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Why the extreme reaction to How Rich…?
Posted: 26 August 2011 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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There was an interesting bit in one of the recent NewScientist issues which suggested that a lot of poor people don’t support taxing the rich ... or taxing in order to enable wealth redistribution because they didn’t want people who were lower on the socio-economic status scale to be moved up to where they were.  Interesting hypothesis.


One implication is that the original idea of the US melting pot is not working in that there is a breakdown in a unifying concept of being american and being in something together with all other americans. 


The other idea is that a lot of the zealous anti-wealth-redistribution folks were under the delusion that they themselves had a chance to become super-rich. 


Historically, the tax rate in the US is lower than it has ever been and the national debt is a direct consequence of that combined with an inability to cut funding to any senators’ pet portbarrel projects.


Another factor to consider is that with the internet, it takes very little effort or thought to fulminate on any topic.  There were probably lots of “Liberals are scum” believers out there in the past (maybe not as many in the pre-faux-news era) but they just couldn’t be bothered to dig up a stamp and trek down to the post office to send off their vitriol.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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.

[ Edited: 31 January 2012 05:56 PM by ...]
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Posted: 26 August 2011 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Fear seems to be the universal motivating factor behind extreme reactions.
And as it turns out very few even among the supposed rational are immune.
It is distressing to hear people somehow try and rationalize their fear based response to an argument that suggest that we are in this together and that whatever means we have to lessen the suffering of our fellow human being would be in all of our best interest and the path to a better future society.If one is unwilling to reinvest into the society that reared and continues to sustain them then what hope of a better world can they possibly expect?
They way forward is together, not screwing one another over material wealth.
If we are not committed to leaving the world better for our offspring than we found it, then what is the point of existence?
No one is taking their bank account with them when they die.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Why the extreme reaction to How Rich ...? As a retired newspaper editor in a small Midwest city, and an observer of this part of the world for 40 years, I am convinced it has much to do with race. With the election of a black president, overt racism of a kind became acceptable, starting with the congressman who yelled “You lie!” Even the code language is more overt: “Muslim”  and “socialist” became substitutes for the “n” word, for instance. And no one complained about McCain being born outside the continental United States.  I’m convinced that when the national media quote spokesmen for economic entities who talk about “uncertainty” among corporations and banks sitting on hoards of cash, it’s code for “We’re waiting to get a white man back in charge.”


The election of a black president, riding a wave of anger at the shenanigans of the Cheney regime, caused great angst when realization of the result set in.  There is an ingrained, instinctive if not genetic, sense of white privilege and white superiority, especially among the very wealthy. A black president offends that sense of privilege. Is this outright racism? Yes and no. Many people who feel great discomfort with a black man in the White House would claim they are not racist at all. But they have great difficulty articulating their discomfort because they don’t really understand that it is a matter of intrinsic racial resentment.


There are many wealthy blacks, you say? Indeed. Many if not most are TV personalities, actors, athletes who are entertainers and black entertainers are no threat to one’s sense of white privilege. Despite Oprah’s wealth, whites instinctively rank her as subservient, an entertainer being beneath the status of the entertained. Post-1965, whites accept the “tokens,” a governor here, a general there, a Supreme Court justice here, a popular commentator there. But a president, our “supreme leader”? A black there is too unsettling.


We do not live in a post-racial era. The right wing from the beginning understood how deeply ingrained racial resentment is among many whites. The Republicans play the game in many ways, not the least of which is the “cut spending, no taxes” gambit, to me just a contemporary version of the old Reagan story about the welfare queen in a Cadillac (who was always understood to be black despite most welfare recipients being white). The right loves it when the media run another story about whites being a minority population in 2050 or whenever. Such stories, however accurate, play well among those who fear change and resent people who are not the same color they are.


I’ve raised this contention with people here and, of course, I’m immediately told I’m wrong, I’m just making excuses for Obama and playing the race card. I don’t think so. The sad truth is, admitting our racism also makes us uncomfortable. So we don’t talk about it, or write about it, if we can avoid it.  I wonder if there is anyone who might find some agreement with me.

