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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 07:54 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lies, politics, war

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   1601. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4672741)
If only there were some model by which labor had traditionally countered the overreaching impact of capital in order to empower workers.

For the thousandth time, unions can't help if the jobs can simply be moved to another country with no unions.

Take my finance dept. example. If the US workers tried to unionize to stop the partial off-shoring, the company response would just be to off-shore even more jobs, until you only had non-unionizable management left in the US.

If you want stronger unions, you must support protectionism.
   1602. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4672743)
Instead of an upwardly focused economy where working class people strove hard not to shop at places like WalMart and dollar stores, we have middle-class people frequenting these places just to help them get by.


You have a nugget of a point, but it gets over-shadowed by your creeping nostalgia too often.
   1603. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4672745)
If you want stronger unions, you must support protectionism.


I am on record supporting pretty much any process by which to re-balance the power between workers and capital.
   1604. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4672746)
Has anyone represented two different states in Congress?

Many have. James Shields was a Senator for three: Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri.

A guy named Allan Levene is running for the House this year in Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota and Hawaii. If he wins any of the primaries, he plans to take up residence.
   1605. JE (Jason) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4672748)
No way. 10 million illegal immigrants can't compare to the economic impact of 300 million Chinese factory workers, and 150 million potential Indian service workers.

I don't have a problem per se with Chinese factory workers in China and Indian service workers in India. In contrast, I have concerns regarding illegal immigrants in the United States manicuring lawns for the well-heeled or cleaning dishes in fancy-schmancy restaurants.
   1606. Greg K Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4672749)
Perspective on Crimea.

Interestingly in that video England and Scotland become "Great Britain" in about 1670. Legal unification happened in 1707, though I believe James I, who became King of both in 1603, liked to style himself King of Great Britain, rather than the King of England and the King of Scotland.

I'd be curious to know what the rationale for the change in 1670 came from...unless it was just something like whoever put that together was using a hodge-podge of maps for source material and switched to one using different names around that time.
   1607. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4672750)

If you want stronger unions, you must support protectionism.


Or just stronger unions. You could require 50% of all members of the Board of Directors for any corporation be union workers.
   1608. GregD Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4672751)
Heck Sam Houston represented two different states in Congress, was governor of those states, and president of an independent country. The 19th century was weird. The western states had nothing but Indians and new-arriving whites, so you could move up in the politics really quickly.
   1609. Greg K Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4672753)
I watched the Tina Fey thing. That is as close as I will ever come to watching an episode of "Girls." I can't imagine what would drive a normal human being to watch that sort of show.

I probably inadvertently answered that in #1598. If you enjoy watching awful people be awful without realizing they're awful people, it's very entertaining!
   1610. JE (Jason) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4672755)
Getting to but lower quality, cheap goods, in a crappy store, in order to offset your falling real wages is hardly a benefit.

Like a Hyundai Sonata?
   1611. Swoboda is freedom Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4672756)
The article I linked to is still interesting, and trying to measure a country in ways other than GDP is I think a very good idea

I think there are some problems with GDP, but trying to measure happiness seems to be a fool's errand.

The main problem with GDP is that a lot of new technology lowers costs, but doesn't get captured. For example, going on craigslist has destroyed newspaper classified advertising so this shows as a net loss to the economy, even though people are getting more out of it. Now the money should be able to be spent elsewhere, but is the improvement captured?
   1612. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4672757)
Many have. James Shields was a Senator for three: Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri.

Huh. ya learn something every day...
   1613. JE (Jason) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4672758)
Many have. James Shields was a Senator for three: Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri.

Correction: Shields has only represented Florida and Missouri to date but hopes to represent another state after 2014.
   1614. Guapo Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4672762)
If you enjoy watching awful people be awful without realizing they're awful people, it's very entertaining!


The Association of Lurkers in the OTP Thread ("ALOTPT") thanks you for coming up with our new slogan.
   1615. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4672763)
Correction: Shields has only represented Florida and Missouri to date but hopes to represent another state after 2014.


I'm glad someone got this before I had to.
   1616. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4672764)
Or just stronger unions. You could require 50% of all members of the Board of Directors for any corporation be union workers.

So, you're just going to seize 50% of the shareholders property by Gov't fiat? How would that possibly work when the same unions control the boards of competing companies?

How is that more reasonable than a simple tariff on imported goods and services?
   1617. Mefisto Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4672766)
Disagree. The average rich consumer has benefited. Getting to but lower quality, cheap goods, in a crappy store, in order to offset your falling real wages is hardly a benefit
.

Agreed.

Obama needs to continue ramping up economic sanctions against Russia (and encourage Merkel, Cameron, and others to do the same), while announcing plans to provide anti-tank and MANPAD weaponry to Kyiv.


Daniel Larison today:

"the crisis is also providing an opening for those in Russia that welcome Western punishment and attempts at isolation. The New York Times article that [Paul Pillar] cited is worth quoting here:


But it became clear last week, as the United States threatened to cut off Russian corporations from the Western financial system, that influential members of the president’s inner circle view isolation from the West as a good thing for Russia [bold mine-DL], the strain of thought advanced by Mr. Prokhanov and his fellow travelers. Some in Mr. Putin’s camp see the confrontation as an opportunity to make the diplomatic turn toward China that they have long advocated [bold mine-DL], said Sergei A. Karaganov, a dean of the faculty of international relations at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

“This whole episode is going to change the rules of the game,” Mr. Karaganov said of Crimea, which is holding a referendum on secession on Sunday. “Confrontation with the West is welcomed by all too many here, to cleanse the elite, to organize the nation.”


If these views prevail, Western governments’ relations with Russia will be poisoned for the next decade at least, and punitive measures against Russia will drive it into closer cooperation with China, which is exactly what Western governments should be trying to prevent from happening. Perversely, many of the same people that have wrongly been sounding an alarm about an “axis” of authoritarian states are demanding a reaction to the crisis in Ukraine that will make such a thing more likely to come into being. Unless Western governments want to give encouragement to the least desirable and most hostile political forces inside Russia, they would be wise to think about the longer-term effects of any punitive actions that they choose to take now. Trying to coerce and isolate another country is almost always guaranteed to breed resentment and to strengthen the worst kind of nationalism, and that is just what the U.S. and its allies should strive not to encourage in Russia."
   1618. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4672767)
I don't have a problem per se with Chinese factory workers in China and Indian service workers in India. In contrast, I have concerns regarding illegal immigrants in the United States manicuring lawns for the well-heeled or cleaning dishes in fancy-schmancy restaurants.

