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The One Percent

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 21 Apr 2017, 11:14:46

I did not say unemployment was down, I said "more people are employed than ever before", which remark includes the 62.7% labor participation rate (up 0.1% this last year) and the population which grows 0.7% per year. The "official" unemployment rates has been unchanged at 4.5% for 9 years - Boomers are retiring while still unemployed. If you want to change the rules they use to get those numbers, then apply your new rules to the entire decade, not just the current year, to establish a trend.

Oil, gas, and coal consumption are down because of conservation efforts and new alternative energy sources. California, largest state population wise, is at about 40% renewable energy, and FF's are down almost everywhere, with the exception of fracked gas. But overall energy consumption grows along with the gross economic numbers. I didn't know about your "quality time" point but it seems to support my assertion that things are generally improving vs. your point that they are worsening.

I think both of us believe that all of the USA should be renewing infrastructure, reducing FF consumption, and generally conserving all resources, but my point was there is no economic malaise in the statistics. You have to dig down and work at it to find signs of economic trouble, whatever the latest opinion poll shows. Most things that we measure about our economy show improvements.

As for Parramore's book report of Temin's book, I read it (the report not the book) and agree with the broad strokes (i.e. the vanishing middle class) but disagree as to underlying causes. I blame globalization, unrestricted immigration, multi-culturalism, and especially a desire to "get rich quick" on the part of younger generations, for this change.

I hate to say this, because I'm no Donald Trump fan, but our Federal government screwed the pooch over the last 8 years, causing Trump to come about. The backlash will continue, as with most presidencies, I expect his to last two terms. He is of course one of the One Percenters, as well as the apparent champion of the vanishing wage earners. That's very different from those who preceded him.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby efarmer » Fri 21 Apr 2017, 12:08:04

KJ wrote: "I blame globalization, unrestricted immigration, multi-culturalism, and especially a desire to "get rich quick" on the part of younger generations, for this change."

Globalization without a healthy nationalistic dose of regulation is a race to the bottom, and we are guilty as charged, suffering under the false belief that capitalism is somehow loyal to nations and simultaneously of profits.

Multi-culturism built America within a framework that induced the melting pot integration of cultures based on exponential growth that fades into Balkanization when the growth reduces the flame applied to the melting pot which yields swirly results instead of new human alloys.

Get rich quick is human nature and it is exacerbated when exponential growth slows and negates the ROI on education, and the incentive to pusue a long, incremental slog, versus posting something outrageous on Youtube and getting montly checks from advertisers based on "hits".

The waning of exponential growth parks the middle class into a zone where they are slowly digested by the existing concentrated wealth who always fed from them although more symbiotically, and locks the poor out of going anywhere fruitful. Exponential growth is what made the wealthy in America different from hated royalty and nobility of past cultures because it allowed upward social mobility to take place in sufficient quantity to provide hope and incentive in the overall scheme.

When the music stops and the cakewalk ceases, everyone who isn't able to grab a chair and is stood up becomes convinced the bastards at the table full of cakes and goodies is to blame.

Our politics seems to be a war of government deficit funded miracles versus strict Constitutional interpretation plus unfettered captitalism, without admitting their underlying dependence on exponential growth to brute force bludgeon either of these ideologies towards success.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby baha » Fri 21 Apr 2017, 12:10:33

I hate statistics...this is a form of math that is a total anathema to physics. You can prove/disprove anything you want with statistics.

The reality is people keep on keeping on...whether they work for a corporation or themselves under the radar. Companies bitch about jobs lost but those folks do something else...maybe install solar. Transitions involve change and not everyone can handle much change. Until it is forced upon you. Then you go with the flow.

The govt has screwed up every year they have existed. I was part of it for a while and was sickened by the 'protect my piece of the pie' mentality. What happened to public service? I don't have a viable replacement but local is better. The Fed should stick to national issues.

I don't like to make sweeping statements about other people (just corporations) but I will say for myself...life has gotten amazingly better in the last few years :)
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 21 Apr 2017, 12:18:02

It's a matter of perspective. To Greenie Gaia-worshipping AGW fanboys, "Progress" would be more people living in the woods, not owning cars, not commuting, not consuming, and with itchy behinds because they use green leaves and not toilet paper.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby Hawkcreek » Fri 21 Apr 2017, 12:33:25

KaiserJeep wrote:It's a matter of perspective. To Greenie Gaia-worshipping AGW fanboys, "Progress" would be more people living in the woods, not owning cars, not commuting, not consuming, and with itchy behinds because they use green leaves and not toilet paper.

To me progress would be more people feeling at ease in terms of food security, health care security, housing security, and then still have the ability to educate themselves towards mindfulness and a better lifestyle.
Regardless of what statistics are made to say, these categories have been going the wrong way for about 50 years.
Like the article says, winners and losers are being pre-selected.
"Getting a good education, Temin observes, isn’t just about a college degree. It has to begin in early childhood, and you need parents who can afford to spend time and resources all along the long journey. If you aspire to college and your family can’t make transfers of money to you on the way, well, good luck to you. "
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 21 Apr 2017, 16:14:51

There's truth to what you say. But note that the hours of attentive nuturing a child needs every day are missing at both the One Percenter level and the Welfare single parent household. They were the norm in that rapidly disappearing Middle Class.

