Monday, June 18, 2012

On the Idiocy of the 1% Versus 99% Construct

a) It presumes homogeneity and permanence and clearly their isn't any. More than half of the people in the top 1% in 1996 were out of it by 2005 and that group as a whole (the actual human beings, I'm saying, and not the category, 1%) saw their income drop a full 26%. Couple that with the huge variability that exists within these groups (the 99%ers, for example, would include a 50 year-old hospital administrator making $170,000 a year and a 19 year-old fry-cook making minimum wage at McDonald's) and the absurdity becomes even more heightened.............b) It presumes that all of our problems can be solved by simply raising taxes on the wealthy. The fact of the matter is that even if we taxed everything over $250,000 a year at 100%, we would still have a deficit (never mind the negative effect that it would have on the economy - individuals generally spend their money more constructively and intelligently than the government) and that doesn't even take into account all of the other spending that lunatics like Krugman want to foist upon us. It's absurd.............c) It totally ignores, or at least skews, many of the other other issues that are presently hampering us. It doesn't, for example, address the fact that the American public school system is currently being rammed into the ground by a hugely bureaucratic, monopolistic, and recalcitrant pair of teacher's unions, or the fact that African-American illegitimacy is 4 times what it was 70 years ago, even though the African-American poverty rate was 4 times GREATER 70 years ago.............And d) have you actually seen some of these people (the guy who Hannity interviewed made Hannity look like Karl Popper). Not that the Tea-Partiers are necessarily some of the sharper tools in the shed, either, mind you, but at least they seemingly bathe.

35 comments:

w-dervish said...

Why attack the 99 percent when you're IN the 99 percent? It makes no sense... unless the person in question idolizes the wealthy. And that, IMO, is real idiocy.

dmarks said...

He's not in the "99%" of the Occupy movement. The occupy movement, according to the most recent polls, represents the interests of about one-quarter of the people, and it tends to be those of the left-wing pursuasion. As a moderate, Will's no left-winger.

Now, is Will represented by the Occupy movement? From reading this, it looks like he does not. He knows his life and situation, you do not, so you can't speak for him.

w-dervish said...

Will is a billionaire? Everything he's said leads me to believe otherwise. I think dmarks does not know Will's life and situation (and he also does not pay attention or he would know Will isn't a billionaire).

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I'm not attacking the 99%. I just said that it was highly variable group (as is the 1%) in terms of its constituents. That, and I don't particularly like this "versus" stuff.

dmarks said...

The occupy movement only represents 25% of Americans. That leaves 75%. Do the math, of course. Hardly any of these are billionaires, so it is totally illogical of you to connect Will with billionaires at all, WD.

w-dervish said...

The Occupy movment represents 99 percent of Americans. You're conflating representing and support. Some deluded people believe what benefits the plutocrats will benefit them.

The Occupy movement represents many who don't support them... poor deluded fools like Will, dmarks, and even Rusty.

Also, support for the Occupy movement is 43 percent, not 25. Opposition is 25 percent.

And most Americans agree that wealth has become too concentrated among a relatively small group of Americans: Two in three say that wealth is not distributed as equitably as it should be, while just one in four says wealth is distributed fairly.

So Will and dmarks are in the minority on this.

dmarks said...

Support for 'Occupy' has plummeted since last year. The poll that shows 25% support is much more recent than WD's. The movement's representation is no larger than their support. Will, Rusty, myself and the rest of the 75% who are not represented by 'Occupy' know our own lives, and you do not. It is the height of arrogance and complete ignorance for you to claim otherwise. WD, you are an expert on your own life and interest ... and no one else's. Speak not of matters you know nothing about... including the overwhelming majority of Americans who are not represented by your beloved narrow-interest group.

I trust the people on this, not arrogant know-nothings whose claims to speak for others are pure hot air.

w-dervish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
w-dervish said...

People "knowing their own lives" and being politically informed are two different things. dmarks likes to conflate the two so he can use this baloney "arrogant" insult. That said, dmarks' previous comment is nothing but pure hot air.

