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Our Banana Republic - NYTimes.com

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Our Banana Republic - NYTimes.com

"The United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana."

The proportions DO matter, not just whether you stole it fair and square.
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On November 8th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC), bluedeer commented:
Also, the rich need to realize that the poor are not poor because they -want- to be.
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On November 8th, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC), scyllacat replied:
My point of view on being poor is that I know that I do a lot of those thankless, menial tasks, but if I do them well (I do), improve (I have), and stay competitive (ditto), why the hell has my buying power DEcreased in the past 20 years? Why doesn't my salary pay for health care? Sure, Theoretically, anyone can jump on the Make Money Train, Work at it night and day until they become rich, but most of those people Won't Actually Get Rich, So why is it the prerogative of the rich to not pay "a day's wage for a day's pay"? Oh, right, they have to look out for the shareholders first. Grouch, grouch, grouch.
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On November 8th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC), paka commented:
And what gets me is how... non-community oriented this is. You'd figure people on top would be willing to make less and have more distributed resources so that there'd be more of the USA which would be okay to pass through or visit, so that their workers would generally be better educated, so that the people serving their food would be in better health, you name it. I've seen a lot of wealthy communities near where I live, but surely these guys can't be all that isolated, they have to deal with the real world once in a while, right?
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On November 8th, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC), scyllacat replied:
Enlightened self-interest
Apparently, they went in one direction with policy thinking that people would act in enlightened self-interest, but, lo and behold, they acted like greedy, short-sighted idiots instead of rational. Who'd'a thunk it? ~^~
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On November 9th, 2010 07:12 am (UTC), paka replied:
Re: Enlightened self-interest
How long can an idea fail that obviously?
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On November 9th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC), scyllacat replied:
Re: Enlightened self-interest
Apparently, about 40 years: http://www.wowowow.com/post/greenspan-shrugged-did-ayn-rand-cause-our-financial-crisis-12828

'Today, 40 years after the heyday of those gatherings, Greenspan surprised many with his "Yes, I found a flaw" response to a grilling from the Committee. Responding to the clear failure of the notion of "enlightened self-interest" to stop the cascade of financial catastrophes that have roiled world markets, he said, "That is precisely the reason I was shocked, because I'd been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”'
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On November 9th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC), trekhead replied:
Re: Enlightened self-interest
I'm always surprised that there's not a lot of cross-pollination between psych and econ. If you're going to talk about people making economic decisions, you should at least understand why people make ANY decisions . . .
One interesting tidbit that came out of some recent psych analysis was that the brain tends to deflate future costs by about 50%. This, naturally, explains procrastination: You deflate the cost of deferred labor; the brain evaluates it as less of a chore if you're doing it tomorrow instead of now.
Of course, this has huge consequences for economic behavior. It helps to explain why short-term behavior is so very different from long-term behavior. This would mean, for instance, that when someone is making a choice between a short-term gain and a long-term cost, they will devalue the cost. Suddenly the notion of companies pursuing short-term returns, or people committing criminal or fraudulent market acts for immediate return even though it may lead to later punishment by the market (not to mention society), makes more sense. Which is just more evidence that you have to give people an immediate disincentive, not a future one!
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On November 10th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC), scyllacat replied:
Re: Enlightened self-interest
Wow, that's going to change my calculations considerably. Thanks for the insight.
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On January 17th, 2011 07:08 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
painter 11
Good luck getting people behind this one. Though you make some VERY fascinating points, youre going to have to do more than bring up a few things that may be different than what weve already heard. What are trying to say here? What do you want us to think? It seems like you cant really get behind a unique thought. Anyway, thats just my opinion.
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On January 17th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC), scyllacat replied:
Re: painter 11
Although it's always nice to have new readers, one of us has a comprehension problem. It may be me.

I'm going to have to do more than bring up a few things that may be different than what you've already heard?

It appears that you've already admitted that I've brought up things that you haven't heard before. What if that's all I'm after?

What am I really trying to say here? If it's not obvious: We're already on track to ruining the things that have made our country great. If we continue to have the dichotomy in haves and have-nots that we have, we will likely end up destroying our First World status and end up with a few wealthy overlords and a suffering populace.

What do I want you to think? Darling, that's above my pay scale.

"It seems like you cant (sic) really get behind a unique thought."

It seems like you can't find your apostrophe key, but I thank you for using subjects and predicates and no capslock, so I'll stop being a pedant now, but that sentence is the really irritating one.

It conflicts with the first part. Either I'm telling you things you haven't thought about before, or none of it's new.

But I would argue than no one gets behind a unique thought, because then two people are having it, and it's not unique.

What are you looking for? You don't seem to know if you want to reject it because it is new without enough evidence, or reject it because it isn't new enough.

P.S. I'm the owner of this blog. Who the hell are you?
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On March 14th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Hi from Raj
Hi, Thalia! Raj from Slacktivist here. I just thought I'd follow the trail of bread crumbs from your link to say "Hi!" If you feel so inclined, drop me a line at rajtrekker@gmail.com. Oh, and if you're on Facebook, my last name is Bhosley. :)
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On April 13th, 2011 01:43 am (UTC), cucivara commented:
Did you heard what Rob Matts said about that?

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On May 28th, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC), scyllacat replied:
No, I didn't. Sorry it took so long to get back to this. I haven't been posting, just collecting random spam from call girls and Russians (and Russian call girls for all I know--I haven't got a word of Russian). Who is Rob Matts?
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