Lion of the Blogosphere

Larry Summers has been reading my blog

He writes in the Wall Street Journal:

The great economic problem for millennia has been scarcity. People want much more than can be produced. The challenge has been to produce as much as possible and to ensure that everybody gets their fair share.

In important respects, the problem has changed. There are many more Americans who are obese than who are undernourished, for example. But that is only a harbinger of things to come. The economic challenge of the future will not be producing enough. It will be providing enough good jobs.

Then most of the article is about how technology is destroying jobs faster than it’s creating them. And he concludes:

So the challenge for economic policy will increasingly be generating enough work for all who need work for income, purchasing power and dignity. What will this require? The role of government was transformed to meet the needs of an industrial age by Gladstone, Bismarck and the two Roosevelts. We will need their equivalent if we are to meet the needs of the information age.

This stuff is right out of my blog. Even if he hasn’t read my blog, you knew about the problem of the post-scarcity economy before prominent people like Summers were aware of them.

A few months from now, will Summers suggest that the solution to unemployment is paying people to play World of Warcraft?

* * *

Curle writes:

I think he’s also proven some of your theories about connections and value transference given that he publishes your ideas, perpetuates his reputation as a genius and then scores big dollar gigs (and maybe even hot women) whereas you get the satisfaction of knowing you kept your small horde of bored undersexed guys distracted for yet another day.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 10, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Posted in Economics, Robots

126 Responses

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  1. There are many more Americans who are obese than who are undernourished, for example.

    Starvation will take care of them.

    A few months from now, will Summers suggest that the solution to unemployment is paying people to play World of Warcraft?

    When he does you can mail him menacing legal notices that invoke Guido Law unless he hands over royalties.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    July 10, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    • whereas you get the satisfaction of knowing you kept your small horde of bored undersexed guys distracted for yet another day

      Or Lion gets a satisfaction that these same guys have been convinced that sex isn’t a means to an end, given the fact that most men don’t get laid regularly and a lot of it has to do with the societal pathologies being addressed on this blog.

      JS

      July 11, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    • The downturn of the American Economy is a dieting program. Dieting means less money to waste frivolously.

      JS

      July 11, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    • Or Lion gets a satisfaction that these same guys have been convinced that sex isn’t a means to an end,

      As Lion would say, sex is the end of all means.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      July 11, 2014 at 8:46 PM

  2. I think he’s also proven some of your theories about connections and value transference given that he publishes your ideas, perpetuates his reputation as a genius and then scores big dollar gigs (and maybe even hot women) whereas you get the satisfaction of knowing you kept your small horde of bored undersexed guys distracted for yet another day.

    Curle

    July 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    • His theories? I like lion but much of what he writes about are standard lefty economics. Which you lot would never read because you’re obviously way smarter than Dean Baker, Krugman et al. Value transference pre-dates Marx. You’d think such a community as smart as you imagine yourselves to be would have noticed that your Austrian models have failed spectacularly in every real world test for the last decade(s). Then again, you’re also too smart to fall for the climate change hoax. You are basically as smart as 9/11 conspiracist and moon landing deniers.

      Ham Man

      July 11, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      • Read dailyhowler. He calls out our distorted racial media coverage with logic and facts, without resorting to Limbaugh/fox sensational nonsense. He is an actual journalist. His Trayvon coverage was masterful. That is how you fight the problem. And he is a liberal.

        Ham Man

        July 12, 2014 at 12:10 AM

      • Alternative viewpoints on 9/11, climate change, the moon landing, anything that paints women in an unfavorable light, peak oil, etc., are all outside the Overton Window. Therefore anyone who thinks about them critically is stupid, and 95% of people will agree with you so you’re all right.

        Nice appeal to argumentum ad populum in lieu of actual reasoning and examination of the facts. You’d fit right in at Gawker or HuffPo.

        shiva1008

        July 12, 2014 at 2:21 AM

      • “Austrian models have failed spectacularly”

        I hope you’re not referring to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley era in the US, because that would be like pointing to Sweden and saying, “Look, Lenin was right.” I think most of the Austrian economics folks in the US (of which I am one) are really Jacksonians at heart – meaning we don’t trust bankers on the whole. Anyway, enjoy bashing Fox News, you imperious dill weed.

        Walla_Walla_Sam

        July 12, 2014 at 4:20 AM

      • would have noticed that your Austrian models have failed spectacularly in every real world test for the last decade(s)

        ya can’t fool me.

        austrian != lefty.

        jorge videla

        July 12, 2014 at 4:25 AM

      • “Value transference pre-dates Marx.”

        No one thinks Marx (or Leon) created the concept of ‘value transference’. Value transference has been around for millenia. Every king that ever taxed his subjects was engaging in ‘value transference’. Value transference occurs in a free market as well. What sets free market ‘value transference’ apart is that it’s voluntary. If people aren’t as successful as they’d like they have only themselves to blame. Of course, leftists don’t like free markets because it results in a “wealth gap”. Which they find psychologically intolerable and wish to ‘correct’ through government force i.e. wealth redistribution. My two questions would be — First, are not socialist wealth redistribution programs involuntary value transference? You might say it’s done to help the poor but it looks like bankers and automakers are the ones who benefit the most. And, second, are not even the poorest better off in a free market?

        I’m surprised to hear you say that “Austrian models have failed spectacularly in every real world test for the last decade.” What “real world tests” did you have in mind?

        destructure

        July 12, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    • First the small horde of bored, undersexed guys…then THE WORLD!!!

