Economic inequality hurts people…or does it?


“The Other 99%” (or I’ve also seen 98%) they don’t seem to have a lot of specific goals and ideas. But by their title alone they seem to think that because the top 1% has the majority of the wealth in the world then that clearly means that they’re the ones ruining our lives and it has nothing whatsoever to do with our choices. I think it’s fair to say that whatever the cornucopia of beliefs this movement holds; they all seem to think that the wealth should be spread around a little more. But does that work?

Well let’s look at some facts and figures.… (yes I do math so you don’t have to, you should thank me for doing something so drearily dull as this for you).

They seem to think that if the wealth were spread out just a little more that their lives would be better.

So let’s look at some common statistics before we look at the heart of their argument.

What leads to a better life?

Well the UN has some statistics on standards of living (I’m not sure if this is the best judge for what is a good life, but we’ll play in the liberal’s ballpark and use the UN’s numbers).  Now if we chart that against the average GDP for each country (numbers from the CIA Handbook), (I’ll include a long boring chart with all these figures at the end if you want to check my math) we find that, low and behold the more money you have the better the average quality of life is in any given country. (In case you want to know the better quality of life the higher the score). Not terribly surprising when you consider that one of the UN’s criteria is average GDP, but you’ll notice that that the line goes up exponentially (it curves up) rather than linearly (a straight line) thus suggesting that at some point you need more money just to get the same jump you did last time.  Thus to get to the highest standards of living you need lots of money, at least as an average GDP.

Further it would not be unreasonable to argue that there are secondary benefits, (not having to worry about debt, freedom for leisure, the joys of philanthropy–which is really dependent on having lots of money, etc) that come from extra money not shown in the UN’s standard of living numbers thus making the exact curve even more pronounced in the favor of higher GDP having numerous benefits. So in reality, if we were able to measure all the benefits provided by higher income (see video below), for every extra $10,000 you earn your quality of life better than what it is suggested by the UN data graph below.  (Or to put it another way if we had accurate data and not just UN numbers you would not see as great a level of diminishing returns, but closer to a linear progression).

But is money alone what causes a good life? Not quite because we need to answer what creates lots of money.

And for that we turn to economic liberty…you know the very thing these whiners at The Other 99% are arguing against. For that we turn to the Heritage Foundation and its yearly ranking of economic Freedom. (Again, the higher the score the more economically free).  Seems pretty clear to me that if you have economic freedom you get more money and a better standard of living. Yes, yes, yes correlation does not equal causation…but you’d have to be a damn fool to not see that they’re not related. (By the way, the United States has dropped it’s economic freedom almost every year for the last decade…you know all the while that the economy kept getting worse and worse…I’m sure one had nothing to do with the other).

Okay, so it apear to me that you need more economic freedom if you’re going to have a better life. However, maybe that’s only one interpretaion. Maybe these Other 99% people have a point. So where do we get numbers for economic inequality? Luckily the UN collects those numbers as well. They use something call the Gini coefficient–I could bore you with the math, but let’s just say that the lower the number the more wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few, and the higher the number the more the money is spread around. I’m dealing with a slightly smaller pool of countries because the UN reports do not have a complete listing for all countries (countries where a GDP of nothing is spread around equally or countires where the dictator owns everything are pretty much what makes up the majority of the list where you find no data).


If you’re looking for a straight line, you’ll find Waldo in there before you find a straight line. At most you could argue you see the a bell curve here (especially since some of the worst countries where everyone shares in poverty are not on the list and proably have Gini coefficient near 10, and GDP near 0 weren’t calculated) but that would be a very weak correlation at best. Yes you don’t want massive inequality like you would see in Saudi Arabia, but you don’t complete socialist sharing either). What you seem to want is a Gini score between 30-45 (the U.S. is at 40) but this is no guraentee of success. You’ll notice that some of the lowest countries for GDP, standard of living, and economic freedom are all in that range. Conversly if you cross a 70 score on econoimc liberty it seems literally impossible to be in a bad spot.

The distribution of wealth on the whole seems to be a very irrelevant piece of information. It doesn’t appear to be a cause of good or bad economies nor does it appear to be an effect or sign of good or bad economies. It’s a useless talking point. It doesn’t matter what portion of the pie you’re getting…it only matter how big in an abosolute sense a piece you’re getting. If you’getting only a diproportionate 1% of the U.S. eocnomy you’re doing better than most of the world currently (would you rather have your exactly equal share by population of the Somalian economy?) and certainly better than 99.999999999% of the people throughout history.

Real math seems to show that economic inequality is nothing more than a useless talking point that drummed up for class warfare purposes.

If these idiots at “The Other 99%” really cared about improving the quality of life of the 99% who aren’t among the rich, then they would be protesting government, bureaucracy, red tape, taxes and regulation…but they don’t care about that…they don’t want it better for everyone, they just want if better for them so they can sit around all day and get paid for doing nothing…that or they are obscenely bad at math.

So the next time you get into an argument that the rich control too much or that they aren’t paying their fair share and that should change (i.e. redistribute wealth and lower our economic freedom) ask them what proof they have that such a move would improve our quality of life or even average GDP. What proof do they have? Because it certainly isn’t any proof from this little thing called reality.