And support is also down for the Tea Party. People lose interest because most don't follow politics.

dmarks CLAIMS to "trust the people", yet the people elected Barack Obama, who dmarks believes has impeded a recovery by not cutting taxes and running up the debt. How do you explain that, dmarks? I think you're full of shit.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The occupy movement is full of shit. We could tax these so-called plutocrats (the vast majority of them having ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Wall Street; doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, administrators) at 100% and we still would have a deficit and never mind being able to pay for the rest of these programs that partisans like wd and Krugman want to foist upon us. The fact of the matter is that it's ALWAYS the middle-class that ends up getting hosed by wasteful and inefficient government.

w-dervish said...

I support the Occupy movement 120 percent. I'm praying that this movement can save our country.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

It'll turn us into Greece.

dmarks said...

Will said: "The occupy movement is full of shit"

There, WD. Will can't say it in any more strong terms. If you keep insisting that the Occupy movement represents him in any way, you only make a fool of yourself.

WD said; "People "knowing their own lives" and being politically informed are two different things."

They are not the same thing, but the first one a subset of the other. Unlike you, I trust the people to know and act on their life situation, including their political situation. 75% say that the Occupy movement does not represent them. You are full of sh*t for saying that they are wrong. They know, and you don't.

Conversely, I would be full of sh*t if I said that Occupy does not present you either. I respect your own choice as well.

"dmarks likes to conflate the two so he can use this baloney "arrogant" insult."

Arrogant can be an insult, but in this case it is a factual assessment. You are so full of yourself that you think what is best for you is best for the whole nation... and that everyone who does not share your view is a "dupe" (your own word)


"And support is also down for the Tea Party. People lose interest because most don't follow politics."

Of course.... but I'd never be arrogant and claim that the Tea Party represents more people than it actually does, either.

"dmarks CLAIMS to "trust the people", yet the people elected Barack Obama"

The roughly 50% of Americans who elected Obama were informed voters acting in their own interest. Why would I say otherwise?

"dmarks? I think you're full of shit."

Me and the 75%, which is a hell of a lot closer to the 99% that the Occupy movement claims to represent.

w-dervish said...

If the system were reformed so that it wasn't rigged in favor of the 1 percent the result would be greater prosperity for the 99 percent.

Also, what happened in Greece happening here is totally impossible. Only those completely ignorant of how Greece got in the mess it currently finds itself in would make such a statement.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: Unlike you, I trust the people to know and act on their life situation, including their political situation.

Obviously then you must be completely uninformed to how few people follow politics closely and really know the issues.

So, you insulting me by insisting that I'm "arrogant" is based on nothing but your own ignorance.

dmarks: 75% say that the Occupy movement does not represent them.

Untrue. What about the people who say they have no opinion? All polls include people who say they "don't know" or have no opinion. So right there we know you're lying.

dmarks: The roughly 50% of Americans who elected Obama were informed voters acting in their own interest. Why would I say otherwise?

Because you say Obama's policies are negatively impacting the economy. So, what you're claiming is these people think it's in their interest for the economy to be bad?

That doesn't even make any sense (although dmarks' arguments frequently do not, so that is hardly a surprise).

dmarks: You are so full of yourself that you think what is best for you is best for the whole nation.

Incorrect. This assumes that everyone who votes does so for completely selfish reasons... that people only vote for the candidate who panders to their specific needs. Unlike you I vote for the candidate who I believe will do the best job for everyone, not just myself.

dmarks: Arrogant can be an insult, but in this case it is a factual assessment.

You're using it as a meaningless insult. I voted for Obama previously and will vote for him again because I think he will do the best job for the whole country... the same criteria everyone else uses when deciding who to vote for.

This doesn't make me "arrogant", it makes me the same as everyone who votes.

Excepting selfish a-holes like dmarks, of course. When they vote they pick the candidate who does the best job of pandering to their specific needs... and screw everyone else.

dmarks said...

WD, I hate to break it to you, but it is possible to disagree with people on political issues, (including in this example Obama's policies, while completely respecting and supporting their choice to make their own decisions, including votes, on the issue.

"I voted for Obama previously and will vote for him again because I think he will do the best job for the whole country..."