      Jokah Macpherson

      July 12, 2014 at 8:29 AM

  3. There are plenty of things that need to be done — almost an infinite supply of things. The issue isn’t providing jobs. It is transferring the wealth that is being created to (working) people who aren’t creating that wealth.

    CamelCaseRob

    July 11, 2014 at 12:23 AM

  4. sadly lion is still in thrall to the individualist ideology.

    it explains a lot.

    he thinks of society as a collection of atomic individuals.

    the truth:

    lion’s and larry’s thoughts are social products not individual products.

    the atomic individual speaks no language, wears no clothes. at best he subsists by observing what the monkeys eat.

    jorge videla

    July 11, 2014 at 12:38 AM

  5. There is a very, very serious flaw with current meme that automation is leading to a post-scarcity society where distributing status is what counts. After all, the Industrial Revolution was essentially an “automation” revolution. Did that destroy jobs and lead to post-scarcity?

    When settlers came to America and IR advances took hold here, did that destroy jobs and lead to post-scarcity? No.

    Automation is not a problem, simply because people end up working for the companies that make the new machines. The problem is offshore-outsourcing and mass immigration. These are massive, artificial supply shocks that are swamping the historical benefit of building labor-saving devices.

    map

    July 11, 2014 at 1:35 AM

    • Don’t forget, new regulations and taxes on the automation devices will creates more demand for lawyers and accountants and will give government an excuse to grow even larger giving the Fifth Estate (the civil servants) even more control over our lives. As a consequence, those desiring to have independence will hire even more lobbyist to achieve some freedom from the Fifth Estate thus growing demand for lobbyists. In the end, there will be plenty of jobs for people with liberal arts educations from good schools and isn’t that what really matters?.

      Curle

      July 11, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    • I completely agree. Where are all the machines that are supposedly going to replace human labor going to be built? Where are iPads built? Not here.

      Walla_Walla_Sam

      July 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

  6. Again, a great example of the blinders even high IQ people seem to have installed. They all ignore the elephant in the room.
    Of course it is true NOW that food is cheap (in the Western world, not everywhere), so more people are obese. But all of this is at the bottom not founded on capitalism, freedom or technology, but on cheaply available and abundant natural resources. And this situation is drawing to an end as we speak, not in a 100 years. (The expected returns from one huge shale field were corrected to about 5% of the original figure, most of the shale boom turns out to be another scam to get the money of sucker investors.)
    In another 10 years I expect many of us (below the top 5% or so) to experience some scarcity, maybe not on the level of today’s developing countries, but certainly not a post-scarcity abundance where the main problem is how to kill your time with the newest gadget.
    And the social and racial tensions mentioned in this blog will not be ameliorated by this end of abundance…

    nomen nescio

    July 11, 2014 at 3:08 AM

    • Of course it is true NOW that food is cheap (in the Western world, not everywhere), so more people are obese.

      neolithic staples like grains and beans are cheap. but one reason poor people eat less fruit and veggies is that they are expensive on a per calorie basis outside the tropics.

      my parents lived in brazil for a while. the impoverished locals had mango trees in their back yards.

      jorge videla

      July 11, 2014 at 7:16 PM

      • Jorge — When I was in Spain, I notice many prepacked goods had no funky chemicals, unlike here in the states where any sealed up food is usually laden with some kind of poisonite.

        America loves pimpin its citizens. In Germany and other countries health care and college tuition is free for all citizens.

        JS

        July 12, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      • Health care and college are not free for all in Germany.

        People are forced to buy health insurance or have medicaid. It is expensive and it is basically Obamacare. Health stats for whites in America are better than for whites in Germany.

        College is paid for if and only if you qualify to go at all and very few qualify, so the rest don’t go at all.

        Now, they do have good vocational ed that tracks people into jobs starting around 10th grade, so they are better managers of their lower performing folks. That is, they waste less money on college prep courses for low level nurses and other low skilled, (but not unskilled) workers.

        They are definitely more efficient, but no better with low IQ foreigners than we are with same.

        not too late

        July 13, 2014 at 9:10 PM

      • Really? The USA ranks low on health measures. Just check any rankings and the USA fall short of Germany.

        Most people don’t belong in college, and it’s not the college education of post K-12 daycare education that many Americans are enrolled in. It’s a big joke!

        JS

        July 14, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      • i’ll post it again and lion will not post it again:

        to the extent that elite status is mediated by elite education the american elite is, as a result of its almost uninque education system pushy, obedient, and stupid.

        foreigners who can’t get into uni in their home countries, because they can’t pass the exams, come to the us and get PhDs.

        my former boss and company owner’s daughter had to take the gre over and over again, because she was so stupid. now she’s a professor at a flagship state uni. an employee of my father’s had to take the lsat over and over again, because she was so stupid. both has straight As.

        only canada is worse. as a result its best unis are overrun with ne asian strivers.

        jorge videla

        July 14, 2014 at 8:27 PM

  7. “Larry Summers has been reading the Lion’s blog” — yes, like that.

    rivsdiary

    July 11, 2014 at 3:59 AM

  8. I have always maintained if I ran for public office, I would try to hire Lion, Sailer, and JayMan as consultants.

    uatu

    July 11, 2014 at 4:18 AM

    • When word gets out that you have racists working for you, you would get impeached.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 11, 2014 at 6:49 AM

      • Not happening in Europe right now, the impeachments I mean. Just the opposite ‘nationalists’ are coming into power. History sometimes moves in lurches. I won’t be surprised if there is a big lurch that direction sometime soon. People seem to be picking up on the Zimmerman, Sterling, Cumia thing and seem annoyed by how far it has gone. Black culture in general seems to be losing its cool.

