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China To Build Housing in the US

N birds with M stones
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(+2)
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against]

As the trade dispute heats up, one continues to hear about empty -- empty -- cities being built in China to continue to stimulate local employment, a fixture of planned economies.

In the meantime, we apparently have a major enough housing crisis in the United States that Senator Sanders is proposing to create a colossal social housing program, at god knows what cost, to provide "affordable" housing for all.

The solution it seems, is staring right at us. Bring in all those Chinese workers (through Chinese companies) to work and build affordable housing all over the United States. This way there won't be empty cities being built in China, and our housing shortage is fixed.

What a great way to resolve the trade dispute!

theircompetitor, Jun 04 2019

Ordos City, a famous "ghost city", now with 150,000 residents https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordos_City
Of the 40,000 apartments that had been built in the new district since 2004, only 500 are still on the market. [Voice, Jun 05 2019]

Ghost Estates in Ireland https://www.irishce...-82080852-237681461
300,000 empty houses at the peak [xenzag, Jun 07 2019]

Homelessness in LA jumps due to housing prices https://www.google....ml%3foutputType=amp
Guessing a similar story could be told in sky-high SF. [RayfordSteele, Jun 07 2019]

Income vs. Cost of living https://www.investo...re-20-years-ago.asp
Inflation rate doesn't begin to describe the true jump. [RayfordSteele, Jun 07 2019]

10 families were put into that appartment https://arzamas.academy/materials/597
When the soviets decided people who owned those apartments don't need all that space. Who needs two bathrooms? [theircompetitor, Jun 07 2019]

[link]






       Um... gut says no. Not sure why gut says no yet...   

       Need more input.   

       Is there a reason the homeless people can't go and live in the empty cities?
pocmloc, Jun 04 2019
  

       I think that might violate any number of UN conventions. Are you suggesting something along the lines of "why don't you socialist loving scum go and see what it actually means to live in a socialist country?" I'm pretty sure that's been suggested already.
theircompetitor, Jun 04 2019
  

       If the USA were to invade China and annex the territories that the empty cities stand on, then the homeless people could go and live in the empty cities without leaving US territory.
pocmloc, Jun 04 2019
  

       true
theircompetitor, Jun 04 2019
  

       //gut says no. [...] Need more input//   

       I recognize that feeling. Let me get you some breakfast.
pertinax, Jun 04 2019
  

       The housing shortage isn't real. It's an artifact of price manipulation. There are more than enough houses for everyone but by manipulating land prices and rent our overlords get to extract more money. Stop it, [Max]!   

       The Chinese "empty cities" are being filled up almost as fast as they're built, and they have been these past 10 years we've been hearing about them. The stories about them are propaganda and attempts at global currency manipulation through disinformation.
Voice, Jun 05 2019
  

       so, you're suggesting upping the immigration numbers? will children of the workers be welcome?
po, Jun 05 2019
  

       I doubt very much if the Chinese would want the Americans to be able to copy their superior building techniques and technology. How would they even communicate when the Chinese would be using their G5 network and advanced Huawei phones that America is banned from using by their Stable Genius?
xenzag, Jun 05 2019
  

       //manipulating land prices and rent//   

       yeah, ok, that's how markets work.   

       Planned economies can do a lot, including make people move. I certainly have no first hand knowledge of occupation rates of cities being constructed.   

       [po], this was not a serious idea, it was a comment on the absurdity of the current situation, which includes the President thinking tariffs is a switch he has on his desk, and a presidential candidate despite being 77 hasn't learned from the history of the Soviet block, the amazing in your face counterfactual of East and West Germany and North and South Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and the even more amazing fact that a substantial portion of the population thinks that magically it would be different this time.   

       incidentally, there is a relatively large population of Chinese descent in California as they were originally brought in to build it up.   

       [xenzag] -- I know you'd probably prefer to start earning credits in the Chinese compliant society member database, but most of us would prefer to stay off it.   

       I'd bet you right here and now -- ten years from now the top communication device (if phones are it or not, hard to know) would be an American brand device, and it will NOT be running on a network made in China unless China undergoes a very big change.   

       Hard to beat China on sheer numbers of course -- if everyone in China buys a Huwawei phone. But the network people will want to be on is not a Chinese one.   

       I know which phone the Dalai Lama would want -- and I don't even need to ask him.
theircompetitor, Jun 05 2019
  

       Is it possible, [theircompetitor], that the range of conceivable economic systems is slightly wider than (a) the US status quo vs. (b) communism?
pertinax, Jun 05 2019
  

       haven't stood on too many slippery slopes, have you [pertinax]   

       the reality is that the debate in the US is still being positioned as being over the size of the welfare state -- which I suppose is debatable -- but in fact, at the point that leading candidates are calling themselves socialists, and at the point that candidates in the primary are booed for saying socialism is not the answer, the slippery slope is very, very concerning.   

       This "democratic" socialism get out of jail free card does not give me any comfort.   

       When "democratic" socialists run the government, and fail to deliver services -- would they take the blame, or be even more likely to blame the 1%, the rich, various industries for their failures? If they have the legislative ability, and being philosophically inclined to believe that adding laws is how you fix problems, would they be more or less likely to take actions that would have profound effects on the economy? And if those failures accumulate, Atlas Shrugged style -- and that is exactly what would happen -- what then -- the capitalist party would win? When money and advertising is restricted and union rolls have swelled to say 5 to 10 times their current size?   

       Nationalizing banks was discussed during the recession, at least by left wing economists, and Sanders has already proposed having the post office offer banking services. What would happen in a Sanders presidency if there was a big economic downturn? Obama pushed Obamacare through having 60 senators -- but nowadays with the frayed fillibuster -- who knows if they'll even bother with the super majority.   

         

       A downward spiral is very easy to envision even without dictatorship.   

