Inequality

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dhex
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Re: Inequality

Post by dhex » 16 Jul 2019, 20:05

I think the whole framework is a hard pass from everyone.
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Dangerman
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Re: Inequality

Post by Dangerman » 16 Jul 2019, 20:11

In the words of our erstwhile mascot...

ORLY?

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dhex
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Re: Inequality

Post by dhex » 16 Jul 2019, 20:59

I didn't mean to royal we up in this b.
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Pham Nuwen
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Re: Inequality

Post by Pham Nuwen » 17 Jul 2019, 00:52

What are WE talking about?
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lunchstealer
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Re: Inequality

Post by lunchstealer » 17 Jul 2019, 03:29

I mean, you could use it in certain circumstances but in toto it's too incoherent for what the author thinks it's for.
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Number 6
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Re: Inequality

Post by Number 6 » 17 Jul 2019, 12:17

dead_elvis wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 18:41
Warren wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 14:45
While I'm not familiar with the individual childhoods of rock stars, bands like Pink Floyd and Rush (or for that matter every Prog Rock band ever) weren't selling themselves as underdogs.
Keeping in mind Rush first got themselves on the map with a song called "Working Man".
Don't make me tell their life stories. Because I can. And everyone will be bored.

Short version: middle class kids of immigrants. (Lee and Lifeson). Lee's parents were holocaust survivors. Lifeson was a high school drop out. Peart was the son of a tractor dealership owner, and worked in the parts department before his drumming career took off. They weren't from the wrong side of the tracks, but they also weren't Rhodes scholars are graduates of prestigious art schools.

/Fanboy
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Dangerman
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Re: Inequality

Post by Dangerman » 17 Jul 2019, 12:21

Oh, I meant 'you don't say?', not 'that's what you think.' guess I need to educate myself before I embarrass myself further by misusing memes.

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nicole
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Re: Inequality

Post by nicole » 18 Jul 2019, 14:04

The front-row/back-row theorist, Chris Arnade, will be on EconTalk this coming Monday.
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Re: Inequality

Post by Warren » 18 Jul 2019, 14:09

nicole wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 14:04
The front-row/back-row theorist, Chris Arnade, will be on EconTalk this coming Monday.
And I take it you are intending to listen to it? Because you need to keep abreast of this stuff for work? Because you yourself are interested to hear what he has to say? Or are you a sort of mental masochist and you get off on having your intellect punished?
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Re: Inequality

Post by nicole » 18 Jul 2019, 14:28

Warren wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 14:09
nicole wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 14:04
The front-row/back-row theorist, Chris Arnade, will be on EconTalk this coming Monday.
And I take it you are intending to listen to it? Because you need to keep abreast of this stuff for work? Because you yourself are interested to hear what he has to say? Or are you a sort of mental masochist and you get off on having your intellect punished?
I listen to almost every EconTalk. Russ Roberts almost always has an interesting conversation, even with guests I don't think will be particularly interesting to me. I also believe (without much evidence!) that I will get a higher-fidelity version of any given guest's shtick on EconTalk than just about anywhere else short of their own publications. And I am curious about how this guy talks about this stuff in his own words and in answers to Russ's questions. I mean, it's not like I started talking about this year because I didn't find it somewhat interesting.
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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 18 Jul 2019, 14:51

nicole wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 14:28
Warren wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 14:09
nicole wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 14:04
The front-row/back-row theorist, Chris Arnade, will be on EconTalk this coming Monday.
And I take it you are intending to listen to it? Because you need to keep abreast of this stuff for work? Because you yourself are interested to hear what he has to say? Or are you a sort of mental masochist and you get off on having your intellect punished?
I listen to almost every EconTalk. Russ Roberts almost always has an interesting conversation, even with guests I don't think will be particularly interesting to me. I also believe (without much evidence!) that I will get a higher-fidelity version of any given guest's shtick on EconTalk than just about anywhere else short of their own publications. And I am curious about how this guy talks about this stuff in his own words and in answers to Russ's questions. I mean, it's not like I started talking about this year because I didn't find it somewhat interesting.
Concur - the level headedness of Russ's approach tends to drive up the quality of idea presentation.

