You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 11, 2016, 02:05:55 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Wall Street, the Economy, and Responsibility  (Read 3586 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Wall Street, the Economy, and Responsibility
« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2010, 12:45:02 AM »
I received the offer for the job I now have last July. I was living in Texas at the time. The unemployment rate was higher than it has ever been in my lifetime, and at the time of the offer, the market for jobs particularly in finance was flooded due to the chaos in 2008. I am not unsympathetic to a competitive job market.

Texas is doing marvelously well compared to the situations that the worst-off here are doing - even ignoring Dallas and Houston.

And you were in a position to take a job offer bringing you to Manhatten from New York. I have a standing offer in Chicago, myself, but I made some promises I intend to keep.

Quote
But I do not think my position is based on personal experience but on evidence. We are in the midst of a very deep recession - I recognize that - and jobs will be scarce and the most affected will be the most vulnerable. Which goes back to my point that we should invest and encourage people to become competitive, regardless of the economic situation. I think that's the best way of attacking inequality.

That's actually one of the reasons I support shunting a lot of the tax burden to property taxes, by the way. You move your business back to 'fucking Texas, where land is cheap', pay a few people from 'fucking Texas, where land is cheap', people in fucking Manhatten have less insane prices and the city becomes a little less crowded...

A big part of helping that development along has to involve spreading available liquidity more evenly.

Quote
I am in fact curious about your view on this. I gather from our discussions that you think people ought to work for what they have - so do you think that people's jobs should be protected even if they can be done more efficiently if they were deregulated, or exposed to foreign competition?

I think protectionism is necessary when the lack of a given skill or resource would be a potential defense concern. Take China subsidizing rare earth production, killing off all American competition, then deciding it's not going to export any more, for example, our current scramble to come up with more nuclear engineers, or the original (not current) reasons for food subsidies. Government functions well as an insurance provider in this regard. That would imply that outside of perhaps a flat tariff any sort of protectionism should have a sunset clause - sure. It could also be used to provide a weaning period where necessary.

And I think you need to define deregulation better, as most people usually include environmental regulations (for example) and things like frequency tolerances for AC power, rather than bullshit like "You must have x workers doing y' even when y becomes obsolete. Punishing catastrophes after the fact is rarely an ideal situation. Especially when companies basically arrange for caps on their liabilities (see BP's $75 million cap...)

In general though, if a job is well and truly obsolete, and retaining it has no reasonable chance of having future value, it should not exist.

America has an insane amount of wealth, however - we can give every household a home and have enough left over for some people to have seconds. We can certainly make the transition a hell of a lot easier on people.

Quote
I recognize this...that's why we have affirmative action. (which I support)

The worst cases in the US actually involve Indian reservations, where it's working in reverse after a twisted fashion.

Quote
Right. But we need to distinguish between things that are happening now, and permanent structural changes to the economy. We were discussing protectionism and re-regulation - those are very different and...quite unrelated to getting money and credit moving through the economy again right now, which is a temporary freeze. (although I think that credit markets have improved quite significantly over the last year or two)

Someone who just lost their home because they got duped into a bad loan and thus owed more than it was worth isn't going to have the same coldly rational response to 'and your job is useless, too'. There are certainly more diplomatic ways to put it.

I have a personal... distaste for unions, and those who oppose automation. Maybe that comes with being a programmer.

Quote
Please, please don't call me a libertarian. It hurts. :) The FairTax thing was just for fun.

I wasn't. Libertarians tend to wonder what providing vaccinations for others do for them, use phrases like 'well their parents should have-', think that death by food poisoning is just the free market in action, don't understand what an externality is, and object to Ayn Rand being called a sociopath.

I think I blended two of them together there, oh well >_>

Offline Asuras

Re: Wall Street, the Economy, and Responsibility
« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2010, 01:53:03 AM »
Quote from: Vekseid
Texas is doing marvelously well compared to the situations that the worst-off here are doing - even ignoring Dallas and Houston.

Most Texans live in Dallas and Houston.

Quote from: Vekseid
And you were in a position to take a job offer bringing you to Manhatten from New York. I have a standing offer in Chicago, myself, but I made some promises I intend to keep.

(Manhattan)

Quote from: Vekseid
That's actually one of the reasons I support shunting a lot of the tax burden to property taxes, by the way. You move your business back to 'fucking Texas, where land is cheap', pay a few people from 'fucking Texas, where land is cheap', people in fucking Manhatten have less insane prices and the city becomes a little less crowded...

I sense disdain with my use of the word "fucking" :) Personally I use the word to make more casual the subject.

We want to live here. I want to live here. And believe me that I am paying dearly to live here. But frankly your property tax discussion ought to be separated to another thread; this is separate from Jude's original post but I'll happily discuss it with you.

