Everybody Knows…

…that capitalism causes inequality between the very rich and the very poor, and that economies with higher degrees of government intervention don’t have that “problem” – right?

Arguing that government policy can too affect income distributionTNR‘s Tim Noah writes:

“If you omit government redistribution from the calculations in the previous paragraph then four countries that previously were more equal in incomes than the U.S.—Portugal, Italy, Israel, and Germany—become less equal than the U.S.”

Wait. You mean that social-democratic, union-heavy, solidaristic Germany has worse income inequality, before taxes and transfers, than the cowboy capitalistic U.S., with its large underclass and out-of-control Wall Street greedheads? Don’t tell the narrative. …

Everybody just knows it.

32 thoughts on “Everybody Knows…

  1. “income inequality” is one of those topics that the Left loves to talk about, but is not very important to the American people. If you poll people they put it way, way down the list of their concerns, below unemployment, high gas prices, the deficit, gay marriage, etc.

  2. A few weeks ago, I was listening to The Dennis Miller Show. A caller made a great comment, where he referred to ‘income inequality’ as ‘income DIVERSITY’.

  3. Capitalism does not, corruption does; capitalism can be very corrupt. That is because capitalism sometimes does not operate in an open and above board way. Sometimes that is unethical conduct that through corrupt practices creates a legal cover for the corrupt behavior, and sometimes – as in the case of the fraudulent ratings given to credit default swaps – it is just straight up fraud. That woud similarly be true of the Madoff and Trevor Cook/ Pettengill & Durand / Beckman ponzi schemes as well.

    Don’t worry – I sorted out the errors in factual information from your previous analysis of ALEC and NCSL here:
    http://penigma.blogspot.com/2012/03/correcting-shot-in-darks-errors-about.html

    The errors like NCSL is an open organization unlike ALEC, the errors like you forgetting to mention that every member of every state legislature is an automatic member of the NCSL – so when there are conservative majorities, the NCSL has a conservative majority, although it is rigorous about maintaining equal bi-partisan leadership. No one lies about submitting NCSL legislation because it doesn’t favor special interests, and there is no corollary group funding campaigns and media purchases for candidates; no legislator ever gets thrown out of an NCSL event either, unlike ALEC.

    There is a whole list of facts you either left out or misrepresented, but I tracked down the source material. Happy to educate you and the mitch-keteers.

    Capitalism can contribute to wealth and income inequality, and when not co-opted and corrupted by special interests, it tends to contribute to a greate mobility and equality. Just depends on what KIND of capitalism you mean.
    But of course, you don’t phrase it that way; you try to phrase it to lie about corrupt capitalism. Geeze, don’t you get the right wing nut memos? Even candidates like Bachmann and Perry were complaining about crooked crony capitalism and vulture capitalism; it’s not an exclusively independent or liberal concept. (although I’m waiting for you to portray it as such)
    Learn your economics history Mitch; check out crooked capitalism in our history. One of my favorite examples would be the era of the Pecora Commission where crooked business practices resulted in huge economic inequality. Here’s an easy version of the history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pecora_Commission

  4. I swear DG just talks to hear her own voice or something. She is living proof of Michael Savage’s thesis that liberalism is a mental disorder. She gets owned and basically her best response is to say were stupid.

  5. Terry, you forgot voter ID, also there’s this dirty little secret that most Americans think that the ‘income distribution’ is already fair, I think around 70%. That’s impressive, I don’t think that you can get 70% of people to agree that the sun rises in the east, but to be fair that’s mainly because of our shitty public schools

  6. Dog Gone, you are an economic ignoramus.
    Ponzi schemes are fraud, not an economic system.

  7. Dog Gone said:

    “Happy to educate you and the mitch-keteers.”

    And the Wikipedia article she references has one cite: a 2010 Paul Krugman op-ed in the New York Times. So very “educational”, but maybe only on the writers “depth” of economic knowledge. I think we can do better.

  8. Like most economically illiterate libturds, Doggy, you rail against capitalism and crooked capitalism, yet they sure aren’t shy about participating in it for their own gain, are they? Like Nancy Piglosi’s gains from insider trading or Dianne Fienstein getting her husband a fat government contract to deal with foreclosed HUD homes or that screeching banshee Maxine Waters making sure that her husband’s bank made some extra millions. But, the biggest left wing ponzi scheme to date? Those magical and worthless Carbon Credits created by Al Gore and his crooked supporters of the DemocRAT party at Goldman Sachs where a piece of paper is exchanged for currency. Brilliant! At least you called out Bernie Madoff, an Obumbler supporting DemocRAT, but as we have all seen repeatedly from you hypocrites, financial crimes are only bad if they involve conservatives.

  9. “Penigma’s Chihuahua (DG), your homework assignment is past due.”

    FACT CHECK saaaays…..Loren is 100% correct!….Ding Ding Ding!

    Oh, and BTW, dimwit; we realize it must be lonesome over at the penisblog, but you opened yer ignorant yap here, so it’s incumbent (that’s a big word for your small brain, I suggest you FACT CHECK IT) on you to make any asinine attempts to explain away your stupidity here….in short, you owe us some laughs and we’re not interested in helping out with your pathetic hit count.

