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FT: Errors place doubt on Piketty's theory about rising inequality

  • The FT has dug deep into the data underpinning Thomas Piketty's bestseller, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," and finds errors and unexplained entries that undercut the author's argument that wealth inequality is rising to levels not seen since before World War I.
  • "There is little evidence in Professor Piketty's original sources to bear out the thesis that an increasing share of total wealth is held by the richest few," the FT writes.
  • In response, Piketty says that other research using alternative methods supports his broad theory, including that of Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, who released their findings after Piketty published his book.
Comments (120)
  • Davidoff
    , contributor
    Comments (320) | Send Message
     
    About a month ago FT published an article claiming that in 10-15 years from now the world is going to have its first trillionaire, but besides that, FT is absolutely right, there is no evidence of increasing wealth inequality whatsoever. Either FT serves its masters, either FT economists bought their degrees and never leave their uptown parties since then, cause an economist must be completely blind or biased to claim that inequalities don't increase all over the world.
    25 May 2014, 08:19 AM Reply Like
  • New Low Observer
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    Regarding: "...FT economists bought their degrees..."

     

    "Universities have been progressing from providing scholarship for a small fee into selling degrees at a large cost." Nassim Taleb

     

    I would agree that ALL degrees are being bought with the only distinction being how high a price that is paid for it.
    25 May 2014, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    Do you have any evidence whatsoever to corroborate such a bold claim or am I supposed to trust you?

     

    If you are going to make a claim that goes against 99% of all peer reviewed academic research done by people who spend their lives studying these issues, you should at least provide a source. No fox news, FT, and right wing blogs are not acceptable sources.

     

    This sounds like the global warming debate. Scientists offer facts and figures based on years of research and some hillbilly says he stuck his head in the freezer and it was cold, so global warming must be a myth.
    26 May 2014, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Reminds me of the global warming "scientists".
    25 May 2014, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • TGC004
    , contributor
    Comments (447) | Send Message
     
    Clearly another alarmist out to sell books that only liberals will bother to read.
    25 May 2014, 08:37 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (1126) | Send Message
     
    >Reminds me of the global warming "scientists".

     

    I know right? Global warming, wealth inequality, evolution...all one big liberal agenda!
    26 May 2014, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8900) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, the unemployed and underemployed with stagnant wages are amassing wealth at a rate equal to the 1%ers living in hundred million dollar condos and two hundred million dollar estates in the Hamptons. The stock market boost driven by QE really helped the person making eight bucks an hour. Oh, and the Fed ZIRP policy which wiped out the meager savings of the middle class and senior citizens really helped them amass wealth.

     

    It is plain to see.

     

    Perhaps a walk down the street explains things better than made up data read by some PHD sitting in his Ivory Tower.
    25 May 2014, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • New Low Observer
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    Hi Wyostocks,

     

    It might be worth considering the effects of compounding as the prime contributor to those with unencumbered assets. If allowed to compound over a sustained period of time, the rate of growth goes parabolic with little in the way of new funds being added.

     

    Teaching the "poor" in America the basics of compounding requires sacrificing luxuries today (big screen TV, fancy cell phones, 32" rims, tinted window, booming sound systems etc.) for multi-generational wealth in the future.

     

    A walk down any street is limited in its value if the eyes and mind can't see the future potential or are used to seeing poverty and strife.

     

    Best regards.
    25 May 2014, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • DumpsterDiver
    , contributor
    Comments (331) | Send Message
     
    I hit the Like button because your comment is well-written and raises some interesting points, but it's also severely reductive and over-generalizing. At the risk of stating the obvious, it is entirely possible to start out poor and remain poor for one's entire life without ever wasting a dime on 32" rims, tinted windows, or booming sound systems. (Are you under the impression that all poor people own cars, which they can then choose to equip or not equip with these additional "luxuries" according to the dictates of their own inner financial wisdom? People in true grinding poverty aren't contending with those choices.)

     

    A low enough income, coupled with a lack of any pre-existing "unencumbered capital" bequeathed by others, is sufficient in and of itself to prevent the formation of multi-generational wealth. I do agree with you that immediately spending any surplus that ever does happen to come along on foolish things is an excellent way to reinforce that dynamic, although I would also note that the tendency to do so extends a LOT further up the socioeconomic scale than your carefully-curated example set of wasteful luxuries would insinuate: You've never heard of anybody going into debt and racking up a negative net worth in order to fund beach vacations, too-costly homes, or for that matter, "prestige" cars that are beyond their means, despite said cars coming equipped with only regular-sized rims and relatively sedate sound systems?

     

    Uninterrupted compounding of capital over the time spans necessary for such compounding to bear meaningful fruit is a much harder thing to achieve when the kinds of crises that eventually strike everybody (say, an emergency medical bill) can wipe out the ENTIRE amount of capital that has been amassed up to that point and reset you to zero in a single stroke. "If you weren't buying big screen TVs, you'd all be getting rich, too" doesn't quite strike at the heart of that reality. In fact, it sounds like the kind of thing that people who have never been poor say to one another to convince themselves that everyone who is poor must have volunteered for it.

     

    What personal traits or circumstances might result in one having an income so low that the above concerns predominate is certainly a fair discussion to have. But pretending that being born into poverty doesn't put one at a serious disadvantage when it comes to accumulating capital throughout one's lifetime is a little disingenuous, I think.
    25 May 2014, 03:46 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Uninterrupted compounding of capital over the time spans necessary for such compounding to bear meaningful fruit is a much harder thing to achieve when the kinds of crises that eventually strike everybody (say, an emergency medical bill) can wipe out the ENTIRE amount of capital that has been amassed up to that point and reset you to zero in a single stroke. "If you weren't buying big screen TVs, you'd all be getting rich, too" doesn't quite strike at the heart of that reality. In fact, it sounds like the kind of thing that people who have never been poor say to one another to convince themselves that everyone who is poor must have volunteered for it.
    ----------------------...
    I'd say the post you were responding to strikes far closer to the heart of reality than yours. I've read some of those "studies" (used to make people clamor for "free" gov't healthcare), they make some crazy claim like 90% of bankruptcies are caused by medical emergencies, but when looked at closely if a person rang up $100,000 in credit card debt, had a $400,000 mortgage, and he had $4000 of medical bills they would say the bankruptcy was caused by medical bills.
    25 May 2014, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • DumpsterDiver
    , contributor
    Comments (331) | Send Message
     
    coolcat,

     

    I could have sworn I addressed that very point in the paragraph immediately preceding the one you quoted in full. Living beyond one's means (whatever one's means may be) is unquestionably A cause and perpetuator of poverty; it is not, however, THE cause. Hence my use of the words "reductive" and "over-generalizing," as opposed to "wrong." It's not wrong. It's merely incomplete. Spending less would not make all of the world's poor wealthy, although it would certainly make a lot of people (not only the very poor) wealthier than they are currently.

