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  #51  
Old 02-28-2020, 04:38 AM
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Honestly, I wouldn’t mind a 20% drop for a few years. That’s lots of cheap shares to buy.
This is my new favorite defense of Trump's presidency. Kudos!

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  #52  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:34 AM
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Tell you all what, you start selling and I’ll keep buying and holding with a nice boring DCA strategy and in 20 years or so let’s compare today’s valuations and purchased or sold shares with the valuation of 2040 or so. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind a 20% drop for a few years. That’s lots of cheap shares to buy.
I'm not selling because it's foolish to sell long-term investments based on corrections and dips in the market - and you're not really fundamentally rebutting anything I've said.

At the risk of sounding like a Bernie Bro, I agree with the Senator from Vermont: the economy is rigged. It's rigged so that the wealthy get the greatest gains from expansion, and the poor lose the most during contraction. Each expansion does the opposite of what many economists purport: rather than actually growing the middle class, it ultimately places more and more people into an underclass from which they will never escape - once the bubble pops. When the economy finally corrects for real - not just in the stock indices but in terms of a correction in the labor market, that's when all of this will bear out. Millions of people are just barely hanging on. The market says they're "employed" and that their wages are "growing," but that doesn't really tell the story.

Worse, with each correction and with each new segment of the middle class population that gets lopped off and dumped into the waste bin, those with disproportionate power use that power to concentrate their wealth even further.
  #53  
Old 02-28-2020, 10:06 AM
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I'm not selling because it's foolish to sell long-term investments based on corrections and dips in the market - and you're not really fundamentally rebutting anything I've said.

At the risk of sounding like a Bernie Bro, I agree with the Senator from Vermont: the economy is rigged. It's rigged so that the wealthy get the greatest gains from expansion, and the poor lose the most during contraction. Each expansion does the opposite of what many economists purport: rather than actually growing the middle class, it ultimately places more and more people into an underclass from which they will never escape - once the bubble pops. When the economy finally corrects for real - not just in the stock indices but in terms of a correction in the labor market, that's when all of this will bear out. Millions of people are just barely hanging on. The market says they're "employed" and that their wages are "growing," but that doesn't really tell the story.

Worse, with each correction and with each new segment of the middle class population that gets lopped off and dumped into the waste bin, those with disproportionate power use that power to concentrate their wealth even further.
If inequality is bad for the economy, these last couple of days with the stock market plummeting must be great for the economy since wealth inequality is shrinking at a huge rate.
You do sound like a Bernie Bro, bad at math.

It is axiomatic that the rich always do better in good times, because of math. If the stock market is going up then those with stocks will do better than than those who do not. That is not being rigged that is just reality. There is no way to design a system where the stock market doing better benefits those out of the market more than those in the market.

How many poor people have lost millions of dollars during this market decline? Zero. How many rich people? Lots. Therefore, how do the poor lose more than the rich? That is mathematically impossible.

Whether more people are going leaving the middle class is an empirical question. Since 1979, the percentage of middle class has shrunk by 7%, the lower middle class by 7%, the lower class has shrunk by 4.5%, the upper middle class has expanded by 16%, and the upper class expanded by 2%. This is the opposite of your narrative. People are not becoming poorer they are becoming richer.
  #54  
Old 02-28-2020, 10:57 AM
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Here's how wages look after correcting for the boomers who retire each day and all the new entrants to the full time labor force: https://www.frbsf.org/our-district/a...wth-good-news/

Some 35 million boomers hit 65 last year. Yet a net 1.5 million people joined the labor force above and beyond anyone who left. Replacing someone who has decades of experience with someone who has zero is going to drag the average down, even if everyone else is better off.

ETA: more like replacing everyone who leaves with 1.5 new people.

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  #55  
Old 02-28-2020, 11:50 AM
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If inequality is bad for the economy, these last couple of days with the stock market plummeting must be great for the economy since wealth inequality is shrinking at a huge rate.


Ignoring that middle class people in their 50s and retirees on fixed incomes are getting their portfolios hammered while those who get paid in 7 or 8 figure salaries plus stock options have a range of options at their disposal. But yeah, a massive stock market correction is clearly what I had in mind when I expressed my yearning for a fairer economic system.

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It is axiomatic that the rich always do better in good times, because of math.
Uh huh.

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If the stock market is going up then those with stocks will do better than than those who do not. That is not being rigged that is just reality. There is no way to design a system where the stock market doing better benefits those out of the market more than those in the market.
No, but there are ways to encourage economic systems to become less dependent on shareholder value and stock market manipulation, and more on compensating those who actually produce the wealth with their own labor, and reinvesting in public services and infrastructure beyond that. The current economic system has not fundamentally changed since 2008. The policies in place reward corporate barony by incentivizing policies that deliver shareholder gains over everything else - even if shareholder gains aren't necessarily driven by actual earnings. Simply buying the shares back can increase the value of shares held. Worse, corporate barony are using borrowed money to buy back the loans. It's a pump-and-dump scheme that will eventually be exposed, and coronavirus would be just the sort of situation that could expose it. That's partly the reason why stocks aren't just falling, they're falling damn hard because traders know the shit's overvalued to begin with. But shareholders aren't the ultimate losers. When stocks fall too hard, too fast, the first thing to go in order to return to profitability is labor.

