The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Lootifer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:27 pm

Im with Mets.

You dont have to connect it to how we should act. There is no neccessary link. We, as middle class 75th+ percentile intelligence white males, were undeniably lucky when it came to the roll of the game of life dice; does that mean we shouldnt still strive to succeed?

No way, we can still improve our lot through hard work; just recognise that that hard work is only a fraction of the reason why we get to scratch our balls in a nicely heated room while we watch some dribble on a 42 inch flatscreen TV.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:31 pm

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Night Strike wrote:
Woodruff wrote:I agree with you AND YET some of those regulations (for instance, the redefining of full time as thirty hours) are a direct response to the actions that businesses are taking in trying to circumvent things already in place. The business' actions are a part of the problem.


And yet those same regulations are costing workers even more hours than before because now the government has set up an exact line where businesses must provide benefits such as health insurance and where they do not have to provide it.
Previously, if a business were to not offer a benefit or as many hours, they risked losing their workers to other companies who would provide such benefits and hours because it was up to each business to choose where to draw the line, causing actual competition. But now, the government has laid out a standard for every business to be the same, which means there are fewer options for workers because every business knows where the minimum is.


But again, in today's job climate, this is irrelevant because there is little threat to losing a worker to another company when there are no other jobs available. That's the problem...corporations, with some significant help by the government, have made it so that the American worker does not have those options.


Wait, corporations prevent people from getting jobs?


American jobs? Yes. Only someone who routinely blindly defends corporate America, such as yourself, would suggest that outsourcing of jobs to other countries provides jobs here in America.


Let's get beyond your stupid assertions (underlined).

What do you think autarky would do to an economy?
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:33 pm

Metsfanmax wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Metsfanmax wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:Ask most people what the #1 contributor toward success in general is, and they will often cite "luck" as a factor.


You talk to some strange people. I don't know anyone other than you that would say that luck is the #1 contributor toward success.


I would say that. For example, I freely admit that my success occurred because I was born into an extraordinarily wealthy family (by global standards; middle class by American standards), because I have fair skin color, and because I was gifted with above-average intelligence and skill in mathematics and science. I didn't earn any of that, yet it was probably responsible for upward of 90% of the share of my success so far in life.


So it's your contention, then, that nobody should bother to try to accomplish anything in life because the primary determinant of their success is based on random chance anyway? Because that seems to be what you are suggesting.


I am simply suggesting that we all recognize that what Obama said is even more significant than when taken at face value, because it also applies to the success we achieve as a result of winning the genetic lottery. One should still want to accomplish things -- but just remember that the accomplishment was only possible because of things you didn't yourself work for.

Obama wrote:If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.


It's funny because one could turn that Obama quote into a defense of free markets. I wonder if the reactions would differ...
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Metsfanmax on Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:12 pm

Woodruff wrote:I agree completely that any success necessarily must include the work of others. That does not in any way contend that luck or the work of those others is the primary reason for success, however.


I am contending that luck and the work of others are in fact the primary reason for success for most people in middle class America. Not that it had to be that way -- just that it is. That group of people is born with extraordinary privileges when compared to the average person on the planet, and it is therefore unsurprising to see that person do well in life (again, compared to the average person). If you disagree, you should advance an argument in the opposite direction. To do this, you'd have to show that the gifts granted to, say, a middle-class American by the lottery of birth cannot explain most of that person's success. There are surely a few counter-examples to my contention, but I doubt it is the norm.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Night Strike on Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:21 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
Night Strike wrote:Player, are people greedy when they demand that the government force businesses to pay them more than their position is worth?

Businesses set the value of their products and business, not people. That is where you err. People are not limitless commodities. People have inherent values, apart from what any business owner claims.
In this case, the question is who gets to decide the worth of the people. Historically, society, not individuals get to set the minimum value for people and their labor. This is why slavery and various types of worker abuse are outlawed. People, joined together form government that can and should limit business overreaches such as claiming that humans have no worth other than what any random business owner decides.


In order to set the value of products, a business MUST factor in the value (cost) that their workers add to those products. It's asinine to think otherwise. If a person thinks that their work is of more value than what a particular business wants to provide, then that person must go out and find a new job that will provide that value. They have no right to demand governmental intervention.

