Sunday, August 15, 2010

More flawed promotion of redistribution

You may have come across references to The Spirit Level. A book claiming that inequality is the cause of society ills and justifying redistribution. The authors took some decent analysis on basic human genetics and extended it with dodgy analysis. hattip Tory Diary for noting The Taxpayer Alliance and The Policy Exchange ripping the analysis to pieces.
This debate is important as the new UK government embark on reform and the WWG in New Zealand consider the future direction of welfare. I will drop in a few relevant parts from both papers highlighting the arguments.

I liked this from the taxpayers alliance
In a classic work of economic history, William Baumol wrote that policy couldn’t really affect the supply of entrepreneurship – the ambitious and able would always find a way to try and get ahead – but could affect the allocation – how they tried to get ahead. In Ancient Rome it was viewed as degrading for honourable men to get ahead by working in industry or commerce, but extracting money from what we would now understand as abusing a political position was acceptable. In the early Middle Ages warfare was the best way for the nobility to improve their economic fortunes.
Personally I like the idea of people working hard to get ahead by peacefully providing goods for mass consumption through an an almost infinite number of individual personal choices rather than heading off to fight wars to enrich the nobility. Will I buy or won't I rather than will I die or won't I?
The policy exchange rebuttal analyses the basis of the debate between left and right before ripping into the statistics
For a time in the 1970s, the left thought that John Rawls had succeeded in making a
compelling case for egalitarianism when he proposed that we should think of ourselves in an ‘original position’ in which we have to agree on ethical principles of social organisation without knowing what position in society each of us will occupy.
Rawls said a ‘just distribution’ is the one we would all accept while we were operating
behind this ‘veil of ignorance.’ He was under no doubt that, in these conditions, we would agree to share resources equally.

But no sooner had Rawls established this argument for equality than Robert Nozick offered an equally compelling refutation. He likened Rawls’s ‘original position’ to the situation of a group of students being asked to agree on the distribution of examination grades before starting their course.
Nozick therefore proposed that we should gauge a just distribution simply by asking whether people have established a legitimate right to what they have.

Philosophers like Rawls and Nozick have helped clarify our thinking about inequality, but they have clearly not resolved the ethical dilemma at the heart of the issue. In the end, we are still left wrestling with our own consciences. If we privilege the needy, we undermine the deserving. If we recognise just deserts, the needy go
unheeded.
From this perspective, what really matters is not equality of outcomes, but
equality of opportunity.
Redistribution, like aid is useful for solving short term problems but ultimately does not make a community more cohesive or happier, it just drags back the wealth creators, to the detriment of all. (changed last sentence)


36 comments:

Anonymous said...

The last 14 words of the post are entirely ambiguous, a fitting end to both sides of the story.

JC said...

" He likened Rawls’s ‘original position’ to the situation of a group of students being asked to agree on the distribution of examination grades before starting their course."

Or, the other way to do it is to award the marks after the exams so that all pass or fail.

This is seriously good because if all pass you praise the plodders for a magnificent effort, and if all fail you berate the bright types for not pulling their weight..

.. actually.. thats what happens now.

JC

Falafulu Fisi said...

Wealth inequality is a natural phenomena. We pretty much can't do anything about it, because it is the way it is. So, politicians should try and get the fuck out from the business of making laws to redistribute wealth, since inequality is a fact of life. Here is a quote from an econo-physicist Dr Victor Yakovenko, in a New York Times article:

Victor:
-------
...current patterns of economic inequality are as natural, and unalterable, as the properties of air molecules in your kitchen.

From New York Times Article : Econophysics & Inequality

Dr. Yakovenko's paper which appeared in Statistical Mechanics journal , Physica A is freely available for download. Here is a revised updated version.

Universal patterns of inequality

Dr Yakovenko's paper should be made a mandatory read for politicians (especially leftists) who like to meddle in the free markets for the sole purpose of redistributing wealth, since they misguidedly believe that inequality in society is something unnatural and greedy businessmen are evil that they deserved to be stripped some of their wealth and given away to the poor. Unbeknown to fucking leftist politicians that wealth inequality is perfectly natural.

gravedodger said...

