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Thread: Basic Economics: In Defense of Neoliberalism

  1. #21
    Cookiegod's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Basic Economics: In Defense of Neoliberalism

    Neoliberalism is about as close to reality as the opposite: Communism.
    Both are dogmatic extremist ideologies that simplify the world far too much.

    Income inequality drives up crime, creates classes that people can't get out of, and furthermore a lot of other things that weaken the economy.
    The lessened investment in infrastructure have the same effect. And the privatisation of what used to be key responsibilities of the government have the same effect.

    Furthermore, the claim that private companies are naturally more effective than state owned is also a reductionist fallacy. It comes down to the size of the company.
    Germany's strength as the worlds economic superpower vs e.g. French weakness is the fact that Germany relies on a lot of small companies, whereas France relies on a very few very big ones.

    Throughout Europe, the results of privatisation have all been negative, and even outside of it there's an abundance of well functioning, profitable already private enterprises that were nevertheless destroyed by greedy hedge funds.

    There is a capitalist case to be made for free colleges, universal healthcare that covers the basics, and strategic monopolies being controlled by the government.
    That's what taxes are there for. Having to pay taxes for using privatised highways is just a tax in disguise. Except that the company taxing you is interested in nothing but self-enrichment, whereas your government has a natural interest in the bigger picture.

    A globalist free market is also frankly not the best idea, given that different countries have differing interests. It drives up the wealth of the richest people in the developed countries, and it might have some benefits for the lower classes in third world countries, but blue collar workers in developed countries are often screwed by this.

    And the argument brought up earlier in this thread that "that's not real neoliberalism" reminds me a lot of the communists saying that the Soviet Union wasn't really communist.
    It might have some merit to it, but this claim also shows how unimplementable that ideology is in the first place.



    Oh and one last thing: Healthcare in Switzerland is NOT AT ALL comparable to the US. Seriously. American healthcare would be funny if it wasn't such a tragedy.
    .







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  2. #22
    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Basic Economics: In Defense of Neoliberalism

    Quote Originally Posted by NorseThing View Post
    The growth rate of medical administrators.... graphis part of the argument for single payer.
    Indeed, it's just part of the problem. Administrative costs of care (activities relating to planning, regulating, and managing health systems and services) accounted for 8% in the US vs a range of 1% to 3% in the other countries (study from August 2018).
    US pays more for doctors, pharmaceuticals, health care administration. See above.What's more,overall health system performance in the United States does not compare well with that in other wealthy nations. See previous post.
    More -75% of the US health care spending is on people of chronic conditions.U.S. should place more emphasis on preventive care.Cut health cares with prevention.
    Commonly known reasons for not getting the recommended preventive services: lack of health insurance; lack of a usual doctor or nurse; and problems with health care delivery including wait times in clinics or doctors' offices.
    Source.Few Americans Receive All High-Priority, Appropriate Clinical Preventive Services Health Affairs, June 4, 2018. VOL. 37, NO. 6: HOSPITALS, PRIMARY CARE & MORE
    ----
    The future of medicine is pro-active medicine that addresses the underlying mechanisms and causes of diseases, especially in chronic diseases that are now the primary concern for all health care professionals.Any health care reforms should include preventive medicine. Trump,a Threat to Public Health | Harvard Public
    once wrote:"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.” – Albert Einstein" .The narcissist was talking about himself. Well, that precisely our (european) motto: European Society of Preventive Medicine
    -----
    Back to the topic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Neoliberalism is about as close to reality as the opposite: Communism.
    Both are dogmatic extremist ideologies that simplify the world far too much.
    A very clear, albeit simplistic way of explaining; but you are right.
    -----
    Is neoliberalism doomed ? what is the current trend?
    Democrats More Positive About Socialism Than Capitalism Gallup's measurement over the past decade.

    • 47% of Democrats view capitalism positively, down from 56% in 2016
    • 57% of Democrats now view socialism positively, little changed from 2010
    • Republicans very positive about capitalism; 16% positive on socialism
    Socialism, what socialism?
    The ultimate goal of "socialism" of the 21th century is not Soviet-style planning, but to win rights to healthcare/education/ housing, to create new democratic institutions in workplaces and communities, and fight racism and sexism.A decade ago, 80% of Americans agreed with the statement that a free market economy is the best system. Today, it is 60%, lower than in China. One recent poll found that only 42% of millennials supported capitalism. In another, a majority of millennials said they would rather live in a socialist country than a capitalist one. Here, a very interesting debate. Steve Pearlstein, author of Can American Capitalism Be Saved? versus Bhaskar Sunkara, author of the Socialism Manifest/ editor of the socialist journal Jacobin, The debate: is America's future capitalist or socialist? - Vox
    Last edited by Ludicus; March 02, 2019 at 10:57 AM.
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    Harry Truman Oct. 10th, 1952

  3. #23
    cfmonkey45's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: Basic Economics: In Defense of Neoliberalism

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Neoliberalism is about as close to reality as the opposite: Communism.
    Both are dogmatic extremist ideologies that simplify the world far too much.
    Considering that most of the developed and developing world, which has embraced neoliberalism, has undergone some of the most explosive growths in history, while virtually every Communist or Socialist nation has either collapsed (in the case of the USSR or Yugoslavia), or outright abandoned Socialism (such as China, and the Warsaw Pact), and that nations that still retain socialist systems vastly under perform their free market counterparts, seems to indicate that this is flatly false.

    Neoliberalism, as it's typically defined, draws heavily from Mainstream Economics. There are two broad mainstream schools: Freshwater (drawing on Neoclassicalism and the Chicago School) and Saltwater (drawing on Neo-Keynesianism), which refer to their location in the United States. Additionally, it is largely one of the only mainstream political ideologies to do so. Neither nationalism, nor populism, nor the burgeoning Democratic Socialism (which is simply misnamed Social Democracy), draw from any orthodox school of Economics.

    So the notion that Neoliberalism is dogmatic to the extreme is also flatly false, since it relies on evidence-based policy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Income inequality drives up crime, creates classes that people can't get out of, and furthermore a lot of other things that weaken the economy.
    Ok, so if income inequality is rising, why is violent crime at an all-time low in the United States?



    Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics (Department of Justice)


    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    The lessened investment in infrastructure have the same effect. And the privatisation of what used to be key responsibilities of the government have the same effect.
    1) I dispute that investment in infrastructure has actually declined, either in absolute terms, or as a percentage of GDP or even total construction spending.

    Source: US Census Bureau (accessed from the Federal Reserve). Total amounts are indexed to 1993 (the earliest available).

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Total public infrastructure investment peaked in 2010 at 180% 1993 levels, and have remained mostly flat since then.

    2) Considering that few (if any) US industries were nationalized and then privatized, I'm going to assume that you are talking about Europe.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Furthermore, the claim that private companies are naturally more effective than state owned is also a reductionist fallacy.
    Firstly, no it isn't a reductionist fallacy. Since all of these industries rely on materialistic inputs that can be quantified, then we can compare the performance of nationalized state industries to private counter-parts. Additionally, no neoliberal or economist would suggest that a private monopoly is better than a state monopoly. What economists would say is that all monopolies rely on rent seeking behaviors (that is economic benefit above the competitive equilibrium), which create deadweight loss.