Country GDP per person Economic Liberty Score Standard of living
 Albania

3,900

64

0.719

 Algeria

4,600

52.4

0.677

 Angola

5,000

46.2

0.403

 Argentina

9,000

51.7

0.775

 Armenia

3,200

69.7

0.695

 Australia

57,400

82.5

0.937

 Austria

45,900

71.9

0.851

 Azerbaijan

5,800

59.7

0.713

 Bahrain

19,200

77.7

0.801

 Bangladesh

700

53

0.469

 Barbados

13,900

68.5

0.788

 Belarus

5,700

47.9

0.732

 Belgium

44,700

70.2

0.867

 Belize

4,400

63.8

0.694

 Benin

700

56

0.435

 Bolivia

1,900

50

0.643

 Bosnia and Herzegovina

3,600

57.5

0.71

 Botswana

6,900

68.8

0.633

 Brazil

10,400

56.3

0.699

 Bulgaria

6,700

64.9

0.743

 Burkina Faso

500

60.6

0.305

 Burma

800

37.8

0.451

 Burundi

200

49.6

0.282

 Cambodia

800

57.9

0.494

 Cameroon

1,200

51.8

0.46

 Canada

46,600

80.8

0.888

 Cape Verde

3,200

64.6

0.534

 Central African Republic

400

49.3

0.315

 Chad

700

45.3

0.295

 Chile

12,100

77.4

0.783

 China, People’s Republic of

4,400

52

0.663

 Colombia

6,500

68

0.689

 Comoros

800

43.8

0.428

 Congo, Democratic Republic of the

200

40.7

0.239

 Costa Rica

7,900

67.3

0.725

 Croatia

13,500

61.1

0.767

 Cuba

5,200

27.7

0.76

 Cyprus

21,000

73.3

0.81

 Czech Republic

18,800

70.4

0.841

 Denmark

56,300

78.6

0.866

 Djibouti

1,500

54.5

0.402

 Dominican Republic

5,300

60

0.663

 Ecuador

4,000

47.1

0.695

 Egypt

2,700

59.1

0.62

 El Salvador

3,600

68.8

0.659

 Equatorial Guinea

22,300

47.5

0.538

 Estonia

15,300

75.2

0.812

 Ethiopia

300

50.5

0.328

 Fiji

3,600

60.4

0.669

 Finland

45,500

74

0.871

 France

39,900

64.6

0.872

 Gabon

8,500

56.7

0.648

 Georgia

2,500

70.4

0.698

 Germany

40,600

71.8

0.885

 Ghana

1,300

59.4

0.467

 Greece

28,400

60.3

0.855

 Guatemala

3,100

61.9

0.56

 Guinea

400

51.7

0.34

 Guinea-Bissau

500

46.5

0.289

 Guyana

3,000

49.4

0.611

 Haiti

700

52.1

0.404

 Honduras

1,900

58.6

0.604

 Hong Kong

31,700

89.7

0.862

 Hungary

12,900

66.6

0.805

 Iceland

40,800

68.2

0.869

 India

1,300

0.519

 Indonesia

2,900

56

0.6

 Iran

4,600

42.1

0.702

 Ireland

44,200

78.7

0.895

 Israel

29,000

68.5

0.872

 Italy

33,800

60.3

0.854

 Jamaica

4,800

65.7

0.688

 Japan

42,800

72.8

0.884

 Jordan

4,300

68.9

0.681

 Kazakhstan

8,100

62.1

0.714

 Kenya

800

57.4

0.47

 Korea, South

20,700

69.8

0.877

 Kuwait

51,600

64.9

0.771

 Kyrgyzstan

800

61.1

0.598

 Laos

1,000

51.3

0.497

 Latvia

10,800

65.8

0.769

 Lesotho

1,100

47.5

0.427

 Liberia

300

46.5

0.3

 Libya

11,500

38.6

0.755

 Lithuania

10,300

71.3

0.783

 Luxembourg

110,400

76.2

0.852

 Macedonia, Republic of

4,400

66

0.701

 Madagascar

400

61.2

0.435

 Malawi

300

55.8

0.385

 Malaysia

8,400

66.3

0.744

 Maldives

4,700

48.3

0.602

 Mali

700

56.3

0.309

 Malta

20,400

65.7

0.815

 Mauritania

1,200

52.1

0.433

 Mauritius

7,500

76.2

0.701

 Mexico

9,200

67.8

0.75

 Micronesia, Federated States of

2,200

50.3

0.614

 Moldova

1,600

55.7

0.623

 Mongolia

2,000

59.5

0.622

 Montenegro

6,000

62.5

0.769

 Morocco

3,300

59.6

0.567

 Mozambique

400

56.8

0.284

 Namibia

5,600

62.7

0.606

 Nepal

500

50.1

0.428

 New Zealand

33,000

82.3

0.907

 Nicaragua

1,200

58.8

0.565

 Niger

400

54.3

0.261

 Nigeria

1,300

56.7

0.423

 Norway

88,600

70.3

0.938

 Pakistan

900

55.1

0.49

 Panama

7,900

64.9

0.755

 Papua New Guinea

1,600

52.6

0.431

 Paraguay

2,900

62.3

0.64

 Peru

5,300

68.6

0.723

 Poland

12,200

64.1

0.795

 Portugal

21,400

64

0.795

 Qatar

75,300

70.5

0.803

 Romania

7,400

64.7

0.767

 Russia

10,500

50.5

0.719

 Rwanda

500

62.7

0.385

 Saudi Arabia

17,200

66.2

0.752

 Senegal

1,000

55.7

0.411

 Serbia

5,300

58

0.735

 Sierra Leone

400

49.6

0.317

 Singapore

43,300

87.2

0.846

 Slovakia

16,000

69.5

0.818

 Slovenia

23,900

64.6

0.828

 Solomon Islands

1,300

45.9

0.494

 South Africa

7,300

62.7

0.597

 Spain

30,300

70.2

0.863

 Sri Lanka

2,400

57.1

0.658

 Suriname

6,700

53.1

0.646

 Swaziland

2,600

59.1

0.498

 Sweden

50,200

71.9

0.885

 Switzerland

68,700

81.9

0.874

 Syria

2,700

51.3

0.589

 Taiwan (Republic of China)

18,700

70.8

0.868

 Tajikistan

800

53.5

0.58

 Tanzania

500

57

0.398

 Thailand

4,800

64.7

0.654

 Timor-Leste

500

42.8

0.502

 Togo

500

49.1

0.428

 Tonga

3,400

55.8

0.677

 Trinidad and Tobago

16,800

66.5

0.736

 Tunisia

4,200

58.5

0.683

 Turkey

9,500

64.2

0.679

 Turkmenistan

5,700

43.6

0.669

 Uganda

500

61.7

0.422

 Ukraine

3,000

45.8

0.71

 United Arab Emirates

60,700

67.8

0.815

 United Kingdom

36,000

74.5

0.849

 United States

47,600

77.8

0.902

 Uruguay

12,200

70

0.765

 Uzbekistan

1,400

45.8

0.617

 Venezuela

10,700

37.6

0.696

 Vietnam

1,200

51.6

0.572

 Yemen

1,300

54.2

0.439

 Zambia

1,200

59.7

0.395

 Zimbabwe

600

22.1

0.14

Country UN Gini Score GDP per person Economic Liberty Score Standard of living
 Albania

31.1

3,900

64

0.719

 Algeria

35.3

4,600

52.4

0.677

 Argentina

48.8

9,000

51.7

0.775

 Armenia

33.8

3,200

69.7

0.695

 Australia

35.2

57,400

82.5

0.937

 Austria

29.1

45,900

71.9

0.851

 Azerbaijan

36.5

5,800

59.7

0.713

 Bangladesh

33.4

700

53

0.469

 Belarus

29.7

5,700

47.9

0.732

 Belgium

33

44,700

70.2

0.867

 Benin

36.5

700

56

0.435

 Bolivia

57.2

1,900

50

0.643

 Bosnia and Herzegovina

26.2

3,600

57.5

0.71

 Botswana

60.5

6,900

68.8

0.633

 Brazil

49.3

10,400

56.3

0.699

 Bulgaria

29.2

6,700

64.9

0.743

 Burkina Faso

39.5

500

60.6

0.305

 Burundi

42.4

200

49.6

0.282

 Cambodia

41.7

800

57.9

0.494

 Cameroon

44.6

1,200

51.8

0.46

 Canada

32.6

46,600

80.8

0.888

 Central African Republic

61.3

400

49.3

0.315

 Chile

52

12,100

77.4

0.783

 China (PRC)