Something that is true for you, and a little over 50% of the voters. But is not true for a little less than 50%. I respect your choice, and theirs. Not a single one of them are fools, and every single one of them is arrogant if they presume to speak for any of the others.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

What an idiot you are, wd. If the system were truly rigged, a full 50% plus of the people in the top 1% in 1996 wouldn't have slipped out of it by 2005 and the group as a whole's income wouldn't have slipped by 26%. AND 58% of the people in the bottom quintile in 1996 wouldn't have been out of it by 2005 and that group as a whole's income wouldn't have risen 91!! Just because you haven't succeeded isn't a sufficient enough reason to lambaste the system.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And 70% of the people on Forbes's richest 400 are totally self-made! A thoroughly rigged system would have never allowed for that.

dmarks said...

WD said: "Excepting selfish a-holes like dmarks, of course. When they vote they pick the candidate who does the best job of pandering to their specific needs... and screw everyone else."

If I wanted "screw everybody else" candidates, I'd strongly favor those like Grayson and Weiner.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: ...every single one of them is arrogant if they presume to speak for any of the others.

I've never presumed to speak for anyone else, yet you keep calling me arrogant. I respect dmarks' choice to be seriously misinformed on the issues and to make his own choices when it comes to voting... even if he choses wrong and votes against his own interests.

dmarks: If I wanted "screw everybody else" candidates, I'd strongly favor those like Grayson and Weiner.

That would be dumb, since the two you mention are strongly populist. The "screw everybody else" candidate would be Ron Paul.

Will: What an idiot you are, wd. If the system were truly rigged...

It is rigged. This is a fact. I've provided you with the many stats that prove this to be so, yet they don't comport with your Conservative worldview... so you ignore them.

FYI, none of the stats I gave you had anything to do with my life and my success.

dmarks said...

"I respect dmarks' choice to be seriously misinformed on the issues "

WD, I thank you for offering me that choice, but I will respectfully decline, as I always have. I will instead do what I have been doing all along: staying informed on the issues.

"The "screw everybody else" candidate would be Ron Paul."

I doubt I would vote for him, but in fact he is the one who would screw far fewer people than anyone else. That's what his big tax cuts would do: have the government screw us a lot less.

Weiner and Grayson are statists, not populists, usually siding with the power elites instead of the ruled.

"It is rigged. This is a fact. I've provided you with the many stats that prove this to be so"

You haven't provided Will with even one. All you proved was that you were a greedy jealous crybaby who believe that you are entitled to the fruits of others' hard labor just because you whine and cry for it. That's rather infantile.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: I thank you for offering me that choice... I will instead... [stay] informed on the issues.

I wasn't offering you a choice -- I was making an assessment of your political acumen... which is that you have none.

dmarks: [Ron Paul's] big tax cuts would... have the government screw us a lot less.

"Big tax cuts" help the rich and hurt the poor, as they necessitate cutting programs the help the poor. And the economy does better when taxes are higher, as the Clinton and bush administrations prove (good economy under Clinton and a crash/recession under bush). Those who support big tax cuts are in favor of "us" getting screwed more.

dmarks: Weiner and Grayson are statists, not populists, usually siding with the power elites instead of the ruled.

Wrong. Dictionary.com says populism is "representation or extolling of the common person, the working class"... this definition describes Weiner and Grayson to a "T".

Also, "statism" is a BS insult that those who desire plutocracy use to slander those who think power should be retained by the people and be excercised through our elected representatives.

dmarks: You haven't provided Will with even one.

I've provided many. You're just not paying attention or lying.

dmarks: you were a greedy jealous crybaby who believe that you are entitled to the fruits of others' hard labor just because you whine and cry for it. That's rather infantile.

dmarks is a ignorant crybaby who believes the greedy plutocrats are entitled to the fruits of the worker's hard labor just because they're in charge and can force them to accept unfair wages. This is why wealthy idolizers like Will and dmarks whine and cry about those who seek greater equality (like the Occupy movement) and strongly deny the fact that our economic system is rigged.

dmarks said...