    To explain my line of thinking, I'm going to have to at least go over the standard economic models for Monopolistic and Oligopolistic Competition. These are theoretical and are rarely purely seen in the real world. The analogy that I would use is that when you are learning geometry, you will never experience a perfect sphere or perfect euclidean shape, but many shapes in nature approximate these euclidean shapes, so its important to learn the basics.

    According to the Cournot model of Oligopoly, in a one firm market, the monopolist firm throttles production to create an artificial shortage to extract the most profit.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    In wonkish economic terms, this is defined as setting the price/quantity to the Marginal Revenue Curve rather than the Demand Curve, as in a competitive equilibrium (Free Market). However, as more firms enter the market, each firm needs to estimate how much the other is producing. The cournot model assumes that total output would be modified (n-1)/n, where N is the number of firms in the market. According to the proof, as the limit of n approaches infinity, price approaches marginal cost. Hence the proof. However, in the real world, that's not possible. Instead, after about 5-10 firms enter the market, most firms just produce the maximum that they can in order to gain enough market share.

    In a perfectly competitive market, prices = marginal cost. Few markets fully come this close, but most approximate it. When firms compete, they often try to reduce costs either by increasing output (Q), or lowering their costs. This is known as the Bertrand Model of Competition. Lowering costs are a good way to lower price. There are a couple ways to do this. A firm's production function has a couple of inputs: Labor (L), Capital (K), and non-labor factors (a) (usually technology and everything else). From theoretical grounds, economics uses a Cobb-Douglas Model to approximate it, so the function looks like F = a*L^(alpha)*K^(beta). Alpha and Beta are the shares of production for each of the inputs. To have constant returns to scale, alpha + beta would equal 1. There are other inputs, such as energy and fuel costs, and intermediate goods, but I'm not going to get into that because it gets to be complicated.

    To acquire these assets, a firm must purchase them on separate input markets: the labor market and the capital market. In equilibrium, the prices for these inputs are defined as their marginal product. So an employer will pay a worker roughly equivalent to what their contribution to the company is. If they underpay, then that worker may leave to go to another firm. If they overpay, then the firm will lose money. Obviously, labor economics is an incredibly complicated subject with its own expansive literature. Labor markets, particularly for unskilled labor, often are plagued with information asymmetry (employees don't know their marginal benefit, or the market rate, while firms can only estimate their input), many labor markets are monopsonies (only a handful of buyers), and there are high transaction and search costs (explained by the DMP Model) associated with trying to change to a different job. However, all of that is complicated and beyond the point, so I will need to get back to my original discussion.

    Firms can lower costs in labor markets by lowering the price at which they are bidding for a specific group of labor (in this case wages). However, in most cases if they offer too low of a wage, they won't get as many prospective employees (note: this is why certain fast food joints, like In-and-Out pay an efficiency wage above the market to lower their search costs for new employees, while McDonald's doesn't). The other market they have is fixed capital. This could be things such as equipment (computers for office jobs, construction equipment for others, and real estate for nearly every industry). That has its own constraints, namely that capital is fixed in the short run (i.e. it takes several years to build a new factory, or new building, but only weeks of searching to find new employees or fire them).

    So instead, in competitive markets, what firms do is that they invest in new technology and skills (a), and then slowly, over time, invest in increasing capital and labor. This has the effect of lowering the price by increasing output. Because of the Jevon's Paradox, often when prices for goods increase, demand also increases (often at an exponential rate).



    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    It comes down to the size of the company.
    Yes and no. It depends on the organization of industry in that field, and the economies of scale they can provide.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Germany's strength as the worlds economic superpower vs e.g. French weakness is the fact that Germany relies on a lot of small companies, whereas France relies on a very few very big ones.
    France also pursued a massive state capitalist venture known as Dirigisme where the state owned most industries. This had lots of benefits, notably that France wisely decided to build its energy infrastructure on Nuclear Power because the state energy companies did not have the same regulations that capitalist nations had. This has led to France having the lowest CO2 outputs of any nation in the OECD. However, it came at a cost, not only of less competitive industries, but also missed opportunities. The State-owned car company Renault was unable to shift its competitive structure like German firms like Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen, and needed to be restructured and privatized. This came following the Steel Crisis in the 1970s and 1980s. That is a key example of how nationalization to provide adequate leadership and investment, and many of the state owned industries in Europe were blindsided and forced to restructure, which often included privatization.

    Another example of missed opportunities within the French Model was the Minitel, which was a precursor to the internet. The program was rolled out in 1982, a full 10 years before the internet was rolled out in the United States. Because of the government monopoly on its implementation (and its poor subsidy model), there was no ability for outside investors or competing companies to build off o the Minitel model in the same way as the World Wide Web. Thus,the Minitel failed to revolutionize communications the way the internet did, and France lost out on the potential to become a global leader in telecommunica

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Throughout Europe, the results of privatisation have all been negative, and even outside of it there's an abundance of well functioning, profitable already private enterprises that were nevertheless destroyed by greedy hedge funds.

    Let's take British Steel for example: in 1967, Labor nationalized British Steel. However, the company was hemorrhaging money. The nationalized company leadership decided on a policy of full employment, so they kept open noncompetitive and obsolete plants and hired more workers than necessary for production. This diverted money away from necessary technological improvements needed to keep pace with emerging companies. The UK saw its steel production decline by half from 24 million metric tons in 1967 (when it was nationalized) to 11 million metric tons in 1980. British Steel was privatized in 1988, and by 1990, British Steel's output had increased to 17.8 million metric tons.

    Total steel employment peaked at just below 800,000 in 1974 across Europe, but by 1988 had declined to under 450,000. This was true of all steel industries, regardless of whether they were nationalized or privatized. This was mostly the result of cheap steel being dumped on the market from-then emerging countries like Japan, which had several major technological improvements, and doubled steel production from 62 million metric tons in 1967 to 110 million metric tons by 1990.

    Total Global Steel Output has increased by 55% from 497.2 million metric tons of steel in 1967 (when BSC was nationalized) to 770 million metric tons in 1990, with nearly all of the gains coming from the developing third world. Today, Global Steel production is at 1.8 billion metric tons, with China accounting for nearly half.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...eel_production

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    There is a capitalist case to be made for free colleges, universal healthcare that covers the basics,
    And I'm not disputing this. However, do note that a significant portion of Public Universities are either state run, or state chartered, and the State and Federal Governments subsidize them heavily. However, from 1974 to present, tuitions over the same time have exploded by 800%. There are many reasons for this, from vendor lock-in, to limited supply, to malinvestments in education, to state budget cuts (though in absolute terms they have held relatively steady). Additionally, since the Federal government is issuing subsidized, guaranteed loans it has enabled an increasingly larger share of the public to attend universities. However, since the universities aren't equipped to handle them, it's exposing failures in their business model. For instance, universities are compelled to accept


    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    and strategic monopolies being controlled by the government.
    This is what I am disputing.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    That's what taxes are there for. Having to pay taxes for using privatised highways is just a tax in disguise.
    I agree completely. Though, the United States erred greatly by replacing the railway system with a publicly funded highway system. It costs three times as much to move freight by rail as it does by truck.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Except that the company taxing you is interested in nothing but self-enrichment,
    They're engaging in rent-seeking, yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    whereas your government has a natural interest in the bigger picture.
    Haha, I heartily disagree. Does Trump care for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    A globalist free market is also frankly not the best idea, given that different countries have differing interests.

