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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    The point (which he appears to truly have missed) is that Rawlsians shouldn't care about the Gini coefficient. It's the welfare of the worst-off that matters - and the bottom 10% in the US are better off than the bottom 10% in Sweden. Thus, Rawlsians should have no problem with US style capitalism.
    So the bottom 10% in Sweden are worse off than America's bottom 10%, but according to you America's substantially worse health and social problems are because of absolute rather than relative poverty? Eh?
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    (Original post by Gremlins)
    So the bottom 10% in Sweden are worse off than America's bottom 10%, but according to you America's substantially worse health and social problems are because of absolute rather than relative poverty? Eh?
    Well, for a start, I still am completely in the dark as to how these supposed problems are measured. But yeah, I'd go out on a limb and say that the reason poor people in the US have worse health is because they can't afford good healthcare, not because there are people who can.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    The point (which he appears to truly have missed) is that Rawlsians shouldn't care about the Gini coefficient. It's the welfare of the worst-off that matters - and the bottom 10% in the US are better off than the bottom 10% in Sweden. Thus, Rawlsians should have no problem with US style capitalism.
    By your own graph this isn't true. Moreover though, given the social welfare of Sweden vs US, it's a no-brainer where you'd rather be if you were in the bottom 10%.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    By your own graph this isn't true. Moreover though, given the social welfare of Sweden vs US, it's a no-brainer where you'd rather be if you were in the bottom 10%.
    What do you mean this isn't true? The graph shows that the bottom 10% in Sweden get 38% of US median income, while in the US, the bottom 10% get 39%. This is all adjusted by purchasing power parity, and it includes stuff like healthcare (think Medicaid) and education. So I don't know where you get your certainty from.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    The point (which he appears to truly have missed) is that Rawlsians shouldn't care about the Gini coefficient. It's the welfare of the worst-off that matters - and the bottom 10% in the US are better off than the bottom 10% in Sweden. Thus, Rawlsians should have no problem with US style capitalism.
    ********! The fact that the bottom 10% in the US are better off than the bottom 10% is not necessarily connected to the economic system. Perhaps the US has more natural resources (per capita) whilst Sweden has less but splits them up more equally. Also the bottom 10% in the US may be ok under a capitalist system but as all Rawlsians agree we can take considerably more from the rich without worsening the situtation of the poor. The US is nowhere near the peak of the Laffer Curve, we keep taking from the rich until revenue declines and that revenue goes to the poor. The whole point is that we should aim for equality unless that equality is detrimental to the worst off.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Rats, I am away from home, otherwise I would have my copy of Norberg's In Defense of Global Capitalism at hand and I could beat you on those gini coefficients too.

    Although, that is simply a measure of equality, and equality is not that big a deal. I mean, is a society where everybody starves equally better than one where only some people starve? Better to be poor in the US than poor in Africa.
    And that justifies your horrendous hardcore capitalism? The beauty of Rawls was that he was open-minded to the practical realities of capitalism. He was well aware that the communist equality (ish) would actually be worst off for everyone. welfare should not be sacrificed for equality but we can make the worst off better off by taking from the rich. it is a false dichotomy between the US and Africa because we can also have something better than both i.e. UK,France,Germany etc AND before you start the UK beats US by GDP per capita

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    (Original post by Bagration)
    Interestingly enough, the people arguing against Richard A Garner claiming that prices are too high are arguing a Libertarian argument: namely, the one against inflation. Looking at the way the money supply has been increased, I think it's disingenuous to say that Libertarianism is flawed because things are too expensive for poor people to afford when etatists have been the ones that have claimed vast increases in the money supply are desirable.
    I'm intrigued as to how exactly libertarians envisage a system without inflation or, even worse, deflation.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    The whole point is that we should aim for equality unless that equality is detrimental to the worst off.
    Care to explain why? Why do you think a Society built on "we will take from you and give to him" is desirable? I mean, it sounds nice in practice (oh, how leftists love that term) but in reality, redistribution is no basis for an economic system or a society.

    Secondly: If Britain is so much better than America because of our gini coefficient, why is it that more immigrants in the world flock to America than to Britain? (And more to Britain than Europe, who tend to have lower coefficients)?
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    What do you mean this isn't true? The graph shows that the bottom 10% in Sweden get 38% of US median income, while in the US, the bottom 10% get 39%. This is all adjusted by purchasing power parity, and it includes stuff like healthcare (think Medicaid) and education. So I don't know where you get your certainty from.
    Sorry, I misread the graph (those numbers are so damn tiny :p: ).