     

    Some level of spending truly is required just to subsist, though. And some incomes truly are so close to that subsistence level that any surplus is likely to get eaten whole by a non-optional, survival-level crisis outlay sooner or later, rather than just sitting there compounding uninterrupted for fifty years the way Ben Franklin counseled.

     

    It's not as if those born into wealth have more restrained spending habits than all the putatively-middle-class and/or poor folks who are teetering at the edge of bankruptcy; in general the precise opposite is true. But when you've had hundreds of millions of dollars busily compounding away on your behalf since birth, those self-indulgent tendencies tend not to reduce your capital to unsustainable levels quite so quickly or so easily (although people have certainly managed to pull that trick off as well).

     

    Suggesting that extremely wealthy people might be capable of reducing some of THEIR spending on luxuries and putting more of that money toward activities that would help to level the overall playing field with respect to access to future opportunities for wealth creation* is invariably met with howls of outrage, yet the suggestion that extremely poor people should forgo their much more minimal luxuries in order to amass more wealth is considered to be morally self-evident. Seems like a bit of fundamental attribution error at play there.

     

    *Note that this does NOT have to mean more taxation for more government programs, and I personally would prefer that it didn't. (Politically, I'd describe myself as more anarchist/libertarian than the "leftists" to whom you've directed several other comments on this page.) These things can be done entirely voluntarily, just as decreasing one's spending in order to increase one's personal level of savings can be done entirely voluntarily. There's a reason Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are generally better-regarded than, say, the Koch brothers, and voluntarily giving a rat's ass about others who are less well off is the greater part of that reason.
    25 May 2014, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Anarchist/libertarian? I've never heard of that one ;). If the wealthy do so on a voluntary basis i'm all for it. Once you make your income and it's taxed i feel it's yours to do with what you want, it's called an "income tax" not a, "gee you better spend money the way we want you to or we'll take it from you tax" or "wealth tax" (like Piketty wants). Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are generally better regarded because of the media, they are good fatcats, along with Steyer who promises 100 million to liberals who do his bidding in congress. If there was a propaganda campaign to demonize those guys in the media and on the senate floor i have no doubt they could be vilified too.
    26 May 2014, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • New Low Observer
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    Great comments DD,

     

    I was only speak from my personal observations living homeless the first fourteen years of my life in a wide variety of ghettos throughout the U.S. You are right that there are other kinds of poverty and my commentary was reductive.

     

    There are many other primary problems that need to be fixed like mental and other health related issue. However, getting the message out about compound interest and saving and the required sacrifice hopefully wouldn't do more harm to the situation.

     

    Best regards.
    26 May 2014, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • tom007
    , contributor
    Comments (103) | Send Message
     
    What a load of self serving crappola from FT.
    25 May 2014, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    Here is the "evidence" that FT offers to make their point.

     

    "For example, once the FT cleaned up and simplified the data, the European numbers do not show any tendency towards rising wealth inequality after 1970. An independent specialist in measuring inequality shared the FT’s concerns. "

     

    What independent specialist? how did the FT "clean" up the data? Why should the data have been "simplified" when the prof has normalized that data already?

     

    This is perhaps the shoddiest piece of journalism I have ever seen, the fact that SA uses FT as a source shows an astounding lack of integrity on their part.
    26 May 2014, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Hilarious, you attack FT and not Piketty?

     

    After referring back to the original data sources, the investigation found numerous mistakes in Prof Piketty’s work: simple fat-finger errors of transcription; suboptimal averaging techniques; multiple unexplained adjustments to the numbers; data entries with no sourcing, unexplained use of different time periods and inconsistent uses of source data.

     

    Together, the flawed data produce long historical trends on wealth inequality that appear more comprehensive than the source data allows, providing spurious support to Prof Piketty’s conclusion that the “central contradiction of capitalism” is the inexorable concentration of wealth among the richest individuals.

     

    Once the data are cleaned and simplified the European results do not show any tendency towards rising wealth inequality after 1970.
    ----------------------...
    Those FT bastards!
    26 May 2014, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    Picketty actually shows us his data. FT is saying they found X,Y, Z but don't then go on to show us X,Y, and Z.

     

    FT, says they made graphs and charts, and that may be good enough evidence for you, but I want to see those charts and graphs.

     

    FT, says, emphasis on "says", they cleaned up the data. What does that mean, how did they "clean" it up. Using the words "cleaned up", is called weasel words. That alone should send up red flags. Are you really so gullible that you take them at their word?
    26 May 2014, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Piketty himself said he "smoothed his data", he had multiple unexplained adjustments, and data entries with no sourcing. Are you so gullible you take him at his word?
    26 May 2014, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (1126) | Send Message
     
    >Are you so gullible you take him at his word?

     

    This is not new. Piketty wrote a controversial book. It's probably not flawless. But the people who it irks are in a huff to "find" mistakes and steer the conversation to discredit him.

     

    Don't believe it? Just look at all the pseudointellectuals on this site, most of whom probably haven't read the book (and many more who are unqualified to critique it), talking about the econometric mistakes. Mission accomplished. And you talk about gullibility.
    26 May 2014, 05:55 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    This is not new. Piketty wrote a controversial book. It's probably not flawless. But the people who it irks are in a huff to "find" mistakes and steer the conversation to discredit him.
    ----------------------...
    "Probably not flawless"

     

    As the figure shows, there is an enormous discrepancy in Piketty’s figures and those that the FT computed. In addition to the figure for the top 10% being off by up to 27 percentage points–the discrepancy that originally caught Giles’ attention–we also see that, depending on which data point one uses for 2010, Piketty’s figure for the wealth held by the top 1% is off by around 9 to 18 percentage points, in the worst case with Piketty reporting a figure that is almost triple the actual value (about 29% instead of 11%, just eyeballing the bottom lines).