PLAYER57832 wrote:
Night Strike wrote:And if you hate companies that have shareholders, then only work and shop at places that do not. You have the freedom to make that choice, so why don't you want others to have the freedom to make that same choice? Why is the only permissible business model the one that YOU approve of?

Actually, no on both counts.

I don't "hate companies that have shareholders". Corporations are fine, but not superior to humanity. What benefits a particular corporations has nothing to do with what benefits society or humanity. In fact, there are many cases where meeting "corporate need" means denying basic human rights -- that was proven very much in Bangladesh, as it was proven over and over in our country up until roughly the 1950's.

Secondly, I do NOT truly have the choice to just "opt out". I don't have the choice to not invest in mutual funds if I wish to ever retire. I don't have the choice to buy everything from non-corporate sources. Not even Lancaster old older Amish really have that option any longer. Corporations literally control almost everything in our society.

Corporations are not necessarily bad, but they are not inherently good, either. And, they are an artificial construct, not humanity. Humans, not corporations are what our country should be made of, but lately.. people take second fiddle.


No one is forcing you to invest in mutual funds. If you don't like corporations, then stop funding them! Besides, with how much you hate corporations, if they're actually expected to follow the fantasy that you want them to operate on, your mutual funds won't be making any money anyway.

Aren't corporations comprised of and run by humans? Or are they just all robots dictating what happens within? ALL businesses are run by humans, whether they're organized as a corporation or not. Someone needs to learn Business 101.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Lootifer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:36 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:What do you think autarky would do to an economy?

Depends on the economy.

In a vacuum isnt autarky a good thing?
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:45 am

Lootifer wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:What do you think autarky would do to an economy?

Depends on the economy.

In a vacuum isnt autarky a good thing?


Trading enables the ability to capture greater benefits at a reduced cost--depending on the two parties' comparative advantages.

For example, it's more costly to produce oranges in Canada than it is in Florida, and in Florida it's more costly to produce... elk? Canadian whiskey? than it is to produce those in Canada.

Therefore, instead of wasting resources on inefficiently producing such goods locally, it makes sense and is more beneficial to trade.

It's the same on an individual level. Imagine a life where you do not trade anything. You'd have to dedicate more resources to producing items which you're not as efficient in producing (i.e. you lack the comparative advantage). There would be no division of labor since the benefits of doing so are unattainable (cuz no trade).

It's the same on a national level. Trade expands the pie.

So, no, even in a vacuum, autarky sucks--compared to the greater benefits of trade.

(Of course, if one's goal is to capture votes, then sure, "busy-work" by the state is effective at that. Tariffs also appease uninformed voters, who tend to be patriotic. Etc.etc.).
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Lootifer on Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:23 am

You know I agree in theory, but the practicalities of the situation make it rather moot. Its not like China and the US have a nice happy mutually beneficial trade; China makes shit and the US buys it. Its all pretty one way.

Add in that Chinas only comparative advantage is unsustainable (you can always grow oranges better in Florida, but Chinas labour wont always be cheap) and mostly a product of distortion (im sure you can rattle off all the government induced labor market issues) then things start looking pretty messy. Sure I agree trade can be great, but if youre already in a hole, digging some more isnt always the best way out...
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Woodruff on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:30 am

Lootifer wrote:Im with Mets.
You dont have to connect it to how we should act. There is no neccessary link. We, as middle class 75th+ percentile intelligence white males, were undeniably lucky when it came to the roll of the game of life dice; does that mean we shouldnt still strive to succeed?


The suggestion that luck is the primary reason for success means that we don't NEED to strive to succeed. Given luck, we will succeed whether we try or not. Given a lack of luck, we will not succeed regardless of how hard we try. This is because luck is the primary reason for success.

That's my problem with his argument...that luck is the primary reason for success, and the above is why i don't believe that it is.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Metsfanmax on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:37 am

Woodruff wrote:
Lootifer wrote:Im with Mets.
You dont have to connect it to how we should act. There is no neccessary link. We, as middle class 75th+ percentile intelligence white males, were undeniably lucky when it came to the roll of the game of life dice; does that mean we shouldnt still strive to succeed?


The suggestiong that luck is the primary reason for success means that we don't NEED to strive to succeed. Given luck, we will succeed whether we try or not. Given a lack of luck, we will not succeed regardless of how hard we try. This is because luck is the primary reason for success.

That's my problem with his argument...that luck is the primary reason for success, and the above is why i don't believe that it is.


