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Economics - The Thread

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He really didn't, he died comfortably in England. He's considered the father of sociology, and unfortunately that's the only academic track in the US in which you're likely to encounter his writing.

 

The way I see it, if you love capitalism and think it's great then you should have an understanding of the thinking of its greatest critics. 

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I encountered some marxist theory in some of my international relations classes and history classes as well. Though it wasn't as well represented as some other schools of thought (Liberalism vs realism etc). 

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36 minutes ago, Demons Sing Love Songs said:

Ody, is that "Humans Need No Apply" doc about automation? What do y'all think is the right (political/economic) course of action any society should take so us humans don't get too traumatized

 

Sorry, I'm slightly inebriated

 

Automation isn't the problem, though. Automation leads to increased production which leads to a society that is, on average, wealthier. The real issue is how the wealth generated is distributed.

Which, really, has always been the issue, even before robots took our jerbs.

 

Proper wealth redistribution would make labour displacement a non-issue as our society would be considerably different. The current working class would be able to pivot to services. "Services", in general, would be in higher demand due to the above-mentioned wealthier population and the increased free time people will have now that their robot butlers are doing all the housework.

 

Or we could all be fucking doomed!!!!

It's probably the latter.

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2 hours ago, Demons Sing Love Songs said:

Ody, is that "Humans Need No Apply" doc about automation? What do y'all think is the right (political/economic) course of action any society should take so us humans don't get too traumatized

 

Sorry, I'm slightly inebriated

 

it is!

 

and we're not the only ones to be concerned, a lot of smart people are bearish on an impending the labor crisis - just read this nerd's take (and he knows a thing or two about automation technology, one assumes)! 

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gates-bots-are-taking-away-jobs-2014-3

 

my advice? turn on, tune in and drop out  :smoke1:  and wait it out. almost any skill/degree you go to school for in 2016 will be obsolete in less than 10 years, so live. laugh. love. 

 

also, hot take: higher education is the next bubble that is RIPE to burst. charging people a fortune for information you can find easily on the internet? its like:

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Ody said:

my advice? turn on, tune in and drop out  :smoke1: 

 

or, alternatively, pay off your loans and debts as soon as possible!

 

but that's boring af who wants to work ya know

 

but yeah, collect all the wealth you can. NOW!

 

#capitalism 

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I'm usually Team Gates but this annoys me:

 

Quote

 

"When people say we should raise the minimum wage. I worry about what that does to job creation ... potentially damping demand in the part of the labor spectrum that I’m most worried about."

 

This has never been shown to be true. Studies have be done!

Though I would be in favour of eliminating corporate tax and dramatically reducing business rates.

 

Come at me Ethan.

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Here's my hot take re: bubbles:

 

The housing market is the most fucking ridiculous thing.

The problem is that it's better for everyone (except, you know, people wanting to buy houses) that prices stay artificially inflated for as long as possible. Without the assumption of infinitely escalating housing prices, the issuance of debt seizes up. Yes, we saw this in 2007/2008. But I honestly think that shit is small scale. Prices have inflated so much in the past two decades that there needs to be a serious correction and the only reason there hasn't already been one is because governments, central banks and financial institutions have done everything in their power to prevent one from happening.

Oh, and I suppose, the massive rush of investor landlords doesn't help.

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i think the problem has less to do with the increase of minimum wage than the opportunities given to those who are forced to work those minimum wage jobs. everyone knows that the minimum wage isn't enough to live on (not even close, as a grad student working a min wage job now i can't see how anyone can build savings, let alone pay the rent, with these wages) but looking demographically, most people who work minimum wage jobs work several of them, and they are typically far away from their neighborhoods that need serious community development. furthermore, these jobs are often more than an hour away from each other, let alone where the person lives. what results when the minimum wage increases is that the worker working 3 minimum wage jobs will lose on of them, making their total income even smaller. sure you get more money working less hours, but hourly workers typically want more hours... so....one woman i work with is forced to drive for UPS overnight and work all day just to make ends meet, but she still is always asking for more hours :(.

 

 i think the answer lies somewhere between dedicated government investment via public infrastructure and business incentives in these disenfranchised neighborhoods, with the hope that it will draw more jobs to the area that would serve those community members directly and booster the local economy.

 

idk, this shit is complicated

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Yes, this thread i like. 

 

Most adults I know still seem to look at housing as an investment, which really bothers me. That idea (that everyone's home could turn a profit ove a short time period) is a relatviely recent development, but I guess it's been out there for the entirety of baby boomer's adult lives and 07-08 struck them as an anomaly caused by government programs and central banks?

