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smitty_one_each's Journal: Piketty is sort of a modern false prophet 41

Journal by smitty_one_each

The book that is all the rage on the left is a dense economic tome called Capital in the 21st Century by a French and Marxist economics professor called Thomas Piketty. It epitomizes cargo cult economics well blended with the vice of greed and a disregard for the whole "thou shalt not covet" thing that somebody important once warned us about. It also has a lot of formulas and charts and graphs that make it really compelling the the Vox.com crowd.

Ah, the zombie lies of Marx.

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Piketty is sort of a modern false prophet

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  • Really, reading an article from a partisan website talking about a book is every bit as good as actually reading the book, right? Clearly, I know just as much about the bible from reading blogs people post about their interpretation of it as any priest or minister who has ever lived, right?

    You could at least post a link to the book for sale at a place that just wants to sell it [amazon.com] (rather than burn it). Since you will likely continue to brag about not reading the book itself, you could perhaps at least spe
    • As with "A Pimple's History of the United States" by Zinn, I'll get a used copy. Wouldn't want to support this tripe with a full-price purchase. The reverse psychology play of "sticking the capital to the Socialist" is better enjoyed in theory.
      • Yeah! That'll teach 'em! Just like how people put it to Sony by purchasing a PS[1,2,3,4] when they are selling it at a loss.

        Nevermind the fact that you and your friends from the conservative blogosphere have done quite a bit already to increase the sales of this book by bringing it to peoples' attention. A lot of people would have likely never heard of this book, but now that so many of you have your undies up in a bunch over it they are considering buying a copy of it. The author should send you a
        • We've got a great deal of unlearning to do, digging out from under the pile of Commie lies that have been thrown at us.
          • We've got a great deal of unlearning to do

            Unlearning, you say? I believe I've heard fascist governments pursue such ideals in the past...

            digging out from under the pile of Commie lies that have been thrown at us.

            What lies, exactly, do you feel "have been thrown at us"? More importantly, why would they matter as we have never at the state or federal level made any real attempt to pursue communist ideals?

            Really, you raising a stink over people having ideals other than your own - and labeling such ideals as "pile of Commie lies" - is childish. It would be no better rooted in reality or morality than claiming that a

  • ... they just try harder and harder to obscure what they're really trying to do.
  • Please state in quotes. Preferably as a one-line axiomatic statement.

    His diagnosis was acute and accurate. It is his prescription which was lacking - through naivete, not corruption or malice.

    It would be a better world - and a more ideally Christian world - if it were a post-state Marxist utopia, vs. one envisioned by Ayn Rand.

    • Here's one: "Communism deprives no man of the ability to appropriate the fruits of his labour."

      This is provably, and demonstrably, false. The state currently takes 35% of my income, part of that is used solely to redistribute my wealth to others in the form of welfare.

      This, however, is a true statement:

      Communism deprives all men of the ability to appropriate the fruits of his labor. As a result, the incentive for man to work is negated, and the only thing that communism spreads is abject poverty.
      • You half-quote Marx, thereby mis-attributing his motive by way of omission. The remainder of that statement is: "The only thing it deprives him of is the ability to enslave others by means of such appropriations."

        The vision of Marx is that of the children's fable, "Stone Soup". [wikipedia.org] It is also as implausible.

        I'm with Adlai Stevenson, on this one:
        "Communism is the corruption of a dream of justice."

        Remember, private property of the Iroquois Nation culture is not the same thing as private property defined by post

        • The remainder of that statement is: "The only thing it deprives him of is the ability to enslave others by means of such appropriations."

          ... which does not make the statement true, as communism does indeed deprive the man of his ability to reap the fruits of his labor.

          Therefore, my point remains.

          But nuance? It's so European... Why not just reach for your gun?

          Reach? It's on my hip at all times dude.
      • by Bill Dog (726542)

        The state currently takes 35% of my income, part of that is used solely to redistribute my wealth to others in the form of welfare.

        Well 70% of federal spending is redistribution to others [investors.com].

        Just the federal government alone is projected to spend $3.7 trillion this year, with a $500 billion deficit. I.e. it will redistribute 70% of 115% of what it takes in.

        So 70% of your 35%, or 24% of your income, will go not towards national defense or any other function of Constitutional validity, or even overhead, but to other individuals. I.e. you may have to work 4 months out of the year just for Uncle Sam, but 3 of them are solely for welfare of

        • "Borrowing it forward" is our new tradition.
        • but 3 of them are solely for welfare of innumerable kinds.

          You are trying to claim that all of that 70% of "redistribution" is devoted to handing out checks to welfare recipients. However, the very source you linked to refutes that idea:

          Where do these checks go? The biggest chunk, 38.6%, goes to pay health bills, either through Medicare, Medicaid or ObamaCare. A third goes out in the form of Social Security checks. Only 21% goes toward poverty programs â" or "income security" as it's labeled in the budget â" and a mere 5% ends up in the hands of veterans.

          It continues on:

          Interestingly, despite Obama's frequent pledges to reduce income inequality, the share of direct payments going toward "income security" has dropped from 25% in 2009 to 20% in 2014. (The average share from 1980 to 2008 was 25.4%.)

          Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 budget calls for this share to drop to just 17% by 2019, as his programs devote more and more federal tax money to middle-class entitlement programs such as ObamaCare.

          Hence while there is certainly some money being "redistributed" to the poor, it is not anywhere near 25% of an average working person's total pretax income. If we were even at 2009 levels (and the article notes we are below that level) it would be roughly 9% of an average working person's income going to help we

    • My one-line summary of Marx: "The Kingdom of God, hold the God."
      We're in more of Randian dystopia, BTW.
      • My one-line summary of Marx: "The Kingdom of God, hold the God."

        :-) You have yet to show the negative there.

      • Very good. Marx was a man who struggled with the notion of a moral order - inspired by a motivation of righteousness - and constrained at the same time by intellectual barrier to conceiving of God.

        He wished fervently that mankind could stop enslaving and indenturing each other. Economics and politics were the means he though this could be cooperatively corrected. That was his great error. The soul must be weaned of the world and attachments of the self, then goodness proceeds in works and effects.

        • In response, I'd offer that all improvement of the individual human condition is internal, and driven by God.
          External efforts; laws, normative mores, etc. are hit-or-miss, and retard the individual human condition as much as they occasionally enhance it.
  • I'm a few chapters in. Some of it is slow going and I had to get my wife the mathematician to explain some parts, but so far I'm not understanding why so many people are portraying this book as "hating Capitalism" or "hating capital".

    At about 1/4 the way through, it's mainly a critique of some fundamental weaknesses in the way late-stage Capitalism has been playing out, and a little bit of a survey of places that have been able to avoid those weaknesses and have been able to maintain a higher level of econ

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