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Cake day: Jul 18, 2021

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Joseph Stiglitz believes so, because it results in problems regarding taxation accounting and arbitrage.

In his view, there should be a single tax that accounts for all your wealth, be it assets, capital gains, rent, salaries, large gifts, etc…

The moment you introduce another form of taxation (and still try to keep the previous ‘single’ all-encompassing tax), you have to ask yourself “How will I account for both taxes? How do I avoid adding up twice in theory and in practice?”

This is not a trivial problem, because it often results in people trying to avoid taxes by seeking to use the lower tax.

This is a form arbitrage. Arbitrage is taking advantage of differences in prices in different markets. For example, offshoring is a type of arbitrage.

Arbitrage is seen when imposing import tariffs. People respond by moving operations to different places in the world or, when taxing different categories of products differently, by claiming products belong to different (low-tax) categories.

In effect, your original attempt to fund your public administration through a tax results in people finding ways of avoiding paying that tax.

Hence the recommendation to tax individual people once (per taxation period) for everything that makes them wealthy.


Is it boomer humor if my dad sent me this?


It’s a norm. There was a discussion here on Lemmy regarding this some months ago.

I think it’s a trivial issue because the sorting algorithm doesn’t really care about the upvote, in terms of all posts being on equal footing. This is, of course, assuming people don’t un-upvote their posts.

I also think it’s trivial in terms of people engaging with the post, because most people will know a single upvote is OPs vote. If they don’t know this, the difference between a post with 0 upvotes and 1 is meaningless, especially given that there are no visible downvotes (which you can clearly see on Lemmy). Moreover, the difference between 0 and 1 votes is nothing compared to, say 20 or 400.

In your honor and for the meme, I’ll un-upvote this comment.


It’s just “not recommended”.

lol. Thanks for reminding me about my right to grate my dick. It’s essential for a democracy. But, as to being able to decide what an instance is for (and not for), who says it’s “not recommended” to decide? Do you not recommend the norm Reddit has adopted of placing rules on the sidebars? Or the norm to have “Terms of Service” you, as a user, must abide by to use the service? Is it not recommended to do that?

Only gigantic companies are allowed to participate on a meaningful level.

I see your point regarding the clustering of email addresses around a few big players. I agree that is a reality. But what does “meaningful” mean here? Is it not meaningful for me to have the option to not use surveillance capitalist email services? Is it not meaningful for a whole community dedicated to that to not use them? Are things only ever meaningful when a great majority have adopted them? Are minorities never meaningful?

The fediverse needs to figure out how to deal with that particular endgame.

Could you explain how the Fediverse could arrive at an ‘endgame’ where it “isn’t an open system where anyone can connect anymore[, where] only gigantic companies are allowed to participate on a meaningful level”?


Idk about the name although Lemmy sounds appropriate. I also don’t know the species of the mascot, bjt it being a lemur sounds appropriate too.



You seem so sure about people’s (and…umm… licenses’) sexual preferences. Just pointing that out. But, following your request, I won’t try to change your mind though.


I love it. His descriptions are always in service of memorable imagery sparking from the least amount of words possible (each character is given one or two physical traits, and that’s it) and tension, as opposed to beauty or intellectual complexity for their own sake, or exposition with no drama. He knows his craft. Or I like his style. Take your pick lol

Last night I was at the scene in which the main character (the potential Muab Dib or whatever) is talking to his father about the arrival to Arrakis, the dangers involved, the strategies to mitigate them, and the spice’s broader political context. That’s 8% of the 3 books, so yeah, still a while from the end of the 1st one.

How was it for you?


It’s almost funny to say yes, because I have to for my studies. It’s book after book, nonstop. Nonfiction.

And yeah, in my daily life I also read nonfiction, mainly for practical purposes like self-improvement (#FoucaultWasRight), answering questions about conversations I had with my neoliberal friends (#FuckMe), and finding out whether we’ll all be doomed or how we could avoid it (#ClimateChange.

But at night I read fiction. Dune rn 👌



Have I?

During a trip, there was this coffee shop my friends were raving about. They suggested to go there. Sure. Why the hell not. What’s the worst that can happen?

