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3026  General Politics / Economics / Let's talk about Piketty on: May 08, 2014, 09:44:41 pm
Capital in the Twenty-First Century seems to have become all the rage as of late. I wasn't going to give him much regard, but then I read an article in The Economist talking about his analysis of the history of the proportion of inherited wealth that I found rather interesting, now I'll probably read it come the summer when I have time.

What interested me about this article was the implication that the proportion of wealth inherited was rising to near-turn-of-the-century levels. I'm less interested in the social inequality this presents than the effects this could have. Now everyone knows that I think 1910 was the high water mark of human civilisation, but in all seriousness, it got me wondering of the possibility of living purely off of inheritance, which was the norm for the upper class for a long time, at least in Europe, and in this country as well.

I was wondering about the possibility of that happening even today (hence my thread about how much money one would need to not work). I couldn't even find even one New York Times profile about such people, which I considered to be interesting. I did find one person in an article from 1992 say something along the lines of "about half of the people in the most aristocratic clubs (in New York) have never worked". But the idea of "living off of investments, soundly invested" is one I feel could have interesting economic implications.

See, the thing is I wonder if increasing the proportion of capital held by people with extremely-long run goals of asset growth could possibly have a calming effect upon markets, that's, in contrast to the rather complex tools utilised to increase gains in the short term you see these days. I mean it would still be circulating throughout the market, keeping things liquid. You would still need well trained wealth management. You wouldn't need to go to Harvard to hold an inheritance. It wouldn't shut out skilled individuals from achieving success. But it would promote a more long-term sort of management than what is seen in this era of "shareholder value".

Indeed perhaps this market calming could have a positive effect on the middle classes, encouraging prudent living, more efficiently and in proportion to the environment, which is all the rage these days. I'm imagining New Urbanism leading the way here. I won't even get to the idea often heard of "honest politics" or the sense of "stewardship" perceived in the days of greater stratification, but I will openly wonder if the increase of the proportion of inherited wealth might have anything to do with this "great moderation" we've seen in the past decades.

What do you think? I'll link to the article below, I'm on an iPad and don't want the page to refresh on me.
3027  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Martin O'Malley bombs on reddit has one of worst AMA's in history on: May 08, 2014, 08:31:37 pm
Guys don't you remember when Obama was on reddit? Surely if it's good enough for Obama it's good enough for O'Malley...

I don't know why it's considered dignified for any political figure to do this on a website that has sections about drugs and pornography. In previous times this would have been considered a scandal. Tipper would have never let Al do this, even if it was his invention.
3028  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SENATE BILL: Executive Compensation Act of 2014 (Debating) on: May 08, 2014, 08:14:16 pm
Surely this has been said before, but stock options give managers an intrinsic stake in the welfare of the company.
3029  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The abductions in Nigeria on: May 08, 2014, 07:04:58 pm
I have one thing to say here;

Children have been abducted.

Please bear this in mind before your opinions fall out of your mouth.

Or have they? There are a few Nigerians I know who maintain this is some hoax perpetrated by the local villagers and/or government, for some unknown reason.
3030  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SENATE BILL: NATO Membership Reform Act (Debating) on: May 08, 2014, 07:02:15 pm
Mr. President I would have hoped you would have encouraged discussion of my proposal.

I have enough hand holding to do.  You need to facilitate conversation for your proposal.

Why can I never get the handsome People to never hold my hand?!

Lumine, NATO serves a specific purpose. It is not global security. It is containment. APTO would serve a similar purpose. To conglomerate them would not only muddle them, but alienate our European allies by making them feel marginalised in their own organisation.
3031  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SENATE BILL: End Lame Duck Terms amendment (Debating) on: May 08, 2014, 06:57:44 pm
In my case, there is October 2012. Lame duck periods also give the incoming administration time to assemble a Cabinet.
3032  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: Simfan for GM (Questioning) on: May 08, 2014, 06:54:36 pm
That is true, I have wanted it even when I used to be dead.

Do you intend to resign as Attorney General?

Only if it required of me.
3033  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The decline of fraternities in the US on: May 08, 2014, 06:52:13 pm
The organic nature of your proposal could be rather unpleasant for more socially awkward types. From what I am told the structure of fraternities, forming almost immediately upon matriculation, has saved a lot of people from social misery.

Princeton's eating clubs are somewhat like your proposal and they have corresponding downsides, namely, a succession of people in the same extended circle, leaving those without such circles in the cold.
3034  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The decline of fraternities in the US on: May 08, 2014, 06:20:37 pm
I have spoken with a few people involved with our organisation, however, and suggested that we recruit more PLU into the group- more literary club members, more fraternity and sorority members, more private school graduates, more squash and crew team members, and correspondingly, less Southern evangelical types. Or whatnot. I wasn't entirely serious. But they agreed all the same. Most of this group- no more than five- seem to be Catholics, however, myself included, so who knows how far we will get.
3035  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The decline of fraternities in the US on: May 08, 2014, 06:15:59 pm
I find this thread comic, but it is only slightly so. It is the usual thing- BRTD making broad, universal conclusions based off of his own experience, here one data point, a decade-old one at that.