    But even so, the US advantage is only marginal and in the light of the welfare benefits (which PPP notably doesn't include) of Sweden more than balance it out.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    I'm intrigued as to how exactly libertarians envisage a system without inflation or, even worse, deflation.
    I'm not sure that's even a question. If I asked "I'm intrigued as to how exactly leftists envisage a system with inflation, or even worse, without deflation" I think you'd probably be simply as stumped as I am to offer a concise response.

    I will say: what I would prefer is that the money supply is part of the private economy and therefore inflation/deflation happens at the will of the market. If there is an atmosphere where prices are going to increase, that should happen. If there's one where they're going to decrease, that should happen too. Unfortunately a central bank is far too rigid and politically-controlled to ensure that the money supply flows with the market.
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    What I have always wondered is why do most libertarians I speak to in the UK seem to be for gun control?

    Surely gun control is a totalitarian idea, most historical figures that have been anti gun also tend to be called tyrants and dictators. (Stalin, Hitler, Mao)

    Ghandi : ''Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest''
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Sorry, I misread the graph (those numbers are so damn tiny ).

    But even so, the US advantage is only marginal and in the light of the welfare benefits (which PPP notably doesn't include) of Sweden more than balance it out.
    On the other hand, advancement up the economic ladder in America, according to that graph, is far more rewarding than in Sweden. Plus I do believe that many Americans have -- or at least had at the time of that graph -- various work-related benefits.The United States also tended to have a lower unemployment rate and a lower inflation rate than Sweden, which is also important when weighing up the poorest. a
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    (Original post by Darkness and Mist)
    What I have always wondered is why do most libertarians I speak to in the UK seem to be for gun control?

    Surely gun control is a totalitarian idea, most historical figure that have been anti gun also tend to be called tyrants and dictators.
    I've never met a libertarian in favour of the gun control we have today.
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    (Original post by Bagration)
    I've never met a libertarian in favour of the gun control we have today.
    I have, most of the ones I have met seem to be pro gun control.
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    (Original post by Bagration)
    Care to explain why? Why do you think a Society built on "we will take from you and give to him" is desirable? I mean, it sounds nice in practice (oh, how leftists love that term) but in reality, redistribution is no basis for an economic system or a society.

    Secondly: If Britain is so much better than America because of our gini coefficient, why is it that more immigrants in the world flock to America than to Britain? (And more to Britain than Europe, who tend to have lower coefficients)?
    oh dear, someone needs to take logic 101 (sorry,I'm not normally mean but libertarians...)!

    Give me a reason why that system will not work? There is a political spectrum not just hardcore capitalism or communism. Sure, the US has higher per capita GDP than Sweden (a leading restributive system) but only just and this is no reason to dismiss a redistributive system, perhaps Sweden has fewer natural resources. I am not against capitalism because I think it is for the best of everyone but we can alter the capitalist system to help the poor which we have a duty to do.

    Maybe more flock to America because ...um... IT IS A BIGGER COUNTRY or they have more RELAXED immigration systems. To put the immigration to a country down to it's gini coefficient is rubbish. Take somewhere like bulgaria which has a far lower coefficient than the UK but the GDP per capita is much smaller,perhaps people move here because they realise the worst off are generally better in the UK despite having more inequality of wealth. Most people don't give a **** about equality only their ABSOLUTE welfare. I am not a communist because communism tends to produce horrific results and capitalism is for the best of the worst off .
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    (Original post by Bagration)
    I'm not sure that's even a question. If I asked "I'm intrigued as to how exactly leftists envisage a system with inflation, or even worse, without deflation" I think you'd probably be simply as stumped as I am to offer a concise response.

