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#15088275
ckaihatsu wrote:Apologies -- I meant no offense. I'm here for the politics, and I had no way of knowing that you eschew taking on political positions for yourself.

You can't take the example of *gardening* out of the context of political economy, though, since it's materially a *task*, perhaps for pleasure, perhaps for work, for harvest. Time spent on one's garden is time spent not-selling-one's-labor-power, to make a wage, or in other personal pursuits.

I'll proffer the following sociological-type diagram that I developed, to provide some universal context for where I'm coming from -- it stacks the three generic / universal contexts of 'lifestyle', 'logistics', and 'politics' according to *scale* in society, going from the small-scale (individual), up to the large-scale (politics).


History, Macro-Micro -- politics-logistics-lifestyle

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From a personal standpoint the truth is I don't have my mind up at all, and see many of the phenomena we are discussing almost beyond comprehension in terms of forming a personal opinion. I suppose that to me the vastness of the phenomena is somewhat overwhelming, and I am not comfortable with my understanding outside of a fairly narrow scope. It's also maybe my habit to compartmentalize somewhat, toward the endeavor of making unbiased analysis.

On the gardening thing, I can say for one thing that I understand the neoclassical microeconomic theories where it concerns time use, and will just say that I only partially agree with it, in theory as well as practice. In the first instance, such static economic models can never purport to do anything more than provide a proxy against which to test ideas, really. I don't think the original theorists have ever intended to suggest that the models represented anything like a genuine description of society, but unfortunately their followers have frequently and loudly taken the approach that they do represent a genuine description of society, a situation that is so widespread as to (unfortunately and uneccessarily) constitute a core fallacy--in economics, social science, broader media, politics, etc.

This is getting into a whole can of worms and I'd rather just leave it there. Economic analysis is an art, and economic models and theories are like paint brushes, but they frequently become 'blinders' (in the common jargon) when wielded carelessly or incompetently, or in the hands of those devout followers of this or that 'school of thought'.

You'll note I said I only partially agree with the neoclassical ideas you evoke, meaning that I certainly accept a lot of legitimacy in them as well, which I actually made allowance for when I said 'gardening is a meager assistance'. 'Meager' in the same sense of the word as saying that the protagonists in Engels' The Condition of the Working Class in London could have been said to 'lead a meager subsistence'.

Now, that being said, there is potential for agency on the part of workers and communities, at least in many cases, to make real choices, and this can involve 'self-help' and mutual aid-like arrangements, which can lead to material benefits, and I am personally very favorable toward such potential arrangements, although it is not something about which I have much depth in the way of knowledge. There are many examples of such though all around us. I can give you one example, which is a co-op.

Neoclassical economics is vulgar as can be. It is frequently observable for people to try to argue based on neoclassical economics, and then denounce an opponent for their 'ignorance' based on their lack of strict adherence to neoclassical economic thought in the construction of any retorts. Most normys that are seen doing this have no idea what 'neoclassical economics' even means or that it even exists, but no matter. Neoclassical economists insist that 'economics' and 'neoclassical economics' are synonymous, to the point that it is better not to even mention the latter term (lest anyone wise up to their scam).

There are alternative approaches out there to economic analysis though, the most coherent of which is Marxism.
#15088322
Crantag wrote:
From a personal standpoint the truth is I don't have my mind up at all, and see many of the phenomena we are discussing almost beyond comprehension in terms of forming a personal opinion. I suppose that to me the vastness of the phenomena is somewhat overwhelming, and I am not comfortable with my understanding outside of a fairly narrow scope. It's also maybe my habit to compartmentalize somewhat, toward the endeavor of making unbiased analysis.



I've found compartmentalization to be absolutely *necessary*, hence that 'politics-logistics-lifestyle' diagram. Nothing in the real world is *ideal*, though, of course, and there's often *overlap* among those three 'realms', in practice.


