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  1. #1
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    The essence of lebensraum

    The working poor are paid low wages in a free market because their skills are in low demand. However, if the entire working class went back to school and 'got an education', they would still be paid a pittance. This is what has happened historically. Once upon a time, the middle class got to show off their high school diplomas, making them as valuable as they are today showing off degrees. Now many working class people have a high school diploma, but they are still struggling to provide for their families. How can this be? Because the middle and upper class didn't want to be engulfed in the surplus supply of high school diplomas, so they made sure their children got degrees. Since they merely built on their previous education, these classes can still take up jobs requiring a high school diploma if necessary. Consequently, the surplus supply of diplomas (or whatever is next defined as basic education) never goes away, trapping a large segment of a population in eternal economic strife. This illuminates the fundamental difference between rich and poor: the rich simply control more stuff than the poor, which allows them to persistently stay one step ahead. This is amply demonstrated by the wealth and priorities of farmers compared to inner city laborers. Both are working class, yet farmers tend to advocate the politics of self-reliance, whereas the latter advocates handouts. Why? Because farmers control land and other laborers don't.

    So how does Clint Eastwood back up his threat, "Get off my lawn!" By using violence or the threat of violence. This is necessary because resources are scarce. There will always be rich and poor, haves and have-nots. The point is that the good life is born from violence. If you are not willing to fight for the soil you need to make an honest living, you deserve to live in your squalor. However, it is not wise to "eat the rich" around you, because you tend to rely on their capital accumulation. A lebensraum policy is another story.

    Or perhaps someone can show me where I got my economics wrong?

  2. #2
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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky View Post
    Now many working class people have a high school diploma, but they are still struggling to provide for their families. How can this be?
    Hi Quicky and welcome to ODN. You have an interesting theory about the halves and halves not. Let's examine this further.

    One reason high school graduates are still be struggling could be because a high school diploma is simply no longer enough to land a good paying job. Why do 70 percent of high school graduates go on to college? Could it be because the time has come and gone when a high school diploma and some good old American work ethic were enough for a comfortable life? When such a large percentage of HS graduates go on to college, perhaps that’s because our high schools are producing somewhat poorly educated workers.

    By far, one of the biggest advantages to going to college is that you’ll be qualified for more high-paying jobs in most fields. While this doesn’t always hold true, college grads do, on average, make a lot more money than workers who just have a high school diploma. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the annual salary average differences between educational levels is staggering:

    High school drop outs: $18,734
    High school graduates: $27,915
    College grads (with a bachelor’s degree): $51,206
    Advanced degree holders: $74,602

    http://howtoedu.org/college-facts/ho...ge-grads-make/

    There will always be rich and poor, haves and have-nots. The point is that the good life is born from violence.
    I guess this depends on how you look at it. In America that violence and price for the good life has already been paid -- about 200+ years ago. Now, this doesn't mean it should not be defended. Nevertheless, that violence (price) bought us some liberty / freedom and some inalienable rights so we can be free to choose and live a good life. There is no good, comfortable life without a framework that supports it. Would you agree?

    I agree that we will always have the rich and the poor. However, that doesn’t mean that a good, decent comfortable life within our republic has to be born from violence for those who don’t want to be poor. But it could mean that the new high school is college or it could mean that we need to hold high schools more accountable.
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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  3. #3
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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky View Post

    Or perhaps someone can show me where I got my economics wrong?
    First, welcome to ODN!

    Your first post here is a significant one and one that I certainly would enjoy discussing with you.

    I do not have a lot of time to get deep into it right now, but the problem with your economics here is that you are casting blame for this situation in the wrong direction. You are saying that it is the rich that are essentially suppressing the value of the achievement (education) of the lower classes. However, the real cause of this is the invisible hand of the market place which works just as much in this sense as it does for any other sort of supply and demand.

    Kinda of important, but I'm not going to deep too much into this: The rich do not have the information necessary to control the market place anymore than a benevolent dictator does despite the fact that they both control the majority of what is going on. They do not control very important factors such as individual supply and demand decisions that each group might make independent of one another. It is the sum of all of those decisions that decide the equilibrium point, not a monopolistic edict from the almighty rich.

    Since I draw so freakin' good, I drew a MSPaint illustration of what is happening in the market place:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Untitled2.png 
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ID:	3494

    Couple of things we need to understand: First, when the overall level of education in a market increases, we call this an increase in human capital. As human capital increases, it causes a shift in the labor supply curve. This is sort of obvious if you think about it instinctively: If people overall get more educated, then their value increases in the workforce. As their value increases, the more they are willing to work.

    So, as the labor supply curve shifts outward, there is a imbalance between the supply and demand of the labor market: The amount of people willing to work is much higher than the number of workers demanded in the market place at a certain level.

    So, what happens in response to this is a natural act of the market, not that of the evil rich.

    Sparing you a bunch of dry economic analysis: Being that the supply (human capital) at a certain level has increased, the demand side is able to increase the standards by which they hire people. They can now hire people with more education to do the same relative jobs that the less educated where doing. What this accomplishes is that more and better work gets done, theoretically at least, for the same cost to the employer. While this might seem to support your analysis, it in fact, proves it incorrect.

    Think about this: You can only hire one person for $10 an hour. "A" and "B" are the two choices. "A" has no high school diploma. "B" has an associates degree. All other things being equal, which do you hire? Obviously, the answer is "B". Why? Well, it is more likely that "B" is more intelligent, more likely to be able to dedicate themselves to something, probably has a better work ethic, so on and so forth. The end result is that "B" adds more value. They are also more likely to be able to have intangible benefits that may end up helping you in unforeseen ways. This analysis shows that who you hire has nothing to do with keeping someone down, it has everything to do with maximizing value.

    Why they aren't getting paid far more: Now, if person B demands twice as much as Person A, who would get the job then? Well, if the value of Person A was 10 an hour, but the value of Person B was only deemed to be 12 an hour, demanding 20 an hour would result in Person A getting the job and B being left out in the cold. So, in order to remain competitive in the market place, B has to scale back the amount that they demand or else they will never get hired. Employers increase the amount that they are willing to pay based on value (most of the time) in order to attract the most value for the best price.

    If all of the added value that B brings with that degree equals out to be worth 12 an hour, and B is willing to accept that, then Sir Topham Hatt would want to have B over A, even though he costs more.

