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Booming Economic Growth?

Discussions about the economic and financial ramifications of PEAK OIL

Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby Cog » Fri 21 Sep 2018, 21:01:32

You know the boomers like me have retired. Of course we aren't part of the labor force. We are enjoying the record stock market though. ;)
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 21 Sep 2018, 22:31:20

kublikhan wrote:Outcast_Searcher, every developed country in the world is comprised of the same humans that make up the people in the US. And yet despite you attributing all the problems of the poor to human behavior and personal responsibility, somehow they manage to avoid the pitfalls you describe of the poor in the US. They are not a different species. They are all human. Thus there are other factors at play here besides just human behavior. This is not just the opinion of the "left" in the US either. The UN has come to the same conclusion.

A scathing new United Nations report has found that the United States is leading the developed world in income and wealth inequality, laying explicit blame with the Trump administration for policies that actively increase poverty and inequality in the country.

UN report blames Trump administration policies for soaring income and wealth inequality

Pretending like Trump is the whole problem is pretty absurd. The main change, re the recent trend in wealth inequality started at the time of the Reagan era, over 30 years before Trump was Potus.

Instead of politicizing this, looking at what's changed -- re technology and its impacts on good jobs, would make FAR more sense, in my opinion.

And neither the right, which wants to ignore the issue, nor the left wanting to expand the nanny state endlessly, is addressing the core issues.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 22 Sep 2018, 03:47:07

We have discussed this several times already. The overall wealth disparity has increased under both R's and D's for 35+ years, due to the tech.sector jobs. The people who benefit the most, including five of the eight wealthiest persons on Earth, are the high tech billionaires. The main force driving this wealth disparity as we go forward is everybody's lust for the latest smartphone features from Android and Apple.

Lastly, the above article is dead wrong about one thing. All income segments of our society including those on complete government subsidy and assistance, are better off AFTER the tech revolution, rather than BEFORE the tech revolution. However, as always, the gain at the top dominates any gains at the bottom.

If you want to escape this ratrace, the cure is simple and direct. Take your smartphone out of your pocket and smash it with a hammer. Close your phone account and enjoy life. I have already produced shocked dismay on the part of two Nantucket businesses by not having or carrying a phone. But I am retired and on vacation to boot. I am going to ridicule anybody I see pecking at a phone on the beach.
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 22 Sep 2018, 05:42:55

But Kaiser what if somebody really really likes using their cellphone for socializing and what not? Are they not doing what makes sense in following their heart's desire
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 22 Sep 2018, 06:58:52

onlooker wrote:But Kaiser what if somebody really really likes using their cellphone for socializing and what not? Are they not doing what makes sense in following their heart's desire


I suppose it depends entirely upon your attitude and expectations when using it. I personally divide my time into public and private and family. Most of my socializing is family, some small piece is public forums such as this one. I do not carry a cell phone because I refuse to respond to somebody else's priorities. I keep my own schedule and I have voice mail on the land line and E-mail I check at least once a day, when I want.

My aversion to cellphones developed when one of my last corporate bosses was a Persian. He wanted me to make all his decisions for him, and when I was not available for chat he would call me.

Do you ever turn your phone OFF?
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 22 Sep 2018, 07:17:34

I do not use cellphone for the Internet. I have a computer at home and use it not just to socialize but I still do freelance translations Spanish to English and vice-versa. So I am not from Academia per say. More a lower middle class person afforded a good education by my parents who came in the 60's from Colombia S.A. Maybe that explains my affinity for the proletariat haha.

I have enjoyed the conversations in general here on PO. And since my wife also supports economically the household, just me and my wife (She is Filipina like Ibon's wife), I am not extending myself in working. I am 56. Anyway, the area you are living in is probably very pleasant and safe and at least in this country, many of us can still enjoy a decent lifestyle.
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 22 Sep 2018, 07:17:35

I do not use cellphone for the Internet. I have a computer at home and use it not just to socialize but I still do freelance translations Spanish to English and vice-versa. So I am not from Academia per say. More a lower middle class person afforded a good education by my parents who came in the 60's from Colombia S.A. Maybe that explains my affinity for the proletariat haha.

I have enjoyed the conversations in general here on PO. And since my wife also supports economically the household, just me and my wife (She is Filipina like Ibon's wife), I am not extending myself in working. I am 56. Anyway, the area you are living in is probably very pleasant and safe and at least in this country, many of us can still enjoy a decent lifestyle.
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 22 Sep 2018, 09:41:59

Outcast_Searcher wrote:Pretending like Trump is the whole problem is pretty absurd. The main change, re the recent trend in wealth inequality started at the time of the Reagan era, over 30 years before Trump was Potus.

Instead of politicizing this, looking at what's changed -- re technology and its impacts on good jobs, would make FAR more sense, in my opinion.

And neither the right, which wants to ignore the issue, nor the left wanting to expand the nanny state endlessly, is addressing the core issues.


