E pluribus unum

Discussion in 'Economics' started by nitro, Jul 24, 2011.

Is the middle class in America a blip in economic history?

  1. Yes. And it is now reverting to the mean where wealth is more even worldwide.

    12 vote(s)
  2. No. The blip is its appearance that it will go away. Soon we will be back to normal.

    7 vote(s)
  3. I don't know.

    3 vote(s)
  4. I don't care.

    2 vote(s)
  1. nitro


    I was enticed to read this book after reading this review:


    The current attack in Norway is a clear example of how multiculturalism appears to be failing. This was not directly predicted by Marx, but you can make the leap easily from what he did. Say. But I have a more interesting question: Is the middle class doomed, and is saving it "wrong"?
  2. There's no reason to consider the cyclical nature of America's economy having any disruptive social effects.

    To debate Marx is to ask why the Soviet Union failed. Demand curves do not slope up, and multiculturalism is not the cause of the attack on Norway.
  3. nitro


    Your first statement [Soviet Union and Marx] is a mistake in logic, to say nothing of the fact that it has nothing to do with the statement at hand. I am not saying that your statement isn't interesting, only that you are answering (wrong as it may be) to a question that was never asked. I will give my opinion on it partially even though not part of thread. By all evidence, the US is one big ponzy scheme (ignored by the rest of the world for their own benefit), and may hint as to why this system has survived for as long as it has. Economic well being may be an oxymoron. Until human beings are free of economic worries, they will never be truly well, imo. (I am aware this opens up another can of worms...)

    Economic theories should be studied on what I call "geoeconomic" scales, long enough to get statistical significance. What is the scale? At least one thousand years. The soviet union was one experiment. The US is another. Too soon to tell...In fact, it is hard to argue about "Economic theory" at all, since all [modern] systems have collapsed well before these time-scales. Also, when we do proper accounting of all effects of a system, will we be able to scientifically gauge its success. To say we are all wealthier as an emerging world, is ignoring depletion of natural resources and extinction of animals and other ailments that affect the earth as a whole, is worse than the typical accounting usually done.

    As to the second statement, which is far more complicated, there is no direct evidence yet, but:

    "...The police identified the suspect as Anders Behring Breivik, 32, a right-wing fundamentalist Christian. Acquaintances described him as a gun-loving Norwegian obsessed with what he saw as the threats of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration...."

  4. nitro


    I see the following scenario.

    Just 20 years ago, world-wide there were maybe 1 billion people full time employed. Today, that number is probably closer to 3 or 4 billion. At the same time, automation is becoming more prominent.

    Let's follow this to its logical conclusion. Population continues to grow. Automation does more of menial jobs for us. Do you see where this is going? Gigantic number of unemployed. There is simply nothing for huge sums of the population to do to earn a living, at least in an old world definition of being employed and earning money to survive. It cannot continue indefinitely.

    People say, that is why we have to have a more educated work force. But that too has some sort of limit. Economics can not be the answer on geological time scales. We are simply stuck in this intellectual struggle because we don't know what the real answer is, so we just approximate the best we can.
  5. the masses must be fed, clothed and sheltered, even if they have nothing to do
  6. zdreg


    "Just 20 years ago, world-wide there were maybe 1 billion people full time employed. Today, that number is probably closer to 3 or 4 billion. At the same time, automation is becoming more prominent."

    automation was the dibble 20 years ago. yet employment grew.
    same dribble, malthus etc., about food wants over centuries."
  7. As a thought experiment, imagine a world where population growth had proceeded as it did during the 20th century to today and where capitalism had not created the vast amounts of wealth it did, but where growth rates were more in line with the "social democracies" of Europe over the past 60 years. My hypothesis would be that such a world would be much more unstable than anything we see in place today.

    There's always going to be dissatisfaction with the status quo, but there will rarely be anything sensible that comes out of that dissatisfaction, Marxism included. The fact is that human life is unstable. Not sure why people expect there to be some magical equilibrium point where all of society comes together to sing kumbayah. Ain't gonna happen and it's a childish (not to mention dangerous to try putting into practice) delusion to believe it will.
  8. Oh no, not again... This is all so wrong, IMHO.
  9. nitro


    Perhaps, but the hard part is isolating a government structure from the people that practice it. Some social democracies appear to be the best places in the world to live, even by Capitalist measures. On the other hand, there appear a certain people in this world that no system would appear to help.

    I am not disagreeing that this is the human condition in general. On the other hand, __some__ people do fine both seeking and living in Eden. So in statements that deal with the human condition, "for all" should be replaced by "there exists".
  10. nitro


    #10     Jul 25, 2011