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How many poor people have lost millions of dollars during this market decline? Zero. How many rich people? Lots. Therefore, how do the poor lose more than the rich? That is mathematically impossible.
Yeah, and how many working class people - let alone poor people - can just sell properties, sell shares, and rearrange their investment portfolios while they wait out the financial storm. The difference is that those on top have the means to survive deep recessions; half the country would have a serious time with so much as a disruption - that's probably something else that's being priced into the selloff. Major supply chain disruption equals disruption elsewhere throughout the market, which is then compounded by the fact that individual spending power is disrupted everywhere along the supply chain.

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Whether more people are going leaving the middle class is an empirical question. Since 1979, the percentage of middle class has shrunk by 7%, the lower middle class by 7%, the lower class has shrunk by 4.5%, the upper middle class has expanded by 16%, and the upper class expanded by 2%. This is the opposite of your narrative. People are not becoming poorer they are becoming richer.
I'd really like to see where you're getting your data - I rather doubt the economic picture is what you've described.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:11 PM
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If inequality is bad for the economy, these last couple of days with the stock market plummeting must be great for the economy since wealth inequality is shrinking at a huge rate.
You do sound like a Bernie Bro, bad at math.

It is axiomatic that the rich always do better in good times, because of math. If the stock market is going up then those with stocks will do better than than those who do not. That is not being rigged that is just reality. There is no way to design a system where the stock market doing better benefits those out of the market more than those in the market.

How many poor people have lost millions of dollars during this market decline? Zero. How many rich people? Lots. Therefore, how do the poor lose more than the rich? That is mathematically impossible.
I'm not sure you're as good with the math as you claim to be.

The way the poor lose is that stock market collapses worsen economic downturns. Economic downturns result in unemployment, and unemployment disproportionately hurts the working class. A stock market shock will not be limited to the Dow Jones number. (If it did, that would prove the stock market is total bullshit.)

A little more math for you, with some economics; the impact of a loss on a person is correctly measured not by the raw number of dollars they lose, but by the marginal impact of the dollars they lose. If a billionaire loses $1 million, that has no real impact on the utility they enjoy from their wealth. If a person just hanging on loses their $600/week job for a few months that could cause them tremendous pain and misery.

The idea that Jeff Bezos losing a few million dollars somehow being worse off than a single mom losing her job because the single mom doesn't make a million dollars a week is... I mean, learn the math.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:37 PM
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I'm not sure you're as good with the math as you claim to be.

The way the poor lose is that stock market collapses worsen economic downturns. Economic downturns result in unemployment, and unemployment disproportionately hurts the working class. A stock market shock will not be limited to the Dow Jones number. (If it did, that would prove the stock market is total bullshit.)

A little more math for you, with some economics; the impact of a loss on a person is correctly measured not by the raw number of dollars they lose, but by the marginal impact of the dollars they lose. If a billionaire loses $1 million, that has no real impact on the utility they enjoy from their wealth. If a person just hanging on loses their $600/week job for a few months that could cause them tremendous pain and misery.

The idea that Jeff Bezos losing a few million dollars somehow being worse off than a single mom losing her job because the single mom doesn't make a million dollars a week is... I mean, learn the math.
There's some truth to those points, but puddlegum's statement was still pretty much accurate for the expressions of wealth inequality usually quoted. Which is what % owns what %, where the upper %-tiles both own a lot and own a lot of riskier assets. Stuff like bank accounts and home equity tend to be a bigger % of net worth for median-ish people; houses aren't riskless but not generally as volatile in value as stocks, particularly not in financial upsets originating in the stock market and/or overseas (as opposed to a housing crisis per se).

So the fact is that wealth is noticeably (not hugely) less unevenly distributed today than a week ago. That is pretty much 'just the math'.

Marginal utility of wealth is useful to think about in some contexts but it's not what's being counted when people talk about wealth distribution.

Also besides market to and fro, it's actually pretty unlikely you'd come up with a 'much fairer system' that didn't cause a pretty big deflation in stock values. Realistic people in favor of big leftward economic change should be willing to accept that (not proclaim it in their electioneering necessarily, that's too much to ask I think, but I mean in their more honest inner view of things). People who want to fine tune this or that might more realistically argue it could be win-win for the upper-middle with substantial stock portfolio's, but people themselves calling their proposals 'a revolution', that's a stretch.

Last edited by Corry El; 02-28-2020 at 12:40 PM.
  #58  
Old 02-28-2020, 02:04 PM
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There's some truth to those points, but puddlegum's statement was still pretty much accurate for the expressions of wealth inequality usually quoted. Which is what % owns what %, where the upper %-tiles both own a lot and own a lot of riskier assets. Stuff like bank accounts and home equity tend to be a bigger % of net worth for median-ish people; houses aren't riskless but not generally as volatile in value as stocks, particularly not in financial upsets originating in the stock market and/or overseas (as opposed to a housing crisis per se).

