Why the Radical Left and Mainstream Republican Leaders Are Both Wrong About Inequality

George Washington's picture

Preface: Don’t stop reading when you see me criticizing your “team” … I will demolish the other “side” further down in the post.

I have written as much as anyone on inequality.   For example, I have noted that:

As such, one of the reasons I have supported the Occupy protests is that it has brought attention to inequality in America.

NGCIW Why the Radical Left and Mainstream Republican Leaders Are Both Wrong About Inequality

But the radical left and the extreme right are both wrong in how they are looking at inequality.



Some liberals want to redistribute wealth by raising taxes on the wealthy. And some even wish to do away with capitalism altogether.


But as the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof noted last month:


Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economist, adds that some inequality is necessary to create incentives in a capitalist economy but that “too much inequality can harm the efficient operation of the economy.” In particular, he says, excessive inequality can have two perverse consequences: first, the very wealthy lobby for favors, contracts and bailouts that distort markets; and, second, growing inequality undermines the ability of the poorest to invest in their own education.


“These factors mean that high inequality can generate further high inequality and eventually poor economic growth,” Professor Katz said.

In other words, while too much inequality will kill the economy, too little creates a “post office worker mentality” where people aren’t motivated to work hard or innovate. Communism is not the answer.


I pointed out in October that capitalism is not the problem:


While Michael Moore says that capitalism itself is the problem, Mr. Moore is wrong. Indeed, one of the main organizers of the protests told me that Moore’s statement is very counter-productive.


As I’ve previously noted:


When Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought about Western civilization, he answered:


I think it would be a good idea.


I feel the same way about free market capitalism.


It would be a good idea, but it is not what we have now. Instead, we have either socialism, fascism or a type of looting.


If people want to criticize capitalism and propose an alternative, that is fine . . . but only if they understand what free market capitalism is and acknowledge that America has not practiced free market capitalism for some time.




People pointing to the Western economies and saying that capitalism doesn’t work is as incorrect as pointing to Stalin’s murder of millions of innocent people and blaming it on socialism. Without the government’s creation of the too big to fail banks, Fed’s intervention in interest rates and the markets, government-created moral hazard emboldening casino-style speculation, corruption of government officials, creation of a system of government-sponsored rating agencies which had at its core a model of bribery, and other government-induced distortions of the free market, things wouldn’t have gotten nearly as bad.


As Justice Louis Brandeis said:


In a government of laws, the existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipotent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. If government becomes a lawbreaker it breeds contempt for law: it invites every man to become a law unto himself. It invites anarchy.


[Confirmed here.]


If there has been lawlessness and corruption among Wall Street players, it was partially simply modeling the lawlessness and corruption of the Executive Branch and Congress members. I’ve written elsewhere about how the government lied by saying Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was behind 9/11 (when he didn’t and wasn’t), that we don’t torture (when we did), that we don’t spy on Americans (when we did), etc. Just like kids model what their parents do as well as what they say, Wall Street modeled the unlawful and corrupt actions of our government employees.


Being against capitalism because of the mess we’ve gotten in would be like Gandhi saying that he is against Western civilization because of the way the British behaved towards India.



The Republican leadership pretends that making the rich richer will help “job creators” to reduce unemployment. But they are out of touch with their base.


As I noted in September:


While the stereotype is that liberals care about inequality and conservatives don’t, that is actually a myth.


As Canada’s conservative National Post – Canada’s 9th biggest newspaper – noted Wednesday:


According to the voice of Canada’s business establishment: “High inequality can diminish economic growth if it means that the country is not fully using the skills and capabilities of all its citizens or if it undermines social cohesion, leading to increased social tensions.




History has shown us, time and again: When too much is controlled by too few, something has to give. Continuously rising inequality is unsustainable.


Everyone has a stake in fixing this. And the fix has no political colour.


(The Post is correct about the potential for social unrest.)


Moreover, IMF economists have demonstrated that inequality increases a nation’s debt. Because conservatives are passionate about reducing debt, reducing inequality is a conservative value.