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Posted: 29 August 2011 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Yep.  It’s kinda obvious, i think.

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Posted: 30 August 2011 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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“Why the extreme reaction to How Rich…?”

Your question is a red herring, and a diversion.  That is the intent, and Sam Harris is the initiator of this fallacious distraction. So I am not at all pleased with him at this point.

In fact, every single comment so far on this thread has been irrational speculation about what motivates your intellectual opponents, including that New Scientist article.  The obvious purpose is to serve as an ad hominem attack.  Then you don’t even have to address the actual concerns.  Forget the concerns because who needs to listen to a bunch of racists.

Here’s from another New “Scientist” article.

“Liberals, claim New York University psychologists Jaime Napier and John Tost, have a tougher time rationalising social and economic inequality than conservatives.

The recent surge in home foreclosures, for instance, is due to poor economic choices on the part of borrowers, a conservative might think. Liberals, on the other hand, seethe at predatory lenders and lax government regulation of the mortgage industry.

The result: conservatives mix a martini and hit the country club, while liberals write angry letters and stage protests.”

This, of course, is a total fabrication.  It is only plausible to someone completely ignorant of conservative writing.  The surge in foreclosures is due to the collapse of a housing bubble.  A bubble caused by the federal reserve and aggravated by government sponsored entities.  While that bubble was being inflated and Alan Greenspan was being criticized for inflating it there were plenty of Liberals, like Paul Krugman, cheering it on. 

It’s embarrassing for Harris that he thinks this addresses his critics:

This is not to say that everyone hated my last article (“How Rich is Too Rich?”), but the backlash has been ferocious. For candor and concision this was hard to beat:

  You are scum sam. unsubscribed.

Harris is a philosopher.  Instead of initiating and then participating in these ad hominem attacks he should be pointing out that they are fallacious.

1) You don’t get to invent your opponents positions.  If you want to know what they are you ask them.
2) You have to address your opponents actual positions and questions.
3) When you have multiple critics you cannot dismiss them all because some guy called you “scum”.
4) If you want to honestly address your opponents motivations you should ask them what they are.  However, addressing motivations is already intellectually suspect.  Someone with bad motivations can be correct on any particular topic.  You still need to address the topic.

I also find it rich that a non-economist like Harris, is making fallacious economic arguments and then insisting that only economists reply to his mistakes.  This rests on an argument from authority, and of using a non-level playing field.
My response to that is that Harris should shut his own pie hole when discussing economics or politics if he feels that you need to be credentialed to speak about it.

You all should be ashamed of yourselves, including Harris.

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Posted: 31 August 2011 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I also find it rich that a non-economist like Harris, is making fallacious economic arguments and then insisting that only economists reply to his mistakes.  This rests on an argument from authority, and of using a non-level playing field.
My response to that is that Harris should shut his own pie hole when discussing economics or politics if he feels that you need to be credentialed to speak about it.

You all should be ashamed of yourselves, including Harris.

 

Which economic arguments Harris has made are fallacious then, be more specific please.

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Posted: 31 August 2011 08:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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There is not one unambiguous answer to explain why people react so extremely to that post, but the main contributing factor is this: ignorance.


If people would be fully aware of the nature of reality they wouldn’t have had a negative reaction at all. In fact they would have proclaimed Harris to be a visionary man of great moral courage and strength


Here is why.


One of my opinions about economy is that before we even begin to establish its structure we must agree upon the ontological nature of reality. As we have based our current economic system on the implicit premisse of free will without considering that this might not be a true representation of reality.


Our society has made a giant leap forward by moving from the aristocracy of birth to the meritocracy we live in today, which sadly so many people by nature of their short-sightedness perceive as the final improvement. Although this is a major amelioration it is still inherently immoral.


We got a verb in my native language that suits well here: Each bird sings as its beak is mouthed.


