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View Diary: "Entitlement Reforms" That Progressives Can Support (113 comments)

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  •  Most people, long ago, dismissed zero sum game (0+ / 0-)

    theories regarding the economy.  And, while I could certainly be wrong, I think greater than 95 percent of economists would disagree with you that "an economy is a closed system".   At best there is one economy that is a closed system and it isn't the one that your post would either infer or for which your comment would be applicable to.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 05:18:57 PM PST

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    •  It's a closed system (0+ / 0-)

      in the sense that everything affects everything and there are all sorts of multi-order feedback loops that constrain one's ability to escape its limitations, especially at the societal level. I.e. if we cut her, we pay there, so the net savings isn't what we think it is, if at all. Are you saying that there's no external cost to cutting benefits? That's simply impossible.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 05:47:13 PM PST

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      •  Please don't pin your hyperbolic statement on me (0+ / 0-)

        Of course there are feedbacks into the system and if you give more (or less) money to senior citizens then there are repurcussions for the economic system as a whole.  But, seriously, that is not remotely what you said.

        You went "a(n) economy is a closed system" route which, to my understanding, is only supported by a really, really, really fringe subset of economists.   If you want to support the, rather absurd, notion that the American economy is a closed system, then, by all means let's hear your analysis that flies in the face of every economist that I have ever heard of.   I'll grant you that I do not have a BS, a Masters, let alone a PhD in economics, but I am confident enough in my understanding of economics that the US economy is not a closed system, as you proclaimed.

        There is no harm in withdrawing your statement.  The point of internet debates, at least IMO, is not to "win" the debate but to better understand the issues at hand.  You stated, essentially, that the US economy is a closed system (or can you cite another economy that you think is a closed system?) and then you revised your statement to the obvious that there are "external costs" which is not really the correct term but which I understand you meaning that payments to recipients that largely and immediately are then spent into the economy create positive economic outcomes to the economy as a whole is not really controversial regardless of your political outlook (at least amongst serious economists).

        I don't particularly have any desire to debate the issue further because I think it is clear that you seriously overstated the issue at hand.  If you have a rebuttal I'll likely respond but a simple concession that you overstated the economic evidence is fine by me.

        Be well.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 06:42:36 PM PST

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        •  Oh dear (0+ / 0-)

          You are quite the literalist, aren't you? I thought I was obviously speaking in a general, global sense and didn't have to qualify that with footnotes and links. Where did I say that I was referring to only the US economy? Although, in terms of the implications of lowering benefits, there are closed loop aspects to the US economy, in that most of the money that seniors spend goes to local economies, e.g. stores, utilities, rent, doctors, etc. Lower their benefits and all of these suffer for it fairly quickly. Over time, so do the seniors themselves, with their reduction in quality of life costing the system over time.

          I thought it was obvious that that was the point I was making. If I had written that Bush was the dumbest person in the history of the world, would you also have assumed that I meant that literally?

          I think you need to fine tune your reading between the lines skills. And not take misunderstandings so personally. Having a bad day?

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 06:59:08 PM PST

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