Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Thermodynamics And Other Things Best Not Discussed At Dinner Parties


Recommended Posts

As the thermo is irrelvent, and we have proved that - why bother?

We already know your basic assumptions are incorrect, so your theory is already gone.

Move on?

Well actually I must have missed this proof.

I was finding this quite interesting and relevant.

Injin you betray a myopia when you ask "do you have any information on the breaking points and thresholds for human beings under duress?". I think the reply hinted that the point of this thread is to take a distant enough view that the behaviour of individual humans becomes too small and far away to bother with. You might not like taking such a view but I think that this view is there to be taken should one wish to.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 109
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

No. I'm sure there are limits.

But this thread is about thermodynamics, not psychology. At least, not yet. Lets stick with the thermo for now shall we.

[Edit to add: I do agree that the state is going to have to shrink, Ultimately that is what this thread, as far as I am concerned, will turn out to be about. That shrinkage will make us all poorer materially, but confer some compensating benefits]

Not sure that is quite safe - you raise the point above of state growth (union breaking by a strong state) causing more inequality and setting the cycle on its next leg - surely the bigness or smallness of the state can play at any stage of the cycle? i.e. its not necessarily relevant?

Link to post
Share on other sites

As the thermo is irrelvent, and we have proved that - why bother?

We already know your basic assumptions are incorrect, so your theory is already gone.

Move on?

If you have your proof then it is you who needs to move on. The rest of us might like to remain and think on it a little harder.

Up to you, really. If you have nothing useful to add, you are wasting everyones time, and your own. Don't waste your time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure that is quite safe - you raise the point above of state growth (union breaking by a strong state) causing more inequality and setting the cycle on its next leg - surely the bigness or smallness of the state can play at any stage of the cycle? i.e. its not necessarily relevant?

Let us define the state as an entity that is capable of binding large numbers of humans into a single mass which can act and trade much more efficiently than smaller groups. Under a state, larger urban connurbations are possible, denser masses of humanity, and this gives rise to economies of scale, scietific discoveries etc.

Thermodynamically, this configuration moves society further from equilibrium, and accordingly the thermodynamic costs are higher.

If free energy flux is diminished, then society must exist closer to TE which must result in a diminishing of the scale of civilisation. This is what I mean by state shrinkage, merely a reduction in the geographical, temporal and energetic boundaries within which people can agree to agree,

Agreeing to agree has significant energetic costs in communication, policing, urban density.

If the energy flux declines the maximum possible size of a stable state must be diminished.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well actually I must have missed this proof.

Well sceppies contention is that human activity is bounded by the laws of thermodynamics (wel yeah, obviously) but that it's the real world which humans are making their decisions about. It isn't - people make decisions about (sometimes very dodgy) ideas they have about reality.

I was finding this quite interesting and relevant.

Aight.

Injin you betray a myopia when you ask "do you have any information on the breaking points and thresholds for human beings under duress?". I think the reply hinted that the point of this thread is to take a distant enough view that the behaviour of individual humans becomes too small and far away to bother with. You might not like taking such a view but I think that this view is there to be taken should one wish to.

The macro is the micro.

Have another way of disproving sceppies basic thesis - is it possible for a small group of humans to just crack on and live without constantly increasing in size and economic activity?

Well again, yes. Humans lived like that for millenia. All of the analysis of events that sceppy has ever produced misses that it's just some choices people make. By trying to turn free will into determinism something vital is being ignored.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let us define the state as an entity that is capable of binding large numbers of humans into a single mass which can act and trade much more efficiently than smaller groups. Under a state, larger urban connurbations are possible, denser masses of humanity, and this gives rise to economies of scale, scietific discoveries etc.

Thermodynamically, this configuration moves society further from equilibrium, and accordingly the thermodynamic costs are higher.

If free energy flux is diminished, then society must exist closer to TE which must result in a diminishing of the scale of civilisation. This is what I mean by state shrinkage, merely a reduction in the geographical, temporal and energetic boundaries within which people can agree to agree,

Agreeing to agree has significant energetic costs in communication, policing, urban density.

If the energy flux declines the maximum possible size of a stable state must be diminished.

But that's not an accurate definition of a state.

A state is defined by it's special feature - the ability of it's members to use violence on non members with social sanction.

Tescos manages to build a large cohesive group together without this feature (and indeed the state itself doesnt force people to join most of the time.)

