Do you think that most people are financially illiterate?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Seattle, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member


    I think this is a pretty good explanation of what is going on.​
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Ignore the clickbait video title...
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Fraud, lies, financial coercion, racism, grift, bribery, and other financial crimes systematically and deliberately committed by professional financial experts, who were abetted and protected and eventually bailed out of the disaster they created by corrupt and incompetent rightwing government.

    Better yet, ignore all videos not accompanied by argument and verifiable claims, or at least introductory remarks.
    What are the odds that someone who can't post an argument or make their own case in some matter can evaluate an internet video?
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I don't know. Check out the video and you tell me.
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    What for? We already have this -
    so surely the argument and the case the video presumably supports (some explanation for why it's posted here) are going to arrive any minute now.
    Until they do, as so often before this is where we stand:
    And this illustrates where we came from:
    And you would be once again wrong about something you could have factchecked in five minutes.

    Rents were being jacked up by real estate speculators - they were rising rapidly, even in areas with a surplus of rental units, in defiance of the supposed "market forces" that the ignorant invoke to justify bad government, to cover the bubble in real estate prices that was being driven by the fraudulent derivative market.

    That's one significant reason many people took out ostensibly foolish (and illegally predatory, racially disproportionate in their marketing, etc) loans to buy houses - they needed a place to live, and that was often the only way they could afford one. However temporary the fix, it was often the most rational response available - they were far more financially astute, if only by accident, than the wingnuts who try to claim that this small minority of fringe loans were what crashed the US economy and bankrupted the largest financial institutions in America.

    btw: Rents are again rising rapidly (they had never corrected for the bubble ), along with housing prices (which likewise had corrected for the bubble). This is happening despite the failure of the economy to even recover from the crash let alone grow enough to finance such price hikes in the already unaffordable, and consequent inability of millions of the working poor to pay them reliably.

    This is commonly reported in the corporate media as "recovery" of the housing market - if we're talking about financial illiteracy - - -
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Demographics explains most of what has gone on since the 50's and whether people are doing well or not can be largely reduced to those who have assets and those who don't.

    If you have assets (any assets) you do well in our economy. The government continually increases the money supply thus reducing the buying power of money so you have to protect yourself to the degree possible by having some kind of assets. You don't have to be rich, you just have to invest something.

    Regarding stagnant wages, housing prices, and most of the other subjects of your frequent rants, it's just largely a matter of demographics and not 50's high marginal tax rates, unionism, etc.

    Demand was pent up for the duration of WWII, other countries industrial bases were bombed out so the US was the only game in town for a short while. After that came the baby boom generation and add to that the increasing participation of women in the workforce and you have a large labor supply resulting in flatter wage increases.

    You have a similar thing happening with the millennials (kids of the Boomers).

    Housing isn't as bad as it's being made out to be. Rates are low, house prices are reasonable compared to European countries (for example), land is limited, it's what you would expect.

    You don't have to live in the most expensive cities if your salary isn't high enough for the living conditions there. With more work from home jobs you can live anywhere in many cases.

    You're not going to be satisfied under any circumstances of course but the sky isn't falling and most people are doing just fine. It's only in the last 150 years since the Industrial Revolution that there has even been any surplus for people to get used to an ever increasing quality of life.

    Focusing on who has more than you has never been a productive approach and it doesn't do anything to solve any problem.
  10. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Thinking about this thread, it may not be a matter of “illiteracy,” rather it might have to do with one’s relationship to money and if you look to money as more than a means of exchange, it can lead to problems. (ie: living beyond one’s means signals that there may be larger (existential) issues at play, and if not addressed can lead to exorbitant debt)
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I think both are a factor. Many people aren't able to defer self-gratification (your point) and they aren't aware of the necessity of having assets in a system such as ours and aren't aware of the compounding effects. They think that since they don't have a lot of money it's not worthwhile investing a little over a long period of time (that's the illiteracy that I'm referring to).
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    There's also a component at play here that you find in some religious people although it probably has less to do with religion and more to do with the specific person. That is relying on some outside force, whether that is "God" or "the Government" or just feeling that it's beyond their control so they just deal with one day at a time with little personal discipline.

    Some of the people with the most messed up lives that I know are religious and they "don't know how they would have gotten through a tough event without God". However they are always having to go though tough events because "they aren't perfect".