And as I noted in February:


Renowned behavioral economist Dan Ariely (Duke University) and Michael I. Norton (Harvard Business School) recently demonstrated that everyone – including conservatives – thinks there should be more equality.


Their study found:


Respondents constructed ideal wealth distributions that were far more equitable than even their erroneously low estimates of the actual distribution. Most important from a policy perspective, we observed a surprising level of consensus: all demographic groups—even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy—desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.


Ariely comments:


Taken as a whole, the results suggest to us that there is much more agreement than disagreement about wealth inequality. Across differences in wealth, income, education, political affiliation and fiscal conservatism, the vast majority of people (89%) preferred distributions of wealth significantly more equal than the current wealth spread in the United States. In fact, only 12 people out of 849 favored the US distribution. The media portrays huge policy divisions about redistribution and inequality – no doubt differences in ideology exist, but we think there may be more of a consensus on what’s fair than people realize.


How could the media portrayal regarding this issue be so wrong?


Well, for one thing, as a study the Pew Research Center found, the corporate media tends to take Wall Street’s view on economics. Indeed, the media is largely set up to spout propaganda which supports the view of the powers-that-be. The financial sector has been by far the biggest beneficiary of government policies over the past 10 years or so. So the media tends to defer to Wall Street’s own arguments against equality.




Everyone agrees that a system which uses the power of the state to reward the fraud and gambling of the largest banks and biggest corporations through socialism for the rich and capitalism for everyone else is not free market capitalism, and is downright anti-American.




As I pointed out in December:


Conservatives hate big unfettered government and liberals hate big unchecked corporations, so both hate legislation which encourages the federal government to reward big corporations at the expense of small businesses.


As an example, both liberals and conservatives are angry that the feds are propping up the giant banks – while letting small banks fail by the hundreds – even though that is horrible for the economy and Main Street.


The Dodd-Frank financial legislation … enshrines big government propping up the big banks … more ore less permanently.


Many liberals and conservatives look at the government’s approach to the financial crisis as socialism for the rich and free market capitalism for the little guy. No wonder both liberals and conservatives hate it.




They are furious that there is no separation between government and a handful of favored giant corporations. In other words, Americans are angry that we’ve gone from capitalism to oligarchy.


So if both liberals and conservatives hate something, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a compromise. It may mean that they feel disenfranchised from a government that is of the powerful and for the powerful.


In other words, while many conservatives are against raising taxes on the wealthy, they are overwhelmingly for stopping the use of the power of the state to increase inequality. See this, this and this.


This is an area of agreement between people of good faith on the left and on the right. As Robert Shiller said in 2009:


And it’s not like we want to level income. I’m not saying spread the wealth around, which got Obama in trouble. But I think, I would hope that this would be a time for a national consideration about policies that would focus on restraining any possible further increases in inequality.


If we stop bailing out the fraudsters and financial gamblers, the big banks would focus more on traditional lending and less on speculative plays which only make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and which guarantee future economic crises (which hurt the poor more than the rich).


Indeed, if we break up the big banks, it will increase the ability of smaller banks to make loans to Main Street, which will level the playing field.


Moreover, both conservatives and liberals agree that we need to prosecute financial fraud. As I’ve previously noted, fraud disproportionally benefits the big players, makes boom-bust cycles more severe, and otherwise harms the economy – all of which increase inequality and warp the market.  [No wonder leading free market economists urge the prosecution of financial fraud.]


And as I noted last April, prosecutors could claw back ill-gotten gains from the criminals and use that money to help the economy:


The government could use existing laws to force ill-gotten gains to be disgorged (see this and this) [and] fraudulent transfers to be voided …


[Update.] The bottom line – as conservative blogger Michael Rivero writes – is that too much inequality kills the market:


For an economic system to be a system, money must flow freely at all levels and in all corners. When those in charge of the system decide to so order the mechanisms of the financial sector to drive the money into a single huge pile, the system cease to be a system and a crash becomes inevitable. One might as well force all the blood in your body to stay in the brain. The end result is the same; death for the body.