    I could get into the economic pressure being created from the bottom (poor) and how that pushes people to higher and higher levels (the multiplier effect) which ultimately further increase the total surplus in the economy...but, I will digress.

    The net effect is an increase in economic growth. In economic terms, the Total Surplus of the market place has been increased. So, while it may seem like there are some evil rich men that are purposely "keeping the poor man down" in reality, the entire society is benefiting from the increase in human capital.

    It is late here and I am sleepy, so I will go back tomorrow and re-look at this to see if I am making sense or not.
    Last edited by Someguy; September 20th, 2013 at 03:02 AM.
    I will no longer be replying to any post from a Liberal going forward. I will continue, as normal, to discuss topics and engage in intellectual exchanges with non-leftist

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  5. #4
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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    First off, welcome to ODN!

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky View Post
    The working poor are paid low wages in a free market because their skills are in low demand.
    This isn't exactly right. They are paid low wages because their marginal contribution is low. IE they don't add a whole lot of value to the production process. Think of the difference in value added by a guy who just screws in the screws on a case and the guy who designs the circuit board.

    That marginal contribution (in economic terms) dictates the upper bound they can be paid. No employer would be willing to pay more for an employee than they add to revenue right?

    The most obvious example of this is a salesman. Lets say, by hiring a salesman, you increase your revenue by $20,000. Would you pay the salesman a salary of $40,000?

    A good and quick video that explains this concept well (if you want to delve further into the concept) can be found here:





    The question of how close they get to that marginal contribution is related to the relative demand and supply offered of that type of labor. The process, in economics is called "marginal pairs" which I detailed before here: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post523325

    And so Böhm-Bawerk starts analyzing price formation with the smallest number of participants conceivable: two. This is called "isolated exchange."

    For example, you can have, on one side, someone who has silver and wants a horse. Let's call her Jockey Jane. In the market for horses, Jockey Jane is a buyer.

    On the other side, you have a neighbor who has a horse, and wants silver. Let's call him Breeder Bill. In the market for horses, Breeder Bill is a seller.

    And let's say the silver is denominated by weight in terms called "dollars," and that the smallest practically exchangeable amount of silver is 1/100 of a dollar.

    Jockey Jane would be willing to pay $30 for Bill's horse, but not a penny more. Thus, we say Jockey Jane's maximum buying price is $30. We can draw up a "scale of values" that represents this state of affairs.

    (Brackets represent items not presently possessed.)
    Jockey Jane

    $30.01
    [A Horse]
    $30.00 ← Maximum buying price

    Breeder Bill would be willing to sell his horse for $10, but not a penny less. Thus, we say Breeder Bill's minimum selling price is $10. His scale of values looks like this:
    Breeder Bill

    [$10.00] ← Minimum selling price
    A Horse
    [$9.99]

    Here we have sketched an "imaginary construction," or thought experiment. What can we logically deduce from the data of this imaginary construction?

    First of all, we can see that there is a mutually beneficial exchange to be had here. A horse-for-money exchange made at any price from $10 to $30 would be beneficial to both Jane and Bill.

    But we cannot a priori deduce exactly where in that range the price will ultimately fall. As Böhm-Bawerk wrote,

    Here, then, is room for any amount of "higgling." According as in the conduct of the transaction the buyer or the seller shows the greater dexterity, cunning, obstinacy, power of persuasion, or such-like, will the price be forced either to its lower or to its upper limit.

    One-Sided Competition

    Now, let's move up to the next level of complexity, and add another buyer. Glue-Maker Gabe is also interested in buying Breeder Bill's horse. His maximum buying price happens to be less than Jockey Jane's. He would be willing to pay $20, and not a penny more. Thus his scale of values is:
    Glue-Maker Gabe

    $20.01
    [A Horse]
    $20.00 ← Maximum buying price

    When you first glance at the data of this situation, it might seem that things are essentially the same: that the price can still range from $10 to $30, since any price within that range would be mutually satisfactory to some pair of market participants

    However, the fact that the exchange is no longer "isolated" means that there is now room for competition. And competition changes things drastically.

    Consider whether the price would actually settle, say, at $15. Jockey Jane is about to fork over $15 to Breeder Bill for the horse. Will Glue-Maker Gabe sit idly by while Jane rides off into the sunset, leaving him to walk?

    No, Gabe would instead overbid the $15. He might offer $16, because that would be well under his maximum buying price of $20. And Breeder Bill would, other things being equal, prefer to sell for $16 than $15.

    But that wouldn't be the end of it. It would then be in Jane's interest to overbid the $16. She might bid $17, since that is well under her maximum buying price of $30.

    This mutual overbidding has a logically necessary stopping point. At any price under $20, both Jane and Gabe would find it in their interests to overbid each other. But as soon as Jane makes any offer above $20, she outbids Gabe, excluding him from the market (much to the relief of the horse).

    Glue-Maker Gabe would then be an excluded buyer. Jockey Jane bids the horse away from Gabe because, having a higher maximum buying price than Glue-Maker Gabe, she is a more capable buyer than he is.

    As always, the price will have to be below the successful buyer's maximum price. That is the upper limit.

    But what about the lower limit? As always, the price will have to be somewhere at or above the seller's (Breeder Bill's) minimum price ($10). But, in this situation, the price will also have to exceed the excluded buyer's (Glue-Maker Gabe's) maximum price ($20); that is the level Jane must exceed in order to outbid Gabe. The exact price that is settled on within this range depends on the relative bargaining abilities of Bill and Jane.

    Even though Gabe is excluded, his valuation is still important for the determination of the price Jane ultimately pays. If he had been more "capable" (had a higher maximum price), this would have raised the market's "floor." If he had been less capable, this would have lowered the market's floor.

    Now let's add even more buyers: Farmer Frida, Polo Pete, and Cavalry Carl. Their maximum buying prices are $28, $25, and $22 respectively. Thus we can make the following table:

    Horse Buyer Maximum Buying Price
    Jockey Jane $30
    Farmer Frida $28
    Polo Pete $25
    Cavalry Carl $22
    Glue-Maker Gabe $20

    Just as in the previous scenario, Jockey Jane is still the most capable buyer. She is in a position to outbid everyone else for Bill's horse. So we know she is the one who will ride away with it. But the range of possible prices that she would pay Bill is far different.

