Calling 2020 for Entropy

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Mo
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Mo » 12 Feb 2019, 04:35

Jennifer wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 00:29
Semi-related: when I was teaching, I remember, when you started a school year you had two payment options: basically, get paychecks once every two weeks only for the nine months-and-change of the school year, or get smaller paychecks every two weeks for an entire 52-week year including the next summer break. I of course took the nine-month option so I could put the "summer advance" income in the bank and make a few dollars in interest, but I was shocked to discover a LOT of my colleagues -- including many who were much older than me, and thus presumably wiser -- said they took the 12-month option, and I even recall one guy who asked me what I did for money in summer, without a paycheck!
There's not much philosophically wrong with matching cash inflows with outflows. Depending on the prevailing interest rate, that cash flow matching may be work the extra $20 worth of interest.
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JasonL
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by JasonL » 12 Feb 2019, 07:22

The fear of disrupted flows is a core piece of the puzzle for negative behaviors like over insurance and under saving though. People will spend thousands every year to alleviate the worry that once every 10 years they might need to write a $1,000 check.

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Eric the .5b
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Eric the .5b » 12 Feb 2019, 10:25

Jadagul wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 23:48
Most people are paying less tax, but many of them feel like they're paying more because it got added to the monthly paycheck rather than the refund.
Eric the .5b wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 22:24
So, the tweet is misleading, but we shouldn't mind that?

I mean, I expect her to be shitty in the way Blues are shitty, but why give her a free pass on what's probably a straight lie?
Not so much we shouldn't mid that, but I wanted to make sure people understood what she was saying and what was going on---I thought someone was suggesting that she was complaining about a tax cut, which isn't quite accurate.
Emphasis added. So, the people she was talking about were actually paying less in taxes (whether or not we opt to call that a "tax cut"), but she's trying to convince them that they got, in her words, a "tax hike".

Which is a goddamn lie whether or not we want to call people paying less in taxes as getting a "cut". (Which is what, if the beneficiaries of the police were at least upper-middle class, Blues would absolutely call this.)
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by nicole » 12 Feb 2019, 10:27

Eric the .5b wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 10:25
Jadagul wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 23:48
Most people are paying less tax, but many of them feel like they're paying more because it got added to the monthly paycheck rather than the refund.
Eric the .5b wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 22:24
So, the tweet is misleading, but we shouldn't mind that?

I mean, I expect her to be shitty in the way Blues are shitty, but why give her a free pass on what's probably a straight lie?
Not so much we shouldn't mid that, but I wanted to make sure people understood what she was saying and what was going on---I thought someone was suggesting that she was complaining about a tax cut, which isn't quite accurate.
Emphasis added. So, the people she was talking about were actually paying less in taxes (whether or not we opt to call that a "tax cut"), but she's trying to convince them that they got, in her words, a "tax hike".

Which is a goddamn lie whether or not we want to call people paying less in taxes as getting a "cut". (Which is what, if the beneficiaries of the police were at least upper-middle class, Blues would absolutely call this.)
And it’s a particular point of confusion that’s been going around social media for at least a week now, so she’s doing this as some people are trying to correct this piece of fake news.
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Jennifer
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Jennifer » 12 Feb 2019, 13:32

Mo wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 04:35
Jennifer wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 00:29
Semi-related: when I was teaching, I remember, when you started a school year you had two payment options: basically, get paychecks once every two weeks only for the nine months-and-change of the school year, or get smaller paychecks every two weeks for an entire 52-week year including the next summer break. I of course took the nine-month option so I could put the "summer advance" income in the bank and make a few dollars in interest, but I was shocked to discover a LOT of my colleagues -- including many who were much older than me, and thus presumably wiser -- said they took the 12-month option, and I even recall one guy who asked me what I did for money in summer, without a paycheck!
There's not much philosophically wrong with matching cash inflows with outflows. Depending on the prevailing interest rate, that cash flow matching may be work the extra $20 worth of interest.
But -- assuming you're talking about someone with the bare-minimum amount of self-control and foresight necessary to figure out such things as "Of the money currently in my bank account, $6,000 [or whatever] of that is earmarked for this summer's living expenses" -- why would it be better to let your employer (or the IRS, in tax-refund terms) hang on to that money interest-free for several months, rather than you collect the interest yourself? Granted, I'm sure the actual amount of interest I earned off those advance summer paychecks was negligible, but so too is the amount of interest a typical American wage-earner would've made had they banked all of their tax money until April 15.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Highway » 12 Feb 2019, 14:20