46.9

4,400

52

0.663

 Colombia

58.5

6,500

68

0.689

 Costa Rica

48.9

7,900

67.3

0.725

 Croatia

29

13,500

61.1

0.767

 Czech Republic

25.4

18,800

70.4

0.841

 Denmark

24.7

56,300

78.6

0.866

 Dominican Republic

50

5,300

60

0.663

 Ecuador

54.4

4,000

47.1

0.695

 Egypt

34.4

2,700

59.1

0.62

 El Salvador

46.9

3,600

68.8

0.659

 Estonia

35.8

15,300

75.2

0.812

 Ethiopia

30

300

50.5

0.328

 Finland

26.9

45,500

74

0.871

 France

32.7

39,900

64.6

0.872

 Georgia

40.4

2,500

70.4

0.698

 Germany

28.3

40,600

71.8

0.885

 Ghana

40.8

1,300

59.4

0.467

 Greece

34.3

28,400

60.3

0.855

 Guatemala

53.7

3,100

61.9

0.56

 Guinea

38.6

400

51.7

0.34

 Guinea-Bissau

47

500

46.5

0.289

 Haiti

59.5

700

52.1

0.404

 Honduras

55.3

1,900

58.6

0.604

 Hong Kong

43.4

31,700

89.7

0.862

 Hungary

26.9

12,900

66.6

0.805

 India

36.8

1,300

0.519

 Indonesia

34.3

2,900

56

0.6

 Iran

43

4,600

42.1

0.702

 Ireland

34.3

44,200

78.7

0.895

 Israel

39.2

29,000

68.5

0.872

 Italy

36

33,800

60.3

0.854

 Jamaica

45.5

4,800

65.7

0.688

 Japan

24.9

42,800

72.8

0.884

 Jordan

38.8

4,300

68.9

0.681

 Kazakhstan

33.9

8,100

62.1

0.714

 Kenya

42.5

800

57.4

0.47

 Kyrgyzstan

30.3

800

61.1

0.598

 Laos

34.6

1,000

51.3

0.497

 Latvia

37.7

10,800

65.8

0.769

 Lesotho

63.2

1,100

47.5

0.427

 Liberia

52.6

300

46.5

0.3

 Lithuania

36

10,300

71.3

0.783

 Macedonia

39

4,400

66

0.701

 Madagascar

47.5

400

61.2

0.435

 Malawi

39

300

55.8

0.385

 Malaysia

49.2

8,400

66.3

0.744

 Mali

40.1

700

56.3

0.309

 Mauritania

39

1,200

52.1

0.433

 Mexico

51.6

9,200

67.8

0.75

 Moldova

33.2

1,600

55.7

0.623

 Mongolia

32.8

2,000

59.5

0.622

 Morocco

39.5

3,300

59.6

0.567

 Mozambique

47.3

400

56.8

0.284

 Namibia

74.3

5,600

62.7

0.606

 Nepal

47.2

500

50.1

0.428

 New Zealand

36.2

33,000

82.3

0.907

 Nicaragua

52.3

1,200

58.8

0.565

 Niger

50.5

400

54.3

0.261

 Nigeria

43.7

1,300

56.7

0.423

 Norway

25.8

88,600

70.3

0.938

 Pakistan

30.6

900

55.1

0.49

 Panama

54.9

7,900

64.9

0.755

 Papua New Guinea

50.9

1,600

52.6

0.431

 Paraguay

53.2

2,900

62.3

0.64

 Peru

50.5

5,300

68.6

0.723

 Poland

34.5

12,200

64.1

0.795

 Portugal

38.5

21,400

64

0.795

 Romania

31

7,400

64.7

0.767

 Russia

39.9

10,500

50.5

0.719

 Rwanda

46.8

500

62.7

0.385

 Senegal

41.3

1,000

55.7

0.411

 Sierra Leone

62.9

400

49.6

0.317

 Singapore

42.5

43,300

87.2

0.846

 Slovakia

25.8

16,000

69.5

0.818

 Slovenia

28.4

23,900

64.6

0.828

 South Africa

57.8

7,300

62.7

0.597

 South Korea

31.6

20,700

69.8

0.877

 Spain

34.7

30,300

70.2

0.863

 Sri Lanka

40.2

2,400

57.1

0.658

 Swaziland

50.4

2,600

59.1

0.498

 Sweden

25

50,200

71.9

0.885

 Switzerland

33.7

68,700

81.9

0.874

 Tajikistan

32.6

800

53.5

0.58

 Tanzania

34.6

500

57

0.398

 Thailand

42

4,800

64.7

0.654

 Trinidad and Tobago

38.9

16,800

66.5

0.736

 Tunisia

39.8

4,200

58.5

0.683

 Turkey

41.2

9,500

64.2

0.679

 Turkmenistan

40.8

5,700

43.6

0.669

 Uganda

45.7

500

61.7

0.422

 Ukraine

28.1

3,000

45.8

0.71

 United Kingdom

36

36,000

74.5

0.849

 United States

40.8

47,600

77.8

0.902

 Uruguay

47.1

12,200

70

0.765

 Uzbekistan

36.8

1,400

45.8

0.617

 Venezuela

49.5

10,700

37.6

0.696

 Vietnam

34.4

1,200

51.6

0.572

 Yemen

33.4

1,300

54.2

0.439

 Zambia

50.8

1,200

59.7

0.395

 Zimbabwe

50.1

600

22.1

0.14

33

70.8

0.868

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30 Comments

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Atlas Shrugged, Budget, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Education, Election 2012, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Fear, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Individualism, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Selfishness, Taxes, Tea Party, Tyranny, Unions, Unjust legislation, Welfare

30 responses to “Economic inequality hurts people…or does it?

  1. “Because it certainly isn’t any proof from this little thing called reality”

    What is reality? Is economics reality? I thought it was man made? The ocean, the sun, the universe….that is reality. Man can create his own destiny within that reality. If you like the status quo…well enjoy it.

  2. ʉʅʅʞʪʬʎʅɳɖʑəɣɶʞʉʅɳʃɨ

    sorry, I shouldn’t come back, but this is too good: “but you’ll notice that that the line goes up exponentially (it curves up) rather than linearly (a straight line) thus suggesting that money has a multiply effect on the quality of your life. So for every extra $10,000 you earn your quality of life doubles or triples.”