    At any price under $20, five buyers would mutually overbid each other to get Bill's horse. But once the bidding exceeds $20, Glue-Maker Gabe is excluded. Above that, at any price over under $22, four buyers would overbid each other to get Bill's horse. But once the bidding exceeds $22, Cavalry Carl is excluded.

    This process of overbidding and excluding continues until Jane outbids Frida and finally gets the horse.

    Now we have multiple excluded buyers. As we saw in the previous scenario, an excluded buyer can have an impact on the ultimate price paid. Now from this scenario, we can see that it is one particular kind of excluded buyer that has this impact.

    Frida (like Pete, Carl, and Gabe) is an excluded buyer. But she is special in that, out of all the excluded buyers, she has the highest maximum buying price. In other words she is the most capable excluded buyer; or, to use Böhm-Bawerk's term, the "first excluded buyer."

    Although she walked away just as empty-handed as the other excluded buyers, as the first excluded buyer, her valuation is uniquely important for the ultimate price of the horse.

    It is the valuation of the first excluded buyer that places a lower limit on the price of the horse. Jane will hold out for as low a price as she can; but she cannot insist on a price lower than $28, because, if she does, she will bring Frida back into the bidding.

    Thus, in one-sided competition among buyers, the price range is bounded

    I. at the top, by the maximum price of the successful buyer, and
    II. at the bottom, either by
    a. the maximum price of the first excluded buyer, or
    b. the minimum price of the sole seller (whichever is higher).

    Again, exactly where within this range the market settles is determined by bargaining between the seller and the successful buyer.

    Also, we can plainly see how the more buyers there are in a market, the narrower will the range of possible prices tend to be, and the higher the ultimate price will likely be.

    The situation would be essentially the same, except reversed, if there were multiple horse sellers and one horse buyer (of course, assuming the buyer considered all the horses to be of the same quality).

    The most capable seller (the one with the lowest minimum selling price) would be the one who would succeed in unloading his horse. And the price of the horse would be bounded

    at the bottom, by the minimum price of the successful seller, and
    at the top, either by
    the minimum price of the first excluded seller (who is, of all the unsuccessful sellers, the one who would have been willing to accept the least for his horse), or
    the maximum price of the sole buyer (whichever is lower).

    Two-Sided Competition


    Of course most real-life markets have multiple buyers and multiple sellers. So it is important to understand the dynamics of two-sided competition.

    With so many factors involved, two-sided competition might seem too hopelessly complicated to figure out. But, don't worry; it's actually not that hard, once you are walked through it. But we will need to drop the cute names. Buyers will be B1, B2, etc., and sellers will be S1, S2, etc.

    Ten buyers, each looking for a horse, approach 8 sellers, each looking to sell 1 horse.

    Here are the 10 buyers, each wanting one horse, and their maximum buying prices:


    Buyers Maximum Buying Price
    B1 $30
    B2 $28
    B3 $26
    B4 $24
    B5 $22
    B6 $21
    B7 $20
    B8 $18
    B9 $17
    B10 $15



    And here are the 8 sellers, each looking to sell 1 horse, and their minimum selling prices.

    Sellers Minimum Selling Price
    S1 $10
    S2 $11
    S3 $15
    S4 $17
    S5 $20
    S6 $21.10
    S7 $25
    S8 $26


    First of all, we know that, at most, only 8 exchanges can occur, because there are only 8 horses to be sold. Only 8 of the 10 buyers can ride away with a horse.

    Furthermore, we know it will be the 8 most capable buyers, if anybody, who each will get a horse, because they are in a position to outbid the 2 least capable buyers.

    Let's say B5 starts off the bidding by announcing that he will pay $13 for a horse. From behind him comes a chorus of "me too!" All 9 of the other buyers jump at the prospect of paying such a low price. We therefore say that the quantity of horses demanded at $13 is 10.

    But on the other side, only 2 of the sellers (S1, and S2) then lead their horses forward, because only they, the 2 most capable sellers, are willing to accept such a low price; the rest are excluded. We therefore say that the quantity of horses supplied at $13 is 2.

    Clearly, at $13, the quantity demanded outstrips the quantity supplied. This lopsidedness of the market has important implications.

    S1, and S2 can only satisfy 2 of the 10 willing buyers. Let's say they're about to hand over their horses to B2, and B4 for $13. Are the 8 other buyers, each of whom would gladly pay $14 for a horse, going to sit idly by and be excluded from doing business with the horse sellers most likely to offer the best deals?

    Furthermore, are S1, and S2, who can plainly see the great number (and the eager looks) of the other buyers, going to hastily accept such a low price, when it is evident they can get more?

    Clearly the sellers would find it in their best interest to hold out for more, and the buyers would be impelled by their value scales to mutually overbid one another.

    As the price is bid up, the quantity demanded, and the quantity supplied, both change. Buyers are progressively weeded out, least capable first. Also, formerly excluded sellers get progressively drawn back in, most capable first.

    For example, $16 will prove to be too rich for B10's blood, but just enough to bring S3 back into the market; then it's 9 buyers against 3 sellers. At $18, B9 says "thanks, but no thanks," while S4 says, "now you're talking!"; then it's 8 buyers against 4 sellers.

    Thus the lopsidedness of the market begins to dwindle. Yet, as long as any lopsidedness remains, the mutual overbidding will continue. As Böhm-Bawerk put it,

    So long, however, as the rival buyers are in the majority, and this fact is accurately known in the market, there can be no final settlement. For, on the one hand the sellers have always the chance, and the temptation, to take advantage of the excess of buyers and stand out for higher prices; and, on the other hand, the mutually opposed interests of the rival buyers compel them to bid still higher against each other.

    An excess demand (in this case, a majority of buyers) is, therefore, inherently unsettling. The unsettled dynamic only goes away when the excess demand goes away.

    For example, let us say the going price shifts from $19 to $21.05. At this point, B6 drops out, S5 is drawn back in, and we have 5 buyers versus 5 sellers. We no longer have a majority of buyers; the quantity supplied equals the quantity demanded.

    Now, what if the sellers continue to try to hold out for a still higher price? They can, but only up to a certain point.

    If, for example, sellers insist on $23, B5 will be pushed out of the market and S6 will be drawn back in. If that happens, there will be a majority of sellers, and therefore an excess supply.