I don't have a problem with either group of people as people or workers. They're all just trying to do the best they can for themselves.

My problem is the economic impact they both have on the bottom 80% of wage earners in the US. Obviously the group that is 50 times as numerous is going to have a greater impact.
   1619. GregD Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4672768)
Jason, You have thoughts on the Slate piece on the normality/banality of Zaharie Ahmad Shah? I don't pretend to know anything about Malaysian opposition politics.

   1620. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4672769)
So, you're just going to seize 50% of the shareholders property by Gov't fiat?


This is your basic problem, Snapper. You want to take down the powered elites who are siphoning off all of the goods and benefits of our society for themselves, but you abjectly renounce any method by which someone might actually take on a deeply entrenched, empowered elite.
   1621. bobm Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4672770)
You could require 50% of all members of the Board of Directors for any corporation be union workers.

So, you're just going to seize 50% of the shareholders property by Gov't fiat? How would that possibly work when the same unions control the boards of competing companies?


Germany has a significant system of union representation on corporate boards. Germany is doing alright economically these days.

The German model of co-determination is unique. Formulated at the end of World War II, it was applied first in the coal and steel industries of West Germany following the war and gradually expanded to other sectors. Co-determination in Germany is regulated by the Co-operative Management Law (1951), amended in 1976, and the Workers Committee Law (1952), amended in 1972. Within the framework of the 1976 reform, the government broadened the laws' applicability to all firms throughout the German economy employing more than 2,000 workers. The German co-determination law (Mitbestimmungsgesetz) forms part of the bedrock of German industrial and company policy. It requires that just under half of companies' supervisory boards' members be representatives of workers. German company law is curious to an English speaker's eye, because it has not one but two boards of directors. Shareholders and trade unions elect members of a supervisory board (Aufsichtsrat). The chairman of the supervisory board, with a casting vote, is always a shareholder representative under German law. The supervisory board is meant to set the company's general agenda. The supervisory board then elects a management board (Vorstand), which is actually charged with the day to day running of the company. The management board is required to have one worker representative (Arbeitsdirektor). In effect, shareholder voices still govern the company for a number of reasons, but not least because the supervisory board's vote for the management will always be a majority of shareholders. Co-determination in Germany operates on three organisational levels:

1. Board of directors: Prior to 1976, German coal and steel producers employing more than 1,000 workers commonly maintained a board of directors composed of 11 members: five directors came from management, five were workers' representatives, with the eleventh member being neutral. (Note: Boards could be larger as long as the proportion of representation was maintained.) In 1976, the law's scope was expanded to cover firms employing more than 2,000 workers; there were also revisions to the board structure, which now had an equal number of management and worker representatives, with no neutral members. The new board's head would represent the firm's owners and had the right to cast the deciding vote in instances of stalemate.

2. Management: A worker representative sits with management in the capacity of Director for Human Resources. Elected by a majority of the Board of Directors, the workers' representative sits on the Board and enjoys the full rights accorded to that position.

3. Workers committees: The workers committee has two main functions: it elects representatives to the Board of Directors and serves as an advisory body to the trade union regarding plant-level working conditions, insurance, economic assistance and related issues. The committee is elected by all the workers employed in a plant.

Thanks to the years during which a co-operative culture has been in place, management requests from workers for proposals to improve operations or increase productivity, for example, are no longer considered mere legal formalities; they represent recognition of the fact that workers play an important part in plant success. In tandem, a practical approach has evolved among both parties, with each aiming to reach decisions based on consensus. In addition, worker representatives no longer automatically reject every proposal for structural reform, increased efficiency of even layoffs; instead, they examine each suggestion from an inclusive, long-term perspective. At the core of this approach is transparency of information, such as economic data. Co-determination is thus practised at every level, from the local plant to firm headquarters.

Co-determination enjoys intractable support among Germans in principle. In practice, there are many calls for amendments to the laws in various ways. One of the main achievements seems to be that workers are more involved and have more of a voice in their workplaces, which sees a return in high productivity. Furthermore, industrial relations are more harmonious with low levels of strike actions, while better pay and conditions are secured for employees. [ETA: Emphasis added]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitbestimmung
   1622. The Good Face Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4672773)
So, you're just going to seize 50% of the shareholders property by Gov't fiat?


This is your basic problem, Snapper. You want to take down the powered elites who are siphoning off all of the goods and benefits of our society for themselves, but you abjectly renounce any method by which someone might actually take on a deeply entrenched, empowered elite.


Government seizures of the means of production have a rather poor historical record. Being extremely cautious in the face of such proposals is a virtue, not a vice.

There are numerous examples of people managing to take down the powerful elites who siphon off all the goods and benefits of society, but all too often they end with a pyramid of skulls.
   1623. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4672774)
Like a Hyundai Sonata?

South Korea is a high wage economy. My point about tariffs has nothing to do with Japan or South Korea or the EU. We should engage in free-trade with those countries to the extent they give our goods and services equal access and protections in their markets.
   1624. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4672776)
So, you're just going to seize 50% of the shareholders property by Gov't fiat?


This is your basic problem, Snapper. You want to take down the powered elites who are siphoning off all of the goods and benefits of our society for themselves, but you abjectly renounce any method by which someone might actually take on a deeply entrenched, empowered elite.



Government seizures of the means of production have a rather poor historical record. Being extremely cautious in the face of such proposals is a virtue, not a vice.

There are numerous examples of people managing to take down the powerful elites who siphon off all the goods and benefits of society, but all too often they end with a pyramid of skulls.


As GF says, I don't want to replace one set powerful elites with a far more destructive one. The socialist elites have tended to siphon even more than the capitalist elites, and have all sorts of other atrocities to the menu.

We used to have an economic system in this country that far more fairly allocated the fruits of productivity and productivity gain. And, we did that without any government seizures of corporations. Why can't we go down that route?
   1625. JE (Jason) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4672778)
South Korea is a high wage economy.

As with Japan and even some EU countries, that wasn't always the case. Even lower middle-class consumers are better off not being stuck with the motorized trash that Detroit shoved down our throats once upon a time.
   1626. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4672779)
Capitalism is essentially broken as an engine of mass/full employment and justly distributed wealth and income. The culprits are its internal contradictions and the technological progress it has itself engendered. Postwar to 1973 was an historical aberration. 1973 through 2008 was the era of the various fig leafs and shell shiftings and phonied-up consumption generators -- credit cards, home equity loans, stocks and 401(k)'s for everyone -- covering up the sickening real economy. 2008 was the breaking point.