 

Re: the coming automation crisis... 10 years seems pretty alarmist, doesn't it? Where are you getting that from, this documentary?

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4 hours ago, Drew Brees said:

Here's my hot take re: bubbles:

 

The housing market is the most fucking ridiculous thing.

The problem is that it's better for everyone (except, you know, people wanting to buy houses) that prices stay artificially inflated for as long as possible. Without the assumption of infinitely escalating housing prices, the issuance of debt seizes up. Yes, we saw this in 2007/2008. But I honestly think that shit is small scale. Prices have inflated so much in the past two decades that there needs to be a serious correction and the only reason there hasn't already been one is because governments, central banks and financial institutions have done everything in their power to prevent one from happening.

Oh, and I suppose, the massive rush of investor landlords doesn't help.

In England how much of the house price escalation is due to loans (which is my understanding of what caused much of the crisis in 2007-2008) and how much of it is simply due to demand for housing exceeding supply?  I was under the impression that the Conservative government would resist policies that would lead to a significant enough increase in housing supply because many of their voters (and especially their donors) would see rising property values as a good thing, as they are more likely to own property themselves.


I am aware that the amount of money being loaned for housing in the UK has been increasing, but I don't know enough to judge whether that would be sustainable.

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2 hours ago, Hoogie Boogie Land said:

In England how much of the house price escalation is due to loans (which is my understanding of what caused much of the crisis in 2007-2008) and how much of it is simply due to demand for housing exceeding supply?  I was under the impression that the Conservative government would resist policies that would lead to a significant enough increase in housing supply because many of their voters (and especially their donors) would see rising property values as a good thing, as they are more likely to own property themselves.


I am aware that the amount of money being loaned for housing in the UK has been increasing, but I don't know enough to judge whether that would be sustainable.

 

So there's a few things going on here.

Firstly, there's the vision the Conservatives have championed of a nation of home-owners. Thatcher's big play to achieve this in the 80s was Right to Buy. This was a fucking disaster. If you look at the council houses sold under Right to Buy, almost none are currently owner-occupied. What's worse is that councils haven't kept their levels of stock by building more houses. In fact they've built basically no houses. The supply of council rental property has shrunk to the point where the waiting list for any kind of social housing (not just council housing) is over a year long.

Secondly, the Housing Act 88, and subsequently the amendments made by Labour in 96, have made property ownership an almost risk-free money-spinner. I'm not advocating for the kind of terms you get in the Rent Act 1977 (in which almost all the power in the relationship was given to the tenant), but a fair balance has not been struck. As a result you've seen a MASSIVE uptick in people buying property for investment purposes. Most of the property price appreciation we've seen in the past thirty years is the result of an investor gold rush. Property prices in my area are around 10x the annual income of the people actually living in my area. And remember, I live in the north. The only people who can afford those prices are professional landlords who don't even live in the same city (or country).

Thirdly, the 2007/08 crash had a devastating effect on the building trade. I'd go as far as to suggest that if it wasn't for the large numbers of Polish, Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants, we wouldn't have a building trade to speak of right now in 2016.

Fourthly, the Code for Sustainable Homes made housebuilding really fucking expensive, but the code seems to have been dropped this year, so that's something.

 

I can't say if there's been a reduction in housebuilding or not. What I can say is that there's been a massive uptick in property-as-investment rather than property-as-place-to-fucking-live

Consequently, demand doesn't outstrip the supply. Far from it. There are plenty of empty homes. Landlords are basically sitting on properties which are appreciating in value faster than any savings account, bond, or investment fund in the country. They don't even give a shit about letting them out - why go through all that trouble when you're already rich as fuck? Which is why council tax exemption on vacant properties was abolished in 2013 and replaced with the ability for local authorities to charge up to an 100% increase on regular council tax rates. It's an attempt, anyway.

 

Code for Sustainable Homes aside, I don't think the conservative government have blocked housebuilding. We've had almost ten years of a depressed market, so it's hard to say. But, as I previously mentioned, even if you overlook who their voterbase are, the fact is that the crazy speculation around house prices serves the financial industry very well. And we need that financial industry to keep pumping that sweet, sweet cash (as debt) into our economy if we're going to survive. Which is why the government have focused on... Making it easier to get mortgages!

Something like Help to Buy looks great on paper.