As for dues I've heard anywhere between $1-2k per semester. The group I've called "our Bullingdon", with a turn of the century house facing the river, is reputed to charge $5k a semester, sans rent. I'm told they've gradually been taken over by foreigners (no Arabs or Asians need apply) however, keeping on Americans as tokens only. I was speaking from a friend from Maine just the other day, from a very proper (if Catholic- not that it matters for foreigners) background, who got the impression he was being invited to join for that purpose, and turned it down.

And there are a few groups without houses. I'm not entirely sure how that works, I was invited by a friend to one's formal, which was a bit of a bust with a cash bar, we left at 10:30 to do work. So I don't think it works particularly well.
3036  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The decline of fraternities in the US on: May 08, 2014, 03:14:49 pm
Greek life participation has apparently trebled at my school, a graph showed. It now has about 20% of students, as a result of the soaring costs of doing anything here, a crackdown on drinking, and hostile policies against dorm parties.
3037  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: James Lankford (R OK-5) to run for Tom Coburn's Senate Seat on: May 08, 2014, 03:07:25 pm
Shannon's going to win this, right? Or is Oklahoma too racist? This would be the second black-on-black Senate race after Obama vs. Keyes 2004, right?
3038  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you missing Update right now? on: May 08, 2014, 02:18:00 pm
I'm tired of it, yes. The man needs help. And it's not us. He never listens to us.
3039  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you missing Update right now? on: May 08, 2014, 01:45:37 pm
Bushie needs us back. He has finally admitted he is back working for a call center and not "data entry."

What? And he had to move for this? After this ludicrous CADD charade?
3040  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: Simfan for GM (Questioning) on: May 08, 2014, 01:38:02 pm
Good question, Senator. If I feel proposed legislation, which I intend to review regularly, takes an unrealistic approach to costs, I will certainly make that clear. I'd hope the threat of being rebuked by the GM would serve as motivation to produce honest numbers. I'll be putting out various reports on the state of various regions and agencies to keep people regularly informed and hopefully spur legislation in response.

As for examples of legislation I could certainly name a few. The Duke-Marokai Postal Reform Act, for one example, was intended to significantly reform the postal service and make it competitive. But it was watered down to the point where the only thing it ended up doing was issuing a report, whose results I'd like to report on. The Northeast, I found, passed an act in 2011 whose wording means that its elected officials are actually unpaid. Successive legislation passed by the Senate, I once found, and I'm not entirely sure about this, could mean we actually have -2 aircraft carriers. All this means our budget is probably woefully inadequate in some fields but tremendously overspent in others.
3041  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: Pacific Council: Be Safe When You Drive Act on: May 08, 2014, 01:23:50 pm
What do you think of it, Devin?

I resign later in the week.
It's sad to see you resign. We desperately need active councillors, and you would be such a guy.

The GM cannot hold elective office. However, if I were to resign and be re-appointed by the governor, that would technically not be "elective office"...
3042  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: Tenth (10th) Pacific Council and Discussion Thread on: May 08, 2014, 01:17:51 pm
We should allocate at least $5 billion to High Speed Rail.

Also why are we voting on things proposed two sessions ago? This is a waste of time. The queue should not roll over, at least not to such an extent.
3043  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: Pacific Council: False Emergency Signals are Bad Act on: May 08, 2014, 01:16:10 pm
You need to give some sort of warning before opening voting. You can't just bump a month old thread and expect us to have a vote ready especially considering they had been proposed in a prior session.
3044  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: Pacific Council: School Tax Credit Act of 2014 on: May 08, 2014, 01:13:18 pm
What taxes would students be making deductions from? Nay, for the record.
3045  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: Pacific Council: Be Fair Towards Students Act on: May 08, 2014, 01:11:33 pm
But what is this bill in response to? Most students go to school and back on school buses. Cities without such services can deal with the matter on their own, no? I fail to see why this is needed.
3046  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Irate Maine doctor writes his senator about Obamacare on: May 08, 2014, 12:06:29 am
Irate Maine doctor writes his senator about Obamacare

Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., posted this letter to his official House website on Friday without comment. Its author’s name is redacted, but it purports to be from an eye doctor in Maine It was written by Tom Flynn, a Maine opthamologist, to Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, regarding his frustrations over Obamacare.
Part of it everyone is familiar with — the high premiums and deductibles his patients face, employers dropping coverage due to increased costs, etc. This is actually the least interesting part to read. Several of his complaints are specifically from a doctor’s perspective, and these are far more illuminating. Among them: The extreme waste of time and added cost involved with the electronic medical record mandates, reduced and delayed government reimbursements for elderly and indigent patients, and the increased vulnerability of doctors who still bother taking government reimbursements to be targeted by “bounty hunters” seeking a payday based on some kind of potential compliance failure. This more interesting part begins at the bottom of page two.

3047  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Center align on: May 07, 2014, 11:08:24 pm
No. We should widen the page.
3048  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Thailand court ousts PM Yingluck Shinawatra on: May 07, 2014, 11:04:46 pm
Now that I think about it, yeah, it does. Except there's a former Prime Minister attempting to run the country from Spain.
3049  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Amherst scores triumph over "male white privilege", bans fraternities on: May 07, 2014, 09:39:09 pm
Jesus Christ I've had enough of this.
3050  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The abductions in Nigeria on: May 07, 2014, 09:10:00 pm
The Grauniad has proven to be consistently awful when it comes to Africa.
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