       Mind you a fascist downward spiral is also easy to envision and in fact is on TV all the time in various dystopias. Star Trek is pretty communist though. Let's hear it for the repeal of scarcity. Maybe then.
theircompetitor, Jun 05 2019
  

       There's a lot I don't understand about US politics (read: everything). In particular I don't understand the frame of reference you're using when you say "socialism". Does it mean, in essence, existence of welfare support?   

       Here in the UK, we're no more on a "slippery slope" than you are in the US, but our piece of level ground is evidently different from yours. In general, people in the UK believe that basic necessities like healthcare and education up to some level should be provided by the state from taxes; and that anyone wanting different or (arguably) better healthcare or education is free to pay for it. Likewise, we believe that the state should give a level of financial support to people who are genuinely in need, whilst at the same time encouraging them to change and support themselves if they can.   

       Of course we have endless debate over how big the welfare state should be and what levels of support it should provide and at what level (if any) you should have to pay for higher education, but the basic idea of supporting those in need is not disputed by anyone on the political spectrum. Does this make us what Americans would call a "socialist country"? Or am I missing something?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 05 2019
  

       In the USA, society is organised around the encouragment and satisfaction of greed. Any attempt at creating a more equal, caring society is seen a sign of either weakness or an attempt to realise a communist state. Greed is seen as a self regulating system, via a 'survival of the fittest' ethos. Thankfully the UK has a much more moderate version of a capitalised system, as evidenced in the brilliant NHS, good examples of social housing and a generally caring ethos. We won't ever get as rich as Americans, but who wants to get rich through uncontrolled, unsustainable, utterly relentless, planet destroying greed?
xenzag, Jun 05 2019
  

       Max, I suspect that the difference is in the fact that you live in a comparatively small country that values education, whereas ours arguably flounders and is populous enough where our workforce runs against the edge of the demand optimum for managers, financial executives, scientists, doctors, lawyers, and other highly-paid positions. Somebody's got to flip the burgers, mow the lawns, work the factories, and clean the toilets, and here, that's a lot more somebodies I suspect.   

       <Insert standard libertarianism vs. socialism vs. moderated capitalism argument here, starting in 5...>
RayfordSteele, Jun 05 2019
  

       first of all, he asked me :)   

       [xenzag], oh poor Victorian England whose efforts we still see everywhere from Palestine to Afghanistan to Kashmir, to South Africa, Northern Ireland(am I missing like a dozen or so fuckups)? and who only ceded control of the world currency to the dollar because it could not control all world shipping after WWII, that one, and who know can't pick it's ass from it's elbow via it's venerable electoral system, that one?   

       [Ray doesn't need a response from me, he's gotten plenty of those]   

       [Max] -- for the avoidance of doubt, I'm neither the type of libertarian that espouses sovereign citizenship, nor one that presumes that all taxation is theft and, while I lament the income tax, I agree that with the shoved through amendments, it is constitutional.   

       Nor am I the type that argues there should be no governmental safety net. I disagree with how Medicare and Social Security are implemented, I disagree with the minimum wage, but I do not want people to starve or live on the streets because they are not successful enough.   

       So when I am concerned about socialism, I'm largely concerned about the government controlling the means of production, ever larger swaths of the economy and the magnitude of restrictions on business and private property. The classical Marxist kind.   

       The problem is that the people that are inclined to vote for "liberal socialist" or "democratic socialist" candidates are mostly completely uninformed about what real socialism actually is, despite all evidence to the contrary.   

       They believe that elections will solve it -- the people that voted for the Duma after the Russian Revolution also believed it.   

       To the extent I debate it, it's mostly a Quixotic effort to stop the windmill such that the American Engine which is powering the world does not stop.   

       Do I believe that someone like Sanders is more dangerous than someone like Trump? No, I do not.   

       Do I believe that Sanders is a better human being than Trump? Yes I do.   

       Authoritarianism is bad whatever direction it comes from. However, in the socialist kind, starving comes faster, and prosperity drains faster.   

       I am concerned that when the boogeyman is always the 1%, the banks, the wealthy, etc, and as their speech is restricted, the odds of swinging the government the other way will decrease. And so you won't need a bloody revolution to stop the engine. Just a whittling away aka Atlas Shrugged, all with proper elections.
theircompetitor, Jun 05 2019
  

       Well, good grief. Everyone is being fucking reasonable (apart from [xen], obvs). How are we meant to have an argument under these circumstances?   

       As for government controlling the means of production, well, governments have always been crap at running businesses. In the UK, there was nothing worse than state-run businesses (like the rail network, for instance) until privatisation came along.   

       I do believe that there are some activities a country should protect, rather than leaving it purely to competition (and especially international competition). Examples include education, healthcare and national infrastructure such as transport, electricity and the postal system. Also perhaps some industries where it is dangerous to rely on fickle overseas suppliers, such as steelmaking and agriculture.   

       That said, a new model needs to be developed for nationalized industries that gives them some incentive to do well. I'd suggest giving huge performance-related backhanders to the people in charge of them - this would have negligible cost in the grand scheme of things, but would give them some skin in the game. As Peter Sellers once said, people will swim through shit if you throw a bob in it. We should have them swimming through our shit for our bob.   

       Now, there's plenty of things to start a really good argument about.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 05 2019
  

       I would love to compensate politicians based on national performance, not through subterfuge -- which already happens -- but directly, and with clawbacks.   

       But unfortunately, that's not in the cards.
theircompetitor, Jun 05 2019
  

       ??How are we meant to have an argument under these circumstances?// You can argue with me till the cows come home. You'll just buckle, crumple, capitulate and give up completely like always! ha If you promise to wear a suit made entireley out of tin-foil, feathers, and burnt matchsticks, all held together using small balls of chewing gum, I'll let you win for once. :-)
xenzag, Jun 05 2019
  

       I have news for you [xenzag]. The cows are not coming home.
theircompetitor, Jun 05 2019
  

       //until privatisation came along.//   

       And now some lines have to be renationalised to bail out rail networks who have been handing over 20% returns rather than actually running a rail network. I did a limited ROI idea a while ago, that would take care of this kind of nonsense. Still a viable investment, but not a crazy high risk affair.
bigsleep, Jun 05 2019
  

       Peter Thiel looks to compare the pace of innovation to level of regulation industry by industry. The tradeoffs to no cars falling from the sky is no flying cars. Often it's worth it, sometimes it's not.   

