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Comment Re:see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 1) 228

The horrible exploitation of labor during this period is what gave rise to Unions and the "Progressive Era."

The "horrible exploitation of labor" is what gave rise to the US as superpower and developed world society. And I doubt labor unions and the "Progressive Era" would have had much traction without the high demand for US labor spurred by the Gilded Era.

It's remarkable how poorly understood and interpreted the Gilded Era is. Somehow they built up a superpower, a vast economy, a set of world-class universities, and the current modern medical system. Yet it's supposedly all bad because labor was exploited. Well, China isn't going to get a shiny developed world society without a vast amount of labor exploitation any more than the US could.

Comment Re:Painful Life (Score 1) 282

It's an average over a large population which wasn't sorted for health conditions. They also noted that averaged over everyone retiring in the present, they still pull considerably more out than they put in.

When your program is pay as you go and pays out more to early adoptors than they put in, then it's a pyramid scheme not insurance.

Comment Re:If they're going to do this... (Score 1) 179

In volume (# of people, ideally as a percentage of total population) or in net worth?

All three. It's worth noting here that the study in question dishonesty spins the results as "The American Middle Class is Losing Ground" (the title of the report) without noting that the upper two classes (five in total with the middle one being loosely defined as "middle class") in their study increased in percent of total population by 7% of total population for a 50% growth in the size of the two categories.

Meanwhile the lowest category increased in size by 4% of total population for a 25% growth. I don't see the numbers of the original claim supported here, but it is a considerable improvement despite the claims to the contrary.

So yes, there was some growth in the poorest category, but more people by fraction of population and by raw population become more wealthy rather than less.

Finally, income inequality is not impoverishment of the middle class. It is dishonest to equate the two. Sure, there are some problems with a rise in income inequality such as the wealthiest having somewhat more power in society. But I don't see those problems really discussed.

It's even worse in the "stats" link above which dishonestly claims that wealth inequality is somehow undemocratic, even though it's painfully obvious that not everyone has the interest or ability to maximize their wealth. There will be wealth inequality in a democratic society where people have control over their wealth.

Nor is all wealth equivalent. You can't eat or live in some obscure financial security, for example. And any analysis which roundly ignores the quality of the wealth is doing a major disservice.

My view is that developed world societies have done remarkably well at reducing poverty. But good news like that doesn't fit the narrative of societies needing massive change. So instead we see this obsession with other metrics. The wealth inequality metric is particularly dishonest because we would see a natural increase in wealth inequality from the basic demographic and global trade shifts of the past half a century.

Current increases in wealth inequality don't come from the society becoming less democratic, but rather from labor competition with the many billions of people in the developing world. What do you expect when people who depend on their labor for their wealth are competing with billions of people who are willing to work for much less, while rich people whose wealth is in capital do not? Yet somehow this never was mentioned in this thread or in the links that have been provided.

There's no real fix for this except to wait till developed world societies have near income parity with the developing world.

Comment Re:If they're going to do this... (Score 1) 179

That's the point. You create a situation where people have more money to spend than there are workers to supply, and then you boost the labor expense of anything they want to buy by restricting labor hours. Suddenly everything becomes more expensive, but nobody has any more money; the capacity to buy products beyond what our labor force can supply goes away, because we're suddenly all poorer.

And that leads to an obvious question. Why would we want to make everyone poorer?

The whole point of any sort of universal basic income is to make most people less poor. Yet here, you state your fix makes all people poorer. So that sounds to me like we should do the opposite of work week restrictions and restrict them less rather than more.

Comment Re:Painful Life (Score 1) 282

Uh yeah, you paid into it for a purpose, you're entitled to get that back.

And who again promised you this entitlement? Weren't me.

The key problem here is that many people are taking out several times what they put in.

Some types of families did much better than average. A couple with only one spouse working (and receiving the same average wage) would have paid in $361,000 if they turned 65 in 2010, but can expect to get back $854,000 - more than double what they paid in. In 1980, this same 65-year-old couple would have received five times more than what they paid in, while in 1960, such a couple would have ended up with 14 times what they put in.

Comment Re:Painful Life (Score 1) 282

In a decade or so, Medicare is going to be one of the largest Federal expenditures - entitlement programs indeed.