So the fact is that wealth is noticeably (not hugely) less unevenly distributed today than a week ago. That is pretty much 'just the math'.
The 2008 crash did decrease income inequality, if you just look at the numbers. But it didn't decrease the impact of income inequality.
I've probably lost a bundle this past week (I don't feel like looking) but I have good cash reserves, I don't have to worry about losing my job (I'm retired) so the impact is zero. Someone who has nothing in the market but who does lose a job due to say the decline in tourism will lose an amount that is trivial compared to what a rich person loses, but which impacts their life a lot more.
  #59  
Old 02-29-2020, 04:00 AM
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Jucst clicking to thank RickJay for his apt math lesson.
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I'm not sure you're as good with the math as you claim to be.

The way the poor lose is that stock market collapses worsen economic downturns. Economic downturns result in unemployment, and unemployment disproportionately hurts the working class. A stock market shock will not be limited to the Dow Jones number. (If it did, that would prove the stock market is total bullshit.)

A little more math for you, with some economics; the impact of a loss on a person is correctly measured not by the raw number of dollars they lose, but by the marginal impact of the dollars they lose. If a billionaire loses $1 million, that has no real impact on the utility they enjoy from their wealth. If a person just hanging on loses their $600/week job for a few months that could cause them tremendous pain and misery.

The idea that Jeff Bezos losing a few million dollars somehow being worse off than a single mom losing her job because the single mom doesn't make a million dollars a week is... I mean, learn the math.
... But I'm afraid math instruction is a lost cause. GOP defenders are delighted with their narrative that the ever-suffering super-rich are the biggest victims of America's progress.
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Old 02-29-2020, 07:50 AM
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The 2008 crash did decrease income inequality, if you just look at the numbers. But it didn't decrease the impact of income inequality.
The "impact" of income inequality is low. My well-being is not lessened when someone else gets a raise.

If we're worried about how the average person or a poor person is doing, and I think we should be, then let's look at how they're actually doing. Not how some billionaire is doing.
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Old 02-29-2020, 08:03 AM
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Regarding how poor people do during a recession, food insecurity spiked last time. But has been declining. Slowly. It's only recently back near the stubborn baseline. See USDA ERS.
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Old 02-29-2020, 08:12 AM
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The "impact" of income inequality is low. My well-being is not lessened when someone else gets a raise.
Obviously this is off-topic, but there's some interesting research showing that income inequality DOES affect your well-being:
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Every study on the health of a country shows that one of the strongest prediction of longevity, good health, and quality of life is socio-economic status (SES): how rich or poor you are. Interestingly, this is the same in the UK, which has a universal high-quality health service that is free to all, as in the USA, which does not. So all the effect of poverty on health is not easily explained by access to health services. And there’s more. If we compare health across countries, there is one expected finding: all the measures of health are worse in poorer countries than richer ones. Not surprising. But here’s another finding that may surprise you: about half the difference between health in the top and bottom of the SES scale is not due to absolute levels of poverty but to the gap between the richest and poorest: in other words, the degree of inequality, not its level.
...
Inequality has a direct impact on mental health. Sweden, a rich country with an excellent and accessible health service, but low inequality, has much less social and mental health problems than the UK, with an equally good health service but much higher inequality. The USA has an even worse health score. Men seem particularly liable to mental disorders as their income declines. Depression is strongly associated with lower income and greater inequality, though this has only really been studied adequately in high-income countries.

What is the mechanism linking financial inequality to mental illness, particularly depression? Since we do not know the ‘cause’ of depression at either social, genetic or neurobiological levels, any suggestions must be speculative. Poverty is related to feelings of social defeat and inferiority, as well as social isolation, alienation, and loneliness. These are accentuated if poorer people live in a society that allows them to compare themselves to much richer ones. Robert Sapolsky, in a recent Scientific American article (well worth reading) suggests that relative poverty generates stress, and stress generates overactivity of the hormonal and neural responses to stress which include secretion of cortisol, the stress hormone. Lower SES is associated with greater levels of stress (sometimes called ‘allostatic load’). We know that higher cortisol is a risk factor for depression.
There are other links, but I'm going for the one I know isn't behind a paywall.

If folks wanna talk about this further, though, I'd be happy to start a new thread.
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Old 02-29-2020, 08:36 AM
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I'll participate if you do. It keeps coming up in other threads.
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Old 02-29-2020, 09:39 AM
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Going back to the OP, it surprises me Trump’s China policy did not have a more immediate effect on the market. Many companies - Apple, Walmart, etc. have extensive business in China which would be expensive to relocate. One assumes that economists felt Trump was speaking loudly and carrying a small twig. Since both the US and China are interdependent and something needs be done about protecting intellectual property. In my view, the market failed to fully account for volatility from trade policy, increasing nationalism (including the Brexit disaster) and related isolation, protectionism and belligerence. The president impact on the economy is often exaggerated. Trump has a larger effect than most, though, since his comments are public, unfiltered and various shades of hyperbole.