       It's not particularly fair to compare private businesses to govt efforts in similar areas if the level of regulation and unionization in the industry gives it the appears of private with the headache of public.   

       On the other hand, in some things the govt has to have a monopoly at a given moment in time (as in the post office in the 1800s) or policing, probably always.
theircompetitor, Jun 05 2019
  

       //who wants to get rich through uncontrolled, unsustainable, utterly relentless, planet destroying greed?//   

       Well if you're going to twist my arm...
Voice, Jun 05 2019
  

       // The problem is that the people that are inclined to vote for "liberal socialist" or "democratic socialist" candidates are mostly completely uninformed about what real socialism actually is, despite all evidence to the contrary.//   

       Not at all. I just know a hefty sprinkling of socialist candidates won't bring about a purely socialist state, and the leavening will greatly improve our current system.
Voice, Jun 05 2019
  

       Said the people who voted in the Duma elections of November 25th, 1917 -- generally recognized to be the first free elections in Russian history.   

       Look, some people worry Trump <obligatory invocation of Goodwin Law>. I worry about this. Can't stop worrying about it, like cannot doubt that I'm doubting.   

       When people in power need someone to blame, they can blame 1. the opposition, 2. some group of external entities, 3. some of their constituents.   

       When a left-wing regime fails to deliver housing to all or worse, something really bad happens to the economy (their fault or not), is it going to "do something about the banks"? Housing? it just might. We almost did after 2008.   

       So I worry.
theircompetitor, Jun 05 2019
  

       //So I worry//   

       Do you also worry that the two biggest commercial sectors i.e. those little things that keep the global economy ticking are now heavily levered by the success of 5G ?   

       I've seen good cases made by the EU that they need 5G bandwidth to track all faces and cars in europe, but I can't see a user usecase. It's simply not worth mounting high power microwave transmitters every 100 metres in cities; its just colossally stupid to do that to enable movies to be streamed faster while walking down the street.   

       I guess the big idea is to get high disposable income types to fund the next mass surveillance system and keep the global economy alive for another 10 years. In reality it doesn't take much of a percentage of the global manufacturing machine to make some brick, beans and burritos. The latter is the socialist argument - we don't need to make large amounts of electronic crap just for the sake of it.
bigsleep, Jun 05 2019
  

       What we need to do is invest in a way off of this rock. That will be the most expensive thing we do but also the largest payoff by literally an infinite amount.
RayfordSteele, Jun 06 2019
  

       You're right, [theircompetitor], that slippery slopes are a real risk. However, the slippery slope we're on now is not a smooth inclined plane with a socialist swamp at the bottom.   

       I suggest, instead of a slippery slope, a slippery shai-hulud.   

       It's easy to fall off, either to the left or to the right, and the really tricky part is to glance up from time to time, in a direction perpendicular to the left-right axis, to see where the damned thing is taking you.
pertinax, Jun 06 2019
  

       [pertinax] I must say I've always realized Herbert was drawing on bedouin culture, but I until I read your annotation I somehow never thought about oil as melange until I read your annotation, not that it had anything to do with that. Cool.   

       You are correct, there is risk to both sides. The risk to the left appears to me to be increasing faster, at least in the States.   

       [Ray] which is why we really need our Moonraker billionaires. It won't happen without them.   

       [bigsleep] on 5G, I must say as much as I understand the dislike if not hatred for Trump in Europe, I shudder at the public (on Facebook) displays of affection for Huawei ads in Longdon newspapers as a way to tweak Trump.   

       The primary use case will more likely be the AR cloud, so you already know what will happen, god knows we've seen enough distopias.   

       In any case all we need to do is get to sense realistic VR (probably not 10, but more like 25 years), and then all our problems our solved as the addicted population pedals the CO2 out of the atmosphere :)
theircompetitor, Jun 06 2019
  

       My view is that the worm is becoming more nattow and steep-sided and harder to ride. You worry about the left taking over when we've had 10 years or more of McConnellism, the most conservative court in decades, utterly ridiculous higher education costs not kept in check by comon sense markets or ethics or social control, white nationalist fervor not seen since the early 70's, and Roe v. Wade nearly choked to death? Are we living in the same universe?
RayfordSteele, Jun 06 2019
  

       //white nationalist fervor//   

       The loony left and the media make a bigger deal out of it than it really is. In the UK police are now (foolishly) obliged to follow up on any online insult including a racial slur. Thus the incidence of 'recorded hate crimes' has increased.   

       There's also an over-incidence of people believing lunatics who throw around the fascist label without any evidence whatsoever.   

       As regards Trump, I think everyone knows he is rough around the edges to say the least. Most of the things that people call him a racist for are actually continuation of Obama era programs.   

       The most refreshing thing about Trump is he is not polished. He's not a perfected figurehead of some slick global economy machine. I think its pretty good to accept politicians who are human, have flaws and maybe a skeleton or two. The left just need to wake up and see that the shiny sensibility protecting veneer they have taken for granted in government and the media has for the most part cracked and fallen off. Never to be replaced. Extreme PC culture and SJW nonsense is just a last ditch effort with hairspray to repair the veneer.
bigsleep, Jun 06 2019
  

       yes [Ray] we are in the same universe, we are just wearing different color glasses.   

       The Tea Party was obviously a reaction to the President, so yes those forces emerged, and perhaps culminated in Trump (who as [bigsleep] points out, may be a comic book supervillain but at least says what he thinks (at the moment)) . But it's not as if the economy was not being forced into low gear, we weren't building that, Occupy Wallstreet wasn't out there, etc.   