Removing money by compulsion from a wealth creator will always have a propensity to suppress the will to continue and expand the creation of further wealth, as will the gifting of money and services to those with little or zero urge to better themselves naturally remove most of the incentive to better their position.
Re- distribution of wealth and resources, ie welfare, will never be a building block for personal advancement as evidenced by the ever increasing drag that welfare has become in this country and most of the western world.

big news said...

Your readers may like to read this - the response to the critics of The Spirit Level.

PC said...

Rawls's excuse-making as policy is awful. But I like to apply his "veil of ignorance" to the making of new laws: Imagine if policy-makers gave as much power to politicians as they would by imagining their opponents in charge, and able to wield all that power.

Which, in a few short years, they always will be.

Falafulu Fisi said...

Big news, Dr Yakovenko's paper showed that it doesn't matter whatever action/s a government will undertake to tackle wealth inequality, it will not work at all, so a socialist like you should deal with that fact. Inequality will always exist no matter what. So, if this is an empirical universal observational fact in human society, then the opinions of the authors (Profs Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett) of The Spirit Level must be dismissed as nonsense and something unachievable.

Anonymous said...

Rawls' question should be put into the proper context. If you could choose what kind of society to be born into without any idea of where you'd be in the social hierarchy then what kind of society would it be.

It's one thing to say a hugely unequal society where the rich and talented get everything is the more 'fair' - a zero sum game but given that about 5% of the population owns everything then odds are you'd be born in a hovel with infant mortality rate to that of Haiti and if you survived then your average expectancy is probably going to be around 47 (Congo or Zimbabwe).

It's not about fairness in the end but playing the odds. Since most people are not going to fit into that top 5% then you'd have to be pretty fucking stupid to want that kind of society.

Anonymous said...

F Fisi, I am NOT a socialist. Never have been, never will be. so STFU
Big News

Anonymous said...

If you could choose what kind of society to be born into without any idea of where you'd be in the social hierarchy then what kind of society would it be.

YOU FUCKING SOCIALIST CUNT

We're all alreadty born in NZ.

We're in the top 1% of society.
And your pathetic arguments will never ever convince me or anyone with any sense to give you anything at all if I can possibly avoid it

Because that's what commies like you want to do: take our stuff and give it to bludgers.

Which is why the only possible dialogue with a commie is to be on the right end of an Uzi. Always was, always will be.

Anonymous said...

Sinner's one of yours tories! Glad he's on your team, losers!

"Wealth inequality is a natural phenomena. We pretty much can't do anything about it, because it is the way it is."

That is simply empirically false regardless of the contents of Dr. Yakovenko's "paper". Sorry shitman, reality sucks.

Judge Holden

sagenz said...

anon 8:54 changed, you were right.

fala - The important thing is equality of opportunity rather than self perpetuation by the current elite, whether they be communist party members as in China or big corporate and bureaucratic leaders as in France, Sweden and Japan. The incomes may be more evenly distributed in those latter countries but the wealth is certainly not. Obama and Clinton clearly demonstrate that America is the land of opportunity, whatever other flaws it may purportedly have.

Falafulu Fisi said...

Judge Holden said...
That is simply empirically false regardless of the contents of Dr. Yakovenko's "paper"

And your evidence is?

Fuckn' none at all. You have provided nothing.

Can you provide one? Show me a study that says so. If you can't show me one, then don't bother making a comment for the sake of it here so that it makes you appear to be debating but all you do is piss taking and wasting Adolf's bandwidth on his blog.

Falafulu Fisi said...