Didn't you just say the reason in your first sentence? Because if the employee knows they will blow that money if it's in their bank account, they get a significant benefit from someone else holding onto it where they can't spend it.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Aresen » 12 Feb 2019, 14:32

Highway wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 14:20
Didn't you just say the reason in your first sentence? Because if the employee knows they will blow that money if it's in their bank account, they get a significant benefit from someone else holding onto it where they can't spend it.
Teachers in my province have the same options. In my banking days I often had to make temporary loans to teachers who took the '10 months with - 2 months without' option.

I found that teachers as a group were either very good with money or very bad with money. The ones who took the '10 & 2' option were usually in the latter portion.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Jennifer » 12 Feb 2019, 14:38

Highway wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 14:20
Didn't you just say the reason in your first sentence? Because if the employee knows they will blow that money if it's in their bank account, they get a significant benefit from someone else holding onto it where they can't spend it.
And if taxpayers know they'll blow their future tax payments if it's in their bank account, they get a significant benefit from making an interest-free loan to the IRS. But it still baffles me -- speaking specifically about ordinary adults of presumably average-or-better intelligence, NOT children or people who suffer from actual mental/intellectual deficiencies -- that people can be that short-sighted and clueless. I'm not even talking about the impossibly distant future -- "As a healthy 21-year-old, I clearly can't be bothered to worry about my future finances as a 67-year-old" -- I'm talking obvious stuff like "My rent or mortgage is X dollars per month and yes, I have to make those monthly payments in the summertime, too."

When I was a teenager -- my first two or three years working at minimum-wage jobs, which appeared to be "big money" compared to the miniscule pocket-money allowance my parents used to give me when I was still too young to legally work -- for those first couple years, if you observed my spending habits you'd have thought I was a ridiculous spendthrift, the sort destined for poverty no matter HOW much money I made, and you'd've seen almost nothing to indicate the hyper-frugal (by contemporary American standards) adult I eventually became.

But for all my foolishness with money, I at least knew enough for stuff like "Okay, I can NOT spend this-here $10 bill in my wallet, because that is earmarked for gasoline -- if I blow than ten bucks on anything else, I'll run out of gas before next payday." (I'd still make some stupid spending decisions regarding, say, the OTHER $20 I had on me -- but I knew enough to save that $10 for gas. Or the however-much it cost me to take the SAT. Or whatever.)
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Jennifer » 12 Feb 2019, 15:21

Or, another example: more than once here I mentioned the anecdote of the time just after I'd graduated college and was still fairly broke, under-employed and in student debt: my car insurance premium came due, and was $350 for six months. I had to take that money out of the bank, since I was waitressing at the time [on temporary hiatus from dancing, since I'd just moved to Connecticut and hadn't found the local clubs yet] and did not have the full $350 in cash from my recent tips.