Crantag wrote:
On the gardening thing, I can say for one thing that I understand the neoclassical microeconomic theories where it concerns time use, and will just say that I only partially agree with it, in theory as well as practice. In the first instance, such static economic models can never purport to do anything more than provide a proxy against which to test ideas, really. I don't think the original theorists have ever intended to suggest that the models represented anything like a genuine description of society, but unfortunately their followers have frequently and loudly taken the approach that they do represent a genuine description of society, a situation that is so widespread as to (unfortunately and uneccessarily) constitute a core fallacy--in economics, social science, broader media, politics, etc.



Yeah, I'd say that there's *much* out of the Western tradition that's stubbornly *linear*, like approaches to economics and whatever.

I happened to have found much enlightenment through *complexity* theory, and I think it can be readily applied, as a framework, to just about *any* discipline. (For example, compare a typical dialectical relationship of just *two* entities / parameters, to a *constellation* of fixed or dynamic points / entities / parameters within some kind of *multi*-linear / multidimensional conceptual space, as seen in any of my diagrams, basically.)


Crantag wrote:
This is getting into a whole can of worms and I'd rather just leave it there. Economic analysis is an art, and economic models and theories are like paint brushes, but they frequently become 'blinders' (in the common jargon) when wielded carelessly or incompetently, or in the hands of those devout followers of this or that 'school of thought'.



Yeah, I'd generalize this to *all* of the social sciences, basically:


Humanities - Technology Chart 3.0

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Humanities-Technology Chart 2.0

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---


Crantag wrote:
You'll note I said I only partially agree with the neoclassical ideas you evoke,



I 'evoke neoclassical ideas' -- ??

Them's *fightin'* words -- ! (grin)

(I'm a Marxist.)


Crantag wrote:
meaning that I certainly accept a lot of legitimacy in them as well, which I actually made allowance for when I said 'gardening is a meager assistance'. 'Meager' in the same sense of the word as saying that the protagonists in Engels' The Condition of the Working Class in London could have been said to 'lead a meager subsistence'.



Oh, okay -- now there's hydroponics and shit, so you probably don't even *need* Whole Foods.


Crantag wrote:
Now, that being said, there is potential for agency on the part of workers and communities, at least in many cases, to make real choices, and this can involve 'self-help' and mutual aid-like arrangements, which can lead to material benefits, and I am personally very favorable toward such potential arrangements, although it is not something about which I have much depth in the way of knowledge. There are many examples of such though all around us. I can give you one example, which is a co-op.



I *hear* ya, and I've tended to *eschew* community-type organizations for the sake of a more *proletarian* politics, but, yeah, they're there.


Crantag wrote:
Neoclassical economics is vulgar as can be. It is frequently observable for people to try to argue based on neoclassical economics, and then denounce an opponent for their 'ignorance' based on their lack of strict adherence to neoclassical economic thought in the construction of any retorts. Most normys that are seen doing this have no idea what 'neoclassical economics' even means or that it even exists, but no matter. Neoclassical economists insist that 'economics' and 'neoclassical economics' are synonymous, to the point that it is better not to even mention the latter term (lest anyone wise up to their scam).



Well-said -- the thing *I've* noticed about those types is that they think that supply-and-demand *exchange values* / market-pricing are the source of all economic value, and so they ignore the role of productive *labor* altogether (the buying and selling of the labor-commodity, for commodity-production).


Crantag wrote:
There are alternative approaches out there to economic analysis though, the most coherent of which is Marxism.



Yup -- preaching to the choir here.
#15088336
ckaihatsu wrote:Your concern is about the 'internal' *inflation* that would occur -- as someone pointed out in regards to college tuitions -- with the influx of government-backed funding, for health care.

It's understandable, but it's still too economics-sided -- the more important aspect, *on top* of the underlying economics of it, is that more people would simply have more access to health and college, respectively. These are the kinds of things that *shouldn't* be subject to command-like rationing through austerity-type funding decisions when we know that there's plenty of *supply* to be had from these industries.

I can't speak to the specific statistic you're mentioning, but it's noted.

In the US, the entire system has evolved differently. Too much has to change to use the Beveridge model of the UK. There are many in the UK who want to keep access for everyone, but move to a more flexible, more private model.