        Curle

        July 11, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      • You can keep your identity hidden. Not many know who you are.

        AsianDude

        July 11, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      • but not if the “racist” is black, like jayman claims to be.

        jorge videla

        July 11, 2014 at 7:17 PM

  9. Well I’m sure there are plenty of openings in Government. They could join the SEC and monitor porn for instance. Or, perhaps they can work at the welfare office explaining to recent invaders that we’re broke and the gravy train derailed down a one-way cliff!

    Joshua Sinistar

    July 11, 2014 at 5:06 AM

    • yeah ’cause the securities and exchange commission investigates porn.

      jorge videla

      July 11, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    • Try getting a job in the federal government, smartass. They aren’t handing them out. Only place you can still get a pension, which were somehow killing private businesses despite decades of increased productivity, profits, and no wage growth.

      Ham Man

      July 12, 2014 at 12:16 AM

      • exactly right.

        govt employment is 12% not 1/3. it used to pay less than the private sector. it now pays more.

        in america it’s not “the employer of last resort”.

        and in japan and france the best uni students prefer govt employment.

        arminio fraga was right. buckley was wrong. “good government” is not a contradiction in terms.

        but destructure very likely makes his living in activities which were illegal not too long ago.

        jorge videla

        July 12, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      • http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_201.htm

        well here it’s 15% of employment. and the federal govt is only 2%.

        and the dyseconomy of govt is almost entirely in the number employed to “make nothing but trouble”.

        the transfer payments shouldn’t have much effect on economic growth or efficiency except what’s wasted on the military.

        jorge videla

        July 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      • “but destructure very likely makes his living in activities which were illegal not too long ago.”

        Indeed I do. I’m a heterosexual adult actor who works under the name of ‘Big Schlomo’. It’s a tribute to my heritage. Not really. But I thought it would help me in the movie industry. Anyway, I’ve starred in such movies as Bright Lights Big Titty and Beverly Hills 9021H0. If you’re looking to supplement your income there are some upcoming productions perfect for your… alternate lifestyle. There’s Dookie Howser, Inrearendence Day and another that would play nicely off your family history — BiTanic. You can play the leading shemale character as the ‘Insatiable Molly Brown’.

        destructure

        July 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      • leave the comedy to funny people d, but…let’s see…

        “i used to be a programmer and now i work in a very prole business on two continents and two women have offered me a threesome and i’m a libertarian…”

        reasonable to conclude you are a pornographer.

        i on the other hand am livin’ the dream as a warehouse boy at an mro company.

        jorge videla

        July 14, 2014 at 12:24 AM

      • “i used to be a programmer

        False. I was never a programmer.

        and now i work in a very prole business

        Partially true. I wouldn’t say it’s “very” prole. And no one would call Col Sanders prole just because he worked at KFC.

        “on two continents”

        True.

        “and two women have offered me a threesome”

        True. But two offers would technically include four women. I declined.

        “and i’m a libertarian…”

        Not exactly. Perhaps this Venn will explain my position on the political spectrum. Btw, if they’d included “authoritarians” you would be in the “flaky authoritarian” group.

        destructure

        July 14, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      • well if you deny the truth of other things you’ve said, i guess you’re just as likely to be communist as what you say you are. i’m still betting your trade is illegal or was.

        o contraire.

        i belong in the group with gandhi. the libertarian liberal group.

        but as any adult knows who isn’t a sociopath. the free market can sometimes reduce human freedom. and govt can increase it.

        jorge videla

        July 14, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      • here’s the test http://www.politicalcompass.org/test.

        and you do know d that danes are the happiest people in the world right?

        jorge videla

        July 14, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      • and btw, there’s a much much better porno title from my mom’s side. specifically my great great granddad, who was born in madrid.

        see if you can figure it out.

        jorge videla

        July 14, 2014 at 7:34 PM

      • I haven’t denied anything. I said “not exactly”. My position is more nuanced than simply claiming a label. In order to understand it you have to understand the 4 main group on the political spectrum:

        Authoritarians want regulated economics and restricted personal behavior
        Liberals want regulated economics and unrestricted personal behavior
        Conservatives want deregulated economics and restricted personal behavior
        Libertarians want unregulated economics and unrestricted personal behavior

        As shown, liberals and conservatives are opposite as well as authoritarians and libertarians being opposite. But liberals and conservatives both share half their values in common with both authoritarians and libertarians. So if someone is fiscal libertarian then they’re not much different than a conservative in that respect. What makes them different is their views on personal behavior. My views on personal behavior are conservative. So once again, I’m not much different than any other conservative. I’m a little more willing to tolerate idiocy when it doesn’t personally affect me. But mostly it’s a case of my personal preferences balanced against a healthy distrust and desire to limit government intrusion. That puts me in the overlap between libertarians and conservatives described in the earlier venn diagram.

        “i belong in the group with gandhi. the libertarian liberal group.”

        Why don’t you take the test and see how close you actually come to ghandi? I’m betting you’re much closer to Stalin. I took it and landed about where friedman is. If you’ll notice he’s much more to the right and only moderately libertarian. Of course, the test was created by some professors who admittedly have their heads up the arse of the frankfurt school. So make of it what you will.

        http://www.politicalcompass.org/test

        “but as any adult knows who isn’t a sociopath. the free market can sometimes reduce human freedom. and govt can increase it.”