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Dangerman
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Re: Inequality

Post by Dangerman » 19 Jul 2019, 09:16

Agreed. I'll listen to it.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Kolohe » 19 Jul 2019, 23:55

Mo wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 07:26
JasonL wrote:Just for color, median US household net worth is like $68k. Top quintile is like $630k.
That top quintile seems very high.
That's 25 million households among the expensive major metro areas who own their homes free and clear and have dollar cost averaged their way into a 6 figure retirement account in the current bull market.

I could see it - and then a dramatic drop off in the 2nd quint.

Eta - all I'm saying is that there are probably enough boomers that got their houses in California, NYC metro, and a couple other places, that are now sitting in a 650k pile of sticks and bricks that is pretty much falling apart around them because they've done no major renovations since Ronnie was prez
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Pham Nuwen
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Re: Inequality

Post by Pham Nuwen » 20 Jul 2019, 01:21

I mean the no renovation thing is fucking big out here in Colorado. It's why people look for single or second owners. They KNOW they never kept up. So the house is cheap. Or cheap compared to other houses out here.
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Kolohe
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Re: Inequality

Post by Kolohe » 20 Jul 2019, 09:38

Yeah, the difference in your neck of the woods is that pile will sell for 300-400k instead of 600-700k.

Eta - and all I'm saying is that's how you can have so many households, often single person elderly households that are technically 'top quintile' but only on paper.

(Or it's their Gen X kids born in low birthrate years who inherited that property and didn't need to divide it 6 different ways)
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Inequality

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 20 Jul 2019, 11:40

It's certainly more likely that someone, say, over 50 will have paid off the mortgage, have a six figure IRA or 401(K) retirement account, etc., than someone in his 30s. You don't have to have paid off the mortgage, though. People in my generation tended to move from a condo to a townhouse to a single family house to an even nicer single family house, rolling equity over into each next purchase. Even if you owe $300 on a house that has now appreciated to a market price of $600+, you own that additional equity. Just like retirement funds you can't theoretically access without penalties and a big tax bite, they all count toward someone's net worth.

D.C., like the other major cities where housing demand is consistently higher than supply, warps one's attitude toward housing costs, but we've been casually checking out housing in the Tidewater VA area, where housing is significantly less expensive but by no means cheap, and it's hard to find much under $500k. One difference is that the value of the land isn't nearly as high. Yes, there are plenty of poorly maintained houses in Northern Virginia, the real estate area I know the best, where the market price is over $600k but it's essentially a tear-down. Same with smaller houses on larger lots. If it does happen that we move from here, we're going to have some hard choices about what renovations to make to boost the market price of our current home more than the cost of the renovations. There being no structural repairs necessary; mostly its cosmetic "curb value" stuff. Redoing, say, the kitchen, so we can market a house with a new kitchen strikes me as absurd. People buy a house and, if they can afford it, they change all of that stuff, anyway, so it's mostly a wash.

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Dangerman
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Re: Inequality

Post by Dangerman » 20 Jul 2019, 11:52

The largest demographic wealth gap is between the young and the old.

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Re: Inequality

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 20 Jul 2019, 11:54

Dangerman wrote:
20 Jul 2019, 11:52
The largest demographic wealth gap is between the young and the old.
Because if you don't inherit wealth, the longer you have to accrue it, the more of it you have.

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Dangerman
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Re: Inequality

Post by Dangerman » 20 Jul 2019, 12:01

Yes, exactly.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Shem » 20 Jul 2019, 12:33

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
20 Jul 2019, 11:40
It's certainly more likely that someone, say, over 50 will have paid off the mortgage, have a six figure IRA or 401(K) retirement account, etc., than someone in his 30s. You don't have to have paid off the mortgage, though. People in my generation tended to move from a condo to a townhouse to a single family house to an even nicer single family house, rolling equity over into each next purchase. Even if you owe $300 on a house that has now appreciated to a market price of $600+, you own that additional equity. Just like retirement funds you can't theoretically access without penalties and a big tax bite, they all count toward someone's net worth.