     

    Yet beyond the discrepancy in values for given years, step back and look at the overall historical trend if the red lines are correct (as opposed to Piketty’s blue lines): We see that wealth inequality continued its downward trend even throughout the Thatcher years, and after a spike upward during the 1990s, is now (if we use the lower data points for 2010) at the lowest level in recorded UK history.
    ----------------------...
    "Probably not flawless"

     

    For the bottom rows (showing the concentration of wealth held by the top 1%), there are better estimates, and Giles has shown some of them, along with Piketty’s reported line (in blue). Now notice: Piketty’s blue line shows a gradual trend upward in the ownership by the 1% from 1970 onward. This, after all, is the whole warning of the book: The rich are getting richer, and if governments around the world don’t start taxing the heck out of them, soon we’ll be back to the Gilded Age.

     

    Yet the funny thing is, if you look at either of the longer data sets (the bottom red lines) upon which Piketty presumably based his blue composition, you’ll see that neither shows an upward trend in recent decades. In particular, if you look at the longest red series, it shows that the U.S. is currently hovering near the lowest level of wealth concentration in the hands of the 1% in recorded history.
    ----------------------...
    Piketty Fudged His Wealth Data But Progressives Still Support His 'Compelling Theoretical Predictions'

     

    Really nailed it with that title judging from the sycophants here

     

    http://bit.ly/1lNXg0y

     

    So that’s where we now stand: Plenty of progressives up till literally yesterday were saying yes yes, Piketty’s theoretical framework leaves much to be desired, but he’s a top scholar when it comes to the trends he’s documented. And now that much of that empirical work might be totally bunk, the defense is to argue that yes yes, the historical data might be the exact opposite of what Piketty claimed, but boy he offers some compelling theoretical predictions with which we must grapple.
    ----------------------...
    Hey intellectual norm, tell me how being off by 27 percentage points is close enough? Help me understand your econometrics. LOLcats.
    26 May 2014, 11:39 PM Reply Like
  • TheeSeer
    , contributor
    Comments (281) | Send Message
     
    There is some simple math and technological changes that explain the current trends towards capital appreciation in the hands of the few. From the late 1940's to the present day the world population has more than tripled and at the same time the internet, communications in general and advances in transportation such as supertankers and increases in airline fleets have changed the economic landscape in obvious ways. In the past international commerce and the movement of capital was a clumsy, dangerous and inconvenient affair.

     

    Today ideas, labor and capital are all portable at the touch of a button. This has made access to low cost labor and services around the world a reality and transferred wealth rapidly from all types of workers into the hands of "owners". The traditional counterweight of unions and craft associations has been largely destroyed in the process. No worker in a developed country which supports various social amenities such as health care, clean water, enforced child labor laws etc can hope to compete with a worker in a country that does not need to factor in those costs in the prevailing labor rates. This is reality and incontrovertible. This "race to the bottom" needs to be addressed before the current worldwide protests against the new "Feudal Lords of Commerce" becomes a "Serf Rebellion" and results in either right wing dictatorship or left wing socialism, neither of which results in a stable democracy and safe environment for all people.
    25 May 2014, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • PeakOiler
    , contributor
    Comments (298) | Send Message
     
    Maybe in the European data there is a little doubt about Piketty's theory but in the U.S. there can be no doubt. The U.S. data are solid and shows that wealth inequality is as wide today as it was in the Robber Barron's era. And this inequality results in an inefficient, unproductive, and very unfair use of capital.
    25 May 2014, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    http://bit.ly/1omp5TI

     

    Finally, I will put all the revised data together to show that, based on the sources Piketty cites, the conclusions that (a) wealth inequality rose after 1980 and (b) wealth inequality in the US is larger than in Europe no longer seem to hold.
    ----------------------...
    Exactly. Another phony.
    26 May 2014, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    Nothing in your comical blog post stands up to the slightest scrutiny.

     

    First of all quoting the FT article with 5 separate links (many, of which don't even work) that all link back the the original FT article is not a multi-source.

     

    Second, the FT article offers ZERO original research, they simply say, "trust us, we hired experts."

     

    Third, saying, "income inequality is a myth, because I say so", is not an argument.

     

    Therefore, your entire blog post is invalidated.

     

    Good day.
    26 May 2014, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    I never said income inequality is a myth, you did. I'm sure there is wealth inequality, the issue is whether Piketty's research is shoddy, and it seems it is, and that shoddy research is being used by leftist freak extremists, like yourself, to call for a wealth tax. You would think liberals would be concerned about the shoddy, made up data used to call for a wealth tax, but oddly liberals are attacking the messenger (FT), weird, and by "weird" i mean totally expected.
    26 May 2014, 03:16 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (1126) | Send Message
     
    >You would think liberals would be concerned about the shoddy, made up data used to call for a wealth tax

     

    I think you're slightly overstating the influence this book is having. If you don't think that wealth inequality is something that should be part of the political conversation, I don't know what to tell you.

     

    As for your blog link, there are far more cogent critiques out there. It's SEO optimized tripe. People really read that sort of nonsense? That's embarrassing.
    26 May 2014, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    It's funny how all leftist errors skew in favor of more government control, be it wealth redistribution or shackling the economy because of global warming. you'd think they'd make errors which would fall on both sides, but oddly it's all one sided..........which leads to one conclusion.
    25 May 2014, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1710) | Send Message
     
    If you still don't believe climate change, there's no hope for you.

     

    Even your beloved Koch brothers hired a scientist who came to the conclusion that climate change and temperature rising/global warming is true.
    25 May 2014, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • Bret Jensen
    , contributor
    Comments (11130) | Send Message
     
    Dr. William Gray PhD from M.I.T. and the go to guy for hurricane forecasts for over three decades on Global Warming...."Al Gore and Global Warming is the biggest hoax so far in the 21st century".....same sources (Greenpeace, NY Times, Ford Foundation, Dr. James Hansen....etc...) that are pounding the table for Global Warming now (and of course expanding govt to do something about it)....were sames sources predicting the next mini-ice age in the 70s.....Got to give it to Al Gore....was worth $2mm to $5mm after losing election in 2000. Now worth some $250mm.....good moolah to be made scaring the ignorant.
    25 May 2014, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1710) | Send Message
     
    A great read for all the conspiracy theorists on this board (especially those who are butthurt whenever their precious metals drop in value):

     

    http://vnty.fr/1t9Y8Aw
    25 May 2014, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8900) | Send Message
     
    id.......