    A globalist free market is frankly the best idea, given that nearly every economist is in agreement with it.

    Gains from trade vastly outstrip any drawback and have lifted billions out of poverty.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    It drives up the wealth of the richest people in the developed countries, and it might have some benefits for the lower classes in third world countries, but blue collar workers in developed countries are often screwed by this.
    Again, total and complete bs. Every consumer benefits from cheaper goods and imports. Full stop. Billions of people have been lifted out of poverty, while at most hundreds of thousands or millions have been mildly inconvenienced by shifting into separate industries.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    And the argument brought up earlier in this thread that "that's not real neoliberalism" reminds me a lot of the communists saying that the Soviet Union wasn't really communist.
    It might have some merit to it, but this claim also shows how unimplementable that ideology is in the first place.
    Mixed Industries failing due to asymmetric information and price distortion due to a combination of rent seeking and poor government intervention doesn't disprove my thesis, since I have actually provided evidence to explain why it exists within my model.

    The Socialists who argue that the USSR wasn't real Communism are engaging in revisionist fantasies, and there is a litany of evidence of non-Stalinist, non-Leninist Socialist nations that have similarly failed. This is at best a false equivalence.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Oh and one last thing: Healthcare in Switzerland is NOT AT ALL comparable to the US. Seriously. American healthcare would be funny if it wasn't such a tragedy.
    No, of course not. It's a much more transparent and fair system. People can freely choose on an open market which healthcare plan to buy, which includes a government option. For a country the size of Wyoming, they have about 30 to 40 competing insurance companies, with prices on pharmaceuticals that reflect actual costs. There are no shortages of doctors because of Medical Licensure, and prices are mostly free to float.

    By contrast, where I live in the State of California has a monopoly of 5 companies that control 80% of the market. I can only purchase insurance once per year (in open enrollment in November). My company pays for my existing insurance plan (which is subpar, but cheap for the company). There is a national shortage of 50,000 doctors, so existing doctors are overworked but also get to be more highly compensated (hence why over 40% of physicians are in the top 1%). Prices for drugs and pharmaceuticals are distorted because of import regulations that have been granted by Congress to companies, which enable them to engage in rent-seeking.

    So, you are correct. The Swiss model is much closer to what I would argue is a truer free market than the United States. Obviously, there are unique systems to the Swiss healthcare model that wouldn't be realistic to implement in the United States, but it has several major lessons.



    Quote Originally Posted by NorseThing View Post
    @ cfmonkey45: A great thread. Too much to absorb with even several readings. I look forward to more of these economics threads from you!
    Thanks! I'm planning on a couple more.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorseThing View Post
    One point though more points will eventually follow. The growth rate of medical administrators should not be compared to the growth rate of physicians and specially for the time periods you are using.
    It's an extremely valid comparison, since one major criticism of the US healthcare industry is its chronic shortage of healthcare providers. The total growth of healthcare employment needs to be decomposed. Currently, health care industries are the least profitable industries in the United States, with hospitals and nursing and residential systems ranking towards the bottom. Insurance (which includes auto, home, and other types of insurance) also rank below average for profitability.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    According to this CNN article, Health Insurance companies are among the least profitable. Pharmaceuticals (many of which are granted certain monopolies and engage in rent seeking behavior) rank near the top. For identical drugs sold in separate countries, prices are astronomically higher in the United States. This could be fixed by allowing imports of those drugs, but this is expressly prohibited by law.

    https://money.cnn.com/magazines/fort...tries/profits/



    Quote Originally Posted by NorseThing View Post
    There was a transition to more medical plans rather than the simple state based Blue Cross / Blue Shield growth of plans and the growth of insurance companies participating is the real result in the growth rate of administrators. There was also the change to more dependence on medical insurance for basic needs that used to be paid in cash.
    Yes, this was a direct result of those regulations. Insurers now needed to pay for additional things other than basic needs and catastrophic insurance. This was touched upon in that Athena Health article I mentioned. Before the 1990s, most doctors and hospitals tended to be smaller, independently run practices. Administrative costs were low because compliance was not that time consuming. Instead, due to rising administrative costs, these groups have had to consolidate.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorseThing View Post
    Yes, I know your graph is part of the argument for single payer. But the graph is still misleading by comparing apple to oranges.
    Not necessarily. These are still part of the overhead of the healthcare industry. If most of the employment is going towards administration overhead to deal with complex regulations and market opacity, then it means that we need to fundamentally reshape how these industries function.
    Last edited by cfmonkey45; March 02, 2019 at 05:22 PM.

  4. #24
    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Basic Economics: In Defense of Neoliberalism

    Quote Originally Posted by cfmonkey45 View Post
    if income inequality is rising...
    U.S. income inequality has worsened significantly in the past 30 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by cfmonkey45 View Post
    ...why is violent crime at an all-time low in the United States?
    All time low? not at all.FBI violent crime offense figure five year trend 2013-2107.




    When the Great Recession hit in early 2008, crime rates fell in the US and in most other developed nations hit by the financial collapse and recession. The recession of 2008-2009 recession was the longest and steepest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the1930s.
    Crime and the Great Recession - SAGE Journals - Sage Publications

    For some criminologists and other observers, the absence of crime increases during the Great Recession simply confirmed their belief that crime has little to do with economic conditions (e.g., Wilson, 2011).
    This view, however, is not supported by recent studies showing that crime rates increase as economic conditions worsen and decrease as they improve (Arvanites & Defina, 2006; Bushway, Cook, & Phillips,2013; Gould, Weinberg, & Mustard, 2002; Rosenfeld & Fornango, 2007). Either that body of research is fundamentally unsound, which is very unlikely, or something (or several things) had happened that broke the connection between recessions and crime increases that had prevailed since the Second World War.
    Crisis and Crime:
    declining economic conditions do not lead to higher overall crime or property crime levels, yet they do have significant effects on violent crime levels.
    ..Future research on the unemployment-crime relationship should also explore the possibility that increases in unemployment are resulting in higher cybercrime.


