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  1. Phrost is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/02/2012 12:43pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronYoshi View Post
    Phrost, if you are the same guy that occasionally posted at JREF, weren't you a libertarian at some point? If so, this is quite a change for you, and not a great one.

    Nobody has a problem with income disparity when the economy is doing well. How to get the economy back to its former glory? Don't start lynching the 1%, for starters.

    Also, your conflation of the Middle Eastern rebellions with Occupy Wall Street is sloppy as hell.
    Still a quasi-sorta-not-a-big-fan-of-labels-small-L-libertarian. My referencing the income disparity, 1%, etc., wasn't in any way rendering an opinion on any political ideology, much less implying that I support wealth redistribution. I was simply pointing out that if that disparity continues to grow, people really will be progressively more active, and progressively more outraged.

    An unemployed, hungry man is dangerous to any regime. And I disagree with you that there's no connection between the Arab Spring and OWS. Specifically because AdBusters, the group that initiated the OWS movement, has said they were influenced by the uprisings in the middle east and are taking cues from them.

    Again, I'm not rendering a judgment on capitalism vs. socialism in this piece. But if you want my personal views, I am a fervent capitalist, but an equally fervent anti-corporatist. I want to see the corrupted, captured regulatory agencies dismantled. Monsanto executives should not be working at the FDA. The FTC should not be populated by former and future Goldman Sachs lobbyists. And so on.

    But the salient point here is that people are only going to continue getting more angry, and if 1%ers like the subject of this article don't tone down their "let them eat cake" antics, it's very likely that guillotines will eventually be going up. Ideology doesn't play into it, just reality.
  2. Devil is online now
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    Posted On:
    2/02/2012 12:53pm

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    So, who would you say is responsible for reducing the income disparity?
  3. Phrost is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/02/2012 1:02pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by devil View Post
    So, who would you say is responsible for reducing the income disparity?
    Not something I feel relevant to Bullshido or this article. That would be better discussed on Sociocide instead. Again, my primary concern is that the growing anger over the problem will spill over and affect the people here in various ways.

    Whether or not you need to stockpile ammunition, take an extra day of BJJ per week, or find a good instructor who teaches tactics to deal with mob violence; these things are more relevant to what we do around here.

    I imagine though, if we removed a lot of the corrupt regulation... not all regulation, just the kind that's designed to keep entrepreneurs and start-ups out of the market by increasing barriers to entry, then we'd have a smaller wealth disparity.
  4. Devil is online now
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    Posted On:
    2/02/2012 1:14pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phrost View Post
    Not something I feel relevant to Bullshido or this article. That would be better discussed on Sociocide instead. Again, my primary concern is that the growing anger over the problem will spill over and affect the people here in various ways.

    Whether or not you need to stockpile ammunition, take an extra day of BJJ per week, or find a good instructor who teaches tactics to deal with mob violence; these things are more relevant to what we do around here.

    I imagine though, if we removed a lot of the corrupt regulation... not all regulation, just the kind that's designed to keep entrepreneurs and start-ups out of the market by increasing barriers to entry, then we'd have a smaller wealth disparity.
    I won't push for solutions if you don't think it's appropriate for this discussion. I guess where I was going is that I've heard a ton of complaints from the OWS crowd and the 99%ers, but I haven't heard any viable solutions. Hell, most of the time I don't even hear a coherent description of the problem.

    It's hard to support reform when ideas are poorly communicated.
  5. Phrost is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/02/2012 1:19pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by devil View Post
    I won't push for solutions if you don't think it's appropriate for this discussion. I guess where I was going is that I've heard a ton of complaints from the OWS crowd and the 99%ers, but I haven't heard any viable solutions. Hell, most of the time I don't even here a coherent description of the problem.

    It's hard to support reform when ideas are poorly communicated.
    The way OWS is organized a double-edged sword. Their decentralization helps prevent infiltration, false flag crap, co-opting (to an extent) and agents-provocateur, etc. But it also means that having a unified message is difficult.

    If you go back to the source, again, AdBusters, the idea is to speak out against revolving door lobbyists and crony capitalism. The economy crashed and the 1% of the 1% got bailouts, while everyone else just got foreclosures. Regardless of your politics, that's fucked up.
  6. Devil is online now
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    Posted On:
    2/02/2012 1:41pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phrost View Post
    If you go back to the source, again, AdBusters, the idea is to speak out against revolving door lobbyists and crony capitalism. The economy crashed and the 1% of the 1% got bailouts, while everyone else just got foreclosures. Regardless of your politics, that's fucked up.
    Well, I'm against bailouts.

    I also think concepts like "crony capitalism" are too vague to be meaningful. Crony capitalism is difficult to quantify and virtually impossible to regulate. We already have regulations designed to curb this type of activity. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't. I don't know what type of additional legislation will correct the problem.

    I work for a global juggernaut. The truth is when a company gets so fucking big, nobody knows what's going on. The auditors don't have a fucking clue. The people within the company don't even know what's going on. How are external auditors going to figure it out? Regulation is meaningless if it can't be competently enforced.

    Sometimes when there's a huge billion dollar scandal that makes the news, it has nothing to do with evil corporate geniuses being devious. Sometimes it's just ignorance and nobody catching the problem until it's too late. For every Bernie Madoff, there are probably 100 regular joes fucking **** up just because they can't decipher the unending bureaucracy.