     

    Pure propaganda BS. Who said anything about the climate or the Koch brothers; you did.

     

    Go back under your rock.
    25 May 2014, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1710) | Send Message
     
    On the contrary, it's obvious from coolcat's comments (and yours) that it's, intact, you both who belong under a rock with your fellow Tea Partyers and Koch Brothers.
    25 May 2014, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    >>"Dr. William Gray PhD from M.I.T. "<<

     

    Umm...no. Dr. Gray did his undergrad work at George Washington University. His graduate work was at Univ. of Chicago. He works at Colorado State University as a meteorologist. No connections to MIT that I'm aware of.

     

    >>"Dr. James Hansen. [was] predicting the next mini-ice age in the 70s"<<

     

    Also untrue. Brief synopsis of Hansen et al.'s research into climate trend influences from the 60's on:
    http://1.usa.gov/1tDQmkl

     

    (How can a columnist be so stunningly careless with facts?)
    25 May 2014, 11:56 PM Reply Like
  • CMPMD
    , contributor
    Comments (137) | Send Message
     
    "stunningly careless", sadly, is right.
    26 May 2014, 07:38 AM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    Bret Johnson, caught in another lie... tsk tsk..
    26 May 2014, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • alf2011
    , contributor
    Comments (511) | Send Message
     
    Before committing to Piketty's conclusions consider the following (pointed out by Lawrence H. Summers),

     

    "When Forbes compared its list of the wealthiest Americans in 1982 and 2012, it found that less than one tenth of the 1982 list was still on the list in 2012, despite the fact that a significant majority of members of the 1982 list would have qualified for the 2012 list if they had accumulated wealth at a real rate of even 4 percent a year."
    25 May 2014, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • ptetteroo@gmail.com
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    Uh, what percentage were still alive?
    25 May 2014, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • genomegk
    , contributor
    Comments (564) | Send Message
     
    The 400 on the 1982 list accounted for 2.8% of total GDP. This rose to 12.2% GDP by the year 2000.
    Those on the list in 2013 were worth 800 million more on average than those on the 2012 list. 61 billionaires did not make the 2013 list.
    26 May 2014, 12:07 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    The politics of envy.
    25 May 2014, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • CMPMD
    , contributor
    Comments (137) | Send Message
     
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

     

    John Kenneth Galbraith
    26 May 2014, 07:50 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Galbraith was an advisor to FDR who was responsible for making the depression "Great", a real great guy to quote.
    26 May 2014, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • genomegk
    , contributor
    Comments (564) | Send Message
     
    CMPMD the fact is, many modern conservatives are frauds. For example, they rationalize and defend Reagan and Bush whose fiscally reckless policies were the antithesis of conservative.

     

    Let me spell it out for you frauds: "Tax cuts" are not a conservative principle. Fiscal responsibility is the conservative principle, tax cuts should only be one of the fruits of fiscal responsibility.

     

    These frauds have done more to undermine the notion of conservative governance in this country than liberals could ever hope to.
    26 May 2014, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    I don't totally disagree with what you said about Bush and Reagan, but as far as fiscal responsibility goes you have 2 choices, republican or democrat. Obama has added something like 8 trillion to the debt in less than 6 years, and he's not done. The interest on that is going to kill us when rates rise. So if you think voting for democrats is a vote for fiscal responsibility you're insane. And about those tax cuts, when they were passed they were called "tax cuts for the rich" by every democrat, then later they kept some 80% of them in place when they were in power because they said those were middle class tax cuts. You can't have it both ways.
    26 May 2014, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • genomegk
    , contributor
    Comments (564) | Send Message
     
    True about the choices there. Bottom line there is no choice. As a conservative I blame the GOP more because while claiming one thing they do the opposite.

     

    Here is another thing fake conservatives do. They justify the GOP by yammering on about Democrats. Sorry, that won't wash. Democrats are irrelevant to the GOP's dismal record. In making that argument fake conservatives prove yet again they despise the principles they pretend to believe in, in this case, individual accountability.

     

    BTW, the national debt has doubled every 8 years on average since Reagan took office. Obama if anything is below the curve. Moreover one-third of the Obama era deficits were to pay interest on debts run up before Obama came to office.

     

    This brings us to Reagan's true share of the national debt: 6.5 trillion. To the 2 trillion in debt run up while in office one must add 4.5 trillion in compounding debt interests. Heck Reagan is still costing tax payers over 100 billion a year.
    26 May 2014, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    So Obama starting a new entitlement and adding 8 trillion onto the total debt of 18 trillion isn't worse? No wonder democrats are more popular than republicans. Heck, republicans would be better served to just become democrats so you'll give them a pass.
    26 May 2014, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • genomegk
    , contributor
    Comments (564) | Send Message
     
    First you need to come to terms with the fact that 2009 was Bush's fiscal year not Obama's. Second you need to step out from your identity cult (and lack of reading comprehension) to know I did not endorse Democrat by speaking truth about the GOP and the fake conservatives who rationalize and defend them.
    26 May 2014, 12:17 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    http://herit.ag/Rtamb6

     

    In FY2009, Congress did not complete work by September 30, 2008. President Bush did sign some appropriations bills and a continuing resolution to keep the government running into President Obama’s first term, yet a Democrat controlled Congress purposely held off on the big spending portions of the appropriations bills until Obama took office. They did so for the purposes of jacking up spending. President Obama signed the final FY2009 spending bills on March 11, 2009.