Sagenz said...
The important thing is equality of opportunity rather than self perpetuation by the current elite

Sagz, equality of opportunity (in a free markets) leads to inequality of outcome, which is perfectly a natural consequence. What Yakovenko's experiment showed is that an initial population starting at 't0' (t0 denotes the beginning time) with say large 'N' individuals ('N' is an integer number) and a collective total wealth 'W' which is divided equally amongst them at the beginning, so that each individual will have initial net wealth of 'W0' which equals to W/N, ie, W0 = W/N . When these individuals start trading against each other in a close economy and after some time 't' has elapsed since beginning time t0 (time-scale can be in decades or centuries), the probability distribution of their wealth is not 100% at (W/N) as in the beginning for everyone, but it now exhibits 2 regimes of a Exponential Distribution (this is the distribution of thermal gas) and Power Law.

They tried different runs by unequally distributing the total wealth W at the beginning, by say, 10% of population N gets 80% of W (divided equally amongst them) and the rest 90% of population N gets the remaining 20% of wealth W (divided equally amongst them). The final outcome of the wealth probability distribution always settles ,to the 2 regimes mentioned above , ie, exponential and power-law. The final outcome (ie, inequality) is always there.

They tested real world data against their model and it came up with amazing agreement,ie, amongst countries or within a specific country.

This outcome is a natural consequence of the free markets. Here is a fact. Free markets is about equal opportunity. Everyone has a chance/potential to succeed irrelevant of his/her religious belief, ethnicity, looks, etc,... But we also know from real life, that everyone will not end up the same (in the wealth scale) and that's an undeniable fact.

Anonymous said...

"YOU FUCKING SOCIALIST CUNT

We're all alreadty born in NZ.

We're in the top 1% of society.
And your pathetic arguments will never ever convince me or anyone with any sense to give you anything at all if I can possibly avoid it"

You seemed to have have misunderstood Rawls' premise which is not surprising. Whether you were born in NZ is largely irrelevant because it's about what sort of society you would want to be born into not one which already existed.

Therefore based on your response you'd probably be going for one riven by extreme inequality but since the odds are hugely against some like yourself being part of the elite you'd be left to starve in the streets if you didn't die at childbirth from some disease, possibly AIDS, contracted when your mother was forced to hire herself out n the streets to support her family since there would be no welfare system

Obviously this fate would be unlike my own who has studied Rawls at a postgraduate level and is finishing off my law degree and comes from a well off family.

Anonymous said...

"And your evidence is?"

Look at the world around you dopey. Compare Norway with Bolivia. Are you for real? I suspect not.

Judge Holden

Falafulu Fisi said...

Judge Holden said...
Compare Norway with Bolivia.

And your data analysis showed that Norway and Bolivia revealed what?

Yep, it revealed fuck all. That's right, you haven't even showed any data analysis at all. Are you for real? None at all. You just assert something to be fact, without providing any analysis at all. Umm! You sound like a Rasputin who used to advice the Nicolas (the Russian Tsar). Just quote something purporting to be fact, without showing how or why. Hehe, classic. I suspect that you're one of those who often seek advice from psychics and astrologers.

Anonymous said...

You're a bluster specialist like most libertarians turdman. Look up their gini co-efficients and report back. You said "it doesn't matter whatever action/s a government will undertake to tackle wealth inequality, it will not work at all". Prove it. You can't as it's demonstrably false. If no government action will work in addressing wealth inequality, why is wealth inequality lower in nations that take active steps to address it? You sound like Chris Monckton.

Judge Holden

Falafulu Fisi said...

Judge Holden said...

You're a bluster specialist like most libertarians turdman

And what is your specialization again Judge Holden? You must be a toilet cleaner, huh? When I showed you facts, you jumped in with unsubstantiated assertions. When you're being challenged to produce facts to back up your claim, then you evade, weasel, call me a turdman and so forth.

Still you haven't quoted a single study to back up your assertion. Tell us the wealth probability distribution found in Norway and Bolivia? What do they look like? What type of distributions showed in those 2 countries?

Holden said...
If no government action will work in addressing wealth inequality, why is wealth inequality lower in nations that take active steps to address it?

I wondered if you're daft or simply dump. Did you read what was quoted in the New York Times , which stated the following:

From New York Times:
Other developed nations seem to display this two-tiered economic system as well, with the demarcation lines differing only slightly.