As for the financial means, that part is nonsense. We had about $1100 in my kid's college fund. She went to a private out-of-state college, using financial aid, education loans, working while studying, and an athletic scholarship to play NCAA basketball. (Her team went as far as the playoffs one year, and died in the second round, the "Elite Eight".) She paid off those loans after graduating while working for the American Red Cross.

Money is not required for an education, only a desire to succeed. The desire to succeed is everything needed in life, and the most successful Americans at instilling that desire were the Middle Class.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby Hawkcreek » Fri 21 Apr 2017, 16:32:22

KaiserJeep wrote:There's truth to what you say. But note that the hours of attentive nuturing a child needs every day are missing at both the One Percenter level and the Welfare single parent household. They were the norm in that rapidly disappearing Middle Class.

As for the financial means, that part is nonsense. We had about $1100 in my kid's college fund. She went to a private out-of-state college, using financial aid, education loans, working while studying, and an athletic scholarship to play NCAA basketball. (Her team went as far as the playoffs one year, and died in the second round, the "Elite Eight".) She paid off those loans after graduating while working for the American Red Cross.

Money is not required for an education, only a desire to succeed. The desire to succeed is everything needed in life, and the most successful Americans at instilling that desire were the Middle Class.

The one percent can hire nurturing for their children, and usually do in the form of nannies. The welfare mom can't.
Your daughter is a perfect example of a child that was given a much better beginning than the child of the welfare mom.
Typically, the welfare children do not win scholarships for athletics, even that is their dream. If they are lucky, they may get to college and finish with a tremendous loan, which most can not have eliminated by working for a non-profit.
What I am trying to say is that your daughter is a perfect example NOT to use, to argue for your side of the discussion. Even though I am happy for your daughter. :) Both my sons turned out great, as well, but they started out from a much better position than many.
Bubba starts out from the cradle, behind the pack, and things generally just get worse from there on. "Desire can conquer all", may be a good way to think if you are trying to lose weight or conquer depression, but reality typically looks at all the other pieces of the puzzle, as well.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 21 Apr 2017, 17:30:16

KaiserJeep wrote:with itchy behinds because they use green leaves and not toilet paper.


Cheap bum squirters. Water is so much better than toilet paper. Just ask any SE Asian. I consume no toilet paper. Just plain old water under pressure. Nothing keeps you anus cleaner. Americans have this weird hangup that between their fingers and their anus there has to be this piece of paper. Fools. Time to learn new skills.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 21 Apr 2017, 19:56:12

By any chance, Ibon, is that warm water? If so, did you use FF's or the sun to warm it?
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 21 Apr 2017, 20:10:46

KaiserJeep wrote:By any chance, Ibon, is that warm water? If so, did you use FF's or the sun to warm it?


Hydro power.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby EdwinSm » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 05:16:24

The BBC has a article on "How Western Civilisation Could Collapse" http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170418-how-western-civilisation-could-collapse

A few interesting quotes...

That economic stratification may lead to collapse on its own, on the other hand, came as more of a surprise to Motesharrei and his colleagues. Under this scenario, elites push society toward instability and eventual collapse by hoarding huge quantities of wealth and resources, and leaving little or none for commoners who vastly outnumber them yet support them with labour. Eventually, the working population crashes because the portion of wealth allocated to them is not enough, followed by collapse of the elites due to the absence of labour. The inequalities we see today both within and between countries already point to such disparities. For example, the top 10% of global income earners are responsible for almost as much total greenhouse gas emissions as the bottom 90% combined.


And as I (sort of) come from the UK this is an interesting alternative:-
On the other hand, Western societies may not meet with a violent, dramatic end. In some cases, civilisations simply fade out of existence – becoming the stuff of history not with a bang but a whimper. The British Empire has been on this path since 1918, Randers says, and other Western nations might go this route as well. As time passes, they will become increasingly inconsequential
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 08:07:56

That analysis seems pretty far out. I do not, for example, believe that civilization has been in decline in the UK since 1918, almost a century. That was when the old English society, sharply divided into social classes (a la Downton Abbey) began to collapse in earnest, and was replaced by a burgeoning Middle Class.

I mean, who cares if the British Empire is in decline? Obviously, these clowns Motesharrei and Randers.