Already is.

We didn't evolve to live so long. Medical science has outpaced our biology and it's taking a toll on our society.

We didn't evolve for a lot of stuff that we currently do. And I doubt you had to evolve yourself in order to type your message.

As to those medical care costs, I think most people would agree that US medical care is way overpriced for what it does. Sounds like you might agree. But my view is that this overpriced system is not a consequence of the technology, but rather of political systems operating on increasingly empty promises.

Comment Re: Too secure for insecure? (Score 1) 545

Gross negligence is not merely mishandling. It's worth noting again that she pulled classified documents and information onto a private email server for years, taking no corrective action until investigations were underway.

I do not want Hillary to be President--but if right wing whackos keep making crap up instead of going after her numerous letitimate bad positions and policies, when something really, legitimately bad does come up nobody is going to pay attention. That's almost handing her a ticket to the White House.

I think it's because there is blood in the water. Clinton hasn't been caught red-handed like this before with multiple felonies. It's like Al Capone and tax evasion. Sometimes someone gets caught on a weaker crime than the main one.

Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 1) 545

Again, the two are not equivalent. The RNC email accounts were intended for political not official use (and they even had a law to point to which mandated this separation!). Clinton's server was used for official business and as a result induced a number of felony violations of the handling of classified information.

Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 1) 545

However, as a veteran, I have learned that malignant competence is always preferable to incompetent foolishness and moral depravity when it comes to running a big organization.

I don't believe that choice is even on the table. And I think it typical that you can excuse evil because well, it's the lesser of evils by some peculiar metric that only you can see.

Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 2) 545

You're building a strawman; you made a fake argument designed to be easily knocked down. The actual argument being made is: If you complain that Clinton used a non-governmental email server, but you did not complain that Bush+ did the same thing (and "lost" a lot more email), then you are not concerned about the potential email-server crime; you're just a whining partisan idiot.

Bush did the same thing? Then where's the evidence? Here's the problem. You're just wrong here. Bush+ didn't use a private email server (and conveniently, successfully evade both FOIA requests and laws about public records). Bush+ didn't then proceed to destroy evidence when presented with FBI and Congressional inquiries. And there's no evidence for a several hundred million dollar pay-to-play scheme involving a Bush presidential library.

This is the usual outcome. You claim "But Bush did it too!" without any demonstration that was true. But the real problem here is that your words are a tacit admission that Clinton committed wrong-doing. Why are we supposed to look the other way just because someone else might have gotten away with it too?

Comment Re:If they're going to do this... (Score 1) 179

Interesting (to me): One of the side-effects of my Universal Social Security proposal is excess demand--a labor shortage. The fix is re-defining full-time working hours as 26-32 hours per week, meaning everyone gets dropped to 4-day work weeks. This happens because it's a trillion dollars cheaper than current strategy.

Because creating further artificial labor scarcity via work week restrictions will fix a labor scarcity problem. I have an alternative solution here. Get rid of the work week restrictions altogether as well as many other regulatory encumbrances on the labor market. Then the people who want to work 80 hours a week or whatever can do so and your labor shortage can be fixed as well as it'll ever be.

Comment Re:40 hour week is a myth (Score 1) 179

I think what they're going to find is that people are actually equally productive as their 80 hour a week counterparts. It's absolutely insane to think people can sustain productivity working those hours indefinitely-- even just a few weeks of time are mostly impossible without powerful drugs that overtime will lose their effect because your brain is mush and your tolerance is absurd.

It depends on the job. Jobs are not equal in their mental demands on people. A janitor could pull 80 hour shifts for example. A research mathematician can't. Nor are they equal in the value of the labor. A search and rescue operation in the middle of a disaster (where hours matter) is going to continue to save lives even at the 80th hour of work that week. A clerk at the local 7-11 isn't.

Honestly though, if we're not lying to ourselves (or others), if you were to remove all unproductive time from your work week it'd probably less than 40 hours. If it was only meaningful work, that was necessary, it'd be 25-30. Things just don't move faster, people at all levels of an organization are lying to themselves if they think otherwise.

If only we could magically make everything efficient. Well, that's not the real world.

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