The plan was to go there to get lunch and then spend the day in the massive park next to it.

Now, this part of the story is totally unrelated to pooping outside, but I think it’s a disservice to leave it out.

So we get to the coffee shop and we hear someone in the back end having a fight. It’s fucking wild. Someone’s threatening to steal someone else’s car and shit. As we walk in I notice there’s a couple of tables with people watching the fight. Nobody is doing anything. My brain lights up in fire as I’m thinking “this is the bystander effect. This is exactly what I’ve heard about! I need to intervene!”. I run up a flight of stairs and stand between a girl with her high-heel shoe in her hand, threatening the guy who is prostrated behind me.

She stares at me, and her dimples twitch while she figures out what to think of me appearing out of nowhere. Then the guy behind me starts laughing. She immediately bursts into laughter. “Oh, my god. I’m sorry. It’s just a play.”. The people around, the ‘bystanders’, laugh. I realize they’re the audience of the play, and as it all clicks in my mind, I open my mouth and bring my hand to my chest and then to my head as I take a second just to breathe.

I’m so embarrassed. I realize this could’ve happened to anyone, but still wonder why it had to happen to me out of everyone.

I feel a pat in my back and hear “You’re alright? Come. I’ll get you something to drink,” as the girl guides me out of the makeshift stage.

I hear the guy behind, the other actor, saying “Sorry for the interruption.” The audience laughs. “We’ll resume shortly.”

I say I’m sorry to the audience as I walk out.

My party is all cracking up. The girl takes it all in jest. I thank her for how well she handled it all. She thanks me for being “a hero” and tells me whatever I order to drink is on her. She then leaves to speak to the guy in the entrance, so that he can warn other people about the fact that the apparent fight is really a play.

I’m sitting down but my hands are still shaking from the adrenaline.

My ex and her friends are still giving me shit as the waiter comes over. They all know exactly what they want, since they’ve come here before. I don’t want to think, so I just say “What’s good?”.

“Their cold brew.”

I figure if I was old enough to drink alcohol, I should probably try coffee for the first time in my life. Heck, and if it’s the recommendation of the recommended coffee place, it’s probably good, right?

So, here’s the thing about coffee, or caffeine more generally: it makes you wanna shit.

We wait for our orders and the fighting resumes. We hear the same lines again: the threats to steal a car, the revelation that she lied about her family…

My ex suggests to have the drinks to go, so that we are spared the noise. Sure. We get our drinks to go and head off to the park.

And so we walked for a while through the forest as I tried coffee for the first time, and a couple minutes later had to shit by a wooden bridge.



It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s cheap.


A bit of nostalgia (even though I didn’t live it); it feels more like a bunch if hobby projects on display, or a conversation among friends, rather than an optimized attention-grabbing machine.

But also, the internet was ugly af back then, so…


Here’s my take

Just like any capitalist enterprise before, workers have to create more value than what they earn. So in that sense, it’s exploitation. Also, the average wealth increases. Just like capitalism, workers will gravitate towards higher-earning jobs. And just like in capitalism, there will always be a socially-negotiated distribution of surplus. This surplus, however, has a large chunk of it that has to go to investors; otherwise you wouldn’t have capitalism. So there’s an inherent limit to how much of the surplus goes to workers

So, inherently exploitation (because surplus doesn’t go to workers, and because workers can only get so much of it), but there are also inherent opportunities (like wealth creation and the negotiation of surplus).

Having said that, I think the gig economy can make it harder for people to unionize and tilt the odds to their favor. So it lays the foundation for even more exploitation. People push back, of course, but mobilization has to happen higher up, at the level of industries or the State, rather than at the company.


Sure. I updated the original comment to include page numbers. I also suggest watching the video lectures. He covers this topic in his 10th lecture on the course based on the book.