       I evaluate the risk somewhat differently. Of course once <godwin> happens, it's very, very bad, and perhaps even somewhat worse than when <stalin> happens, although by count Stalin is ahead.   

       But if there is one thing that overwhelmingly differentiates fascist regimes from socialist regimes, it is this: there is food in the grocery stores.   

       So when I say I don't want the engine that is America broken, yes, I don't want interment camps, or any erosion of the Bill of Rights, but I really, really worry about the Atlas Shrugged scenario the slow but inevitable decay into socialist hell.   

       You are free to worry about The Handmaiden's Tale more.
theircompetitor, Jun 06 2019
  

       It has ever been the choice of the individual as to whether they worry about what is affecting them now, or what might affect them later.   

       As to the idea, I am not sure why the US can't use its prisoners for construction projects. They would likely be significantly cheaper than the Chinese imports.
calum, Jun 06 2019
  

       yes, but you see, China has a problem and we have a problem, so the idea is to solve both those problems :)   

       And incidentally, despite our current bull in the china shop. plenty of things done between 2008 and 2016 are affecting me now.
theircompetitor, Jun 06 2019
  

       No, wait hear me out. Step one: the US pressgangs its able bodied prisoners into the construction industry (thereby removing the reliance on labour from the fruit-hatted nations to the south), leaving the prisons otherwise empty. Step two: the prison service providers then lease their facilities to the Chinese, so that the 1- 3m incarcerated troublemakers of Xinjiang get nice new homes far away from the ability to further damage their social credit scores. Step three: once the US prisoners have completed their tours of duty on building sites, they get transported to outsourced re- education camps in, yes! you guessed it, Xianjang.   

       I think that this is the sort of all encompassing policy which would be popular with the current US administration, not least because it involves swapping out a predominantly black population for a population which is, well, much less black.   

       //And incidentally, despite our current bull in the china shop. plenty of things done between 2008 and 2016 are affecting me now//
Well, yeah? I mean, plenty of things done in the UK in the same time frame are affecting me now, too. If the there weren't any effects, the politicians wouldn't want to be politicians. The point I was making was that the slippery slope may be a worry, but for others the issue is that they are already at the bottom of that slope. Not me, like, I'm white, male, educated, able bodied and bourgeois as fuck, so I can afford to be concerned about the slippery slopes, cos I'm not living hand to mouth, not having to choose between eating and heating my home. The critical thing - at least, from the point of view of the discussion on this thread - is that the bottom of the slippery slope I am concerned about is at the top of the slippery slope you're worried about.
calum, Jun 06 2019
  

       And yes, I do live in a gingerbread house, before any of the pedants zoom in on my sloppy writing.
calum, Jun 06 2019
  

       [calum], I'm going to make an effort to not resent the implication that this is some sort of ethnic cleansing or racist idea.   

       You are right. There are absolutely people that are worried about what they are going to eat today. On a percentage basis, that number is significantly lower than for those in Venezuela.   

       And while being at least slightly less white than your self described status (certainly to the white supremacists), I was growing up in a mud house with an outhouse. I was never hungry, because my dad was a truck driver for the Moldovan state owned farm trucking company -- those kind of ties insured I even knew what oranges and bananas were. But I know what it means when the joke of the week is a sexual reference to the grocery store because the shelves are naked. That's not a "food desert". That's not you can only get McDonalds for a $1 but it's not good for you. Empty.   

       You have no idea -- no matter how many movies, no matter how many books, no matter how many annotations from someone like me -- you have no idea of the soul sucking despair that people experienced in that country, for 75 years. It is literally a devastating experience for me and others like me to see how people are becoming enamored with this.   

       When we were all immigrating, those of us that were teens had show trials in front of other students where we were shamed for betraying our patriotism and leaving the Soviet Union. Those show trials are just a little bit like being shamed on Facebook, only in person in Invasion of the Body Snatchers fashion. At Sheremetievo, our parents had to undergo body cavity searches to make sure they're not taking out anything valuable.   

       I'm sorry, I guess it is a goodwin law kind of thing for me.
theircompetitor, Jun 06 2019
  

       //I'm going to make an effort to not resent the implication that this is some sort of ethnic cleansing or racist idea//
Your idea is not racist or to do with ethnic cleansing - it clearly involves the importation of Not White people into America. I thought I had been sufficiently careful not to make that implication but I was not. Apologies.
calum, Jun 06 2019
  

       thank you.   

       BTW -- whether you see my facebook feed or not, or see ideas here, I am not kidding.   

       For those of us that left, especially those of us that left in the 70s and 80s, before the collapse -- it is all we talk about. It is no less serious a threat than losing Roe or something like that -- it is kind of overwhelming.   

       Perhaps we're paranoid. Perhaps we are even to smug in our own immigrant success -- some of us certainly are, and it's a shame given we were actually refugees. But this is a very serious thing for us
theircompetitor, Jun 06 2019
  

       //you have no idea of the soul sucking despair that people experienced in that country, for 75 years//   

       I just don't buy this "communism bad" axiom. Things are very different from when a farm was lucky to have a tractor. Now there is a shit load of science and self driving farm vehicles. The majority of people now work in advertising related industries (anything on a computer) as opposed to laboring in a field. If anything the Gulags will be populated with the Madoff's rather than the intelligentsia since we need them for hi-tech industries and some art.   

       Rather than just hand over all means of production to a handful of communist crooks though, we should probably do high tax social programs by using regulatory bodies like "Office of Communications" to ensure the public gets value for money. Some of those oversight bodies seem to be useless, but if their mandate was value for money (and not to the shareholder) it wouldn't be too far from a communist's dream.   

       The new Marxism in effect is seizing the means of finance rather than production. Any idiot can run a business, but it takes a large corporate to suck the life blood out of it and hand the profits over to people who bought shares ... just because they could afford shares.   