    Once this is the case, the exact opposite of what happened with the majority of buyers will happen. The surplus sellers will underbid each other, sending the price back downward.

    The only settling condition in a market is one in which there is no majority, either of buyers or sellers: where "supply equals demand."

    For example, our market might settle at $21.05. At this price, the five most capable buyers purchase the horses of the five most capable sellers. The market "clears."

    This "market-clearing price" is the price at which there are no "frustrated buyers" (excess demand) who say, "I would have paid that for a horse" and no "frustrated sellers" (excess supply) who say, "I would have taken that for a horse." In other words, there is no "shortage" or "surplus."

    There are only successful exchangers who say, "That was a good price for me," and unsuccessful exchangers who say, "That would not have been a good price for me."

    The Marginal Pairs

    From the above considerations, it can be inferred that there are four important positions on the market. These positions make up the "marginal pairs."

    The first two important positions together make up the first marginal pair. They provide the upper limit for the market-clearing price, so let's call them the "upper marginal pair."
    1. The Last Buyer

    This is the least capable of the successful buyers. If the price were to continue to rise, he would be the first buyer to drop out; that is what makes him "marginal" (on the edge). If the price were to rise enough to knock him out, there would be an excess supply, and therefore an unsettled market.
    2. The First Excluded Seller

    This is the most capable of the unsuccessful sellers. He is "marginal," because if the price were to continue to rise, he would be the first seller to jump back in. If the price were to rise enough to draw him back into the market, there would be an excess supply, and therefore an unsettled market.

    The upper bound of the market-clearing price is therefore determined either by the maximum price of the last buyer or the minimum price of the first excluded seller: whichever is lower.

    And next we have the "lower marginal pair."
    3. The Last Seller

    This is the least capable of the successful sellers. If the price were to continue to drop, he would be the first seller to drop out. If the price were to drop enough to knock him out, there would be an excess demand, and therefore an unsettled market.
    4. The First Excluded Buyer

    This is the most capable of the unsuccessful buyers. If the price were to continue to drop, he would be the first buyer to jump back in. If the price were to drop enough to draw him back into the market, there would be an excess demand, and therefore an unsettled market.

    The lower bound of the market is therefore determined either by the minimum price of the last seller, or the maximum price of the first excluded buyer: whichever is higher.

    In real-life markets, with manifold buyers and sellers, these bounds will generally be extremely close together, often resulting in a single possible market-clearing price.

    This is what Mises meant when he wrote that prices

    are determined between extremely narrow margins: the valuations on the one hand of the marginal buyer and those of the marginal offerer who abstains from selling, and the valuations on the other hand of the marginal seller and those of the marginal potential buyer who abstains from buying.[2]

    We haven't enough space here to extend the analysis to cases in which market participants each buy or sell multiple horses. But as Rothbard demonstrates, such an extension "makes no substantial change in the analysis."[3]

    It is still the marginal pairs who stand as two sets of twin sentries, demarcating the zones where markets can clear.[4]

    The Social Function of Price Rationing

    Why is it important that markets clear? Why is the market-price system, characterized as it is by competitive bidding, important? Of all the possible standards for rationing, why is the standard of exchange "capability" (maximum buying price or minimum selling price) the best?

    One factor that determines exchange capability is how direly the person wants the good in question. This cannot be quantitatively measured, but using our historical understanding, we can perceive a difference between, say, Farmer Frida wanting the horse to plow her field so she can feed her hungry family and Polo Pete wanting the horse for sport riding on the weekends. And we can easily imagine how the relative direness of Frida's need versus Pete's need would provide a relative boost to Frida's exchange capability.

    Most people look kindly on the notion of such a difference expressing itself in a market outcome.

    But then another factor that determines exchange capability is how wealthy the market participant is. For example, Jockey Jane, like Pete, also wants the horse for recreational purposes. Yet, perhaps because she has more money, she is able to outbid the desperate Frida.

    Many people do not look kindly on that kind of a market outcome, and thus are severely critical of the market-price system.

    What such critics miss, however, is that the market-price system's primary importance is not the bare fact that it rations already-produced goods a certain way on the spot. Its primary importance for humanity is the role such rationing has in coordinating and optimizing future production. As Mises put it,

    The allocation of portions of the supply already produced and available to the various individuals eager to obtain a quantity of the goods concerned is only a secondary function of the market. Its primary function is the direction of production.[5]

    As Mises characterized it, the market is distinguished by "consumer sovereignty." Consumers vote with their dollars to shape the productive structure to best satisfy their wants.

    For example, let us say Jane and Frida were entrepreneurs and had actually been bidding for the horse for use in the production of other goods. If Jane is able to outbid Frida due to her superior wealth, this indicates that the consumers considered Jane to have been a better past steward of the means of production than Frida.

    By voting for her with their dollars, they have put Jane in a more prominent place at the helm of production. Since everyone is first and foremost a consumer, and a producer only subordinately (production being for the sake of consumption), it is in the interest of everyone that the means of production be directed toward those who best arrange them according to consumer wants.

    If, irrespective of bidding, a horse was rationed to Frida instead of Jane, this may be a one-off boon to Frida. But if such rationing were the rule, and the sovereign consumers were dethroned across the board, Frida would lose as a consumer far more than she gained as a producer.

    One might then object that, in our earlier construction, Jane and Frida were not bidding for the horse as an intermediate good. Both Jane and Frida were bidding for the horse as a final good: Jane for riding, and Frida for subsistence farming. What does Jane's superior bidding power have to do with the market's structure of production in this case?

    Jockey Jane may indeed have more votes than Farmer Frida in the consumer's democracy. But, insofar as her wealth was acquired on the market, its level is a function of how much she (or her benefactor), as a producer, contributed to satisfying consumer wants.

    The more commensurately her past contribution is rewarded, the more she will be guided toward maximizing her future contribution. And this is true of all producers, including producers of horses, like Breeder Bill.

    The market-price system that gives Jockey Jane more purchasing power than Farmer Frida, is the very same market-price system that guides and enables Bill and his fellow breeders to produce an abundance of horses. You cannot have one without the other, for they are one and the same.