        So anyone who disagrees with you is either not an “adult” or a “sociapath”? That comment strongly suggests you’re really an extreme liberal rather than a libertarian. On pg 287 of The Righteous Mind, Dr Haidt discusses a study in which he asks liberals, moderates and conservatives to discuss issues as if they’re first a liberal and then a conservative. Moderates and conservatives could answer correctly both ways. But liberals couldn’t with the most extreme liberals simply describing the conservative positions as “evil” and “stupid”. It’s not simply that they disagreed with conservative positions. They couldn’t even understand the motives behind them.

        destructure

        July 14, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      • you’re a joke. i’d taken the test years ago. and i took it again before i posted the link.

        my point on the grid WAS the mahatma’s.

        but the libertarian left (left by american standards) is an oxymoron for american libertarians even though it’s the majority of elite opinion even in america.

        jorge videla

        July 15, 2014 at 1:36 AM

      • my politics are not ideological. i don’t give a damn what works. all i care is that it works. but the political discussion is always about ideas and theories and never about practical things. that is, 99% of it is bs.

        in then end politics is not much a question of which outcomes people value. these are pretty much the same for everyone. it’s a question of facts and the interpretation of those facts. but people hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see.

        and no, not anyone who disagrees with me. but my experience is that empathy is lacking in a lot of people. especially when it comes to empathy for people who don’t look like them or people with a different background. i don’t believe in stupid things like “sociopaths” or “aspies” in any medical sense, but they are descriptive terms for some people i’ve met. especially the nouveau riche.

        but not always.

        i met a woman on a flight a long time ago. she was retiring at 41. she’d made her pile in mortgage securitization.

        “he who has the gold makes the rules…it’s not what you know. it’s who you know…” she told me.

        jorge videla

        July 15, 2014 at 1:49 AM

      • but propositions like:

        1. america is a meritocracy
        2. you only get what you give
        3. talent will out
        4. “there is no such thing as society…” thatcher
        5. no one has anyone to blame but themselves
        etc.

        i do not regard these as mere points of view with which i disagree. i regard them as patently absurd. as things only a self-absorbed nerdy pimply adolescent could possible think were even approximately true.

        jorge videla

        July 15, 2014 at 2:05 AM

      • “you’re a joke. i’d taken the test years ago. and i took it again before i posted the link.”

        The joke is that people often view themselves in terms that boost their egos based on their purported values rather than what they really do. I’ve long noticed those who tout how much they “care” and “help others” are often the snakes who bite the second you turn your back. I’d wondered why — is it a guilty concious trying to salve itself? Or is it that people who think they’re more caring than others don’t act on it simply because they feel more “caring” without actually doing anything? As demonstrated in the 2007 book Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism religious people who, by the way, are overwhelmingly conservative are the driving force behind charity. Not only reiligious charities but they give more to secualar charities as well. While the “caring and compassionate” secular humanists / socialists give squat. That would be you. You’re no ghandi.

        “my politics are not ideological. i don’t give a damn what works. all i care is that it works.”

        No. Your politics is psychological. It’s not based on what works at all. The data is absolutely clear that the most effective system for improving the standard of living for the most people is free market. You and other secular humanists, socialists, etc continually tout the Scandinavian model like a mantra. But you’ve never actually bothered to look under the hood at the engine that actually powers it. No doubt you’ll make hay about this beung a youtube video as a deflection. But he’s merely providing the data that corresponds to the argument.

        (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNtyV0CXfzU&feature=kp)

        You similarly grasped at the Dane’s “happiness ranking.” But once again you didn’t bother to look at the details. Well, I did. It’s because the country has a high degree of trust as a result of being among the most homogeneous. I’d also point out that Denmark deregulated it’s labor market 20 years ago making it one of the freest in Europe. So, no, socialism doesn’t work and never has. But you cling to it for psychological reasons.

        “and no, not anyone who disagrees with me. but my experience is that empathy is lacking in a lot of people. especially when it comes to empathy for people who don’t look like them or people with a different background.”

        That’s because you’re psychologicallt defective. I don’t think there’s any need to repeat Haidt’s study again in this comment other than to say you’re a living proof of it.

        destructure

        July 15, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      • “the most effective system for improving the standard of living for the most people is free market”

        The highest standard of living is in developed countries that are not pure laissez faire but rather have a significant amount of socialism, and that includes the United States.

        It also may be that union laws significantly boosted the standard of living for the middle-class in post-WWII USA.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 16, 2014 at 1:08 AM

      • it’s amazing how those danes are the happiest in the world and have the highest tax rate in the world. isn’t it d?

        jorge videla

        July 16, 2014 at 1:25 AM

      • listen and learn from a man MUCH smarter than you d.


        the people who make life better are few. a few engineers and scientists. their research and institutions funded almost exclusively be GOVERNMENT. bean counters and lawyers are largely expendable.

        jorge videla

        July 16, 2014 at 2:26 AM

      • “The highest standard of living is in developed countries that are not pure laissez faire but rather have a significant amount of socialism, and that includes the United States.”

        That’s because there are no pure laissez faire countries. But what you said isn’t true. If you compare countries by per capita GDP against economic freedom index you’ll see that the countries with the highest per capita GDP are usually developed countries with the least amount of socialism. Then, if you look at their historic per capita GDP, you’ll see they started their ascent and had their biggest periods of growth before instituting any significant socialism. Free market growth came first and socialism came second.

