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Trickle down economics

 
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 10:14 pm
@Elmud,
He was saying that a woman has other roles in the society. Confucius was not arguing that woman are inferior, only that they are different: in the context of his society, it was best, in his opinion, to have women in roles other than ruling. That there is something more important for that unique sex to be doing.

Not to say I agree with him, but I do not think we can accurately think of Confucius as misogynistic.
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 10:34 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
He was saying that a woman has other roles in the society. Confucius was not arguing that woman are inferior, only that they are different: in the context of his society, it was best, in his opinion, to have women in roles other than ruling. That there is something more important for that unique sex to be doing.

Not to say I agree with him, but I do not think we can accurately think of Confucius as misogynistic.

Women have been struggling under the shadow of Confucianism for a long, long time. Maybe he was not misogynistic as you say. But, they have had to live their lives as though he was.
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 10:40 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
He was saying that a woman has other roles in the society. Confucius was not arguing that woman are inferior, only that they are different: in the context of his society, it was best, in his opinion, to have women in roles other than ruling. That there is something more important for that unique sex to be doing.

Not to say I agree with him, but I do not think we can accurately think of Confucius as misogynistic.


Based on the majority of primate species, females are not necessarily inferior, rather are typically more powerful in the overall workings of the culture, but have different functions in that they are biologically more important, rather than socially important. Generally, the former is far more important, but humans have devised ways to diminish this importance. Thus, Confucius seems to align himself with more natural ways of the power structuring of a species.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 10:46 pm
@Theaetetus,
Elmud wrote:
Women have been struggling under the shadow of Confucianism for a long, long time. Maybe he was not misogynistic as you say. But, they have had to live their lives as though he was.


Oh, absolutely. But we have to be careful here: Confucian philosophy does not end with Confucius. The different schools have some radical disagreements.

Theaetetus wrote:
Based on the majority of primate species, females are not necessarily inferior, rather are typically more powerful in the overall workings of the culture, but have different functions in that they are biologically more important, rather than socially important. Generally, the former is far more important, but humans have devised ways to diminish this importance. Thus, Confucius seems to align himself with more natural ways of the power structuring of a species.


I think that's exactly what he was going for. What works best, and what works best would be that which is most natural to mankind.
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 11:38 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Oh,



I think that's exactly what he was going for. What works best, and what works best would be that which is most natural to mankind.

Natural to" man "kind. Yeah. Makes sense.
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 12:22 am
@Elmud,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
He believed in a division of labor, but placed the farmer at the top of the list. The farmer cast being the most important to any society.


I beg to submit this list is from the Western Zhou kingdom, not Confucius.

Certainly everyone with half a brain then knew how important agriculture was (and is) in China. But I would say that Confucius & friends were less focused on agriculture than some of their peers. He sure didn't want any of his scholar-gentry to be involved in plowing the fields ... among their goals in life was to have a cushy gubbermint job and get out of back-breaking manual labor. Relatively speaking, he placed less importance on agriculture than others, which is not to say he thought it was a worthless activity.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
To call Confucius laissez-faire seems remarkably misleading as he was not completely opposed to regulation. His was not based on some abstract ideal, but instead based on practical concerns. What works.


I said the same thing and even gave an example: he was opposed to monopolies. Laughing

Elmud wrote:
You paint a positive picture of Confucianism. I would not want to diminish or tarnish that picture. But, I just can't get this quote out of my head. "a woman ruler is like a hen crowing".


(One wonders.)

More seriously, you have to consider his historical context. This dude lived hundreds of years ago. It's not as though he could have said "*poof*!
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 07:16 pm
@odenskrigare,
odenskrigare wrote:
I beg to submit this list is from the Western Zhou kingdom, not Confucius.


As I recall, Confucius drew a great deal of teaching from the religion in the Zhou kingdom, including the placement of the farmer at the top of his social hierarchy.

odenskrigare wrote:
Certainly everyone with half a brain then knew how important agriculture was (and is) in China. But I would say that Confucius & friends were less focused on agriculture than some of their peers. He sure didn't want any of his scholar-gentry to be involved in plowing the fields ... among their goals in life was to have a cushy gubbermint job and get out of back-breaking manual labor. Relatively speaking, he placed less importance on agriculture than others, which is not to say he thought it was a worthless activity.


And I'm sure there were people more interested in agriculture than Confucius, but that doesn't change Confucius' perspective. As for the goal of getting a cushy government job: I'd have to disagree. Confucius had such a job once and only for a few months. The rest of the time he taught.

odenskrigare wrote:
I said the same thing and even gave an example: he was opposed to monopolies. Laughing


Right: which means Confucian economics could not be rightly called laissez-faire.
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 07:49 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
As I recall, Confucius drew a great deal of teaching from the religion in the Zhou kingdom, including the placement of the farmer at the top of his social hierarchy.


I'd have to see a historical text

Didymos Thomas wrote:
And I'm sure there were people more interested in agriculture than Confucius, but that doesn't change Confucius' perspective. As for the goal of getting a cushy government job: I'd have to disagree. Confucius had such a job once and only for a few months. The rest of the time he taught.


Well, that's a career of sorts isn't it?

Didymos Thomas wrote:

Right: which means Confucian economics could not be rightly called laissez-faire.


We have somewhat different definitions of laissez-faire.