Do you understand what the above statement means? I'll give you an explanation dumb-fuck, because it is obvious that you never read the citations I have referenced for idiots like you on this thread to read. Let me give you a high school example if you still remember it. If you plot the parabola function, y = 2*x^2 - lets call it graph 1, its shape will be similar to another graph, y = 5*x^2 + 3, lets call this graph 2. Can you now see or recognize that the 2 graphs have the similar shapes? The 2 graphs are only different in their scaling factor. Coefficients of the x square terms are different, where it is 2 in graph 1 (2*x^2), but 5 in graph 2 (5*x^2).

Now, lets move on to probability distribution. As I have gone to great length in my previous posts to quote, exponential and power-law so others can follow the argument. Did you bother to learn about those 2 probability distribution functions? I bet not. Dr Yakovenko showed that wealth distribution from different countries have the same probability distribution shape (you still follow dumb-fuck?), they differ only in their scales? He and his co-authors found this empirical evidence that it must be the same process/mechanism that drive this inequality (as the data seemed to fit in 2 tier systems of probability distribution - exponential & power-law).

It is unbelievable that you came back and tried to argue like a kindergarten kid. Here is another example for you. Everyone is familiar with bell-curve (aka gaussian or normal) probability distribution. The bell curve shows up in a variety of datasets in real life such as human heights, human weights, etc, etc... See the graph in the link above for normal curve and you can spot thinner to thicker curves (ie, the scales are different but the shapes are the same). If you still can't understand the argument, then there is no hope for you. I mean I have gone to great length now to make it simpler for idiots like you to understand and if you still don't follow, then you're beyond hope.

See, the other paper from Dr. Yakovenko that shows different countries with same wealth probability distributions although they have different scales (since every country has different income level). You can't argue on scale or otherwise, normal probability distribution cannot be applied to data with different scales. It is not about scales but it is about shapes and Dr Yakovenko's research was about that, see if the data exhibit the same form of universal probability distribution.

Colloquium: Statistical mechanics of money, wealth, and income

See the graphs in the paper above.

Falafulu Fisi said...

[Continue on…]

Judge Holden, if you want to watch some conference video presentations by Dr. Yakovenko's talk, then go to his group's website, where you can find a few links there to those video talks. Perhaps his talk may be easier for dumb-fuck like you to follow since his publications (I have cited here) may be too hard for you to digest.

Econophysics Research in Victor Yakovenko's group

Educate yourself fucker, and then come back here to debate. I have been doing a lot of explanations here for you to get a grip on what is being discussed, but you seemed to not want to learn, just preferring to argue here like an idiot. It was obvious from your failure to understanding that probability distributions is not about scales, you still insist that wealth inequality is lower in nations that take active steps to address it? Had you done some readings on links that I have provided you in my previous posts, and then you wouldn’t have come back and made that dumb comment in your last post? A gravitational law is the same on the surface of the moon as on the surface of the earth. But what’s the difference? Yep, the laws are exactly the same, but the scales are different in both. Gravity is lower on the moon compared to that on earth or say Jupiter. Same equations of motions and gravitation (moon & earth), but different scales.

I am amazed that idiot global warmist like you, take warming propaganda at face value without questioning the validity of those claims, and here I quoted a research finding about wealth distribution and all you did, was quoting a dumb answer (from your last post). No attempt from you to post a counter-argument supported by research. That’s why you’re an automaton in your belief in AGW, because you don’t read research to see both sides of the argument and that’s the difference between you an me. I read them and I can understand the arguments.

KG said...

And that Falafulu, is the best takedown of a piece of shit troll I've ever seen.
Bravo!

Ant said...

Try making a point without every second word being a profanity Falu and people might read that rubbish.

Grow up a bit, its an adults forum, swear words and childish insults that you think are really clever might impress KG and the other dregs but not the majority of us.

Take a few gramar lessons as well bud.

Psycho Milt said...

Dr Yakovenko showed that wealth distribution from different countries have the same probability distribution shape (you still follow dumb-fuck?), they differ only in their scales?