Quote from: Vekseid
A big part of helping that development along has to involve spreading available liquidity more evenly.

I think I have expressed repeatedly my passionate moral interest in building a more equitable society...or have we not come to an understanding on this point?

Quote from: Vekseid
I think protectionism is necessary when the lack of a given skill or resource would be a potential defense concern. Take China subsidizing rare earth production, killing off all American competition, then deciding it's not going to export any more, for example, our current scramble to come up with more nuclear engineers, or the original (not current) reasons for food subsidies. Government functions well as an insurance provider in this regard. That would imply that outside of perhaps a flat tariff any sort of protectionism should have a sunset clause - sure. It could also be used to provide a weaning period where necessary.

If it is a defense concern, then very well - there is a public interest in ensuring reliable sources. But Callie and Ket were addressing consumer goods.

Quote from: Vekseid
And I think you need to define deregulation better, as most people usually include environmental regulations (for example) and things like frequency tolerances for AC power, rather than bullshit like "You must have x workers doing y' even when y becomes obsolete. Punishing catastrophes after the fact is rarely an ideal situation. Especially when companies basically arrange for caps on their liabilities (see BP's $75 million cap...)

When I say "deregulation" I am not referring to a well-defined concept. I know that. I am referring to a series of legislative decisions - the deregulation of airlines, of energy, of a wide range of things. I am a pragmatist (which is why I reject the label of being a libertarian) and I think that in most of these cases the regulations were counterproductive.

I think that where we are now - in general - is far enough. I don't want to abolish the EPA or whatever.

Quote from: Vekseid
The worst cases in the US actually involve Indian reservations, where it's working in reverse after a twisted fashion.

Being unfamiliar in this I defer.

Quote from: Vekseid
Someone who just lost their home because they got duped into a bad loan and thus owed more than it was worth isn't going to have the same coldly rational response to 'and your job is useless, too'. There are certainly more diplomatic ways to put it.

I concede that I may be impolitic. But...again I would like to distinguish fraud from honest finance.

Quote from: Vekseid
I have a personal... distaste for unions, and those who oppose automation. Maybe that comes with being a programmer.

Me too. So...yeah, maybe that comes with being a programmer. :)

Quote from: Vekseid
I wasn't. Libertarians tend to wonder what providing vaccinations for others do for them, use phrases like 'well their parents should have-', think that death by food poisoning is just the free market in action, don't understand what an externality is, and object to Ayn Rand being called a sociopath.

I think I blended two of them together there, oh well >_>

Since I'm curious...what political ideology would you classify me under then?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Wall Street, the Economy, and Responsibility
« Reply #52 on: May 11, 2010, 08:36:39 AM »
(Manhattan)

Bah : /

Quote
I sense disdain with my use of the word "fucking" :) Personally I use the word to make more casual the subject.

To make more casual the subject?

It's fine in moderation, I was just poking at it.

If you want to make a thread about a more comprehensive overhaul of our tax code, go ahead : )

Quote
I think I have expressed repeatedly my passionate moral interest in building a more equitable society...or have we not come to an understanding on this point?

I think you have a 'see the forest for the trees' issue. Often there is a reason for knee-jerk protectionist desires and it generally isn't out of a desire to see someone else suffer for it. It's situations where a community relies on one or two businesses for its very existence, and when that business closes (for whatever reason) work isn't available, opportunities aren't available, and the ability to change that situation when they can't control their currency isn't possible.

Quote
If it is a defense concern, then very well - there is a public interest in ensuring reliable sources. But Callie and Ket were addressing consumer goods.

Well textiles - most consumer goods, even - are of interest in defense. As long as the expertise can be acquired on short notice, this isn't much of an issue, but if Mexico undergoes another complete collapse, we still have to sort those goods out from elsewhere while taking care of the mess.

More specifically though, the markup on textiles is so ridiculous that we have two industries built on selling straight from the factory. In the case of most consumer goods, our barrier isn't being less competitive on the face of it, it's pension payments, restrictions on automation, and an overall fear of being useless compounded by greedy fucks who don't see any value in making more laborers.

Local industries provide stability and this, also, has value.

Quote
When I say "deregulation" I am not referring to a well-defined concept. I know that. I am referring to a series of legislative decisions - the deregulation of airlines, of energy, of a wide range of things. I am a pragmatist (which is why I reject the label of being a libertarian) and I think that in most of these cases the regulations were counterproductive.

I think that where we are now - in general - is far enough. I don't want to abolish the EPA or whatever.

I don't think there's a directional aspect of 'more versus less', I think there's an aspect of 'smart versus stupid' - and reevaluating regulations to make sure what was once smart still is.