If you get your basic definitions wrong, everything you produce from that point must be suspect.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have your proof then it is you who needs to move on. The rest of us might like to remain and think on it a little harder.

Up to you, really. If you have nothing useful to add, you are wasting everyones time, and your own. Don't waste your time.

I would have thought that if you were genuinely interested in thinking about the topic, me fixing a few simple errors in your thinking would be welcome.

As it saves you a lot of time and effort overall.

Ofc, if you want to ignore the fact you are mking basic errors, that's fine. But don't try and somehow make this my failing.

I enjoy this and do it for the thing itself, so it's never a waste of my time, btw. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have another way of disproving sceppies basic thesis - is it possible for a small group of humans to just crack on and live without constantly increasing in size and economic activity?

Forget the humans for a moment and look at the life that preceeded us. It didn't stand still, it grew and grew and grew, from literally nothing until life had carpeted the planet and filled the atmosphere with oxygen (and in the process nearly wiping itself out - google the 'oxidation event'). That oxidation event gave rise to the conditions that permit your existence,

I welcome your philosphical opposition, because what your are advocating is a barren solipstic anthropological viewpoint that serves to highlight the essential characteristics of what I am trying to talk about on this thread, Human existence is just part of a general drive that seeks to green the cosmos. Our machines and social structures are part of that. Ultimately, this process is not about us per se, and we may fail or may not.

All life always has been and always will be competitive but the goal of it remains the same.

Why can't you see that human life carries on the endeavours of non human life before it? Life can't and won't sit still, and is not beholden to the incredibly narrow moral imperatives you set out? You see human life as elevated and set apart from everything else even though we owe our very existence to the mitochondria which represent a perfect example of how a parasitic/symbiotic relationship subsumed into a whole generates higher life:

"Mitochondria are thought to have evolved at least 2000 million years ago from primitive bacteria which enjoyed such a symbiotic relationship with early eukaryotic cells.

It must have been difficult initially to synchronise the activities of the two genomes, and there followed a gradual transfer of mitochondrial genetic functions to the eukaryotic cell nucleus, where they were better integrated with the other cellular controls. This process has progressed to varying extents in different species, so that yeast and mammalian mitochondria differ slightly in the functions which they have retained.

"

As it went with mitochondria, so it goes with states and other aspects of human society. There are limits and abuses to be found, but yoiur reductionist anti-collaboration agenda is fundamentally anti-life, and therefore instinctively rejected by the vast majority of sensible people. If you persist with this, only failure and rejection can possibly result.

I am not a pro-statist or anti-statist, I am pro-life.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Forget the humans for a moment and look at the life that preceeded us. It didn't stand still, it grew and grew and grew, from literally nothing until life had carpeted the planet and filled the atmosphere with oxygen (and in the process nearly wiping itself out - google the 'oxidation event'). That oxidation event gave rise to the conditions that permit your existence,

I welcome your philosphical opposition, because what your are advocating is a barren solipstic anthropological viewpoint that serves to highlight the essential characteristics of what I am trying to talk about on this thread, Human existence is just part of a general drive that seeks to green the cosmos. Our machines and social structures are part of that. Ultimately, this process is not about us per se, and we may fail or may not.

Correct definitions of terms is solipsistic. Gotcha.

All life always has been and always will be competitive but the goal of it remains the same.

What are you talking about? Co operation is the norm in living organisms.

Why can't you see that human life carries on the endeavours of non human life before it? Life can't and won't sit still, and is not beholden to the incredibly narrow moral imperatives you set out? You see human life as elevated and set apart from everything else even though we owe our very existence to the mitochondria which represent a perfect example of how a parasitic/symbiotic relationship subsumed into a whole generates higher life:

"Mitochondria are thought to have evolved at least 2000 million years ago from primitive bacteria which enjoyed such a symbiotic relationship with early eukaryotic cells.

It must have been difficult initially to synchronise the activities of the two genomes, and there followed a gradual transfer of mitochondrial genetic functions to the eukaryotic cell nucleus, where they were better integrated with the other cellular controls. This process has progressed to varying extents in different species, so that yeast and mammalian mitochondria differ slightly in the functions which they have retained.

"

As it went with mitochondria, so it goes with states and other aspects of human society. There are limits and abuses to be found, but yoiur reductionist anti-collaboration agenda is fundamentally anti-life, and therefore instinctively rejected by the vast majority of sensible people. If you persist with this, only failure and rejection can possibly result.