WD said:

"Big tax cuts" help the rich and hurt the poor"

Now, let someone who is informed on the issues correct you.

Big tax cuts benefit the rich, poor, and middle class. Because everyone pays less.

"...as they necessitate cutting programs the help the poor

No, they do not. Not in the least.

"And the economy does better when taxes are higher, as the Clinton and bush administrations prove"

The opposite happened actually. Consider the growth and job creation under Bush as a direct

"Those who support big tax cuts are in favor of "us" getting screwed more."

The opposite is true.


"Dictionary.com says populism is "representation or extolling of the common person, the working class"

Well, that certainly has nothing to do with Grayson and Weiner, who consistently voted againt the common people and in favor of more power for the ruling elites.

"Also, "statism" is a BS insult"

No, it is an accurate description of those who favor the government controlling more and more and the people less.

"....that those who desire plutocracy..."

You make an assumption that anyone who is not a government employee is a "plutocrat". I reject this.

"... use to slander those who think power should be retained by the people and be excercised through our elected representatives."

The two are contradictory. If the ruling elites at the end of this sentence have power over something, the people don't retain it at all. The people "Retaining" power means that the people make these decisions, not someone else.

"dmarks is a ignorant crybaby who believes the greedy plutocrats are entitled to the fruits of the worker's hard labor"

Actually, I strongly oppose any taking of such fruits.

"just because they're in charge and can force them to accept unfair wages."

The only people who can force others to take unfair wages (and they do) are the real plutocrats: the wealthy people who rule: those in government.

No one else has this power at all.


...who seek greater equality (like the Occupy movement)"

The Occupy movement seeks more power for those who already rule. This makes things less equal.

"and strongly deny the fact that our economic system is rigged."

A "Fact" only known by paranoid boobs.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: Now, let someone who is informed on the issues correct you.

Who is this person you're referring to? Jerry Critter? He seems to have left the conversation awhile ago. Beside myself there is nobody else who posts here that fits your description.

dmarks: Big tax cuts benefit the rich, poor, and middle class. Because everyone pays less.

And the government goes deeper into debt. You're in favor of that?

dmarks: No, [tax cuts] do not [necessitate cutting programs the help the poor]. Not in the least.

That is what Paul Ryan's budget proscribes. Massive cuts to programs that help the poor. Mitt Romney endorsed Paul Ryan's budget. You have no idea what you're talking about on this.

dmarks: The opposite happened actually. Consider the growth and job creation under Bush as a direct result.

I can't consider something that didn't happen. The bush tax cuts created a bubble that crashed the economy. The Wall Street Journal (hardly a liberal publication) calls bush's job creation record The Worst Track Record On Record. According to their 1/9/2009 article, "the Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton‘s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office".

w-dervish said...

dmarks: The opposite is true.

I said that those who support big tax cuts are in favor of "us" getting screwed more. The "opposite" of this is FALSE.

dmarks: [populism] certainly has nothing to do with Grayson and Weiner, who consistently voted againt the common people and in favor of more power for the ruling elites.

They voted in favor of helping out the common people and are populists. They voted against the wealthy elites you bow down to. This included giving more power to the representatives of the people... to regulate the wealthy elites and protect the common man against their greed. This is why you dislike them and lie about them not being populists.

dmarks: No [statism] is an accurate description of those who favor the government controlling more and more and the people less.

What Conservatives call "Statism" is really the people gaining more power (via their elected representatives) to check the power of the wealthy elites. This is why you object, because "statism" involves decreasing the power of the wealthy elites you bow down to.

dmarks: You make an assumption that anyone who is not a government employee is a "plutocrat". I reject this.

I make no such assumption. That's stupid. Most of us are in the 99 percent and not plutocrats.

dmarks: The two are contradictory. If the ruling elites at the end of this sentence have power over something, the people don't retain it at all. The people "Retaining" power means that the people make these decisions, not someone else.

That's how a representative democracy works. Sorry if you don't like it. I advise you to apply for citizenship in some other country.

dmarks: Actually, I strongly oppose any taking of such fruits.