    Recent Violent Crime Trends in the United States June 2018


    Some of the largest cities in the United States saw increases in violent crime rates, homicide rates, or both from 2014 to 2015 and/or 2015 to 2016. For some of these cities, violent crime or homicide rates were the highest they have been in the past 20 years
    Recent increases in violent crime and homicide in large cities have received a great deal of attention, but in smaller communities violent crime and homicide rates also increased from 2014 to 2015 and again from 2015 to 2016, although not as much as in the largest cities.
    From 2015 to 2016, the violent crime rates increased for cities of all sizes. Specifically, the violent crime rates.
    From 2015 to 2016, homicide rates increased in cities with populations of less than 50,000 and 100,000 or more. Specifically, the homicide rates.
    The connection between inequality and crime is strong: inequality and violent crime - World Bank Group
    According to the World Bank, a simple measure of inequality predicts about half of the variance in murder rates between American states and between countries around the world. Read the full paper and check the math,

    Abstract
    We investigate the robustness and causality of the link between income inequality and violent crime across countries. First, we study the correlation between the Gini index and homicide and robbery rates within and between countries. Second, we examine the partial correlation by considering other crime determinants. Third, we control for the endogeneity of inequality by isolating its exogenous impact on these crime rates. Fourth, we control for measurement error in crime rates by modeling it as both unobserved country effects and random noise. Finally, we examine the robustness of this partial correlation to alternative measures of inequality. The panel data consist of non overlapping 5-year averages for 39 countries during 1965–95 for homicides and 37 countries during 1970–94 for robberies. Crime rates and inequality are positively correlated within countries and, particularly, between countries, and this correlation reflects causation from inequality to crime rates, even after controlling for other crime determinants.
    Crime rates and inequality are positively correlated within countries and, particularly, between countries, and this correlation reflects causation from inequality to crime rates, even after controlling for other crime determinants.
    ----
    ----
    Let's face the facts: all types of homicide/crimes are much less common in the Nordic egalitarian countries than in the US. Why? check:
    1 -social welfare. In general there is no financial need to commit crimes.
    2- Relatively small differences between poor and rich.
    3- A strong social-security network.
    4- A transparent society; nordic countries are the least corrupt in the world.

    --
    Income Inequality-its impact on global poverty; Europe vs the US
    One chart from the 2018 World Inequality Report (read the full paper) shows how much worse income inequality is in America than Europe.The contrast is stark.(1). The income share of the poorest half of Americans is declining while the richest have grabbed more. In Europe, it's not happening.
    Check,
    Figure E2a: Top 10% income shares across the world, 1980–2016: Rising inequality almost everywhere, but at different speeds
    Figure E2b:Top 10% income shares across the world, 1980–2016: Is world inequality moving towards the high-inequality frontier?
    (1) Page 8: Figure E3 Top .1% vs. Bottom 50% national income shares in the US and Western Europe, 1980–2016: Diverging income inequality trajectories
    Figure E4:The elephant curve of global inequality and growth, 1980–2016
    Figure E5: The rise of the global top 1% versus the stagnation of the global bottom 50%, 1980–2016
    Figure E6 :The rise of private capital and the fall of public capital in rich countries, 1970–2016
    Figure E7 : The decline of public capital, 1970–2016
    Figure E9: The squeezed global wealth middle class, 1980–2050
    Figure E11 : Inequality has substantial impacts on global poverty

    --

    In the richest country in the world, where there is no such thing as the NHS, only the rich get good healthcare.
    Last edited by Ludicus; March 02, 2019 at 08:40 PM.
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    Socialism is the epithet they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years.
    Harry Truman Oct. 10th, 1952

  5. #25
    cfmonkey45's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: Basic Economics: In Defense of Neoliberalism

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    All time low? not at all.FBI violent crime offense figure five year trend 2013-2107.






    When the Great Recession hit in early 2008, crime rates fell in the US and in most other developed nations hit by the financial collapse and recession. The recession of 2008-2009 recession was the longest and steepest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the1930s.
    Crime and the Great Recession - SAGE Journals - Sage Publications

    Crisis and Crime:



    Recent Violent Crime Trends in the United States June 2018




    The connection between inequality and crime is strong: inequality and violent crime - World Bank Group
    According to the World Bank, a simple measure of inequality predicts about half of the variance in murder rates between American states and between countries around the world. Read the full paper and check the math,

    Abstract
    You've misread that information. It's increased in absolute terms only because the population has increased. When controlled as violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, it remains near the lowest levels.

    In 1998, there were 567.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people. It reached and all time low of 361 in 2014, but ticked up slightly 2017 to 382.9.

    Property crimes are nearly half of what they were in 1998, while rapes have declined from 34 per 100,000 inhabitants to 30. Aggravated assaults are down from 361 to 248.



    Here's the table for that information.


    Also, the trend doesn't support your conclusion. If violent crimes rise with wealth inequality and during recessions, they should have spiked in the years after 2008. However, they continued to decline, reaching a 30 year low in 2014, but have ticked back up slightly despite the United States reaching nearing full employment and one of the longest Post-War economic expansions.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    ----
    ----
    Let's face the facts: all types of homicide/crimes are much less common in the Nordic egalitarian countries than in the US. Why? check:
    1 -social welfare. In general there is no financial need to commit crimes.
    2- Relatively small differences between poor and rich.
    3- A strong social-security network.
    4- A transparent society; nordic countries are the least corrupt in the world.
    The Nordics also don't have a minimum wage, have small, largely homogenous societies, and nearly 1/3 of their population lives within their capital city, which means transportation costs are negligible. Contrast this with California, where it has now cost nearly $100 billion to attempt (and fail) to build high speed rail between its two largest cities, while traffic and congestion in Los Angeles is at its worst point despite record public investments in its infrastructure. They're also not centers of major finance or technological innovation which gives them a low Gini Coefficient in the mid 30s. Secondly, the also don't meet NATO requirements for military spending (Sweden isn't even a member). Additionally, the Nordic Countries are rated as being more economically free than the United States when it comes to economic freedom.

    For instance, until recently, the Nordics had a much lower corporate tax rate than the United States (23.5% for Denmark, 22% for Sweden and Norway, compared to 35% prior to the The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). The Nordics finance most of their government expenditure through regressive sale and vat tax. The United States doesn't.

    Other key differences: Norway is able to finance its welfare state at relatively low taxation because it nationalized its oil and gas industry, then used the proceeds to invest the revenues (nearly $1 trillion) in one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds. They average a 7% return and have properly financed their pension system. By contrast, by law the United States' Social Security Trust fund (which is projected to run out by 2035) is only allowed to invest in US Treasury notes generating an annual yield of about 1%.

    Additionally, I argue that the Nordics are a poor example for the United States, since they are relatively small, homogenous nations that are not centers of major international finance, manufacturing, or production. A better example (and one that has an NHS), would be the United Kingdom, which is a center of global finance (London is a swift competitor with New York). From the OECD, the Gini coefficient of the United States is at 0.39. In the UK its at 0.35. Compared to the Nordics, which have mid 0.20s, the US and UK are much closer together.

    One major issue with the Gini coefficient is that depending on how it's calculated, it can give widely different numbers. For instance, according to the CBO (which differs from the OECD in methodology), the US has a pre-tax income Gini coefficient of 0.60. However, once you add in taxes and transfers and make adjustments, you get 0.43.



    Now, there are things that are truly causing wealth inequality in the United States, specifically the pricing of assets (namely stocks and real estate). Setting aside stocks (which I have gone at length before), let's talk about housing. As a matter of fact, I live in one of the worst states for wealth inequality: California. It has a Gini Coefficient of 0.48 (compared to the United States of 0.39 for the OECD and 0.43 for the CBO). That makes progressive California (ahead of progressive New York and Washington DC) some of the most unequal places in the industrialized world. Why? I can go on and on about this until I am blue in the face, but mostly its because of our chronic housing shortage. This is the direct result of utterly terrible zoning laws that cause urban sprawl. In 2018, the Department of Housing and Urban Development stated that affordability in the San Francisco Metro Area is so bad that for a family making $100,000 per year, they are considered to be low income.

