Debates on Christianity, Creation vs Evolution, Philosophy, Politics and Religion, Ethics, Current Events, and Religious issues

Goto page Previous  1, 2

Reply to topic
2ndRateMind
First Post
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:55 am  Politics Reply with quote

It has been said that political philosophy is all about 'Who gets what?' and 'Says who?'

If we are agreed that mostly, no one is morally deserving of huge riches more than any other, (such as is demonstrated by the lottery, or casino economy) and that each of us should have an equal democratic say in how riches are distributed, what does this imply for a world in which 1% of the population controls as much wealth as the remaining 99% put together?

Best wishes, 2RM.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 11: Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:17 pm
Reply
Re: Politics

Like this post
Sorry double post, see below.


Last edited by bluethread on Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 12: Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:17 pm
Reply
Re: Politics

Like this post (1): AgnosticBoy
2ndRateMind wrote:

bluethread wrote:

...The distribution of riches has nothing to do with morality...

If everyone had enough to eat, uncontaminated water to drink, an adequate clothing wardrobe for their climate, secure shelter, access to basic services such as electricity and sanitation, and sufficient funds to educate their children and see to the health requirements of their family, I would agree with you. But they don't, so I don't.


It that were the case, many would choose to decrease their involvement in productive labor. People can not have those things without productive labor. So, as the productive labor decreases to goods and services available also decreases to the level of desperation. Therefore, Yeshua is correct, when He says, "The poor will always be with you."

Quote:
There is enough wealth in the world to provide all these basic requirements for everyone, but the 1% are hogging way more than their fair share, which is why so many are so poor that they cannot provide such necessities for themselves and those they love.


You are conflating resources and wealth. The "hogging" is a matter of government policy. In free market economies the 1% do not "hog" resources. They employ them in productive activities (wealth) to expand the economy and provide more and better goods and services to the public. If they "hog" those resources, they do not stay in the 1%.

Quote:
So the distribution of wealth is very much a moral issue.



Whether one uses one's resources to produce wealth(productive activity) or not have moral implications. However morality does not drive those endeavors, demand does. If the 99% demand immoral things produced in an immoral way, the 1% will provide them.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 13: Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:56 am
Reply
Re: Politics

Like this post
[quote="bluethread"]
2ndRateMind wrote:

bluethread wrote:

...The distribution of riches has nothing to do with morality...

If everyone had enough to eat, uncontaminated water to drink, an adequate clothing wardrobe for their climate, secure shelter, access to basic services such as electricity and sanitation, and sufficient funds to educate their children and see to the health requirements of their family, I would agree with you. But they don't, so I don't.


bluethread wrote:
It that were the case, many would choose to decrease their involvement in productive labor.


This assumption is based on what evidence, precisely?

Seems to me that productivity and production might actually increase, since, basics taken care of, the poor people would be better fit for work. And not only that, but seeing as we generally have unlimited ambitions for ourselves and our families, we would be freed from low wage slavery to pursue our own dreams, which is a considerably stronger motivation than generating profits for someone else.

bluethread wrote:
Therefore, Yeshua is correct, when He says, "The poor will always be with you."


I am becoming somewhat bored of refuting this misunderstanding of the Gospels. If you read the context of that scripture*, you will find that Jesus was chiding His disciples, in their place and time. I am utterly persuaded He did not mean for us to misappropriate His words to justify our own reluctance, in our place and time, to succour the absolutely poor. As I have said many times before, on other threads, there is enough wealth in the world to endow everyone with an austere but reasonably dignified way of life. We just need to muster the political will to distribute it that way. And if we did, I am more than confident that, on those grounds alone, Jesus would be satisfied His (by far greater) sacrifice had not been in vain.

bluethread wrote:
If the 99% demand immoral things produced in an immoral way, the 1% will provide them.


Then we are agreed that the way capital is deployed in the world, and the uses it is put to, is a moral issue. And I do not see why it could ever be thought more moral for a single individual to own, say, $1 million in stocks, than for a thousand individuals each to own $1 thousand in stocks.

Best wishes, 2RM.

*Matthew 26:6-13 KJV and Mark 14:3-7 KJV and John 12:1-8 KJV

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 14: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:29 pm
Reply
Re: Politics

Like this post (1): 2ndRateMind
bluethread wrote:
The distribution of riches has nothing to do with morality.

As a fact of life this is very true.

bluethread wrote:
There is nothing wrong with 1% of the populaton controlling as much wealth as the remaining 99%.

Do you not sense that such inequality is a danger to democracy. It is oft said America is now a plutocracy and the phrase golden age is being taken out the cupboard and given a new polish.