The father of free market capitalism – Adam Smith – didn’t believe that inequality should be a taboo subject. And Warren Buffet – one of America’s most successful capitalists and staunchest defenders of capitalism – points out: “There’s class warfare, all right,  but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war ….”


The Economist noted in January:


Hu Jintao, David Cameron, Warren Buffett and Dominique Strauss-Kahn … have all worried, loudly and publicly, about the dangers of a rising gap between the rich and the rest.




A new survey by the World Economic Forum, whose annual gathering of bigwigs in Davos begins on January 26th, says its members see widening economic disparities as one of the two main global risks over the next decade (alongside failings in global governance).




Add Alan Greenspan to the list, who says:


Our problem basically is that we have a very distorted economy, in the sense that there has been a significant recovery in our limited area of the economy amongst high-income individuals…


Large banks, who are doing much better and large corporations, whom you point out and everyone is pointing out, are in excellent shape. The rest of the economy, small business, small banks, and a very significant amount of the labour force, which is in tragic unemployment, long-term unemployment – that is pulling the economy apart. The average of those two is what we are looking at – that they are fundamentally two separate types of economies.

As I pointed out in July:


For those who still claim that tax cuts for the rich help the economy, the proof is in the pudding. The rich have gotten richer than ever before, and yet we have Depression-level housing declines, unemployment and other economic problems.


No wonder Ronald Reagan’s budget director David Stockman called the Bush tax cuts the “worst fiscal mistake in history”, and said that extending them will not boost the economy.

I explained in August:


All of the monetary and economic policy of the last 3 years has helped the wealthiest and penalized everyone else. See this, this and this.


A “jobless recovery” is basically a redistribution of wealth from the little guy to the big boys.


The Bush tax cuts and failure to enforce corporate taxes also redistribute wealth to the top 1%. See this and this.


Economist Steve Keen says:


“This is the biggest transfer of wealth in history”, as the giant banks have handed their toxic debts from fraudulent activities to the countries and their people.


Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz said in 2009 that Geithner’s toxic asset plan “amounts to robbery of the American people”.


And economist Dean Baker said in 2009 that the true purpose of the bank rescue plans is “a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives”.


The money of individuals, businesses, cities, states and entire nations are disappearing into the abyss …


… and ending up in the pockets of the top .1% richest people.



A little inequality is good, but too much kills the economy. Right now, inequality is out of control. 

So the bottom line is – as Shiller says – we must “focus on restraining any possible further increases in inequality” through bailouts of big banks, policies which enable Wall Street fraud, etc.

It is not the small businesses, the innovators and entrepreneurs, the hard-workers and the best Americans who have been rewarded.  The financialization of the economy – the capture of the economy and the political system by the giant banks – means that the looters are rewarded with huge bonuses, while real capitalists are penalized.

So we have to break up the big banks to restore capitalism, and end the socialism, fascism, crony capitalism, looting, kleptocracy, oligarchy or banana republic behavior – depending on your preference of wording – which we currently have … which is the core source of raging inequality today.

(And as Steve Keen has shown if anyone is going to receive a bailout - giving money to the little guy would stimulate the economy much more than throwing more money at the banks.)

And we should sure as heck claw back the ill-gotten gains from those who have committed financial fraud.