Cyclical recovery from the 2008 downturn is structurally impossible because of the march of technology and the mismatch in skills and jobs in the citizenry. The companies getting all the capital post-2008 don't create jobs.

It's over.

   1627. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4672781)
As with Japan and even some EU countries, that wasn't always the case. Even lower middle-class consumers are better off not being stuck with the motorized trash that Detroit once upon a time shoved down our throats.

Low quality of US cars was a unique phenomena due to the massive dislocation of the car market after the twin oil crises. Detroit faced a major shock to the market for cars (need for fuel efficiency) and had trouble adapting; especially given the UAW imposed constraints on flexibility. Before that, and once they got past that adaptation, US companies have made cars as good as any other country's.

To the larger point, it was entirely different trading with low wage countries that had a few tens of millions, or even 100 million workers, and trading with countries that have literally billions of low wage workers.

Also, in the era of the Cold War, the threats of revolution, and protectionist foreign regime, etc., there were significant hurdles to US capital moving over seas in any great amount.
   1628. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4672783)
Interestingly in that video England and Scotland become "Great Britain" in about 1670. Legal unification happened in 1707, though I believe James I, who became King of both in 1603, liked to style himself King of Great Britain, rather than the King of England and the King of Scotland.


The entire island is "Great Britain" (Britain consists of "great Britain" and a bunch of other smaller islands)- so if you were the King of England; and
the King of Scotland; and
your son/heir was the "Prince of Wales" (with no actual power as such, the King of England was effectively the Regent of Wales)

why not simply that by saying King of Great Britain?

What the various acts of Union did was prevent the Kingdoms being held in "personal union" from being split up by dynastic succession- as often happened with many Hapsburg held countries


   1629. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4672787)
Cyclical recovery from the 2008 downturn is structurally impossible because of the march of technology and the mismatch in skills and jobs in the citizenry. The companies getting all the capital post-2008 don't create jobs.

It's over.


Nonsense.

If the companies don't create jobs, we can tax the hell out of them, and cut taxes elsewhere. Tie the corporate tax rate to how many US jobs you create.

If you don't create US jobs paying at least 300% of you total level of profit, then your corporate tax rate is 90%.

Even if we tax them out of existence, who cares if they don't create wealth for anyone besides their owners.

If Google, Apple and Facebook are unstoppable juggernauts that won't create jobs, they can fund the whole Gov't instead, and raise everyone's wages by letting us cut taxes.
   1630. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4672788)
Government seizures of the means of production have a rather poor historical record.


There's gradations of this:

Government seizures of profitable and efficiently run industries is long term generally a very bad idea for everyone involved (though it might be good for government short term) (for a current ongoing example- Venezuela, where the government keeps trying to progressively nationalize any sector of the economy that actually works, with no apparent appreciation that they are on a treadmill that they keep adjusting a to a higher speed every time they do that- and they either have to slow down and get off or sooner or later that treadmill is gonna throw them off).

OTOH Government "seizures" of unprofitable and inefficiently run industries is usually what we get here in the US of A...
   1631. Lassus Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4672789)
It's over.

It's always been over.


Seriously guys, it took five posts? I am disappoint.
   1632. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4672792)
Seriously guys, it took five posts? I am disappoint.

I was waiting for Ray to post that. Spoilsport.
   1633. Greg K Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4672795)
The entire island is "Great Britain" (Britain consists of "great Britain" and a bunch of other smaller islands)- so if you were the King of England; and
the King of Scotland; and
your son/heir was the "Prince of Wales" (with no actual power as such, the King of England was effectively the Regent of Wales)

why not simply that by saying King of Great Britain?

Well James I very much wanted to simplify the equation and unify the kingdoms when he came to England in 1603 and have people call him the King of Great Britain. It wasn't very popular in either England or Scotland so he had to nix that idea. (He still liked being called the King of Great Britain, but legally neither nation would agree to it). The fact that England and Scotland were separate legal units had very important consequences for James and Charles. Charles' attempts to fiddle with Scottish legal and ecclesiastical affairs are pretty crucial to the Civil War. In fact, you can almost read the Civil War as a failed attempt by Charles to integrate the two kingdoms.

The fact that England and Scotland were separate political units was one of the most important elements of 17th century Britain.

In a sense it was a pedantic point I was making, I was just curious where 1670 came from. If you want to just mash them together in 1603 since James is the king of both, that makes sense. It probably gives the wrong impression when you get into the details, but for an evolving map of Europe over 1000 years it makes sense. Or the switch in 1707 makes sense too. I was just curious if there was some event I was unaware of in 1670 that would make that a reasonable time for the switch.
   1634. Mefisto Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4672796)
OTOH Government "seizures" of unprofitable and inefficiently run industries is usually what we get here in the US of A


The trick is to liquidate those assets and free up the capital. See Henry VIII and the monasteries. He eliminated an industry that was sucking the population dry and put the assets into general circulation. To paraphrase Patrick Henry, the monasteries had their Henry VIII, slavery had its Lincoln, and Wall Street ... may profit by their example.

I'm about half serious with this.
   1635. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4672797)
Government seizures of the means of production have a rather poor historical record.


I absolutely promise you that I will call you the day that board representation becomes the "means of production," Chief.

There are numerous examples of people managing to take down the powerful elites who siphon off all the goods and benefits of society, but all too often they end with a pyramid of skulls.


As opposed to the unmemorialized litter of broken human bodies that result from the casual and on-going exploitation of workers for the benefit of those empowered elites.
   1636. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4672799)
The entire island is "Great Britain" (Britain consists of "great Britain" and a bunch of other smaller islands)- so if you were the King of England; and
the King of Scotland; and your son/heir was the "Prince of Wales"


Seems relevant.
   1637. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4672800)
The trick is to liquidate those assets and free up the capital. See Henry VIII and the monasteries. He eliminated an industry that was sucking the population dry and put the assets into general circulation.

Except that's complete propaganda. The Monasteries provided a large degree of support and charitable relief for the common people, which was discontinued when Henry stole their property and gave it to his cronies.