        “It also may be that union laws significantly boosted the standard of living for the middle-class in post-WWII USA.”

        Are you suggesting unions did something to increase productivity? Because that’s the only way I know to increase GDP. Otherwise, they’re merely increasing wages for their privileged members by restricting entry into occupations for non union workers.

        destructure

        July 16, 2014 at 9:16 AM

      • GDP is nothing but the total dollar value of all commercial transactions. It’s not a measure of productivity.

      • jorge videla

        July 16, 2014 at 7:11 PM

      • here’s the very latest on median wealth per adult. denmark, sweden, france etc. all higher than les etats-unis.

        jorge videla

        July 16, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      • although taxes as % of gdp and median wealth aren’t normally distributed, it may still be useful to know that…there is no pearson correlation at all between the two for the oecd.

        jorge videla

        July 16, 2014 at 7:52 PM

      • omg! are you high?

        obviously their fastest growth was prior to “socialism”…whatever you mean by that. and russia’s fastest growth was under stalinism in the 1930s. BIG WHOOP. uncle joe did in one decade what it had taken the uk the entire 19th c to do. that doesn’t mean old dzhugahvilli was a good guy.

        “economic freedom” isn’t just about taxes d. australia, switzerland, nz, and canada ALL have higher taxes than the us. i’m 100% for as much freedom as possible d. i agree with the catechism on that. but maximizing one aspect of freedom often means reducing another. and sweden and finland are at the top in competitiveness.

        when my dad opened a food co-op in brazil it took him 6 months to cut through all the red tape and bribe all the officials. you think i’m in favor of that? but i guarantee brazil had lower taxes in the late 60s than the us.

        somewhere along the way you got confused between freedom and laissez-faire capitalism. ONLY in america!

        liberals say “because racism”. american conservatives say “because socialism”. both are retards.

        jorge videla

        July 17, 2014 at 3:33 AM

      • Leon — “GDP is nothing but the total dollar value of all commercial transactions. It’s not a measure of productivity.”

        Agreed. Thanks for the correction. GDP isn’t a perfect measure of productivity. GDP can’t tell us whether the goods and services produced during a particular period of time are a reflection of real wealth expansion, or a reflection of capital consumption. For example, if a government starts building pyramids then GDP would regard it as economic growth while it does nothing to increase actual wealth. That’s because GDP measures flows not stocks. If a country is selling off it’s assets then GDP would measure this as growth when it’s really just depleting assets. Saudi Arabia’s oil is a perfect example. But you know as well as I do that GDP is still a useful indicator of productivity.

        **

        Ross — “my bad. danes are 2.5x as rich as americans. yet americans have the lowest taxes in the oecd and danes the highest! here’s the very latest on median wealth per adult. denmark, sweden, france etc. all higher than les etats-unis.

        And Americans have both higher income and per capita gdp than all of them. Nicholas Cage earned $140 million but he’s broke. As are 60% of NBA players within 5 years of retiring. There’s a difference between wealth and income.

        “obviously their fastest growth was prior to “socialism”…whatever you mean by that. “

        I explained what I meant. You can’t simply look at a country’s social spending and assume that’s what made it successful since the social spending came after the success. Your Soviet example was cherry picked. It’s a special case since the Bolshevik Revolution came before it’s industrial revolution. So it did have some fast growth due to industrialization. But it still never reached the level of success found in other countries that attained success under free market.

        ““economic freedom” isn’t just about taxes “

        No kidding. I shook my head every time you touted Denmark’s high taxes. Denmark has one of the freest economies in the world in spite of higher taxes. So their higher taxes are at least partially offset by less regulation.

        “when my dad opened a food co-op in brazil it took him 6 months to cut through all the red tape and bribe all the officials. you think i’m in favor of that? but i guarantee brazil had lower taxes in the late 60s than the us.”

        I’ve done business in Mexico. I know all about red tape and bribing officials. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t bribing officials for favors. I had to bribe them just to do their job. Is that socialism, crony capitalism or just corruption? Regardless, it’s the same disease. In all cases the government is interfering in the market. And when you put power in the hands of bureaucrats they abuse it no matter what you call it.

        PS: Take the time to make a single, coherent argument. There’s no need for multiple comments and barely relevant links.

        destructure

        July 17, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      • ps: are you the guy who makes those woman and horse vids in mexico?

        i honestly don’t think you know what coherent or relevant means?

        jorge videla

        July 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

  10. I’d rather pick up garbage or even sponge the street than play WOW all day long, or even than adjunct-teach as I do now (even if I made the same pay) because I’d feel that I was actually doing something helpful in the public realm. I looked into Prospect Park garbage-picker jobs, but they only hire welfare recipients. But I suspect the Prospect Park garbage-pickers would rather continue doing that than play WOW all day. Of course, they mainly just sit around and chat. Still, they probably feel that they’re sitting around and chatting in a public-spirited, generally helpful sort of way. And they actually ARE helpful, when they have special opportunities for helpfulness!

    Zerg

    July 11, 2014 at 6:13 AM

    • It’s not hard to find creative ways to make unproductive people feel productive. How about playing WOW as a game evaluator or tester, so that one feels like there’s a purpose to it?

      JS

      July 11, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      • Well the whole point of WoW is that it creates the ILLUSION that you are doing something important. That’s why 15 million people may money to play it.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 11, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      • Giving money to someone to play WOW without a purpose would make that person feel unproductive. There are people who actually play video games and write reviews of them for a living.