    It's the same when people go though life without investing anything. They just rely on the next paycheck even though that's going to end one day. Then they will complain how it's hard to live on Social Security rather than having done anything about it.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    One reason the systemic racism involved in depriving black people of assets does so much harm.
    Stagnant wages are obviously and measurably correlated with unionism - race of course a major factor, and other demographic features. You can see that by comparing the southern and northern economies. Of course enforcement of antitrust laws and such also contributed.
    The high marginal tax rates of the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s directly and effectively both reduced economic inequality and prevented its resurgence, which greatly increased US prosperity for fifty years (until the late 1970s/early 1980s). It's role in preventing crashes alone saw to that.
    . The biggest oversupply of labor the US ever had was just after WWII. Wages rose. That was due to competent government, unions, some advances in civil rights, the efforts of black people to escape Jim Crow, etc.
    Wage increases for most white people - the cost of labor, total - matched productivity until Reagan killed the unions and cut rich people's taxes simultaneously. The inflection point in the relevant graphs is somewhere in the early 80s.
    I'd be satisfied with the restoration of the financial structure of the Roosevelt era. Plus some kind of First World medical care setup.
    Meanwhile, once again, you obviously don't know most people. "Work from home"? The only large group of lower to middle class people doing "just fine" are the ones who inherited or stand to inherit their parent's share of the pre-Reagan accumulated wealth.
    . Housing is worse than it's made out to be (as noted, the corporate media are describing the steep rise in the already bubbled haousing market as a "recovery") Rents are high and rising again, house prices are still bubbled and now rising on top of that, new residential construction is largely rental, and the supply of land has almost nothing to do with it - condo prices are bubbled.
    The problem is that most people cannot afford to buy at these prices, and a fair percentage of owners (including the repossessing banks) cannot afford to sell for less. In my area two bathroom two story houses with land are being sold to the rich as hunting cabins and third or fourth homes - local wages will not buy local houses, economic inequality in the US has grown to the point that the upper classes can afford three or four houses each too expensive for the lower classes to buy. This road led to Dickens, in the past - the US is bumping down hill into something like Paraguay, or 18th Century England.
    Since socialism was invented.

    Before that there were plenty of wealthy people enjoying large surpluses (and buying things like armies, towns, castles, etc, with them), but little prosperity in general (one of the key facts of history is the degradation of quality of life suffered by the lower classes upon the advent of each new surplus generating economy - until they adjusted politically.)

    As measured by physical wellbeing, the most prosperous people on the planet in the 1700s and early 1800s were the Northern Cheyenne in the US. They had a large surplus, but since it was owned by the Nation and kept outside it seems to have been overlooked somehow by many economists. The idea that people were poor and short-lived and afflicted by onerous toil before the Industrial Revolution is one of those pernicious myths used by grifters to sell all manner of bad ideas.
  14. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Yes, socialism has really improved lives hasn't it? What a joke!
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member


    The FCC has improved people's lives in the US. Do you like your cellphone?
    The US highway system has improved people's lives as well. Ever driven anywhere far away? Or ordered something to have delivered?
    The CDC has helped people live healthier lives. Ever gotten a vaccine?
    The US National Park system has allowed millions to see the wonders of nature. Ever visited one?
    The FAA and NTSB have improved people's lives as well. Ever flown on an airplane?

    So you are correct; it has improved people's lives, including yours.
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    These days most people regard sewer systems, port facilities, roads and riverways, fire protection, schools, military defense, and some kind of public law enforcement, as more in the way of "necessities" than "jokes".
    Many also regard scientific research - as well as mapmaking of various kinds, natural resource protection (especially aquifers and other water supplies, and farmland), and other notably beneficial provisions of government that require government or other social ownership of resources - to be nonjokes.

    Although one can make a case that when such government ownership goes sour - as with the recent fracking boom, or the previous oil wars - it also causes commensurate harm, that does not seem to be the common argument (or a likely one: sewer systems alone balance a great deal shoddy governance otherwise).
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    No one is arguing against having a government. It's stretching the definition of "socialism" to mean that any form of government is "socialism" but then you already know that.
  19. candy Valued Senior Member

    The FCC held up the cell licensing or we would have had them sooner. The local zoning board modified the tower permit hence I barely have bars on a good day.
    I live on the original Lincoln Hwy. Driving it made Ike envious of Hitler's autobahn.
    A vaccine but me in allergic shock.
    Reading your question made me realize I have never visited a national park. I should fix that.
    Anyone who has flown commercial would question the Faa and NTSB.
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Without the FCC there would be no frequencies available for cellphones. Radio stations would be using all the available spectrum. And if a cellphone company tried to use them, the radio station would just up their transmit power to blast their signal over the cellphone signal.
    Because . . . why? Because cheap airlines are uncomfortable? The FAA and NTSB isn't there to make sure flying is comfortable; they are just there to make sure flying is safe (which it is.) And which is really pretty miraculous. These incredibly complicated airliners designed to narrow tolerances (to make the most possible money) are the safest form of transport we have today. Even with weather, mechanical problems and human error.
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Any form of government provided/controlled goods or services are socialism. It's basically the definition.

    Public roads - socialism
    Electoral process - not socialism
    Police - socialism
    House of representatives - not socialism
    Public utilities - gray area
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    There is a difference between social programs in a capitalist economic system that are provided by government and "socialism" as an economic system and form of government.

    On the other hand if you find it helpful to play with the semantic, have fun.
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    But several people have attempted to "argue" (make unsupported and counterfactual claims) against socialist economic organization - hence the reminder of the benefits we have all enjoyed via government or community (social) ownership of resources and management of services market capitalism is unsuited for (natural monopolies, say).

    One can shorthand the matter, and sufficiently note that socialist economic structure well governed is capable of forestalling Hardin's Tragedy Of The Commons - an almost universal malfunction of market capitalism, difficult to handle.
    Socialism is not a form of government. Many different forms of government - from totalitarian tyranny to near anarchic tribal informality, industrial communistic to nomadic family pastoral - can feature socialist economic organization. By comparison with others it is particularly well suited to democratic government, since it scales easily and directly to the appropriate size for informed representation, and grants no advantage to secrecy or sequestered competence.
    Yes. Hence the careful provision of the basic, characteristic, defining feature of "socialist" economic structure by those who reply to you.

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