I consider myself, like most anyone who studies economics, to be laissez-faire but that doesn't mean I'm Ludwig von Mises or something.

Even Adam Smith (arguably) favored certain regulations
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 08:14 pm
@odenskrigare,
I never said Confucius was unemployed: instead, I pointed out that his goal was not to have a cushy government job, but that instead his goal was to teach.

I would not call Adam Smith a laissez-faire economist, despite his adoption by laissez-faire proponents. Noam Chomsky has talked about this. Sure, Smith was a fan of open markets and limited government, but not in the style of laissez-faire; Smith's view was that free markets and limited government are typically pragmatic, and that when conditions are such that regulation becomes pragmatic government should regulate as needed.
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 08:23 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I never said Confucius was unemployed: instead, I pointed out that his goal was not to have a cushy government job, but that instead his goal was to teach.


Ah, I see, but in that previous post, I was referring to his students.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
I would not call Adam Smith a laissez-faire economist, despite his adoption by laissez-faire proponents. Noam Chomsky has talked about this. Sure, Smith was a fan of open markets and limited government, but not in the style of laissez-faire; Smith's view was that free markets and limited government are typically pragmatic, and that when conditions are such that regulation becomes pragmatic government should regulate as needed.


Word
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 08:25 pm
@odenskrigare,
odenskrigare wrote:
Ah, I see, but in that previous post, I was referring to his students.


Ah, my mistake then. Yeah, (most of) his students were probably just interested in cushy government jobs.
0 Replies
 
Phronimos
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 03:13 am
@Elmud,
Elmud;48574 wrote:
I always thought that Reagans theory of trickle down economics made sense. After all, we need the wealthy to provide jobs for the middle and under class. So why shouldn't the government provide advantages for the large corporations . But, in the light of todays economic nightmare, maybe that theory provided an open checkbook for those who would take advantage of all the advantages they have been given. Like spending over a million dollars to remodel an office. Like anything else, nothing is as cut and dry as it seems. As long as greed and opulence exists, even the best ideas will be corrupted. Now, these fellas want to be bailed out by the government. I guess I would have to say that if they want to be bailed out, they need to agree to work for minimum wage for awhile so they can truly understand what their extravigant lifestyles have cost.


The problem with trickle down economics, if you look at the Reagan years, is that all the growth went into the upper and middle sectors, whereas people living in poverty actually had their real wages decline. It's also somewhat ironic that you appealed to the Reagan era as a contrast to our current one with attitudes on greed, given that the 80s is largely considered a decade of opulence, where one of the mottos was 'greed is good.'
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 09:34 am
@odenskrigare,
odenskrigare wrote:
Ugh, please do not tarnish the East with Raygun's name like that

http://zfacts.com/metaPage/lib/National-Debt-GDP.gif

That is all I have to say


I don't know if you were trying to imply that republicans are more culpable than democrats (note: I despise both equally), but let me say this. The country was much more prosperous from the end WWII through the mid seventies than afterwards, with the exception of the 'internet revolution.' We have a stupid tendency to attribute good times to presidents. Clinton happened to preside over a period of rapid growth, which in fact turned out to be unsustainable: a bubble.
0 Replies
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 09:53 am
@Phronimos,
Phronimos wrote:
The problem with trickle down economics, if you look at the Reagan years, is that all the growth went into the upper and middle sectors, whereas people living in poverty actually had their real wages decline. It's also somewhat ironic that you appealed to the Reagan era as a contrast to our current one with attitudes on greed, given that the 80s is largely considered a decade of opulence, where one of the mottos was 'greed is good.'


The problem we see during the Reagan years is systematic of all expansionist monetary policies, not just of the ideas behind "trickle-down" economics.

Expansionist monetary policies do not promote real wealth, they simply debase and devalue the currency.

While it is not very accurate, it is still conceptually useful to look at the whole of available money in an economy as representing the whole of consumable goods in the country. So one dollar's worth of goods would equate to 1/n*C where n is the total monetary supply and C is the total amount of consumable goods in the economy. So if there are ten dollars within the economy, one dollar represents one tenth of the total amount of consumable goods.

It is useful to look at prices and currency in this manner because it is a basic way of understanding prices as a reaction to the monetary supply.

This reaction is never simultaneous with the cause either. Never is it true that monetary expansion results in everyone having added currency at a single point in time. This is what causes money to devalue over time as the money moves through the economy. When the money is issued, the first holder of money suddenly can purchase more goods at current market prices. This, in turn, ups the selling price of the good he purchased, as demand has increased. The first seller now turns around and purchases some other good or labor to increase production, or simply for consumption. This replicates the first step and prices continue their upward shift.

Now this money flow may, in effect, trickle down, but it is important to realize that, as it trickles down, the money loses value. While the final recipient of this flow down may see a nominal gain in wages, the prices of all goods have risen with it, lowering the purchasing power of the dollar, and effectively giving him no gain in real wage.
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 11:45 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
The destruction of the middle class which we have been witnessing over the last few decades, now acccelerating, is mostly a consequence of this, and also the destruction of American industry and the loss of competiveness.
0 Replies
 
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 05:23 pm
@Elmud,
Elmud;48574 wrote:
I always thought that Reagans theory of trickle down economics made sense.


Reagan never endorsed trickle down economics. It is a straw man.

The "Trickle Down" Economics Straw Man by Thomas Sowell -- Capitalism Magazine
0 Replies
 
 

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