    With this system, horses (as well as other goods and services) will more likely be abundant and cheap enough for both Jane and Frida to get what they want. Without it, horses (as well as other goods and services) will more likely be so scarce and expensive that neither will.


    Quote Originally Posted by quickly
    This is amply demonstrated by the wealth and priorities of farmers compared to inner city laborers.
    Someguy's response to you on the microeconomics of supply and demand answers most of the problems I had with the text above this point (though if you want to discuss this more, and I would love to economics is a hobby of mine, we should also discuss the reality that as the populace gets more educated, they tend to move into higher skilled jobs and get higher incomes and this tends to be permitted by capital investment into productivity devices. That movement drives the creation of other skilled jobs as supervises, planners, etc and drives a demand for increased training (ie college education) hence why you see a continued push to further education. All of this is visible in the fact that the "bulk" as you call it of laborers live better lives with more stuff and access to services than their parents or grandparents had. That fact is driven by the increased marginal contribution).

    I will add one thing here though. I'm not sure where you got this idea from. Farmers are not dramatically wealthier than laborers. Their net wealth might be higher, but it is also completely illiquid (that can't use it to retire and it doesn't earn interest for them over time). Farmers are, by and large, relatively poorer people since they have such high risks in farming.

    A simple question could put this myth to bed. If farming involved such higher wealth production, why did so many farmers move to the inner city to get labor jobs over the last 200 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by quickly
    A lebensraum policy is another story.
    I'm not sure what you mean by this term. Usually that means seizing of land from others to give to a favored nationality or group. Are you saying we should seize land or capital from the wealthy and distribute it? I guess I'm not seeing the connection you are making.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Yeah, I see. If the entire working class went 'back to school', the credential inflation would be counter-balanced by the increased productivity of the workforce.

    I'll post more on this later.

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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky View Post
    Yeah, I see. If the entire working class went 'back to school', the credential inflation would be counter-balanced by the increased productivity of the workforce.

    I'll post more on this later.
    Well, at least theoretically, in accordance with Macro theory....or what Squatch likes to call it "Micro theory" =p
    I will no longer be replying to any post from a Liberal going forward. I will continue, as normal, to discuss topics and engage in intellectual exchanges with non-leftist

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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Uh-huh. Just because some of us can't distinguish between aggregating micro economics and actual aggregate economics ;-)

    Anyway, that is only true if the degrees actually do make them productive and there is capital available to employ them in the new roles.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Some people seem to not know that lebesraum is a core component of the political philosophy of Nazism, specifically it comes from the German for "living space", and it is the idea that "healthy" people have a natural right to invade other countries in order to gain more room to live. This is not an economic issue, it's a fascist stance on a foreign policy --if we're to elevate it to such terms. Just so we're all on the same page.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky View Post
    The working poor are paid low wages in a free market because their skills are in low demand. However, if the entire working class went back to school and 'got an education', they would still be paid a pittance.
    They sure would/have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Q
    This is what has happened historically.
    It surely has.

    Quote Originally Posted by Q
    Once upon a time, the middle class got to show off their high school diplomas, making them as valuable as they are today showing off degrees. Now many working class people have a high school diploma, but they are still struggling to provide for their families. How can this be? Because the middle and upper class didn't want to be engulfed in the surplus supply of high school diplomas, so they made sure their children got degrees.
    Well, let's be honest. Almost without exception, rich people have always gotten themselves and their children degrees. There's small exceptions from this rule in the technology sector (e.g. Bill Gates). But for hundreds of years, the intelligensia and the wealthy class of the United States have always gone to college.

    Quote Originally Posted by Q
    Since they merely built on their previous education, these classes can still take up jobs requiring a high school diploma if necessary. Consequently, the surplus supply of diplomas (or whatever is next defined as basic education) never goes away, trapping a large segment of a population in eternal economic strife. This illuminates the fundamental difference between rich and poor: the rich simply control more stuff than the poor, which allows them to persistently stay one step ahead. This is amply demonstrated by the wealth and priorities of farmers compared to inner city laborers. Both are working class, yet farmers tend to advocate the politics of self-reliance, whereas the latter advocates handouts. Why? Because farmers control land and other laborers don't.
    Today farmer's control, pragmatically, precious little; they've been consumed by, by-and-large, food-producing corporations and the farmers have been put into increasing debt to buy the supplies necessary to farm (The end result of all producers in capitalist systems, especially in the modern financial market).

    So basically, yes, the people who own things will always have power over those who don't. Capitalism was born out of the system of feudalism, and still bares the scars of its progenitor's philosophy in this regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Q
    So how does Clint Eastwood back up his threat, "Get off my lawn!" By using violence or the threat of violence. This is necessary because resources are scarce. There will always be rich and poor, haves and have-nots. The point is that the good life is born from violence. If you are not willing to fight for the soil you need to make an honest living, you deserve to live in your squalor. However, it is not wise to "eat the rich" around you, because you tend to rely on their capital accumulation. A lebensraum policy is another story.
    And here's where you lose me, and this is where every fascist loses me. Let's trot out this polysyllogism:

    1.) Rich people control the system.
    2.) Non-rich people do not control the system.
    3.) Most people are not rich.
    4.) Most people have no control over the system, and this directly harms, therefore, most people.
    5.) Therefore, because poor people need the rich because the system has been setup up that way since its inception, we should do nothing about the rich and powerful.


    Even capitalists, who reject 1-4 in varying degrees (But whole-heartedly accept 5), could understand why these premises, if true, do not imply conclusion 5.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    In the Sciences you have a situation where an excess of qualified Ph.D.s and a short supply of permanent positions has left many working as life long post-docs or staff scientists making less than 40k a year....thats for somebody who has maxed out their education.

    ---------- Post added at 05:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:49 PM ----------

    While I generally think that the basic principle of supply/demand holds well most of the time, particularly for smaller companies, something does seem broken for large corporations. When CEOs move from one multimillion dollar corporation to the next, mismanage it, but then still make off with millions in salary and benefits, something is wrong. Its essentially the same problem that Conservatives and free marketers claim happens in government. You get a bloat of bureaucracy and non-productive types. This seems to afflict very large corporations that were stunningly productive at one time and now are barely getting by on a decaying empire. Think of the American automotive companies. Incredibly mismanaged and wasteful. Its not just the unions (its that too), but also the CEOs. There is a reason why foreign automotive companies, that were far less bureaucratically bloated and more efficient were able to take over so much of the market.