This argument is simply fallacious, though. What you've said is not a reason that luck is not the primary determinant of success. The argument you're making, which is valid, is that we maximize our success if we act as though we have control over our outcomes. I agree. I am simply pointing out that compared to what was available to you simply by being born, what you can do while you're alive is not the biggest factor in your success. If you strongly value a $100,000/year job over a $50,000/year job, then you'll have to work harder to achieve it. But if you could put in not much effort and have enough to live a comfortable life, that is a fairly good indicator that you are born with significant advantages that help you succeed.

I think the argument you are making is that you don't consider it success in life to simply rest on your laurels and accept what you have. That's fine. I am measuring success by objective standards, such as whether you have enough food to eat and whether you have a house to live in, and access to health care. If you are measuring success by a different yardstick, such as improvement relative to your own personal goals in life, then we're just talking past each other.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Woodruff on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:46 am

Metsfanmax wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Lootifer wrote:Im with Mets.
You dont have to connect it to how we should act. There is no neccessary link. We, as middle class 75th+ percentile intelligence white males, were undeniably lucky when it came to the roll of the game of life dice; does that mean we shouldnt still strive to succeed?


The suggestiong that luck is the primary reason for success means that we don't NEED to strive to succeed. Given luck, we will succeed whether we try or not. Given a lack of luck, we will not succeed regardless of how hard we try. This is because luck is the primary reason for success.

That's my problem with his argument...that luck is the primary reason for success, and the above is why i don't believe that it is.


This argument is simply fallacious, though. What you've said is not a reason that luck is not the primary determinant of success. The argument you're making, which is valid, is that we maximize our success if we act as though we have control over our outcomes. I agree. I am simply pointing out that compared to what was available to you simply by being born, what you can do while you're alive is not the biggest factor in your success. If you strongly value a $100,000/year job over a $50,000/year job, then you'll have to work harder to achieve it. But if you could put in not much effort and have enough to live a comfortable life, that is a fairly good indicator that you are born with significant advantages that help you succeed.

I think the argument you are making is that you don't consider it success in life to simply rest on your laurels and accept what you have. That's fine. I am measuring success by objective standards, such as whether you have enough food to eat and whether you have a house to live in, and access to health care. If you are measuring success by a different yardstick, such as improvement relative to your own personal goals in life, then we're just talking past each other.


I see. For me, "success" depends entirely on the person's view of what success is. The only person who can determine if they are successful is themselves. I considered myself a success in the military, based on my rank and the work that I did. I consider myself a success as a teacher because of the impact I have on young people. Many people would look at my paycheck, my house, my car...and say that I'm not particularly successful, so for them the things I mention don't apply. None of what I'm referring to is particularly relevant to survival ("survival is not the word I'm looking for, but I can't think of a better one, because you're talking about more than survival, I recognize), which appears to be what you're somewhat basing success on.

Honestly, your argument sounds very much like the one in the thread about "choices", and I dislike it for much the same reason.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:55 am

Lootifer wrote:You know I agree in theory, but the practicalities of the situation make it rather moot. Its not like China and the US have a nice happy mutually beneficial trade; China makes shit and the US buys it. Its all pretty one way.


So you deny that Americans obtain the cost-savings from such exchanges?

If not, then your position is incorrect.


Is it "pretty one-way"?

US exports to China for 2003-2012, so no, you're wrong.

Here's the imports:
https://www.uschina.org/statistics/tradetable.html

$400 imports v. $100 exports (excluding exported 'money' via US bonds). But government trading is a completely different conversation on trade itself.


Considering the above, your "practicalities" argument is based on nothing.



Lootifer wrote:Add in that Chinas only comparative advantage is unsustainable (you can always grow oranges better in Florida, but Chinas labour wont always be cheap) and mostly a product of distortion (im sure you can rattle off all the government induced labor market issues) then things start looking pretty messy. Sure I agree trade can be great, but if youre already in a hole, digging some more isnt always the best way out...


As the marginal costs of labor rise for China--with everything being held constant (as you are doing), then sure, but that's not how it works. Marginal costs for the factors of production are more than just labor, and people sell different products at different qualities.