     

    Congressional Quarterly (subscription required) maps out a history of the FY 2009 final appropriations bills (H.R. 1105 and PL 111-8), that would lead one to attribute most of the accelerated spending in FY 2009 to President Obama in a piece titled “2009 Legislative Summary: Fiscal 2009 Omnibus.” From CQ, “the omnibus provided a total of $1.05 trillion — $410 billion of it for discretionary programs — and included many of the domestic spending increases Democrats were unable to get enacted while George W. Bush was president.” If accepted as true, this statement alone undercuts Nutting’s whole premise that FY 2009 is wholly Bush spending.

     

    President Bush signed only three of the twelve appropriations bills for FY 2009: Defense; Military Construction/Veterans Affairs; and, Homeland Security. President Bush also signed a continuing resolution that kept the government running until March 6, 2009 that level of funding the remaining nine appropriations bills at FY 2008 levels. President Bush and his spending should only be judged on these three appropriations bills and FY 2008 levels of funding for the remaining nine appropriations bills. Bush never consented to the dramatic increase in spending for FY 2009 and he should not be blamed for that spending spree.
    ----------------------...
    Sorry Charlie. The problem with liberals is their arrogant ignorance.
    26 May 2014, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8900) | Send Message
     
    coolcat

     

    The problem with liberals is that they rewrite history to "prove" that their lies are truth and the MSM lets them get away with it.
    26 May 2014, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    Heritage foundation? Are you kidding me?

     

    Obama signed no major legislation before that budget was signed, so how are the costs "his"? Everything in that budget was Bush legislation. Not to mention the Bush tax cuts, the largest single driver of the deficit were still in place under Obama. Those mistakes are Bush's mistakes, not Obama's mistakes. So of the 8 Trillion, you say is Obama's debt, in reality, the only thing you can attribute to him is about 1 trillion in stimulus. Even though that legislation was also started under Bush, wisely I might add.

     

    So Obama is responsible for 1 trillion in debt Bush and Reagan, 17 trillion. Who is more fiscally responsible now?
    26 May 2014, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Oh, congressional quarterly is wrong then. Obama is fiscally responsible, it's Bushs' fault. LOLcats.
    26 May 2014, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    Wyo,
    I think you misspelled conservatives.

     

    Remember Kenyan birth certificate, death panels, death spirals, voter fraud, and all the other right wing lies that are perpetrated by our right wing main stream media?
    26 May 2014, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    You're right, there are no death panels. Check out the VA, they just put them on a secret waiting list until they die, they don't need a panel.
    26 May 2014, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8900) | Send Message
     
    Jake

     

    At least you are earning your DNC paycheck on this holiday.
    26 May 2014, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (9622) | Send Message
     
    Red Flag #1:

     

    The fawning embrace this guy received from the Western mainstream media.

     

    The more the attention is given...the greater the agenda is at hand.
    25 May 2014, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    “if you think you’ve found an obvious hole, empirical or logical, in Piketty, you’re very probably wrong. He’s done his homework!”-Paul Krugman
    25 May 2014, 12:02 PM Reply Like
  • Seth Walters
    , contributor
    Comments (676) | Send Message
     
    Those who have used market returns to amass large amounts of capital do so on the back of others consumption. If no one consumed and everyone only saved there would be no economy and no economic growth. Some people must consume and some people must be misers. It is impossible for everyone to build up intergenerational wealth because wealth growth is predicated on high consumption of "others". Consumption should not be stigmatized, but encouraged. The role of the taxation policy is to prevent wealth from becoming unfairly concentrated. The tax policy must be adjusted to fix this problem, because it ultimately chokes off growth, and that is bad for everyone.
    25 May 2014, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    The role of taxation policy is to fund government functions outlined in the Constitution, not redistribute wealth. You fixed pie people are friggin' insane, the fact you guys hang out at an investment website baffles me.
    25 May 2014, 01:50 PM Reply Like
  • genomegk
    , contributor
    Comments (564) | Send Message
     
    Those who would have government borrow massively in lieu of collecting taxes are as wealth redistributionist as any moocher.
    The wealth is redistributed from future generations so the present generation can pay lower taxes.
    26 May 2014, 12:10 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    You don't have to borrow massively if you cut spending.......but democrats haven't produced a budget in 6 years and are spending off of 2008 stimulus levels as the baseline. I know, i know, "we've cut all we can cut"-Nancy Pelosi.
    26 May 2014, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    The federal government collected $414.23 billion in revenue in April, the largest total ever for a single month, and also set a record for the most revenue collected in the first seven months of a fiscal year.

     

    In fiscal 2014, which began on Oct. 1, federal revenue so far has totaled $1.735 trillion — yet the government still ran a deficit of $306.4 billion over the seven-month period, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement of Receipts and Outlays of the United States Government.
    ----------------------...
    Revenue problem?
    26 May 2014, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    5.7 million dollar NSF grant to Columbia University for climate ‘voice mails from the future’
    ----------------------...
    Nothing to cut here.
    26 May 2014, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • genomegk
    , contributor
    Comments (564) | Send Message
     
    Why do you blame Democrats for doing what you believe they, by nature, are compelled to do?

     

    See my earlier comment to you in which I describe fake conservatives.
    26 May 2014, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Ahhhh, now i get it. I've come across "conservatives" like you before.
    26 May 2014, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • genomegk
    , contributor
    Comments (564) | Send Message
     
    "You don't have to borrow massively if you cut spending" That right "if" now run along fraud.

     

    For his many faults Obama did not begin massive trillion dollar loan programs (aka "tax cuts") while increasing spending.
    26 May 2014, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • CMPMD
    , contributor
    Comments (137) | Send Message
     
    "For his many faults Obama did not begin massive trillion dollar loan programs (aka "tax cuts") while increasing spending."

     

    Or, cut taxes for the first time in American history during wartime, and involve America in 2 wars simultaneously, one by choice, and both "off the books"...
    26 May 2014, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    I wouldn't call people like cool cat "fake conservatives", I would just call them delusional liars. America would be better off to rid itself of these people so we can have open and honest debate.
    26 May 2014, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Ahhh, the tolerant left shows it's true colors.
    26 May 2014, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • User 353732
    , contributor
    Comments (4998) | Send Message
     
    Yes we have a global kleptocratic elite that concentrates wealth and power.....about the norm for much of economic history.

     

    The solution is never class hatred, envy and stealing from thieves( evil is not the antidote to evil) but creating equality of opportunity by enforcing strong personal and property rights, equality of justice and bringing balance to a culture addicted to materialism, consumerism and entitlements.