Coronavirus is pretty concerning, but this has been amplified by the media. It will have an economic hit, which will be temporary and harsh. Some of the correction is due to overvalue and much is due to fear. It would make sense to “fear the unknown” of Brexit or hardened attitudes to trade policy or Chinese tariffs. Coronavirus is an easier excuse. The whole economy is unknowns- a virus is no different apart from hysterical value.

Trump’s fault? He didn’t cause the virus. He can be blamed for the wisdom of putting Pence in charge. This is not a comment on Pence, but the markets perception on how effective his interventions may be. The market didn’t react earlier to China because of jobs numbers and wilful blindness. Now it is. The economy is not the president though. He didn’t deserve full credit for its rise, and doesn’t for the correction. I hope the Dems pick a candidate that can challenge him.
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  #65  
Old 02-29-2020, 01:03 PM
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The "impact" of income inequality is low. My well-being is not lessened when someone else gets a raise.

If we're worried about how the average person or a poor person is doing, and I think we should be, then let's look at how they're actually doing. Not how some billionaire is doing.
It does if that person's raise is at the expense of yours, or if the person got a raise due to him laying off a bunch of the workforce to improve short term profitability.
Or if the raise allows him to buy in your neighborhood and price you out of the market.
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Old 02-29-2020, 09:44 PM
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I'm not sure you're as good with the math as you claim to be.

The way the poor lose is that stock market collapses worsen economic downturns. Economic downturns result in unemployment, and unemployment disproportionately hurts the working class. A stock market shock will not be limited to the Dow Jones number. (If it did, that would prove the stock market is total bullshit.)

A little more math for you, with some economics; the impact of a loss on a person is correctly measured not by the raw number of dollars they lose, but by the marginal impact of the dollars they lose. If a billionaire loses $1 million, that has no real impact on the utility they enjoy from their wealth. If a person just hanging on loses their $600/week job for a few months that could cause them tremendous pain and misery.

The idea that Jeff Bezos losing a few million dollars somehow being worse off than a single mom losing her job because the single mom doesn't make a million dollars a week is... I mean, learn the math.
You can look at value as just being total numbers or you can look at it on the margin but you have to pick one.

I agree that for most an extended period of unemployment because of a recession is more impactful than a billionaire losing a 10% of their wealth. However if you concede that then you have to also believe that a long period of steady employment is worth more than a billionaire adding a couple hundred million in paper gains. Thus the current economy where the 2010s were the only decade since records were kept without a recession is the best economy for the poor maybe ever and that inequality is no big deal.

You can say that only the numbers matter in which case prosperity is better for the rich than the poor and recessions are harder on the rich than the poor. Or you can say that what matters is marginal utility and so prosperity is better for the poor than the rich and recessions are harder on the poor than the rich.

But what I object to is to say that the numbers matter during good times and marginal utility means more than the bad times, because that is picking metrics to suit a predefined narrative.

For those determined to bad mouth the economy, we played you a jig and you wouldn't dance, we played you a dirge and you wouldn't cry.

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  #67  
Old 02-29-2020, 09:55 PM
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Obviously this is off-topic, but there's some interesting research showing that income inequality DOES affect your well-being:

There are other links, but I'm going for the one I know isn't behind a paywall.

If folks wanna talk about this further, though, I'd be happy to start a new thread.
This is not true. If you look at GINI coefficient and prevalence of mental health disorders there is no correlation.
Not only that but countries with more inequality have longer life expectancies than countries with lower inequality. Studies that show otherwise are because of selection bias.
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Old 02-29-2020, 11:22 PM
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This is not true. If you look at GINI coefficient and prevalence of mental health disorders there is no correlation.
Not only that but countries with more inequality have longer life expectancies than countries with lower inequality. Studies that show otherwise are because of selection bias.
Speaking of bias, one can notice that the critic there is a writer countering a book... books seem to be the way to go when there is no hurry to deal with peer review.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Snowdon

Incidentally, I could just have stoped to check when a lot of the glowing reviews for that critic are coming from very biased right wing sources. But, the issue here is that the author cited by Left Hand of Dorkness who you are replying to, was Joe Herbert M.B, Ph.D. Not the ones that made that likely flawed "The Spirit Level". Nowhere in the Joe Herbert article does he cites The Spirit Level or their authors.

I looked then at the background and supporters of Snowdon and I had to agree with this review of one of the books:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spirit-Leve...4824285&sr=8-2
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If you want to know exactly where this book is coming from just look at the publishers. The Democracy Institute are a pro-capitalist think-tank with connections to the Cato Institute (who publish obviously impartial studies such as 'In Defence of Global Capitalism'), and who have strong links to big business, particularly the tobacco industry. This might ever-so-slightly undermine Mr Snowdon's position and also explain other anomalies such as why he isn't convinced by the overwhelming evidence against smoking for example (as long as it's only the unwashed masses who are killing themselves for the sake of profits). To paraphrase an earlier reviewer, when the man who introduces a book (Patrick Basham) has spent decades denying that smoking is bad for you, take everything thereafter with a pinch of salt.

