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Comment Re:The first question that comes to mind (Score 1, Insightful) 280

Ah here we see the unfortunately-not-elusive "catch 22" in the wild. Assert that things aren't good enough, ask for better, and leave if you don't get it? You're a whiney complainer. Stay quiet, keep your head down, and don't rock the boat? You're coddled and expect things to be just served up without even asking. Why everyone knows, whenever anything seems not right, the correct response is to stand up and fix it yourself, by sitting down and accepting things just how they are. Right?

Comment Re:The first question that comes to mind (Score 1, Insightful) 280

An important corollary is that even if it is the latter, that doesn't automatically make the less-tolerant-of-mistreatment women and minorities at fault for anything. Just because one group of people are willing to put up with something doesn't make the something okay or another group somehow in the wrong for not putting up with it; maybe the people who put up with bad things don't have the balls to stand up for themselves and wrongly let themselves be pushed over. It's an open question where the line of "too sensitive" vs "not sensitive enough" is, and not an open-and-shut case that more sensitive is bad, no matter how much people who want you to put up with their shit may tell you it is.

Consider the oft-cited fact(?) that men are tougher salary negotiators. Does that make them "less tolerant of low pay", or "more sensitive about their pay", and is that then a fault? Should we be saying "poor little babies whine for more money and won't just suck it up and accept what they're offered", instead of praising them for confidence and boldness?

Comment Re:[OT] MIT is not that special. (Score 2) 280

I feel like I'm wandering too far off the topic here, but I just find it interesting that your anecdote is opposite to mine. Nobody ever really pushed me in high school, I just coasted and slacked off and ended up with only a 3.7 GPA. Thinking of myself as the smartest kid around my whole life, I was super disappointed when I learned at graduation that there was an honors program and other graduating classmates got special recognition for it and I was just one of the plebs in the audience watching them. My family was falling apart at the end of high school and I entered adulthood with no guidance or support and my life kind of fell apart almost immediately. By the time I figured out that I still could go to college without family to pay for it, and how to get there, I was driving my own life for the first time and actually cared and tried, and when I found I got a perfect 4.0 my first semester that felt so good that it drove me even harder to keep doing that semester after semester until I finished... that associate degree I was doing en route to my bachelor's degree. Once I got to a real university and did the upper division stuff, and also had a lot more adult life problems to juggle at the same time, my grades dropped back down to a 3.9 again, but still better than high school.

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 1) 358

I mentioned that point, and how it completely ignored the point I was discussing, and how I was going to ignore it in turn. Two people starting out life with different amount of wealth, and the consequences of that on who can lend at interest and who has to borrow at interest even given the otherwise exact same preferences and abilities, has nothing whatsoever to do with "the choice to defer consumption". You're assuming that that is always the cause of differences in wealth, and so justifies the consequences of such differences, when it very obviously is not always or even usually the cause, so arguing whether or not it would justify the consequences if it was the sole cause of them is a moot point. It simply isn't, and there's no sense arguing about what if it were.

Try addressing the actual argument next time.

Tu quoque.

Comment Re:Most didn't (Score 1) 544

You can tell a true idiot by someone who spend all their time spouting that one is clearly superior to the other

You can acknowledge that two sandwiches are both literally full of shit, and preferably neither should be eaten, without also denying that the HIV-infested steaming fresh human shit sandwich is clearly even worse than the dry cow pie sandwich, as bad as the latter may also be. In fact you could "tell a true idiot by someone" who'll vehemently swear that they're both equally bad.

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 1) 358

On the tracking issue, I like the idea of having an income tax system self-verifying by having expenses on things that count as other people's income be tax-deductible. That is, if Alice makes taxable income from Bob of $X, then Bob has a corresponding tax-deductible expense of $X; what we end up taxing is the sum of everyone's taxable incomes minus expenses, their net rather than their gross, like we already do with corporations. On to the point though, this means that every time someone has taxable income they might not want to report, someone else has a corresponding tax-deductible expense that they do want to report, and if there are gross mismatches — if Bob claims he paid $LARGE_SUM in taxable income to Alice but Alice doesn't report that she received it — then we know where to investigate and find out who is lying.

Comment An anecdote from an older millennial (Score 1) 544

Here's a brief log of my expectations over my adult(ish) life, as someone just barely young enough to count as a millennial (I turn 35 this year):

20 years ago, I thought that I was going to easily be rich and famous when I grew up, because I was consistently and effortlessly outperforming all of my peers at school, and the world of course is intrinsically just so that kind of ability will surely be rewarded as I avail myself of the opportunities equally available to all, right?

15 years ago, after falling flat on my face into poverty immediately upon adulthood and taking two years with almost zero guidance or support to figure out what the fuck I had to do to get my life back on track, I thought that maybe I could still salvage that dream after like, maybe a decade-ish of hard work? By my thirties maybe?

10 years ago, after disappointingly little progress in that regard despite my best efforts (and continued astounding academic success meanwhile), I thought that maybe I would "settle" for a "normal" life in an "ordinary" house in the suburbs working some "boring" career my whole life and doing some kind of interesting life's work that was a mere shadow of my true potential in my spare time beside that.

5 years ago, I thought that I would be lucky not to die in the street when I was old like it increasingly seemed my parents were going to do, it seeming just barely possibly to avoid that with a ridiculously enormous amount of effort and sacrifice and basically neglecting everything I ever dreamt of actually doing with my life just to, maybe, hopefully, reach the point I thought I would "settle" for, and previously thought was the normal condition of all moderately functional adults, in time to have a few years' breather before I died in which to maybe write some kind of memoirs about the things I once thought I was going to do with my life? please?