    Bureaucracy and political connections (again the Detroit bailouts, the bank bailouts) can prevent supply and demand from having its true effect and the result are the super-sized corporations and a upper class that is essentially parasitic in nature.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    When CEOs move from one multimillion dollar corporation to the next, mismanage it, but then still make off with millions in salary and benefits, something is wrong.
    I would point out that quite a few of those bonuses have been "clawed back" in the last few years as boards are more and more tying compensation to long term performance.

    It also doesn't really bother me that much personally. The money that is lost is the stock holders' (with one important exception), if they wish to hire someone with a questionable track record, more power to them.

    That said, it also doesn't really bother me because it is relatively rare. Almost always this is a last tenure job of a CEO with a good performance record. There have been, what 5 or 6 really notable examples of this, most of which ended with the company suing for mal performance and getting back a lot of the salary that was left? There are tons and tons of successful CEOs that add a lot of value to their shareholders and are compensated appropriately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad
    Think of the American automotive companies. Incredibly mismanaged and wasteful. Its not just the unions (its that too), but also the CEOs. There is a reason why foreign automotive companies, that were far less bureaucratically bloated and more efficient were able to take over so much of the market.
    Perhaps. Ford is definitely a notable example of this not being the case. Chrysler's debacle did result in a CEO getting fired and his bonuses getting clawed back. GM is a different duck, I would argue they acted somewhat rationally given the history of government protectionism they had garnered and the recent bailouts. Take away that support system and that ridiculously bad company would have died out in the 90s, most likely to be replaced with a better, more efficient company.

    That is the great thing about the market, if a company gets big like these and loses its core competencies it will fail and those assets will be opened up for leaner companies, more efficient producers. That of course doesn't happen in situations like GM where the Government mandates that the less efficient producer continue to use the resources. That kind of interventionism is horrible and leads to exactly the kind of decay you are concerned about.

    I'll cite a good counter example. IBM. A company that was largely dieing, that did petition the government for support, but didn't get it. It completely redesigned itself into a professional services company that is profitable and well respected. It cut bloat, changed its focus and offered a new value to its customers. It did this under some great leadership from Gerstner, they spun off non-productive business units (some failed, most became profitable again), and created a new customer focused business model that has been successful. That strategy was 100% Gerstner.

    I think it is easy to see the large failures that get so much political attention and protection and miss the many, many examples of companies revitalizing and changing themselves. I do agree with you that a very, very important factor on which way these companies go (IBM or GM) is the level of political protection and coverage they get.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    This isn't exactly right. They are paid low wages because their marginal contribution is low. IE they don't add a whole lot of value to the production process. Think of the difference in value added by a guy who just screws in the screws on a case and the guy who designs the circuit board.
    You would think that if there are too many circuit-board designers, those who couldn't find jobs would just start their own businesses. If the only consideration was the value added to the production process, this would be true. However, in some places, the unemployed graduates are taking up jobs they didn't need degrees for.


    I just want to find a position that matches my knowledge," said Li, who added that she'd accept a salary as low as $330 a month, roughly 25% above minimum wage...

    By some accounts, the unemployment rate for Chinese college graduates age 21 to 25 is 16%, nearly four times that of blue-collar workers. An Education Ministry survey of 500 firms found that employers had trimmed the number of jobs available for new hires this year by about 15%. In Beijing, an estimated 98,000 jobs are available for the 229,000 new graduates, a city education committee study found.

    "The manufacturing sector is still seeing labor shortages," said Geoffrey Crothall of China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based research group. But many college graduates in major cities are ending up taking poorly paid jobs in areas such as telemarketing or real estate sales, he said, "and often these wages are lower than a factory worker in Shenzhen."

    The average wage for college graduates in 2012 was $461 a month, barely 20% higher than the $381 figure for migrant workers, as calculated by the National Bureau of Statistics.


    http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-c...,3605693.story

    In this case, the wealthy are those who are one step ahead. They already have jobs and experience, because their parents used their wealth to get their foot in the door.


    Another example is India and other outsourcing countries. They typically work long hours for low pay, whereas Western workers are often paid a lot more for doing the same job. I assume the latter haven't been sacked yet because of the risks of dependency and instability that come with outsourcing. The difference boils down to the enormous supply of qualified workers in outsourcing countries. There are many, many virtual assistants, help desk operators, accountants, programmers, etc, you name it... and they will only get more and more qualified. Is that going to buy them a Western, middle class life, or will they walk in China's footsteps? I remember reading somewhere that IT workers in outsourcing countries were getting paid more, but that this was due to increased demand. I think it was because IT technology is steadily increasing and emerging markets are making more use of it. What the IT workers didn't do was create more wealth by increasing their skills.

    Anyway, increases in capital will only get a nation so far. Resources are scarce, and you can only increase productivity so much before diminishing returns inevitably set in.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Some people seem to not know that lebesraum is a core component of the political philosophy of Nazism, specifically it comes from the German for "living space", and it is the idea that "healthy" people have a natural right to invade other countries in order to gain more room to live. This is not an economic issue, it's a fascist stance on a foreign policy --if we're to elevate it to such terms. Just so we're all on the same page.
    Yes, but this thread has turned out to be a topic all of its own, so I will address lebensraum mostly in another thread.

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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky View Post
    You would think that if there are too many circuit-board designers, those who couldn't find jobs would just start their own businesses.
    That would seem unlikely. Given that there aren't more jobs available, it would seem reasonable to assume that the market demand for circuit boards is met. IE, no one wants more designers because they are satisfying the demand for circuit boards, right?

    If they have a different (better) process or design, perhaps they would and they would then supplant existing firms, not increase demand. Their new jobs would come at the cost of existing jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky
    If the only consideration was the value added to the production process, this would be true. However, in some places, the unemployed graduates are taking up jobs they didn't need degrees for.
    I didn't say it was the only factor, only that it provided the upper bound of what a position can be paid. It doesn't really matter if the guy sweeping your floor has a highschool degree or a PhD in Medieval English Literature. If the act of sweeping the floor provides $7/hour in value, you can't pay him more than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky
    In this case, the wealthy are those who are one step ahead. They already have jobs and experience, because their parents used their wealth to get their foot in the door.
    I think this is an unfounded assumption.