    Why is this the case? Well, it is illegal to build anything other than single family homes in more than 73% of the City, and City Hall is planning on fining anyone who rents out their apartment or home on AirBnB $1,000 per day. One group of landlords got fined $2.5 million $5.5 million (out of a potential $30 million) for renting houses on AirBnb. Rents are so bad that its actually 46% cheaper to rent in Tokyo--the most densely populated urban metro in the world--than it is in San Francisco. This is in spite of Rent Control. Which, by the way, is not an effective way to alleviate the affordable housing crisis.

    There is an excellent paper published at NBER by Rebecca Diamond (Stanford University) which assesses the impact of the passage of rent control in 1993 on housing affordability between 1993 and 2010.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conclusion
    In this paper, we have studied the impact of rent control on its tenant beneficiaries as well as the landlord response. To answer this question, we exploit a unique rent control expansion in San Francisco in 1994 that suddenly provided rent control protections for small multi-family
    housing built prior to 1980. By combining new panel micro data on individual migration decisions with detailed assessor data on individual parcels in San Francisco, we get quasi experimental variation in the assignment of rent control at both the individual tenant level and at the parcel level. We find that, on average, in the medium to long term the beneficiaries of rent control are between 10 and 20% more likely to remain at their 1994 address relative to the control group and, moreover, are more likely to remain in San Francisco. Further, we find the effects of rent control on tenants are stronger for racial minorities, suggesting rent control helped prevent minority displacement from San Francisco. All our estimated effects are significantly stronger among older households and among households that have already spent a number of years at their current address. On the other hand, individuals in areas with quickly rising house prices and with few years at their 1994 address are less likely to remain at their current address, consistent with the idea that landlords try to remove tenants when the reward is high, through either eviction or negotiated payments.

    We find that landlords actively respond to the imposition of rent control by converting their properties to condos and TICs or by redeveloping the building in such as a way as to exempt it from the regulations. In sum, we find that impacted landlords reduced the supply of available rental housing by 15%. Further, we find that there was a 25% decline in the number of renters living in units protected by rent control, as many buildings were converted to new construction or condos that are exempt from rent control.

    This reduction in rental supply likely increased rents in the long run, leading to a transfer between future San Francisco renters and renters living in San Francisco in 1994. In addition, the conversion of existing rental properties to higher-end, owner-occupied condominium
    housing ultimately led to a housing stock increasingly directed towards higher income individuals. In this way, rent control contributed to the gentrification of San Francisco, contrary to the stated policy goal. Rent control appears to have increased income inequality in the city by both limiting displacement of minorities and attracting higher income residents.
    These results highlight that forcing landlords to provided insurance against rent increases can ultimately be counterproductive. If society desires to provide social insurance against rent increases, it may be less distortionary to offer this subsidy in the form of government subsidies or tax credits. This would remove landlords’ incentives to decrease the housing supply and could provide households with the insurance they desire. A point of future research would be to design an optimal social insurance program to insure renters against large rent increases.
    So again, here we have drivers of wealth inequality. Here they are, caused by government regulations. Here we also have progressive policies that have attempted to alleviate this problem, but wound up failing and making it worse.

    Where I live, in Los Angeles, housing affordability is bad, but not nearly as bad as San Francisco. Namely, the vast majority of land in Los Angeles County is zoned for single family residences. However, since the recession, few new single family housing units have been built, while lending restrictions have intensified. This has forced nearly all new household growth into the rental sector, where the median household spends over 37% of their income on rent. This is more than annual spending on healthcare premiums. According to the California Association of Realtor's Housing Affordability Index, only about 25% of Los Angeles County Households can afford to purchase their home at a Median price of $576,100 with a minimum qualifying income of $124,900.

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    Default Re: Basic Economics: In Defense of Neoliberalism

    Quote Originally Posted by cfmonkey45 View Post
    If violent crimes rise with wealth inequality and during recessions, they should have spiked in the years after 2008.
    A puzzle?...according to the Atlantic, Why Crime Is Down in America's Cities - The Atlantic
    Still, it is confounding that crime would decline as economic conditions worsen.... we can't completely explain the phenomenon.
    Or not a puzzle?...As I previously quoted,Crime and the Great Recession - SAGE Journals - Sage Publications

    For some criminologists and other observers, the absence of crime increases during the Great Recession simply confirmed their belief that crime has little to do with economic conditions (e.g., Wilson, 2011).
    This view, however, is not supported by recent studies showing that crime rates increase as economic conditions worsen and decrease as they improve (Arvanites & Defina, 2006; Bushway, Cook, & Phillips,2013; Gould, Weinberg, & Mustard, 2002; Rosenfeld & Fornango, 2007). Either that body of research is fundamentally unsound, which is very unlikely, or something (or several things) had happened that broke the connection between recessions and crime increases that had prevailed since the Second World War.
    Secondly-and more importantly- I guess you skipped the WBG Study-inequality and violent crime - World Bank Group
    Key point,
    simple measure of inequality predicts about half of the variance in murder rates between American states and between countries around the world
    I believe this is a full and exhaustive report, free of bias and based on facts and math, which truly deals with the subject.
    Neoliberal U.S. ranks 3rd among the most income-unequal nations, the worst in terms of income gap growth, and also has the largest percentage of its population in prison among industrialized democratic nations.
    .....
    Quote Originally Posted by cfmonkey45 View Post
    It's increased in absolute terms only because the population has increased
    The US merely added just 2.3 million people from 2010 to 2011. There is actually a decline in U.S. population growth due to a confluence of factors: lower levels of immigration, population aging, and declining fertility rates.
    Crime actually picked up again in 2016 -with a slight decline in 2017. It is true that violent crime in the US has remained relatively flat nationwide over the last five years, but it is also an indisputable fact that crime is soaring in US cities. Most people live in cities and their experience of inequality is shaped by their local environment.
    To identify the cities where crime is soaring, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percent change in the violent crime rate for metropolitan statistical areas between 2011 and 2016 from the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report. 25 cities where crime is soaring - USATODAY.com
    For example,
    Violent crime surged by 85.5% in the Monroe, Louisiana, metro area over the last five years — the largest increase of any metro area in the country. Due to the increase, the Monroe’s violent crime rate of 1,187 incidents per 100,000 people is now the highest of any U.S. metro area.
    Economically depressed areas are at greater risk of high crime rates, and in the Monroe metro area, 24% of the population lives below the poverty line — well above the 14% U.S. poverty rate.
    On a side note, six cities—Chicago,Baltimore, Omaha, Memphis, San Antonio, and Milwaukee—reached a 20-year high for their homicide rates in either 2015 or 2016.
    --
    I would like to insist on the failures of neoliberal America's overwhelmingly private healthcare service- an ongoing miserable failure.
    International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better US. Health Care New study of cross-national health patterns,
    We based our analysis on 72 indicators that measure performance in five domains important to policymakers, providers, patients, and the public: Care Process, Access, Administrative Efficiency, Equity, and Health Care Outcomes.