We are determined in every way, we are what we are because of our genes ( internal factors) and our surroundings ( external factors). It is the ‘I’ that makes the decision, but do we decide what we decide?


So if we as a society agree upon the determined nature of ourselves, our entire economic system should be revised from the bottom up as it is based on the deeply immoral idea that a person should be rewarded based on his ability to make money , which is not the merit of this person, but simply made possible by chance or fate. Hence our economy is simply the application of the right of the strongest. Which is the fundamental rule that applies to life insofar that it is an unconscious unguided process. The difference is that man IS conscious and CAN guide the course of things (to an extent), this gives us a great responsibility to act and an ethical imperative to control and limit it. The problem is that the people who have the power will very rarely, if at all, have the moral courage and strength to undermine their own power for the good of the collective.


On a side-note, our economic structure is formed in such a way that we don’t even have to make a tangible contribution to society to earn legal money (financial investors and such).


Also, communism or even socialism has such a dogmatic negative connotation in the states, instilled by the government in the minds of her people. It is true that communism as it has been executed in the past and present is almost as far from an ideal society as it can be, but the cause of this lies in a fault in its executors, and not in the ideology itself. Fascism should not per definition accompany communism.


Our economic system, and society as a whole, is inherently immoral on such a myriad of ways that it is hard to conceive that there aren’t countless of people like Sam who criticise it.


It are the people on wall street who are the real thieves, as they have by way of complex financial constructions tumbled the world in an downward spiral. By allowing more and more high-risk loans to be given and insuring themselves against it so that they make even more money when the creditor can’t pay it back. Rating-bureaus who give AAA ratings to even the highest risk loans, raising questions about their integrity. The people whom devised those mechanisms and countless others in the financial system make millions and millions while at the same time dozens of millions of people are left without a job just because of the domino effect that their actions created. Yet they aren’t reprimanded in any way, on the contrary, it are the same people who caused the financial depression who sit in the economic advisory board of Obama. Ensuring from the top that the banking system is deregulated, and aggressively putting down anyone who would suggest that it should be regulated.


Man must be controlled by law ( the state). And it is, among other things, thanks to the refusal of the government of the U.S. to regulate the banking system that we’re all in this mess. Allowing banks to speculate wildly with the money of Average Joe, putting their clients meager life savings on the line to make hundreds of millions themselves.


So I wonder who those readers whom criticise Sam’s economic ideologies would consider the biggest thief if they were fully informed? The financial investor on Wall Street that makes hundreds of millions a year on the back of Average Joe without contributing a thing to society, or the man that tries to limit their almost diabolical ruthless drive to make money and distribute their excess to the most needy.


I think\hope every rational and foremost ethical person would choose the first!

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Posted: 31 August 2011 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Mr. Maker, are you seriously addressing this to Mr. Harris?

1) You don’t get to invent your opponents positions.  If you want to know what they are you ask them.


As if spin (to put it mildly) weren’t the universal order of the day in American debate, a la Faux Newz. . . .

At least Mr. Harris has the right end of the stick when it comes to intention.

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Posted: 01 September 2011 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Fox News?  Sounds like you’ve got some red herring in mind but it’s unclear what it is.  I do understand that’s a scary word for many around here.  So scary that like the word Voldemort you shy from using it.  You don’t have to give it a special code spelling. Here, it’s not so scary.  Fox News, Fox News, Fox News.

[ Edited: 01 September 2011 05:27 AM by Brian Macker]
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Posted: 01 September 2011 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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panthamor - 31 August 2011 11:52 AM

Which economic arguments Harris has made are fallacious then, be more specific please.

Maybe I give him too much credit.  Many of them are not so much arguments as assumptions.  He does however argue for one in particular at length that is so well known it has a name, the Luddite Fallacy.

Is also sprinkles in all sorts of Keynesian fallacies such as: “it seems obvious that spending a few trillion dollars wisely, on projects that will improve our infrastructure, create jobs, and hasten our progress toward energy independence, would be a good thing to do.”