  10. Good God I just read the turds DG pooped out over on her self-pleasuring blog and I can easily surmise that she; thinks the world is probably run by evil corporations that somehow control the government, doesn’t know that thinkprogress, The Nation, and anything else she cites might possibly have a bias or interest in discrediting ALEC, has an unhealthy obsession with trying to find connections where there are none, doesn’t realize that NCSL has absolutely zero citations in the wikipedia ‘article’ and that she probably thinks that she is middle of the road when in fact if she tilted anymore left she’d probably make the OWS kids look sane.

  11. All this is arguing from a false premise. DG, why should income be equal? Is intelligence or ability equal?

  12. You gotta love Dog Gone. Only sources are her own blog and Wikipedia, which even highschoolers know isn’t sourced for accuracy. Meanwhile, the grownups in the room take her apart line by line.

    My fave:

    “Even candidates like Bachmann and Perry were complaining about crooked crony capitalism and vulture capitalism; it’s not an exclusively independent or liberal concept.”

    And even perennial, eternal candidates like Baraq Obama hand out favors through it. That’s why there’s a Tea Party.

  13. Oh Dog Gone. . . your ability to be condescending and completely ignorant at the exact same time never ceases to amaze.
    It is rare that you actually run into a paradoy who is so blissfully ignorant that they don’t even get the irony of who they are. You could not make up someone like DG, a walking example of the left and everything it stands for. Fellas we need to enjoy this, people like this only come around a few times in a lifetime.

  14. Troy wrote:
    And the Wikipedia article she references has one cite: a 2010 Paul Krugman op-ed in the New York Times.

    The last time I commented on DG’s blog she “cited” an about.com article about supply-side economics that was written by a motivational speaker.

  15. Has anybody been able to make sense out of this paragraph?

    Capitalism does not, corruption does; capitalism can be very corrupt. That is because capitalism sometimes does not operate in an open and above board way. Sometimes that is unethical conduct that through corrupt practices creates a legal cover for the corrupt behavior, and sometimes – as in the case of the fraudulent ratings given to credit default swaps – it is just straight up fraud. That woud similarly be true of the Madoff and Trevor Cook/ Pettengill & Durand / Beckman ponzi schemes as well.

    I can’t find the thesis. What’s the difference between “corrupt practices” and “corrupt behavior”? What is “straight-up fraud” and how does it differ from plain-old “fraud”? How can it be “similarly true” to a ponzi scheme? What do ponzi schemes have to do with credit default swap ratings? There are numerous criticisms of capitalism, if by capitalism Dog Gone means laissez-faire or free-market capitalism, and most of that comes from a political-economy direction. I took two semesters of economics, two semesters of 20th cent. history, and a Phil. 101 course, but I have never heard of capitalism being criticized for not being “open” and “above board”. You want to see public money spent and national economic decisions made in secret with no public review go to a socialist country.

  16. A sensible column on economics: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/is-our-economy-too-broken-for-the-fed-to-fix-it/254738/
    I wish Krugman would write columns like this, heavy on analysis, short on polemic. He could, but he won’t.
    The trick with economics is that hard choices have to be made and the answers are not obvious. The opposite of liberals these days isn’t conservatives, it’s libertarians. “Run our economy this way and prosperity for all is assured”.

  17. “I wish Krugman would write columns like this, heavy on analysis, short on polemic. He could, but he won’t.”

    I wish Krugman would retire before he does any more damage. But perhaps that’s just me.

  18. Thank you all for an entertaining thread. jimf gets my special recognition for this little tidbit of sanity: “why should income be equal? Is intelligence or ability equal?”
    That is simple reality, and as Doggie relentlessly proves, we are in short supply of that peculiar commodity.

  19. “Capitalism does not, corruption does; capitalism can be very corrupt…. blah blah blah… babble babble babble…”

    Victory Gin and Kool aid for lunch, eh Deegee. (Mitch, your dear friend needs help, serious mental health help.)

    “ALEC is a shady and shadowy organization through which special interest groups, rich organizations and a few rich individuals like the Koch brothers and the Walton of WalMart family, spend a lot of money on conservative legislators, both state and federal, to get them to submit THEIR legislation…”
    BOO!
    Bwwwwaaaaahahahahahahaha!!!!

    Quite frankly, I am interested in the content of ALL proposed legislation REGARDLESS of the keyboard that was used.

  20. Shady AND Shadowy! I wonder if they are secretive as well?
    I am going to investigate . . . (puts on deerstalker hat, clenches meerschaum between teeth) . . . Watson! The games afoot!
    (spends 15 seconds on google)
    Here is Alec’s web page: http://www.alec.org/
    And here is their membership application: http://www.alec.org/membership/legislative-membership/join-alec-online/
    No racial blood quanta or proof of assets is required. All you need to become a member of ALEC, a “Shady and shadowy organization”, is a hundred bucks.

  21. yes because George Soros never buys politicians and never almost by himself brought down the UK economy in 1992. I’m pretty sure there are people in the England that have a bounty on him

  22. To go back to the original topic, Noah is basically saying that the European social democracies have greater equality because they have larger transfer payments from the well-off to the less-well-off.
    Yawn.
    In the U.S., I believe, the standard belief among economists is that income inequality (measured by the Gini coefficient, I suppose. No time or urge to look it up) would be three times worse without transfer payments. In Europe’s social democracies maybe it’s four times worse without transfer payments. Nobody who knows anything about economics would be surprised by this. Maybe it’s an argument for requiring journalists to take a !@#$% economics class once in awhile. Or at least journalists who work for TNR.

  23. But Terry, if European social democracies transfer much more wealth yet marginally make it more “equal”, does wealth transfer help or hurt?

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