    I see you are a master statistician too. If you want to plot the quality of life as a function of the gdp per capita you should turn the chart around, and you’ll see that slope sharply decreases. Every study confirms a sharp diminishing return when the money per capita increases. So if you want to increase the global utlity (whater your metric is, e.g. happiness) the best approach is indeed take from the rich and give to the poor. When you are very rich you need a lot of money to make you only slighlty happier. The same amount of extra money would make a poor person a lot happier (statistically, don’t come back with silly counterexamples).

    And btw the human development index already makes two different rankings for gdp per capita and for the overall HDI, and tells you the difference in position between the two rankings. Do you know what country has the best HDI compared to the GDP per capita (that is highest difference between its position in the two rankings), that is the country that “produces” more HDI given its GDP per capita?

    Cuba

    • Donald

      It appears that all you have to contribute is tearing down someone else’s point of view and be sarcastic. I see nothing in your rsepones that resembles a shred of personal thought backed up with a belief system or “data” to actually support your lack of position on topics presented. I would suggest that you’re goal is to look for blogs to attack rather than put forth a rational discussion on a topic you might have a personal thought about or believe in strongly enough to put yourself out there and take a personal risk with original thought. Quoting philosophers should be intended to reinforce your own opinion or perspective on pertinent topics. To put forth a philosophy that everyone needs to share their wealth is very hackneyed socialist tripe and to actually think it works ignores history and human behavior.
      Don

    • Cathy

      I am appalled – when does anyone need to be a master statistician to discuss a subject using statistics. I am not and I use them all the time in my work. I actually do not like statistics or polls as you are generally not aware of all the variables being used and that can always slant one way or another depending on end result one is looking for. I did not study the stats Cris used as he stated he was playing in the liberal ball park by using UN stats. I would personally question most anything that comes from the UN.
      I will take you up on the debate about the rich giving up their wealth/money to those who have not earned it. You recently stated that I had misjudged you so let me start with saying that if you are well off or wealthy and give your income away after your basic subsistence then you have every right to your point of view as far as you personally are concerned. I have no issue with those who “walk their talk” but otherwise this is my personal opinion on the matter:
      I consider myself to be middle income in the US – not wealthy but I am taken care of. Could I have more – yes of course but I do not choose to work that hard. So if I choose not to work as hard as others who earn more than I well why should I be entitled to any of their income? When government is not involved then (at least in our country) people are more then willing to help out those in need.
      To have this discussion you must start from the same premise or it serves no purpose.
      1) The only rights granted to people by God or Nature (depending on belief system) are the ones of freedom from harm by the actions of others and having things taken from them like those stated in the US Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” and the Constitution which also mentions the all important right of property. No one has the right to anything that belongs to someone else.
      2) I also believe that all governments should follow our Bill of Rights with the founding fathers understanding of them.
      3) People are individuals and responsible to no one else but themselves and those that they choose to be responsible to.
      4) An Individuals rights end when they cross into someone else’s rights.
      5) NO ONE IS OWED ANYTHING ELSE IN LIFE
      6) Government is evil and never ethically provided anything for anyone and has only the responsibility for defense and all that entails (military, local and judicial)
      So the reason I state these issues is that there can be no discussion if the people discussing are on different planes. There is no point in discussing stealing money from the wealthy and giving it to the poor unless you agree on the underlying premise. So I am stating that the discussion should be on the premise not the results of a premise.
      I also want to say (and this is anecdotal) that I have never met or heard of anyone that is happy when they receive something and are not expected to be grateful and justify the gift by improving. Based on my life experience and stats in the US all of the so called poor are increased when government steals from the so called rich and gives to the so called poor and when the government pulls back then the poor improve and the numbers go down. This happens all the time so with my brain I have to logically and rationally conclude that government stealing from someone and giving to someone else is bad.
      Cathy
      P.S. I do not have a blog.

    • I honestly feel a bit bad for you, that you can’t understand that people can (without being “experts”) have informed opinions on more than one topic. You appear to have NO opinions of your own, but that does not mean that Cris, myself, or others, cannot look at the information available and form an educated opinion on many many different topics.

      As for your point of “diminishing returns” on money, let me ask you if money that you have not earned gives you any satisfaction whatsoever? I know it doesn’t give me the same satisfaction that my paycheck gives me. That money is mine, I earned it, but when I’m given money that I haven’t earned it is hollow and doesn’t make me happy in the least. And by the categories in place here in the United States, I am certainly poor.
      I don’t want someone else’s money, I want to earn my own. Only in that way will it make me happy.

      And finally, if you don’t want to comment anymore (as your comment before this one was supposed to be your last one *eye roll*) then why bother coming back to read more articles? You clearly have no respect for Cris (or myself, when you were commenting on my blog) so I just can’t understand the idea behind coming back here day after day to spar with us.

      • j

        Meredith good point but I don’t think spar is the right word you can’t spar with someone when you aren’t even up to their level of thought or intelligence. It’s just no fun for the rest of us to go against an unarmed opponent

      • j: Yes, that is probably true…it was the first word that came to mind though and easier than writing “coming back here day after day to complain about our opinions and, metaphorically, jump up and down and throw tantrums like a kid on a playground.”

        I remember telling a girl in junior high that I would love to have an intellectual sparring session with her, but I didn’t attack the unarmed. lol.

  3. Pingback: Economic inequality hurts people…or does it? (via The Conservative New Ager) « The Snark Who Hunts Back

  4. Nick

    I honestly dont believe those 2 comments..what the hell do you mean is it real?? Of course it’s real what kind of stupid Kantian bullshit are you trying to pull? And why should I care if everyone else is happy, if they are not that is their problem, and thankfully I live in a country where if I’m not happy I can work to get to a better spot rather than being stuck in a government mandated one…

  5. Some liberals continue to have an amazing inability to read or comprehend basic ideas.
    As to the first comment about reality. Reality in this case is that certain facts of life (i.e that is certain behaviors and policies will always yield certain results) can be shown and demonstrated. In this case it becomes pretty obvious that economic liberty yields a better life than economic control by the government. As this is pretty much a fact of every society in history (with the exception of government regulation during periods of war as you need to direct resources if you’re going to survive) I would call it a fact of reality.