And because raging inequality may cause unrest and violence in America and the rest of the western world (update), the top .01% would be wise – like the white leaders of South Africa – to share power rather than face a tidal wave of rage from a population that feels like the political system can never work for them.

stats Why the Radical Left and Mainstream Republican Leaders Are Both Wrong About Inequality

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blindman's picture

. u.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Fight the NWO with Global Non Compliance

Fight the New World Order with Global Non Compliance , starve the system that is feeding on you on your illusions and on your obedience stop complying ,The NWO system is completely widespread and it's tentacles stretch to just about every inch of the planet. People will need alternatives, global non-compliance is good in theory but people will need to jump? through the beats' hoops. The Freeman of the Land Society is not a bad place to start. Alternative cmmunities in the hills too (but don't expect Utopia). One simple rule, I do things for? the right reason, i follow my heart and consciousness, I treat others knowing they are other aspects of who I am. If we all treated others as we would be treated "do unto others as you would yourself" the world would change overnight. There is no need to kill shoot riot shout scream or hurt another. We allowed the NWO to exist by being complicit, now we are aware we can take that away from them. The one weapon they have no defence against is LOVE!
James Rickards on the IMF becoming a Central Bank and the Fed becoming a Hedge Fund
Posted on December 1, 2011 by maxkeiser|
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dylan Ratigan: To Eric Holder – A Simple Way To Prosecute Bank Crimes

By Dylan Ratigan, MSNBC host and author of the new book Greedy Bastards. Cross posted from DylanRatigan.com

Shahien Nasiripour has a great scoop in the FT – bank regulators have uncovered up to 5000 military families who were foreclosed on illegally by mortgage servicers. Foreclosures on active duty troops is usually a big no-no, for a lot of reasons – for instance, when your credit rating is damaged by a foreclosure, it can impact your national security clearance. In addition, there’s enormous stress that the soldier goes through when his or her family is facing a threat of eviction, and it’s the kind of stress that makes him or her less equipped to be ready in a warzone. Congressman Bob Filner has even accused banks of “homicide” against American troops, blaming the banks for suicides resulting from the increased stress brought on by aggressive debt collection techniques.

knukles's picture

Who really gives a shit anymore when it's all said and done?
Whether there is or is not equality at this juncture is kind of a moot point.

It's all Horseshit from here on out, anyway.
Nothing's gonna change.
The major monied interests will again likely prevail at the margin, just enough to keep the viscious cycle of influence in DC alive and well, corporate socialism and kleptocracy alive and rampant, for which you and I gentle readers, wind up footing the bill.

For in the end, there's nobody else but us, is there?
We're the only ones left at the close of business.

I sincerely hope and pray for the best but plan for the worst.

It's all Horseshit from here on out, anyway.

High Plains Drifter's picture

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA — A very confident New Gingrich asserted to ABC News Thursday afternoon that he will be the Republican presidential nominee.

“I’m going to be the nominee,” the former Speaker told ABC News. “It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee.”




see. he is saying what is already decided.............how does he know?    you tell me, oh wise reader............

elections are a joke and are controlled from the start.....

knukles's picture



Great.  Just fucking great.
4 more years of Obama.

High Plains Drifter's picture

they took out cain sort of.  they just brought out his dalliances and that was enough to destroy any chance he once had.  they didn't have to work hard to do it. he did it to himself. the man obviously likes to play around with white women. can you imagine this guy in the white house?    for governor perry, same thing. they just let him be himself. a total idiot and he took himself out.........and i guess they told the mormon boy from boston to forget it too.  for paul, they will let him die on the vine by choking off any media attention. 

Flakmeister's picture

Look it's a lot easier that way...

Seventy five percent of the Hedge would go apoplectic if the Repubs controlled the House and the Executive, I mean who could them blame then?

You will never see the bile aimed at Obama here for any Republican president....


For the comprehension impaired, the above message is not an endorsement of BHO....


High Plains Drifter's picture

i have said i thought paul would run 3rd party. if this happens, then it could be interesting.  frankly i think obama is their man for another 4 years. i have thought that for a long time. 

Flakmeister's picture

The only potential serious 3rd party candidate is Mayor Bloomberg... I can only imagine the love-fest his candidacy would create here at the hedge....

knukles's picture

S' ever so very true.
If any of the front runners on the GOP side get the nod, win or not, it'll still make no difference.
(further note below)

Rynak's picture

One thing which i never see a "specific type of capitalists" explain, and also not see the article explain, is the entire premise of "potentially infinite reward".