Of course! This would explain why the Gini co-efficients of the world's countries hardly vary at all! Oh...

Falafulu Fisi said...

Ant said...
Try making a point without every second word being a profanity Falu and people might read that rubbish.

Ant, listen, I had made numerous points in my previous messages and Holden seemed to be engaging in troll. It is frustrating when you debate with a troll, since they’re not making any points at all. I have pointed out to lefties like you and Holden materials to read before engaging in the debate, but you & Holden refuse to do so. Read the references and then come back here to debate, because it saves me huge amount of my time having to explain high school concepts that should have been grasped at the beginning. If you (& Holden) are ill-equipped (knowledge-wise) to debate, then the solution is easy. Don't debate. But that's not what Holden seems to be doing on this thread, doesn't he? He is being challenged to produce evidence, but he failed. Ask yourself. Why is he/she is here to debate in the first place when he can't defend his positions/opinions/claims? If he can't defend, then he/she is trolling.

Besides that Ant, you (& Holden) didn't read the references I have cited because you wouldn't have a clue. It would have probably hurt your brain to even attempt to read those (ouch!). When you say that they (cite materials) are rubbish, it means only one thing. You brain is rubbish in its capability in trying to read the materials, since you can't fully comprehend them if you attempt.

Ant said...
you think are really clever might

Look idiot! I don’t think, I am clever. I know I am clever. Do you have a problem with that?

Ant said...
Take a few gramar lessons as well bud.

Hehe, you advised me to take a grammar lesson, despite you spelling the word grammar incorrectly (as gramar) in the line I have highlighted above? How about you take a grammar lesson first before you preach to others huh?

Sorry Ant, my first language is Physics/Mathematics and it is universal. English is my second language and I am not worry at all about my grammar. Good grammar is only good if you have a job at the women's affairs department writing policies. Yep, you need perfect grammar in such types of jobs. Is that what you're doing for a living? I thought so. I would rather be knowledgeable in physics/math/economics/engineering and speak bad grammar than be an expert English professor who works at the women affairs department like you?

Here is another publication that is related to the discussion here Ant, and I hope that you read it because it helps when you debate your points. From Science News:

'Econophysics' Points Way to Fair Salaries in Free Market

The original paper (different author - Prof Venkatasubramanian) published his paper at Entropy Journal which is freely downloadable shown below:

Fairness Is an Emergent Self-Organized Property of the Free Market for Labor

Ant, as an English professor who works at the women affair's department, I am willing to help you simplify the concepts describe in the paper so that you can understand what the hell is the paper is about. Yes, I as a bad grammar speaker can help an English professor such as you who's has perfect grammar to under complex subject in which your perfect grammar can't give you that ability. Seriously, I am genuine Ant. Just ask any question about the citations I have made on this thread if you can't comprehend them.

PS : Ant, are you Mrs Holden in disguise?

Danyl said...

Dr Yakovenko showed that wealth distribution from different countries have the same probability distribution shape (you still follow dumb-fuck?)

I'm not following. Explain to me what probability distribution has to do with wealth distribution. Go!

Falafulu Fisi said...

Danyl said...


Dig & read the references available from Victor's site, which I have already quoted in my previous message.

Econophysics Research in Victor Yakovenko's group

Read those papers, which will enlighten you on the subject, because I am not a lecturer that give free education to the public. I've already done a lot of explanations on this thread and I feel like that I don't want to waste anymore of my useful time in giving further explanations, since the references that I have linked to, are enough for the curious minds here to further their readings on the topic.

I simply point to refereed articles, then you can dig further on your own. If you disagree with what the literatures that I point you out to, then state here, why? Quote other studies that refuted the refereed materials that I have linked to. That's how a debate is supposed to be. I cite my sources, then you cite your other sources that showed otherwise. In return, I'll cite different other sources, then you counter back with more other sources of yours that dispute my sources. And so it goes on.

Don't just jump in and say, Falafulu, what you're saying is not true because I think it is simply not true, without citing any published evidence whatsoever to support such arbitrary assertions.