    We have a couple of things going on here. Obviously there is an over-abundance of college grads in this situation (there are in the labor force by the way, especially with degrees that employers don't value as much, the reason for this is fun to discuss, but not relevant here, its because the of the subsidization of education by the government). As such, there aren't enough college level jobs (demand) to match the supply. For an employer in this situation I will send you back to my article on the Marginal Pairs. The employer will higher whomever is willing to sell them their labor for the cheapest. Right? He isn't going to hire some rich dude's kid at $14 when he can hire someone else at $10. As such it seems unlikely that the rich have a bonus here.

    I certainly see no evidence out there that those from families with higher net income are employed to a higher degree, so the correlation isn't even there (let alone the causation you indicate). It could be just as likely that the kids of rich parents can afford to wait out the bad economy more than those of lower wealth groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky
    Another example is India and other outsourcing countries. They typically work long hours for low pay, whereas Western workers are often paid a lot more for doing the same job.
    Not really. You are only considering one side of the equation here, wages. You aren't considering the other side, marginal contribution. An Indian worker can accept a lower wage for a role, but they tend to be less productive as well in many fields. Take whatever fields you are concerned about outsourcing in and you'll often see the low level functions staffed out overseas, but the more difficult, higher paying functions retained here in the US.

    A quick example, call centers. It is very common to staff out bulk call centers overseas and many firms do it. In those firms however, they often retain a smaller call center in the US, staffed by US employees (and if they are big enough, the same in Europe or Asia) to deal with extremely angry customers or customers with sensitive issues. Why? Because the US Employees can often pick up on the subtleties of tone and intonation in English better than overseas employees. They are natives to the culture and can be better at dealing with locals.

    Likewise, Amazon has retained its call centers in the US. Why? Because Amazon values its customer satisfaction extremely high, it is part of their business model. As such a US employee gives them more value by retaining customers who will now repeat shop at Amazon. So the marginal contribution of that call center rep is higher.

    This is all why we still see complex manufacturing primarily done in the US. Americans have a skill set that provides a lot of value to employers that isn't as present overseas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky
    Anyway, increases in capital will only get a nation so far. Resources are scarce, and you can only increase productivity so much before diminishing returns inevitably set in.
    What evidence leads you to support this claim? There doesn't seem any logical limit on productivity and resource efficiency. Sure there are resource limits, but there are also resources we don't use much of, and more efficient ways to use the resources we have. This comment reminds me of the bureaucrat that, in 1850, recommended closing the patent office because "there is nothing left to invent."
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Obviously there is an over-abundance of college grads in this situation (there are in the labor force by the way, especially with degrees that employers don't value as much, the reason for this is fun to discuss, but not relevant here, its because the of the subsidization of education by the government). As such, there aren't enough college level jobs (demand) to match the supply.
    If the average young poor person is capable of lifting himself out of poverty by improving his human capital, then the economic means of sustenance is the best policy for a nation to pursue. But what we see in China (for example) is that the economic means are a dead end for a significant portion of the population. The cream of the crop secures a job as a circuit board designer, but every other qualified person is left putting in the screws. Although state subsidies are partly to blame for the imbalance, the same people driving down wages in college-level jobs were previously driving down wages in blue-collar jobs.

    The fundamental problem is a surplus population; a natural phenomenon that occurs because the biological impulse is at odds with the scarcity of resources. When too many people have exhausted the economic means, a tipping point is reached and the political means of sustenance takes priority. From here, I would be outlining a whole new set of points, so I will put them in another thread.

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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky View Post
    If the average young poor person is capable of lifting himself out of poverty by improving his human capital, then the economic means of sustenance is the best policy for a nation to pursue.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky
    But what we see in China (for example) is that the economic means are a dead end for a significant portion of the population. The cream of the crop secures a job as a circuit board designer, but every other qualified person is left putting in the screws. Although state subsidies are partly to blame for the imbalance, the same people driving down wages in college-level jobs were previously driving down wages in blue-collar jobs.
    Ah, you are talking about China. Ok, let me ask you this. The people who are qualified, but can't get the design jobs? Are there jobs available? If not, how is this different from my discussion above about over supply of labor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky
    The fundamental problem is a surplus population;
    You lost me here. The transition between an oversupply of one type of labor to the malthusian scenario is incorrect. It is not that there is an excess in population. It is that there are an excess of circuit board designers (in China that is the product of a command economy with directed educational goals, rather than market forces). Remember that your "excess population" also produces demand, and as such is a stimulator of economic development as well, so they are not "taxing resources" they are providing them (labor).

    In essence you are arguing "if there were less people, there wouldn't be this abundance of circuit board designers." I would encourage you to remember that if there were less people, there would also be a lot less demand for circuit board designers as well, right?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Since this thread is about lebensraum, it may not be clear why I'm interested in the dynamics of rich and poor, and not rich and poor nations. Under globalized capitalism, we are more divided by class than borders.

    I now agree that the fundamental reason why some people hold better-paying jobs is not because they are descended from people who control more resources. Although the very wealthy can continuously accumulate interest, in general the better-paying jobs will eventually fall into the hands of those best suited to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You lost me here. The transition between an oversupply of one type of labor to the malthusian scenario is incorrect. It is not that there is an excess in population. It is that there are an excess of circuit board designers (in China that is the product of a command economy with directed educational goals, rather than market forces). Remember that your "excess population" also produces demand, and as such is a stimulator of economic development as well, so they are not "taxing resources" they are providing them (labor).

    In essence you are arguing "if there were less people, there wouldn't be this abundance of circuit board designers." I would encourage you to remember that if there were less people, there would also be a lot less demand for circuit board designers as well, right?
    We're not just talking about circuit board designers, we're talking about any kind of graduate-level job. In the article, it said:

    In Beijing, an estimated 98,000 jobs are available for the 229,000 new graduates, a city education committee study found.

    Suppose the surplus population of 130,000 stimulated and created those 100,000 jobs. The fact remains that there is a significant portion of the population that cannot have a decent life by economic means alone. Yet if they waved their wands and stole their jobs, that power would ensure they never got fired for under-performance, and their firms would perish in the marketplace. Alternatively, they would inevitably lose those jobs to the original job holders. So that wouldn't help the surplus population at all. Interesting.