Even if we accept your contention, which is incorrect/misleading, then people would trade less with China--assuming that price is the only factor that matters (e.g. rising price + rising quality may offset each other as far as quantity traded is concerned). <shrugs>


Sure, China's subsidizing various things (as the US does) distorts their markets. If they want to ruin their economy, then let them at it. May as well buy whatever you want from them while they're producing it at the current prices.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:57 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Night Strike wrote:
Woodruff wrote:I agree with you AND YET some of those regulations (for instance, the redefining of full time as thirty hours) are a direct response to the actions that businesses are taking in trying to circumvent things already in place. The business' actions are a part of the problem.


And yet those same regulations are costing workers even more hours than before because now the government has set up an exact line where businesses must provide benefits such as health insurance and where they do not have to provide it.
Previously, if a business were to not offer a benefit or as many hours, they risked losing their workers to other companies who would provide such benefits and hours because it was up to each business to choose where to draw the line, causing actual competition. But now, the government has laid out a standard for every business to be the same, which means there are fewer options for workers because every business knows where the minimum is.


But again, in today's job climate, this is irrelevant because there is little threat to losing a worker to another company when there are no other jobs available. That's the problem...corporations, with some significant help by the government, have made it so that the American worker does not have those options.


Wait, corporations prevent people from getting jobs?


American jobs? Yes. Only someone who routinely blindly defends corporate America, such as yourself, would suggest that outsourcing of jobs to other countries provides jobs here in America.


Let's get beyond your stupid assertions (underlined).

What do you think autarky would do to an economy?


In keeping with Woodruff's tradition of constantly heckling PS:

No response, Woodruff? Has logic escaped you?
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e: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Woodruff on Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:34 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Night Strike wrote:And yet those same regulations are costing workers even more hours than before because now the government has set up an exact line where businesses must provide benefits such as health insurance and where they do not have to provide it.
Previously, if a business were to not offer a benefit or as many hours, they risked losing their workers to other companies who would provide such benefits and hours because it was up to each business to choose where to draw the line, causing actual competition. But now, the government has laid out a standard for every business to be the same, which means there are fewer options for workers because every business knows where the minimum is.


But again, in today's job climate, this is irrelevant because there is little threat to losing a worker to another company when there are no other jobs available. That's the problem...corporations, with some significant help by the government, have made it so that the American worker does not have those options.


Wait, corporations prevent people from getting jobs?


American jobs? Yes. Only someone who routinely blindly defends corporate America, such as yourself, would suggest that outsourcing of jobs to other countries provides jobs here in America.


Let's get beyond your stupid assertions (underlined).

What do you think autarky would do to an economy?


In keeping with Woodruff's tradition of constantly heckling PS:


Huh...somehow I missed that post (I remember seeing the one right after it). At any rate, I'm not suggesting that we revert to autarky, and your suggestion that I am simply shows to me that, as I already mentioned, you are routinely blindly defending corporate America. I know you don't like that assertion on my part, but that really is how you come across to me in these fora.

The idea that outsourcing jobs to other nations isn't taking away American jobs seems like a foolish contention.

Actually, I would amend my previous statement a bit (above that last sentence), now that I consider it...you routinely blindly defend the free market as the fix to everything. I do recognize that you don't care for crony capitalism, for instance.

BigBallinStalin wrote:No response, Woodruff? Has logic escaped you?


Have I really struck you as the type to avoid spouting my opinion or that I do it routinely, as is Phatscotty's wont?
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Re: e: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:51 pm

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
But again, in today's job climate, this is irrelevant because there is little threat to losing a worker to another company when there are no other jobs available. That's the problem...corporations, with some significant help by the government, have made it so that the American worker does not have those options.


Wait, corporations prevent people from getting jobs?


American jobs? Yes. Only someone who routinely blindly defends corporate America, such as yourself, would suggest that outsourcing of jobs to other countries provides jobs here in America.


Let's get beyond your stupid assertions (underlined).

What do you think autarky would do to an economy?


In keeping with Woodruff's tradition of constantly heckling PS:


Huh...somehow I missed that post (I remember seeing the one right after it). At any rate, I'm not suggesting that we revert to autarky, and your suggestion that I am simply shows to me that, as I already mentioned, you are routinely blindly defending corporate America. I know you don't like that assertion on my part, but that really is how you come across to me in these fora.

The idea that outsourcing jobs to other nations isn't taking away American jobs seems like a foolish contention.