But it doesn't do shit to solve the problem of rocketing house valuations. Again, I suggest we're gonna see the opposite - if you no longer need something like a 10% deposit, then the value of the house you can "afford" has also gone up.

 

So here's the real dirty secret of the housing industry:

The biggest landlords aren't even the private individuals. They're banks and other financial institutions.

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On 10/14/2016 at 10:40 PM, eeeezypeezy said:

He really didn't, he died comfortably in England. He's considered the father of sociology, and unfortunately that's the only academic track in the US in which you're likely to encounter his writing.

 

The way I see it, if you love capitalism and think it's great then you should have an understanding of the thinking of its greatest critics. 

from what I understand the art history program at this school is like, VERY heavy on marxist theory

 

that's about all I have to contribute here. see ya!

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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/19/business/international/china-economy-slows-impact.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0

 

Pretty concise explanation of China's slow economic growth and what the most likely outcomes are.

 

-Total financial meltdown that would send shockwaves through the global economy ala 2008 (though analysts seem to think this isn't that likely given the level of control the government has over the banking system). 

-Return to glory days via investment in social services like improved healthcare (though this is hard to pursue given the massive amount of debt China has accumulated). 

-Japan-like slow growth for the foreseeable future (seems to be the most likely scenario).  

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On 10/19/2016 at 0:38 AM, Coffee said:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/19/business/international/china-economy-slows-impact.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0

 

Pretty concise explanation of China's slow economic growth and what the most likely outcomes are.

 

-Total financial meltdown that would send shockwaves through the global economy ala 2008 (though analysts seem to think this isn't that likely given the level of control the government has over the banking system). 

-Return to glory days via investment in social services like improved healthcare (though this is hard to pursue given the massive amount of debt China has accumulated). 

-Japan-like slow growth for the foreseeable future (seems to be the most likely scenario).  

 

might as well call it america-like. no reason to keep pointing to japan as the standard of economic malaise.

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Recently ran across a Scottish expat economist with the name Wyatt or somesuch who apparently just travels around dropping truth bombs in highly entertaining fashion all over the place. Guess he had a lecture/interview go somewhat viral a while back because he predicted Brexit before it happened. He also expected Trump to win in the US.

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4 hours ago, lukin? said:

bump

 

i created this out of the goodness of my heart, you fuckers better post

 
 
 
 
 

 

hey, i was gonna write a big long post about the red cross etc and then recommend the book "The End of Poverty" by Jeffery Sachs for anyone else who was interested in learning more about it, but i forgot!

 

it basically outlines that foreign aid does more harm than good to those it intends to help, but i don't want to spoil it for anyone who may read it (sorry, spoiler alert!) 

 

On 10/15/2016 at 11:41 AM, Roger Sterling said:

Re: the coming automation crisis... 10 years seems pretty alarmist, doesn't it? Where are you getting that from, this documentary?

 

 

bill gates said it would happen in about 20 years or so (the full-blown crisis, at least) but yeah, the documentary did an outline of the jobs that were in danger of being replaced by automation in the relatively short run. in the very short term, it outlined jobs that involve logistics and transportation. the documentary concludes that the "new" jobs only just begin to scratch the surface of the top jobs in the US by occupation (by top i mean the total number of workers employed in the occupations), but assuming that the labor force won't be able to adapt from say, a truck driver to software programmer, there will be a 45% unemployment rate if the issue isn't addressed. whether the answer is to give that truck driver an education, free basic income or to tell him tough luck, well... that's for the politics thread, baby!

 

basically, with an (admittedly, half-assed) application of moore's law, i am of the belief that this is going to come faster than almost everyone expects

 

(almost like a donald trump presidency!)

 

but here's a more recent snapshot, using data two years more fresh than the doc outlined:

http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/retail-salespersons-and-cashiers-were-occupations-with-highest-employment-in-may-2015.htm

 

combine that data with a topic d' jour:

http://fortune.com/2016/11/28/amazon-cyber-monday/

 

with an event from last week:

http://fortune.com/2016/11/28/black-friday-2016-discounts/

 

= :fun: 

 

3 hours ago, eeeezypeezy said:

Recently ran across a Scottish expat economist with the name Wyatt or somesuch who apparently just travels around dropping truth bombs in highly entertaining fashion all over the place. Guess he had a lecture/interview go somewhat viral a while back because he predicted Brexit before it happened. He also expected Trump to win in the US.

 
 
 
 

 

i'm finally able to watch the video you posted in the politics thread, is this the same guy? 

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