    I will look into the point that "the US uses 25% of the world's resources".

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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky View Post
    Since this thread is about lebensraum, it may not be clear why I'm interested in the dynamics of rich and poor, and not rich and poor nations. Under globalized capitalism, we are more divided by class than borders.

    I now agree that the fundamental reason why some people hold better-paying jobs is not because they are descended from people who control more resources. Although the very wealthy can continuously accumulate interest, in general the better-paying jobs will eventually fall into the hands of those best suited to them.



    We're not just talking about circuit board designers, we're talking about any kind of graduate-level job. In the article, it said:

    In Beijing, an estimated 98,000 jobs are available for the 229,000 new graduates, a city education committee study found.

    Suppose the surplus population of 130,000 stimulated and created those 100,000 jobs. The fact remains that there is a significant portion of the population that cannot have a decent life by economic means alone. Yet if they waved their wands and stole their jobs, that power would ensure they never got fired for under-performance, and their firms would perish in the marketplace. Alternatively, they would inevitably lose those jobs to the original job holders. So that wouldn't help the surplus population at all. Interesting.

    I will look into the point that "the US uses 25% of the world's resources".
    I am reminded of what I thought when my cable guy told me he made ~$70k a year at a time when I was making half that with a graduate degree. Maybe if I was concerned with making lots of money, I would follow the job market rather than picking whatever career fascinated me. Of course, if I had remained in my area of birth, there would be absolutely no work for someone of my profession. I had to get up and leave home to do that. Maybe if the people of Beijing were willing to leave their grand city, they too would find work?

    Opportunity exists everywhere to make a decent life. You just have to be willing to compromise something to do it. Those whom I went to school with and who wanted to stay at home now make it by on low-end jobs. There is opportunity for someone like myself willing to leave home and take risks. If I wanted too, I know I could easily be making 6 figures working for a contractor in Iraq or Afghanistan. I could be making 6 figures on an oil rig somewhere.

    I recognize that such opportunities exist and I chose the life I live. I do not regret it. People need to learn to adapt. Not everyone can design circuit boards for a living and if you insist on designing circuit boards in Beijing and nothing else, then you are the one that limits your potential.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky View Post
    Under globalized capitalism, we are more divided by class than borders.
    I'm not sure why you think that. What constitutes "poor" and "rich" is highly related to what country you are in. As does your view on the permanence of your position. There is little wealth mobility in Kenya, there is a lot in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky
    Suppose the surplus population of 130,000 stimulated and created those 100,000 jobs.
    Suppose it did. Now suppose you remove that "excess" population. You lose that 100,000 jobs right? So you still have 100,000 excess population. And so on and so on. That is why unemployment rates were not lower to zero in the distant past when population was lower.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quickly
    I will look into the point that "the US uses 25% of the world's resources".
    That number is bandied about by quite a few people. It is usually found to be high. Regardless, we also produce 21% of the world's GDP, so it stands to reason we should be consuming most of the resources. Goods are better and more cheaply available in many countries because of our productivity.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    That number is bandied about by quite a few people. It is usually found to be high. Regardless, we also produce 21% of the world's GDP, so it stands to reason we should be consuming most of the resources. Goods are better and more cheaply available in many countries because of our productivity.
    How does one even come up with such a figure? That's what I don't get. I view all such attempts at comprehensive figures to be suspect. How does one compare a resource like oil to arable land to water to etc.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    How does one even come up with such a figure? That's what I don't get. I view all such attempts at comprehensive figures to be suspect. How does one compare a resource like oil to arable land to water to etc.
    You could do a weighted average of the relative amount consumed of each good. Usually economists do some form of market price analysis to assign the weights. Of course that also introduces problems because prices as we observe them aren't really market prices, they are distorted by subsidies and price controls, etc that obscure the real information being transmitted price value.

    Aggregation is usually pretty darn dangerous, and most of these "studies" also suffer from significant biases. For example, the OXFAM study often referenced has some marxist (not hyperbolic) assumptions within its data analysis including the contradictory ideas of the labor theory of value and the rejection of labor as a resource.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: The essence of lebensraum

    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l-system/page3

    I posted this here instead of in the above thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    What objectively determines its use then? Why is it the "best" on the island, but not the best in the suburban area? Please be specific.
    The example I gave was based on a very constrained set of circumstances, and it is not usually necessary to resort to deadly force. However, aggression is in fact a desirable element in a suburban area if you are the benefactor.

    Everyone pays their pizzos in Sicily, and everyone pays their taxes, too. The biggest gang in a neighborhood (usually the government) treats their turf like their property. But there is no substitute for proper management of assets:
    a) if a gang cannot exercise their property rights, a tragedy of the commons occurs, IE democracy.
    b) although a gang protects its turf competitively, if it tries to run every business in town, it has no competition for customers, IE communism.

    However, a gang that exercises property rights over its turf lets people keep more of what they earn, so they will produce more for the gang in the future. But wouldn't people be better off without any gangs? Not if they are a member of a powerful gang, which instigates an arms race for resources (including taxpayers). Your perspective is the win-win strategy of trade, which is beneficial for everyone involved. Conquest is a win-lose strategy, which is beneficial for the winners. A gang is really just a loyal group that enforces its objectives; IE the police and by extension, the military.

    Most loyal groups ultimately derive their power over turf from the respect of most of the local population. This is the real reason why a military takes orders from a democratic parliament. When people feel greatly betrayed by their politicians, the military does the right thing and installs a coup. When too many people start demanding democracy again, it usually reappears (e.g. South American coups). The motivation behind lebensraum is driven by an original population becoming a single, loyal unit with its military and serving its own interests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I don't see how you can say that. Fascists loved social darwinism, especially the Nazis. And they were certainly the merchants of death for many Germans.
    There are several possibilities here:

    1) Suitable policies for natural selection were not implemented by the Nazis.
    2) Suitable policies were implemented, and yet by actively seeking the survival of their fittest elements, Germans ended up destroying them. So in fact, the best way to preserve their existence would have been to remain superstitious about its nature.
    3) Germans adopted suitable policies but didn't manage them to the best of their ability (and consequently lost the war).
    4) Suitable policies were implemented, and Germans are better off because of it.

    Many more things could be said here, but for now, bear in mind that history is written by the winners.

 

 
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