He understands so little that he doesn’t get why Buffet is doing what he is doing.  Buffet is in fact at this very moment in a $6,000,000,000 tax dispute with the government.  The man refuses to pay his taxes, while at the same time advocating extra taxes on others.  He has also benefited enormously from the bailouts.  The government is handing him money with one hand then the other.  It’s no wonder he wants to keep the tax dollars flowing.    Capitalists at the top have always been the worst enemies of capitalism. 

Here’s another example of an economic fallacy, a false dilemma. “How many Republicans who have vowed not to raise taxes on billionaires would want to live in a country with a trillionaire and 30 percent unemployment? If the answer is “none”—and it really must be—then everyone is in favor of “wealth redistribution.” They just haven’t been forced to admit it.”

It’s embarrassing enough for a non-economist to make such an argument but Harris has a degree in philosophy.  It makes one wonder why he cannot recognize a false dilemma.  You can be sure he’d spot it if it was written to argue for a position he was opposed to.    How many atheists want to live in a country with freedom of religion and a 30 percent pedophilia rate?  See how ridiculous that sounds.  He can’t just assume a relationship where one doesn’t exist. 

In fact, we have such a high unemployment rate now, and did during the Great Depression specifically because of Goverment policies to interfere with the free market.    Right now it is the fear of increased taxes and the passage of a whole slew of new regulations that is in part suppressing hiring.  He’s recommending policies that would tend to increase unemployment with out even understanding why.

Here’s another fallacy: “Happily, not all billionaires are content to hoard their money in silence”  Money “hording” does not, repeat does not cause any ill effects on the economy.  He has zero understanding of money. 

He also sneaks in all sorts of moral error into his arguments.  Such as this beauty: “But even in the ideal case, where obvious value has been created, how much wealth can one person be allowed to keep?”    Allowed to keep?  Allowed?  Holy shit, and he wonders why people have him pegged for a economic ignoramus.  He is spouting off exactly the stuff communists do every day and that he could have rightly criticized them for in “The End of Faith”.  In fact, foolish me, I thought that when he was criticizing the communists for having an irrational ideology he was identifying exactly the kind of thinking he is espousing now.

The ridiculous arguments go on and on:  Look at this bundle of straw man arguments:  “Conservatives view taxation as a species of theft—and to raise taxes, on anyone for any reason, is simply to steal more. Conservatives also believe that people become rich by creating value for others. Once rich, they cannot help but create more value by investing their wealth and spawning new jobs in the process. We should not punish our best and brightest for their success, and stealing their money is a form of punishment. “

False.  He totally misunderstands.  First off not all conservatives believe taxation is a species of theft.  There are criteria for deciding when it is and when it isn’t.    It depends on if one can justify what it is spent in a way that distinguishes it from theft.  Conservatives also believe that people become rich by stealing that wealth, and especially by getting the government to divert funds to them.    Conservatives also believe that people once rich can squander or poorly invest their capital.  They do not believe that they “cannot help but do create more value”.  What a load of nonsense.   

I could continue for quite a long time on just that one paragraph.

His entire article is one gigantic bundle of false assumptions, fallacies, and poor reasoning.  He’s not only making economic mistakes, he’s making philosophical and moral ones too.

Holy cow, here’s another one, he makes the straw man of claiming others believe markets are perfectly efficient but in doing so he reveals that he himself believes in another fallacy:  “We don’t have perfectly efficient markets, and many wealthy people don’t create much in the way of value for others.”    He believes in the fallacy that governments can identify and correct market inefficiencies, and don’t suffer from the same if not worse inefficiencies.

Another: “All it took was a single article about the problem of wealth inequality to provoke, not just criticism, but loathing. “
He assumes wealth inequality is a problem in a economic system.  No it’s part of how it works.  Without it economies would shut down.  Retirement would be impossible.  Etc.  I leave it to you to figure that out.  Here’s a hint: Young people tend to be poor, and the old wealthy.

