Heart of Darkness

Discussion in 'Economics' started by nitro, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. nitro


    Has anyone ever sat back from their economics courses, and actually asked the following question:

    "Why, in an age of such prosperity, are there so many people desperately in danger of poverty?" I have a theory. In another post somewhere (I would have to dig it up), I broke down our typical expenses. I realized a while later that, a huge percentage of a person's paycheck in a typical city goes to "rent" or mortgage or whatever. I then started to ask, why is housing weighted so, in comparison to say, food, or waste disposal, or water, or any other basic need? Why is it that someone can go into Coach and spend $5k on two purses that look like shit, but someone just outside through bad luck or even stupidity (God forbid we should make mistakes!) is rummaging at MCDs garbage can to eat?

    Ok, I said, let's apply economic principles. Land must be a finite resource. There is only so much of it to go around. So I looked up what percentage of the US is actual living land. Something like 7%!!?? Hmmm, that doesn't seem right? Then I thought, well, ok, so it can't be economics, at least not classically. Then I thought to myself, wait a minute, if I go to NYC hotel, and get an orange juice, it costs $7. If I go to Brooklyn, it costs $1.50!?? Hmmm, what can cause the price of OJ to skyrocket from one place to another, only miles away, like this??? (there should be an arbitrage in there somewhere in efficient markets). Then I thought, land!!! Land is far far more expensive in NYC than in Brooklyn. But land can not explain it completely. Then I thought there must be a principle at work here, and I realized that in every single item we buy, there are middle men from the OJ producer and the final consumer. This must be the reason, there must be way more middle men in NYC than in Brooklyn. But then even this could not explain all of it. What else? I finally threw my hands up and realized that it has to be psychology. Why on earth would someone pay $7 for a glass of OJ? It must be that people charge whatever someone is willing to pay for it, and can be abused or "sold to." Of course this is no new insight, brokers try to screw old ladies out of their pensions, so why wouldn't this human principle apply anywhere else?

    My point is, a huge portion of the population has to spend 80% of their life towards rent. Communism probably recognized this and disallows private land ownership. I am thinking that this is not a bad idea, no private land ownership. Did we throw out the baby with the bath water in Communism? Would it alleviate this endless inflationary pressures in our most basic needs?

    Most everyone on earth dedicates their life to the "lower" pursuits. Not to art, science, etc. I am not saying we should all be wearing bedsheets discussing the finer points of Kant. But is life, in 2011, in the richest nation on earth, 80% (100% for the poor) survival?

    We never left the jungle.
  2. Its human nature.

    One guy sees another guy loses his wallet... He picks it up and gives it back.

    Another guy sees it, picks it up and takes the money.

    No regulation can do anything about this.

    So what is the alternative....

    Either you baill out the rich when they make bad investment decisions and you help the poor when in dire straits...

    Or you do neither.

    The rich trough their money and the poor trough their numbers try to turn the table their side troughout history and they both despice each other when in reality one could say they are both sucking from the same tit.
  3. olias


    'most everyone' needs to wake up and recognize the dangling carrots....thinking that obtaining them will make them 'happy'
  4. It is a basic fallacy that wealth brings safety and stability. The more one has, the more one has to lose, the more risk it too to get it, and the more ways there are to lose it.

    Wealthy friends want to talk about the markets, interest rates, and economics and fear the future. Poor friends want to talk about sports. Happy friends want to talk about recent successes. Miserable friends want to review their suffering.

    Are we each blocking the door to the thing that we say we desire?
  5. Nice thought Nitro, I have to thinn about this. In the meantime to throw a wrench in your quandry, a city like New York is the most energy efficient city in the world. (Read that somewhere with the stats to prove it...hmnnnn)
  6. Most homeless people in USA chose to be homeless.

    If they want to work, any MCD pays $7.52/hr. With that kind of money you can rent and pay for food and utilities and do alot of things as long as you stay out of big and expensive cities. So it is a mental illness problem not economics. I mean howelse can you explain a person barely speaking english working in MCD and living with 2 kids with no food or shelter problem but an American native English speaker with no physical problem is on the streets? Because they choose to live on the street, not that they can not find a job.

    In other countries, that is a different story. In some countries there are engineers selling food on the street because they can not find even a MCD job.

    So the USA's homeless problem is not economics problem it is a mental illness problem. In other countries there are not many sick people. dunno why USA has too many.
  7. hgchicago.org :cool:
  8. gucci


    Did you really read the post you smart guy?.............Here is an excerpt for the most beautiful and ingenuous ones...

    "But is life, in 2011, in the richest nation on earth, 80% (100% for the poor) survival?"
  9. You are out of touch with reality. MCD jobs do not pay enough for a simple room in many cities. You live with family or in your vehicle if you do not have other funds and didn't inherited your home.

    In any case, not all who wants to work can get work in MCD. lol
  10. My point is, a huge portion of the population has to spend 80% of their life towards rent.

    "If men could fuck women in a cardboard box, they wouldn't buy a house." — Dave Chappelle

    Communism probably recognized this and disallows private land ownership. I am thinking that this is not a bad idea, no private land ownership.

    Might be off track here but if we use renters as a guide they are transient and not as stable or commited to the community.

    Not that anything wrong with renters as people per se it's just the lack of vested interest in what they don't own.

    We could say the same for our own children in regards to our own home, they are "homeless" in the strictest sense. They have to be taught to respect "our" property.

    As for the economics, I'd vote psychological as the main reason.

    We want our children to have a better life, this would include housing with less work and effort (at the minium a better quailty house) than those have build the first house
    #10     Feb 8, 2011