The fact that 1% can accrue such a degree of wealth is likely a sign something has gone very wrong. the other 99% didn't just get more lazy or more stupid or care less about their lives. If true - the problem is with the system not the people. If false - it does not follow they deserve to be poorer. As you say the distribution of wealth has nothing to do with morality.

And if we are not asking moral questions we still need to wonder what is the economically optimum outcome for the average law abiding citizen ready and able to work 40 hrs a week but mediocre in talent and luck. The strange things is the 1% have made of like bandits while the lot of the average person is more precarious than in generations.

bluethread wrote:
The reason the 1% control that much wealth is because the 99% believe that they are better at it than anyone else.

That comment looks a teeny weeny bit off the mark. Is this really true of someone facing a pension shortfall or facing a hospital bill or insurmountable student debt, or just having to wrk 60hrs a week to pay the rent. Do they really say - well at least the top 1% know what they are doing, if I had bit more it would just make me more lazy and feckless?

bluethread wrote:
If that were not the case, the 99% would spend their resources with someone else.

A large number of the very rich are engaged in activities with which most of us have no direct connection. Billionaire hedge fund managers, arms dealers for example. Others are making money out of stuff with which people literally have no choice or very little like. oil and silicon chips for instance. We have vey little meaningful choices as to not using oil or not using devices with chips. But true we are responsible for make some people very rich. Guilty as charged. But whether an innovator or provider of an excellent service should be rewarded well is not the point.

The concern is twofold. The first is an observation. 1/ Would Jeff Bezos or any other billionaire be any less motivated if they had made $150 million instead of $150 billion? the question is at which point is financial reward not productive and turn into an economic drag. Apple presently has more money than it knows what to do with hence they run one of the largest hedge funds in the world. This money is not being used for innovative productive activity. And just because Bezos happens to find himself the richest fellah on the planet is it a good thing for us all if he is then in a powerful position to influence the political system. Likewise lesser billionaires like the Koch brothers or the Mercers and so on. Should the unit of democracy be the dollar? We don't have to address these kinds of questions as if they are moral questions. But it is a pragmatic concern. We can answer them in terms of data like declining social mobility, homelessness, greater economic precarious and social tensions that eventually threaten the economy. 2/ When laws, taxes and trade agreements are made in the favour of the 1% it is likely they will do better than the rest. The billionaire owned media that we rely on to inform us is also anti democratic. Something like 6 companies now control the majority of everything we read and watch. Go them for being successful - but eventually threatens to be bad for all of us.

bluethread wrote:
In these United States, the composition of the 1% is constantly changing.

Are you referring to a reshuffling of the top 5% with the occasional token outlier? Or do you really think there is more meaningful class mobility? I'm thinking the data is less rosy than you hint at.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jun/15/social-mobility-in-richest-count...

Again the countries that do better tend to enjoy mixed economies with a socialistic education and healthcare ethos. The UK is an exception, though we have seen particularly dire economic management since 2008 and something of a class war waged by the Conservatives. The US score average to poor for social mobility.

bluethread wrote:
That results in the tyranny of the majority.

Tyranny of the minority is probably worse.

bluethread wrote:
That is because the nonproductive would vote themselves largess.

Decent healthcare, pensions and education is not largess. It is the fabric of a decent life.

bluethread wrote:
Then, the productive would become nonproductive because they would see no advantage in doing so.

Funnily enough the poor and non productive are very similar to the rich in this respect. They are less likely to engage in non profitable activity if there is a better choice.

While it can be argued welfare means the poor do not need to find work - a robust welfare system also gives the worker greater freedom to vote with their feet. There is more latitude to make better and less desperate choices, the ability to turn down a job offer without being desperate to pay the rent means they are freer to make decision in their own self interest.

Again go to the data. Those countries with strong and healthy socialistic welfare and healthcare systems tend to have productive workers. Productivity does not collapse with decent unemployment cheques and secure social housing. To argue in the either direction reinforces old and tired myths and is just factually wrong.

https://collectivehub.com/2018/02/15-of-the-worlds-most-productive-countries/

The US makes fourth on the list of productive workers, but the rest of the top 15 work less hours and have more holiday and their healthcare and welfare systems are far more socialistic. the countries that score highest for quality if life is made from a very similar list of likely contenders. Mixed economies with socialists healthcare generous minus wages, free university education feature highly.


Quote:
In he long term, the centralization of wealth is a problem for an economy. Forced redistribution never works,

Never works? Well the majority of first world countries have experimented with varying degrees of redistribution for nearly a hundred years.