Yet you use nothing new to defend your claim. You're simply repeating what you said earlier.

I'm not suggesting that you're saying we revert to autarky, so stop being thick. It's a question, which should force you to think, which you're unwilling to do.

I already addressed my question about autarky and trade with Lootifer here:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=192883&start=90#p4228580

and it's related to your claim.

Here's something to think about: Which economy would have more domestic jobs? One which has spent decades in autarky, or one which has spent decades trading.

Do you realize that outsourcing is related to trade? Do you understand the benefits of the division of labor (which includes outsourcing)? Why not think about these concepts instead of digging in your heels and repeating your argument?

Woodruff wrote:Actually, I would amend my previous statement a bit (above that last sentence), now that I consider it...you routinely blindly defend the free market as the fix to everything. I do recognize that you don't care for crony capitalism, for instance


I made a thread about crony capitalism regarding ethanol and the EPA. I point out the crony capitalism when I see it, and feel like typing enough down. Since you're incapable of moving beyond logical fallacies to defend your claim about corporations being the problem that prevents Americans from getting jobs, then at this moment you're not worth taking seriously. For someone so supposedly fixated on exercising logic, you're failing terribly at it.

I would ask you to provide quotes which support your ad hominems, but knowing you, you won't look for them. Why hold yourself to a standard to which you hold others (e.g. j9b)?
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:30 pm

So, to rehash:

Woodruff[1]: Corporations prevent (American) people from getting American jobs.
Woodruff[2]: Outsourcing of jobs to other countries would not provide jobs here in America (implied, since it's the opposite of a position which I, the alleged defender of crony capitalism, maintains)---which is a logical fallacy (ad hominem), and it's masked in moral rhetoric, which is a bad form of arguing.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=192883&start=90#p4228154

BBS: What do you think autarky would do to an economy?
Woodruff[3]: "I'm not suggesting that we revert to autarky, and your suggestion that I am simply shows to me that, as I already mentioned, you are routinely blindly defending corporate America."

Woodruff[4]: "The idea that outsourcing jobs to other nations isn't taking away American jobs seems like a foolish contention."

Woodruff[5]: "Actually, I would amend my previous statement a bit (above that last sentence), now that I consider it...you routinely blindly defend the free market as the fix to everything. I do recognize that you don't care for crony capitalism, for instance."


Here are the problems with your position:

[1] is unsubstantiated. It's followed by a similar repeat of [1] with [4]. That's a logical fallacy (argumentum ad nauseam).

[2] is based on a misunderstanding of trade. If one can outsource one's labor to another (e.g. a lawyer can outsource his typing skills to a secretary), then that lawyer can dedicate more of his labor of being a lawyer. Not only is a job created (secretary)--which would be impossible from your position, but more importantly, the lawyer can spend additional labor hours as a lawyer (so, more quantity of labor is created)--which again would be impossible with your position.

That's why I ask and talk about autarky v. trade (which, yes, involves outsourcing). Outsourcing involves the creation of additional value through the benefits of trade from the arbitrage opportunities found from comparative advantages.

[3] is not an argument, and it's a failure to critically think about your position. It's also followed by a logical fallacy (ad hominem), which again is a poor argument.

[4] I've already explained why that's incorrect (see response to [2]), and repeating one's basic position is not even an argument. It's just a logical fallacy (argumentum ad nauseam).

[5] is a logical fallacy since I don't blindly defend free markets--because I am keen to its weaknesses and the myriad of problems associated with markets. I spend much of time addressing similar issues, so to suggest otherwise indicates that you have no idea what you're talking about (i.e. me), which is herpderp stupid. Nor is it true that I don't care about crony capitalism. If anything, my conversations about rent-seeking, crony capitalism, capture theory, political captalism, etc., demonstrate otherwise. Woodruff is making a groundless allegation, which is childish.


But there's more problems. To frame your position by railing on corporations (+ some government help) is too simplistic. Corporations with or without government aid provide and "prevent" jobs in America and abroad. Corporations and non-profits and "unincorporated" businesses with or without government aid also provide and "prevent" jobs in America and abroad. Your position (i.e. [1] and [4] )allow for only one possibility, which is narrow-minded and simplistic. Your holistic thinking is as ignorant as saying that race X prevents American jobs. Holistic thinking is stupid, and I really don't need to explain why because that should be obvious to you.