As I stated to @late at one point--who is as maniacal in his opposition to Trump as he is fanatical about testing--is that we do need to move more toward evidence-based medicine. However, the cost of testing has to plummet. As AI gets better at reading scans than humans, this will change in the field of oncology for example. It won't be long before people want to see the AI report and give it more credence than an oncologist's opinion.

Government-regulated systems die hard though.

As for higher education, this is the interesting thing about the lockdown--suddenly, everyone has to home school and has to rely on technology for remote education. That's a great thing in my opinion. However, it should also mean that the extraordinarily capital-intensive education system will have to get both more flexible and economically leaner. It has to move beyond a glorified baby sitting service.

You might get free college in Germany, but are they really going to let you get a degree in "Women's studies"? The shittiest degrees they offer are like Leisure and Tourism Management. The worthless degrees that American universities proffer would be considered a criminal fraud in most of the rest of the world.

ckaihatsu wrote:I'm referring to Blackjack's sentiment that China won't dump the US dollar because of the importance of the US export market and how (as I've stated) this sentiment has been a source of comfort for American commentators.

Thus, believing that the US is safe because China is reliant on the US export market (and presumably will be for perpetuity, or at least the foreseeable future, according to these sentiments) is itself a position of excessive comfort. I guess it was my nice way of calling it delusional (the notion that things must continue to be as they have been, on this front).

Dumping the US dollar just makes US exports more competitive in the international market. Saudi Arabia is dumping oil on the international market. Does that make the world come to an end? No. It just makes oil cheap and plentiful.

I'm not saying China will never dump US dollars. They are capable of doing stupid things too. Shooting the US in the foot while shooting themselves in the head isn't a great idea. Coronavirus is enough of a wake up call for the rest of the world, that China better have a solid internal development plan.
#15088344
@ckaihatsu I hate to break it to you, but what you said about labor time was basically a restatement of neoclassical utility theory (even if couched in some Marxist terms like 'labor power' and 'material'.

ckaihatsu wrote:You can't take the example of *gardening* out of the context of political economy, though, since it's materially a *task*, perhaps for pleasure, perhaps for work, for harvest. Time spent on one's garden is time spent not-selling-one's-labor-power, to make a wage, or in other personal pursuits.


That isn't to say neoclassical economics can't be useful or insightful, as I alluded to above, or that there isn't transfer between intellectual traditions. It's really no matter though, and I probably misspoke, and probably should have just addressed the point directly.

Of course Marx had plenty to say about the working day. Of course, his focus was mostly on subsistence wage laborers in London's factory districts. A subsistence level is set by the society, and that of Marx's contemporary London factory workers was, we can say, that same standard documented by Engels in the book I mentioned earlier.

What Marx presented was itself a model of course, and it could be debatable to what extent the average worker that lives check-to-check is a subsistence worker; I would argue in many cases that they are and the principal material difference is the financialization of workers' lives. Incomes are systemically confined by financial obligations.

Then there are the petite bourgeoisie. As far as I can tell, the petite bourgeoisie would probably have more ability to take time out for gardening and what not.
#15088545
blackjack21 wrote:
In the US, the entire system has evolved differently. Too much has to change to use the Beveridge model of the UK. There are many in the UK who want to keep access for everyone, but move to a more flexible, more private model.



This is just *stonewalling* on your part, BJ -- if the U.S. can do a single-payer military protection-racket, then it can do single-payer for *any other* industry, including health care.

Administration these days is logistically easier than ever before, with relational databases, and in the past triplicate hardcopies made things *very* organized, bureaucratically / administratively.


blackjack21 wrote:
As I stated to @late at one point--who is as maniacal in his opposition to Trump as he is fanatical about testing--is that we do need to move more toward evidence-based medicine. However, the cost of testing has to plummet. As AI gets better at reading scans than humans, this will change in the field of oncology for example. It won't be long before people want to see the AI report and give it more credence than an oncologist's opinion.



