Do you think that most people are financially illiterate?

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

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    A well run social economic structure may be capable of avoiding the "Tragedy of the Commons" but a well run capitalist economic structure can do the same.

    We rarely find ourselves with "well run" politicians.

    We have plenty of evidence of the benefits of capitalist economies and a dearth of evidence for a socialist economic structure. Sure, they don't have to also be authoritarian but they frequently are.

    Socialist economic structures that are democratic are rare and even then they work best when the more socialist tendencies are modified with more capitalist tendencies.

    What you are arguing for is largely a dream rather than something concrete.

    Someone made a comment the other day that I neglected to address, maybe it was you but I can't find that comment at the moment.

    It was about Bitcoin and the gist of it was that Bitcoin is a problem due to its use by criminals. Dollars are used by criminals much more than Bitcoin. That comment was a red herring.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No, it can't. See Hardin's original paper, and subsequent discussion in the literature. He showed that resources under market capitalist economics were uniquely vulnerable to the Tragedy, that it's a weakness of free market capitalism in particular.
    The entire economic history of the Western democracies demonstrates - repeatedly, across two centuries of war and disaster and industrial development in dozens of countries - the large benefits of socialist economies when employed for taking care of what market exchange cannot handle - sewer systems being my favorite example, because there simply is no counterargument.
    They are part of the daily life of every American.
    So are the governments with capitalist economies. The rightwing authoritarian is a very common type of government.
    And vice versa. There are no purely capitalist functioning economies on this planet, and there never have been any.
    The New Deal was concrete for fifty years. Some of it still is. Likewise the economies of dozens of Western industrial countries.
    - - -
    Bitcoin is a problem because crime is pretty much its only practical use. It is too expensive to be used as an ordinary currency, and too easily abused and defrauded to be used by ordinary people.
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    There are no purely anything economies. So what? That's just semantics.

    Bitcoin being too expensive to be used as an ordinary currency is a ridiculous comment. The cost of a single Bitcoin is no more relevant than the cost of a single share of any stock. Bitcoin is divisible by 8 decimal points.

    It's less likely to be abused due to the transparency of the blockchain and more secure for that reason. Bitcoin itself is more suited as a store of value (like gold). You can run a second layer over it, like the Lighting Network, for small transactions where that's convenient or use the Ethereum platform.

    You clearly don't understand blockchain technology or Bitcoin.

    By the way, the point of Bitcoin isn't to replace the U.S. dollar. It's to keep it honest by providing an alternative. For countries like Venezuela, the point is to replace the currency.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
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  7. WillNever Valued Senior Member

    A huge percentage of the generally healthy people who go to the doctor "too often" are not doing it because they wish to. If you're on any sort of maintenance medication, even if it's something really common, a majority of providers will stop sending refills for it unless you visit them in the office every three months.

    However, in the overall picture this sort of thing is not why healthcare and health insurance are expensive in the US. Rather, it's our cumbersome and antiquated private healthcare system that we spend an insane amount of money on per capita while consistently providing subpar outcomes when compared internationally.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Economies do exist in reality, you know. That's why we have these words and theories we can use to discuss them.
    It is in fact being used to defraud and extort, disproportionately.
    1) So your comparison with the criminal use of dollars was - as noted - bs.
    2) Which is one reason it is not useful for most people.
    3) Its value is directly tied to the cost of producing it (like gold). That cost is rising - and, increasingly, being externalized.
    And the cat emerges from the bag.
    I rest my case.
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    More semantics. No one (obviously) is arguing that economies don't exit. The point was that "pure" economies don't exit (capitalistic, socialistic or any other kind). You brought it up, not me.

    No, it isn't.

    As usual, you have no case.
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Buy a dictionary - the American Heritage Third, unabridged, or something similar (you need prescription, and you probably won't bother with a good usage manual).
    No, I didn't.
    The entire dumbass attempt to dismiss the ubiquity and benefits of socialist economic structure - such as we observe in the setup of every modern and functional sewer system in every large city on this planet - as "semantics" (or even sillier: "just semantics") is entirely your contribution to this thread. The parallel with the creationist use of "theory" or "just a theory" to dismiss Darwinian evolution is nearly exact.
    - - - -
    Yes, it is. Ransomware, for example, commonly specifies a cryptocurrency - most often bitcoin. In addition, a high percentage (some analysts think almost all) of bitcoin users use it to hide tax fraud. That seems to be the most common motive for going to the trouble and expense of using it, although many analysts think paying ransomware demands outweighs it.
    "Mackintosh: Bitcoin has floundered because of the cost and hassle required to actually buy something in bitcoin.
    Mish: Agreed. And Lightning Network has done next to nothing to remedy that, despite claims of Bitcoin advocates. Proof is merchant acceptance."
    -=. - -
    You claim - without argument - that the difference between socialist and capitalist economic structure is "just semantics", not "concrete", and so forth.
    You also posted this:
    Again, you have the example of the modern sewer system as found throughout the Western industrialized nations of the First World.
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You're really arguing that you are pro sewer systems as if that is some revelation? No one is proposing that their be no government.

    Regarding Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, believe what you want. Remain ignorant if you want. It seems to work for the Trump supporters, maybe it will work for you as well.

    You seem to think that crypto is about illegal activities and using Bitcoin in the U.S. instead of cash. It really is quite ignorant.
  12. WillNever Valued Senior Member

    Writing off public sewers and roads as simply "government" rather than acknowledging them as successfully socialized utilities means you are missing the boat. You take them for granted because in the United States we know no other way, and while roads and public sanitation should be inherent functions of government, there are still governments in the world (like Nigeria) that don't guarantee them. In places where they are not socialized, they often do not exist at all. Not good.