    -The United States spends far more on health care than other high-income countries, with spending levels that rose continuously over the past three decades
    -The U.S. population has poorer health than other countries.
    - In particular, poor access to primary care has contributed to inadequate prevention and management of chronic diseases, delayed diagnoses, incomplete adherence to treatments, wasteful overuse of drugs and technologies, and coordination and safety problems.
    - The United States ranks last in health care system performance among the 11 countries included in this study
    - The U.S. ranks last in Access, Equity, and Health Care Outcomes, and next to last in Administrative Efficiency
    Check,
    Exhibit 2. Health Care System Performance Rankings
    Exhibit 3. Health System Performance Scores
    Exhibit 4. Mortality Amenable to Health Care, 2004 and 2014
    Exhibit 5. Health Care System Performance Compared to Spending

    Based on a broadly inclusive set of performance metrics, we find that U.S. healthcare system performance ranks last among 11 high-income countries.
    The U.S. healthcare system is unique in several respects. Most striking: it is the only high-income country lacking universal health insurance coverage.
    The U.S. could learn important lessons from other high-income countries (see Lessons for the United States).
    the U.S. performs poorly in administrative efficiency
    There is a striking contrast between the U.S’s poor performance on infant mortality, life expectancy, and amenable mortality and its relatively better performance on in-hospital mortality after heart attack or stroke.
    These findings highlight the combined impact of a lack of universal insurance coverage and barriers to accessing primary care, and suggest that the U.S. could make gains by investing more in preventing chronic disease.
    The high level of inequity in the U.S. healthcare system intensifies the problem. For the first time in decades, midlife mortality for less-educated Americans is rapidly increasing
    Quote Originally Posted by cfmonkey45 View Post
    I argue that the Nordics are a poor example for the United States, since they are relatively small, homogenous nations
    I concede- tangentially that's a good point. But that's not the point, according to Henrik Jacobsen Kleven, in Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 28, Number 4—Fall 2014—Pages 77–98,
    The point is instead for countries everywhere to think carefully about how to collect taxes and redistribute income with less distortion from tax evasion, tax avoidance, and reduced labor supply, and the Scandinavian experience may provide ideas on how to expand the conversation about these important questions.
    The term neoliberalism is used as a catchall for anything that smacks of deregulation/liberalization/ privatization/ fiscal austerity. Neoliberal economics have produced growing economic insecurity and inequality, loss of political values, loss of ideals, and precipitated current populist backlash (1). The 1982 "Neoliberal Manifesto" of Charles Peters A Neo-Liberal's Manifesto - The Washington Post led to financial deregulation, the 2008 financial crash and the euro debacle. Economics is not just about "efficiency" and "growth". More importantly is also about equity and social policy. There is nothing wrong with markets- properly managed. The neoliberal mantra "always more markets, always less government" is a perversion of Mainstream economics
    (1)


    Edit. For the authors, the roots of the growth of national populism are found in what they identify as the four "Ds".
    The first is "Distrust". of political elites.The second is "Dealignment" -established parties seem less appealing.
    The third is "Deprivation": that is, that the economy does not work in their interests. I agree with this point.
    The fourth is "Destruction" of national identity.

    ----
    May I ask - if neoliberalism is awesome, how come most young Americans prefer socialism to neoliberalism?
    Last edited by Ludicus; March 03, 2019 at 05:29 PM.
    Il y a quelque chose de pire que d'avoir une âme perverse. C’est d'avoir une âme habituée
    Charles Péguy

    Socialism is the epithet they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years.
    Harry Truman Oct. 10th, 1952

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    Default Re: Basic Economics: In Defense of Neoliberalism

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    A puzzle?...according to the Atlantic, Why Crime Is Down in America's Cities - The Atlantic


    Or not a puzzle?...As I previously quoted,Crime and the Great Recession - SAGE Journals - Sage Publications
    Yeah, I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to say with either of those, since they both suggest that crime rates have dropped despite the Recession and agree with my point. The second article merely mentions that "white collar" crime may have increased. That may be true, but my argument is that violent crime has decreased.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    Secondly-and more importantly- I guess you skipped the WBG Study-inequality and violent crime - World Bank Group
    Key point,

    I believe this is a full and exhaustive report, free of bias and based on facts and math, which truly deals with the subject.
    Neoliberal U.S. ranks 3rd among the most income-unequal nations, the worst in terms of income gap growth, and also has the largest percentage of its population in prison among industrialized democratic nations.
    .....
    Yes, because of the Drug War. I, by the way, fully support legalization of all soft drugs, and a decriminalization of hard drugs along Portugal's model. I am a Libertarian, and I strongly support this action.

    Having said that, this is a criticism of Neoconservativism more than it is of neoliberalism. Nearly every Neoliberal thinker and economist suggests that we do precisely this, and advocated even at the height of the War on Drugs in the 1970s.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    The US merely added just 2.3 million people from 2010 to 2011. There is actually a decline in U.S. population growth due to a confluence of factors: lower levels of immigration, population aging, and declining fertility rates.
    You literally just contradicted yourself. The US added net population. When people immigrate to the United States, they become Americans.

    Also, the argument that I made was valid. As a fraction of total population (hence why its necessary to compare it as violent crime per 100,000), violent crimes of all types have declined from 1998 to 2014. Over the past few years, it has ticked up, but this is assumed to be a part of the ongoing opioid epidemic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    Crime actually picked up again in 2016 -with a slight decline in 2017. It is true that violent crime in the US has remained relatively flat nationwide over the last five years, but it is also an indisputable fact that crime is soaring in US cities. Most people live in cities and their experience of inequality is shaped by their local environment.
    Soaring is not how I would describe it. After getting cut in half from a decade ago, its ticking up a few percentage points. In certain cities, like the South Side of Chicago, yes, you can see that.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    To identify the cities where crime is soaring, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percent change in the violent crime rate for metropolitan statistical areas between 2011 and 2016 from the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report. 25 cities where crime is soaring - USATODAY.com
    For example,

    On a side note, six cities—Chicago,Baltimore, Omaha, Memphis, San Antonio, and Milwaukee—reached a 20-year high for their homicide rates in either 2015 or 2016.
    --
    I would like to insist on the failures of neoliberal America's overwhelmingly private healthcare service- an ongoing miserable failure.
    International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better US. Health Care New study of cross-national health patterns,


    Check,
    Exhibit 2. Health Care System Performance Rankings
    Exhibit 3. Health System Performance Scores
    Exhibit 4. Mortality Amenable to Health Care, 2004 and 2014
    Exhibit 5. Health Care System Performance Compared to Spending

    Yes, there is urban decay and there's a transformation of American health and violence due to the rising opioid epidemic. That's a highly complicated issue that I mentioned before. However, my point broadly stands that violent crime rates have declined. And this isn't to say that I think that the existing US Policy is the best (I don't), but that its not really applicable to put this all on the shoulders of neoliberalism.

    For instance, how does Free Trade and reforming



    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    I concede- tangentially that's a good point. But that's not the point, according to Henrik Jacobsen Kleven, in Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 28, Number 4—Fall 2014—Pages 77–98,
    The point is instead for countries everywhere to think carefully about how to collect taxes and redistribute income with less distortion from tax evasion, tax avoidance, and reduced labor supply, and the Scandinavian experience may provide ideas on how to expand the conversation about these important questions.
    Yeah, no duh. The Nordic System has a vast number of innovations that have proved instrumental to their success. For instance, they have relatively low corporate tax rates.

    There is a litany of peer reviewed evidence that suggests that higher corporate tax rates are distortionary. Additionally, it's been observed that labor suffers 47% of the cost of the corporate tax burden, which is consistent with theoretical assumptions from Mainstream Economics.