So, do not be fooled by who can manipulate statistics more effectively, and bear in mind that they can be used to prove or disprove almost anything. Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, the authors of The Spirit Level, might be left-wing but at least the genesis of their argument is a rational and proactive desire for change. This book is a self-serving series of negatives - a rebuttal compiled to protect the interests of the very rich, who think capitalism needs to be left to run unchecked towards its inevitable endgame of extreme inequality, huge health divides, and a ruined environment.

What you think of this book will largely depend upon which side you are on. No prizes for guessing where I stand.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 02-29-2020 at 11:26 PM.
  #69  
Old 03-01-2020, 04:36 AM
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If folks wanna talk about this further, though, I'd be happy to start a new thread.
Perhaps you should. It is an important and interesting topic, on which there is much ignorance.

But ...
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This is not true. If you look at GINI coefficient and prevalence of mental health disorders there is no correlation.
... maybe you'd better start the thread in the Pit.

I snipped Mr. Glum's post before realizing the only cite I'd left was to a random Blogspot graph. But the authors of The Spirit Level do refute their critics' claims. (Or is that pdf unscholarly because it wasn't published in ... Blogspot ?)
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:10 AM
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You can look at value as just being total numbers or you can look at it on the margin but you have to pick one.

I agree that for most an extended period of unemployment because of a recession is more impactful than a billionaire losing a 10% of their wealth. However if you concede that then you have to also believe that a long period of steady employment is worth more than a billionaire adding a couple hundred million in paper gains.
But the billionaire already has material security. Steady employment only gets a person to some degree of parity in terms of fundamental security, and in a country where people go bankrupt just because they get sick, there's a limit to that comparison; once employment is lost, a person's life can quickly fall apart.
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:18 AM
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It does if that person's raise is at the expense of yours, or if the person got a raise due to him laying off a bunch of the workforce to improve short term profitability.
Or if the raise allows him to buy in your neighborhood and price you out of the market.
And thus low.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:29 AM
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There's some truth to those points, but puddlegum's statement was still pretty much accurate for the expressions of wealth inequality usually quoted. Which is what % owns what %, where the upper %-tiles both own a lot and own a lot of riskier assets. Stuff like bank accounts and home equity tend to be a bigger % of net worth for median-ish people; houses aren't riskless but not generally as volatile in value as stocks, particularly not in financial upsets originating in the stock market and/or overseas (as opposed to a housing crisis per se).

So the fact is that wealth is noticeably (not hugely) less unevenly distributed today than a week ago. That is pretty much 'just the math'.
Technically true, but not really valid in the context of this discussion. Yes, people who hold onto investments may lose wealth and in the near term, the data graphics might show a slighter degree of relative parity, but that's owing more to the losses sustained by the wealthy.

What that kind of analysis fails to acknowledge is the aftermath, the ability to withstand the effects of a recession and recover from it. When some investment guru loses millions in his portfolio, he can wait out the downturn - he can go on living. Maybe he sheds some of his properties for the sake of liquidity. OTOH< people who are just barely getting by get sucker-punched by an economic downturn, and they have no such ability to recover other than standing in an unemployment line, or maybe filing for bankruptcy.

Moreover, when the economy recovers, they are less likely to go back to where they were pre-recession, which is different from those with excessive wealth. If you look at this graph on income inequality, for instance, you'll see a slight dip during the recessionary period, but look at what happened post-recession. Income inequality is now as high as ever.

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/46mH...0.27.09_AM.png
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:36 AM
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This is not true. If you look at GINI coefficient and prevalence of mental health disorders there is no correlation.
Not only that but countries with more inequality have longer life expectancies than countries with lower inequality. Studies that show otherwise are because of selection bias.
Yeah and when you open your graph one immediately notices that two of the countries with the lowest income inequality have the highest life expectancies.

Of course correlation isn't causation one way or the other - your post is merely throwing spaghetti at the wall.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:43 AM
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For those determined to bad mouth the economy, we played you a jig and you wouldn't dance, we played you a dirge and you wouldn't cry.
Right, let's dance to the tune of income inequality the highest it's been since the 1920s. I think you remember the song that played soon thereafter. Herbert Hoover was the conductor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes...percentUSA.png
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:40 AM
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Stephen Colbert filmed a mini-documentary on the Coronavirus. (Look at how fast-food restaurants are operating in China.)
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:11 PM
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Stephen Colbert filmed a mini-documentary on the Coronavirus. (Look at how fast-food restaurants are operating in China.)
I really hope I've just been whooshed.
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:18 PM
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I snipped Mr. Glum's post before realizing the only cite I'd left was to a random Blogspot graph. But the authors of The Spirit Level do refute their critics' claims. (Or is that pdf unscholarly because it wasn't published in ... Blogspot ?)
Thanks for that, I was willing to even toss a bone to puddleglum by assuming the debate that took place then, but that reply from the authors of the research and book is a very good one; as serious researchers always say, more research was needed, and that took place in the research referred in the latest article linked by Left Hand of Dorkness .