I am not a pro-statist or anti-statist, I am pro-life.

If you are pro life you have to be anti statist.

My agenda is pro collaboration and anti coercion, but this is only a position derived from first principles - the very basics of interaction. Collaborative efforts can only have a proper feedback loop when all the parties within them have the option of refusal. Coercion in human affairs acts the same way diseases or cancers do to the body - diseases and cancers don't take no for an answer either, and death through inability to respond properly to the environment is the inevitable result.

Another one for you - adulthood is when you get as large as you are going to and stop growing. Then (if fortunate and you don't get wiped out somehow) you slowly decline until death.

Edited by Injin
Link to post
Share on other sites

http://puzzling.caret.cam.ac.uk/game.php?game=foodchain

Foxes = sociopaths

Rabbits = normal humans

Or

Foxes = the state

Rabbits = taxpayers

Too many sociopaths (predators) cull the human population (rabbits) leading to a reset. Of course what we could also be seeing is a lack of predators - maybe it has been the case that throughout history the sociopaths have been performing environmentally useful function of keeping human numbers in balance to the environment via their wars and genocides.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The second law requires a closed system, and that's how you can be confident of the tendency to increased entropy. But if the financial system isn't closed, you can't assume the second law applies to it. Seems logical. Maybe the activity within the financial system, the information churn, can inhibit the increase of entropy. And it's difficult to counter the guy who waves his hands and says, "Great, but in the long run we're all dead." That objection seems adequate because the time being is all that matters.

Do you solve that by assuming the financial system is part of a greater closed system? If the answer is Yes, the tricky bit is in explaining that last assumption. Explaining it to me is even trickier.

Sean Carroll cautioning against applying the model to social systems:

"The biggest problem is the one that creationists always make: neither the biosphere nor our social environment is anything like a closed system. Yes, the entropy you are generating while reading this blog post is greater than the hoped-for order created by your comprehension of a new text. But that’s true of the universe, not of your brain all by itself. "

He ends with a thumbs up for complex systems study.

http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2013/01/29/social-entropy/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sean Carroll cautioning against applying the model to social systems:

"The biggest problem is the one that creationists always make: neither the biosphere nor our social environment is anything like a closed system. Yes, the entropy you are generating while reading this blog post is greater than the hoped-for order created by your comprehension of a new text. But that’s true of the universe, not of your brain all by itself. "

He ends with a thumbs up for complex systems study.

http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2013/01/29/social-entropy/

Very true. Which is why the field of science that applies to human systems, and also to ecosystems like earth, sub-ecologies and indeed complex thermodynamic structures like galaxies and stars is non-equlibrium thermodynamics (NET), That is, the study of energy flow,matter cycling and information in systems which are not closed.

In order to study a system which is not closed thermodynamically, it is required to examine energy/matter and entropy fluxes at its boundaries.

So you are correct, carnot style, box of gas "equilibrium" thermo cannot be applied to human systems or rainforrests or stars. NET however, can be applied.

[edit to add: thanks for the link, which is very on topic. I agree completely with all the points made by Carroll. NET is just complex systems studied from an energetic perspective].

[second edit: the video on the Carroll blog post is excellent - have you watched it?]

Edited by scepticus
Link to post
Share on other sites

So, do you think the financial system is closed , or not?

After all, maybe the money system is just an abstraction or some kind of simulation based on numbers in central bank computers. How could such a system 'exchange entropy' with the physical world, the 'real economy'? Can it, or not? If so, how does that work?

This is the key question for this thread. I have my own view but I would not want to predjudice fresh opinions at this point.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, do you think the financial system is closed , or not?

After all, maybe the money system is just an abstraction or some kind of simulation based on numbers in central bank computers. How could such a system 'exchange entropy' with the physical world, the 'real economy'? Can it, or not? If so, how does that work?

This is the key question for this thread. I have my own view but I would not want to predjudice fresh opinions at this point.

The financial system is a closed system but it's also not related to the real economy particlarly.

Most of it largely takes place inside the minds of people - and as I already pointed out, all dreams have the same resource cost.

What he FS is doing is iincreasing in it';s size and scope constantly in the real world to make up for it's previous failures - that is more and more human behaviour is being coerced into joining in with the aims of the FS in order to make previous versions of the FS promises actually occur. Into basic human terms, the FS is a bullsh1tter who has violent friends who can strongarm others into making like the bullsh1t was real. This leads to more bullsh1t and more strongarm.