Well, your slight at late aside, I'm not sure what you're trying to *say* here -- if an oncologist decides to use AI for the analytic processing of cancer CTs / X-rays / whatever, then that would be within their professional discretion to do so. It's the *oncologist* who's part of the medical staff, and not the AI system. The AI system doesn't have personhood, and isn't self-aware, nor is it part of the medical staff.


blackjack21 wrote:
Government-regulated systems die hard though.

As for higher education, this is the interesting thing about the lockdown--suddenly, everyone has to home school and has to rely on technology for remote education. That's a great thing in my opinion. However, it should also mean that the extraordinarily capital-intensive education system will have to get both more flexible and economically leaner. It has to move beyond a glorified baby sitting service.



I *half-agree* with you -- I think that distance learning options are probably underutilized, but, on the flipside, the process of education can be as creative and artistic as any other professional field, and can use any in-person techniques imaginable, that would be impossible with a remote-learning modality.

And, again, the capital-intensiveness underlying any given social service is not my concern -- it's about the public service provided, ultimately.


blackjack21 wrote:
You might get free college in Germany, but are they really going to let you get a degree in "Women's studies"? The shittiest degrees they offer are like Leisure and Tourism Management. The worthless degrees that American universities proffer would be considered a criminal fraud in most of the rest of the world.



Why are you so dismissive of 'women's studies'? It's as much a part of the humanities as any other humanities-related discipline / subject area.

Maybe, on the whole, the U.S. higher education system may be more geared towards *vocational training*, moreso than other countries, to aid with avenues to employment, but I'm far from knowledgeable in this. I think the European system is probably considered to be *qualitatively* better, on the whole, probably mostly due to its centuries-longer legacy of institutional existence, compared to the U.S.'s 200+ years of national existence.


blackjack21 wrote:
ckaihatsu wrote:



The segment you attributed to me, BJ, isn't from me -- it's from Crantag:


Crantag wrote:
I'm referring to Blackjack's sentiment that China won't dump the US dollar because of the importance of the US export market and how (as I've stated) this sentiment has been a source of comfort for American commentators.

Thus, believing that the US is safe because China is reliant on the US export market (and presumably will be for perpetuity, or at least the foreseeable future, according to these sentiments) is itself a position of excessive comfort. I guess it was my nice way of calling it delusional (the notion that things must continue to be as they have been, on this front).



blackjack21 wrote:
Dumping the US dollar just makes US exports more competitive in the international market. Saudi Arabia is dumping oil on the international market. Does that make the world come to an end? No. It just makes oil cheap and plentiful.

I'm not saying China will never dump US dollars. They are capable of doing stupid things too. Shooting the US in the foot while shooting themselves in the head isn't a great idea. Coronavirus is enough of a wake up call for the rest of the world, that China better have a solid internal development plan.



China is currently doing more domestically than most other, austerity-minded countries, in my understanding.
#15088555
Crantag wrote:
@ckaihatsu I hate to break it to you, but what you said about labor time was basically a restatement of neoclassical utility theory (even if couched in some Marxist terms like 'labor power' and 'material'.



Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! No. No. No.

(grin)


I did a search for the term 'labor' at this Wikipedia entry, and it pulled up *nothing*.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility


As far as I know neoclassical utility theory does *not* address the labor-commodity input, to the commodity-production process, even though labor is *treated* as a commodity itself, and bought low, while its resulting products are sold high, on the markets.

This *differential*, received by the employer / owner / boss, is a profit made by *exploiting* the commodified labor-power of the laborer, from the revenue of the sale of the products of that labor, minus expenses, minus the wages paid.


Components of Social Production

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[11] Labor & Capital, Wages & Dividends

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---


Crantag wrote:
That isn't to say neoclassical economics can't be useful or insightful, as I alluded to above, or that there isn't transfer between intellectual traditions. It's really no matter though, and I probably misspoke, and probably should have just addressed the point directly.



Well, I'll *maintain* that neoclassical economics only looks at the *market pricing* / exchange values, *after* the commodity has been produced -- it does not evaluate or even address the *production* of the commodity itself, through the exploitation of the labor-commodity, as I just outlined above.