What the references in the article show is that it is not only thanks to Meta-analisis that one can say that the research from Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of The Spirit Level, has support; and also robust evidence that supports it coming from others.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...20492-bib-0004

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5438466/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ological-harm/

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Old 03-01-2020, 06:44 PM
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Technically true, but not really valid in the context of this discussion. Yes, people who hold onto investments may lose wealth and in the near term, the data graphics might show a slighter degree of relative parity, but that's owing more to the losses sustained by the wealthy.

What that kind of analysis fails to acknowledge is the aftermath, the ability to withstand the effects of a recession and recover from it. When some investment guru loses millions in his portfolio, he can wait out the downturn - he can go on living. Maybe he sheds some of his properties for the sake of liquidity. OTOH< people who are just barely getting by get sucker-punched by an economic downturn, and they have no such ability to recover other than standing in an unemployment line, or maybe filing for bankruptcy.

Moreover, when the economy recovers, they are less likely to go back to where they were pre-recession, which is different from those with excessive wealth. If you look at this graph on income inequality, for instance, you'll see a slight dip during the recessionary period, but look at what happened post-recession. Income inequality is now as high as ever.

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/46mH...0.27.09_AM.png
As your cite says income inequality goes down during recessions. But as you say it is true that recessions hurt the poor more than the rich because they have less to resources to fall back on.

Thus the surefire way to shrink income inequality is to hurt the poor more than the rich. This seems to indicate that income inequality is not a good indicator of how the economy is doing. The best measure of how an economy is doing is unemployment, growth, and inflation. Currently unemployment is at near record lows, inflation has not been a problem in over 30 years, and growth is low but steady. Income inequality is a sign of a good economy.
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:56 PM
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As your cite says income inequality goes down during recessions. But as you say it is true that recessions hurt the poor more than the rich because they have less to resources to fall back on.

Thus the surefire way to shrink income inequality is to hurt the poor more than the rich. This seems to indicate that income inequality is not a good indicator of how the economy is doing. The best measure of how an economy is doing is unemployment, growth, and inflation. Currently unemployment is at near record lows, inflation has not been a problem in over 30 years, and growth is low but steady. Income inequality is a sign of a good economy.
So you're saying that if there's full employment and most people are earning minimum wages that's a sign of a good economy? If someone earning $8/hr gets a 20 percent raise but his rents go up by 20 percent, his wage growth is a good barometer of the economy, eh? There's a reason why you can't compare today's wage growth to that of the past when there were better economic parity. People on the bottom don't have the same kind of purchasing power, which is why we shouldn't be happy with our "growth." When Republicans pointed out that a lot of Americans were hurting under Obama's tenure, they weren't wrong - I would have said what I'm saying now. The difference is that Obama wanted a fairer economy and they didn't. And they don't want a fair economy now that Trump is president, but they know they need some justification for staying in power and conveniently, at least they can point to "full employment" and wage "growth".

Last edited by asahi; 03-01-2020 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:22 PM
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So you're saying that if there's full employment and most people are earning minimum wages that's a sign of a good economy? If someone earning $8/hr gets a 20 percent raise but his rents go up by 20 percent, his wage growth is a good barometer of the economy, eh? There's a reason why you can't compare today's wage growth to that of the past when there were better economic parity. People on the bottom don't have the same kind of purchasing power, which is why we shouldn't be happy with our "growth." When Republicans pointed out that a lot of Americans were hurting under Obama's tenure, they weren't wrong - I would have said what I'm saying now. The difference is that Obama wanted a fairer economy and they didn't. And they don't want a fair economy now that Trump is president, but they know they need some justification for staying in power and conveniently, at least they can point to "full employment" and wage "growth".
Full employment is the best measure of how an economy is doing for the most people. Wage growth has been higher than inflation for years now, and that is also a sign of a good economy.
A lot of Americans were hurting under Obama and a lot are hurting now. It is impossible to have a population of 325 million people where no one is having a bad time. However, all the meaningful data was that before the coronavirus, the economy was doing very well.
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Old 03-02-2020, 02:09 PM
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This is ridiculous.

The topic of the thread — income inequality — is very important but has nothing to do with thread title: "Stock Markets, Tariffs, Coronavirus."

Many errors are being spouted but I, for one, am not going to respond to off-topic posts here.

PLEASE: Ask Mods to close the thread and start a new one with a title that matches the discussion.
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Old 03-02-2020, 03:13 PM
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I work for one of the biggest manufacturers on the planet. We don't make much profit unless you think 5% is a lot of profit? Seriously, manufacturers are at the bottom of the food chain.
I was a manufacturer’s rep for a long time. Although I can see how you might’ve gotten that idea, I did not intend to imply that any manufacturer took excessive profits. And I’m not one of those people that thinks “profit” is a bad word.