[ Edited: 01 September 2011 06:14 AM by Brian Macker]
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Posted: 01 September 2011 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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In fact, we have such a high unemployment rate now, and did during the Great Depression specifically because of Goverment policies to interfere with the free market. Right now it is the fear of increased taxes and the passage of a whole slew of new regulations that is in part suppressing hiring. He’s recommending policies that would tend to increase unemployment with out even understanding why.


Here is a short synopsis of what really happened as narrated in the documentary film “Inside Job” that won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.


“Part I: How We Got Here”. The American financial industry was regulated from 1940 to 1980, followed by a long period of deregulation. At the end of the 1980s, a savings and loan crisis cost taxpayers about $124 billion. In the late 1990s, the financial sector had consolidated into a few giant firms. In 2001, the Internet Stock Bubble burst because investment banks promoted Internet companies that they knew would fail, resulting in $5 trillion in investor losses. In the 1990s, derivatives became popular in the industry and added instability. Efforts to regulate derivatives were thwarted by the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, backed by several key officials. In the 2000s, the industry was dominated by five investment banks (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns), two financial conglomerates (Citigroup, J.P. Morgan), three securitized insurance companies (AIG, MBIA, AMBAC) and three rating agencies (Moody’s, Standard & Poors, Fitch). Investment banks bundled mortgages with other loans and debts into collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), which they sold to investors. Rating agencies gave many CDOs AAA ratings. Subprime loans led to predatory lending. Many home owners were given loans they could never repay.


“Part II: The Bubble (2001-2007)”. During the housing boom, the ratio of money borrowed by an investment bank versus the bank’s own assets reached unprecedented levels. The credit default swap (CDS), was akin to an insurance policy. Speculators could buy CDSs to bet against CDOs they did not own. Numerous CDOs were backed by subprime mortgages. Goldman-Sachs sold more than $3 billion worth of CDOs in the first half of 2006. Goldman also bet against the low-value CDOs, telling investors they were high-quality. The three biggest ratings agencies contributed to the problem. AAA-rated instruments rocketed from a mere handful in 2000 to over 4,000 in 2006.


“Part III: The Crisis”. The market for CDOs collapsed and investment banks were left with hundreds of billions of dollars in loans, CDOs and real estate they could not unload. The Great Recession began in November 2007, and in March 2008, Bear Stearns ran out of cash. In September, the federal government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which had been on the brink of collapse. Two days later, Lehman Brothers collapsed. These entities all had AA or AAA ratings within days of being bailed out. Merrill Lynch, on the edge of collapse, was acquired by Bank of America. Paulson and Timothy Geithner decided that Lehman must go into bankruptcy, which resulted in a collapse of the commercial paper market. On September 17, the insolvent AIG was taken over by the government. The next day, Paulson and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke asked Congress for $700 billion to bail out the banks. The global financial system became paralyzed. On October 4, 2008, President Bush signed the $700 billion bailout bill, but global stock markets continued to fall. Layoffs and foreclosures continued with unemployment rising to 10% in the U.S. and the European Union. By December 2008, GM and Chrysler also faced bankruptcy. Foreclosures in the U.S. reached unprecedented levels.


“Part IV: Accountability”. Top executives of the insolvent companies walked away with their personal fortunes intact. The executives had hand-picked their boards of directors, which handed out billions in bonuses after the government bailout. The major banks grew in power and doubled anti-reform efforts. Academic economists had for decades advocated for deregulation and helped shape U.S. policy. They still opposed reform after the 2008 crisis. Some of the consulting firms involved were the Analysis Group, Charles River Associates, Compass Lexecon, and the Law and Economics Consulting Group (LECG).


“Part V: Where We Are Now”. Tens of thousands of U.S. factory workers were laid off. The new Obama administration’s financial reforms have been weak, and there was no significant proposed regulation of the practices of ratings agencies, lobbyists, and executive compensation. Geithner became Treasury Secretary. Feldstein, Tyson and Summers were all top economic advisors to Obama. Bernanke was reappointed Fed Chair. European nations have imposed strict regulations on bank compensation, but the U.S. has resisted them.