    The Incidence of the Corporation Income Tax

    The Role and Design of the Corporate Income Tax
    How Should a Subnational Corporate Income Tax on Multistate Businesses Be Structured?





    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    The term neoliberalism is used as a catchall for anything that smacks of deregulation/liberalization/ privatization/ fiscal austerity. Neoliberal economics have produced growing economic insecurity and inequality, loss of political values, loss of ideals, and precipitated current populist backlash (1). The 1982 "Neoliberal Manifesto" of Charles Peters A Neo-Liberal's Manifesto - The Washington Post led to financial deregulation, the 2008 financial crash and the euro debacle. Economics is not just about "efficiency" and "growth". More importantly is also about equity and social policy. There is nothing wrong with markets- properly managed. The neoliberal mantra "always more markets, always less government" is a perversion of Mainstream economics
    (1)
    Not sure if you bothered to read Charles Peters' column, but Political Neoliberalism (which he is identifying as) is different than Economic Neoliberalism, or Neoliberalism in International Relations.

    We're talking about completely different things.



    Additionally, to each point, the mantraof deregulation/liberalization/privatization/fiscal austerity, is known as the Washington Concensus. Firstly, these are conditional situations to combat stagflation and encourage growth by opening up a country to foreign direct investment. Notably success stories include Chile, which got massive staglation under control, and Botswana, which has been one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. However, you also glaze over the criticisms that Neoliberals like Milton Friedman have leveled against the IMF and World Bank. Milton Friedman made a highly measured critique against the IMF's handling of Russia's transition to capitalism, and argued that the role of the IMF inadvertently subsidized the oligarchs to prop up their monopolies and continue to loot Russia rather than implement meaningful economic and democratic reforms. So how can these ideologies be truly to blame if they haven't even been fully implemented?

    Secondly, the argument about the Eurozone is also critiqued by Neoliberals like Milton Friedman. Friedman critiqued the Eurozone movement in 1997, and said that it would lead to political disunity and unstable economic shocks at the periphery. And guess what? His criticisms have basically come true.

    The drive for the Euro has been motivated by politics not economics. The aim has been to link Germany and France so closely as to make a future European war impossible, and to set the stage for a federal United States of Europe. I believe that adoption of the Euro would have the opposite effect. It would exacerbate political tensions by converting divergent shocks that could have been readily accommodated by exchange rate changes into divisive political issues. Political unity can pave the way for monetary unity. Monetary unity imposed under unfavorable conditions will prove a barrier to the achievement of political unity.
    So my claim here is that you are ascribing me beliefs which I do not hold.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    May I ask - if neoliberalism is awesome, how come most young Americans prefer socialism to neoliberalism?
    Firstly, just because something is popular doesn't mean its right, just as how if something is unpopular doesn't mean that it is necessarily wrong.

    Secondly, according to a recent NBC Poll, just 19% of likely voters favor Socialism.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/card/nbc-new...ialism-n912666

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    Default Re: Basic Economics: In Defense of Neoliberalism

    Quote Originally Posted by cfmonkey45 View Post
    I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to say...over the past few years, it has ticked up, but this is assumed to be a part of the ongoing opioid epidemic ...by the way, fully support legalization of all soft drugs, and a decriminalization of hard drugs along Portugal's model.
    Generally speaking, crime rates increase as economic conditions worse: as already stated, some American great cities reached a 20-year high for their homicide rates in either 2015 or 2016.
    I also support legalization of all soft drugs. I couldn't agree more. Me and Moore... short clip taken from "Where To Invade Next."...
    Where to Invade Next - Portugal on Vimeo
    In fact, decriminalization reduces use, harm and violent crime. But it's not the whole story. The neoliberal "Toyotazation" of medicine and the opioid crisis are just a small tip of the entire iceberg. Let's look at the root causes of the problem. Opioid Crisis: No Easy Fix to Its Social and Economic Determinants Am J Public Health. 2018 February; 108(2): 182–186.

    Although drug supply is a key factor, we posit that the crisis is fundamentally fueled by economic and social upheaval, its etiology closely linked to the role of opioids as a refuge from physical and psychological trauma, concentrated disadvantage, isolation, and hopelessness...By ignoring the underlying drivers of drug consumption, current interventions are aggravating its trajectory.
    There are intuitive causal connections between poor health and structural factors such as poverty, lack of opportunity, and substandard living and working conditions.

    One powerful line of structural analysis focuses on “diseases of despair,” referring to the interconnected trends in fatal drug overdose, alcohol-related disease, and suicide. Since 1999, age-specific mortality attributed to these conditions has seen an extraordinary rise. The trend is especially pronounced among middle-aged Whites without a college degree, who are now dying earlier on average than did their parentswhich is anomalous outside of wartime.
    In an analysis focused on the Midwest, Appalachia, and New England (where the heroin, fentanyl, and both co-mingled epidemics are most pronounced), combined mortality rates for diseases of despair increased as county economic distress worsened.

    The unprecedented 20-year difference in life expectancy between the healthiest and least healthy counties is largely explained by socioeconomic factors...
    These indicators are the most recent evidence of a long-term process of decline: a multi-decade rise in income inequality and economic shocks stemming from deindustrialization and social safety net cuts.The 2008 financial crisis along with austerity measures and other neoliberal policies have further eroded physical and mental well-being.
    Poverty and substance use problems operate synergistically, at the extreme reinforced by psychiatric disorders and unstable housing.

    A seminal National Academy of Sciences report provides this summary: ... While increased opioid prescribing for chronic pain has been a vector of the opioid epidemic,researchers agree that such structural factors as lack of economic opportunity, poor working conditions, and eroded social capital in depressed communities,accompanied by hopelessness and despair, are root causes of the misuse of opioids and other substances...As with previous drug crises and the HIV epidemic, root causes are social and structural. It is our duty to lend credence to these root causes and to advocate social change

    Quote Originally Posted by cfmonkey45 View Post
    Political Neoliberalism... is different than Economic Neoliberalism
    I would say that politically illiberal societies can be relatively liberal in their economic management and politically liberal societies can have very strong central control of their economies. Tout court, economic neoliberalism, commonly known as neoliberalism today, is nothing more nothing less than the authoritarian freedom in "democracies".I'm quoting Hayek, as you will see below (1)
    In fact, neoliberal economic theories lead to socioeconomic outcomes that are completely opposite to the outcomes that political liberals seek to accomplish with their social welfare programs. For example, the bank bailouts that neoliberals often seek cause governments to de-fund social welfare programs that political liberals often seek.
    As we know, economic neoliberalism played a major role in an outstanding variety of crises: the financial crises of 2008; the offshoring of wealth and power; the current epidemic of loneliness Neoliberalism is creating loneliness. That's what's ... - The Guardian ...and even the collapse of ecosystems: Put a price on nature? We must stop this neoliberal road to ruin
    transcript of George Monbiot's SPERI Annual Lecture, hosted by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Sheffield.