Quote
Since I'm curious...what political ideology would you classify me under then?

I don't, really. I don't pay much attention to the word soup. I should probably figure it out for myself sometime so I know who I agree with.

Offline Asuras

Re: Wall Street, the Economy, and Responsibility
« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2010, 09:35:54 PM »
Quote from: Vekseid
Often there is a reason for knee-jerk protectionist desires and it generally isn't out of a desire to see someone else suffer for it. It's situations where a community relies on one or two businesses for its very existence, and when that business closes (for whatever reason) work isn't available, opportunities aren't available, and the ability to change that situation when they can't control their currency isn't possible.

I understand that, and I understand that people are emotional about that, but that doesn't make it right. If it can be done more cheaply in China or Mexico, let it be done there. And if the people who lose those jobs here can't get better ones (and again I'm not ignorant that that happens), then the answer is to invest in helping them get those better jobs, not protectionism.

Quote from: Vekseid
Well textiles - most consumer goods, even - are of interest in defense. As long as the expertise can be acquired on short notice, this isn't much of an issue, but if Mexico undergoes another complete collapse, we still have to sort those goods out from elsewhere while taking care of the mess.

The thing about most consumer goods is that the market is huge. We get textiles from everywhere; for instance during the Asian Financial Crisis there was a massive contraction in output in southeast Asia, yet US consumption wasn't really impacted because there were so many other producers to get the stuff from. At any rate, military consumption of these goods is a pretty small fraction of total US consumption, so in order for this to impact the military (which if it really came down to it they'd have priority) the market would have to almost completely be shut off to us.

Quote from: Vekseid
Local industries provide stability and this, also, has value.

I don't know if that's true. A company restricted to the US is totally dependent on US demand; a company that can trade can sell more abroad if US demand falls. Diversification.

Quote from: Vekseid
I don't think there's a directional aspect of 'more versus less', I think there's an aspect of 'smart versus stupid' - and reevaluating regulations to make sure what was once smart still is.

Or what never was smart.

But yeah, I agree, it's like being against "big government" - things should be addressed issue by issue.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Wall Street, the Economy, and Responsibility
« Reply #54 on: May 25, 2010, 04:57:11 AM »
I understand that, and I understand that people are emotional about that, but that doesn't make it right. If it can be done more cheaply in China or Mexico, let it be done there. And if the people who lose those jobs here can't get better ones (and again I'm not ignorant that that happens), then the answer is to invest in helping them get those better jobs, not protectionism.

The issue here is simply your presentation. It's easy to gloss over the fact that all needs can still be provided for during a transition. That is (part of) the reason for reeducation programs, unemployment insurance and so on.

Quote
The thing about most consumer goods is that the market is huge. We get textiles from everywhere; for instance during the Asian Financial Crisis there was a massive contraction in output in southeast Asia, yet US consumption wasn't really impacted because there were so many other producers to get the stuff from. At any rate, military consumption of these goods is a pretty small fraction of total US consumption, so in order for this to impact the military (which if it really came down to it they'd have priority) the market would have to almost completely be shut off to us.

It's also a question of being able to properly inspect and test any given materials. Ideally, I'd at least like to see us employ the same or similar environmental regulations.

Quote
I don't know if that's true. A company restricted to the US is totally dependent on US demand; a company that can trade can sell more abroad if US demand falls. Diversification.

That wasn't what I was referring to. Not restriction, simply giving local industries a leg up through various means to help promote local trades - the slow push for sustainable farming and local farmer's markets, for example. If you can produce your immediate needs on-site, then a major collapse of trade is easier to weather.

Offline Asuras

Re: Wall Street, the Economy, and Responsibility
« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2010, 11:15:52 PM »
Quote from: Vekseid
The issue here is simply your presentation. It's easy to gloss over the fact that all needs can still be provided for during a transition. That is (part of) the reason for reeducation programs, unemployment insurance and so on.

I've gone repeatedly out of my way to emphasize that very point, I don't think I've glossed over it.

Quote from: Vekseid
It's also a question of being able to properly inspect and test any given materials. Ideally, I'd at least like to see us employ the same or similar environmental regulations.

Ideally. The funny thing about trade agreements is that they are inevitably, invariably, and without exception about compromise.

Quote from: Vekseid
That wasn't what I was referring to. Not restriction, simply giving local industries a leg up through various means to help promote local trades - the slow push for sustainable farming and local farmer's markets, for example. If you can produce your immediate needs on-site, then a major collapse of trade is easier to weather.

If you can. The probability of a crash happening in your local area is more likely than one simultaneously and uniformly affecting the entire planet.