My supposition about the manufacturers raising prices to cover tariffs then not lowering them when the tariffs go away was based on a conversation I had with some manufacturing executives, who intend to do just that.

The theory being that any damage to business imposed by the higher prices happens when the prices are raised. Lowering them a year later doesn’t get you anything back, so why do it? So maybe their 5 percent profit is now 5.5 percent.

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Old 03-03-2020, 10:40 AM
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The Fed cut rates a full 50 basis points this morning, the first emergency rate cut since 2008.

The markets, knowing that (a) this was a move designed to appease Dotard and (b) that a rate cut isn't going to make up for lost manufacturing in China, promptly dropped 500 points upon the announcement, and is now down around 850 points from this morning's high (it was up about 200 points before the news hit), currently at -380 from yesterday's close.

Last edited by JohnT; 03-03-2020 at 10:41 AM.
  #84  
Old 03-03-2020, 01:32 PM
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I was a manufacturer’s rep for a long time. Although I can see how you might’ve gotten that idea, I did not intend to imply that any manufacturer took excessive profits. And I’m not one of those people that thinks “profit” is a bad word.

My supposition about the manufacturers raising prices to cover tariffs then not lowering them when the tariffs go away was based on a conversation I had with some manufacturing executives, who intend to do just that.

The theory being that any damage to business imposed by the higher prices happens when the prices are raised. Lowering them a year later doesn’t get you anything back, so why do it? So maybe their 5 percent profit is now 5.5 percent.
Lowering prices can mean increase in market share. Most companies like market share so that is why they would lower prices once the tariffs go away.
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:46 PM
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Lowering prices can mean increase in market share. Most companies like market share so that is why they would lower prices once the tariffs go away.
However if they know that their price cut will be met by similar price cuts by their competitors, keeping market share more or less the same with lower profits, why do it?
Price cuts due to manufacturing efficiency are one thing - that can't be met by competitors. Price cuts anyone can do are another.
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:56 PM
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The Fed cut rates a full 50 basis points this morning, the first emergency rate cut since 2008.

The markets, knowing that (a) this was a move designed to appease Dotard and (b) that a rate cut isn't going to make up for lost manufacturing in China, promptly dropped 500 points upon the announcement, and is now down around 850 points from this morning's high (it was up about 200 points before the news hit), currently at -380 from yesterday's close.
The Times noted that the rally after the Fed cut lasted 15 minutes. The Dow is down over 800 points (3%) from yesterday's close almost at the bell. At bond yields are now below 1%, which means not much room for stimulus.
Hope Trump is happy with the reaction to the cut he wanted.
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Old 03-03-2020, 03:49 PM
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After the 50 point cut, markets reacted by dropping over 1,000 points from the days' high (27,040) to close at 25,969, a -1,071 point drop. Compared to the previous close, it's 'only' down 786, but the reaction to the rate hike... nearly blasting away all of Monday's gains... will be causing a lot of sleepless nights in DC.
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Old 03-03-2020, 03:59 PM
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After the 50 point cut, markets reacted by dropping over 1,000 points from the days' high (27,040) to close at 25,969, a -1,071 point drop. Compared to the previous close, it's 'only' down 786, but the reaction to the rate hike... nearly blasting away all of Monday's gains... will be causing a lot of sleepless nights in DC.
Agreed. So far, Trump's only positive accomplishment is the surging stock market. If stocks are down in November, he doesn't stand a chance at re-election.

For the first time in a long time, I'm optimistic about the Democratic party.
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Old 03-03-2020, 05:22 PM
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Agreed. So far, Trump's only positive accomplishment is the surging stock market. If stocks are down in November, he doesn't stand a chance at re-election.

For the first time in a long time, I'm optimistic about the Democratic party.
The stocks won't do it. Being in a recession will, and one analyst said the bond market has priced in a 90% chance of a recession.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:20 AM
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Again, to Bloomberg's point, the markets are finally pricing in the incompetence of the Trump Administration. The reaction to the rate drop isthe stongest signal yet that financial experts have no faith in this Administration anymore.

The 'lying to ourselves' phase of the so-called "Trump rally" are over. It feels like 2007 all over again.

Last edited by JohnT; 03-04-2020 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:00 PM
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I'm involved in technical conference under IEEE. A big one in my field, in Europe, that was to be held next week just got canceled. I saw mail from IEEE to conference organizers say what procedures should be followed to qualify for insurance reimbursement. But any penalties a conference pays to a hotel is not going to make up for the mass of empty rooms and empty restaurants and reduction in catering.
Our conference is in November, thank Og, and we aren't even at the paper submission deadline date yet. It will be interesting to see what we get.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:12 PM
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Again, to Bloomberg's point, the markets are finally pricing in the incompetence of the Trump Administration. The reaction to the rate drop isthe stongest signal yet that financial experts have no faith in this Administration anymore.