    Anyway - I guess that has nothing to do with Squeezy McNoserson but I didn't start the political discussion either.
  7. IronYoshi is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/02/2012 2:48pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Phrost
    An unemployed, hungry man is dangerous to any regime. And I disagree with you that there's no connection between the Arab Spring and OWS. Specifically because AdBusters, the group that initiated the OWS movement, has said they were influenced by the uprisings in the middle east and are taking cues from them.
    I'm aware of the Adbusters connection but the demographics of OWS and the ME uprisings are so completely different, as are their effects (OWS fizzling faster than generic soda), that any comparison should only be amusing. Time picked 10 random people out of the OWS crowd, and guess what their occupations were - two organic gardeners, a librarian, an academic, more than a few hipsters, etc...

    The hungry and the poor are dangerous to a regime, yes. We don't have a regime though. We vote here and there's no real good reason to believe that'll change.

    But if you want my personal views, I am a fervent capitalist, but an equally fervent anti-corporatist. I want to see the corrupted, captured regulatory agencies dismantled. Monsanto executives should not be working at the FDA. The FTC should not be populated by former and future Goldman Sachs lobbyists. And so on.
    Yeah, I'm with you there.

    But the salient point here is that people are only going to continue getting more angry, and if 1%ers like the subject of this article don't tone down their "let them eat cake" antics, it's very likely that guillotines will eventually be going up. Ideology doesn't play into it, just reality.
    I don't recall a lot of speculators and estate owners getting lynched in the thirties, so I'd like to say we're not going to go beyond that, but there always is a chance I suppose.
  8. IronYoshi is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/02/2012 2:52pm

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    I also think concepts like "crony capitalism" are too vague to be meaningful. Crony capitalism is difficult to quantify and virtually impossible to regulate. We already have regulations designed to curb this type of activity. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't. I don't know what type of additional legislation will correct the problem.
    Crony capitalism is basically favoritism on the part of regulators. You can solve the problem by shrinking government, and therefore regulatory, power. Since regulators have been unduly influenced since the dawn of time, more regulations aren't likely to help (as you say).

    I work for a global juggernaut. The truth is when a company gets so fucking big, nobody knows what's going on. The auditors don't have a fucking clue.
    For a second I thought you were talking about some kind of monopoly lol

    If a company gets too big to function effectively, the market breaks it down and sucks out the juicy insides. Which should have happened to AIG.
  9. Devil is online now
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    Posted On:
    2/02/2012 3:14pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronYoshi View Post
    Crony capitalism is basically favoritism on the part of regulators. You can solve the problem by shrinking government, and therefore regulatory, power. Since regulators have been unduly influenced since the dawn of time, more regulations aren't likely to help (as you say).



    For a second I thought you were talking about some kind of monopoly lol

    If a company gets too big to function effectively, the market breaks it down and sucks out the juicy insides. Which should have happened to AIG.
    I know what crony capitalism is. How do you measure it? How do you enforce the rules designed to prevent it? The devil is in the details. Shrinking government wouldn't do a damn thing to prevent cronyism. It would just change how the cronies operate.

    I'm also for smaller government, but I realize that idea is a unicorn. We'll never see it here without a complete breakdown of our current society.

    Your idea that the market breaks down companies when they get too big to operate is naive. Yes, that should happen but it isn't. Yes, like AIG. But you can't solve the problem with more OR less regulation. Again, it comes down to complexity.

    Right now, all our major banks are basically bankrupt. They have billions in overstated assets, namely real estate. If they wrote off those losses they'd all be bankrupt. So what did they do? They petitioned the powers that be to change the accounting standards that dictate how assets are valued. See, it's fucking magic. Not bankrupt anymore.

    But, if you responded to that problem by reducing government involvement they would just make up their own magic accounting and it would never look like they were bankrupt in the first place. It's a **** sandwich all the way around.
  10. IronYoshi is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/02/2012 3:48pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Shrinking government wouldn't do a damn thing to prevent cronyism. It would just change how the cronies operate.
    Shrinking regulatory power decreases the ability of the cronies to grant favors.

    I'm also for smaller government, but I realize that idea is a unicorn. We'll never see it here without a complete breakdown of our current society.
    Do you really think you would miss the Department of Energy? Or the health care bill? Or earmarks? (or development funds, which is a part of the DOE's job now for some stupid reason.) You imply that only the impossible tasks, like reforming SS or the Great Society, can shrink government.

    Your idea that the market breaks down companies when they get too big to operate is naive. Yes, that should happen but it isn't. Yes, like AIG. But you can't solve the problem with more OR less regulation. Again, it comes down to complexity.
    I fail to see how it is naive when you admit "like AIG" literally right after your denial. It seems like you're suggesting corporations are immortal. When an bureaucracy gets too slothful, myopic, and resistant to change, its days are numbered. See General Motors prior to bailout.

    But, if you responded to that problem by reducing government involvement they would just make up their own magic accounting and it would never look like they were bankrupt in the first place.
    Hell no. The government had to pull TARP and inject trillions more via currency printing just to keep the banks afloat. You don't get to pull that kind of crap as a private entity, else Enron would still be flying high.
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