Crantag wrote:
Of course Marx had plenty to say about the working day. Of course, his focus was mostly on subsistence wage laborers in London's factory districts. A subsistence level is set by the society, and that of Marx's contemporary London factory workers was, we can say, that same standard documented by Engels in the book I mentioned earlier.

What Marx presented was itself a model of course, and it could be debatable to what extent the average worker that lives check-to-check is a subsistence worker; I would argue in many cases that they are and the principal material difference is the financialization of workers' lives. Incomes are systemically confined by financial obligations.



On this latter statement, would I be fair in rephrasing it to say that 'Private ownership's interests in profiting from wage labor is what keeps wages down.' -- ?


Crantag wrote:
Then there are the petite bourgeoisie. As far as I can tell, the petite bourgeoisie would probably have more ability to take time out for gardening and what not.



I can't readily agree -- again, the position of the petty bourgeoisie is more similar to that of the bourgeoisie *in general* than you may think. The generic private interest in making profits from the exploitation of labor is what defines the bourgeoisie in either case. You may want to *clarify* whatever distinction you're trying to make here.
#15088643
Crantag wrote:Neoclassical economics is vulgar as can be.

...

There are alternative approaches out there to economic analysis though, the most coherent of which is Marxism.


:roll:

The two main issues of neoclassical (macro-)theory are the stability of the equilibrium and the aggregation problem, IMO.

Marxism doesn't offer any solution to those problems whatsoever.
#15088651
Rugoz wrote:
:roll:

The two main issues of neoclassical (macro-)theory are the stability of the equilibrium and the aggregation problem, IMO.

Marxism doesn't offer any solution to those problems whatsoever.



That's because these economics problems are only concerned with *market pricing*, which comes *after* the initial production of the commodity, using human wage labor as a commodity *input*, which is *exploited* for its surplus labor value.


[11] Labor & Capital, Wages & Dividends

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#15089050
On Saturday Warren Buffett mused on the current economic climate: He talked about the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus infections. He acknowledged that the world might profoundly change for years to come. And he spent a notable portion of the meeting detailing the economy’s performance since 1789, with a particular focus on the years between 1929 and 1951, a period in which the stock market took 22 years to get back to its highs.

More than his words, he spoke with his wallet. He usually relishes a down stock market to take advantage of lower prices. Not this time. He hadn’t made any purchases recently; he didn’t buy up stocks when they had fallen last month during what felt like a mini-panic: “We have not done anything, because we don’t see anything that attractive to do.”
#15089709
This picture of people showing up at a food bank ,presumably because they have no $ for food, driving new $30,000 - $50,000 cars illustrates, I think, the sick debt fueled consumer culture in America. Trump's "greatest economy in history" was simply a debt fueled house of cards waiting to be blown over by the first bump in the road it encountered.


Image
People lined up at a drive-through food bank in Kansas City, Kan.
#15090222
Image

A food donation site in New Orleans on Friday. The damage to the economy is the worst since the Great Depression, far exceeding the 8.7 million jobs lost in the last recession.
User avatar
By Drlee
#15090284
@blackjack21 countries in terms of death toll per capita are Italy, Spain, and the UK, which all use the Beveridge model of a national health service. The countries with the lowest death toll per capita are the US, which uses a private health system and Germany which relies on the Bismarck model.


There is no correlation though this kind of BS easily snows Trump supporters. You are articulating a hypothesis which does not make sense.

They US is still on the edge of this. 76,000 dead and we are nowhere near half way I fear. We are also cooking the books and deaths are probably much higher than reported. And finally we are a huge country. Space is grace in epidemiology. But the reckoning is coming. How health care is funded will have little to do with the result as it has had little to do with it thus far.

We (the US) have not tested anything like enough people to draw much of a conclusion so far. Explain S. Korea Blackjack21. It has 100% government health care and is doing far better than we are. We have about 230 deaths per million and they have about 5.

You do sneak this shit in though.
#15090564
Drlee wrote:There is no correlation though this kind of BS easily snows Trump supporters. You are articulating a hypothesis which does not make sense.