Woodruff, you've completely failed in holding yourself to the standards of logic.
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Re: e: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Woodruff on Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:23 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:The idea that outsourcing jobs to other nations isn't taking away American jobs seems like a foolish contention.[/u]


Yet you use nothing new to defend your claim. You're simply repeating what you said earlier.


That's because it's patently clear that if jobs are being moved to another nation, then they are leaving this nation. What kind of additional defense is necessary outside of simple mathematics?

BigBallinStalin wrote:I'm not suggesting that you're saying we revert to autarky, so stop being thick. It's a question, which should force you to think, which you're unwilling to do.


Stop being thick? I know you're incapable of being wrong, but you certainly brought it up as if I was contending we should go that direction, which I wasn't.

BigBallinStalin wrote:Do you realize that outsourcing is related to trade? Do you understand the benefits of the division of labor (which includes outsourcing)? Why not think about these concepts instead of digging in your heels and repeating your argument?


So what you're telling me is that the widgets that are being built in Chinese sweatshops couldn't be built in America?

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:Actually, I would amend my previous statement a bit (above that last sentence), now that I consider it...you routinely blindly defend the free market as the fix to everything. I do recognize that you don't care for crony capitalism, for instance


I made a thread about crony capitalism regarding ethanol and the EPA. I point out the crony capitalism when I see it, and feel like typing enough down. Since you're incapable of moving beyond logical fallacies to defend your claim about corporations being the problem that prevents Americans from getting jobs, then at this moment you're not worth taking seriously. For someone so supposedly fixated on exercising logic, you're failing terribly at it.


Perhaps you didn't read my statement, as I said I RECOGNIZE THAT YOU DON'T CARE FOR CRONY CAPITALISM...

BigBallinStalin wrote:I would ask you to provide quotes which support your ad hominems, but knowing you, you won't look for them. Why hold yourself to a standard to which you hold others (e.g. j9b)?


When have you argued against the free market in these fora?
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Woodruff on Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:26 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:Woodruff, you've completely failed in holding yourself to the standards of logic.


I keep forgetting that you're never wrong, and then un-foeing you. At the risk of being Phatscotty, back in the hole...this time permanently. Feel free to continue your argument with me though.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:18 am

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Woodruff, you've completely failed in holding yourself to the standards of logic.


I keep forgetting that you're never wrong, and then un-foeing you. At the risk of being Phatscotty, back in the hole...this time permanently. Feel free to continue your argument with me though.


I completely demonstrated what was wrong with your position and why. You haven't done anything useful. Whenever someones catches you saying something stupid, you generally cover it with ad hominems. I've noticed this, and even asking you questions leads you to throw a hissy-fit. You're being very immature.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Lootifer on Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:04 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:So you deny that Americans obtain the cost-savings from such exchanges?

At a high level I dont see the US receiving any advantage that they could not generate themselves (other than the cost of labour). Labour is the key aspect, but in terms of comparable advantages its not relevant as any labour $$ that are sent to China can be directly injected into the "value" available domestically (talking about money directly isnt great due to aforementioned government stuffs).

Is it "pretty one-way"?

US exports to China for 2003-2012, so no, you're wrong.

Here's the imports:
https://www.uschina.org/statistics/tradetable.html

$400 imports v. $100 exports (excluding exported 'money' via US bonds). But government trading is a completely different conversation on trade itself.

Er when your balance of trade deficit is 300% that of your exports I would be slightly concerned. I would call that mostly one way... better? My point stands though...

As the marginal costs of labor rise for China--with everything being held constant (as you are doing), then sure, but that's not how it works. Marginal costs for the factors of production are more than just labor, and people sell different products at different qualities.

You know you are implying some "asian manufacturing skillz" thing here right? Considering the technological capability of the US (see: CATO article about medical stuffs) I would estimate that if the US wanted to start marking iphones, nike tshirts and angle grinders then it wouldnt take long for you guys to skill up. The fact is you simply cannot compete with the crazy low cost of labour in Asia.

I am not saying do away with trade, nor subsidize some terrible domestic manufacturing initiative (e.g. Think big); I just simply suggest it would benefit your wal-mart, and similarly employeed low income, workers greatly if you encouraged a bit more domestic consumption.

