Thanks, Richard, excellent reverberation. I just frown when I read "rich" -
who are they? lately the word "millionaire" lost it's taste: with a
middle-class family home of - say - 700K value and some cash set aside:  an
average  retiree is a millionaire.
Billionaire is not so easy: there is a gap in between (at ~some hundred
millions?), to be fixed if it refers to net worth of a person (or of a
family) or includes ALL (also what is hidden from the IRS).
It came up when some irate writer mentioned the 'millionaires' in the
legislation.
I try: "super-rich", or "ultra-rich". (I frequented a group of retired
professors of good witts when I said something about 'rich' and one jumped
me: "Whom do you call 'rich'?" and another quipped: "whoever has more money
than himself"..


On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 4:53 PM, Richard Ruquist <yann...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Bruno,
>
> The rich have been trying to take over the US govt to reduce their tax
> burden for over 100 years.
>
>
> Every time they have succeeded the result has been an economic crash
> usually followed by war.
>
> That happened in 1857 after a decade of prosperity and then the crash was
> followed by the Civil War within a decade.
>
>
> Crash and Clash was repeated in 1893->WWI,
>
> and again in the real estate crash of 1926 and the Wall Street crash of
> 1929->WWII.
>
>
> In each case the very rich accumulated so much wealth that they caused
> investment/debt bubbles resulting a crash. After the real estate crash of
> 1926, rich investors then switched to stocks and caused the 1929 crash.  We
> have already experienced a real estate crash in 2008. and today we see
> the stock exchange reaching never before heights.
>
> So we again are ripe for a crash which and if the lessons of the 1920s are
> repeated,
>
> the crash will be much more severe than the 2008 Great Recession.
>
>
> The roaring 20s prosperity came about when the top tax rate was reduced
> to 25% along with finance deregulation. Since WWII and up to Reagan, the
> top tax rates were between 90% and 70%, and at those rates the rich tended
> to turn profits back into their companies and the recessions were rather
> mild. But after Reagan reduced the top rates to 28%, the incentive to
> accumulate wealth was strong resulting in a series of investment bubbles.
> Recall the internet bubble at the turn of the century. And deregulation
> resulted in the invention of derivatives.
>
>
> So I think, and many bankers do as they are hoarding cash, that we are
> headed for a serious stock market crash, and apparently just because the
> very rich are making so much money, especially in derivatives which
> continue to exist despite being the cause of the real estate crash. It is
> said that the value of the derivative debt is orders of magnitude bigger
> than the value of the entire world.
>
>
> That sounds like a form of comp (;<)
>
>
> Richard
>
>
> On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 10:11 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>
>>
>> On 21 Nov 2013, at 13:41, Telmo Menezes wrote:
>>
>>  On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 11:40 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 21 Nov 2013, at 11:05, Telmo Menezes wrote:
>>>> <snip>
>>>> If nobody complains on his local decentralized power, the central power
>>>> should have nothing to say, but if the locals complain about their local
>>>> powers, the central power can be used as an arbiter.
>>>>
>>>
>>> I agree that this is a risk. I don't claim that there is any system
>>> that could be implemented and would solve all the problems, that's the
>>> danger with ideologies.
>>>
>>
>> I agree.
>>
>>
>>
>>> My belief is that "human evolution" -> "better forms of governance",
>>> not the other way around. So democracy, with all its flaws, was made
>>> possible by a new level of human development. Here I mean evolution
>>> and development in the broad sense, not the biological sense. This is
>>> made clear by the attempts to force democracy on less developed
>>> societies.
>>>
>>
>> OK.
>>
>>
>>  My point is that, as we evolve further, maybe the
>>> decentralized system can exist without incurring so much on the risks
>>> that you mention, and at the same time being much more resilient to
>>> sociopathic manipulations.
>>>
>>
>> About this I am not sure. With local powers you augment the risk of the
>> "little bureaucratic sort of bosses".
>> With some level of "spiritual maturity", I can conceive that you are
>> right, but since sometimes I am not sure such spiritual maturity exists,
>> nor even that it is on a near horizon.