    As to my cowardly nameless commenter, you continue to not actually read things (as just about everyone has pointed out) and continue to make just very bizarre jumps in logic. You don’t have to be a master of statistics to see obvious patterns. Even when there are diminishing returns, that does not mean more GDP is not better, it only means that an and increase from 50,000 to 60,000 will not yield as much of a gain as the increase from 40,000 to 50,000. Just because there are diminishing returns does not mean that it is a bad thing to have a higher GDP…in fact to argue such a thing is rather silly. I’m sorry if I did not make my point of yes I see the diminishing returns in the graph as they currently stand but feel that such a line might be inverted if you took all things that least to happiness into account more clear…I’ll admit there probably should have been a “might” before “double” as I was talking about how including all possible factors would change the curve. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. My central point that it takes a high average GDP to achieve a high standard of living still stands, but you apparently wanted to deal more with a tangential point than the central argument.

    You make a massive logical jump in saying you should steal from the rich and give to the poor. (In fact it’s literally contradicted by the evidence above). Never in the history of human civilization has that worked. And argument about ” quality of life as a function of the gdp per capita” basically means who has the best quality of life on the money they have…which is tantamount to saying who gets the most out of every dollar. Wow, what a concept people who have less get more out of what they have. I’m sure that someone who makes half of what I currently make gets more out each dollar…but I’m going to also guess that they’re more stressed, have less time for leisure, have fewer moments of contentment, and more moments of worrying about how to make their last buck go further. In other words I’m probably happier (http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/betseys/papers/Happiness.pdf, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/business/16leonhardt.html). Money doesn’t guarantee happiness or even a good standard of living, but it is a necessary factor. More a factor however is if the money is earned or given. Money that is earned leads to happiness, money that is given does not. (http://washingtonexaminer.com/node/65221)

    Further you seemed to miss how I don’t have entire faith in HDI numbers, as I said I’m playing the liberal ball park by using those. They only take into account education, life expectancy and GDP. I would love to have a report that lists the effects of freedom of choice (which has massive psychological effects on happiness), fear of government regulation (again massive effect on your mental well being), trust in your society to do the right thing (again very important to mental health), but there are no metrics on this. I am simply using the imperfect data I have on hand.. I would argue that if I had the data I wanted you would see a radically stronger correlation between standard of living and economic freedom.

    And I find your comment about Cuba perplexing…did you mean the HDI with income inequality taken into account (where the U.S. scores 12th and Cuba doesn’t even have a score…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_inequality-adjusted_HDI) Or the UN’s actual report which lists it in 53rd (http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/) in the world. Further, one just has to know even a remote amount of the news to know that 53rd is being generous. People risk their lives in makeshift rafts and boats every year to escape that country. When it’s a better choice to risk death than continue living in a country, common sense tells you the place is a hell hole. Last time I checked not a single person has even tried to leave the United States for Cuba by even sturdy boat…and all those people who rave about what a great place Cuba is still don’t live there…which is odd because, especially some of the bigger name celebrities you would think would be welcomed with open arms just for the PR factor. I wonder why they don’t live there? Maybe because it’s an oppressive regime that inhibits happiness at a basic level.

    I can’t prove this, but it stands to reason that a country’s immigration rate is very indicative of it’s true standard of living. People will want to go where it’s better and leave where it’s worse. (I will admit this is imperfect because, for instance, Saudi Arabia gets a massive immigration rate even though it’s a terrible place to live…but has very high paying jobs which can lead to enough money to move to other countries and it is not the constant war zone that people are often coming from, same with Russia, people immigrate there because it’s doing marginally better than many of the old Soviet bloc nations). However, if you were to factor it by economic freedom, free and mostly free nations have people coming in and the worst nations, on the whole, have people going out. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_foreign-born_population_in_2005, http://www.indexmundi.com/map/?v=27)

    On a final note it’s very telling that you made no comment at all about the fact that there is no correlation between Gini coefficient numbers on economic inequality and any other metric.

  6. Actually upon rereading it, that paragraph is poorly phrased…not wrong but very poorly phrased. I think I was glossing over a logical step or two in my brain. I can see where the confusion about my statement might lie. It was my poor phrasing that was to blame.

    Here is the original so no one can say I’m just changing the text to make you look foolish:
    Well the UN has some statistics on standards of living (I’m not sure if this is the best judge for what is a good life, but we’ll play in the liberal’s ballpark and use the UN’s numbers). Now if we chart that against the average GDP for each country (numbers from the CIA Handbook), (I’ll include a long boring chart with all these figures at the end if you want to check my math) we find that, low and behold the more money you have the better the average quality of life is in any given country. (In case you want to know the better quality of life the higher the score). Not terribly surprising when you consider that one of the UN’s criteria is average GDP, but you’ll notice that that the line goes up exponentially (it curves up) rather than linearly (a straight line) thus suggesting that money has a multiply effect on the quality of your life. Thus to get to the highest standards of living you need lots of money, at least as an average GDP. Further it would not be unreasonable to argue that there are secondary benefits, (not having to worry about debt, freedom for leisure, etc) that come from extra money not shown in the UN’s standard of living numbers thus making the exact curve even more pronounced in the favor of higher GDP having numerous benefits. So for every extra $10,000 you earn your quality of life doubles or triples (probably levels out at some point, but more money can’t hurt).

    However even if we took it the way it was misread (which was partly my fault) that doesn’t invalidate the rest of the argument that higher average GDP leads to higher standard of living, and that economic freedom is an absolute requirement of higher average GDP and that equality of wealth has absolutely nothing to do with standard of living or average GDP.

    • I don’t need to read your facts and figures supporting your philistine philosophy…I already know by skimming certain language you used throughout your initial argument to realize you don’t have the capability to think in a broader context. Enjoy your status quo and live well.

      • Nick

        Translation: Don’t wave your fancy facts in my face,your obviously not irrational enough to anti-think like i do,so bugger of.

      • Cathy

        Tinman/Tincup
        Well I looked at your blog and was fascinated by the intellectual capacity of true thought…..
        SHEEPLES UNITE!
        Based on your comment, your blog and the actual definition of words I have some intellectual questions…..
        (This is what you state that those on Wall Street and elsewhere, including you are looking for)