Actually it started at least a decade before Reagan took office, right around the time conventional petroleum production in the USA peaked in 1970. In 1970 a single adult could earn an income at a common job sufficient to support themselves and spouse/children. By 1980 it was becoming much more common for both members of a married couple to work outside the home to support the family and by 1990 it was no longer possible for a single adult to support a family unless they were in a highly paid profession or they had taxpayer assistance in the form of transfer payments of some fashion ranging from the earned income tax credit to a whole plethora of assistance types.
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 22 Sep 2018, 10:27:52

Tanada, without disagreeing with anything you said, what actually changed was the expectations of the Middle Class. I spent early childhood in North Carolina and Louisiana. Six kids and our parents, living in a small house with a single bathroom, no A/C, single 19" B&W TV, a vinyl record player, and a Fallout Shelter dug into the backyard. We wondered about tbe Bomb and the Soviets and thought we were comfortably well-off, in the 1950s and 1960s. Today that life would be described as grinding poverty, not quite sixty years later.
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 22 Sep 2018, 14:59:17

Tanada wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:Pretending like Trump is the whole problem is pretty absurd. The main change, re the recent trend in wealth inequality started at the time of the Reagan era, over 30 years before Trump was Potus.

Instead of politicizing this, looking at what's changed -- re technology and its impacts on good jobs, would make FAR more sense, in my opinion.

And neither the right, which wants to ignore the issue, nor the left wanting to expand the nanny state endlessly, is addressing the core issues.


Actually it started at least a decade before Reagan took office, right around the time conventional petroleum production in the USA peaked in 1970.

Fair enough. As I was typing, I realized I should have said before the Reagan era, but didn't bother to correct it. Depending on which chart you look at, the results vary somewhat. The recent trend toward disparity started moving noticably in the 70's. It really got cranking in the early 80's, about the time the personal computer took off -- and to me that's not a coincidence.

My main point is that to blame the whole issue on Trump is so patently absurd as to completely discredit the assertion on its face.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby kublikhan » Wed 03 Oct 2018, 09:17:03

Outcast_Searcher, the UN report does not "blame the whole issue on Trump". Yes, it mentions recent policy actions by the current administration are making inequality worse. But it says this has been a problem for decades:

The United States has the highest rate of income inequality among Western countries. For almost five decades the overall policy response has been neglectful at best, but the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship.
Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to the United States of America

Also, I would ask you to dial back your own politicizing of this issue. Every other post on this topic you have "Left" this or "Right" that. Whereas my posts were comparing the US as a whole to other countries.

And as far as the tech sector explanation for this goes, that explanation doesn't fly when all the other developed countries manage to limit income/wealth disparity even after the tech revolution.

Wealth disparity in the United States is running twice as wide — and more — as wealth gaps in the rest of the industrial world. The middle class in the United States has less than half the wealth share of middle classes in much of the rest of the developed world.
Facts: Global Inequality

It’s hard to exaggerate the difference between western Europe and the USA when it comes to inequality. In 1980, these blocs of similar population and average income were also similar in income inequality: the top 1% captured around 10% of national income, while the poorest 50% took around 20%. Things have changed dramatically since then. Today, the top 1% in Europe take 12% of income (in the US, 20%) while the bottom 50% have 22% (in the US, 10%).

It’s often said that globalisation and digitalisation explain the surge in global inequality, but that’s not a very convincing narrative. Since the 1980s, Europe and the US have had similar exposure to global markets and new technologies. But they have differed in policies and institutional direction. To date, Europe has shown that it’s much better at keeping inequality in check.

social healthcare systems in most European countries still guarantee universal protection for all – hardly the case in the US. Many of those countries offer free access to university. Indeed, when policymakers in Bavaria attempted to introduce university fees in 2007, a referendum later overturned the decision. A young European’s hopes of receiving higher education depend much less on his or her parents’ income than their American counterpart’s.

Labour markets are also more favourable to workers in Europe than in the US, where the minimum wage has fallen by a third in real terms since the 1970s (in France it has risen fourfold). In Sweden and Germany, trade unions are represented in corporate governance bodies, taking part in strategic decision-making.

European regulation against lethal, polluting substances is stricter than elsewhere, and European countries are at the forefront of the global fight against climate change, investing a growing share of their GDP in energy efficiency and renewables. That’s also key to reducing inequality, now and in the future. Studies show that environmental degradation and inequality are closely linked.

Generous welfare states need to be financed, of course. Europe is a patchwork of taxation systems. But overall the continent has been good at protecting progressive taxation – which has not been the case in the US, Britain and also countries such as India, where inequality has mushroomed. Progressive taxation is a proven tool against entrenched privileges at the very top; it also helps finance investment and public expenditure designed to lift income levels at the bottom.

The EU has been instrumental in helping its poorer member states, and its low-income regions, catch up with those that are better off. The picture is not perfect, but EU cohesion funds have done a lot to fill some of the gaps and help its newer members.
The fairest of them all: why Europe beats the US on equality

And as for the claim that all groups have benefited over the years but some groups have benefited more, better check your facts again:

Between 1963 and 2016 families near the bottom of the wealth distribution (those at the 10th percentile) went from having no wealth on average to being about $1,000 in debt.
Nine Charts about Wealth Inequality in America (Updated)
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Re: Booming Economic Growth?

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 04 Oct 2018, 11:41:32

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... h-says-imf

World economy at risk of another financial crash, says IMF
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