     

    This kind of change, however, requires a mass spiritual reset and a confident middle class, of which there is little evidence anywhere in the West.
    25 May 2014, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Fidel Castro once claimed that he lived a life of exemplary revolutionary frugality on a salary of merely $36 per month. “Lies,” said Juan Reinaldo Sanchez, 65, who served as a bodyguard for the former Cuban leader for 17 years and has published a book of memoirs portraying Castro as a sort of feudal lord who ran the island like it was a personal fiefdom.

     

    Castro controlled about 20 luxury homes, a Caribbean island getaway with a pool and dolphins, the 88-foot yacht Aquarama II, and several fishing vessels whose catch was sold for dollars deposited in his accounts, according to Sanchez.

     

    “He always claims he lives frugally. Lies. He lives in a luxury that most Cubans can’t even imagine,” Sanchez told el Nuevo Herald in his first interview after writing his book, The Secret Life of Fidel Castro, published Wednesday in France.
    ----------------------...
    If only we let Pelosi, Reid, and Obama make tax policy then we could be as fair as Cuba.
    25 May 2014, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • mathari
    , contributor
    Comments (241) | Send Message
     
    What nonsense.
    25 May 2014, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • Angel Martin
    , contributor
    Comments (1341) | Send Message
     
    the problem is stagnant middle class incomes

     

    the cure is not punishing the rich

     

    if a dairy farmer had half his herd go dry, and proceeded to start punishing the half that was still milking, we would think he was insane... but that kind of thinking is widely accepted when it comes to tax policy.
    25 May 2014, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    The 1% are paying a tax rate 25% lower than they were before Reagan. How is that "punishment"? If anything they are being rewarded. We need to cut back on the goodies the rich receive by way of tax cuts, and rebuild the middle class.

     

    Why did Republicans make is so hard just to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the rich and preserve them for the middle class? Why did we have to resort to outright shaming to pass that legislation? That should have been common sense, if we had a GOP that wasn't bought and paid for by the same plutocrat class they serve. I understand that is a massive IF.
    26 May 2014, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (1126) | Send Message
     
    >The Secret Life of Fidel Castro, published Wednesday in France.

     

    When are you going to fact-check this book and publish the results for us?
    26 May 2014, 06:18 PM Reply Like
  • TGC004
    , contributor
    Comments (447) | Send Message
     
    My wife and I started our adult lives with nothing, got educations funded in part by student loans, scholarships and money earned while working (while in school and during summers and breaks). Since day 1 of marriage we dug ourselves out of consumer debt, bought and sold a number of homes, received a number of promotions (each), relocated 3 times for work and have saved and invested every paycheck along the way. After about 10 years or so, my wife's mother died, leaving her a smallish estate, which she invested.

     

    We pay the top rate of income tax for federal and state purposes, putting our rate well above 50% just on income alone, forget property tax, school tax, sales tax, gas tax and every other tax on the books.

     

    I follow the tax code and pay every tax that we are obligated to pay, but then we also invest our assets in tax advantaged asset classes, because I am fed up with paying for the lazy who don't bother to apply themselves.
    25 May 2014, 08:51 PM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1710) | Send Message
     
    I wonder where those student loans came from - *gasp* can't be the government, can it?
    26 May 2014, 12:05 AM Reply Like
  • rasanders22
    , contributor
    Comments (580) | Send Message
     
    "I wonder where those student loans came from - *gasp* can't be the government, can it?"

     

    Student loans come from banks. They are garunteed by the government. TGC obviously got his degree in something worth while. Seems now we (Americans) are sending our kids to college to get a usless degree, rack them up with 50-60k in student loan debt, and then are suprisd when the midevil art history degee won't get them into a career that can even allow them to pay back their loans.
    26 May 2014, 06:25 AM Reply Like
  • rasanders22
    , contributor
    Comments (580) | Send Message
     
    "I wonder where those student loans came from - *gasp* can't be the government, can it?"

     

    Student loans come from banks. They are guaranteed by the government. TGC obviously got his degree in something worth while. Seems now we (Americans) are sending our kids to college to get a useless degree, rack them up with 50-60k in student loan debt, and then are surprised when the medieval art history degree won't get them into a career that can even allow them to pay back their loans.
    26 May 2014, 06:25 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    "You didn't build that". Liberals are so predictable.
    26 May 2014, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1710) | Send Message
     
    "liberals are so predictable" - taking things out of context just to prove your point: so far typically far right (I won't even use the term conservative because most of you on here who claim to be conservative - the moderate conservatives from 40 years ago would be ashamed to be associated with you)
    26 May 2014, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    No actually, the interest rates on many student loans are subsidized by *gasp* the government. I guess you wouldn't know that if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
    26 May 2014, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8900) | Send Message
     
    Jake

     

    Even the French and rest of Europe has caught on to the disaster that your liberal policies have wrought on the populace.

     

    An omen of election results to come in November.

     

    http://bit.ly/1omH3Wn

     

    And by the way, the UK Telegraph is not exactly a right wing publication.
    26 May 2014, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • rasanders22
    , contributor
    Comments (580) | Send Message
     
    As a person with student loan debt I am very framiler with how student loans are subsidized. I worked my ass off to get a engineering degree in 4.5 years while working full time, and supporting a wife and 2 kids. And when I was rewarded with a higher paying career, I was also rewarded with higher taxes. What a great way to reward hard work. And I hardly had a silver spoon in my mouth.
    26 May 2014, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    You didn't qualify for GI benefits?

     

    Me, I worked my way through engineering school. In my final year, I ran the numbers and decided a student loan would be a better deal in that final year. The loan allowed me to graduate one year sooner and pay it off easily w/higher wages. I had a net savings even though I paid off the loan.
    26 May 2014, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • rasanders22
    , contributor
    Comments (580) | Send Message
     
    It did for my first BS degree. It was used up by the time I started my EE degree.
    27 May 2014, 01:52 AM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1710) | Send Message
     
    rasanders, banks give out those loans because they're subsidized by the federal government.

     

    Just like a 30 year mortgage.

