Fairness and Redistribution

Discussion in 'Economy' started by PoliticalChic, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    1. Milton Friedman said, “ ‘fairness’ is not an objectively determined concept. “Faimess" like. “needs," is in the eye of the beholder.” http://www.stat.uchicago.edu/~amit/MFI/NSFTC/NSFTC007a.pdf While it is difficult to define, it is central idea of life, and hugely important to nearly everybody.



    2. One way economists have studied ‘fairness’ is by the ‘Ultimatum Game.” …a man approaches with a proposition. He offers you $20 in one-dollar bills and says you can keep the money, under one condition: You have to share some of it with your friend. You can offer your friend as much or as little as you like, but if your friend rejects your offer, neither of you get to keep any of the money. What do you do? Under a strictly utilitarian view of economics, you would give your friend the lowest possible amount. In this case you've got 20 dollar bills, so you would give your friend a dollar. Since it's found money, your friend should accept the dollar. Your friend might call you cheap, or perhaps offer a bit of gratitude drizzled generously with sarcasm -- but, hey, at least he or she made a dollar out of it. The thing is…(it) doesn't translate to how people actually behave when faced with this decision.”
    HowStuffWorks "What's the ultimatum game?"

    3. In society, the ‘giving out’ is, by some, considered a function of government. But most see providing essential services and a minimum safety net as the function, and redistributing earned income, just to get more equality, as not fair.

    a. If income were handed out purely arbitrarily, most would agree that money should be distributed in a more-or-less equal way. In our system, even if it is imperfect, we earn success through hard work and initiative: merit.




    4. In the early 19th century, the prescient Alexis de Tocqueville wrote on American meritocracy, saying Americans were “contemptuous of the theory of permanent equality of wealth.” Winning the fight on 'fairness' - Society and Culture - AEI

    a. “To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” Thomas Jefferson, The Greatest Thomas Jefferson quotes

    b. The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.
    Aristotle The worst form of inequality... at BrainyQuote




    5. “ONCE UPON A time in the land of America, there lived triplet brothers named Tom, Dick, and Harry Class. They were 45 years old, had virtually the same aptitude (skill), and were raised in the same home. Each was married and had two children. All three were employed as carpenters making $25 per hour, working50 weeks a year. While they were almost identical in most respects, they had different preferences and values.

    For example, Tom, who worked 20 hours a week, had a different work ethic from his brothers, Dick and Harry, who each worked 60 hours per week. Neither Tom’s nor Dick’s wives worked, while Harry’s wife worked 40 hours per week as an office manager making $50,000 per year (the same hourly rate as her husband).

    Tom and Dick spent all of their income, and were relying on Social Security to take care of them when they retired. Harry and his wife, on the other hand, saved most of her after-tax income over many years, gradually accumulating $300,000. They invested this money in bonds and real estate that produced $25,000 a year in interest and rental income.
    “The Inequity of the Progressive Income Tax | Hoover Institution

    a. Obama: “ If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
    Which one… Tom, Dick, or Harry Class?
    From which one should we ‘redistribute”?
    And, how much?



    Is "fairness" involved?
    What is?
     
  2. Freemason9
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    Freemason9 Gold Member

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    You're pounding fairly hard today, PoliticalChic. You should learn to relax.
     
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Actually....this is exactly how I relax.

    I love study, and research.
     
  4. EdwardBaiamonte
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    EdwardBaiamonte Gold Member

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    For me the issue is whether redistribution leads to the need for more or less redistribution. Liberals pervert the well intentioned notion of a safety net that catches you when you fall into a house in which you live forever while voting for the Democrat landlord mommy who sustains you.
     
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  5. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Two reasons...

    Americans are good-hearted, and worry about others,

    ...and a school system which indoctrinates rather than allows students to learn to think.


    On the board, there are adults who are unable to apply their own experience to judge propaganda....
    ...they're called Liberals.
     
  6. EdwardBaiamonte
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    EdwardBaiamonte Gold Member

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    yes I agree I have not found one that could be described as intelligent. They are bigots who regard themselves as morally superior merely because they blindly support every form of welfare entitlement.
     
