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Comment Re:Everything's consolidating (Score 1) 112

I don't see how his statement requires one to assume wealth inequality (WI) is an important metric. He's just saying one consequence of WI is what we're seeing.

And the consequences of aren't important? Let us recall he claimed a pretty big thing:

When you let the rich have all the money they've got very little left to spend it on besides conquest.

He also claimed that things were different for the last century due to a "rapid onset of technology".

What's so odd about it? If something is seen as bad, there is no such thing as a "desirable" level it. Do you have a "desirable" level of turd in your sandwich?

Everyone who eats sandwiches implicitly has a desirable level of turd in their sandwich. Small enough that they never know it's there by taste, smell, illness, etc.

But wealth inequality doesn't even come close to the disagreeability of the turd-free sandwich. Virtually everyone agrees that someone who tries should have better ability to accumulate wealth than someone who doesn't try. That leads to an inequality which near universally agreed upon. The connotation of wealth "inequality" deceptively implies that the ideal of wealth "equality" is better, but few actually buy into that unlike the ideal of the turd-free sandwich.

Actually, rich people would be LESS successful under such conditions. All those poor people can't afford to buy the luxury stuff that richer people would buy, limiting what new businesses the rich people can create, which means less new jobs for poor people, which creates a downward spiral.

Utter fantasy. We only need to look at the developed world to see that you aren't even remotely accurate. Rich people got richer because capital, the primary sort of wealth of rich people, continues to climb relative to the wealth gathering value of labor. It'd be nice, for example, if my wages had tracked the NASDAQ Composition, for example. My minimum wage of $3.65 per hour in 1987 would be roughly $50 per hour today.

You're also using a particularly erroneous version of the demand-driven model of the economy. Somehow it's really important that developed world people have a weak inflation-adjusted increase in their wages, but not important that the far more numerous developing world workers have massive increases after inflation in their wages.

But even if we ignore that, demand is not just driven by consumers. It's also driven by employers who always get short shrift with this particular model. I consider that a major error of the model just on its own.

If left alone, this would eventually decreased wealth inequality (e.g weaker businesses close down, the rich become not so rich anymore). So the fact that it has shifted so little is a sign that the elites are propping up the system, preventing the market from correcting itself.

And it has in the developing world. But it hasn't in the developed world. The excuses are numerous, but I think I nailed it with global labor competition.

Comment Re:Everything's consolidating (Score 1) 112

You're begging a lot of questions here. The biggest is assuming that wealth inequality is an important metric. I think wealth inequality became a popular metric in the first place because it is something that can always be said to be a problem and thus is an evergreen measure of inequality.

Notice also that there is no desirable level of wealth inequality. Isn't it kind of odd to have a control system without a set point?

Finally, why do you think wealth inequality is out of control? The US has been suffering from heavy labor competition with parts of the world that are a large factor cheaper. Rich people should be massively more successful at accumulating wealth in such an environment than people whose wealth is solely labor-derived. It's surprising that wealth inequality has shifted so little which indicates to me that you're just missing outright the successful control of wealth inequality.

Comment Re:Indeed (Score 1, Troll) 112

Phone bills quadrupled almost over night.

Well, for starters how about stuff that actually happened. Here's a story from 1984 a year after the AT&T break up. It notes a decline in long distance prices (around 5% decline) combined with somewhat sharper rises in local service costs (but 16% increases rather than your bullshit 300% increases). One could buy their own phones and telecom equipment.

And cell phones are a huge benefactor of the breakup. AT&T had been sitting on cell phone technology for years. Within the decade, its pieces had set up viable cell phone networks.

Comment Re:I say BS (Score 1) 128

I don't recall anyone here every saying batteries haven't advanced. They certainly have. More so in manufacturing tech than actual battery chemistry tech, but they go hand in hand. They key advancement has been bringing the price down on lithium ion batteries through advanced production methods that allow higher density. This the result of half a century of intense effort to keep improving them. There are limits to lithium ion though, its been around a long time and there hasn't been another technology yet to supplant it.

Comment Re:Trump and Clinton (Score 1) 112

Yes,Trump has come out against this saying "As an example of the power structure I'm fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,"

Hillary on the other hand will not come out against it, as she wants as many powerful friends in high places as she can get.

Submission + - Clinton Foundation works with Big Pharma to keep the price of US AIDS drugs high (reddit.com)

Okian Warrior writes: A newly released Podesta E-mail explains how the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) works to keep the price of AIDS medicines high in the US.

CHAI contracted with Big Pharma companies for AIDS drugs to be distributed in developing countries. In return, the group agreed to resist efforts to bring similarly lower cost and generic drugs to the US.

The email is a reaction to "comments President Clinton made on lowering domestic AIDS drugs prices at the World AIDS day event":

We have always told the drug companies that we would not pressure them and create a slippery slope where prices they negotiate with us for poor countries would inevitably lead to similar prices in rich countries.

[...] If we do try to do something in this area, we suggest that we approach the innovator companies that can currently sell products in the US with the idea of making donations to help clear the ADAP lists. For a variety of reasons, the companies will likely favor a donation approach rather than one that erodes prices across the board.

[...] I would guess that they would also likely favor a solution that involved their drugs rather than an approach that allowed generic drugs from India to flood the US market at low prices or one that set a precedent of waiving patent laws on drugs. ... We can go to war with the US drug companies if President Clinton would like to do so, but we would not suggest it.

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