Like I said, forget entropy and trying to treat it like it's tied to the laws of nature in anyway other than the thresholds for human psychological change or physical resistance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The financial system is a closed system but it's also not related to the real economy particlarly.

Most of it largely takes place inside the minds of people - and as I already pointed out, all dreams have the same resource cost.

Well, real GDP correlates very closely to energy consumption. I agree that the nominal machinery of finance is a semantic construct without thermodynamic costs per se, but its existence requires energy expenditure to facilitate communication and record keeping. As I already pointed out, interpretation of information does not have energy costs but transmitting, storing and receiving information does. An activity as simple as ensuring you and I agree on what a tenner is is significant.

What he FS is doing is iincreasing in it';s size and scope constantly in the real world to make up for it's previous failures - that is more and more human behaviour is being coerced into joining in with the aims of the FS in order to make previous versions of the FS promises actually occur. Into basic human terms, the FS is a bullsh1tter who has violent friends who can strongarm others into making like the bullsh1t was real. This leads to more bullsh1t and more strongarm.

Like I said, forget entropy and trying to treat it like it's tied to the laws of nature in anyway other than the thresholds for human psychological change or physical resistance.

The social binding provided by finance and other human institutions are not easily separable from other physical phenomena that bond, in partcicular I am thinking about urbanisation and technical specialisation. These increase mutual inter-dependence so maybe finance is an expression of that dependant structure. You should watch that video okaycuckoo posted earlier.

All your views about strongarming are not unique to humans - they occur within other species groups like monkeys and rabbits. Given that, the social corecion you so hate is in my view simply a human expression of the universal tendency for complex open thermodynamic systems to form hierarchy. It will never go away, which is why you will always be dissappointed,

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, real GDP correlates very closely to energy consumption.

Yes but activity isn't the same as the economy.

I agree that the nominal machinery of finance is a semantic construct without thermodynamic costs per se, but its existence requires energy expenditure to facilitate communication and record keeping. As I already pointed out, interpretation of information does not have energy costs but transmitting, storing and receiving information does. An activity as simple as ensuring you and I agree on what a tenner is is significant.

We do not agree on what a tenner is, and no two humans ever can. That's why we need an economy in the first place. If information transmission as you suggest was possible, trade would be pointless overgead. In fact, trade tells us prices, which are shadowy, incomplete glimpses into the minds of others.

The social binding provided by finance and other human institutions are not easily separable from other physical phenomena that bond, in partcicular I am thinking about urbanisation and technical specialisation. These increase mutual inter-dependence so maybe finance is an expression of that dependant structure. You should watch that video okaycuckoo posted earlier.

All your views about strongarming are not unique to humans - they occur within other species groups like monkeys and rabbits. Given that, the social corecion you so hate is in my view simply a human expression of the universal tendency for complex open thermodynamic systems to form hierarchy. It will never go away, which is why you will always be dissappointed,

Why would I be disappointed?

I've never said people have to give up violence.

They do if they want to achieve their aims, obviously. But they dont have to achieve their aims, they can keep on failing if they want.

Hierarchy also isnt intrinsically linked to violence. The best tennis player in the world isn't better than the others because he can smash their faces in, he's better at tennis. A hierarchy is there but violence isnt. Where you have coercion, you destroy the price signal. Where the price signal is destroyed, you malinvest. It really is that simple.

To go back to the earlier point - GDP activity also includes lots of things which are coerced, which destroy the economy, so it's not a great measure of usage of resources. You can apply entropy and all the rest to it, but without the discernment of which actions comprise the economy (voluntary ones) and which don't (coerced ones) you won't get anything like a decent picture of the whole. Add to this that things like land boundaries and other earlier systems that finance rests upon are both arbitary and free to imagine (though not to operate on) and it gets far to messy to fast to start treating it all like an equation. The bulk of your variables are hidden, for a start.

just sayin'

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not interested in a particular set of subjective statements about what is and is not economy. Your subjective view is what it is and you are entitled to it. Like you say, subjective vies can never be entirely reconciled so why you persist in trying to push this singular view is odd, given the impossibility of general agreement.

My concern is to understand the interaction of energy, matter and the observed evolution of human institutions and behaviours without recourse to morality. Nowhere have I said I wish or expect human activity to be reduced to a deterministic equation, that is a fools errand. Nevertheless there are universal principles in evidence, as you would realise if you took a look at that video.