    Often the word "socialism" is weaponized and used to scare people away from supporting any social programs at all. The word "socialism" does not solely refer to to a system of government or economy that is adopted totally on a national level, however. Often, "socialism" simply refers to specific practices and policies that are based on socialist ideas.

    This is not just a semantic argument. Public sewers and roads are substantive examples of successfully socializing parts of the economy. And in this case, definitions are important to establishing the point, which is that there is definite benefit to socializing some things. Social security is another good example. That is socialism too; there isn't a question about it. It's smart and successful socialism, however, and it is a social program that is overwhelmingly popular among both liberals and conservatives.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Great! The point is that there is no argument here. I'm all for Apple Pie and Mom as well.
  14. WillNever Valued Senior Member

  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    And no one here said anyone is (although one finds it among the rightwing goofball crowd generally, including occasional posting here from the "bothsides" spammers when they get sloppy with their false equivalencies).

    When you are asserting falsehoods about other people's posts here or the nature of the economic structures that characterize Western democracies (your claim that socialist economic structures are rare in democratic countries, for example, is wildly wrong), the objections are to those claims.

    Meanwhile, repeatedly confusing a discussion involving socialist vs capitalist economic structure with some other discussion that would involve the existence of government itself does bear on the thread topic -
    You oppose the socialist economic structures that provide Americans (or used to, most recently under the New Deal reforms of malfunctioning economic structures) with the makings of apple pie and a home with a Mom in it.

    The sense in which someone can be described as "for" something whose foundations and essential economic structures they adamantly oppose is one of the central questions of American politics - and relevant in this thread, ignorance both natural and willful making an obvious contribution.
    Even if we assume the actual existence of actually better choices (an often unverified and commonly false assumption), according to all the available research (as summarized by the subset of professional economists who pay attention to field research and observation in this matter) poor economic decisions (including the commonly related "lifestyle" choices, such as dealing drugs) are most often initially consequences rather than causes of poverty. That is true regardless of the provenance of the immediate bad decision being discussed - stupidity, for example, is a common consequence of poverty and a frequent cause of poor economic decisions (on average poverty knocks about 14 points off one's IQ score).

    Although an accurate statement in the conventional context of interpretation we find in US corporate media and its supported terms of discussion, that of course depends completely on one's classification system for economic decisions - very few upper class and rightwing American contributors to the public discussion focus on the wealthy profiteers of the recent economic crash as having made poor economic decisions that ruined their lives and the lives of millions of Americans, although their decisions were at least as bad as (and considerably more criminal than) the decisions of those who managed to keep a roof over their children's heads for a couple of years despite being unable to afford even the cheapest available housing.
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Is the glass ever half-full in your world?

    All the talk about socialism started out as socialism vs capitalism. Once it switched to any government function then it stopped being worthy of discussion since no one is opposed to government in general.

    Government is good at running prisons (sort of). Politicians aren't good at regulating prisons but it's definitely (in my mind) a government function and shouldn't be a private function.

    Regarding social programs in general, the government will be running them but the existence of any particular program is up to the voters (and the political system in general). Not all good programs can be paid for realistically and there are many programs that aren't needed.

    There is nothing controversial in any of this. It's just a matter of what program any particular individual supports or doesn't support.

    You have any more ridiculous comments regarding Bitcoin for us today?
  17. WillNever Valued Senior Member

    Do you have an interest to promote it? For the record, I don't give a shit about Bitcoin. But it's odd how the discussion has turned in that direction.
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The Bitcoin reference was directed at Iceaura. Why would anyone "promote" anything here? There is almost no one here. Discussion is all that is being "promoted" on any thread.
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Not in your posts. You denied even the existence of socialist economic structures under democratic governments, claimed the differences between socialist and capitalist economic structures were "just semantics", declared that the obvious benefits of the socialist economic structures presented to you were examples of government instead of socialism, and in general refused to compare socialism with capitalism.

    Here is a typical quote, your response to a comparison of a particular socialist economic structure with the capitalist alternatives it has replaced in all the world's functioning democracies:
    Note the equivalence you draw between socialism and government, as if comparing socialism with capitalism were the same as comparing government with capitalism.

    That is, btw, financially "illiterate" - and specifically so, not the confused allusion to ignorance or incompetence that we find in the thread title. The meaning of a word, an abstractly financial term - socialism - is directly involved.

    We can take advantage, though: That confusion does offer a way of comparing those who possess financial "literacy" with those who do not - for example, a few years ago those whom all (including themselves) agree are financially "literate" wrecked the entire US economy and impoverished millions of people; they are now putting their money and effort into preventing the employment of the measures we have over time found necessary and effective in rebuilding the prosperity of economies wrecked in that manner. The financially "illiterate", meanwhile, have been nowhere near as destructive an obstacle to the common welfare.
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Good luck with your crusade.
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  21. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    bitcoin is literally the exact opposite of what you want in a store of value. things chosen for store of value have stable values. the sheer volatility of bitcoin's price makes entirely unsuited to the function of store of value. why does it not surprise me that you are talking oh so confidently while being completely wrong
    candy likes this.
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I doubt that you are ever surprised even though you are usually wrong.

    As an asset class Bitcoin has beat every other asset class on a year by year basis. Yes, it is volatile. As it matures that will decrease but if you look at the return by year it does quite well. If you are going to use Bitcoin to buy your chicken tenders that might not currently be a good idea. You probably don't use gold that way either.

    It's a long-term store of value. Look at the purchasing power of the dollar over the last 5 years and compare that to Bitcoin. Bitcoin has been a much better store of value.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2021
  23. WillNever Valued Senior Member

    How about not making the discussion about yourself or other people? You don't have to agree with everything people post but don't be nasty and toxic.

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