D.C., like the other major cities where housing demand is consistently higher than supply, warps one's attitude toward housing costs, but we've been casually checking out housing in the Tidewater VA area, where housing is significantly less expensive but by no means cheap, and it's hard to find much under $500k. One difference is that the value of the land isn't nearly as high. Yes, there are plenty of poorly maintained houses in Northern Virginia, the real estate area I know the best, where the market price is over $600k but it's essentially a tear-down. Same with smaller houses on larger lots. If it does happen that we move from here, we're going to have some hard choices about what renovations to make to boost the market price of our current home more than the cost of the renovations. There being no structural repairs necessary; mostly its cosmetic "curb value" stuff. Redoing, say, the kitchen, so we can market a house with a new kitchen strikes me as absurd. People buy a house and, if they can afford it, they change all of that stuff, anyway, so it's mostly a wash.
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Re: Inequality

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 20 Jul 2019, 12:50

Yes. At this point, we view it as an investment property.

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nicole
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Re: Inequality

Post by nicole » 23 Jul 2019, 10:42

So I listened to the first half of the Arnade EconTalk yesterday and the second half today.

It seems like mostly, the line he is trying to draw between people is based less on their past than on their present circumstances--i.e., not related to their behavior or performance in school but related to how they ended up. But it also seems like he's trying to draw a line based on values and whether people value money vs. community relationships.

I would say that regardless of whether the distinction between these two groups is clear, I disagree strongly with any idea that we should be working to empower the side that values community and relationships over money and economic success. Money don't get everything, it's true, but what it don't get I can't use. Arnade mentions toward the end something I remembered seeing him say on Twitter: "What if people don't want two iPhones, but one iPhone and three friends?" And they want the three friends because they think the three friends provide more "meaning" than the iPhone. I see the people who want the one iPhone and three friends as the oppressor class: the emotional vampires who create more and more suffering because they think other people can help them with their loneliness, dissatisfaction and ennui, when in reality they can't. They will only end up disappointed with the three friends, and the three friends will also be disappointed and have their time and energy wasted.

Now, I'm not necessarily saying they should be happy with a second iPhone; my ideal public policy response to the problem Roberts and Arnade discuss is mass access to opiates and psychedelics (and all hard drugs of course), and encouragement to assuage feelings of meaninglessness with drugs (and exercise). The more people substitute other things for relationships with other humans, the better (and specifically the more people substitute other things for childbearing, the better).

Arnade said several times that the front-row folks "don't see the value" in the things that back-row folks value, like place, community, family. That may be true for some, of course. But others of us see those things not as valuable but as harmful and have made explicit choices to reject them and to get money instead, because you can use money to buy things you actually do value, including using it to buy spending less time with other people.

/full nicole
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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 23 Jul 2019, 11:02

Ok I listened to it as well. I would agree that I'm not sure front row / back row is a very good model for the thing he is presenting. It is about how you wound up, but it's a lot more about your relationship to a fixed community and whether that is "okay" in modern society. The differentiator between the groups in his discussion was somewhat about ability and interest in academic things but it was more about the view one has of the neighborhood in which they live as a high value thing relative to other things they could be doing GIVEN that they have low aptitude or interest in things that make money these days.

I felt like there was a tension between "we should grant people making the choice to stay in their communities dignity - they have agency and value the connections they have in that place - we should respect that place is more important for them than it is for front row types" and "I find this staying at home business romantic - we should pay people to stay put so they can have dignity in their choices". I mean, for starters there's this idea that the choice to remain in a dead economic zone has a romance to it - a romance worth subsidy. That I don't get. Then there's the idea that dignity is amplified rather than diminished by something like UBI (not explicitly suggested but significant redistribution in some format was). I don't think that's how dignity works. Not from others and not from yourself. This is an objection Roberts raised.

Then there's the idea that people may want one iPhone and 3 friends - but these things are not separable through some view of materialism vs community. Gryll is an online community facilitated by some of the stuff we might have wanted to halt had we taken "put the brakes on change so community can adjust" seriously in the past. What always strikes me about this kind of community instinct on the left and the right is the presumption that the institutions of community must be dictated, provided by the public, somehow prescribed. He talks about how McDonalds is a community hub - I mean great, why is that bad? What's the thing you want instead?

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Re: Inequality

Post by Hugh Akston » 23 Jul 2019, 11:22

It's worth mentioning that people could just as easily use their UBI checks to escape from economic dead zones.
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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 23 Jul 2019, 11:35

They could, but that's not his thing. The impression I get is if they did that he'd be sad about the collapse of community.

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