To put it simply, reward for "success" (regardless of what kind of success) is taken as a maxime: The more you succeed, the more you are rewarded.

There is an entire array of issues with that premise. The two most significant are:

1. It ignores that REAL wealth, is finite over a given timespan. So an appeal to potentially infinite reward, actually means that one person may potentially own everything! Sorry, but WHAT THE FUCK?

2. It shoots itself in the head: The idea is that reward is neccessary, to motivate improvement - or at least striving for providing good offers. However, that reward - wealth - also can be used to make things happen... in other words, it equals power. Now, how can "potentially infinite power" be benefical to a competition of providing "good offers"? Phrased another way: Rewarding someone too much, can have the result of that someone no longer having to do, what he was rewarded for - in other words: He is DISCOURAGED from providing "good offers". It is the antithesis of what the so called "competition" is supposed to achieve!

What would be needed to satisfy the supposed premises of free market capitalism, is not blind reward of success. In fact, technically the ideal state of things would be, having a soft upper and soft lower limit to wealth, with competition and "inequality" being allowed in the remaining range. Because this way, newcomers continue to be able to enter the market, and veterans cannot fortify their position, and have to continue doing the good job that allowed them to rise to their position in the first place.

And let's not forget #1: Total wealth over a given timespan, is a limited ressource. So how can it be benefical to the majority of individuals.... or the collective as a whole.... if a small minority concentrate all wealth? Remind me again what was the purpose of competition? Was it NOT the improvement of civilization?

blunderdog's picture

No one's ever really refuted Marx's description of the "endgame" of capitalism.  When all the money in the world is controlled by a sufficiently small set of individuals, the system breaks.

Sure would be interesting to see if we reach that tipping point during my lifetime.

Rynak's picture

Well, when one supports one extreme, it tends to be easy to point out how the opposite extreme will fail, because one sees its fundamental flaws.

Unfortunatelly, it also tends to make oneself blind towards how one's own biases will fail just as spectacularily.

Which is why i would neither call myself a capitalist, nor a communist - yet see benefits as well as flaws in both.

That's why i picked "infinite inequality.... err, i mean reward" as the topic of my post: I neither think, that total inequality makes sense, nor do i think that total equality makes sense.... actually, i don't even think that REALITY CAN be any of both things.... it always is a spectrum/range, with inequality inside that range, yet all the agents sharing the current bounds of the spectrum. Which is why i think the question should not be one of total inequality vs. total equality.... but rather be a question of which range to pick.... because it will always be a range that will be reality... and the only question is: What range would be efficient and sustainable?

blunderdog's picture

What range would be efficient and sustainable?

"Sustainable" for how long?

Someday this planet will no longer exist.  Will we have colonized the stars by then?  Will we achieve immortality as a species?

The discussion always has to be bounded, and once the boundaries are properly understood, it's not difficult to come up with some kind of solution space.  But I don't think any of this is on the table for discussion by the people who control the greatest swathes of wealth/power.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to come up with visions of how to structure society "sustainably."  The trick is convincing the people who have devoted their lives to maintaining our current policies that this is something we should consider trying.

As the Boomers fall out of power, another generation with a different set of foundational experiences will go and make their own mistakes. 

Rynak's picture


"Sustainable" for how long?

Someday this planet will no longer exist.  Will we have colonized the stars by then?  Will we achieve immortality as a species?

Erm, "slow down" in your timeline.... one step at a time. I'd say it is a reasonable assumption, that we will be in a better position to think about those things, AFTER we managed to actually sustainably do with what we have NOW?

I know, not really an answer to your question. But i do think that mentioning "being able to solve one-century issues" before attempting to solving "tens of million years issues" is a reasonable roadmap, isn't it?

But I don't think any of this is on the table for discussion by the people who control the greatest swathes of wealth/power.