        1. Abolish money, debt, Wall-street, banks, and investment “bangstas”
        Intellectually what will you use – is everyone going to offer you food, clothing and shelter because you exist? Is all of humanity changing overnight and becoming perfect saints?
        Or are you offering services (creation or production) in turn for those offerings?
        2. Abolish incompetent government at all levels
        Does this mean all government will be abolished? Government/Bureaucracies are by there
        nature incompetent. In place of all government will there be anarchy? Or are we going
        back to the belief in sainthood for all?
        3. Abolish Lobby firms
        So freedom was also abolished?
        4. Abolish the commoditization of the human being
        Again freedom was abolished as human actions/desires are the reason for commodities?
        5. Abolish mundane visions for the human being
        Still wondering what this means – probably because I have mundane visions and can not
        conceive of yours – maybe with your intellect you could clarify for us plebeians.
        6. Abolish barriers to creativity and innovation
        Exactly what barriers currently exist to creativity and innovation? Do you mean money?
        Well again I must ask who decides what things are to be created and innovated? Anything anyone conceives?
        7. Abolish poverty
        Let’s see – how will we go about that? How is poverty defined? Will everyone have shelter? What kind of shelter as we do not wish to cut trees? Does everyone deserve a particular kind of clothing and how will it be produced and provided? Everyone should have nutritional sustenance – so how will that be decided as to what that is and how will that be produced and provided? A little more clarification is needed here.
        8. Abolish illiteracy
        How exactly would this be accomplished because I can assure that the majority of people on the planet would be in agreement with this one. Could it have something to do with people being in situations where they believe that other things are more important such as living, eating or maybe their religion discourages literacy. I believe that there are some religions (the largest growing currently) that prefer its people to be illiterate or they might questions its teaching. Are you going to abolish religion? So does that mean that you are going to tell people how to think? Interesting – again I would need more clarification.
        9. Abolish ignorance
        I actually kind of thought this would be taken care of with abolishing illiteracy. Maybe you again mean that all people should think a certain way. Where exactly are you taking this?
        10. Abolish poor education
        Again everyone is in agreement with this one – how are you accomplishing this? Probably when you accomplish 8 & 9 this will just fix itself!
        11. Abolish suburban sprawl
        There goes that freedom thing again. We are now going to be told where to live. Well I guess all that land can be used to produce that food you will need – or but then trees would need to be cut down for all the farmland needed. We also have to figure out how to get all that water there for the plants (as I assume you just made us all vegetarians or maybe we will try the Solient Green system).
        12. Abolish poorly planned cities and infrastructure
        Who is deciding what an appropriately planned city and infrastructure is? How are we going to do this – use the current bombs to destroy what currently exists or are the people going to tear it all down and rebuild it? And again I need to ask what materials are we using and how are they produced?
        13. Abolish pollution of air and water
        Great – are you stopping the winds (because it causes pollution also) and what about those animals are you teaching them how to conduct themselves around water? Seriously how are you doing that?
        14. Abolish destruction of wild life
        Again Great! Since again I am assuming that we are all vegetarians are you now going to let nature take its course and let animals kill each other? What about an animal that is going to attack a human being – can we defend ourselves with the swords, bows and arrows? Can we then not waste the poor animal and use its skin/fur and meat?
        15. Abolish deforestation
        Except for the Rain Forrest (not sure how long that will take to return) I am not actually aware of deforestation going on – I live in America so maybe it is occurring in some other country. I know as an intellectual you are aware that good forest management requires removing dead/dying trees? And I know with your intellect you know that even the Native Indians would set the forests on fire occasionally for good management. Currently they replace trees almost 2 to 1 for everyone they remove in the US.
        16. Abolish overpopulation
        I really love this one – are we murdering people, I am sure abortion is used but is someone deciding who gets to have children and how many? That has worked so well for China!
        17. Abolish nuclear weapons, missiles, bombs, and guns (swords, bow and arrows ok)
        I believe this one demonstrates your true intent – we will all return to the dark ages. Who exactly will be in charge? I forgot though all mankind is becoming saints so there will be no problems or issues in our new one world government.
        18. Abolish use of oil, nuclear power, and coal
        And just like in #17 we are returning to the dark ages. Wind power only works where there is wind, solar only works where the sun occurs most often – what else is out there currently to replace all of these??? So you won’t be blogging anymore as electricity and light will be at a real premium. And who ever it is that makes these decisions will need to allot what little is available to – oh yes how are we deciding that again?
        19. Abolish excess waste
        Again I am stymied – what does this mean?? The decision makers are deciding what we can have and since that will be only the necessities I guess we won’t be throwing anything away. Or are we now going to figure other uses for all those items that were using oil, nuclear power and coal because we do not want to waste them. Or is this to imply that we need to recycle better? With such great intellect it is difficult for us plebeians to follow your thought patterns. Keep in mind that the computer you have has some plastic parts in it and can not be produced now that oil is abolished. By the way what are shoes made out of – can’t use animals, can’t use plastics – I am not real big on wood shoes – Oh wait we can’t use wood – maybe one of plants??
        20. Implement demands 1-19 throughout the entire world
        How is this occurring???

        You were not clear are we going to war to make a one world government? So we are not going to swords, etc. just yet?
        Did we destroy America and the Constitution?
        Who decides what are the basic needs for all people?
        Who decides what is to be created and or produced?
        Who decides how your brains and hands are to be used?
        Are those of us who do not wish to live in your Utopia going to be murdered?
        There are hundreds of questions and information that needs to be thought out and provided for each of these statements. I am sure as intellectuals you will be able to provide those answers and plans – maybe you could share?
        Mostly you are promoting Communism – has always worked so well before….
        With your intellect tell me how a Utopia that requires that people be enslaved until they reach sainthood is anything but evil???

        In regards to your recent post on another blog – I am not sure if your understand the meaning of words you use:
        phil·is·tine
           noun
        1. a person who is lacking in or hostile or smugly indifferent to cultural values, intellectual pursuits, aesthetic refinement, etc., or is contentedly commonplace in ideas and tastes.

        What cultural values were used in determining these 20 points?
        What intellectual activity was used in determining these 20 points?
        I can see the aesthetic refinement but how do you pragmatically apply it?
        How do you elevate to your Utopian ideals from the commonplace without out using acts of evil??

  7. ɧɸɞʐʍɰɽʥɡʙʨɜɰʉɷɶɖɾʂʃ

    Hello, I think Meredith here has a point. I shouldn’t be coming back. I know … but somehow it’s fun. And then it makes some traffic for Cris’ blog, so he can’t be too upset since more eyeballs will see his book.

    Going to the “meat”: Cris was wrong, and he actually wrote a correct statement now “it only means that an and increase from 50,000 to 60,000 will not yield as much of a gain as the increase from 40,000 to 50,000”, which in the fairly objective world of mathematics contradicts “So for every extra $10,000 you earn your quality of life doubles or triples”. I will leave the exercise to the readers, but you don’t khow how basic math works if you see no contradiction.

    So that’s my point, it’s funny how people here say that I have no opinions. I just made a factual point. There is a diminishing return, not an exponential increase.

    Meredith: “if money that you have not earned gives you any satisfaction whatsoever”, I am actually pretty satisfied when there are decent public services, education, safety, health care, etc. Some I paid with my taxes, so I didn’t. Those that ear more paid more. I see no problem there.