Even Horrible Histories knows better than to repeat that line.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw7242EvISM
   1638. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4672802)

So, you're just going to seize 50% of the shareholders property by Gov't fiat?


I didn't say anything about shareholders, I was talking about the Board of Directors.

How would that possibly work when the same unions control the boards of competing companies?


50% isn't enough for control of anything, that's the point.

How is that more reasonable than a simple tariff on imported goods and services?


Tariffs simply reduce competitiveness and lead to higher prices for consumers. Instead of buying cheap items of low quality, you get the wonderful privilege of buying expensive items of low quality. If reducing imports and limiting trade were good things, then countries facing economic sanctions ought to be doing wonderfully.

Moreover, it directly harms the most vulnerable third-world workers. You're basically saying that a poor country can sell raw materials, or nothing. That's not a recipe for growth or human prosperity. It's a good thing for us when other countries become wealthier -- that means they will buy more high-end goods and services from us.

   1639. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4672804)
If the companies don't create jobs, we can tax the hell out of them, and cut taxes elsewhere. Tie the corporate tax rate to how many US jobs you create.

Which is pretty much the end of capitalism as we know it ... meaning capitalism as we know it is over.
   1640. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4672805)
How so, Mouse? By switching parties? By hitting on your baby sister? Did his dog take a dump on your lawn?


Mostly from stuff he did while mayor of St. Paul (mostly as a Democrat actually). I would rather not go into details, much of it from friends while I (and they) lived in St. Paul and had some interactions with him and his people. I did not like him as a person when he was a Democrat, not surprisingly becoming a Republican did not improve my opinion of him.

People should know that the ostensible implementation of a happiness index as the primary measure of national output in Bhutan led to a mass ethnic expulsion, an underdeveloped infrastructure, and the country's youth being "voluntarily unemployed".


Huge causality fail. Exploring alternatives to GDP no more caused those actions than Darwin's theories caused the various Eugenics movements to do the horrible things they did. It might have been an excuse or justification (likely post hoc) for those actions, but it in no way caused them. Seeking to measure the output of a country, creating a metric that measures more than what GDP does does not cause any such thing.

And besides, it is still an interesting article and an interesting idea.
   1641. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4672806)
The trick is to liquidate those assets and free up the capital. See Henry VIII and the monasteries. He eliminated an industry that was sucking the population dry and put the assets into general circulation.

He eliminated an industry that was sucking the population dry and put the assets into the hands of his political supporters who would continue to suck the population dry, but who would also become more steadfast in their support of his regime as a result of such transfer. Weakening his political opponents and strengthening and shoring up his power personal power base was first through nth in his calculations- helping the general populace was not in his list of goals- if they entered into his calculations at all it was more along the lines of, "Is this things effects going to be so horrific that it will provoke the commoners to revolt? No, then I have no further need to consider them)

and as Snapper said- having the Monasteries control such assets/lands rather than Henry's political supporters was probably better for the lowest classes. It wasn't like Henry was condemning "unused" church owned land so he could build factories or housing - he was taking over many lands that were being put to productive agricultural use so his political supporters could financially benefit from such use- the net effect was castles/palaces/mansions being built instead of churches/cathedrals (meaning no net economic effect), and less charitable giving (Since Henry's guys were more apt to spend the excess on debauchery than the monks were)
   1642. Greg K Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4672808)
Seems relevant.

Where is the Isle of Wight or Anglesey? What a ridiculously useless diagram!
   1643. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4672809)
Trying to coerce and isolate another country is almost always guaranteed to breed resentment and to strengthen the worst kind of nationalism, and that is just what the U.S. and its allies should strive not to encourage in Russia."

Easy military conquests also strengthen the worst kind of nationalism.
   1644. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4672811)
Easy military conquests also strengthen the worst kind of nationalism.


The kind that sings Lee Greenwood songs.
   1645. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4672812)
I didn't say anything about shareholders, I was talking about the Board of Directors.

Control of the Board is control of the assets of the corporation. The union reps will clearly redirect profits from shareholders to higher wages and benefits for their members.

50% isn't enough for control of anything, that's the point.

Of course it is when the other 50% is highly fragmented, as is true in virtually every corporation.

Tariffs simply reduce competitiveness and lead to higher prices for consumers. Instead of buying cheap items of low quality, you get the wonderful privilege of buying expensive items of low quality. If reducing imports and limiting trade were good things, then countries facing economic sanctions ought to be doing wonderfully.

Not with a market the size of the US, EU, Japan, S. Korea, Australia, Canada and Mexico (all of whom we have or should have free trade with). That market size is more than large enough to foster vicious competition among firms.

Moreover, it directly harms the most vulnerable third-world workers. You're basically saying that a poor country can sell raw materials, or nothing. That's not a recipe for growth or human prosperity. It's a good thing for us when other countries become wealthier -- that means they will buy more high-end goods and services from us.

The low wage countries should redirect their production towards internal consumption. Plenty of countries have developed without being major exporters, the US in particular. China and India have more than enough domestic demand to employ their entire production.

The punchline is, these countries don't buy from us, ever. The Chinese pirate our movies and software (apparently 90% of all software in Chinese large corps. and Gov't offices is pirated), India reproduce our pharmaceuticals without paying our drug companies anything, and on and on.


   1646. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4672813)
Which is pretty much the end of capitalism as we know it ... meaning capitalism as we know it is over.

Sure, but that doesn't mean the market economy is over.

Today's capitalism is a horrible mix of cronyism, and oligarchy. It should end.
   1647. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4672817)
The Monasteries provided a large degree of support and charitable relief for the common people, which was discontinued when Henry stole their property and gave it to his cronies.


Nothing says taking care of the common people quite like hoarding all of that wealth.
   1648. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4672819)
I think there are some problems with GDP, but trying to measure happiness seems to be a fool's errand.

The main problem with GDP is that a lot of new technology lowers costs, but doesn't get captured. For example, going on craigslist has destroyed newspaper classified advertising so this shows as a net loss to the economy, even though people are getting more out of it. Now the money should be able to be spent elsewhere, but is the improvement captured?


A couple points (though there is a ton on free trade I want to address also, darn work!). I think any measure designed to try to reduce something as complex an an entire economy is a bit of a fools errand honestly. I think you can capture parts of the system, but nothing like the whole thing.

Happiness is obviously extremely squishy and unlikely to be reduced to metrics, so in that sense I agree it is a bit foolish. However that does not mean there is not value in looking outside the GDP box. Ground is broken and progress is made by trying different things, even something as oddball as trying to measure the economic output of happiness.