Today, even after my life has turned around dramatically from that point, thanks to that enormous effort and ridiculous sacrifice and a heaping pile of the good fortune sorely missing from most of the decades prior, I'm still not sure if that's ever going to be possible. Have since learned that my current income is twice the median American's, and I've never really made much less than the median, which only makes the difficulties endured despite that seem even more depressing. Currently living in a tiny trailer on rented land so as to be able to save enough money that someday I can put enough of a down payment down that the interest on a mortgage won't be so high as to push the date I can start saving for something besides housing back past the time I'll probably die. Long-term girlfriend patiently waiting for me to be able to afford a larger trailer with enough room for the two of us to live together and so be able to get married, currently aiming for maybe some time around when we're 40? Then probably another decade of saving after that before we can put a big enough down payment on a real house, what amounts to about half the purchase price. We don't want kids anyway, but we basically don't have the option of them at this point, not without sacrificing all hope.

That's all assuming that the past five years' miracle progress continues unabated, which is far, far from assured and I constantly expect any moment to lose absolutely everything and go back to zero again. But then, running the numbers sometimes, somehow, it seems like if all the trends over my lifetime continue at their average rates... somehow I might be able to retire in my mid-late 50s and live off investment income for the rest of my life after that? What the fuck? I don't believe it. But the math keeps telling me that. That most of life is hopeless and shit, and then around now it starts getting gradually better, and then suddenly in the moderately-near future everything is miraculously perfect forever. But I'll fucking believe it when I see it. I'm still assuming I'm going to die in the streets like my parents still look to be doing, and life can fucking prove me wrong if it can. Please. Please prove me wrong.

Comment Re:work till death (Score 1) 544

I think that's what he was saying. I read him as implying that the Tiny House fad robs "naive millennials" of the appreciation of land that "generates America's greatest wealth", condemning them (at their own fault, I guess?) to work until death to service rent on the land they park on.

Ignoring that stuff becoming harder to buy does not actually mean there is more value to be had (i.e. land price going up does not "generate wealth", it transfers it to whoever already has land from whoever doesn't), and that the Tiny House thing is a reaction to the difficulty of buying into the ridiculously overprices real estate market. Everyone would love to own land, but we can't, so owning a shelter that we have to park on someone else's rented land is the best alternative we can get. It's a symptom of the problem, not the cause.

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 1) 358

Your example is just criticizing Alice and Bob's time preferences for consumption. If Alice's excess is as "useless" as you claim, why does Bob constantly want it?

You seem to have reading comprehension difficulties so I may not respond beyond this.

Alice's excess is useless to her inasmuch as she is not using it, which is what makes it excess to begin with. If she were using it, she would not be able to lend it out, and it would not be excess.

In other hands, like Bob's, it would be useful, to him, because he has a use he needs to put it to.

In a truly free market, Alice would sell her excess to Bob, who has more use for it than her, in exchange for something that she has more use for than him. That's what free trade is all about: sorting things around to where they are most useful. If things were not more or less useful in different hands, all trades would be zero sum and there would be no point to them. But with rent an option, it is more in Alice's interests -- and Alice, controlling the wealth, gets to dictate the terms -- not to trade it, but to charge a permanent fee for for the temporary use of it. That distorts the market.

Also, the rest of your commentary on that hypothetical scenario assumes that Alice ended up with more than Bob because of choices she made, ignoring that we start the scenario out with them having different amounts at hand, just like different people in real life start out with different amounts of wealth available to them. In a truly free market, we would expect those differences to level out over time, as those with more sell it to those with less so as to buy the labor of those with less and live better and easier lives for a time, while those with less work the other side of that equation to accumulate more for themselves, and in time the amount of wealth had by and the amount of labor required from both parties equalizes. Rent and interest distort that, and instead cause wealth to accumulate further into the hands of those who already have it.

Which is the fundamental flaw of those articles you link. They conflate genuine wealth creation with wealth concentration. Yes, a consumption tax sure does interfere the least with the rich getting richer. But that is not a good thing, and from a genuine productivity standpoint, of actually generating the most value, that is to say alleviating the most suffering and producing the most flourishing, it's a positively bad thing. From a genuine productivity standpoint, you want to encourage the wealthy to trade their wealth for the labor of the poor; both for the raw value produced by that labor; but also so that that value produced accrues to where it is most valued, in the hands of those who need it most, the poor who are getting paid to produce it; and so that the wealthy then fall into the ranks of those who have to labor themselves, further increasing the raw amount of value generated. An economy of more-equal people all working and all accumulating the product of that labor more-equally both generates more value on the whole (since there are fewer parasites living as dead weight on the backs of others) and allocates that value to where it is valued more (those who need it most, instead of to those who already have more than they can even use themselves already) than a less-equal society where some people do all the work and some people reap all the benefits of that.

That's why market economies are more productive than feudalism or slavery, and why the last vestiges thereof -- landlords are literal vestiges of feudalism, and lending money at interest is an expansion of the same rental concept to other capital besides land -- need to go if we are going to move forward.

Comment Re:Yeah, go ahead, blame TRUMP! (Score 1) 729

Not to detract from the overall quality of your post, but a business owner's customers are his bosses too, in much the same way that the electorate are the President's bosses: they're the people who ultimately pay him, and he only gets to keep the job so long as he makes them happy. A business owner who pisses off all his customers soon finds himself unemployed, as a business with no customers is no business.

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