I’m still thinking about this, now that I revisited the topic, but I think it’s fair to say that prices of commodities are ‘composed’, on average, of 85% labor costs. The reason I’m not entirely sure is because it’s different to say that something deviates by an amount, and that one quantity is 85% of another. However, statements from his book like the following make me think it’s fair to use the ‘composed of’ meaning: “In this metric the distance between market prices and direct prices is about 15%, that between prices of production at the observed rate of profit and integrated labor times is about 13%, while that between market prices and production prices at the observed rate of profit is once again about 15%.” (Shaikh 2016, 439)


What debate? Whether people should be informed in their medical choices or not. Fucking ass holes.

I’m sure you wrote this with the intention to make a point about free speech and informed consent. Yet, based on your wording, you’re also making the opposite case (the case in which people make medical choices with informed consent, without the interference of mass disinformation or science denialism).

lol


Yeah, the calculation can get impractically hard to do.

This gets harder to calculate because of integrated costs of production (e.g., the work that went into the machine that another worker used to create your commodity, as well as the work that went into creating that machine, etc.).

However, we’re in luck because the price of commodities is more closely correlated with labor costs than with profits (or ‘markups’); variations between prices and labor costs are, on average, 15%, meaning there’s a very high correlation between both (Shaikh’s Capitalism book, p.21 for a quick summary, a couple graphs of the data in p.396-7, more diverse sources of evidence and theoretical contextualization in p.433-442). This means how much you pay for something can serve as a quick-and-dirty proxy of the integrated labor-cost necessary to produce a commodity, give or take 12-15%. What remains, then, is to estimate a wage (or wages, in the integrated version). In the end, only with prices and estimated wages, I think the question in this post can be reasonably well answered.

Calculating it is both harder and easier than it seems.

Edit: Clarity and page numbers.



As opposed to what? To being idealistic? Then it wouldn’t be a science, would it? It’d be a doctrine, a set of principles.

But to properly answer, I’d say you’d first have to define what strand of economics you’re talking about.

Neoclassical economics (the dominant strand) historically has not remained close to the evidence. Even today, at its fundamentals, it doesn’t. Just look at the controversies surrounding the evidence for marginalism as opposed to the labor theory of value. Or look at the controversies surrounding marginal cost curves in the theory of the firm, or the differences (and not the equality) of profit rates for companies in the same industry due to, for example, differences in equipment. The evidence tells a story, but neoclassical economics insists on telling the same (non-empirical) story.

At the same time, neoclassical economics tries to solve its lack of empiricism by relying on behavioral economics, which at the very least tries to account for a cognitive and cultural context that was previously ignored.

Neo-keynesian economics tries to account for problems in neoclassical economics by looking for a different set of evidence (demand-side policies, for example), and by framing issues differently (profits being the result of imperfect competition). They have gotten closer to solving some problems, such as having a less wonky marginal cost curve in the theory of the firm. But they have also gotten into problems, such as explaining worker agency in the broader framework of their theory.

Finally, classical economics is the strand that keeps as close as possible to the evidence. Every single controversy previously mentioned (theories of value, theory-of-the-firm curve shapes, differences in profit rates, cultural contextualization, policy effects, and framework validity) is, in my eyes, satisfactorily dealt with in classical economics. You can be a judge of this by looking at the classical theory and the criticism it levies against neoclassical and post-keynesian theories in Anwar Shaikh’s Capitalism book.

If your worry is that economics is forgetting its political implications (‘the purpose of science is not just to understand the world, but to change it’), each economic strand has your back. Neoclassical economics legitimizes and justifies capitalism. Post-keynesian economics legitimizes and justifies monopoly break-ups and demand-side policies. Classical economics legitimizes and justifies worker demands and socialism.

Tools are never created in a vacuum. They can be repurposed, but it’s naive to say an AR-15 is a toy meant for long-distance tic-tac-toe.

Hence the danger of classical economics: if people were to stick close to the evidence, they’d realize, for example, that value comes from human work and not by magical markups, or that the wage ratio (how much of the surplus goes towards profits or wages) is socially ‘negotiated’.

But all of this is assuming you are contrasting empiricism with idealism. I could be wrong. What did you have in mind when you wrote “excessively”? For you, what would “too much” be? Would that be problematic?


IMAP email setup in Android: Better to use phone-wide accounts for OAuth or to use one-time passwords?

What considerations should privacy-minded people take into account to make this decision? …

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