Even without going so far as the happiness experiment, I think such things as the incredible non-monetary gains made because of things such as ... I don't know IMDB or Wikipedia existing. They exist and are huge improvements to society, but are not very measureable by things such as GDP.
   1649. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4672820)
Nothing says taking care of the common people quite like hoarding all of that wealth.

And Henry just hoarded in different hands. Do you really doubt that the monasteries did more charitable relief work than Henry's barons? Try to suspend your general hatred of religion for a moment.
   1650. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4672821)
I didn't say anything about shareholders, I was talking about the Board of Directors.

Control of the Board is control of the assets of the corporation. The union reps will clearly redirect profits from shareholders to higher wages and benefits for their members.


Wait, isn't that what you were trying to accomplish? More money for the common worker. What do you want to happen with Tariffs?
   1651. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4672823)
Where is the Isle of Wight or Anglesey?


No one really knows what the hell is going on in Wales, man.
   1652. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4672825)
Wait, isn't that what you were trying to accomplish? More money for the common worker.


I think he is making a distinction between common man (good) and union member (bad.) Which, admittedly, is dumb.
   1653. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4672827)
Sure, but that doesn't mean the market economy is over.

You have to keep the signals and incentives a market economy generates.

Today's capitalism is a horrible mix of cronyism, and oligarchy. It should end.


Yep. And this from a formerly staunch capitalist. In retrospect, my 80s era staunchness was premised on: (1) economic growth engendering social and cultural progress; as oft-noted herein, exactly the opposite has happened since 1980; (2) the assumed continuance of 70s-era distributions of the benefits of growth; (3) the theretofore unquestioned and unquestionable connection between economic growth and full employment; and (4) residual things I'm still processing.

American-style capitalism has worked out very well for me, but it's irretrievably broken. No question about it.
   1654. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4672828)
Wait, isn't that what you were trying to accomplish? More money for the common worker. What do you want to happen with Tariffs?

Yes, but through market forces, not administrative fiat, and property seizure.

With tariffs, there will still be plenty of competition between domestic companies, and companies in our free-trade zone.

Any kind of command and control approach will only cause inefficiency and waste.
   1655. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4672829)
You have to keep the signals and incentives a market economy generates.

Right, that's the only part of "capitalism" that matters.

Yep. And this from a formerly staunch capitalist. In retrospect, my 80s era staunchness was premised on: (1) economic growth engendering social and cultural progress; as oft-noted herein, exactly the opposite has happened since 1980; (2) 70s era distributions of the benefits of growth; (3) the theretofore unquestioned and unquestionable connection between economic growth and full employment; and (4) residual things I'm still processing.

American-style capitalism has worked out very well for me, but it's irretrievably broken. No question about it.


Concur.
   1656. The Good Face Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4672830)
There are numerous examples of people managing to take down the powerful elites who siphon off all the goods and benefits of society, but all too often they end with a pyramid of skulls.


As opposed to the unmemorialized litter of broken human bodies that result from the casual and on-going exploitation of workers for the benefit of those empowered elites.


Comparing Cambodia's Year Zero with the plight of 2014 America's working class is pretty idiotic even for a communist apologist like yourself.
   1657. Greg K Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4672831)
Nothing says taking care of the common people quite like hoarding all of that wealth.

And Henry just hoarded in different hands. Do you really doubt that the monasteries did more charitable relief work than Henry's barons? Try to suspend your general hatred of religion for a moment.

I think among the many consequences of the dissolution of the monasteries it seems pretty clear that the poor were worse off for at least two or three generations, and younger education suffered (though I believe Henry did a fairly good job of refounding high education institutions).

Been a while since I read much on the Tudors so I could be wrong on the last bit.
   1658. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4672832)
Yes, but through market forces, not administrative fiat, and property seizure.


Well you just keep clapping and I'm sure Tinkerbell will be fine.
   1659. zonk Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4672833)
Capitalism is essentially broken as an engine of mass/full employment and justly distributed wealth and income. The culprits are its internal contradictions and the technological progress it has itself engendered. Postwar to 1973 was an historical aberration. 1973 through 2008 was the era of the various fig leafs and shell shiftings and phonied-up consumption generators -- credit cards, home equity loans, stocks and 401(k)'s for everyone -- covering up the sickening real economy. 2008 was the breaking point.

Cyclical recovery from the 2008 downturn is structurally impossible because of the march of technology and the mismatch in skills and jobs in the citizenry. The companies getting all the capital post-2008 don't create jobs.

It's over.


I get really, really worried when I find myself agreeing so extensively with SBB :-)

   1660. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4672834)
South Korea is a high wage economy.

As with Japan and even some EU countries, that wasn't always the case. Even lower middle-class consumers are better off not being stuck with the motorized trash that Detroit shoved down our throats once upon a time.


This to me is a big part of the issue. There are two major things happening.

1) Jobs are being outsourced to low wage countries.
2) The owners of capital are taking a larger share of the profits of industry for themselves.

These are not equal. #1 is helping workers in other countries. It is how (essentially) South korea became a high wage country. Crappy jobs go to low wage countries, the ages slowly rise, and those crappy jobs (Hi Textile industry!) then move on to the next low wage country.

#1 is a positive thing. It lowers costs and allows impoverished countries a foothold towards becoming high wage countries, like South Korea.

#2) Is the other issue, is a big problem, and it is not solved directly by tariffs (perhaps indirectly, but other methods wold be as applicable and less otherwise harmful). I admit is is exacerbated by #1 (it gives them leverage), however Let's focus on the real problem, and that is the owners of capital sucking up too much profit.
   1661. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4672835)
And Henry just hoarded in different hands. Do you really doubt that the monasteries did more charitable relief work than Henry's barons?


No. I'm sure the church was more willing to exchange gruel for obedience than Henry. Good on the church, being slightly better than an abject tyrant.

Try to suspend your general hatred of religion for a moment.


I don't hate religion. I don't hate many things. When I'm not apathetic, I'm mostly full of sneering contempt. Totes diff.
   1662. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4672836)
Yes, but through market forces, not administrative fiat, and property seizure.