Even if we accept your contention, which is incorrect/misleading, then people would trade less with China--assuming that price is the only factor that matters (e.g. rising price + rising quality may offset each other as far as quantity traded is concerned). <shrugs>

Yes and in the long term it will probably fix itself, but I would argue that -a- you are doing irreparable damage to your culture (oh but thats ok because you see mindless consumption as a good thing) and -b- you could do some smart things with education, marketing and other forms of soft regulation that would greatly benefit your lower class. I dont live in the states so you may already have these types of things, but I dunno, you guys sure do argue about minimum wage a lot.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:46 pm

I'm not sure if you know what it's like to be poor, but I can imagine that buying higher quality goods (e.g. from whole foods, or from wherever) really eats into one's budget. Those are luxury goods from their perspective. You can feel smug by calling them "mindless consumers," which I don't think they are, but you're really not resolving their constraints. "Mindless consumption." People gotta eat. What are you annoyed about?

Also culture is not homogenous, so this irreparable damage claim is a joke. Remove wal-mart, and you get... a culture of people affording less goods at higher prices? What a great culture! What would the culture even look like? How do you know the current culture is even caused by wal-mart or by buying low-priced goods? How do you know what that culture looks like? I think we're grasping at straws here, so perhaps we can look forward to a different conversation on culture.

To me, whe i read your criticisms on cultures, I must ask: Who are we to even claim which culture is superior to others? That sounds imperialistic to me. (using the general you): How do you even know these things? I'm not proud/arrogant enough to claim which culture would be best for which people. I only want them to be able to choose whichever they identify with, and allow them to do so on a voluntary basis.

Regarding informing people, that's fine--so long as the information isn't propaganda. "Soft regulation" when done through the political process won't overcome interest group politics nor rent-seeking, so I'm not inf favor with this concern of mine, which in my opinion is inevitable through any political process of large-scale democracies. People already market all the time on the margins we've been discussing. How do you think Whole Foods came about? I view it as a reaction to "rampant consumerism" (yet Whole Foods can definitely be part of 'rampant consumerism'), yet such places serve as a fill-in-the-gap measure for environmental issues. The market handled that one section pretty well without soft regulation and bold claims about hampering international trade and about what would be best for other people's cultures.

Of course, there is the long-term v. Short-term concern. I look at the various processes for attaining our mutual goal (in general, prosperity for more). In my opinion, the most efficient means of correcting addressing problems must overcome knowledge and incentive problems, which are best yet not perfectly achieved through the market process).

Anyway, IIRC the main question: Would average wages for poorer people within the US increase if "more domestic consumption" was increased? It depends on the prices and really the means for affecting this change. Hampering international trade would make domestic goods more expensive--assuming that the domestic production of such goods was less efficient compared to trade (so, assuming we'd have a comparative advantage better than our trading partners. Currently, the US doesn't; otherwise, that intl. trade wouldn't be occurring to such a degree). Regardless of those factors, an increased demand for labor in such sectors would on some margin pull labor from other sectors. You can't have your cake and eat it too, nor is unemployment homogenous, so I don't find the "well, there's unemployment in the US, therefore, no problem." So with a policy focused on domestic consumption, you might get an increase in domestic wages, you'd get an increase in prices. So effective wages wouldn't increase (they might even fall, depending on how much trade is hampering with).

There's more, but regarding the deficit: that is allowed to continue due to the government's fiscal policy and the Fed's monetary policy. If 'money' is being shipped out to make up for the lack of exported goods, then--ceteris paribus--the supply of money would decrease, and so in relation to money, we'd get deflation (as the money depletes, you'd need less to buy the same amount of goods). But, the government avoids this--thus the necessary impetus to change our balance of payments, which to me is a problem. Markets in currencies which aren't fiat could correct for this, but <shrugs> try convincing the government to relinquish its indirect method of taxing people through inflating the money supply.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:51 pm

Mets, I'm understanding your perspective better, so thanks for responding. I didn't fully realize the importance of my glossing over our (mis)understanding on the mind/self. Since it's a fundamental issue relative to free will v. Determinism, then why don't start a new topic on that, and then pickup the pieces here?

(Everyone, I'll make that thread, lay out my definitions and understanding of it, and then let it rip. Everything from farts to serious musings will be well-appreciated in that thread).
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Lootifer on Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:36 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:I'm not sure if you know what it's like to be poor, but I can imagine that buying higher quality goods (e.g. from whole foods, or from wherever) really eats into one's budget. Those are luxury goods from their perspective. You can feel smug by calling them "mindless consumers," which I don't think they are, but you're really not resolving their constraints. "Mindless consumption." People gotta eat. What are you annoyed about?