There is correlation. We just haven't established regression. However, it is nevertheless a valid counter-argument to the notion that this crisis underscores what leftists assert is an obvious need for a UK style health system in the United States. Countries with the UK-style Beveridge model did the poorest. So if the US wanted to change its system, the German system or Bismarck model would be the preferred option.

Drlee wrote:How health care is funded will have little to do with the result as it has had little to do with it thus far.

Thanks for making my point for me.

Drlee wrote:It has 100% government health care and is doing far better than we are. We have about 230 deaths per million and they have about 5.

You do sneak this shit in though.

To Americans, walking around in public with masks on seemed ridiculous until very recently. Asians seem much better prepared for this type of pandemic, since they have been dealing with these coronavirus outbreaks for some time. Which is to say, I think it has little to do with the health care system, then with people who live in high-density urban environments in Asia being much more aware of the risks and ready with their masks than people in the West. They also probably have some herd immunity to SARS.
By late
#15090643
blackjack21 wrote:
Countries with the UK-style Beveridge model did the poorest.



More fiction...

New Zealand..

There are a number of variables, but the important one is the speed at which the government can respond to the crisis.

Thousands are dying constantly, do you really have to help chaos along????????????????????????????????????????????????
User avatar
By Drlee
#15090723
I said "How health care is funded will have little to do with the result as it has had little to do with it thus far."


@blackjack21 Thanks for making my point for me.


No. Nice try. This is not about funding. IT very well could about access. Good misdirection though.
#15090898
Plague, famine and inequity can lead to revolutions. Revolutions can be rather bloody and may not always be kind to the ruling classes. Think French and Russian. When societies are stretched to the limit by certain events the wheels may fall off the bus.

Concentrated wealth contributed to the decline and fall of:
Egypt’s New Kingdom
Rome
Byzantium
Medieval Japan
Venice
Hapsburg Spain
Bourbon France
Romanov Russia
Coolidge/Hoover America - triggering the Great Depression, the rise of Hitler, WWII & Holocaust.
BushJr America - Great Recession.

It continues ….. the common denominator being a human nature controlled by greed. This will not change, especially with D.trump, Prince Of Greed, blundering about.
#15091003
It's very simple; no income, no purchasing; no purchasing, no sales; no sales, no manufacturing, no lending, no borrowing, no interest being earned and of critical importance, no ability to pay back current debts.

In other words, we are looking at a potential economic collapse that will cause a worldwide depression.
#15091020
What bothers me is that regular people are loosing cash. I suspect by the time this is over, people will be bothered by debt and the loss of their savings accounts. They'ĺl consider the cost of coffee and /.or lunch as unafforable making it tough on the food trade, and more. Those rooms that need painting will have to do with a thorough wash, and so on.

Anything the government does, eg investing in infrastructure, is going to add to the exploding federal debt. This is going to be rough.
By late
#15091044
jimjam wrote:
It's very simple; no income, no purchasing; no purchasing, no sales; no sales, no manufacturing, no lending, no borrowing, no interest being earned and of critical importance, no ability to pay back current debts.

In other words, we are looking at a potential economic collapse that will cause a worldwide depression.



Elections have consequences.
User avatar
By Drlee
#15091126
In other words, we are looking at a potential economic collapse that will cause a worldwide depression.


I believe we are already there. The US will soon stop buying overseas, not because we are moving production home, but because our domestic market is broken. This will tank the Chinese and other eastern economies.

The republicans are opposing additional stimulus with McConnell saying just today that he does not see any hurry in a new releif bill. This will utterly destroy our last vestiges of middle class. They have finally come for our last bit of savings.

The fact that the stock market is hovering where it is, is IMO simply because nobody is in charge and there are no obvious safe havens with the feds spending like drunken sailors. Local and state governments are looking like horrible investments and the gobs of money in Muni's is seriously at risk. Meanwhile there is not even the scent of leadership coming from Washington.

IF IF IF, we get a second wave of this disease, we are going to see a crash of Biblical proportions because investors will have to finally admit that we are aboard a rudderless ship. Where is Nixon when we need him.
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