There is no property seizure. I am not arguing for the Board of Directors change (I would need to think on it more), but making that change seizes ZERO property. And what the various boards do, and then following that what the executives of the various companies do (remember executives run companies, boards oversee the executives and validate only some of the highest profile changes and actions) is still done within the free market.
   1663. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4672838)
And Henry just hoarded in different hands. Do you really doubt that the monasteries did more charitable relief work than Henry's barons? Try to suspend your general hatred of religion for a moment.


Can't I hate them equally? The Renaissance church was an abomination.
   1664. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4672840)

With tariffs, there will still be plenty of competition between domestic companies


America has one aircraft manufacturing company. Four major telecoms (and those are trying to merge). Two auto manufacturers. Three major banking corporations.

There just isn't that much competition at the highest levels. Even the world's largest economy has limits.
   1665. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4672841)

Of course it is when the other 50% is highly fragmented, as is true in virtually every corporation.


We're talking about Boards of Directors, not shareholders. The BoD is appointed by shareholders, but is distinct from them. Most BoDs are not particularly fragmented.

If you have 10 members on a board, and make 5 of them union members, how does that fragment the other 5 people?
   1666. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4672842)
America has one aircraft manufacturing company. Four major telecoms (and those are trying to merge). Two auto manufacturers. Three major banking corporations.

There just isn't that much competition at the highest levels. Even the world's largest economy has limits.


I am 100% in favor of much more aggressive anti-trust action.

Add the EU, Japan and S. Korea to your analysis, and the numbers change a lot.
   1667. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4672843)
Comparing Cambodia's Year Zero with the plight of 2014 America's working class is pretty idiotic even for a communist apologist like yourself.


Shouldn't you be off polishing up your jackboots for when it's your turn to suck off a Vlad Putin for being a strong, powerful man's man leader of authority and strength?
   1668. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4672844)
We're talking about Boards of Directors, not shareholders. The BoD is appointed by shareholders, but is distinct from them. Most BoDs are not particularly fragmented.

If you have 10 members on a board, and make 5 of them union members, how does that fragment the other 5 people?


They're not fragmented because management has generally captured the board. If you have a board with 5 union members, and 5 management choices, the shareholders are going to get screwed coming and going.
   1669. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4672845)
Capitalism is essentially broken as an engine of mass/full employment and justly distributed wealth and income. The culprits are its internal contradictions and the technological progress it has itself engendered. Postwar to 1973 was an historical aberration. 1973 through 2008 was the era of the various fig leafs and shell shiftings and phonied-up consumption generators -- credit cards, home equity loans, stocks and 401(k)'s for everyone -- covering up the sickening real economy. 2008 was the breaking point.

Cyclical recovery from the 2008 downturn is structurally impossible because of the march of technology and the mismatch in skills and jobs in the citizenry. The companies getting all the capital post-2008 don't create jobs.


Capitalism has NEVER "justly distributed wealth and income". It never has and never will. It does a pretty good job of allocating resources throughout an economy, utilizing the invisible hand. To the extent you want efficient resource allocation (and don't care about externalities),then capitalism is your best bet. However as it turns out externalities matter and things other than efficient allocation of resources matter (like "justly distributed wealth and income"), and so pure capitalism is always bound by "impurities" to account for those things.

In the 1930s it became clear that the existing balance between capitalism and impurities was broken. And so over the following decade or so a huge number of changes were made and a new balance was struck. It could be that again a the balance of priorities needs to be shifted. I would argue this is the case. It is however extremely simplistic to suggest "Capitalism is broken and it's over".

If you think the current economy is more broken then the economy of the 30s, that now is a greater challenge to capitalism than back then, then you need to brush up on your history.



   1670. bobm Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4672848)
Huge causality fail. Exploring alternatives to GDP no more caused those actions than Darwin's theories caused the various Eugenics movements to do the horrible things they did.

How do you know for sure, when these events took place in an absolute monarchy led by a king who ascended to the throne as a teenager? A purge focusing on the collective well-being, at the expense of minority rights for example, is right in line with your example.

It might have been an excuse or justification (likely post hoc) for those actions, but it in no way caused them.

Not post hoc - FTA:

The new monarch had seen just enough of the world to know that success globally was increasingly being defined by gross national product. And yet, the teenage king had a bold idea: instead of gauging the health of a country by how much stuff it produced, measure it by something else. Instead of emphasizing production and output, emphasize quality of life. And in the world of 1972, that was radical.


Seeking to measure the output of a country, creating a metric that measures more than what GDP does does not cause any such thing.

There is active discussion here all the time about the impact of metrics on actions, e.g., Saves, BA v OBP, stolen bases and sacrifice bunts.

But somehow, one of the first decisions made by this new king of Bhutan was to replace GNP with something else: happiness. From then on, the goal for Bhutan was not material prosperity but collective well-being. Bhutan, the king believed, would be a successful society only if most of its people deemed themselves happy.


And besides, it is still an interesting article and an interesting idea.

If you say so. Some focus on results achieved would be nice.
   1671. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4672849)
They're not fragmented because management has generally captured the board. If you have a board with 5 union members, and 5 management choices, the shareholders are going to get screwed coming and going.


And you don't think huge tariffs screw shareholders? Any action you take to push more money into the hands of workers from where it is going now (the owners of capital) will by definition screw the owners of capital.
   1672. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4672852)
And you don't think huge tariffs screw shareholders? Any action you take to push more money into the hands of workers from where it is going now (the owners of capital) will by definition screw the owners of capital.

I don't blanch at pushing shareholder returns from 15% to 12%. Tariffs are the least objectionable way to achieve what needs to be done, they are not desirable in and of themselves. I think the damage caused by union control would be much worse. Just like achieving the redistribution through income taxes and welfare spending is a worse means to the end.

And again, I'm favoring free trade with the large majority of the world's economy.
   1673. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4672853)
Interesting sidenote on Malaysia 370 that I haven't seen reported anywhere.

My wife flies the 777. She and her crew were discussing something the other day. There is at least one entity on the planet that knows exactly how long flight 370 was in the air, and that is Rolls Royce. The engines on the 777 are made and leased by Rolls Royce to the end user. Unlike the rest of the airplane, they are not owned by the airline. As such, there is an engine monitoring system in each engine, and RR monitors every single engine worldwide 24/7. Those monitors and their satellite reporting system cannot be shut down by the crew. RR would know (or their computers know) to the milisecond when those engines stopped running. Moreover, they have a complete profile of power settings, fuel flow, oil pressure... for the entire duration of the flight. This obviously important piece of information would have been one of the first things the investigating agencies would look to, and I can't imagine why it's being withheld.
   1674. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4672856)
How do you know for sure, when these events took place in an absolute monarchy led by a king who ascended to the throne as a teenager? A purge focusing on the collective well-being, at the expense of minority rights for example, is right in line with your example.


