayed the same for decades we simply take for granted.
  • Athena
    948
    anthropocentricTheMadFool

    Well "anthropocentric" is a very fancy word and I had to look it up. I totally like that word and would not throw stones at people because that is true of them. We might be a whole lot more rational if we favored evolution over creationism because that would give us a much more realistic understanding of our value, what can be expected of us and what our limitations are. All social animals perceive their group to be the most important.

    I mention Christianity because many people understand life through this mythology rather than a study of nature. Primitive people had a closer connection with nature and understood their survival depended on knowledge of the environment rather than on a God's will. Democracy is rule by reason, and that also depends on knowledge of the environment. Hunter gathers learned where to look for food. We learned to look for finite resources and those resources are being exhausted. If we do not take a serious look at what mineral resources have to do with building and maintaining an economy, we are not going to make much progress in a discussion about economics.
  • Athena
    948
    I think that for starters, we concentrate on how things change while something that has stayed the same for decades we simply take for granted.ssu


    For sure our brains are designed to run on automatic without too much thinking. But as our reality changes we need to understand that change and how to adjust to it.

    I love how you all force me to think! :heart: Imagine being a primitive person whose survival depends on knowing the environment. You will not be planning a new computer program and giving any thought to technological development, but you may discover a better way to make a spear because your survival pushes you to do what you do better. I have I succeeded in conveying a totally different mode of thinking and different direction of human evolution? Modern man probably would not survive in the past and someone from the past would have a terrible time trying to survive in our time. To begin with What is blazes is economics? What is it and where does it come from?
  • Athena
    948
    A person who does something useful or worthwhile or creates something of the like should be rewarded.
    — Outlander

    Why?I just created that worthwhile post; reward me.

    Nothing is given for free.
    — Outlander

    Everything is given for free. We come into this world with nothing and helpless to even feed ourselves.
    unenlightened

    Interesting discussion you two are having. I will argue we do not get things for nothing when we are no longer dependent children. Even what nature gives us, requires us to make an effort to get it. I think everyone should have a garden because gardens teach us a lot about life. A productive garden requires a lot of work, preparing the soil, planting at the right time, watering just enough and not too much, defending the garden from disease, pest, and animals that will gladly eat it and if you don't get it right, you starve. Hunters and gathers lived off the land, but they had to learn where to look for food, and when the food would be there, and how to survive the elements. In some places life was more like a Garden of Eden, but much of our planet is not so friendly, and life was not so easy.
  • Athena
    948
    Wouldn't it have been better if we'd done it the other way - learned to speak mother earth, Gaia's language, perhaps requiring a getting in touch with our softer, mellow side that has a primeval connection to the Earth?

    Something must be done about the so-called global economy.
    TheMadFool

    Your thought needs our attention. Primitive people learned they must invest in the land to get food. When I speak of being materialistic, my intention is to raise awareness of our disconnection with life. How we develop our awareness will make us ,more or less anthropocentric. We might want to be focused on Gia?

    Religion attempts to focus us on God but that focus doesn't work well if it ignores Gai.
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