Here’s another fallacy: “Happily, not all billionaires are content to hoard their money in silence”  Money “hording” does not, repeat does not cause any ill effects on the economy.  He has zero understanding of money.


I wonder what your credentials are of the subject of economy ‘cause I would say that Harris knows a great deal more than you about it. You appear to have better insights into the nature of our economy than some legitimate economists.


Here’s what I found after a quick search on the Internet:

Some economists argue that hoarding money causes recessions. In the Keynesian universe, hoarding is a great evil because it means people are stifling demand for the economy’s products and services.

Unspent dollars means reduced sales, and as sales decline, profits drop, layoffs increase, and the total social income decreases, making less money available for consumption. Hoarding induces more hoarding as the economy sinks into a downward spiral. If not corrected by timely government policy — deficit spending and inflation — the hoarders could shut down the economy.


An excerpt from this article
The virtue of hoarding

He also sneaks in all sorts of moral error into his arguments.  Such as this beauty: “But even in the ideal case, where obvious value has been created, how much wealth can one person be allowed to keep?”    Allowed to keep?  Allowed?  Holy shit, and he wonders why people have him pegged for a economic ignoramus.  He is spouting off exactly the stuff communists do every day and that he could have rightly criticized them for in “The End of Faith”.  In fact, foolish me, I thought that when he was criticizing the communists for having an irrational ideology he was identifying exactly the kind of thinking he is espousing now.


Again, who is making an error of moral judgment here? You’re criticising Harris for not being able to objectively view and judge his ideas when YOU are the one doing just that. How can it be moral that the richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth? Or that the poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income while the richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.


What you say about Harris applies in actuality to you, and I quote you here:

What a load of nonsense. 

I could continue for quite a long time on just that one paragraph.

His entire article is one gigantic bundle of false assumptions, fallacies, and poor reasoning.  He’s not only making economic mistakes, he’s making philosophical and moral ones too.

 

One question, do you believe we have free will?

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Posted: 01 September 2011 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Oh, i see now, you believe the hype on FAUX NEWZ.  It’s hypocrisy as usual.

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The road of excess leads to the palace of Wisedom
-William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell”

Life, what is it but a dream?
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Posted: 01 September 2011 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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panthamor - 01 September 2011 11:43 AM

Here is a short synopsis of what really happened as narrated in the documentary film “Inside Job” that won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Has the same errors as the first time I heard this explanation.    Not sure why you think the Academy Awards is the go to place for good economics.

Besides it is non-responsive to what I wrote.  I didn’t discuss the “why” of how we got into the mess.  I discussed the why unemployment is high and will remain high.

You appear to have better insights into the nature of our economy than some legitimate economists.

Why thank you.  You are quite correct when you say that.

Here’s what I found after a quick search on the Internet:
... 

An excerpt from this article
The virtue of hoarding

How about you actually read what you link to, because it doesn’t say what you think it does.

BTW, I was invited to be a guest writer on that blog.

Again, who is making an error of moral judgment here? You’re criticising Harris for not being able to objectively view and judge his ideas when YOU are the one doing just that.

Huh?  Can’t tell what you mean.

How can it be moral that the richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth?

Not sure what you mean here.  Could you clear up your thoughts because that isn’t even a valid question.  It’s like asking how it could be moral for billions of people to have sex every night, because you have an inkling that many of them are cheating on their spouses.  That doesn’t reflect on any of the others.

Perhaps you meant “How could it be moral?”.  It could be moral if the richest 2% of adults had all earned that wealth.  However, we know that many of them stole that wealth.  Unfortunately, even if we arrested them all and gave restitution to all their victims, you’d be back asking the question again.  At which point I’d say “Because the remainder earned it”.

Or that the poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income while the richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.