A purge is not a metric, it is an action. The creation of a metric does not force the action. Any more than GDP forced the US to purge out its low performing citizens in the Great GDP purge of 1969. Or was it the unemployment slaughter of 1973 you are thinking of, when the high unemployment rate caused the US government to kill the long term unemployed, for the good of society and their metric?

Metrics do color perception, but they do not directly force actions, and should not be blamed for immoral action. The perople who do the action should be blamed.
   1675. Publius Publicola Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4672857)
This obviously important piece of information would have been one of the first things the investigating agencies would look to, and I can't imagine why it's being withheld.


Oh, I can imagine many reasons why it would be withheld, if it's being withheld.
   1676. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4672858)
Oh, I can imagine many reasons why it would be withheld, if it's being withheld.


It's been released for a week now. Rolls Royce is the source that originally reported that the plane was in the air 4-5 hours after dropping out of radar coverage. It took a week for the authorities to admit it, but RR reported it from their system monitoring a week ago.
   1677. Morty Causa Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4672860)
1673:

That is interesting. I haven't followed the story assiduously, so let me ask: has there been reports in the media about RR's capabilities?

EDIT: With due note of 1676.
   1678. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4672861)
Capitalism has NEVER "justly distributed wealth and income". It never has and never will. It does a pretty good job of allocating resources throughout an economy, utilizing the invisible hand. To the extent you want efficient resource allocation (and don't care about externalities),then capitalism is your best bet. However as it turns out externalities matter and things other than efficient allocation of resources matter (like "justly distributed wealth and income"), and so pure capitalism is always bound by "impurities" to account for those things.

In the 1930s it became clear that the existing balance between capitalism and impurities was broken. And so over the following decade or so a huge number of changes were made and a new balance was struck. It could be that again a the balance of priorities needs to be shifted. I would argue this is the case. It is however extremely simplistic to suggest "Capitalism is broken and it's over".

If you think the current economy is more broken then the economy of the 30s, that now is a greater challenge to capitalism than back then, then you need to brush up on your history.


I'm just quoting this for the opportunity to repeat it. Snapper's problem, at heart, is that he wants a just system but can't break with his internalized belief in the propgandists of capital's big lie, namely that capitalism is a system of morality.
   1679. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4672862)
You can't increase prosperity by just paying each other more for goods & services while trying to erect walls to foreign competition. It's a utopian fantasy. You have to be able to compete globally to sustain an above average economy, but that doesn't mean competing solely on wages. The U.S. has advantages in energy, transportation, infrastructure, education, skills and productivity (much of which comes from innovation & technology), and we need to exploit them better than we do. Corporate taxes are already higher in the U.S. than many of our competitors - more anti-business measures aren't likely to increase investment or jobs.
   1680. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4672863)
Interesting sidenote on Malaysia 370 that I haven't seen reported anywhere.


I've seen that reported many places- that's why they know the plane was still flyin for 7 more hours.
   1681. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4672865)
capitalism is a system of morality


Capitalism is amoral. It is a predator which glories in the kill*, just like the common house cat. Which doesn't make it bad or evil, so long as you know what it is.

* Yes this is more metaphor than reality, so sue me.
   1682. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4672866)
That is interesting. I haven't followed the story assiduously, so let me ask: has there been reports in the media about RR's capabilities?


It's been reported that it doesn't tell you WHERE exactly the plane is, but if you collect all the satellite info on the pings maybe you can figure out some type of triangulation
   1683. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4672867)
You can't increase prosperity by just paying each other more for goods & services while trying to erect walls to foreign competition. It's a utopian fantasy. You have to be able to compete globally to sustain an above average economy, but that doesn't mean competing solely on wages. The U.S. has advantages in energy, transportation, infrastructure, education, skills and productivity (much of which comes from innovation & technology), and we need to exploit them better than we do. Corporate taxes are already higher in the U.S. than many of our competitors - more anti-business measures aren't likely to increase investment or jobs.

You can increase prosperity of everyone except the equity owners by keeping the jobs that supply US demand largely in the US (and a free-trade zone). Prosperity is not being aided by letting the top 0.1% get ever richer, while real wages fall to the global market clearing wage for the unskilled and semi-skilled.

I fully admit tariffs will reduce economic growth, for the whole world. But, I'd rather live in a world where we have 2.5% real GDP growth and 75% of that goes to the bottom 99%, than live in a world of 3% GDP growth where 100% of that goes to the top 1%.
   1684. Monty Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4672868)
America has one aircraft manufacturing company.


But that doesn't mean Boeing has a monopoly. They're in direct competition with Airbus for most new aircrafts.

(I know that because "whether Boeing's getting the contract or not" is always Big News here in Seattle)
   1685. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4672869)
Can't I hate them equally? The Renaissance church was an abomination.


The Almighty has forgiven them. Why can't you?
   1686. The Good Face Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4672870)
Comparing Cambodia's Year Zero with the plight of 2014 America's working class is pretty idiotic even for a communist apologist like yourself.


Shouldn't you be off polishing up your jackboots for when it's your turn to suck off a Vlad Putin for being a strong, powerful man's man leader of authority and strength?


The problem here Sam is that I don't believe that about Putin and haven't said anything that would lead a reasonable person to believe that I believe that. You, on the other hand, are actually a communist apologist because you repeatedly minimize and apologize for the atrocities committed by communists. See the distinction?
   1687. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4672871)
I was with most of 1679, until the last sentence. I believe in net the US has taxes in line with much of the rest of the world. You can't just look at naked tax rates.

Also it is not about "anti-business" measures, it is measures aimed at reducing income inequality. And I believe (and their is even some research which backs this up) that less income inequality drives better overall economic performance. So even while business may scream, they may also benefit in the long run. Of course even if it does not improve economic performance (or even if it costs a bit) I think an argument can be made to address income inequality.
   1688. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4672872)
I'm just quoting this for the opportunity to repeat it. Snapper's problem, at heart, is that he wants a just system but can't break with his internalized belief in the propgandists of capital's big lie, namely that capitalism is a system of morality.