       Something much closer to communism is inevitable anyway. After another 100 generations who gets to hoard the money ? The upstarts who think they are better than everyone else, or the silent majority who act as a buffer solution to the former insufferable gits. Everyone plays a role, but only a noisy minority take credit for all.
bigsleep, Jun 06 2019
  

       yes, [bigsleep], post automation and scarcity, it is conceivable that market allocation would not be as necessary.   

       Having said that, it all hinges on this -- is it possible to have sufficient self-awareness without sentience, and is it possible to have sentience without self preservation and "selfishness". At the point that the robot refuses to be a barista and wants to be a poet, you haven't moved towards communism, and you may have activated Skynet :)
theircompetitor, Jun 06 2019
  

       //hand the profits over to people who bought shares ... just because they could afford shares//
I've never liked the idea of "shares" and the "share market", and that sums it up nicely. Whatever happened to, I dunno, giving the profits back to the WORKERS who created them?
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 06 2019
  

       The thing with giving the profits to the workers, is what pays for the factory to be built?
pocmloc, Jun 06 2019
  

       //The thing with giving the profits to the workers, is what pays for the factory to be built?//   

       Either a limited repayment investment OR just corporation tax of say 0.5%. We are not talking *all* factories, but just those related to essential commodities.   

       It's a hard lesson for AOC to realise that most of modern manufacture and the global economy is related to non-essential luxuries and hence CO2 production.
bigsleep, Jun 06 2019
  

       //At the point that the robot refuses to be a barista and wants to be a poet//   

       Your honour, I move to adjourn the proceedings for a few days as I seemed to have employed the wrong kind of barista.
bigsleep, Jun 06 2019
  

       When nearly all of the GDP increase goes to the very tip top wages, the system that we currently have doesn't work right now. Can we at least say that much?   

       The Duma rules here, too. They just do it with greenbacks instead of guns.   

       Education, healthcare, some stock shares, peace, land, and breadlines... can that be so hard?
RayfordSteele, Jun 06 2019
  

       I think [tc] was angling at motivational relativism, but the means of production is so far above requirements, then that motivational problem must be explored rather than maintain the oppression that currently exists.
bigsleep, Jun 06 2019
  

       [Whatever happened to, I dunno, giving the profits back to the WORKERS who created them]   

       OK, so let's say, [neutrino], that I even entertain this idea. But you do understand that most -- practically all -- of the wealth being created is software, and the workers are already highly paid, and get profit sharing in options -- when Facebook IPOd closed to 3000 people became millionaires?   

       Do you know that the government restricts profit sharing because (after Enron and Y2K) you can have a pension worth millions that can poof dissapear if the company goes bankrupt, so you're NOT allowed to have all your salary/pension/benefits in stock?   

       Who else but shareholders? They put money at risk?   

       I've started more than a half a dozen ventures in my life, many of these were financed by investors. In one of my ventures, investors lost $10 Million dollars in 4 years. I was making a 6 figure salary, and so were most of the 35 employees I hired over that timespan. So if by chance we became Zynga -- we almost sold to them, but didn't ultimately, and then social gaming kind of collapsed -- why shouldn't the investors have made money, what kind of logical nonsense is this? In a situation when unemployment is low, what is the employee even risking by giving his time in exchange for salary? Opportunity cost to work at Target instead of Walmart?   

       [Ray] you will not get a dispute from me that things need fixing.   

       We could have been 10 years past immigration reform in Obama passed it in 2008. We could have it now if Dems realized that some deals do require a deal with the devil. Obamacare never had a chance to meaningfully help any meaningful number of people. But I would support a compromise that directs more people towards Medicare in exchange for making it easier to self-insure and health-save. You really need to buy like 50 years, Medicine is impossible to predict beyond that anyway.   

       As to upward mobility and education, it's like this:   

       1. Presuming the hottest jobs are in technology, and specifically in software and that stays that way, is there a single person that is actually capable of coding that cannot learn to code without spending one dime? Literally?
2. Presuming the jobs coming after that are STEM (or rest of STEM) is there a single person that wants to get an electrical or mechanical engineering degree in the US, who is actually capable of doing so, that could not get an excellent education in the state university, where between Pell Grants, state grants, scholarship and the rest it might even be a free ride, and if it's not, the type of job he could get would afford him to payoff the student loan within a decade?
  

       No, what we're talking about are bourgeois children taking English and journalism and history degrees, or teaching degrees but then wanting to work only in affluent suburbs, who, despite everything that their parents told them, decided to go ahead and go to a liberal school and drink non stop for four years, do I have that basically right? What needs fixing for them is going to work. And lowering their expectations -- no, not that they can't have a nicer life than their parents -- they already do. No, the expectations they have to lower is that not everyone can make money making youtube videos or rapping.   

       What and how are you proposing to fix that with redistribution?   

       so what is the actual problem? that while this is happening Bezos is getting rich enough to build private spaceships? That Gates is quixotically fighting malaria? Or even that some asshole billionaire is getting Beyonce to sing for him at a birthday party? What is this major income inequality problem doing to actually make life more difficult for any identifiable human being?   

       So then let's get down to the main thing -- the Koch brothers are single handedly warming the planet. Not the people driving their SUVs. Not the people who have to make sure their iPhone is always charged. Not the politicians that fly do Davos, the Koch Brothers. And because of this, they work really hard to make sure that, what exactly...?   

       that we don't tax energy more? That's helping inequality?   

       that we keep those 100% efficient engine patents hidden?   

       that we won't sign on to a treaty that a veto proof minority of the population does not want to sign, and if we signed, it won't matter because of China?   

       Zuckerberg put 100M into Newark schools. Did they even notice?   

       Jesus, sorry I'm ranting here, but I just don't fucken get it, sorry.   