     

    Private sector isn't the best option for every problem.
    27 May 2014, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • rasanders22
    , contributor
    Comments (580) | Send Message
     
    So your sayings banks didnt give out loans before they were subsidized? Government isn't the solution, it's the problem.
    28 May 2014, 10:44 AM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    >>"Government isn't the solution, it's the problem"<<

     

    Funny...I paid my own way entirely, have always paid my taxes, haven't always had things fall into my lap, yet still don't feel the need to whine and whimper that everything happens to me is someone else's fault....
    28 May 2014, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    .....says the person whining and whimpering about wealth inequality.
    28 May 2014, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    cool...you might want to look up the definition of "whine" :-)
    28 May 2014, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • loudano
    , contributor
    Comments (524) | Send Message
     
    "Wealth inequality". Does anyone really know what that means? Listen up, the way wealth is created is to put a good or a service into the economy and get currency in return. The more you put into the economy the more currency you get. If you do not use all of that currency to purchase other goods or services you end up in the plus. Do this long enough and one can pile up an enormous amount of currency. So in essence the term "Wealth inequality" really means that the producers should produce less and consume more. This way we will all be even and poorer, but we will have "Wealth equality". Make sense?
    25 May 2014, 11:20 PM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    >>""Wealth inequality". Does anyone really know what that means?"<<

     

    I can tell you what it means to me. It means the system is rigged so that the wealthiest have better access to the means of increasing their wealth than do ordinary people. Example: everyone pays municipal taxes but only one guy -- the one with the most political connections -- gets the ball park concession. The system has always been rigged in this way. That's not new. What might be new is the extent to which the system is rigged.

     

    Harold Simmons is a good example of how this works:
    "Dallas' Most Evil Genius", in D(allas)Magazine http://bit.ly/1tDT5dA
    "Limiting Citizens' Challenges", Texas Observer: http://bit.ly/1tDT3CL
    26 May 2014, 12:12 AM Reply Like
  • rasanders22
    , contributor
    Comments (580) | Send Message
     
    Big business and big government go hand in hand. If you think for one minute that big government will fix wealth inequality, then you are in denial.
    26 May 2014, 06:28 AM Reply Like
  • shakazoid
    , contributor
    Comments (203) | Send Message
     
    thx for the links to those articles. I once traded (KRO), most likely shorted it . It is so sad that the Govt is sometimes so heavily involved in doing harm to it's citizens.
    26 May 2014, 08:31 AM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    >>"Big business and big government go hand in hand"<<

     

    Actually municipals are the worst. They tend to be 100% "good ole boy" networks. Small towns have always been run for the benefit of those few with wealth. They're called "prominent citizens".
    26 May 2014, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • Trampoline
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    SD
    "The system has always been rigged in this way. That's not new. What might be new is the extent to which the system is rigged."

     

    Perhaps you're right, but what about the new silicon valley start ups? A guy hangs out in his parents garage flying on a wing and a prayer, and then he creates something that millions of people want and gets the funding for it and rakes in the profits. How does that have anything to do with the system making him unequal? In fact, i'd bet these entrepreneurs aren't spending a moment thinking about the 'system' at all, as it would take away from precious time for passion and drive.

     

    How do you think people get wealth? Look at the leaders today, they FAR surpass old money that has been passed down for generations ie. rockerfeller, walton, kennedy etc. not all of them are in line to get concessions. in fact, Apple and Google among others are all finding creative ways around the "system" here because they're not getting concessions and keeping billions of dollars of their profits outside of the country... legally.
    26 May 2014, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • Trampoline
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    Back in the day the "Robber Barrons" (Morgan, Carnegie, Ford, Rockerfeller etc) had more money and influence than the govt. Needless to say, the govt didn't like that. Today, big business and big govt go hand in hand as they struggle for power. they both need each other and must try to work closely else they will be a conflict to each other and their progress will stall.
    26 May 2014, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • loudano
    , contributor
    Comments (524) | Send Message
     
    SanDiego, I feel sorry for you. Your attitude guaranties that you will remain on the bottom. See Ya!
    28 May 2014, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • nemonemo
    , contributor
    Comments (324) | Send Message
     
    While liberals promote more free-loading. Since 2008, 30M people added to the pool of workers not looking for job. Yet, unemployment number goes down since it does not take into account this set.
    25 May 2014, 11:59 PM Reply Like
  • Patent News
    , contributor
    Comments (1406) | Send Message
     
    trusting a communist or socialist with facts is like trusting a bank robber 'reformed' to guard the bank vaults!
    26 May 2014, 12:56 AM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    There appears to be considerable amount of question whether the blog post by Giles of FT actually casts doubt on anything. Decent summation in The Economist:

     

    "Based on the information Mr Giles has provided so far, however, the analysis does not seem to support many of the allegations made by the FT, or the conclusion that the book's argument is wrong.
    ...
    "The fourth question is whether the book's conclusions are called into question by Mr Giles's analysis. If the work that has been presented by Mr Giles represents the full extent of the problems, then the answer is a definitive no, for three reasons. First, the book rests on much more than wealth-inequality figures. Second, the differences in the wealth-inequality figures are, with the exception of Britain, too minor to alter the picture. And third, as Mr Piketty notes in his response, Chapter 10 is not the only analysis of wealth inequality out there, and forthcoming work by other economists (some conclusions of which can be seen here) suggests that Mr Piketty's figures actually understate the true extent of growth in the concentration of wealth."

     

    Source:
    "Inequality. A Piketty Problem?", The Economist:
    http://econ.st/1tE1f5X
    26 May 2014, 01:08 AM Reply Like
  • ValueQ
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    I did not like the way the FT undermined Prof. Piketty's work and then posted it as their main article online for two days. The arguments may be valid but dealing with data and statistics, their findings did not cause any controversy at all. Also, they had a great article from an anonymous insider on the Pfizer and AstraZeneca deal, and so the Piketty article was completely unnecessary.
    26 May 2014, 05:11 AM Reply Like
  • shpotts
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    The best refutation of Piketty I have seen was by Martin Felstein in the Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/RsRuc8
    The problem is poverty, not too much wealth, concentrated or otherwise. No one says we need no government, but at some point it is too big. Big government inevitably helps the well-connected, at the expense of the rest of us. Ad hominem attacks on the Koch brothers or anyone else don't change that. BTW, isn't this supposed to be an investing site?
    26 May 2014, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    I'm just curious: What's your yardstick for measuring "size" of a government?
    26 May 2014, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    WSJ is another right wing rag, just like FT. All the same predictable sources.

