Wealth Distribution

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Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Apr 3, 2013 - 06:24pm PT
Incorrect. By FAR, the major "cost" of becoming a doctor or any other white collar professional is educating the person to a level that they are even prepared to attend a medical/business/grad school in the first place. Which happens, mostly, on the public dime in public schools.

The major cost of what differentiates doctors from other professions is not borne by the government. We are talking about the differences between the rich and the poor here.


And I'm not sure that the cost of K-12 education is really more than medical school. A quick google shows that California pays about $9K per year per student.

I'll let the differential calculus folks do the rest of the math.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 3, 2013 - 09:17pm PT
Incorrect. By FAR, the major "cost" of becoming a doctor or any other white collar professional is educating the person to a level that they are even prepared to attend a medical/business/grad school in the first place. Which happens, mostly, on the public dime in public schools.

That is certainly a major cost, but hardly the only one. You're ignoring the cost to the professional-to-be in doing homework for 13 years to get into a good college, majoring in the right majors and getting superb grades to get into the right grad or profesisonal school, and foregoing all of the other opportunities that presnted themselves until they start a well-paying practice.

Also, I'm fairly certain that the K-12 cost to society to educate a future professional differs little from that to educate anyone else who graduates from high school. So why does the professional owe more to society? I think the real reason is simply that most professionals have been inculcated with that sense of duty in their training.

Re-reading the posts on this thread reiforces something I said on the Republicans thread: One of the major differences between liberal and conservative policies are that conservative policies are based on the idea that the economoic condition of people primarily depends on their choices. That of liberal policies are based on the idea that those with the most wealth accumulated it illegitimately, or else did so primiarly because of factors other than their own decisions.

John
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Apr 3, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
That of liberal policies are based on the idea that those with the most wealth accumulated it illegitimately, or else did so primiarly because of factors other than their own decisions.

how non parisan!

how very condescending

how without merit, with nothing but your own personal opinion to back up that BS

and given your history how nauseatingly typical

just gotta always throw in some denigrating "liberal" crap don'tcha?

ignorant horse's ass
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 3, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
Ken, it seems to me that you're missing something vital in what people make. Our economic transactions are primarily voluntary. The "risk adjustment" for which you search is one of numerous calculations that individual actors process in deciding where to work.

If I don't like the risk of being a lumberjack (to select a rather risky job), I won't take the job, and will do what it takes to make sure I have a choice of a job I can tolerate.

I know physical labor quite well. I paid for my first climbing gear by harvesting fruit in 100 degree weather here. Because it was piece work, and I had done it enough to acquire some skill, I made a lot more than minimum wage, but it was still hard work for low pay. The reason is that it required very little to enter the workforce, so the supply was great. I didn't forget that lesson.

John
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Apr 3, 2013 - 09:56pm PT
I think Lezarian is Armenian not French...? RJ
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Apr 3, 2013 - 11:25pm PT
That of liberal policies are based on the idea that those with the most wealth accumulated it illegitimately,

John, I will defend the liberals here and say that is not true. It's the real left, not namby-pamby liberals, that say that.
sempervirens

climber
Apr 4, 2013 - 11:05am PT
Its not that professionals, like a doctor or lawyer, owes a greater debt to society than other non-professionals, unskilled laborers, or lesser educated workers. It's simply important to recognize and admit that they also made use of the gov. services in order to get where they are. And that is all the more reason (IMO) to support the idea of gov. providing those services - education, libraries, student loans, certifications, a justice system, etc.

One could argue that these professionals are making greater contributions to society. They've become professionals,pay taxes (a higher rate if we had a progressive tax rate system). They have a greater chance to earn more, make innovations that benefit society, create business and jobs, spend more $ that might support our economy.