Edited by scepticus
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not interested in a particular set of subjective statements about what is and is not economy.

That's good, because I gave objective ones.

Your subjective view is what it is and you are entitled to it.

The objective view is a series of facts and you are bound by them, like it or not. My subjective view is that I should align my subjective view as closely with the facts as possible.

Like you say, subjective vies can never be entirely reconciled so why you persist in trying to push this singular view is odd, given the impossibility of general agreement.

Facts don't require agreement. They are facts. You can ignore them all day long, they will remain facts.

My concern is to understand the interaction of energy, matter and the observed evolution of human institutions and behaviours with recourse to morality. Nowhere have I said I wish or expect human activity to be reduced to a deterministic equation, that is a fools errand. Nevertheless there are universal principles in evidence, as you would realise if you took a look at that video.

I have.

I've also outlined the universal principles for you whcih ouverturn your argument. Accept them already so we can move on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, endlessly bid up. A perfectly equal cash society would experience very significant inflation, for a short time until it became unequal again.

I think society approached such a point of 'destabilising equality' in the late 60's which was part of the reason for the subsequent inflation problems and why they were only conquered when thatcher and reagan had broken the Unions. The volcker interest rate hikes prior to busting labour power only made the problem worse by increasing velocity of money.

This was not the only input into the 70s 'flation - there were energy and demographic factors too. But it remains a fact that inflation was not brought under control properly until the unions were destroyed and the financial liberation of the 80s had succeeded in re-establishing prior levels of inequality.

Can you flesh this out a bit more with some numbers? I see where you are going here, but I think that you are playing down the energy and demographic factors. I am not convinced that there is the historical evidence. Societies such as the Soviet Union, Maoist China, North Korea now surely have fairly level income levels - do they have inflationary problems? And the Middle Ages, isn't there an issue here of gross oversimplification - isn't level pricing more to do with a flat amount of productivity that the average person had prior to industrialisation?

Let us define the state as an entity that is capable of binding large numbers of humans into a single mass which can act and trade much more efficiently than smaller groups. Under a state, larger urban connurbations are possible, denser masses of humanity, and this gives rise to economies of scale, scietific discoveries etc.

Thermodynamically, this configuration moves society further from equilibrium, and accordingly the thermodynamic costs are higher.

If free energy flux is diminished, then society must exist closer to TE which must result in a diminishing of the scale of civilisation. This is what I mean by state shrinkage, merely a reduction in the geographical, temporal and energetic boundaries within which people can agree to agree,

Agreeing to agree has significant energetic costs in communication, policing, urban density.

If the energy flux declines the maximum possible size of a stable state must be diminished.

Have you come across the ideas of green growth and modern city planning? A good of planning is now being done with the overarching idea of creating highly dense nodes of population linked by some form of rapid transit. How would you see such ideas as fitting into your schema?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you flesh this out a bit more with some numbers? I see where you are going here, but I think that you are playing down the energy and demographic factors. I am not convinced that there is the historical evidence. Societies such as the Soviet Union, Maoist China, North Korea now surely have fairly level income levels - do they have inflationary problems? And the Middle Ages, isn't there an issue here of gross oversimplification - isn't level pricing more to do with a flat amount of productivity that the average person had prior to industrialisation?

"In fact, income distributions in market economies do not compare unfavorably

with those of nonmarket economies, even with those of socialist-type systems

that are ostensibly predicated on explicitly egalitarian premises. (Not to mention

the fact that

absolute

standards of living are much higher in market economies,so the incidence and extent

of absolute poverty is correspondingly much lower.)Thus, Friedman argued that

income inequality in the Soviet Union was actuallygreater than in many capitalist countries:

Russia is a country of two nations: a small privileged upper class of bureau-

crats, party officials, technicians; and a great mass of people living little better

than their great-grandparents did. The upper class has access to special shops,

schools and luxuries of all kind; the masses are condemned to enjoy little more

than the basic necessities. We remember asking a tourist guide in Moscow

the cost of a large automobile that we saw and being told, “Oh, those aren’tfor sale; they’re

only for the Politburo.”

Several recent books by American journalists document in great detail the contrast

between the privileged lifeof the upper classes and the poverty of the masses.