     

    Blaming government is a childish argument. It's like blaming the fire instead of the person who set the fire. Government is just a tool. It is whatever we make it. So whatever problem you see in government has its roots in Big Money. You have everything backwards, and yes it's on purpose. Your puppet masters at WSJ and other Big money funded propaganda source are proud they have made you their useful idiot.
    26 May 2014, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • rasanders22
    , contributor
    Comments (580) | Send Message
     
    " I'm just curious: What's your yardstick for measuring "size" of a government?"

     

    It is kind of like defining a hipster. Its hard to define but I know it when I see it.

     

    Building a nuclear power plant? You need to be regulated.
    A proposed code for nurseries in Colorado that specifies how many crayons each box must contain.
    A city in CA banned smoking inside your own home
    Can you film a TSA agent in a checkpoint? No. Can they strip search you? Yes
    Kids lemon aid stands are being shut down all over the country because they do not have the proper permits.
    A girl selling some home made items at a street fair was forced to leave because she did not have a permit. While a man selling pot smoking accessories was allowed to stay.
    On the Federal side, employment offers must be kept forever. Regardless if the person accepted to job.
    Currently, Obama is trying to push through regulation that would make alcohol brewers be defined as animal feed suppliers since they give their waste to farmers for their live stock. If this goes through it will require a longer permit process, drive up the cost of alcohol and meat.
    I wont even go into the federal permit process, the environmental impact studies that have to be done. The tax code that requires a army of accountants. Import/export regulations etc.
    26 May 2014, 07:02 PM Reply Like
  • rasanders22
    , contributor
    Comments (580) | Send Message
     
    I also forgot that the current government was trying to push through regulation on AM talk shows. Liberal talk shows get killed in the ratings while conservative ones fair better. Liberals can't have that. So they tried to push through the Fairness Doctrine aimed at controlling how many conservative talk shows are on the air.

     

    I also forgot the Federal control over food lunch programs and health requirements. Feds classified pizza as a vegetable because of the tomato sauce.

     

    I could do some more digging but you get the point.
    26 May 2014, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • shpotts
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Jake: "WSJ is another right wing rag, just like FT. All the same predictable sources." "...a childish argument." "Your puppet masters at WSJ..."
    Yes, these are the kinds of ad hominem attacks that pass for argument on the left. Did you read the article? Can you answer it's points? Would it change your opinion if you couldn't? Who is really the puppet here?
    27 May 2014, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • loudano
    , contributor
    Comments (524) | Send Message
     
    San Diego, The federal government should protect me, deliver my mail and leave me alone!
    29 May 2014, 12:41 AM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    How you know a government may be too big:

     

    With each new crisis and scandal, Mr. Obama tells Americans that he just didn’t know.

     

    He didn’t know the Veterans Administration was letting America’s veterans languish and die unattended — he learned about it in the newspaper.

     

    He didn’t know the Justice Department was trolling phone records of members of the U.S. media. He didn’t know the ATF was running guns into Mexico; didn’t know the NSA was spying on the German chancellor; didn’t know the Obamacare website was a disaster; didn’t know the IRS was targeting conservative groups.

     

    With every scandal, the president — the CEO of the United States, if you will — said he first learned about it in the papers. If he were head of Apple or IBM, he’d have been fired years ago, because in business, it’s your job to know, and ignorance is, frankly, even worse than failing. Fail = fired.
    26 May 2014, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    If gov't size is measured as lack of top-down control, then Stalin's Russia would be your ideal of small gov't. I doubt that's what you intend. Care to try again?
    26 May 2014, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Actually i think Obama knew about all those things, he just uses the same excuse when he gets caught. He should get a rolodex for his excuses so at least he doesn't sound so stupid.
    26 May 2014, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    You still haven't defined the yardstick for measuring "size" of government.
    26 May 2014, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1710) | Send Message
     
    SanDiego - people like him avoid answering valid questions. They instead prefer to divert people's attention elsewhere via misdirection.
    26 May 2014, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    Cool cat,

     

    Do you realize you are no better than the 9-11 truthers, just wearing a different jersey?
    26 May 2014, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    You're the one that brought up "yardstick", i know it's too big, if you have doubts then make a yardstick yourself, you're the "strange creature that likes to play with numbers".
    26 May 2014, 02:24 PM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    >>"i know it's too big, if you have doubts then make a yardstick yourself"<<

     

    If you can't explain something in clear and simple terms, you don't understand it yourself.

     

    I've always suspected the folks who throw around the term "big government" have no idea what they mean by that. Sadly, you seem to be proving me right.
    26 May 2014, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Ohhh the usual liberal retort of saying you're a racist when you don't play their yardstick games.

     

    How Do You Know When Government Has Gotten Too Big?

     

    Answer: When seven of the 12 highest-income counties in the country, and four of the top five, are in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
    26 May 2014, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • SanDiegoNonSurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (3496) | Send Message
     
    >>"When seven of the 12 highest-income counties in the country, and four of the top five, are in the suburbs of Washington, D.C."<<

     

    If gov't size is measured by proximity of wealth, then the Middle Ages with its feudal lords and walled cities had bigger governments than we do now. Is that really what you mean -- that the era of knights was the time of biggest gov't?
    26 May 2014, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • coolcat28
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
     
    Why did you edit your comment? Stand by your retarded logic.
    26 May 2014, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • steve4466
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    Wow, I can't believe this sparked so many comments. SA is a site for investors not economists. I live in the UK and can say that the FT is an extremely well-respected journal, so I suspect there is at east some substance to their story. On the other hand they do employ many eminent economists as writers, and often get used by warring factions of economists to further each camp's own personal and political ends. Personally I've always thought economic theory was driven more by political beliefs than by any scientific use of data which might be peer-reviewed or (heaven forbid) capable of replication and validation by other economists. So whether or not the data was fabricated seems besides the point because the main value of Piketty's work is to advance a set of political ideas.
    27 May 2014, 12:31 PM Reply Like
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