Again not really a moral question.

One question, do you believe we have free will?

I don’t believe in the Christian conception of free will, no.  I’m a compatiblist.

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Posted: 01 September 2011 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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rabbit - 01 September 2011 06:02 PM

Oh, i see now, you believe the hype on FAUX NEWZ.  It’s hypocrisy as usual.

Still riding your red herring?  Again, I don’t know what you are even talking about.  No one but you is talking about Fox News.

BTW, you committed the tu quoque fallacy in your first comment.  You seem to believe that Fox News “spins” and therefore that gives Sam and you a license to spin (aka lie).  I’m sure he’ll thank you for your support.

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Posted: 02 September 2011 03:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Brian Macker - 01 September 2011 09:11 PM
panthamor - 01 September 2011 11:43 AM

Here is a short synopsis of what really happened as narrated in the documentary film “Inside Job” that won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Has the same errors as the first time I heard this explanation.    Not sure why you think the Academy Awards is the go to place for good economics.

Besides it is non-responsive to what I wrote.  I didn’t discuss the “why” of how we got into the mess.  I discussed the why unemployment is high and will remain high.


You said The Great Depression was caused by the regulation of the free market by the government, I gave an example of how the financial crisis in 2008 was caused by the de-regulation of it.
And why don’t you give an analytical critique of what points are wrong rather than simply stating that it is erroneous.

You appear to have better insights into the nature of our economy than some legitimate economists.

Why thank you.  You are quite correct when you say that.


I was obviously being ironical, and I hope you are too because else you got some big pretension-issues.

Here’s what I found after a quick search on the Internet:
... 

An excerpt from this article
The virtue of hoarding

How about you actually read what you link to, because it doesn’t say what you think it does.


I never said the article advocates against or for hoarding money, I simply stated that there are economists, legitimate ones, that argue against it and that you claim to know better. I admit that I’m a layman when it comes to the mechanisms of economy and that you probably know more than me about it, but I’m simply stressing the fact that you claim to have the absolute answers and explanations on these matters when even legitimate economists don’t have a consensus about it. You present it all in a dogmatic way. You state it is all erroneous but don’t give explicit examples.

Again, who is making an error of moral judgment here? You’re criticising Harris for not being able to objectively view and judge his ideas when YOU are the one doing just that.

Huh?  Can’t tell what you mean.


Let me clear it up for you. You say that Harris would’ve recognised the false dilemma (false dilemma according to you) he has made immediately if it was made by the people he opposes. So therefore, according to you, he can’t objectively evaluate his own work.

How can it be moral that the richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth?

Not sure what you mean here.  Could you clear up your thoughts because that isn’t even a valid question.  It’s like asking how it could be moral for billions of people to have sex every night, because you have an inkling that many of them are cheating on their spouses.  That doesn’t reflect on any of the others.

Perhaps you meant “How could it be moral?”.  It could be moral if the richest 2% of adults had all earned that wealth.  However, we know that many of them stole that wealth.  Unfortunately, even if we arrested them all and gave restitution to all their victims, you’d be back asking the question again.  At which point I’d say “Because the remainder earned it”.


First of all, again it is you who’s making the false anology. I really don’t see how the comparison holds. And secondly excuse me if I make linguistic errors but I would like to see how well you would fare if we were having this discussion in my native language.

 

One question, do you believe we have free will?

I don’t believe in the Christian conception of free will, no.  I’m a compatiblist.

As a compatibilist you say that man is free to act according to his motives, but that the nature of that motive is determined.


But how can, when a persons motives are determined and he doesn’t wills what he wills, he be accounted or be responsible for his actions?

A person is the way he is because he’s determined by factors that are entirely beyond his grasp. If you are not responsible for the way you are how can you be responsible for your actions, lets say your ability to make money?

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“Consider yourself. I want you to imagine a scene from your childhood. Pick something evocative… Something you can remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you WEREN’T there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Every bit of you has been replaced many times over… Steve Grand

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