You strongly approve of this taking. This is why you oppose things like unions and the minimum wage.

dmarks: The only people who can force others to take unfair wages (and they do) are the real plutocrats: the wealthy people who rule: those in government. No one else has this power at all.

The wealthy elites have this power. Also, these "real plutocrats" you refer to don't exist in the United States. We're a representative democracy. You're thinking of a country like Saudi Arabia.

dmarks: The Occupy movement seeks more power for those who already rule. This makes things less equal.

The Occupy Movement seeks more power for the people (via our elected representatives). Again, if you dislike our representative form of government you can self-deport to another country where the wealthy elites that you love rule. Good luck... I hope they accept you.

dmarks: [Your claim that our economic system is rigged is] a "fact" only known by paranoid boobs.

Actually it's a fact that only wealthy idolizing boobs deny.

dmarks said...

"That's how a representative democracy works. Sorry if you don't like it. I advise you to apply for citizenship in some other country."

Actually, what you advocate is how a fascist country works. The rulers, whether or not they are elected, force their decisions on us and run our private lives. They gather untoward power by blaming the "other" and working up hatred. Often it has been Jews. Or Catholics. In your case, your bogus target of hatred is "plutocrats", a group of people which, as Will has very accurately pointed out, works hard for its money and rules nothing. They just happen to have good skills and are skilled at what they do.... something which greedy, jealous, and lazy people REALLY REALLY hate.

dmarks said...

WD said: "And the government goes deeper into debt. You're in favor of that?"

This was about tax cuts. The Reagan and Bush tax cuts resulted in a lot more revenue coming in. Logically, that means less debt.

dmarks said...

Finally, the crash and bubble was caused largely by the meddling ruling elites interfering in the free market. Government agencies encouraged banks to make bad loans. If not for this regulation... if matters were left to the people, not the State, the crash would not have happened. Will has documented this very well.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: what you advocate is how a fascist country works. The rulers, whether or not they are elected, force their decisions on us and run our private lives.

Are you talking about the Republicans and their desire to force their anti-choice beliefs on women?

dmarks: They gather untoward power by blaming the "other" and working up hatred. Often it has been Jews. Or Catholics. In your case, your bogus target of hatred is "plutocrats"...

I favor economic polices that work to the benefit of the 99 percent. That's it. "Hatred" isn't a factor.

dmarks: They just happen to have good skills and are skilled at what they do.... something which greedy, jealous, and lazy people REALLY REALLY hate.

Sure. And they also benefit from the system being rigged in their favor. Being opposed to this has nothing to do with greed, jealously or laziness.

dmarks: This was about tax cuts. The Reagan and Bush tax cuts resulted in a lot more revenue coming in. Logically, that means less debt.

What you refer to is the completely illogical theory of supply side economics. It's complete baloney. Tax cuts reduce revenue.

dmarks: Finally, the crash and bubble was caused largely by the meddling ruling elites interfering in the free market. Government agencies encouraged banks to make bad loans. If not for this regulation... if matters were left to the people, not the State, the crash would not have happened. Will has documented this very well.

The bubble and crash was caused by the bush tax cuts and deregulation of the financial sector. No banks were encouraged to make bad loans. They made the bad loans because the regulators couldn't stop them. The crash wouldn't have happened if the matters were left up to the people and their elected representatives instead of the plutocrats.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

A truly rigged system does not allow 277 people to go from virtually nothing to becoming a billionaire.

dmarks said...

WD said: "Are you talking about the Republicans and their desire to force their anti-choice beliefs on women?"

I am not anti-choice. I am anti-abortion. The "anti-choice" term is a lame rhetorical trick, sort of like calling your side "pro-death".

Besides, remember that compromise post? I joined Will on the side of reasonable people (while you kept to the extreme).

"What you refer to is the completely illogical theory of supply side economics."

Actually, I am referring to an actual historic event: the revenues coming into the US Treasury increasing as a result of the tax rate cuts.

You get everything incorrect about the bubble. The tax cuts improved the situation. Over-regulation caused the crash.

As for "No banks were encouraged to make bad loans."

Fannie and Freddie backed up bad loans and encouraged banks to make them. This is another historic fact.