And this is part of "one-century"-issues. Yes, it from a cultural-evolutionary POV is a VERY BIG one.... but hey, you brought the super-bigscale on the table, and on that scale, the current corrupted system really just is a tiny blip. Though, it IS a blip that may wipe out makind - which goes to show, how early on the list of "multi-million-year"-evolutionary roadmap of issues to solve, we are. Anyone talking about things like interstellar travel, is at best an optimist, and at worst simply recklessly ignorant and suffering from "alice in wonderland is actually true"-syndrome.

The stellar boundary is not a matter of tens of years, not a matter of a century..... it involves an evolutionary jump bigger than 99,99999999% of humans are capable of even grasping.

Bottom line: We're stuck right here. And we will not get away, before we manage to stay here sustainably and efficiently.... because the lessons learned to enable this, are the same lessons needed to enable interstellar travel (hint: Ressource usage efficiency, and sustainability, doesn't get any better than where we are now, before a lot of LIGHT YEARS. Conditions actually are HARSHER out there, not better!).

And contrary to some "transhumanists", i am VERY happy and relieved about this. I wouldn't want to be part of an unsustainable interstellar pandemic.


blunderdog's picture

How long a timeline are the folks who own most of the world's *paper* operating on?  A generation?  A lifetime?

Those folks are, thus far, the best manipulators of power.  Will the people who think in terms of centuries outmanuever those guys?

I doubt we'd recognize advancement towards a goal without a pretty good definition of it.  If you start trying to pin down a definition, it doesn't sound like something that's going to generate huge public action.  "Well, uh...we want to minimize energy expenditure per capita....uh...no....we want to ensure that all energy needs per capita are met as efficiently as possible given current and future resource constraints...uh...."

Seems to me we're at one of those stages of overspecialization.  A major dislocation of the business and/or social environment would permit entirely new organizational structures to form.  Barriers that exist to help preserve the current institutional powers are making many potentially productive approaches to life very difficult.  That won't last forever, primarily because most of the perceived barriers lack the power they're attributed.  Their "enforcement" comes only through submission.

Flakmeister's picture

Competition was *never* about improving civilization...

Rynak's picture

True, never was so far.

My point is, that it should be the only purpose of it, and the economic framework be designed on that assumption: That competition is not there for its own sake, or for some "darker" sake.... but instead only for encouraging improvement... and in cases where competition does not result in this, there is no need for "that kind" of competition.

I can understand and support the need for competition and non-equality simply to differentiate quality from crap... but i see little point in competition, in cases where it is not used for that purpose, or even results in the opposite.

Flakmeister's picture

The real question is "How much is enough?" At what point does having more become counterproductive? I do not know the answer... I do think that if no one had more than say $500,000,000 the world would likely be a better place...

mayhem_korner's picture



Bookend your point at the other end of the spectrum.  At what point above what one absolutely needs is wealth productive?  What does one's life demand that is solved by a surplus of resources?

Flakmeister's picture

Care to provide us with insight to this? You seem to be on a roll...

What is your point?   

mayhem_korner's picture



My point is and always has been that the obsession with wealth inequality is an aimless chase.  What is the value of any surplus of wealth?  Zilch.  We can have a reasoned discussion over what is surplus, and that's fine.  But apart from being able to claim some status, who cares if you have $5 or $500,000,000 in excess of what you need?  And if you have what you need, why does it matter if someone else has $500,000,000 in excess?

It's a simple question made really difficult because folks here think that this is about money.


Edit: You know I could give a rat's hole about your dagger tossing, but I do find that you have some interesting insights on occasion.

Flakmeister's picture

I agree, no one should care about it, if it did not matter, but all the historical evidence points otherwise... 

You really should have read more history than fiction, and if it had to be be fiction, it should have been Steinbeck and Fitzgerald and not the fanciful musings like Rand.

mayhem_korner's picture



Actually, my preferred fiction reading is the works of man-made global warming proponents.  I keep that section close to the fireplace in case I run out of fiat to burn.  :D

Flakmeister's picture

My, what a snappy comeback...