Ok, Danyl, read the papers listed in that link above first. Go!

Ant said...

Falu I'm not even going to waste my time debating with an angry wee petal like you. You fly off the rail and engage in personal attacks at the merest challenge.

Try for once to argue the issues rather than the person. It's a bit of a shame your investing so much time and energy in this, but few are reading your poorly written essays because of your childish insults.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Turdman, are you saying that Bolivia have the same level of wealth distribution? I'm got more important things to do that do read your rubbish, so I thought I would get a simple answer to a simple question to see what sort of retard I'm dealing with.

Judge Holden

Anonymous said...

Boliva and Norway,,,

Judge Holden

Falafulu Fisi said...

Judge Turdman Holden said...
I'm got more important things to do that do read your rubbish

It is peer review publication idiot. Oh, I forgot that you're an illiterate in reading scientific publications therefore they appear rubbish to you but it the capability of your brain that's rubbish and you know what I mean. Haha, your brain hurts. Ouch!! There are more publications (apart from those of Dr Victor Yakovenko's papers) that I can cite you Judge Holden, but I think that it would be a waste of my time since you can't even read the references that has been quoted for you here to educate yourself on. You know, the econophysics conference proceedings on this topic was published by Springer as a bound book.

Econophysics of Wealth Distributions

Ant said...
You fly off the rail and engage in personal attacks at the merest challenge.

Ant, read the bloody thread and see who threw the first stone? Holden called me a turdman and I had to respond accordingly. It wasn't me who started it. If you think that I started it, then I guess that you must be suffering amnesia (see the time of Holden's post when he called me turdman if you don't believe me).

Psycho Milt said...

Holden called me a turdman...

With a pseudonym like yours, it's going to happen - same as I get people saying I'm aptly named. Hardly a big deal.

Here's the thing: we get your point. Yakovenko's shown that wealth distribution tends to follow an exponential curve at the lower end and a power-law curve at the upper. These apparently differ between countries only in scale rather than type of curve. You're taking this to mean that govts can have little or no effect on wealth inequality.

Problem is, there are all these Gini co-efficients showing quite clear differences in wealth inequality between countries, and fairly clearly showing that govt intervention has an effect. Unless Yakovenko's got some handy explanation for those varying Gini co-efficients, you don't have much of a case.

sagenz said...

Fala - Firstly, thanks for the contributions, I concur with Milt
"Wealth inequality is a natural phenomena. We pretty much can't do anything about it, because it is the way it is. So, politicians should try and get the fuck out from the business of making laws to redistribute wealth, since inequality is a fact of life."

I have not had time to go into your links in any detail. But inequality is an outcome. Can you point to any serious time based analysis where the inequality is or is not persistent over time.

I view Clinton and Obama as being indicators of a successful meritocratic American political system. I view the Swedish high inequality of wealth as being an indicator of failure of a socialist system to do anything more than perpetuate an existing elite.

We can agree completely that outcomes will be unequal, that is natural and should not be subject to socialist redistribution. My concern is equality of opportunity.

Bolivia is a very good example of a failure in equality of oportunity. It is impossible to vist the mines of Potosi and not realise how the odds are stacked.

Anonymous said...

"It wasn't me who started it"

How old are you. But Muuummmm he started it!!!

Anonymous said...

A couple of quick points.

I asked a simple question of Falafel, requiring a one word answer. I didn't get one.

I find his hysterical and furious advocacy of a theory that wealth distribution accords rigidly to natural laws oddly deterministic for a libbo ("Wealth inequality is a natural phenomena. We pretty much can't do anything about it, because it is the way it is"). I thought individuals had free will, but apparently the outcome of human action is inevitable ("current patterns of economic inequality are as natural, and unalterable, as the properties of air molecules in your kitchen"). Perhaps he's a Calvinist.

Judge Holden

MK said...

Snowden's arguments, Wilkinson and Pickett's response, and further comment from Snowden

big news said...

Perhaps this should go in the mix to discuss too