If the idealogical conservatives would have a look at this reality they'd see that their ideology makes no logical sense. They're fighting against their own ideal of how hard work leads to prosperity. If you cut all the gov. services that Tea Party hates are you promoting the development of more professionals who will work hard and get ahead. Or are you promoting more unskilled workers and low-paying jobs.
sempervirens

climber
Apr 4, 2013 - 11:17am PT
That of liberal policies are based on the idea that those with the most wealth accumulated it illegitimately, or else did so primiarly because of factors other than their own decisions.

That's what you're told to think by the tea party, foxx news, Americans for prosperity, American heritage foundation...

Why not base your economic opinions on the economy rather than fear of liberal ideas. You're being played. As long as they can keep America all riled up emotionally about theft of your hard-earned money Americans won't see who is doing the stealing.

Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Apr 4, 2013 - 11:18am PT
And that is all the more reason (IMO) to support the idea of gov. providing those services - education, libraries, student loans, certifications, a justice system, etc.


I don't think anyone here is arguing that the government should not provide these services.
sempervirens

climber
Apr 4, 2013 - 11:35am PT
If we don't "redistribute wealth" (theft some call it) we'll have less $ for these services. Sequestration,for example. Conservative ideology certainly does call for (and result in) cutting these services. "less gov. regulation". "gov. doesn't create jobs", "gov. is too big", "gov. is the problem". But it is gov. that provides the services I mention. And we can apply the same argument to other services: WIC, SSI, welfare, etc. All of these are often used as scapegoats for our current economic problems (debt). And then we have those who call funding these services "theft". Did I make the connection clear enough for you yet?

Of course, I believe we are redistibuting wealth, but not equitably or fairly or sensibly or sustainably.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Apr 4, 2013 - 11:38am PT
Librairies,

Ben Franklin's was a private corp. A share of stock gave you the right to check out books.

Half of the public libraries in the US were originaly built by one man with his own money.

Andrew Carnegie.

About 1600 of them. ((2500 world wide)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnegie_library
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Apr 4, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
the idea that the economoic condition of people primarily depends on their choices.

I've heard of ten pounds of bullshit in a five pound sack, but this is really packing it in.

Why don't you go ask the millions of people forced into bankruptcy from medical bills that had nothing to do with their "choices" what they think of your theory?

Or maybe the hundreds of thousands who've had their pension funds raided/underfunded so CEO types can hollow out a company and siphon off the money for themselves while bankrupting the company and putting the pension obligations onto the taxpayer (at a fraction of what those retirees were promised).
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Apr 4, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
They all made bad choices!!!
if they went to church more often, God would have steered them away from those bad things, like he does to all his favorites, like Trump, the Kopch Bros. and Rand Paul

The choice IS praying to Jebus 3 times a day, and if that didn't work, you made a bad choice by not praying 4 times! or is it 6 times?

all in jest, snicker
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Apr 5, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
Why don't you go ask the millions of people forced into bankruptcy from medical bills [...]

If you can find "millions" that this has happened to, I'll ask them...

Both sides here are using quite a bit of hyperbole.

Economic outcomes are a function of circumstances and choices. Sometimes circumstances can overwhelm, but choices still matter.

We need a system that provides incentives for making the right choices, while protecting folks from unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

The pieces are already in place: SS, Medicare, etc.

We just need to avoid the extremes of tea-bagger "libertarianism" and command economy socialism.

Just because we see one extreme as wrong doesn't mean the other extreme is right.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 5, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
I think Lezarian is Armenian not French...? RJ

RJ,

I was chuckling over the same thing (i.e. "parisan.") In truth, I was both non-partisan and non-French, which is why I chose "conservative" and "liberal" rather than "Democrat" or "Republican."

I think, too, that I must have stated my point poorly. I was trying to identify the underlying philosophy behind the differing policy prescriptions. I think both sides recognize, as Dave pointed out so well, that neither luck nor personal choices alone determine a person's financial conditions. Accordingly, both "sides" to the debate actually agree on a common core of principles, where we want to reward people for making good choices and simultaneously protect them from unfortunate circumstances.

The arguments really come at the margins. There, the more conservative will come down on the side of policies that give primary concern to rewarding good choices, and the liberal will come down on the side of policies that give primary concern to protection from unfortunate circumstances.