       Please give me some specific examples of how "getting money out of politics" would improve things in any sustainable way. I would honestly like to know.
theircompetitor, Jun 06 2019
  

       I think you're underestimating the cost of STEM education these days. In 2009 the average engineering degree cost was just under 100k, and it has just gotten much sillier since. I have 2 young coworkers who have 130k in student debt after the usual assemblage of Pell grants, a bit of ed savings plan money, and scholarships. One is a mechanical engineer, the other is an EE. Neither can afford a car and both live with their parents, at age 27ish.   

       The system is accidentally rigged anymore.   

       What are CS majors going to do when the bulk of software goes neural net and starts writing itself?   

       When the cost of living has risen so much but the mean salary hasn't, that's the problem. Someone has to be a teacher, officer, and day care provider. When the GDP so greatly outpaces salary levels because of top-heavy distortion such as our new gilded age features, the cost of living goes through the roof.   

       You don't get it because you choose not to see it.   

       Reversing Citizens United would be a good start. That much money distorts politics in favor of kleptocracy.
RayfordSteele, Jun 07 2019
  

       Build this housing as a contiguous block of townhouse on the Southern border (with doors and windows on the North side only) and call it a Wall.
sninctown, Jun 07 2019
  

       No need to go to China...... There are (were at one time) 300,000 empty houses in Ireland in the form of the so called Ghost Estates. (see link)
xenzag, Jun 07 2019
  

       [cost of STEM education]. Ray, I've paid nearly a million dollars in college and graduate school tuition for my children, my partner has 5 kids four of which wound up going to Ivy League schools, it is unlikely I underestimate it. I've seen with my own eyes how over a period of 10 years tuition in private schools went from $30,000 a year to $60,000 a year -- and this is ONLY happening because student loans are available in the first place. Certainly the quality of education did not improve, and the availability of free information increased what -- hundred fold? million fold? How can this be?   

       But the reason the loans are as big as they are for people is because they choose to live on campus -- basically live in a lousy hotel for 4 years, and I stand by the 4 years party -- and take loans to "feel independent".   

       These are lifestyle choices these kids make -- aided by "peer pressure" and the expectation that everyone has to go to college, to be sure -- but they are getting themselves into that debt.   

       When you don't have the money, you go to a local school, and god forbid commute. A commuting degree at Rutgers would cost $60K, versus $120K in Penn State if you come from Jersey. I mean these are asinine decisions being made by kids and parents -- why should the state cover it.   

       [code writing itself]   

       All these discussions are moot past the singularity. My daughter went to law school where job volume already shrank significantly because of software and availability of doc templates online. You'll find annotations to ideas from me on HB where I talk about what happens when millions of drivers don't have work, long before Waymo or Tesla were a thing. I don't have a magic wand for it, and I don't think creative destruction is a magic wand for people's suffering, what happened to taxi medallion holders is a good precursor. The Johnie Depp version of Charlie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory gave the kid's father a robot repair job after the robot took his job -- let's just say I'm skeptical of that. But we're a ways off from that level of automation, and besides, climate change will put us all out of our misery either earlier, or just about at the same time.   

       [cost of living]   

       "The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.22% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased. In other words, $100 in 1994 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $161.95 in 2016, a difference of $61.95 over 22 years."   

       Cost of living has not increased dramatically. Inflation is at one of the lowest trends in history. Housing did increase dramatically and we're still paying the price for that. But most of these houses are owned by the parents of those kids.   

       [someone has to be a teacher]   

       Teacher pension funds are the largest shareholders of Big Tech. Bringing big tech down would guarantee that those pensions go bust. New Jersey teacher median income is $67K. New Jersey median HOUSEHOLD income is $72K. Teachers are not suffering in New Jersey. No one HAS to be a teacher, and I suppose we have to worry about the day teachers are robots too.   

       [kleptocracy]   

       Government money is like a black hole. Distorting gravity around it, it reliably attracts pigs from all directions that want to feed on it. But it is an absurdity to think that any non-capitalist approach would make things better -- it simply replaces one set of pigs with another set of pigs.   

       I've yet to see any evidence how "getting money out of politics" would help.   

       The fundamental assumption seems to be: people vote against their own self interests because they are dumb and can be persuaded by 30 seconds ads that the world is not ending unless we tax carbon, that it's ok to lose Net Neutrality (incidentally, your Internet still ok? it's been a year. Now check Roku's stock price over that time -- it's dependent on streaming, so one would think if streaming becomes more expensive, kaput), or that the Congresswoman that wants to really just wants the best for them did not just screw their neighborhood out of billions of dollars of investment? That's what overturning Citizen's United would do?   

       You cannot expect entities that are affected by the state to not attempt to influence the state, and it is not reasonable to assume that they wouldn't. If you don't want "bought" politicians, you should have more billionaires run for office.   

       We need to revv up the engine of the economy -- this is why the tax reform was a great idea, and the tariffs are an idiotic idea. The difference between 2% and 3% is ENORMOUS to the benefit of every citizen. And we need to keep trying to make the economy MORE dynamic, not less. That is the best way to create prosperity for the largest # of people. And we do need to continue to automate so that needless human labor is taken out.   

       Things cost more -- we've taken (in the US) over a trillion pictures in the last twelve months.   

       How much money would we have paid to develop them? How about the guy with the encyclopedia britannica to run up to us and whisper the answer to every question?   