I was talking about non-food consumption; I would hope that most of your food is sourced locally (if not then I give up; you guys are fucked lol).

I'll get to what I meant by mindless consumption below; but I dont mean your average low income joe buying his groceries.

Note im going to mix and match your quotes so I can better reply to them.

Also culture is not homogenous, so this irreparable damage claim is a joke.

Who are you to even claim which culture is superior to others? That sounds imperialistic to me. How do you even know these things? I'm not proud/arrogant enough to claim which culture would be best for which people. I only want them to be able to choose whichever they identify with, and allow them to do so on a voluntary basis.

Tehe, american culture not homogenous? I couldn't possibly comment as I am by no means a cultural expert, but from my viewpoint your society seems to be doing everything they can to homogenise your culture. (you control culture, you control how people behave - far more effective than any government regieme).

Regarding informing people, that's fine--so long as the information isn't propaganda. "Soft regulation" when done through the political process won't overcome interest group politics nor rent-seeking, so I'm not in favor of that.

Well yeah, but I'd argue that has everything to do with your current political process/landscape rather than any failing on soft regulation (I.e. I mean "Free range eggs are great because they look out for the wellbeing of chickens" and not "Free range eggs at BEST; you can get all the free range eggs you need from WholeFoods - message brought to you by the wonderful partnership between XYZ government agency and WholeFoods").


Remove wal-mart, and you get... a culture of people affording less goods at higher prices? What a great culture! What would the culture even look like? How do you know the current culture is even caused by wal-mart or by buying low-priced goods? How do you know what that culture looks like? I think grasping at straws here.

Would average wages for poorer people within the US increase if "more domestic consumption" was increased? It depends on the prices and really the means for affecting this change. Hampering international trade would make domestic goods more expensive--assuming that the domestic production of such goods was less efficient compared to trade (so, assuming we'd have a comparative advantage better than our trading partners. Currently, the US doesn't; otherwise, that intl. trade wouldn't be occurring to such a degree). Regardless of those factors, an increased demand for labor in such sectors would on some margin pull labor from other sectors. You can't have your cake and eat it too, nor is unemployment homogenous, so I don't find the "well, there's unemployment in the US, therefore, no problem." So with a policy focused on domestic consumption, you might get an increase in domestic wages, you'd get an increase in prices. So effective wages wouldn't increase (they might even fall, depending on how much trade is hampering with).

There's more, but regarding the deficit: that is allowed to continue due to the government's fiscal policy and the Fed's monetary policy. If 'money' is being shipped out to make up for the lack of exported goods, then--ceteris paribus--the supply of money would decrease, and so in relation to money, we'd get deflation (as the money depletes, you'd need less to buy the same amount of goods). But, the government avoids this--thus the necessary impetus to change our balance of payments, which to me is a problem. Markets in currencies which aren't fiat could correct for this, but <shrugs> try convincing the government to relinquish its indirect method of taxing people through inflating the money supply.

I do find it interesting that the trickle down effect only applies when it is convienent; and looking out for number one (or more specifically looking out for number ones populace) should be discouraged. To me it looks like you are contradicting your key principles here, but that might just be me...

Are you not misrepresenting efficiency here thou (underlined)? What naturally present comparable advantage is leading to this "efficiency"? I dont believe there is anything other that labour costs that could not be overcome - but labout costs cannot be overcome obviously. So there's a kind of induced imbalance that sends sub optimal signals to the market (sub-optimal in terms of looking out for number one): made in china goods appear cheaper as because of the reduced labour cost; but in terms of real purchasing power I dont see any reason why they cannot be the same price (or less considering you are making them halfway around the world and paying extra cost to get them from producer to consumer). The more expensive domestic goods should be offset by increased domestic wage pool and less waste in transport I would have thought...
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Timminz on Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:06 pm

jay_a2j wrote:lets not be so quick to judge Hitler
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Woodruff on Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:03 am



I have been told too many times that the market corrects for this sort of thing, as competitors become more attractive due to not following those practices. Or some bullshit like that.

The truth is that these practices bring everyone else down to their level, more often than not.
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