Oh, by the way, RJ is right; I'm Armenian. I do, however have Parisian first cousins, but primarily, the first cousins in France to which I am closest are Lyonnaise.

John
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 5, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
Why don't you go ask the millions of people forced into bankruptcy from medical bills that had nothing to do with their "choices" what they think of your theory?

I've represented over 1,000 individual consumer debtors in bankruptcy proceedings, El Cap. I did many of those cases for free (other than asking the client to pay the court filing fees), and almost all of them for far less than my normal hourly rate, so I think I know something about those who file for bankruptcy.

As I note above, I think there was a misunderstanding of just what "theory" I was putting forth, and the cause of that misunderstanding was my own wording of the proposition. Mea culpa.

That said, I can't say that I've ever encountered a debtor that wound up in bankruptcy solely because of bad luck, although the immediate cause of the bankruptcy is usually an event or events beyond the debtor's control.

The most common causes of consumer bankruptcy I've run across in order of frequency are:

1. Unanticipated loss of income, either from a layoff, unexpected pregnancy or a long-term illness that makes it impossible to work.

2. Divorce

3. Uninsured liabilities (including, but not limited to medical expenses)

With regard to cause (1), about the only bad choice most of the debtors made was one of his or her occupation. While, in theory, they could have purchased disability insurance, they certainly could not purchase insurance against the business failure of their employers. This category probably got the most pro bono work from me.

Cause (2) brings about insolvency because the couple, while married, made financial commitments that left no room for error. When they split, the extra cost of maintaining separate households exceeded their financial margin of error. I did several of these cases pro bono, as well, although the relation of this cause to pure bad luck is somewhat attenuated.

Cause (3) includes both uninsured medical expenses (there were sometimes large co-pays, but more often represented a total lack of medical coverage), automobile accidents where either liability exceeded policy limits, and the plaintiff was sufficiently vengeful to force the debtor to file, or else situations where there was no insurance coverage whatsoever. These cases represent a calculated risk on the part of the debtor. Those calculations went astray. This category probably contains the least element of bad luck.

In truth, I suspect that a great many middle class families are just one disability away from insolvency, but I personally think a great deal of the responsibility for that rests on our desire to want stuff now, and consequently to borrow up to our limits, and to forgo savings, insurance, and similar "rainy day" protections.

John
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Apr 5, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
If you get really sick or injured, you can't work, and hence lose your Health Care Insurance,
and then can't health care insurance because it's unaffordable, and you have a preconceived medical condition...

and on and on
JE, don't you think that single payer health care insurance would fix more problems than it would cause

It's idiotic for it to be linked to you employer
sempervirens

climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 11:29am PT
Any comments on the Bill Moyers video essay?

http://billmoyers.com/segment/bill-moyers-essay-the-united-states-of-inequality/

He does have more credibility than a CNN or foxx news editorial, wouldn't you agree? And he does present a logical case for the current situation of inequality. And remember he is not arguing that wealth should be re-distributed to be equal. He is arguing that it has been re-distributed unfairly (should be illegal but for the fact of who makes the laws). And that the unequal distribution greatly endangers all of us in society including those who believe in conservative values of hard work and retaining the fruits of that work.

Hopefully Bill Moyers made that point clear.
Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Apr 17, 2013 - 01:44pm PT
Elcap and Dr F, where is your wealth redistribution? Do you give awa y a alot of your hard earned money? there are plenty of people on here that you can give money to. try Happy. she drives across country with barely enough gas money and i am sure she would accept some wealth redistribution. i am sure it was not her choice to be broke on her climbing trips. you two can help her out of the hole that obviously republicans put her into (eyes rolling).....
Sparky

Trad climber
vagabond movin on
Apr 17, 2013 - 02:36pm PT
"Worker's Self-Directed Enterprises" (WSDE)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-ashton/worker-self-directed-enterprise_b_2385334.html

Scanlon plan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scanlon_plan
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