"They made the bad loans because the regulators couldn't stop them. "

No regulators needed. Left to their own devices, banks won't make bad loans. It makes no sense to: no profit. They will lose their shirt.

However, due to regulation pushed through F&F, banks were encouraged to make bad loans. These bad loans were backed up by these two government agencies. The banks were not responsible for them any more.

"he crash wouldn't have happened if the matters were left up to the people and their elected representatives instead of the plutocrats."

The people, and the rulers ("elected representatives"_ are two different groups.

You love to so blindly submit to authority don't you?

As for the laughable idea that things are "rigged", Will has disproved this many many times. It's only the paranoid jealous whining of someone saying "they are out to get me". Someone who can't deal with the fact that their betters are good at what they do and earn good money for it.

dmarks said...

"If the system were reformed so that it wasn't rigged in favor of the 1 percent the result would be greater prosperity for the 99 percent."

Yet, every single one of the "reforms" you favor takes power away from the 99.95% who are not in the ruling class and puts it in the hands of those who rule and have the the real power.

A perfect example was the discussion of whether or not I wanted to buy a Hyundai. That is, of course, the business of me and the person I am buying it from.

It is not the business of "elected representatives", who know nothing and don't act in my interest. Those who think so are supporting fascism.

w-dervish said...

Reading dmarks' crazy paranoid rantings it's obvious that he's the one who thinks they're out to get him. In his case those who are out to get him are our elected representatives and government workers.

WHY would Fannie and Freddie "encourage" bad loans to be made? They wanted to crash the economy? Also, the vast majority of the bad loans weren't connected to Fannie and Freddie in any way. So there goes dmarks crazy conspiracy theory: completely and easily debunked.

dmarks: It makes no sense too: no profit. They will lose their shirt.

Instead of "losing their shirt" they made a ton of money. Because they quickly resold the bad loans to the investment banks. And then the investment banks were bailed out. By George bush.

dmarks: You get everything incorrect about the bubble. The tax cuts improved the situation. Over-regulation caused the crash.

You have everything wrong about the bubble. The tax cuts were one of the contributing factors to the downturn... that and under-regulation.

dmarks: The people, and the rulers ("elected representatives")are two different groups.

Not if they're doing their job. Their job is to represent the people. I really think dmarks does not understand how democracy works.

dmarks: You love to so blindly submit to authority don't you?

Not at all. I just believe in democracy. Unlike you.

dmarks: Yet, every single one of the "reforms" you favor takes power away from the 99.95% who are not in the ruling class and puts it in the hands of those who rule and have the real power.

I oppose those reforms. I only support reforms that put power in the hands of the people. You're the one who wants those with the real power (the people with all the money) to have the power.

dmarks: A perfect example was the discussion of whether or not I wanted to buy a Hyundai. That is, of course, the business of me and the person I am buying it from.

Sure, that's fine. Just pay the tariff if it isn't manufactured in the United States. The government has the right to assess tariffs. It's in the Constitution.

dmarks: As for the laughable idea that things are "rigged", Will has disproved this many many times.

The "idea" is factual, not laughable. And Will has disproven it zero times.

dmarks: Besides, remember that compromise post? I joined Will on the side of reasonable people (while you kept to the extreme).

Yes, I took the "extreme" position of trusting women and their doctors and not the arrogant position of thinking I know better than those whose lives are directly impacted by these hard decisions. Because I respect a woman's privacy and right to choose and don't arrogantly believe someone else should make the decision in their place.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I trust that most people aren't going to murder other people, wd. But that doesn't mean that I don't think that there should be laws against it just in case. The same thing goes with late term abortions. While I doubt that a lot of women and their doctors would be willing to abort an 8 1/2 month old fetus because it's the wrong gender (for example), I still think that it's quite acceptable to make it illegal.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And, again, wd, 58% of the people in the bottom quintile in 1996 were out of it by 2005 (with more than half of them moving up 2 quintiles or more!) and over 50% of the people in the top 1% in 1996 were out of it by 2005. To say that the American economic system is rigged is ludicrous (just ask the West Indian black immigrants who come here and succeed profusely).