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lower class whites lack “morality”
Posted: 13 May 2012 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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I wonder if seeing a conscious conspiracy in the growth of class inequality isn’t a little like experiencing a natural phenomenon and explaining it as caused by a conscious supernatural power. Religions centered on an omnipotent God figure are very similar to conspiracy theories, in that we choose to believe some unknown force or being (s) is exercising control over our lives. I think it’s probably a lot easier to “discern” a conspiracy then it is to actual create one.  Our suspicion of conspiratorial control may be linked to the impressive, but not always accurate, ability we have to recognize patterns. 

I’m saying “conscious” conspiracy for I think that there is a sort of unconscious conspiracy which may occur as a result of the fundamental ways our brains have evolved to survive.  Instinctively we want to have control.  We need to have access to food, and other resources, and to be able to reproduce, so we have evolved behaviors to achieve these ends.  I don’t think we are particularly aware of these behaviors and when we all unconsciously perform these relatively simple actions instinctively and unthinkingly, the end results of millions of individuals acting in these ways, which may be difficult to predict and often counter productive, appear to be conspiratorial.

As far as the erosion of morality in the lower classes, some of this problem may relate to learned helplessness.  Individuals who can not change their situation, particularly if it is unpleasant may well develop an apathetic attitude which can easily be seen as laziness.  http://psychology.about.com/od/lindex/f/earned-helplessness.htm

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Posted: 13 May 2012 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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DarronS - 09 May 2012 07:34 PM
psikeyhackr - 09 May 2012 10:00 AM

I asked a PhD economist at the University of Chicago to explain how a piston engine worked.  He couldn’t do it.  And I have seen this dude on television talking about economics.

BFD. Would you ask a mechanical engineer to explain economics?

I might ask him to explain basic accounting.  How often do you hear economists talk about that?

Why did you say, “mechanical engineer”?  Don’t you expect an auto mechanic to know that.  I have never pulled a cam shaft out of a real engine but I know what it is and what it does and I am not a mechanical engineer.  The economist I asked owned a car and that technology is over 100 years old.  I think most 8th graders should be able to explain how a piston engine works.  We just waste too much of kid’s time on learning to spell words that are hardly ever used.

Try a sci-fi story that talks about simple technology:

Deathworld II (The Ethical Engineer)  by Harry Harrison
http://www.feedbooks.com/book/4583/the-ethical-engineer

psik

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Posted: 13 May 2012 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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While the economist couldn’t explain the workings of an internal combustion engine, I’ve been fascinated by quite a few physical scientists and engineers who are amazingly certain they completely understand economics then spout the most bizarre ideas.  It doesn’t seem to be as much knowing areas outside one’s field of expertise as it is how large the ego of the person is.  smile

One problem is that economics covers so much of human activity that it’s extremely complex, so much so, that when an economist focuses on one section of behavior, s/he can arrive at very different ideas than someone who deals with another area.  In addition, many economists go into the field with strong preconceptions, and much of their work is proving them. 

A Libertarian friend was arguing for strongly conservative governmental behavior based on Laffer’s work.  I had never paid attention to that economist, but I went on the Internet, read what his ideas were, checked a couple of books from the local library and became fairly knowledgeable at least temporarily, and only in this very specific area.  This was an example of stating some relationships (which had first been expressed in the 13th century, but Laffer took credit), then extrapolating in a completely biased manner to make it look like lower taxes were the only way to go to fund government properly.  What the curve really showed was that there was A) an optimum taxation level to maximize government income, and B) that the worst thing the government could do was tax different entities (citizens and organizations) at different levels (e.g., specific deductions and exemptions). 

When I showed my documented write-up to my friend, he switched topics to health care and didn’t want to discuss Laffer anymore.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 13 May 2012 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Occam. - 13 May 2012 11:50 AM

While the economist couldn’t explain the workings of an internal combustion engine, I’ve been fascinated by quite a few physical scientists and engineers who are amazingly certain they completely understand economics then spout the most bizarre ideas.  It doesn’t seem to be as much knowing areas outside one’s field of expertise as it is how large the ego of the person is.  smile

One problem is that economics covers so much of human activity that it’s extremely complex, so much so, that when an economist focuses on one section of behavior, s/he can arrive at very different ideas than someone who deals with another area.  In addition, many economists go into the field with strong preconceptions, and much of their work is proving them.

Occam

I will agree with the ego business but I think there is also a related aspect.