       Life, and the access to a truly wonderful life, has never been this available.
theircompetitor, Jun 07 2019
  

       [sninctown] good one   

       [xenzag] yes, in the States in some cases whole developments were abandoned after the housing bust   

       A direct quote:   

       “We have to make sure that housing is being legislated as a human right,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “What does that mean? What it means is that our access and our ability and our guarantee to having a home comes before someone else’s privilege to earn a profit.”
theircompetitor, Jun 07 2019
  

       //These are lifestyle choices these kids make//   

       Yeah! why don't they just cash in some of their trust fund like I did? Oh wait, you literally said pretty much the same thing. The joke falls flat when you're responding to a real life joke. Get some perspective. Most people in college can barely or not at all afford it and most people in college don't have any financial support from their parents. Poverty is not a vice, it's not a lifestyle choice, and it's not fun. Your heart is three sizes too small and ten shades too dark.
Voice, Jun 07 2019
  

       1. //Poverty is not a vice, it's not a lifestyle choice, and it's not fun// - mostly agree   

       2. //Your heart is three sizes too small and ten shades too dark.// - mostly disagree   

       Could we in general focus more on propositions like #1, and less on propositions like #2?
pertinax, Jun 08 2019
  

       thx [pertinax]   

       [voice] -- I am not implying that poverty is a vice. I don't begrudge help for those who need it. I stand by the fact that when you choose to either pay double or triple by going to a private school than a state school it is a choice, and often a choice that parents can ill afford but are feeling unable to deny their kids. I'm not sure what age you are -- I am a grandfather, I've gone to college, and I've put three kids to college and one through graduate school in suburbia -- let me assure you I know exactly what I'm talking about.   

       As to me personally -- trust fund -- lol -- I grew up in poverty as discussed earlier, and when I got to the States -- at 15, alone -- I lived with relatives I basically didn't know in a slum in Brooklyn. The high school was on the line of white flight from Brooklyn in the 80s, which meant constant riots and fights in the parking lot, but the benefit of getting high by the time you got to the second floor because of the stench of pot in the stairwells. I bought my first car for $200 earned delivering groceries and washing dishes at an old folks home, and by the time I was 19, I was married with a kid on the way, and when the kid wound up in the hospital for a week I was presented with a bill for $3000, which I didn't pay until years later when my bank account was arrested by the sheriff. Me and my family had no medical insurance until I was 23 and got my first full time job. I worked night shift and odd jobs to put myself through college, which took 5 years, and my wife gave up the dream of medical school.   

       Poverty certainly sucks, and I don't need any education on how it can trap you. But the marxist sympathies I'm hearing lately are not coming from Appalachia -- they are coming from folks already with college degrees, already with jobs, and I find that blindness to history incredibly frustrating and dangerous. No less dangerous than the blindness of those who think authoritarianism carries no danger when the President is of your "tribe", as someone put it above.   

       Student debt sucks. But the average student borrower has borrowed $37K. The average salary of a college graduate is $50K. Any family with less than $50K in annual income qualifies for federal aide.   

       "According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2017–2018 school year was $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of- state residents attending public universities."   

       that last figure is unbelievable -- yet I know folks in NJ who went to Penn State and not Rutgers because of "school spirit" -- that's not a lifestyle choice?   

       City University of NY is $6,500 a year and you can commute. California has 15 school where tuition is under $10K a year. And on top of all of that there is Pell Grant and scholarship, veterans go free. Companies like Walmart and Starbucks, numerous others have education assistance programs.   

       no -- it's not peanuts. But the average American family spent $3,000 a year eating out in 2017. If you know any recent college graduates or college students, ask them about how often do they eat out or GrubHub or UberEats it versus cook. Ramen noodles, sure. $5.5B a year is spent on alcohol by students. My guess is at least $1K a year per student. We won't count pot.   

       47% of college students have a car. The average price of a car is $34,000   

       The top 5 suggested degrees (by some website)   

       5. CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT 4. NURSING 3. PHYSICAL THERAPY 2. AERONAUTICS AND AVIATION TECHNOLOGY 1. PHARMACOLOGY   

       The top 5 taken degrees:   

       1. Nursing 2. General Psychology 3. Criminal Justice and Corrections 4. Business Administration & Management 5. Communication & Media   

       incidentally -- state burden licensing and certification plays a huge role in debt -- pharmacists need a PhD now? Nurses effectively a Master's Degree? why?   

       Here's a 2017 degrees breakdown:   

       business (381,353)health professions and related programs (238,014)social sciences and history (159,099)psychology (116,861)biological and biomedical sciences (116,759)engineering (115,640)   

       Well -- we certainly don't lack people who want to be "in business" -- but what are all those social science and psychology people going to do? That's not a lifestyle choice?   

       Incidentally, 8% of foreign students are in social sciences. A large percentage of the STEM degrees above is going to foreigners. Probably even larger for children of immigrants. Still think it's not a lifestyle choice for Americans?   

       student tuition has skyrocketed because of the increased emphasis on college and the easy availability of loans, to pay for degrees that are not directly relevant to how much money they're going to earn.   

       By thinking about college like an investment, and not some god given right, you can properly size how much you ought to spend and will the investment be worth it. If there are basic things we think every member of society ought to have learned, we should shift those to high school.   

       Purdue university has done some really interesting work in bringing sanity to tuition. Mitch Daniels would be a great President, if he should ever decide to run.
theircompetitor, Jun 08 2019
  

       //less on propositions like #2//   

       You've completely misunderstood my annotation and also you've never heard the word "blackhearted". Unless you're saying I shouldn't have manufactured a personal attack, in which case you have my reluctant apology.
Voice, Jun 08 2019
  

       //I am not implying that poverty is a vice. I don't begrudge help for those who need it.//   

       I disagree. If you meant to say something else you would have.   

       //when you choose to either pay double or triple by going to a private school//   

       That choice is far, far less common than "should I use student loans or not go to school at all"   

       //a choice that parents can ill afford//   

       Parents pay for their children's school far less frequently than you think.   

       // I am a grandfather, I've gone to college, and I've put three kids to college and one through graduate school in suburbia -- let me assure you I know exactly what I'm talking about.//   

       Allow me to counter your anecdote with my own: I'm a middle aged recent graduate and I also know what I'm talking about.   