  7. Freemason9
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    Freemason9 Gold Member

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    Uh, this is so talk-radio of you. Drooling yet?

    I think the main disconnect we have is that there are those that thirst for wealth, recognition, affirmation, power, and control over others . . .and there are those that do not.

    Greed will always triumph over compassion because greed invites violence. Compassion does not.

    A thirst for power will always triumph over a peaceful attitude because power lust invites violence. Peace does not.

    Although the right wing has distinct advantages through a pathological willingness to resort to violent and unethical behavior (justified by the fascist "survival of the fittest" mentality), this doesn't change the spiritual and moral underpinnings of nonviolent and peaceful humans. It merely places such persons at dangerous disadvantage (see Germany, circa 1932).

    I will also add that while peaceful, non-political people tend to go about their business--aggressive, patholigical monsters work continually to enslave them.
     
  8. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    Fairness and freedom are mutually exclusive concepts.
     
  9. Freemason9
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    Freemason9 Gold Member

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    Oh, I completely disagree. In fact I would say that both are actually natural states of humans when they are able to understand the real cores of their existence. But this involves something far, far beyond the tragic comedy of politics.
     
  10. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    1. "Uh..."
    So valley-girl of you.



    2. And, here is the remedial that you so richly deserve:

    "SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks is about to become the darling of the religious right in America -- and it's making him nervous.

    The child of academics, raised in a liberal household and educated in the liberal arts, Brooks has written a book that concludes religious conservatives donate far more money than secular liberals to all sorts of charitable activities, irrespective of income.

    In the book, he cites extensive data analysis to demonstrate that values advocated by conservatives -- from church attendance and two-parent families to the Protestant work ethic and a distaste for government-funded social services -- make conservatives more generous than liberals.




    The book, titled "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism" (Basic Books, $26), is due for release Nov. 24.

    When it comes to helping the needy, Brooks writes: "For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society. Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservatives for their callousness in the face of social injustice."

    For the record, Brooks, 42, has been registered in the past as a Democrat, then a Republican, but now lists himself as independent, explaining, "I have no comfortable political home."

    Since 2003 he has been director of nonprofit studies for Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

    ...Another observed that liberals are having fewer babies than conservatives, which will reduce liberals' impact on politics over time because children generally mimic their parents.




    Brooks is a behavioral economist by training who researches the relationship between what people do -- aside from their paid work -- why they do it, and its economic impact.

    He's a number cruncher who relied primarily on 10 databases assembled over the past decade, mostly from scientific surveys. The data are adjusted for variables such as age, gender, race and income to draw fine-point conclusions.

    His book, he says, is carefully documented to withstand the scrutiny of other academics, which he said he encourages.

    The book's basic findings are that conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure.

    Conversely, secular liberals who believe fervently in government entitlement programs give far less to charity. They want everyone's tax dollars to support charitable causes and are reluctant to write checks to those causes, even when governments don't provide them with enough money.

    Such an attitude, he writes, not only shortchanges the nonprofits but also diminishes the positive fallout of giving, including personal health, wealth and happiness for the donor and overall economic growth.
    All of this, he said, he backs up with statistical analysis.




    "These are not the sort of conclusions I ever thought I would reach when I started looking at charitable giving in graduate school, 10 years ago," he writes in the introduction. "I have to admit I probably would have hated what I have to say in this book."

    Still, he says it forcefully, pointing out that liberals give less than conservatives in every way imaginable, including volunteer hours and donated blood.

    "His main finding is quite startling, that the people who talk the most about caring actually fork over the least," he said. "But beyond this finding I thought his analysis was extremely good, especially for an economist. He thinks very well about the reason for this and reflects about politics and morals in a way most economists do their best to avoid."




    Again?
    "...the people who talk the most about caring actually fork over the least,"
    Philanthropy Expert Says Conservatives Are More Generous -- Beliefnet.com - Pangloss's column on Newsvine
     

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