    For my comment on Cuba. I never said that Cuba was better than the US, that would be a silly statement for many reasons, so you are attacking a straw man with your immigrants and their poor boats. I just made a factual statement about the result of the HDI reports. Feel free to check the actual data and show me were my mistake is.

    I would agree that higher GDP correlates strongly with higher standard of living, I never said the opposite. There are obvious counterexamples (e.g. Arab peninsula), but that doesn’t invalidate the global correlation.

    Tincup: I don’t know who you are disagreeing with, but if you’re disagreeing with Cris you’re doing it the wrong way. He is wrong not because of the language he uses, but because his facts are wrong, so you actually need to check his facts. Everything else is quite irrelevant.

    Cathy: I understand your argument. I’ve seen it many times before. It could be valid (Nozick defends a very similar point). I will actually give you a good quote from Nozick that you can reuse in your next debates: “From each as they choose, to each as they are chosen”.

    I will give you another one for free: “Taxation of earnings from labor is on a par with forced labor. Seizing the results of someone’s labor is equivalent to seizing hours from him and directing him to carry on various activities.”.

    Now go ahead and read his books, you’ll learn a lot. Nozick is one of the sharpest writers I’ve ever read, I’ve got the utmost respect for him, so I will not use crass attacks on that line of thougth.

    The interesting thing is that do defend that line you need to base your arguments on some deontic kind of ethics. You actually do this by making a reference to “rights granted to people by God or Nature”.

    If you are more on the utilitarian side (and I’m not defening this here, even if that’s closer to my position) instead you try to maximise the aggregate amount of some dimension (e.g. happiness …) even if to do this you have to go against the interests (and maybe the “rights”, assuming that concept makes sense in a utilitarian framework) of some people. With this approach, since we agree there is a diminishing return, it makes sense to take from those who have more to give to those who have less. Again, I leave this exercise to the reader.

    There are other good arguments (from game theory) against simplistic libertarian positions, but I have no time. I think that Nozick’s lines fail against these attacks. Better thinkers than me have written about this.

    Now, the good thing here, is that Cris thinks that both utilitarianism and deontology are 100% wrong, and came up with his amazing revolutionary moral framework. there’s a post somewhere, read it because it’s a great example of personal attacks on respected philosophers and the delusional attempt of someone who thinks he is better than some of the most respected figures in the history of western thought. I’m sure that he’s very frustrated that the world hasn’t yet recognized his great contribution to ethics, hopefully his book will set the record straight.

  8. Darian

    To the person without a name, and to everyone else pardon my frustration I can’t stand fucking idiots.

    I have been reading your comments for some time here and on the Snark and I’ve finally had it.

    It could write volume VOLUMES! on the fucking stupidity of everything you say. But let’s just take this last comment.

    You respond to Meredith with saying “but somehow it’s fun” to come back and comment on this blog. My background is partially psychology so let me explain something to you. Commenting on people whom you agree with or whom you have slightly responsible disagreements is healthy. What you’re doing, continuously coming back and insulting everyone for the sake of insulting them isn’t. It is a clear indicator of someone who can only build themselves up by tearing others down. That alone shows what sad fucking waste of a person you are. I’m sure you’d be some kind of bully if you had physical strength, but you seem to the weak type who like to quote big words at people to make them feel small. It must be the only thing that makes you feel better about your life. It’s shown in the fact that you can’t even use a name. You have to hide dare someone make fun of you sad little life.

    “I will leave the exercise to the readers, but you don’t kow how basic math works if you see no contradiction.” Did you fucking miss the sentences in between where he said that it does show diminishing returns but since they’re based on UN data that if we had all possible data it might a more linear or exponential growth. DId you miss those sentences or are you just too fucking brain dead to know what words mean?

    And if that is the proof when you talk about when you say “I just made a factual point.” That’s sad. It just sad. You take one quote that looks at the graph, then another quote that follows saying that the graph may not show the full picture and just deny the fact that there was a lot in between that those two points. All this “exercise for the reader” has shown me is that if you were run over by a car tomorrow it wouldn’t be a big fucking loss to the intellectual state of the world.

    “I never said that Cuba was better than the US” but you brought up the point and suggested it was. You can’t say something and then deny it. I did check the data on the links Cris provided (I notice you have no links…to go along with your fact and brain) and he’s right and you’re wrong.

    “He is wrong not because of the language he uses, but because his facts are wrong” oh yeah dipshit? Where are your facts?

    I read Nozick in college. Pompous prick who loves the sound of his own words…I can see why you like him. But if you knew anything about philosophy you would see why recommending Nozick here is not that bright. Nozick is a libertarian philosopher…this is not a libertarian blog, but you’d have to be able to actually read to get that. But Nozick is responding too much to the other philosophers you seem to like and not to the average person which makes him useless in terms of practical philosophy. He’s also takes a lot of his premises from Kant, which was dealt with a few blogs back. That would be the blog that was designed to insult you and provided arguments against Kant, but you just called the Cris ignorant instead of providing an argument yourself.

    “he interesting thing is that do defend that line you need to base your arguments on some deontic kind of ethics. You actually do this by making a reference to “rights granted to people by God or Nature”. You do realize that when you use the word deontic, you mean an ethics based on duty. Duty and right are actually on opposite ends of the philosophical spectrum. So to say by mentioning rights your justifying a duty based ethics you come off as the most ignorant fuck who like to use big words that he clearly doesn’t know the meaning to I run into in a while.

    “even if to do this you have to go against the interests (and maybe the “rights”, assuming that concept makes sense in a utilitarian framework) ” Who care if it makes since in a utilitarian framework. People have rights. END OF STORY. You can’t violate people’s rights just because you want something. If they earned it it’s theirs to do with as they please.

    “There are other good arguments (from game theory) against simplistic libertarian positions, but I have no time. I think that Nozick’s lines fail against these attacks. Better thinkers than me have written about this.” You reference other ideas, which you don’t go into, and say other people haven’t been able to attack those ideas. But I heard this guy at this place at that time at those ideas and he was ripped them to shreds. It’s a fucking joke you seem to think that was an argument.

    “and came up with his amazing revolutionary moral framework. ” Yeah, really revolutionary. The ethics of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Aquinas, Adam Smith…and since you like modern names Coppleston, Adler, Daujat, de Wult, Giblso, Hugon, Komar, Lira, Garrigou-Lagrange, (see I can drop names too). These modern philosophers were also dismissive of the same idiots you seem to revere and that Cris dislikes. But you would have to know something about philosophy or the history of philosophy to know that…which you fucking don’t. To Cathy: the fact that he is so completely ignorant of the basics of philosophy is proof that he isn’t a philosophy student.