>>
>>
>>
>>>
>>>>>  The deeper problem relies in the fact that most humans are unwilling
>>>>>> to
>>>>>> think by themselves, and they confuse "p -> q" and "q -> p" all the
>>>>>> times.
>>>>>> The (human, but not only) sciences are still driven by the appeal to
>>>>>> authority. We have never been "modern".
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I'm happy to read this. I thought this confusion was a central problem
>>>>> in society for a long time, without being an expert in logic.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> The problem is that "p <-> q" is far better than nothing, in the short
>>>> run,
>>>> so our brains are hardwired to "reason" by association, instead, of
>>>> logical
>>>> validity. Logic is by essence counter-intuitive (which explains the
>>>> logician's sense of humor).
>>>> The short term/long term conflict is unavoidable. Humans face it all the
>>>> time, like when hesitating to stop smoking, or to stop producing CO2,
>>>> etc.
>>>> It is even more complex today due to globalization. With the 20th
>>>> century,
>>>> earth has become a finite space, and this has to be taken into account,
>>>> and
>>>> it is not a simple task, as we have to change habits that we have since
>>>> a
>>>> very long time. In the long run, we will have to escape the planet and
>>>> continue to run forward. But meanwhile, we have to accommodate with the
>>>> finite resourcing, with or without global warming. That's a reason more
>>>> to
>>>> fight against corporatism, special private interests, international
>>>> white
>>>> collar criminality, etc.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Right, but the hope of some people who propose a radically free market
>>> is that it would work more like the immune system, and that it would
>>> allocate resources in a more efficient way than central control.
>>>
>>
>> I am for a free market. The market should be independent of the (central)
>> power, except for the modalities of the contracts, the selling technic, etc.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>  The
>>> long term view is not foreign to markets. This is precisely what
>>> investments are. Warren Buffet became extremely rich by taking a long
>>> view on investments, not by doing high-frequency trading. But again, I
>>> say this with the human evolution caveat in mind.
>>>
>>
>> Local powers can easily design laws against foreigners, and develop
>> selfish local profits method. In the UD this could enlarge the gap between
>> black and white, or between middle class and lower classes.
>> I would favor a stable central power, which would enforce few but basic
>> important laws and rules, on which everyone agrees. Then the local powers
>> can implement special politics and experiences.
>> Somehow I do believe that the Americans were close to this, but they
>> failed to prevent prohibition, and that remains a bit of a mystery for me.
>> I am open to the idea that there has been a real well prepared conspiracy,
>> not by "illuminati" but by by a collusion of special interests (paper, oil,
>> pharma, military, jails, and the black market, etc.).
>>
>>
>>
>>> I'm also strongly in favour of experiments. For example, and this
>>> would certainly annoy most libertarians, I am very excited by the
>>> Swiss plan to provide a base level of income to all citizens.
>>>
>>
>> I have always defended that idea.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>  I like
>>> it because it's so simple and non-intrusive. You just give everyone
>>> the same base income, no matter how poor or rich they are.
>>>
>>
>> Yes. That is what the communist never grasped. It makes no sense to
>> distribute the money from the rich to the poor, this makes the richer less
>> rich, and very quickly the poor even much less rich. As long as people
>> don't use lies and dishonest methods, people should be able to enrich
>> themselves as much as they want. But we must find a way to prevent the bad
>> use of money to enrich oneself. And this asks for very special laws against
>> the fake speculation. The problem is that with enough money, you can
>> multiplied your richness easily by dishonest means, and this perverts the
>> system.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>  Hopefully
>>> it will remove unnecessary and even counter-productive jobs, free more
>>> people from meaningless lives and attack the entire "job mentality".
>>> One can hope...
>>>
>>
>> I agree. I believe that it will be more easy to avoid counter-productive
>> jobs if there is a minimal salary. It would stabilize the little markets,
>> and would annoy only those who are addicted to "more money at all price".
>> For the "job mentality", I'm afraid we will need a coming back to
>> seriousness in the human sciences, but this will take time, and some
>> catastrophes. The "job mentality" is not unrelated to the current
>> institutionalized religions, and the current conception of reality.
>>
>> Bruno
>>
>> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>>
>>
>>
>>
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