The 'lying to ourselves' phase of the so-called "Trump rally" are over. It feels like 2007 all over again.
I agree that Powell saw this as an opportune time to shut the Mango Moghul's fat mouth, but I don't think the markets necessarily saw it as pressure, and even if they did, I don't think the markets would react negatively to a rate cute per se.

It seems that instead the market wondered what the Fed knew that the CDC didn't, and it's still jittery over the longer-term after shocks of COVID-19. China, Inc won't just restart overnight. And in all likelihood, the market won't start seeing the impact of the supply chain until later this month.
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Old 03-05-2020, 12:24 PM
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So...

Tuesday: Fed drops funding rate by 50 basis points, markets plummet 1,000 points because "wrong response!"

Wednesday: Markets rise 1,000 points because traders learn Joe Biden is now more likely to be our next President

Thursday: Markets fall 1,000 points as traders realize Donald Trump is still President
  #94  
Old 03-05-2020, 07:17 PM
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So...

Tuesday: Fed drops funding rate by 50 basis points, markets plummet 1,000 points because "wrong response!"

Wednesday: Markets rise 1,000 points because traders learn Joe Biden is now more likely to be our next President

Thursday: Markets fall 1,000 points as traders realize Donald Trump is still President
Markets dropped because they're beginning to realize that lowering interest rates isn't going to solve the immediate problem, which is that consumers are staying home, which in turn means they're also laying themselves off from their jobs. Investors know that the markets aren't able to quantify this problem and won't be able to until it stops the spread of corona. Until corona stops spreading, the markets are going to continue to freak out. There will be up days - there were up days during the great recession.
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:57 PM
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It seems that instead the market wondered what the Fed knew that the CDC didn't, and it's still jittery over the longer-term after shocks of COVID-19. China, Inc won't just restart overnight. And in all likelihood, the market won't start seeing the impact of the supply chain until later this month.
I don't think the markets dropped then because of the virus, per se, but because they wondered if the emergency cut was due to the Fed knowing some weaknesses in the economy that they didn't.
Then the Biden Boom got replaced by the Trump Trough.
  #96  
Old 03-07-2020, 05:49 AM
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I hereby give up trying to understand the market:

"China's stock market has risen 10 per cent in the last month"

https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3065159/coronavirus-china-could-become-new-investment-safe-haven
  #97  
Old 03-08-2020, 07:53 AM
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I hereby give up trying to understand the market:

"China's stock market has risen 10 per cent in the last month"

https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3065159/coronavirus-china-could-become-new-investment-safe-haven
The markets are betting the China's household savings and central bank stimulus will get them through the crisis. They also probably assume that while the rest of the world is just now waking up to COVID, China's government's 'got this'....uh huh.

Chinese investors will soon wake up to another reality: the rest of the world is going to be a lot less confident about using China as part of their supply chain, and China's government is still lying to people about their response to COVID, which among other things allows the police to incarcerate people for simply going public with their own COVID infections. Sorry, but you can't be a transparent (okay, not so transparent), global market economic power on one hand and not share critical information about pandemics on the other.
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:56 AM
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I don't think the markets dropped then because of the virus, per se, but because they wondered if the emergency cut was due to the Fed knowing some weaknesses in the economy that they didn't.
Then the Biden Boom got replaced by the Trump Trough.
Nah, they dropped because they're worried that economic activity is going to grind to a halt. Worse, they're not sure how many Americans can withstand not working and not getting paid for several weeks.

Beyond that, they're also not convinced that the Fed is really ready to jump and intervene with policies that are going to respond to this shock event. Rate cuts will boost lending, but that's not what people will need - we'll need stimulus and money in the hands of households, and we'll need lenders to have some flexibility in dealing with people who fall behind on their bills. The initial Fed response doesn't seem to be taking that into consideration.
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Old 03-08-2020, 04:25 PM
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Nah, they dropped because they're worried that economic activity is going to grind to a halt. Worse, they're not sure how many Americans can withstand not working and not getting paid for several weeks.

Beyond that, they're also not convinced that the Fed is really ready to jump and intervene with policies that are going to respond to this shock event. Rate cuts will boost lending, but that's not what people will need - we'll need stimulus and money in the hands of households, and we'll need lenders to have some flexibility in dealing with people who fall behind on their bills. The initial Fed response doesn't seem to be taking that into consideration.
They knew that before the Fed cut. And the Fed eventually cutting interest rates was already priced in, being no big surprise. The shock was the emergency cut.

One town around here is on the verge of passing legislation forbidding landlords from evicting people if they fall behind on rent due to the virus. That's the kind of thing we need, but I don't think the Fed can do such things, even mandating loan extensions or stuff like that.
Some of the drop is due to the realization that the Fed can't fix supply chain problems, only demand problems, and that people having more money is not going to get them on planes or cruise ships in the present circumstances.
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:50 PM
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The combined effect of Italy's (northern) lockdown on the larger European economy (much greater than I realized), OPEC's meltdown (and the subsequent effect on US production), and the spectre more generally of a galloping virus pandemic, has led to Dow futures being down 900 points and oil off by 20%.
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