You do appreciate the old adage that "Power Corrupts" and you do understand that money is power... Even you can make the jump and complete the syllogism, or maybe I ask too much of you..

What works of fiction are you refering to? If they are indeed fiction where can I find reliable information?  


I'll make a stab at your demographic:

White, self-proclaimed conservative, minimal post-secondary training in hard science and math, resident of a Red State, possibly Evangelical

How many of these do you fit?

mayhem_korner's picture



Well, you'd get a failing grade on your five-point quiz.  I make my living advising CXOs on the alignment of strategy with risk governance.  More than occasionally, it requires debunking some of the misapplication of stochastic processes in parametric and event risk estimation (hint: your #3 was what in the game of Battleship is called a 'miss'). 

Given on how far off you are, I suspect you are applying the same analytics in your demographic handicapping as you do when interpreting the man-made global warming data delusion.

Flakmeister's picture

So you have an MBA then? Good for you....

Differential equations? Multivariate calculus?  The rudiments of calculus do not count in my books as that is basically High school... Any Physics, Chemistry Biology above the Intro level?  

Are you a Frequentist or a Bayesian? What do you think of copula models? What was the basics problem with CDOs from a risk managment perspective?

It was just a little quiz about your demographic....

mayhem_korner's picture



Did I say I have an MBA?  But I do love how you string together all those long, mathy words.  Do you beat your chest when you say them?  I know you're a mad scientist that gets his kicks assuming superiority about his credentials as if it's important.  I've worked with dozens like you - PhD's in stuff I can't pronounce, but the ability to convey insights stops when the R syntax gets outta line.  But all your potential crashes and burns when you apply it - what else explains your unfettered cowering to the global warming gods?  Keep researching that one, Flak, eventually it will be true!!! 

Flakmeister's picture

Squirming are we?  Face it, you are out of your league...

You can't even answer questions about financial risk related stuff...  therefore I conclude you are a bullshitting blowhard....

I used to work with MBAs like you when I was on Wall St...  then maybe you don't even have a MBA? I gave you too much credit....

mayhem_korner's picture



I figured you'd eventually retreat behind a deflection.  Perhaps you're going to work on a nice diatribe on the cause of gravity.  Y'know, since you're a science guy! 

Flakmeister's picture

I was asking you about AGW fiction and where you got the "real" info and somehow you deflected it to your "risk management consulting prowess" or some such... I then asked you about risk management matters and you avoided replying...

So my conclusion stands, you are a blowhard and full of shit...

And in case you have not been following, I am lot more than just a "science guy"..... I was de facto head of derivative modelling for a mono-line...


mayhem_korner's picture

So my conclusion stands.


That's you alright.  Whatever doesn't fit in your pre-conceived box is fallacy.  Always attempting to shift the burden to others to 'disprove' your religion.  I'll accept your conclusion, no questions asked.  Since it comes from the same guy who will stomp around in a fit of rage in defense of AGW. 

The only demographic on you about which I'm sure is that there is some deep insecurity that keeps that otherwise well-engineered brain of yours subservient to some unsatisfied, nine-year old inside.

Flakmeister's picture

I'll let your response stand as a momument to clumsy obfuscation and a desire to avoid any discussion of substance. If you wish to have serious discussion we can pick it up in another thread... Ciao for niao....

Rynak's picture


But apart from being able to claim some status, who cares if you have $5 or $500,000,000 in excess of what you need?

Multiply that, and subtract it from the FINITE total amount of wealth over a given timespan, and you may have the answer, for why earth works the way it works currently.

Money? No, indeed it isn't about money, and it never has been about money. Money simply is a collectively agreed system, to define what actually matters: POWER DISTRIBUTION, you f*cking moron.

mayhem_korner's picture



U short a few xanax doses there, bub?

Rynak's picture

Look, i in my reply didn't just *only* use rethorics and ad hominem attacks, but complemented them with some actual arguments. Because, you know, it adds some "meat" to them? How about you do the same?