        JS

        July 12, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      • “It’s not hard to find creative ways to make unproductive people feel productive.” ——————————— Another topic Lion understands well. When we comment on this blog do we think we are being productive? Perhaps this blog is some sort of facebook-style psych experiment.

        Curle

        July 12, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      • We needn’t settle on a single approach. While WOW can take care of a certain segment, higher education can pick up the slack for serious people accumulating human capital. Allow students to take courses, live in dorms and eat at the cafeteria for however long they want, free of charge.

        Glengarry

        July 14, 2014 at 1:33 AM

      • Many people wouldn’t mind being perpetual students. I’ve seen individuals who are way beyond their prime trying to act like undergrads.

        JS

        July 15, 2014 at 8:11 AM

      • Basic income would be a godsend for doctoral students, who are basically living on poverty wages, while their tenured mentors have a 6 figure salary with benefits.

        JS

        July 15, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    • The NAM Welfare recipients in Prospect Park are lazy asses who sit and around chat, instead of doing their work?

      Welcome to NYC with its Liberal Dysfunction!

      JS

      July 11, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      • Social welfare is a drop in the bucket. I don’t understand why the right thinks it’s bankrupting us. Lazy thinking I suppose, and it supports what you obviously already believe. End welfare and you won’t get a raise. That money will be siphoned off by the 0.001%, same as everything else that isn’t nailed down. Actually the middle class would end paying for it somehow.

        Ham Man

        July 12, 2014 at 12:28 AM

      • In my other posting, I said welfare in America are given to the wrong people. Affordable housing in NYC is mostly a NAM thing. Most NAMs in NYC are undereducated and a lot of them are on some other form of welfare. Why not provide affordable housing for individuals with college degrees who will likely make good use of the welfare subsidies provided to them?

        JS

        July 12, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      • correct again. welfare and all other “social programs” are nothing compared to soc sec and medicare and the military.

        it’s the stupidity stupid.

        jorge videla

        July 12, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      • “correct again. welfare and all other “social programs” are nothing compared to soc sec and medicare and the military.”

        Actually, welfare spending (including unemployment and housing) at all levels of government is over $500 billion a year. So that’s a cool trillion every two years. Even in this age of insane government deficits, that’s a damn lot of money. Education is another trillion a year, much of that totally wasted.

        So between welfare and education, both of which one can reasonably argue should have zero percent government involvement, we spend $1.5 trillion each year.

        peterike

        July 12, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      • America is not bankrupt as along as our government prints more money and the average citizen lives extremely frugally (i.e. 3rd World living wages).

        JS

        July 13, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      • Social welfare, aka Social Security and Medicare are by no means drops in the bucket.

        Remember all the welfare folk will be on SSI when they get to retirement age and they will be on Medicare.

        Medicare is a gigantic share of federal expenditures.

        not too late

        July 13, 2014 at 9:16 PM

      • actually peter it all depends on what you count as welfare. do you count the gop backed earned income tax credit?

        direct cash payments to poor folks is only about 6.5 b per year or .18% of the fed budget. it’s less than it was 20 years ago NOT adjusted for inflation.

        jorge videla

        July 14, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    • Adjunct professor, I feel for you. When I was in that gig, sponging the streets was looking great to me, too.

      Walla_Walla_Sam

      July 11, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      • And yet there are huge numbers of qualified applicants for each adjunct job posting. Go figure.

        Peter

        ironrailsironweights

        July 12, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      • Like the moniker BTW. Whittie?

        Curle

        July 12, 2014 at 1:07 PM

  11. Zerg is what is wrong with many American citizens – Typical prolish attitude, that everything must have an immediate pragmatic value or else it’s not worth engaging in.

    Don’t be surprised if proles continue to harp on the idea that one needs to work hard and embark in vocational endeavors to make a living, even when automation has replaced human labor.

    JS

    July 11, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    • yes. american conservatives believe that “talent will out.”

      not even close. culture, connections, and how rich your parents are matter a lot more.

      jorge videla

      July 12, 2014 at 7:12 PM

  12. Be careful if global arch criminal Summers is reading your blog. He may decide to loot you, the way he helped loot Russia.

    “There are many more Americans who are obese than who are undernourished, for example.”

    This isn’t strictly true. Those people are BOTH obese and undernourished. They’re obese because they eat fake, processed industrial “food” yet I’m sure if you checked their levels of vitamins, minerals, etc. they would have significant shortages across the board.

    peterike

    July 11, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    • Diseases caused by vitamin or mineral deficiency are extraordinarily rare in the United States.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 11, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      • peterike likely believes in the usrda for vits and mins.

        these numbers are basically made up.

        rickets, scurvy, pellagra, etc. simply don’t exist in developed countries.

        but the diseases of civilization are “food born”. high sodium to potassium and high omega 6 to omega 3 is bad for you.

        jorge videla

        July 12, 2014 at 7:15 PM

  13. OT: article on what a sweet deal employers are getting on their salaried workers as the overtime exemption threshold has only been updated once since 1975, and is only $455 per week – less than half of what it was worth in 1975.

    Why such disproportionate attention being paid to the minimum wage, instead of this law, which affects far more families?

    http://www.epi.org/publication/ib381-update-overtime-pay-rules/

    Fiddlesticks

    July 11, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    • “Why such disproportionate attention being paid to the minimum wage, instead of this law, which affects far more families?”