My cousin (who was also my godmother; she was my mother's contemporary rather than mine) suggested that instead of paying the $350, I take the offered option to pay $61.34 instead -- that much I could handle with just my tip money, without making a savings withdrawal. I told her that was the monthly payment option, which included a three-dollar finance charge; if I paid monthly, my total cost for the six months would be $368 rather than $350, so by paying the whole thing upfront I'd save 18 dollars over the next six months (plus another couple bucks on mailing costs, buying one postage stamp rather than six). But she did not see this, not even after I took pen and paper and did the math for her, SHOWING her that "cheaper" option would ultimately cost over 5 percent more -- I think also at one point I explicitly told her "The reason I have sufficient money in the bank already is because for the past six months, ever since my last insurance payment, every month I'd put a bit of money in the bank specifically so I'd have it in June when my insurance bill came in" -- but somehow, some way, she just couldn't see it, and was convinced that I was being ridiculous (and likely masochistic, in an unsexy unhealthy long-term-damaging kinda way) for making that relatively large transfer from savings to checking and suffering a temporary cash shortage to pay that enormous $350 bill, when it would be so much easier to just pay 61-something out of the cash I already had.

I don't get how full-grown, sober, not-intellectually-disabled adults can think this way, but a lot of them do. So -- going back to the tax refund thing -- yeah, it's technically stupid for people who expected a big refund to learn they'll only get a small one, or even owe money, solely because they had smaller sums withheld last year ... but it appears to be one of those stupid things that seem hard-wired in an awful lot of people, even those who are not actually "stupid" in most other contexts.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Mo » 12 Feb 2019, 15:23

Why act surprised, 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Jennifer » 12 Feb 2019, 15:54

Yeah, but there's a difference between those who live paycheck to paycheck because the paychecks in question are too small to cover everything and have much left over, versus those with my cousin's bizarrely short-sighted attitude. (Or, the difference between saying "I'll pay $61.34 this month because I literally don't have $350 right now, or because that's ALL I have and I'm not comfortable with having literally zero dollars until I get paid again next" versus "I'll pay $61.34 rather than withdraw the $350 from savings I specifically earmarked for this purpose, because ... um ... reasons?")
Last edited by Jennifer on 12 Feb 2019, 16:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by JasonL » 12 Feb 2019, 15:55

To the extent that’s a result of choices it’s self destructive and broadly harmful to the economy. A savings mentality to get you to a say $1,000 you can use if you need it is life changing.

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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Jennifer » 12 Feb 2019, 16:16

JasonL wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 15:55
To the extent that’s a result of choices it’s self destructive and broadly harmful to the economy. A savings mentality to get you to a say $1,000 you can use if you need it is life changing.
So far as I know my cousin likely did have at least that much saved (at least, they had a house/small horse farm with mortgage, their two high school kids didn't seem to want for anything, and they apparently had money enough for frequent small luxuries of the "Chinese take-out or pizza for dinner" variety, too). And she knew *I* had that much and a bit more saved -- it's just that for some reason she didn't think I should take $350 out of said savings to pay that insurance bill.

I forgot to mention: at the time, it was only something like that evening, or the next, before my next scheduled waitressing shift. And my exact financial particulars that day were something like, "I have $70 cash in my wallet. I intend to go to the bank, put $50 in savings, keep $20 in cash, then transfer $350 out of savings and into checking to pay that premium. That leaves me with $20 cash on hand and an almost full tank of gas until either tonight or tomorrow night, when I wait tables and am darn-near guaranteed to get at least SOME additional cash money."

IOW, this was not a case of my cousin urging me to avoid paying $350 now because if I did I'd be, like, completely broke for another week until my next paycheck came in. No, paying that $350 meant "I still have over a thousand in savings, plus $20 in cash until I get more waiting tables sometime in the next 36 hours." Yet she thought it was a stupid idea.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by nicole » 12 Feb 2019, 16:19

Jennifer wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 15:21

I don't get how full-grown, sober, not-intellectually-disabled adults can think this way, but a lot of them do. So -- going back to the tax refund thing -- yeah, it's technically stupid for people who expected a big refund to learn they'll only get a small one, or even owe money, solely because they had smaller sums withheld last year ... but it appears to be one of those stupid things that seem hard-wired in an awful lot of people, even those who are not actually "stupid" in most other contexts.
...they are "intellectually disabled"
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Mo » 12 Feb 2019, 16:40