If you can, that is...

Rynak's picture

Completely agree, and i do have nothing to add, that isn't just refinement that any reader should be able to do him/herself.

DOT's picture

uneven distribution ===> opportunity

MrBoompi's picture

I don't want higher taxes on the rich because that would solve income inequality.  I want higher taxes on the wealthy to cover a higher % of the spending we do, reduce the budget deficit without having to cut Social Security or Medicare.

This system of taxation pushes captital into unproductive uses.  We have a severe problem with misallocation of capital.  Tax policy can help here.

Also, our military is used as the elite's world police force.  It's time the elites pay for their own protection, for their own materialism and for their own imperialism.  Stop putting this spending on the backs of the American people. 

TDoS's picture

Premise insinuated by original post: A continuation of this economy is a desirable thing.  

The needs of the natural world outweigh the needs of any economic or political system.  This culture, and its economic and political outgrowths are unsustainable.  The unsustainable cannot be made sustainable.  Collapse is inevitable.  I'm more concerned with there being fish left in the oceans, drinkable water and breathable air that don't give me cancer, and functioning biomes.  

Capitalism must go.  Industrialism must go.  Hierarchy and the rewarding of sociopathic and psychopathic behavior must go. Personal identification with this culture must go.  The modern view of the self, must go.

Again, collapse is inevitable and imminent.  The alterations we make, the revolution in our minds must be aimed at not attempting to rebuild this psychotic system, driven by a death urge as it is.

johnnynaps's picture

Agreed! The GDP model is developing debt slaves and turning our planet into a toxic dump! So sad that this won't change in time.

dcb's picture

I like yor stuff, and the logic is true, but I haven't seen much in the way of conservatives having a problem with inequality, some of the conservatives have troubles with corproate welfare, but the vast majoprity don't. hard to think of almost any us republicans except paul, huntsman says some things, and I think coburn just talked about welfare for the rich. Overall, I am afraid the conservatives seem to be more interested in serving their corporate masters than fixing the problem. But I say the same with democrats. It's not like obama has done what needs to be done either. In fact it seems both parties really aren't that concerned, except that it may leqad to violence. Of course that's not an issue since we can throw in jail without trial now as well

mayhem_korner's picture

Overall, I am afraid the conservatives seem to be more interested in serving their corporate masters than fixing the problem.


Other than your unverifiable "observations," what is your basis for these statements?  Tell us what it means to be a conservative.

MarcusLCrassus's picture

Yes, the 1% aren't rich enough.  Great argument there, Jorge. 


More tax cuts for the rich!  More austerity for the middle class!

NEOSERF's picture

Financial industry has been a heads I win, tails you bail me out game of risk for years.  The game for most hedge funds and asset managers is to see how close you can fly to the sun without melting.  The ones that manage money for Main St are only motivated to get to be the ones that manage the elephants...they don't care about makings sure Suzy goes to college or Tom and Eleanor have a comfortable retirement.  The high flyers don't care because their clients are wealthy and by definition any big losses would have to be backstopped by their firm so the relationship and reputation doesn't suffer...

Future Jim's picture

GW, Regardless of what you claim as your motives/principles/values etc., we can all see the comments by your supporters, and we can see who they junk, and we can see how often they junk. Therefore, we know they are all on one side, and they like to shut down debate.

Flakmeister's picture

I have been scrolling along minding my own business, taking the temperature so to speak, and this pops up...

I have seen nothing resembling a debate, well I suppose obliquely saying "Who is John Galt?" does count for something, but not much really.

Hey, whatever, maybe I missed something....

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

specifically, "residual income inequality" is socially and economically destabilizing. 

residual income is the discretionary amount beyond simply meeting biological needs.

Humans (especially young ones) that are hungry, unsheltered and have no prospects for reproduction are more than destabilizing --they are explosive and cannibalistic.

The Earth will get to 5 Billion before it gets to 12.



tony bonn's picture

good rhetorical content but a bit turgid....