In Communist China, income inequality was greater than in most capitalist countries:

China, too, is a nation with wide differences in income—between the politically

powerful and the rest; between city and countryside; between some workersin the cities and other workers. A perceptive student of China writes that “the

inequality between rich and poor regions in China was more acute in 1957 than

in any of the larger nations of the world except perhaps Brazil.”"

http://www.academia.edu/298328/Milton_Friedman_on_Income_Inequality

I suggest you read the whole paper.

My contention, like Freidman's, is more or less that some level of redistribution may alleviate the worst cases of poverty and in so doing actually improve the general stability/resilience of society and thus actually lead to increased output. However, that increased output is very unlikely to be captured by the subsidised poor and thus the policy may increase aggregate welfare but do little to reduce inequality, and may make it worse (even as it floats all boats to some extent).

In general, genuine economic growth as a similar effect, to float all boats but the rich more than the poor (thanks to compounding returns). This may raise all living standards and boost inequality at the same time.

In terms of numbers, see here: www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a274458.pdf

From the above we see a 1980s soviet gini of about .25 (before adjusting for illegal unreported private income which would make the number higher). The UK had a gini ranging between .3 and .35 (after taxes and transfers) over the same period. So yes, a somewhat lower inequality in the USSR, but much lower living standards.

They had significant inflationary problems, but in some cases the inflation was repressed by simply not having goods available for sale at the official price - and selling at other prices was illegal.

Have you come across the ideas of green growth and modern city planning? A good of planning is now being done with the overarching idea of creating highly dense nodes of population linked by some form of rapid transit. How would you see such ideas as fitting into your schema?

I think it makes sense if those constructs are more resilient as a result. If an increase in density is supported by an increased technology level, is a step backwards in resilience. Higher population density to save energy and transport costs makes sense if the underlying technologies to achieve transport, structure maintainence along with sufficient biological and industrial recycling in this denser environment are not in fact relying on an energy intensive supply chain outside the 'green city' which in most cases that I have come across of this kind is not the case.

A city is like a lifeform in the sense of it exchanging energy, mater, waste and entropy across a boundary, e.g. an open thermodynamic system. An initiative to build green cities must incorporate non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems understanding from day 1, into all its aspects including its economic metabolism.

Edited by scepticus
Link to post
Share on other sites

Without the forced element, there is no universal definition of wealth to be redistributed, sceppy.

Think about it this way.

Today you go and dig yourself a well. I sit here picking my nose. If we are forced together in a group, then we need to redistribute wealth towards me so that we have more equal well distribution. You can share in my bogies, obviously.

If you recognise that we aren't a group at all, you have a well and I have a series of bogies in a handkerchief and there is no problem with this whatsoever.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Without the forced element, there is no universal definition of wealth to be redistributed...

For the sake of argument we could say that "wealth" is the individual's ability to escape from the forced element. The more "wealth" you have, the less you have to submit to the force. The more "wealth" you have, the more you can do whatever you fancy without being imposed upon.

My contention, like Freidman's, is more or less that some level of redistribution may alleviate the worst cases of poverty and in so doing actually improve the general stability/resilience of society and thus actually lead to increased output. However, that increased output is very likely to be captured by the subsidised poor and thus the policy may increase aggregate welfare but do little to reduce inequality, and may make it worse (even as it floats all boats to some extent).

I think you mean captured by the rich?

Link to post
Share on other sites

My contention, like Freidman's, is more or less that some level of redistribution may alleviate the worst cases of poverty and in so doing actually improve the general stability/resilience of society and thus actually lead to increased output. However, that increased output is very likely to be captured by the subsidised poor and thus the policy may increase aggregate welfare but do little to reduce inequality, and may make it worse (even as it floats all boats to some extent).

In general, genuine economic growth as a similar effect, to float all boats but the rich more than the poor (thanks to compounding returns). This may raise all living standards and boost inequality at the same time.

Inflation, growth, and redistribution are all elements that lead to this similar results?Can we suggest different outcomes for all three or do they all lead back into the same oscillating cycle?

Link to post
Share on other sites

For the sake of argument we could say that "wealth" is the individual's ability to escape from the forced element. The more "wealth" you have, the less you have to submit to the force. The more "wealth" you have, the more you can do whatever you fancy without being imposed upon.

?

Under this system of forced association, the more "wealth" you have the more ability you have to force other people to do what you want.

Whereas if you remove the force, all wealth does is let you offer things to people, which they are free to refuse. Price mechanism again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.