Jennifer wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 15:54
Yeah, but there's a difference between those who live paycheck to paycheck because the paychecks in question are too small to cover everything and have much left over, versus those with my cousin's bizarrely short-sighted attitude. (Or, the difference between saying "I'll pay $61.34 this month because I literally don't have $350 right now, or because that's ALL I have and I'm not comfortable with having literally zero dollars until I get paid again next" versus "I'll pay $61.34 rather than withdraw the $350 from savings I specifically earmarked for this purpose, because ... um ... reasons?")
80% indicates that it's not just people with small paychecks.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Jennifer » 12 Feb 2019, 16:44

Mo wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 16:40
Jennifer wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 15:54
Yeah, but there's a difference between those who live paycheck to paycheck because the paychecks in question are too small to cover everything and have much left over, versus those with my cousin's bizarrely short-sighted attitude. (Or, the difference between saying "I'll pay $61.34 this month because I literally don't have $350 right now, or because that's ALL I have and I'm not comfortable with having literally zero dollars until I get paid again next" versus "I'll pay $61.34 rather than withdraw the $350 from savings I specifically earmarked for this purpose, because ... um ... reasons?")
80% indicates that it's not just people with small paychecks.
Which is why I specified the difference between those living that way because they have no choice, versus those who are short-sighted to a degree I find baffling.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Jennifer » 12 Feb 2019, 17:11

nicole wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 16:19
Jennifer wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 15:21

I don't get how full-grown, sober, not-intellectually-disabled adults can think this way, but a lot of them do. So -- going back to the tax refund thing -- yeah, it's technically stupid for people who expected a big refund to learn they'll only get a small one, or even owe money, solely because they had smaller sums withheld last year ... but it appears to be one of those stupid things that seem hard-wired in an awful lot of people, even those who are not actually "stupid" in most other contexts.
...they are "intellectually disabled"
Not in a way that makes the label actually useful, though. When I talk about things like my cousin and her attitude toward the insurance premium -- and specifically, the fact that this attitude doesn't even make her particularly unique or unusual -- I feel kinda like the aliens in the science-fiction trope "What are these things you earthlings call ee moe shuns?"

Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series -- for all the many flaws of the story -- does IMO a very good job of using this trope in a non-cartoonish way, so that you actually can relate to and understand why and how these egg-laying reptilian aliens who go into heat once per season and are asexual the rest of the time are completely baffled -- and disgusted and revolted -- by pretty much every aspect of "humans are social animals," especially the notions of romantic/sexual, parental and filial love. There's one scene where the more open-minded and intelligent of the alien psychologists is starting to get a theoretical grasp of human emotions -- the specific context was, the alien invaders were taking a lot of damage from human suicide attackers, which was something completely out of their experience -- they're used to fighting soldiers who want to avoid being killed, not those who seem to welcome death if it means they can take a few of us with them. They managed to capture a couple of would-be suicide bombers, and discovered their motivation was, the aliens had killed their spouses and children, and now the bombers were set on revenge no matter what. Which completely baffled the aliens: why should you care, to the point of suicide, about a particular individual just because you mated with them, or just because they were the result of a mating act you performed, or just because one of their mating acts happened to make you? So the alien psychologist is explaining this to his colleagues, how humans form these incredibly intense emotional bonds with their mating partners, offspring, and sires and dams, and said something like "You must understand: by our standards, every single member of this species is over-emotional and irrational to the point of being clinically insane." And of course, even among the more open-minded and intelligent of the aliens, it took them a loooong time to really grasp, "Even though this-here human behavior seems insane -- no, really, it isn't. At least not for their species; for their species, it's normal. This is NOT a crazy person, even if he seems that way to me."