Until Reagan introduced a much lower tax regime America tax was still at 70%. From the 1930s to 1978 America was destitute and an economic basket case....er... no they continued to establish themselves as the world's dominant economy. The 50s and 60s was a golden era was it not?

Here's a list of the highest tax regimes. [irony]Economic basket cases all of them[/irony] - Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Austria and Hungary are the worst five.

Quote:
Historically, the least tragic solution is the voluntary discriminatory distribution of resources by the 1% to the marginally productive, such that the marginally productive are incentivised to increase their productivity, i.e. Dale Carnegie.

We are all welcome to our differing opinions but this comments ignores the historical facts of which countries score highest on quality of life and productivity.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile Visit poster's website 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 15: Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:24 am
Reply
Re: Politics

Like this post
Furrowed Brow wrote:

bluethread wrote:
The distribution of riches has nothing to do with morality.

As a fact of life this is very true.


So, as a matter of interest, does the forum feel that the more egalitarian distribution of the world's wealth should be a moral issue?

Or that the distribution of the world's wealth is, in some way, automatically amoral?

Or, that the current neo-liberal free for all, 'devil take the hindmost' distribution of the world's wealth is moral?

Best wishes, 2RM.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 16: Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:21 am
Reply
Re: Politics

Like this post
2ndRateMind wrote:
So, as a matter of interest, does the forum feel that the more egalitarian distribution of the world's wealth should be a moral issue?

It is a moral issue but we also have to argue on economics ground that the data gives evidence that it is at least no worse and is likely better than the alternatives for producing innovate economies with class mobility, better health, lower crime, less homelessness etcetera. And these can be argued for on economic grounds e.g. poor health and higher crime are a drag on an economy and greater class mobility is renewing.

I agree with Marxian economist Richard Wolff. Redistribution does not work in the long run- because it makes people resentful and the elites will eventual work out how to undo any new tax regime as happened in America with the New Deal. It took decades but it was eventually rolled back.

So we have to be realistic about class interest and the forces at play.

We also have to be practical. It is a fact that if we want there to be more wealth to be distributed there needs to be more trade. It is also a fact that for there to be more trade the average person needs more money in their pocket. better that money is their money than a debt held by a bank.

It is also true some talented people do not play well with others. So we all benefit from allowing that talent to emerge though it tends not to be socially minded.

A mixed economy but one with far greater numbers of cooperative style businesses would be what I'd go for in the attempt at greater egalitarianism. The state would have a roll in healthcare, pensions, education, police, prisons, banking, roads, railways, airports and the major utilities including internet, and funding legal aid for everyone. A couple of suggestions below but the kind of economy I think would work best is achievable through a set of policies in line with those promised by the Corbyn Labour Party in the UK if they come to power.

Quote:
Or that the distribution of the world's wealth is, in some way, automatically amoral?

It mostly is, but not automatically. However we have permitted various imbalances that promote amoral distribution. Often based on false creeds like trickle down economics and an oversized banking system.

Whilst Libertarians and rights wingers bang on about the evils of big government and unions, as an average individual it is only government and unions that provide any kind of protection from dangling on the whims of the rich and powerful. And yet the forces of "small government" and private capital dominate. Over sized financial, oil, and military industries also tilt the board toward oligarchy.

Leaving these interest groups in place is just asking for greater egalitarianism to be undermined, attacked and undone.

I would certainly raise tax in order to redistribute, but before doing that make sure a national bank was in place. One to lend money to business and not home and car purchases. This national bank would give priority to the co-operative business model.

I'd also prioritise government debt through the national bank and the central bank so that the bulk of the national debt was owned by these institutions.

I'd tax cooperative business at lower rates.

Anyone one who has started a successful family business and looking to cash in and sell would pay not tax on their sale if they turned the business over to a cooperative. The workers could fund the purchase through the national bank.

Besides from healthcare I'd invest far more in education. Here I'm thinking of the UK with average class sizes of around 35. Private schools offer class sizes of less than 20, the best less than 15. If we want a more equal society state education has to be meet those same standards. New schools and larger schools budgets funded through the national bank.

Student debt is a drag on the economy thwarting the hopes and innovate capacity of a generation. I'd cancel it.

Quote:
Or, that the current neo-liberal free for all, 'devil take the hindmost' distribution of the world's wealth is moral?

It ain't moral and as an economic theory it is about as scientific as phrenology.

So I would not put up the moral argument to persuade someone that insists on bad economics.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile Visit poster's website 
Display posts from previous:   

Goto page Previous  1, 2

Jump to:  
Facebook
Tweet

 




On The Web | Ecodia | Facebook | Twitter

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.   Produced by Ecodia.

Igloo   |  Lo-Fi Version