      Because it can’t be used by the Democraps as a hammer with which to pummel Republicans. Also, the vast majority of people on salary are white or Asian, while blacks, Mexicans, and other poor folks are rarely salaried.

      coolhandle

      July 11, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    • Why the disproportionate attention being paid to the minimum wage? Could it be that its insignificance is a feature not a bug. Because bread and circuses is the whole point of our political culture.

      Curle

      July 12, 2014 at 1:39 AM

  14. You give your stuff away for free. I’m working on my own theory. It’s called Idea Transference.

    Dave

    July 11, 2014 at 11:14 AM

  15. Sorry, but John Kenneth Galbraith, who was the most prominent economist of the US for many decades, advanced these ideas long ago. Galbraith was defeated by Milton Friedman and has since been forgotten. But when Summers grew up, Galbraith was omnipresent, so he must be familiar with his ideas. Given Larence Summerse gigantic ego, he probably convinced himself that these are his own unique insights.

    Galbraith opposed population growth, of course. You can’t move post scarcity without stable or declining population. And then there is the decline of natural resources. Paul R. Ehrlich probably killed Galbraith’s post-scarcity more than anyone.

    Contrarian

    July 11, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    • and what ultimately matters is health expectancy.

      i’d rather live to 100 as a savage than die from ischemic heart disease in my 60s a rich manhattanite.

      obviously savages are shorter lived than rich manhattanites, but why?

      jorge videla

      July 11, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    • The ideas of automation leading to joblessness and the advent of a post-scarcity economy (a prime example of potentially misleading terminology, unfortunately) are by no means unique to Lion. I’ve seen dozens of widely viewed and heavily commented-upon reddit threads discussing such and they link to numerous and widely disparate sources. At this point, these ideas seem well on their way to entering into mainstream consciousness.

      Now, if someone mentions WOW-based welfare payments, that would be truly unique.

      anon

      July 12, 2014 at 12:40 AM

  16. WOW, selfies, facebook,tweeting, snapchat, candycrush – these activities do create economic value and million of Americans, including the unemployed of mostly low IQ, use these services to consume, communicate and whittle away the time. The companies are worth a combined 200 billion, 100+ billion fr facebook alone, so there is a lot of economic value being generated with activities that many dismiss as worthless or useless..

    grey enlightenment

    July 11, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    • i dismiss “WOW, selfies, facebook, tweeting, snapchat, candycrush” as worthless.

      i don’t even know what snapchat and candycrush are. and i don’t want to know.

      jorge videla

      July 12, 2014 at 4:36 AM

  17. LotB: A few months from now, will Summers suggest that the solution to unemployment is paying people to play World of Warcraft?

    Before Labor Day, Larry Summers will confirm that Staten Island is full of guidos and proles.

    E. Rekshun

    July 11, 2014 at 7:37 PM

  18. i hope the end of cheap energy puts breaks on the roboconomy.

    james n.s.w

    July 11, 2014 at 7:55 PM

  19. It is possible to live on $4000 a year. Plenty of people in the third world do it. Yes, it’s poverty, but they are not all starving to death. You can make $4000 by working 2000 hours at $2 an hour. Pretty much everybody can do something worth $2 an hour.

    This is all about people wanting more than they produce. Sorry, if you can’t or won’t bake a pie, there is no reason you should get to take some of mine.

    BehindTheLines

    July 11, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    • Look at third world workers and your dumb argument falls apart. Taking your pie, Jesus Christ.

      Ham Man

      July 12, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    • You are not taking into account the fact that housing if impossible to obtain in the US on such a low budget. In third world countries, there are shanty towns that poor people can live in. In the US such construction is illegal and you become homeless.

      AsianDude

      July 12, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    • What is America giving the world in exchange for them propping up our currency? We convince some percent of our young men to become cannon fodder so the rest of the world doesn’t have to send their boys to do the same.

      Curle

      July 12, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    • I completely agree with you except for in your numbers. It would not be possible to live in the US on $4000 a year without gov assistance. Think about it, $500 a month in rent would equal $6000 a year. Poverty level in the US is $12500 a year and that would be a tough living without assistance.

      Walla_Walla_Sam

      July 12, 2014 at 4:14 AM

      • Should be easy to do. You can look up on Zillow mortgage in the US for a house as low as $50/month. Add $50 for utilities on top of it. Food for one person: $100/mo will be enough if you cook. Clothing: $30/month. $25 for incidentals, $14 for bus pass – like 5 day/month pass. And you still have about $100/mo for vacation or whatever luxury items you need.

        MyTwoCents

        July 12, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      • How can you live without a mobile phone or high-speed internet?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 12, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      • Mobile phone? It will be about $7 per month. And $9.99 initial investment for the phone itself. High speed internet is free at the library. You really don’t need much money to live a happy life. Most of the money we spend just generates more spending – like a spending multiplier.

        MyTwoCents

        July 13, 2014 at 3:47 AM

      • These figures are not realistic.

        Panther of the Blogocube

        July 14, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      • They are very realistic. 10th percentile monthly salary of graduate teaching assistant in the US is $849 per month. Many of them have families with not working wife and one or two children. And naturally, they would not use government assistance for multiple reasons. You do the calculation and tell me if the numbers above are realistic or not.

        MyTwoCents

        July 14, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    • yeah that’s it. that’s the ticket.

      “cost of living/purchasing power”, he mumbled.

      hey all. behind the lines has a new book, “norway on $11 a day.”

      where does lion get these people?

      jorge videla

      July 12, 2014 at 4:39 AM

    • Paying someone to blog on LoftB = Self Actualization

      JS

      July 12, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      • I love this… I wish I could have some for doing this… or being paid to attend Smogon University.