    But since you like Nozick so much let’s try this quote from him.
    Wisdom is what you need to understand in order to live well and cope with the central problems and avoid the dangers in the predicaments human beings find themselves in.” You don’t seem to have any of this.

    Again, Cris, sorry for the vulgarity, but this shit isn’t worth a polite tone.

  9. Oh, what a bunch of losers. the gibberish named guy is a clear jerk but you guys are a bunch of sore losers. You made a mistake cris, big deal who cares, exponential growth doesn’t show diminishing returns. it’s not poorly phrased, it’s just wrong. Be a man and admit it. And now that you recognize there’s there’s diminishing return get this from this old math professor: if there’s diminishing return the distribution that maximizes the overall value is the one where there is no inequality. So you shot yourself in the foot twice. First by making a mistake, and second by posting data the contradicts the point you were trying to make. I’m no fucking liberal but you guys are pathetic.

    • I realize the two were different. I was saying that if we had real data on issues like happiness and stress the graph would be inverted. The UN numbers for standard of living are basically based on three things: GDP, literacy rate, and average life span. Two of those things have natural limits. All the money in the world can’t raise literacy rates above a 100% So once a country reaches 90% in literacy there is of course going to a diminishing return on that. And human beings may live longer, but the fact is that even if every person was a billionaire the human body was just never designed, even at its best, to last more than a century and change. So when you have two standards that have limits yes, you’re going to find a diminishing return on money as you approach those limits. However if you used data that didn’t have limits wouldn’t see the same diminishing return on wealth to standard of living. This is partly why I included that video near the end. Looking at Happiness, Civil rights, the environment, corruption, infant mortality, unemployment you begin to see an overall pattern. Now that data all came from different studies, but what I’m saying is that if you a single study for all that data and charted it against GDP/Freedom you wouldn’t see the diminishing returns.

      The UN numbers show diminishing returns. I don’t deny that. I’m saying if I had fully accurate data on all the ways you could measure standards of living it wouldn’t show a diminishing return.

      Yes I don’t have exact numbers to prove that yet, but in this case I think it’s common sense to realize that if you did not use standards that had natural limits you would find that there is no diminishing returns to a society when you increase average GDP through more economic freedom.

      And all of this is tangential at best to the central point of the argument: Distribution of income has nothing to do with standard of living.

      • come on cris, so you used data that goes against your point, and then say that real data, that you pull out of thin air, would show the opposite trend. And since when corruption, infant mortality, unemployment don’t have natural limit? their natural best is zero. diminishing returns are a basic fact of human psychology and physiology. A linear trend would be exceptional. An unbounded curve with an increasing trend just doesn’t make any sense.

        • I used data my opposition would accept, if I used say the Wall Street Journal studies of standard of living I’d have to deal with complaints about it being a right wing news outlet, I simply chose to play in their ball park and use data they will accept, but I will point out that I don’t think this data shows the whole picture. I then mentioned that while they accept it probably does not show a complete picture. Are there diminishing returns for happiness, for sense of achievement, for contentment? Probably not. Okay probably when we get everyone into the $150,000 per year (in current dollars) yeah you’ll notice diminishing returns but we’re not there yet and we will still notice major gain in every increase in income where the entire world exists (and we are a long way off from having the world economically free enough and developed enough to reach that so I don’t think it’s a relevant point just yet. In a 100 years it might be a more specific point).

          Do you have anything to say about the actual point of the article. That (A) there is no relationship between distribution of wealth and standard of living and (B) there is a strong relationship between economic freedom and standard of living?

  10. “If these idiots at “The Other 99%” really cared about improving the quality of life of the 99% who aren’t among the rich, then they would be protesting government, bureaucracy, red tape, taxes and regulation…but they don’t care about that…they don’t want it better for everyone, they just want if better for them so they can sit around all day and get paid for doing nothing…that or they are obscenely bad at math.”

    I have posted on your blog before about this very topic but you never replied. Before I repost the thought…I want to point out how your above language reveals your shortcomings. Can you lump all those who are protesting or those they may sympathize with the protesters into that statement? I don’t think so. Now…there have been studies on the “happiest people on earth”…the below are the results. Are they bullet proof? Absolutely not…just like your argument isn’t bullet proof. Notice how those countries listed as “happiest” cultures on Earth has income re-distribution that is significant.

    http://www.forbes.com/2011/01/19/norway-denmark-finland-business-washington-world-happiest-countries.html

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43287918/ns/business-world_business/t/us-doesnt-make-cut-happiest-nations-list/

    • Oh Tin Cup, you’re funny

      First most of what you say is just silly so why respond.
      Second in reference to my use of language. I’m terribly sorry that you didn’t know that people just generally talk in generalities because it’s cumbersome to always put at the end of every sentence “of course there are exceptions, but this this does apply to the majority.” And I think that what I said is true. If you care about people’s quality of life you would look the economic liberties that create wealth and not just bitch that other people have more than you. But these people, by their name the other 99% are saying they want what the top 1% has, they don’t want to earn their own wealth they just want to take what the top 1% has. So yes I feel justified that my statement is true the vast majority of the people in that group.

      I used the UN numbers because those are numbers less likely to be challenged by liberals. I now of the two studies your links reference (which are based on studies done by the Wall St. Journal and Forbes, which if I had used those I would have gotten hit for using RIght-Wing sources…I just wasn’t dumb enough to fall into that trap). Now I don’t disagree with those studies. Both studies take personal freedom into great account. But for sake of brevity let’s just look at the 2nd link as some of the raw data is on the page itself. You’ll notice that they take Government Debt, employment rate, and disposable income as measures of happiness. All of these are better in countries that have free economies and worse in countries with more government intervention. Further 8 of the 10 countries listed have gone up in their overall ranking of economic freedom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_of_Economic_Freedom_historical_rankings) which proves my point that economic freedom leads to happier people. Also notice that these ranking seem to say nothing about distribution of wealth.

    • Chris…I agree simply spreading the wealth isn’t the answer. There are so many other problems that have to be fixed for it to work in the United States.

  11. Cathy…LMAO!!!!…I will reply to you on my blog…by the way…those aren’t the demands from the protesters…and…to understand the context and point of that post you would have to read through my entire blog posts which I don’t expect you to do…but if you decide to do so…start with the first post “About this Blog” and then go to second post The “Human World” without Money, Debt, and Financial Institutions…

  12. Okay, new rule…after deleting two comments last night I have a new rule for comments. If you’re going to swear or be overly vulgar (one of the deleted comments was just a string of profanities, one just did it once but the first put me in a foul mood) directed at me and/or my friends expect to be deleted. Clearly I’ll post comments that I think are wrong and insane, but I have my limits.

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