We have lots of people pretending that their area of expertise is more difficult to comprehend than it really is and when they supposedly explain things they don’t.  They make it more confusing.  Like computers are easy to understand if you start off with learning how a von Neumann machine works.  But try finding a computer science book that does that.  Most do not even mention the term.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dg96tefnEU

I have talked to computer science majors who don’t even comprehend electricity.  What do they really think machine code is.  They are so lost in abstractions they don’t know the reality.

There were 200,000,000 cars in the United States in 1995.  Where does the economics profession discuss what is lost on the depreciation of automobiles every year?  Do they know?  Do they care?  When did they debate whether or not it is important?  But there were only 8,000 cars in the United States in 1900.  What did Adam Smith say about planned obsolescence?  Technology changed how the economy worked in the 20th century.  But people still have their economic thinking rooted in the 19th or 18th century.  NET Domestic Product gets about half a page in a 400 page economics book.

I say the economy depends on either complete ignorance on the part of most people or their believing lies.

This is the best economics book I know of:

The Screwing of the Average Man by David Hapgood
http://www.amazon.com/screwing-average-man-David-Hapgood/dp/B0006W84KK

psik

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Posted: 13 May 2012 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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psikeyhackr - 13 May 2012 03:51 PM

This is the best economics book I know of:

The Screwing of the Average Man by David Hapgood
http://www.amazon.com/screwing-average-man-David-Hapgood/dp/B0006W84KK

psik

While I agree with you on automobile depreciation, I find that title rather ironic for a $50 book.  wink

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Posted: 13 May 2012 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Jeciron - 13 May 2012 03:50 AM

I wonder if seeing a conscious conspiracy in the growth of class inequality isn’t a little like experiencing a natural phenomenon and explaining it as caused by a conscious supernatural power. Religions centered on an omnipotent God figure are very similar to conspiracy theories, in that we choose to believe some unknown force or being (s) is exercising control over our lives. I think it’s probably a lot easier to “discern” a conspiracy then it is to actual create one.  Our suspicion of conspiratorial control may be linked to the impressive, but not always accurate, ability we have to recognize patterns. 

I’m saying “conscious” conspiracy for I think that there is a sort of unconscious conspiracy which may occur as a result of the fundamental ways our brains have evolved to survive.  Instinctively we want to have control.  We need to have access to food, and other resources, and to be able to reproduce, so we have evolved behaviors to achieve these ends.  I don’t think we are particularly aware of these behaviors and when we all unconsciously perform these relatively simple actions instinctively and unthinkingly, the end results of millions of individuals acting in these ways, which may be difficult to predict and often counter productive, appear to be conspiratorial.

As far as the erosion of morality in the lower classes, some of this problem may relate to learned helplessness.  Individuals who can not change their situation, particularly if it is unpleasant may well develop an apathetic attitude which can easily be seen as laziness.  http://psychology.about.com/od/lindex/f/earned-helplessness.htm

There’s no “conspiracy’ in a winner take all world.  Look at the craziness of society in general.  Wars, starvation, fraud, marketeering,  fake and phony ideologues, etc…There’s no plan!  No conspiracies!  The current conspirators are tomorrows history.  Tomorrows also-rans. It’s one big orgy of consumption and deception.  A percentage of people are intelligent and cunning enough to create wealth and inequality.  Good for them in a Darwinian sense. But I agree Jericon, the only lasting conspiracy(unlike insider trading for example…) is Darwinian.

Labelling poor people as immoral is just a pathetic, pathetic technique that has been used for centuries.  It’s the poor people’s fault.  If only the poor people could improve their morals and pull themselves up than they too can make in one-hour what another person makes in a year!

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Posted: 13 May 2012 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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psikeyhackr - 09 May 2012 10:00 AM

I asked a PhD economist at the University of Chicago to explain how a piston engine worked.  He couldn’t do it.  And I have seen this dude on television talking about economics.


Whaen I was still working I recieved a call from economics prof who served as on advisory boards to more than one US Pres. writing IRS code.  The gentleman did not have the first idea how to fill out a basic income tax return, did not know that you reported speaking fees as self-employed income, how to report capital gains, as well as several other basics.  He called because he recieved a letter asking why he sent a payment with his return when his calculations showed we owed him a refund.  His answer was he knew he did something wrong and should owe something, but did not know what he did wrong.  (Basically every entry on the return.)  I advised him to respond by hiring a “competent” accountant to file an amended return.  (I had spent nearly an hour on this call without even getting him to understand the basics of the laws he helped write .  Just another member of the .1% I guess,  LOL

[ Edited: 13 May 2012 06:29 PM by garythehuman ]
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Posted: 13 May 2012 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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garythehuman - 13 May 2012 06:26 PM

psikeyhackr - 09 May 2012 10:00 AM

I asked a PhD economist at the University of Chicago to explain how a piston engine worked.  He couldn’t do it.  And I have seen this dude on television talking about economics.