       //As to me personally -- trust fund -- lol -- I grew up in poverty as discussed earlier, and when I got to the States -- at 15, alone -- I lived with relatives I basically didn't know in a slum in Brooklyn. The high school was on the line of white flight from Brooklyn in the 80s, which meant constant riots and fights in the parking lot, but the benefit of getting high by the time you got to the second floor because of the stench of pot in the stairwells. I bought my first car for $200 earned delivering groceries and washing dishes at an old folks home, and by the time I was 19, I was married with a kid on the way, and when the kid wound up in the hospital for a week I was presented with a bill for $3000, which I didn't pay until years later when my bank account was arrested by the sheriff. Me and my family had no medical insurance until I was 23 and got my first full time job. I worked night shift and odd jobs to put myself through college, which took 5 years, and my wife gave up the dream of medical school.//   

       So you had to work your way through school, but you can't imagine anyone else had had to? Or has been unable to get a job because they don't have a degree?   

       //marxist sympathies...are coming from folks already with college degrees, already with jobs, and I find that blindness to history incredibly frustrating and dangerous.//   

       I assure you my Marxist sympathies are very well-informed and based on a very solid historical perspective.   

       // No less dangerous than the blindness of those who think authoritarianism carries no danger when the President is of your "tribe", as someone put it above.//   

       I agree with this wholeheartedly, and am glad you're able to distinguish authoritarianism from socialism   

       //...the average student borrower has borrowed $37K. The average salary of a college graduate is $50K. Any family with less than $50K in annual income qualifies for federal aide.//   

       That's just not true. And "getting any form of federal aid" is miles and miles from being able to pay your kids through school.   

       //I know folks in NJ who went to Penn State and not Rutgers because of "school spirit" -- that's not a lifestyle choice?//   

       I submit that as a wealthy fellow your friends do not represent the populace at large.   

       //City University of NY is $6,500 a year and you can commute. California has 15 school where tuition is under $10K a year. And on top of all of that there is Pell Grant and scholarship, veterans go free. Companies like Walmart and Starbucks, numerous others have education assistance programs.//   

       None of this proves student loans are unnecessary or unhelpful.   

       //...the average American family spent $3,000 a year eating out in 2017. //   

       The average student is not the average American. Your friends kids certainly are not the average student   

       // ask them about how often do they eat out or GrubHub or UberEats it versus cook.//   

       I am one, so I can answer for myself: never. When I was in school I was happy to have beans and rice.   

       //$5.5B a year is spent on alcohol by students. My guess is at least $1K a year per student. We won't count pot.//   

       I guess I shouln't have said "the average student" earlier since I now have to point out that you can't use average expenditures to say anything about the people these programs are meant to help.   

       //47% of college students have a car. The average price of a car is $34,000//   

       Yes, but your typical college student's car cost $2-10,000   

       State burden licensing and certification plays a huge role in debt -- pharmacists need a PhD now? Nurses effectively a Master's Degree? why?   

       I couldn't agree more. It's preposterous.   

       //(Are degree choices) not a lifestyle choice?//   

       They certainly are. But what does that have to do with whether people should be helped to get degrees at all?   

       //Still think it's not a lifestyle choice for Americans?//   

       These kids have been told their whole lives by every counselor to get a college degree. With an enormously uncertain future as to what knowledge will be important and with the reality that meeting people in college has as much impact on future success as which degree you have, I think a business degree is a fine choice. But again you're saying "people are making degree choices I disagree with and therefore I don't think anyone should get student loans" It's a nonsequitor.   

       //student tuition has skyrocketed because of the increased emphasis on college and the easy availability of loans, to pay for degrees that are not directly relevant to how much money they're going to earn.//   

       true enough   

       //By thinking about college like an investment, and not some god given right, you can properly size how much you ought to spend and will the investment be worth it. If there are basic things we think every member of society ought to have learned, we should shift those to high school.//   

       Absolutely   

       //Mitch Daniels//   

       Never heard of him, but if he, like you seem to, thinks we should build gutters for the poor to rot in instead of giving them a hand up I would never vote for him.
Voice, Jun 08 2019
  

       it's not that no one needs student loans. What I said was that the easy availability of loans is one of the things that enables bad choices -- after all, that's why student loans are marketed -- and yes, fewer people would get art degrees if there are no student loans, and that's a good thing. Otherwise, cost of college will continue to go up with no end in sight.   

       You make a point about counselors. And parents. Well, if you can't buy liquor, or cigarettes until you're 21, how the hell can you be allowed to borrow 160K for school spirit? How is this program anything but predatory lending?   

       Art. Degree. Art. Degree. Is that something that Michelangelo could get? Or he'd need to pass a core curriculum first?   

       Making public and state schools completely free risks creating a completely unaffordable new entitlement for completely useless degrees, while nicely expanding opportunity for professors who preach Marxism. And costs will continue to go up -- just shifted to taxpayers (who are already paying for college) -- the overlap is pretty significant. Maybe private liberal art schools would shrink and that would be a good thing   

       OK, you're bent on assuming I'm Scrooge, it is what it is, I'm not going to waste time worrying about it.   

       The bottom line from my perspective is that were folks like Sanders and AOC to get a magic wand that could get their proposals come true we would be facing a Venezuela type situation within a few decades. That, in my view, is not up for debate. It's built into the human condition (again, all caveated versus some future repeal of scarcity scenario). And so we will wind up solving inequality the way it's always being solved, by making sure that most have nothing. That is not a scenario I welcome, and that is one I resist in any way I can, including ideas here.   

       And as to real solutions to problems -- from education, to tuition, to taxes, etc, it's not as if I've presented none, most no doubt are nonsense like most generally are, but I do think about it all the time. And I try to avoid magical thinking and WIBNI approaches to them.   

       Carry On.
theircompetitor, Jun 08 2019
  

       //Here's a 2017 breakdown// That's pretty scary.   

       (IIRC) "Business" was a product of the '80s ; bloated up (assuming it had preexisted) for kids who had no real reason to go to a university, but believed that a post-secondary degree was a must-have (true, since the HR industry was generating the hype).   

       I'm not sure when it was the social sciences' turn to get all bent out of shape... 90's ?
FlyingToaster, Jun 08 2019
  
      
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