And I daresay things like my cousin's bizarre short-sightedness (or, for that matter, the fact that so very many intelligent, rational and sane people nonetheless have sincere belief in a personal god despite lack of evidence), fall into that category too: sure, I can make a very good, rational argument for why this is foolish and irrational and even crazy, except that if these "crazy" traits appear in the majority (or a very large minority) of a generally successful species, throughout all groups and all time periods ... well, then, I can't really call it "crazy" even if it DOES inspire a "what are these ee moe shuns"-kind of feeling in me.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by JasonL » 12 Feb 2019, 17:17

There's a default bias in many people toward near term consumption. If you ask those 80%, regardless of their income levels up to very high levels of income, they will all say they can't possibly save. Almost all of them are wrong. You have to be down in the bottom half of the bottom quintile of income before you see people actually behaving in a manner that suggests they can't afford an additional 5% savings. There are a million natural tests of this since PPA passed in 2006. In lower incomes the barrier to overcome is people don't believe 5% or whatever matters so why bother. They become savers once they get to look at balances that are meaningful to them - a couple thousand dollars sitting in a pile all at once and increasing over time is something they may never have seen before, and the idea that you can save even $10,000 seems like madness. The effect of longer durations in compounding are not intuitive for this set until they see real balances moving.

The barriers in the middle class are competing savings stories like "my house is my savings" or "college savings is the most important thing". There are various reasons why those stories fall short of "a pile of assets I can easily convert to cash", but they have to be convinced. Overhousing is a tremendous drag on long term financial stability of middle class households.

Rich people think "I make money I don't need to save", but their expenses and long term debt obligations eat them alive.

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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Jennifer » 12 Feb 2019, 18:36

JasonL wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 17:17
There's a default bias in many people toward near term consumption.
Yeah, but IMO even that doesn't explain things like the teachers who take the 12-month rather than 9-month paycheck option, or my cousin's attitude toward the insurance premium. Because for things like "My regular monthly bills apply even in summer" or "I definitely have to pay a certain minimum amount to my car insurance company every six months" -- those aren't vague "Where will I be 20 or 40 years down the road" things, this is the kind of shit that's in your current household budget.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Taktix® » 14 Mar 2019, 12:18

Best understanding of many criminal justice issues by any candidate so far:

https://www.msnbc.com/stephanie-ruhle/w ... 7965635875
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 14 Mar 2019, 12:23

Given the field and the likely Reservoir Dogs primary process, Harris may be the most electable candidate the Dems will be able to nominate. A Harris / O'Rourke ticket is electable, especially if Trump does enough pissing off of Texas to put it into play. This is not, of course, an endorsement.

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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by thoreau » 14 Mar 2019, 12:30

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 12:23
the likely Reservoir Dogs primary process
Diamond Joe Biden is obviously Joe. Harris, given what she's willing to do to prisoners, is clearly Mr. White (Mrs. White?). Who's Mr. Pink? We could make pinko jokes about Warren, but she isn't a Steve Buscemi character.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by Aresen » 14 Mar 2019, 12:34

Taktix® wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 12:18
Best understanding of many criminal justice issues by any candidate so far:

https://www.msnbc.com/stephanie-ruhle/w ... 7965635875
Criminal justice issues, other than 'lock-em up' cop-sucking, do not get much play in elections. (Trump's personal 'criminal justice issues' may be an exception.)

I still think the two biggest things that the 2020 blue candidate will have going for them is 1) not being Trump and 2) not being Hillary Clinton.
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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 14 Mar 2019, 13:51

Aresen wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 12:34
Taktix® wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 12:18
Best understanding of many criminal justice issues by any candidate so far:

https://www.msnbc.com/stephanie-ruhle/w ... 7965635875
Criminal justice issues, other than 'lock-em up' cop-sucking, do not get much play in elections. (Trump's personal 'criminal justice issues' may be an exception.)

I still think the two biggest things that the 2020 blue candidate will have going for them is 1) not being Trump and 2) not being Hillary Clinton.
In which case all are winners and all must have nominations!

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Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 14 Mar 2019, 14:05

If nothing else, this is very clever.

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