        Latias

        July 12, 2014 at 5:28 PM

  20. Or maybe Larry Summers read Peter Diamandis’ “Age of Abundance,” or any of Ray Kurzweil’s books.

    Sorry pal.

    KaptinKaos

    July 12, 2014 at 10:03 PM

  21. We have come to the conclusion that SWPLs dislike Proles very much because of their parochialism and perpetual working class status, and there is no excuse for them not to be dynamic individuals where they are rising above their ignorance. I’m just wondering if the economic downfall of our big liberal cities is what SWPLs are unintentionally hoping for and at their great expense as well. A move of the power centers of sophisticated urbanity to smaller towns, perhaps to industrial ones, where doing business would be significantly cheaper than let’s say a place such as NYC, which has good consequences for the demographic that SWPLs love to berate and condescend.

    The Big Apple is set to lose many “good paying” office jobs. Let’s ship those jobs to Topeka, Kansas or Youngstown, Ohio, where proles could get a shot at Wall St. and Madison Avenue. Further, I really think the city really needs an emptying out of citizens, so upgrades and demolitions could take place, in order to tear down all of those crusty old edifices that NYC has been here for decades, if not centuries.

    http://nypost.com/2013/09/21/ny-may-lose-100k-good-jobs-by-15/

    New York is at the epicenter of a wider bloodbath — a staggering 1.85 million back-office jobs projected gone from North America from 2002 to 2017, hundreds of thousands of them in New York, according to new research by The Hackett Group. Blame it on offshoring and economic fundamentals like tepid growth and technological efficiencies, it says.

    JS

    July 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

  22. when is lion going to weigh in on hbd and football?

    the son of an eminent professor!

    football is just football. unless it’s football.

    jorge videla

    July 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

  23. “Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans has won.”

    —Gary Lineker

    jorge videla

    July 13, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    • I think you’re confusing “football” with soccer.

    • I think you’re confusing “football” with soccer.

      Soccer’s sudden popularity was another manifestation of SWPL status signalling, the only reason why they pretended to like this awful ‘sport’.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      July 13, 2014 at 11:21 PM

      • soccer is excellent though it it is hilarious that is is considered ‘swpl’ when the whole world considers it VERY prole, especially in europe. Rugby, Tennis, and Cricket are considered much more upper class.

        Once again americans make themselves look like fools in the eyes of the rest of the world with their taste.

        uatu

        July 14, 2014 at 12:10 AM

      • And, I’ll bet they all refer to it as “football” instead of soccer.

        CamelCaseRob

        July 14, 2014 at 5:49 AM

      • @ uatu

        Most Americans are prole. I said this before over and over again!

        Generally speaking, Americans cannot think critically. They have no cultural capital, know nothing of history, philosophy, or language, and can only speak of money making.

        JS

        July 14, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      • @uatu

        right. it was a bit of a scandal when prince william played soccer in school. it’s the sport of the blacks in za.
        the whites play rugby.

        i guess even the proliest of sports isn’t prole enough for americans.

        jorge videla

        July 14, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      • @ uatu

        Does the “soccer as class marker” thing ever appear outside of the UK? It doesn’t appear to.

        Renault

        July 15, 2014 at 2:28 AM

    • would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

      which “sport” is more aptly called “football”? or as they call it in brah-zee-oo, foo-chee-ball.

      in which sport must one usually be a freak?

      american football = gladiators, slightly more sophisticated than professional wrestling.

      jorge videla

      July 13, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    • i’m biased.

      i played soccer and was very very good at it.

      an example of how the country one is born in affects one’s life so much irrespective of talent.

      outside the us, canuckistan, the antipodes, and za i’d have been playing for my national team. i was that good.

      jorge videla

      July 13, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      • My father in law was a professional soccer player. Unfortunately, that was before athletes made much money.

        destructure

        July 14, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      • Soccer is unwatcheable. And what of it the rest of the world is obsessed with it? Most of the world is poor.

        I propose the major international American sport of choice be hockey. Hockey’s starting lineups and are whiter than the Arctic, it’s exciting, we’d be playing all Northern European and Slavic teams, and unlike soccer it’s an actual sport.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        July 14, 2014 at 8:44 PM

  24. Soccer/futbol is too universal to be considered prole. Of course, some fans are prolish or worse. But it really is widely popular across most social classes in Europe, Latin America, actually almost everywhere except northern america.
    Sure, tennis, riding, yachting/sailing are rich people’s sports, but besides tennis (which is not as upper(middle)class as it used to be) noone wants to watch this stuff.
    (Rugby and Cricket are virtually unknown outside of Britain and the Commonwealth)

    nomen nescio

    July 14, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    • Sounds like baseball in the United States.

      • I’ve always wondered why tennis is a rich person’s sport. Unlike horseback riding, yachting, or even skiing, it does not require sophisticated equipment or special facilities.

        AsianDude

        July 14, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      • It used to be played on grass tennis courts which are expensive.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 14, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      • Baseball doesn’t have hooligan gangs. Last time I visited Britain it seemed the soccer stadiums were in prolish neighborhoods and the press present the sport as one dominated by proles. The Sun newspaper exists to publish soccer news and pictures of topless women. Check out the first two minutes of this documentary about British soccer hooligans.

        Curle

        July 14, 2014 at 8:46 PM


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