Whaen I was still working I recieved a call from economics prof who served as on advisory boards to more than one US Pres. writing IRS code.  The gentleman did not have the first idea how to fill out a basic income tax return, did not know that you reported speaking fees as self-employed income, how to report capital gains, as well as several other basics.  He called because he recieved a letter asking why he sent a payment with his return when his calculations showed we owed him a refund.  His answer was he knew he did something wrong and should owe something, but did not know what he did wrong.  (Basically every entry on the return.)  I advised him to respond by hiring a “competent” accountant to file an amended return.  (I had spent nearly an hour on this call without even getting him to understand the basics of the laws he helped write .  Just another member of the .1% I guess,  LOL

  WTH!  That’s hilarious and cringeworthy at the same time.

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Posted: 13 May 2012 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Unfortunately it is also true.

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Posted: 14 May 2012 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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DarronS - 13 May 2012 04:07 PM
psikeyhackr - 13 May 2012 03:51 PM

This is the best economics book I know of:

The Screwing of the Average Man by David Hapgood
http://www.amazon.com/screwing-average-man-David-Hapgood/dp/B0006W84KK

psik

While I agree with you on automobile depreciation, I find that title rather ironic for a $50 book.  wink

As far as I know that book has been out of print for 30+ years.  So if they have new ones they have probably been accidentally stashed somewhere and could be quite rare.  It is because of that book that I decided there was something wrong with what I was taught about economics in college.  So I decided I was going to figure out what it was if I had to read Samuelson’s Economics cover to cover.  So that is what I started doing.  I would come home from work and read 10 or 15 pages every evening.

That is when I found the NET National Product.  They didn’t say domestic back then.  So that is how I noticed that our economics experts have been ignoring Demand Side Depreciation in every country world wide.  That was 1976.  The world population was probably about 4.2 billion back then.  So how many cars have Americans junked since then?  Why do economists in India ignore Demand Side Depreciation?  It is like European thinking is the standard for the world.

And we are listening to these clowns talk about economics for SEVEN BILLION People!?!?!

psik

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Posted: 14 May 2012 06:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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psikeyhackr - 14 May 2012 04:44 PM

So that is how I noticed that our economics experts have been ignoring Demand Side Depreciation in every country world wide.  That was 1976.  The world population was probably about 4.2 billion back then.

psik

How many economists talk about the true costs of goods and services? All we her about is the Gross Domestic Product. They ignore the environmental and other ancillary costs. Developers build a subdivision in farmland, and it counts as a positive for our GDP. They do not count the negative impacts of turning farms into housing developments. Mining companies tear up mountains in Montana, pollute the groundwater and make the air toxic, then declare bankruptcy to avoid the costs of cleaning up their messes. Yet the tax dollars spent on cleanup do not count against GDP.

Look at what happened to New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina. Billions of dollars in damages because we built on wetlands that used to protect the Gulf Coast from flooding. Yet we still consider unrestrained development as progress.

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Posted: 23 May 2012 01:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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I say this right now, anybody that says poor people commit more crime and immoral behavior is an idiot. I was a prefect at a posh boarding school, and I would say the rich commit more crime and immoral behavior because they know they will probably get away with it. I got accused many times for “borrowing material without permission”. A middle class kid that did half the stuff I did would have been thrown in juvenile detention. I replaced all the bibles in the chapel with the Thomas Jefferson bible in 9th year and all the headmaster did to punish me was put me in the debating club to release my “intellectual frustration”. If a kid hit another kid, he was put in sports. Im not saying this is a bad way to handle youth(I think it’s good) but people who dont have money dont get treated like this.

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Posted: 23 May 2012 01:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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I had a similar argument once with a wealthy doctor who maintained that poor people lied more than the rich.
My reply was that most poor people are poor because they are honest and do not take advantage of others and if they do lie it is more like “I stubbed my toe and can’t come in to work today”. At most he gains an earned sickday pay without being sick.
OTOH, when the rich man lies it is the Big lie, which usually has major financial impact on many. Examples of such lying manipulators abound, Enron, Madoff are but a few ezamples.

[ Edited: 23 May 2012 01:53 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 23 May 2012 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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zmullin - 23 May 2012 01:00 AM

I replaced all the bibles in the chapel with the Thomas Jefferson bible in 9th year and all the headmaster did to punish me was put me in the debating club to release my “intellectual frustration”.

I would have awarded you a medal for that.  LOL

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Posted: 23 May 2012 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Where did you get that many Jefferson Bibles from, zmullin?  smirk

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