Private property and a free market are practical and moral necessities. Beyond that, we have wide latitude as to how we organize society and economies.

There is no such thing as "capitalism". Our current system is a grave distortion of a free market, but moving even further away from free markets won't help.

Note: tariffs are simply a tax. Taxing trade is no more a restriction of the free-market than taxing income or land. You have to tax something, and a tax on imports will fall less on labor than on capital. Our Federal Gov't was almost completely funded by tariffs (and excise taxes) until 1912.

   1689. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4672873)
actually a communist apologist because you repeatedly minimize and apologize for the atrocities committed by communists


I for one would like a cite for this, if only so I can make fun of Rickey! into the future. Sadly though I think this is typical GF nonsense and no such thing exists.
   1690. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4672874)
You, on the other hand, are actually a communist apologist because you repeatedly minimize and apologize for the atrocities committed by communists. See the distinction?


You don't like when I take your positions, extrapolate them three light years beyond what you've actually written and then attribute the extrapolation back to you, but have no problem doing the same to me?
   1691. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4672875)
capitalism is a system of morality

Capitalism is amoral.


Claiming that Capitalism is a system of morality is an Objectivist mantra of sorts, it's complete BS but to adherents it's revealed wisdom, Capitalism is above all amoral (which is better than the myriad of economic systems which are basically immoral in their design)
   1692. Lassus Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4672880)
You, on the other hand, are actually a communist apologist because you repeatedly minimize and apologize for the atrocities committed by communists.

So you're a capitalist apologist? Or, er, a monarchist apologist? Both?
   1693. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4672881)
Claiming that Capitalism is a system of morality is an Objectivist mantra of sorts, it's complete BS but to adherents it's revealed wisdom, Capitalism is above all amoral (which is better than the myriad of economic systems which are basically immoral in their design)

Correct. People tend to conflate private property, the free market, and capitalism into one entity. They are not. They are separate and distinct features of an economy.

You could have the first two without even the existence of corporations, much less modern capitalistic corporations.
   1694. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4672886)
Another liberal law professor has called for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to resign, solely to make it easier for Obama to appoint a like-minded successor:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire from the Supreme Court after the completion of the current term in June. She turned 81 on Saturday and by all accounts she is healthy and physically and mentally able to continue. But only by resigning this summer can she ensure that a Democratic president will be able to choose a successor who shares her views and values.

Ginsburg has made it pretty clear that she intends to serve as long as she is able, but those who view judges as legislators-in-robes keep asking her to go. Looks like sexism & ageism on their part.
   1695. Mefisto Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4672887)
and as Snapper said- having the Monasteries control such assets/lands rather than Henry's political supporters was probably better for the lowest classes. It wasn't like Henry was condemning "unused" church owned land so he could build factories or housing - he was taking over many lands that were being put to productive agricultural use so his political supporters could financially benefit from such use- the net effect was castles/palaces/mansions being built instead of churches/cathedrals (meaning no net economic effect), and less charitable giving (Since Henry's guys were more apt to spend the excess on debauchery than the monks were)


I don't want to get too far into this discussion because it's so hard to tease out the economic effects of events in the 16th C. Besides, it's somewhat to the side of my main point. I'll respond as follows.

First, I'll stipulate that the destitute were worse off after the dissolution. I don't think the impact was as great as you and snapper do, but any loss to a destitute person is too much. I'll just add that the Elizabethan Poor Law took up the slack here, though obviously too late to benefit those harmed in the 1530s.

To simplify the discussion, I want to focus on an easier case: masses, etc. to get souls out of purgatory. Pay for pray was a deadweight loss to society. Let's now consider what the expropriators could have spent the money on:

1. Enclosures. The debates over this continue today and I won't try to reconstruct them in a blog comment. I doubt it was as bad as deadweight loss.

2. Foreign trade, including piracy. I'm confident England as a whole benefited.

3. Consumption of luxury goods such as new manors, improvements of old ones (windows), new plate, etc. This is trickle down economics, and it isn't nearly as good as what the money could have been spent on, but it still beats deadweight loss.

So my view is that England benefited, though distributional effects are obviously important. But the previous system had those effects too.
   1696. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4672893)
I fully admit tariffs will reduce economic growth, for the whole world. But, I'd rather live in a world where we have 2.5% real GDP growth and 75% of that goes to the bottom 99%, than live in a world of 3% GDP growth where 100% of that goes to the top 1%.


I think we're all in agreement that the benefits of growth ought to be shared widely. I just don't see how high tariffs lead to that. Here are the countries with the highest tariffs on imported goods: Bahamas, Algeria, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal, Egypt, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad... I don't see much evidence of low inequality in that list.
   1697. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4672894)
I've seen that reported many places- that's why they know the plane was still flyin for 7 more hours.


I haven't seen anything specific to the RR monitoring system. I've seen stuff about satellite "handshakes" and such, but nothing about how it's possible to know exactly when an engine stops running.

The plane flew for seven hours after lost contact. You would think that someone during that time would think to call up RR and ask "Hey, are these engines still running?"
   1698. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4672897)
To simplify the discussion, I want to focus on an easier case: masses, etc. to get souls out of purgatory. Pay for pray was a deadweight loss to society. Let's now consider what the expropriators could have spent the money on:

Paid indulgences were clearly an ecclesiastical abuse. However, that doesn't make them a deadweight loss.

The Church didn't bury the money. It spent it, just like the nobles spent tax money. The deadweight loss should be less than taxes, since it was voluntary, so you don't have to account for the costs of evasion.

The main economic issue with the indulgences was the transfer of wealth across countries. A lot of the revenue flowed from northern Europe to Rome. A lot of it was used to build the new St. Peter's in Rome, and build/renovate many other Italian churches.

This geographical flow of wealth did as much to cause the "Reformation", as any concern about Church corruption.
   1699. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4672898)
I think we're all in agreement that the benefits of growth ought to be shared widely. I just don't see how high tariffs lead to that. Here are the countries with the highest tariffs on imported goods: Bahamas, Algeria, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal, Egypt, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad... I don't see much evidence of low inequality in that list.

Obviously by themselves they guarantee nothing. They also don't work well for small economies.
   1700. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4672901)
This geographical flow of wealth did as much to cause the "Reformation", as any concern about Church corruption.


Doesn't that pretty much define corruption? Well, that and Popes and bishops having mistresses and promoting their illegitimate children into the church hierarchy.
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