    I will say: what I would prefer is that the money supply is part of the private economy and therefore inflation/deflation happens at the will of the market. If there is an atmosphere where prices are going to increase, that should happen. If there's one where they're going to decrease, that should happen too. Unfortunately a central bank is far too rigid and politically-controlled to ensure that the money supply flows with the market.
    Well leftists don't argue against an inherent and immutable fact of life whereas that seems to be more of an issue with Libertarians (at least via the money supply). The point is that inflation at around 2% isn't too bad and wages generally rise with inflation, so the effects aren't generally felt by the poor as much you'd think. Given this, and the fact that the instability of the market won't produce a steady 1-2% inflation, how do you think that will produce a better solution to the inflation issue? I'm necessarily asking this as a criticism - i am genuinely intrigued.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    inflation at around 2% isn't too bad
    Unless improvements in efficiency and technology are making everything cheaper, but the Central Bank keeps printing money to keep up with it's inflation target.

    Sometimes prices need to go up -- if resources become constricted forcing people to concentrate on the essentials and eschew luxuries, sometimes they need to go down -- if technological improvements increase efficiency, these savings need to be passed onto the consumer.

    No Central Bank can decide -- for a whole economy -- whether the prices in general need to go up or down. The fair price for a good should be a matter between the purchaser and the vendor, and no-one else.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Well leftists don't argue against an inherent and immutable fact of life whereas that seems to be more of an issue with Libertarians (at least via the money supply). The point is that inflation at around 2% isn't too bad and wages generally rise with inflation, so the effects aren't generally felt by the poor as much you'd think. Given this, and the fact that the instability of the market won't produce a steady 1-2% inflation, how do you think that will produce a better solution to the inflation issue? I'm necessarily asking this as a criticism - i am genuinely intrigued.
    Constant steady inflation is not a "fact of life", it is a creation of central banks in the early to mid 20th century, and if you're adding 'low' to the mix as well has lasted perhaps a decade and a half at most. It's important to be clear what inflation is: a tax on those holding money that is given to the recipient of the new money - generally large banking institutions. This is pretty reprehensible in itself, for either a free marketeer or a socialist, but the effects are not limited to inflation. Making new money and giving it to banks doesn't just cause inflation, it lowers interest rates artificially, meaning that money is invested in enterprises people wouldn't ordinarily think worthwhile. Then, if the state ever slows its printing of money, these investments suddenly collapse.

    I'm not sure why anyone would regard this as advantageous. As far as I can see, it is only done to deliberately induce artificial 'booms' to aid the short term fortunes of politicians in our systemically short termist system for choosing governments.
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    (Original post by Collingwood)
    Constant steady inflation is not a "fact of life", it is a creation of central banks in the early to mid 20th century, and if you're adding 'low' to the mix as well has lasted perhaps a decade and a half at most. It's important to be clear what inflation is: a tax on those holding money that is given to the recipient of the new money - generally large banking institutions. This is pretty reprehensible in itself, for either a free marketeer or a socialist, but the effects are not limited to inflation.
    I never said constant low steady inflation is a fact of life, just inflation. Given that it exists and nothing will change that, surely having inflation at a steady rate is better than wide unpredictable variations that potentially lead to deflation?
    (Original post by Collingwood)
    Making new money and giving it to banks doesn't just cause inflation, it lowers interest rates artificially, meaning that money is invested in enterprises people wouldn't ordinarily think worthwhile. Then, if the state ever slows its printing of money, these investments suddenly collapse.

    I'm not sure why anyone would regard this as advantageous. As far as I can see, it is only done to deliberately induce artificial 'booms' to aid the short term fortunes of politicians in our systemically short termist system for choosing governments.
    Well, I'm full aware of the interest part of monetarism - I was referring mostly to inflation.
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    (Original post by sconzey)
    Unless improvements in efficiency and technology are making everything cheaper, but the Central Bank keeps printing money to keep up with it's inflation target.

    Sometimes prices need to go up -- if resources become constricted forcing people to concentrate on the essentials and eschew luxuries, sometimes they need to go down -- if technological improvements increase efficiency, these savings need to be passed onto the consumer.
    Individual goods will inflate and deflate at 'real' prices anyway, as long as wages line up with general inflation
    (Original post by sconzey)
    No Central Bank can decide -- for a whole economy -- whether the prices in general need to go up or down. The fair price for a good should be a matter between the purchaser and the vendor, and no-one else.
    Well, no, but I don't think that's the point. The central bank doesn't aim to set the prices - indeed in real terms, inflation has a negligible effect. However, the inflation or deflation of money in itself is an immutable reality quite aside from individual prices as long as you have currency, regardless of a central bank.
 
 
 
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