    ...Sorry, did I say nature? We don’t call it that any more. It is now called natural capital. Ecological processes are called ecosystem services because, of course, they exist only to serve us. Hills, forests, rivers: these are terribly out-dated terms. They are now called green infrastructure. Biodiversity and habitats? Not at all à la mode my dear. We now call them asset classes in an ecosystems market. I am not making any of this up. These are the names we now give to the natural world
    Quote Originally Posted by cfmonkey45 View Post
    Notably success stories include Chile
    Not exactly.... it's sad story. It was a political and economical failure.
    1 - A political/ethical disaster,
    In a letter Pinochet he praised the bloody dictator for putting Chile back on the "right track". In 2006, (1) Hayek remarked on a visit to Chile: "my personal preference leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism"

    2 -An economical disaster, except for the short period of 78/81,
    As we know, "Road to serfdom" was written by Hayek. Let's hear Greg Grandin prof. of Latin American history at NYU- The Road from Serfdom
    An attentive reading is enough for full comprehension of what really happened to Chile. Excerpts,

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    GNP plummeted thirteen percent, industrial production fell 28 percent, and purchasing power collapsed to forty percent of its 1970 level. One national business after another went bankrupt. Unemployment soared.
    Yet by 1978 the economy rebounded, expanding thirty-two percent between 1978 and 1981. Though salary levels remained close to twenty percent below what they were a decade previously, per capita income began to climb again. Perhaps even a better indicator of progress, torture and extrajudicial executions began to taper off. With hindsight, however, it is now clear that the Chicago economists, despite the credit they received for three years of economic growth, had set Chile on the road to near collapse.
    The rebound of the economy was a function of the liberalization of the financial system and massive foreign investment. That investment, it turns out, led to a speculative binge, monopolization of the banking system, and heavy borrowing. The deluge of foreign capital did allow the fixed exchange rate to be maintained for a short period. But sharp increases in private debt * rising from $2 billion in 1978 to over $14 billion in 1982 — put unsustainable pressure on Chile’s currency. Pegged as it was to the appreciating US dollar, the value of the escudo was kept artificially high, leading to a flood of cheap imports.
    While consumers took advantage of liberalized credit to purchase TVs, cars, and other high-ticket items, savings shrank, debt increased, exports fell, and the trade deficit ballooned.
    In 1982 things fell apart. Copper prices plummeted, accelerating Chile’s balance of trade deficit. GDP plunged fifteen percent, while industrial production rapidly contracted. Bankruptcies tripled and unemployment hit 30 percent.
    Pinochet devalued the escudo, devastating poor Chileans who had either availed themselves to liberalized credit to borrow in dollars or who held their savings in escudos.
    The Central Bank lost forty-five percent of its reserves, while the private banking system collapsed.
    The crisis forced the state, dusting off laws still on the books from the Allende period, to take over nearly seventy percent of the banking system and reimpose controls on finance, industry, prices and wages. Turning to the IMF for a bailout, Pinochet extended a public guarantee to repay foreign creditors and banks.
    But before the crisis of 1982, there were the golden years between 1978 and 1981...under Pinochet the country became a Mecca for the free-market right. Economists, political scientists, and journalists came to witness the “miracle” first hand, holding up Chile as a model to be implemented throughout the world.
    Representatives from European and American banks poured into Santiago, paying tribute to Pinochet by restoring credit that was denied the heretic Allende. The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank extolled Chile as a paragon of responsibility, advancing it 46 loans between 1976 and 1986 for over $3.1 billion.
    In addition to money men, right-wing activists traveled to Chile in a show of solidarity with the Pinochet regime...


    Quote Originally Posted by cfmonkey45 View Post
    Something is popular doesn't mean its right
    In fact, neoliberalism is a broad ideology that became popular. I have to agree, popular doesn't mean its right...Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism | Boston Review



    Quote Originally Posted by cfmonkey45 View Post
    Secondly, according to a recent NBC Poll, just 19% of likely voters favor Socialism
    900 voters, regardless of age. I asked, "how come most young Americans prefer socialism to neoliberalism?" : young people are the future. Young Americans are in general more positive about socialism as a concept than those who are older...
    ----
    Ocasio Cortez has been criticized for saying "We need to explore universal basic income". Finland revisited,
    The preliminary results of Finland's basic income experiment are in. - Feb 2109
    In English,


    The survey results showed significant differences between the groups for different aspects of wellbeing. Those in the test group experienced significantly fewer problems related to health, stress and ability to concentrate than those in the control group. Those in the test group were also considerably more confident in their own future and their ability to influence societal issues than the control group.
    It's worth noting the improvements seen in those areas in just a year.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 







    The neoliberals, obsessed with "economic efficiency" and terrible at everything else, are already saying to us that UBI has no positive impact on employment, shift occurs towards the theme of well-being, and utopian thinking needs to end.
    On the left side of the political spectrum-in fact no one is ever satisfied-some say that the concept of basic income is a part of neoliberal ideology. With that being said, there are good reasons to read attentively the World Happiness Report 2018

    Short summary
    Four different countries have held top spot in the four most recent reports- Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and now Finland.
    All the top countries tend to have high values for all six of the key variables that have been found to support well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity. Among the top countries, differences are small enough that that year-to-year changes in the rankings are to be expected.
    The ten happiest countries in the overall rankings also ten of the top eleven spots in the ranking of immigrant happiness.
    Finland is at the top of both rankings in this report, with the happiest immigrants, and the happiest population in general
    ----
    Read the Chapter 7
    US - America’s Health Crisis and the Easterlin Paradox
    Excerpts,
    The most striking fact about happiness in America is the Easterlin Paradox: income per capita has more than doubled since 1972 while happiness (or subjective well-being, SWB) has remained roughly unchanged or has even declined (Figure 7.1).
    ...Why has the United States performed more poorly than other high-income countries on public health generally, and on these three epidemics specifically?
    First, the U.S. sociopolitical system produces higher levels of income inequality than in the other OECD high-income countries.
    High U.S. inequality, and especially the persistent absolute and relative poverty of a significant portion of the U.S. population, are risk factors for all three epidemics
    . The evidence is clear that low socioeconomic status is a major risk factor for poor mental and physical health. As Everson et al. concluded: Many of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States and other countries are associated with socioeconomic position.
    .. the effects of economic disadvantage are cumulative, with the greatest risk of poor mental and physical health seen among those who experienced sustained hardship over time.

    ...Fourth, America’s culture and politics of corporate deregulation is partly responsible... the extraordinarily high cost, and therefore under-coverage, of the U.S. healthcare system, including for mental illnesses, is the result in part of corporate lobbying for the freedom of private healthcare providers to set exorbitant prices despite the evidence of very limited and inadequate market competition over prices.
    The disease epidemics, in short, most likely have a similar etiology to the decline in social capital that I addressed in my analysis in last year’s World Happiness Report. In both cases, inequality, corporate power, and disruptions of social-support networks, are major factors in America’s social crisis. The result is a decline in trust, a rise in perceptions of corruption, and a population that is suffering from pain, suffering, and premature mortality.
    ----
    Here you can easily see the US has not fared well under the umbrella of neoliberalism, freeing the invisible hand of free Markets and extending the visible and authoritarian hand of market power....
    Last edited by Ludicus; March 04, 2019 at 01:32 PM.
    Il y a quelque chose de pire que d'avoir une âme perverse. C’est d'avoir une âme habituée
    Charles Péguy

    Socialism is the epithet they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years.
    Harry Truman Oct. 10th, 1952

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