Defining the peak of English civilization as that time when the English Middle Class maxxed out in numbers and income, it was from about 1950 to 2000 or so, same as in most Western countries, including the USA. The British Empire divested itself of most of the remaining colonies then, but certainly grew a vibrant and healthy society, until the world population started to cause shortages of most things including cheap energy. Now the UK faces the same limits to growth as all developed nations, which has nothing to do with the fact that the right sort of people are no longer in charge.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 08:21:58

Edwin,
I thought it was a decent article. I'm always weak on exactly how stratification is a danger. Yet the WEF recognizes it as a primary concern.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 08:35:31

KaiserJeep wrote:That analysis seems pretty far out. I do not, for example, believe that civilization has been in decline in the UK since 1918, almost a century. That was when the old English society, sharply divided into social classes (a la Downton Abbey) began to collapse in earnest, and was replaced by a burgeoning Middle Class.

I mean, who cares if the British Empire is in decline? Obviously, these clowns Motesharrei and Randers.

Defining the peak of English civilization as that time when the English Middle Class maxxed out in numbers and income, it was from about 1950 to 2000 or so, same as in most Western countries, including the USA. The British Empire divested itself of most of the remaining colonies then, but certainly grew a vibrant and healthy society, until the world population started to cause shortages of most things including cheap energy. Now the UK faces the same limits to growth as all developed nations, which has nothing to do with the fact that the right sort of people are no longer in charge.


I wouldn't go QUITE that far Kaiser. For all of its ills the British Empire of 1918 provided a certain measure of stability and safety for the average global human who was born within that structure. It wasn't fair or equal by any stretch, if you were born on Great Britain you had significant advantages over the folks born in say British Honduras or Kenya. However as a member of the Empire you had access to basic medical care, basic protection from invasion by the neighboring country/colony and so on and so forth. Even more you had the freedom to travel pretty much anywhere in the Empire peacefully and if you spoke English you could communicate with anyone from South America/Africa/Asia/Europe who also spoke the language in a way not too different from what the Roman Empire accomplished with Latin in 100 AD.

When the Empire came apart in the 1950's the standard of living for the average member in those less developed countries declined very steeply. In almost every case a dictatorial leadership emerged who enriched themselves far above the average member of the society and violently suppressed the average member if they objected.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 10:04:46

You are of course quite correct, Tanada. I focussed exclusively on the residents of the English Isles, while you focussed your attention and comments on the British Empire as a whole. But to be fair, those are seperate countries now. Some of those former colonies joined the First World (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland, Newfoundland, etc.), others decayed back to Third World status (Brunei, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Rhodesia, South Africa, etc.). There is no clear pattern, other than the majority of people who are in the most populous former colonies are better off, and the others range from about the same to much worse than under the Brits.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby GASMON » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 10:58:21

The only thing the British Empire did for the average working Brit was to keep him / her employed in our once vast industrial base here in the UK, exporting manufactured goods round the Empire and importing food, raw materials etc. We Brits built half the world's railways back in the 19th century.

Some (well less than one percent) became rich. most just eked out a living, and yes, living standards DID improve for most folks, but very, very few became rich.

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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 11:24:44

GASMON wrote:Some (well less than one percent) became rich. most just eked out a living, and yes, living standards DID improve for most folks, but very, very few became rich.
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By definition, what we call the "rich" are the few, since those are the ones that stand out in terms of living at a completely different standard than even the upper middle class.

If there were lots of them, we wouldn't notice them so much.

Notice the title of this thread is the 1%. The top 10%, or even IMO the top quintile are rich in terms of their income (but many can manage to waste even that much income and have little actual wealth).

To me, the more interesting/impressive ones are the ones who have lots of assets, but don't feel the need to show it off. I remember my dad telling me about an article he read about some couple in NYC who when the last one died had almost a $billion squirreled away. (I think this was in the 80's, so more like $3 billion today). And yet their friends and neighbors thought they were upper middle class. As I recall, they did a lot of philanthropy, but didn't make a lot of noise about it, preferring their privacy.

Perhaps part of it was cultural in Great Britian. One doesn't need 19 yachts and a private island to be rich.

Of course, in reality, most of the middle class in the US is rich on global standards. Too bad they're (mostly) so busy spending it all on keeping up with the Joneses that they perceive themselves as being poor.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:15:48

I think though that most of us on this site are from rich countries and we can agree that we may not be living lavish and luxurious lifestyles but for the most part we have all our basic needs taken care of. So, that is where I draw the line between the fortunate ones on this planet and the unfortunate ones. Suffice to say on this planet many many people are living who are barely surviving.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 16:43:18

Well, except for the support the empire provided during the two world wars.

Britian needed the man power and the food the balance of the empire supplied.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby Squilliam » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 21:05:01

The hard part to work out with respect to this topic is about what is a fair response to what is happening. The problem is relativism because on the one hand whilst we may have far less power than the well connected 0.1%, the actual guilt of how we live probably encompasses at least the top half of our societies (most of the middle class). These are the people that collectively are invested in a system that disproportionately rewards them over and above others. It doesn't matter whether you're a university lecturer, an accountant or a C level executive you're invested in the way the system operates because it guarantees you a disproportionate income or wealth. What should they do? Or really what should we all do?
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