Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

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Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby Max on Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:49 am

Go here:
http://www.boingboing.net/2008/03/19/do ... mines.html
And read the comments. All of them.
I'm not an expert, but this is the best discussion of economics I think I've ever seen.
And so you gotta be strong You've got to just speak in tongues About how you belong
In popular culture - dEUS
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby Miss Marie on Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:17 am

thanks Max! I didn't have time to read it all now, but I will finish later. Maybe I'm a nerd, but I find economics so fascinating!
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby Kristen on Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:06 pm

Too bad I didn't see this last semester. I could have totally showed it to my microeconomics professor. :D
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby Wolfmoon on Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:59 pm

I think one of the things that would help the economy is to not throw so much money at celebs for being on a movie screen for a couple hours. As far as I'm concerned, acting isn't real work.

And there are a lot of people in the government that could stand to make a lot less.
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby MotherNaturesRevenge on Sun May 24, 2009 11:23 pm

me and a friend were just discussing how ridiculious the profession of acting is as far as the pay...sure you're entertaining me, but fuck man i could do that every night with my friends and i'm not making jack shit ha ha.
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby Max on Mon May 25, 2009 1:18 am

Wolfmoon wrote:I think one of the things that would help the economy is to not throw so much money at celebs for being on a movie screen for a couple hours. As far as I'm concerned, acting isn't real work.

And there are a lot of people in the government that could stand to make a lot less.

While I don't disagree that the payscale is out of whack, I think a better way of approaching the economy is to start with the fundamentals: why do we even have money? what is the purpose of a paycheck? Why should we pay for some things? Is property ownership a right? If it is a right, is it a greater right than the right to be healthy? Does work make you happy? That sort of thing. Once we, as a society, can answer these things then, I think stuff like inequity and overinflated salaries become a lot more obvious.
I spend a big portion of every work day talking with people about some fundamental concepts, like how a budget works. Smart, sophisticated people become idiots as soon as dollar signs are involved. Seriously, I've had college professors that didn't understand that the point of drawing up a budget is not to either A. make you feel good or B. make you look pathetic. (BTW, the point of drawing up a budget is to realistically assess what your means are. Once you do that, it gets pretty obvious, pretty quick what your next move should be)
I think that the easiest way to fix our economy would be to educate more people about economics. If more people simply understood what they're doing with money, less people would be doing stupid things with their money. If more people understood what their economic needs were, there'd be less waste. If more people understood how the economy works, the political, social, and environmental elements to our society would shift pretty radically as well. And, yes, if people truly understood what makes labor valuable, and how to value their time, our culture would be very different, indeed...
And so you gotta be strong You've got to just speak in tongues About how you belong
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby Max on Mon May 25, 2009 1:32 am

And so you gotta be strong You've got to just speak in tongues About how you belong
In popular culture - dEUS
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby Alka on Mon May 25, 2009 1:30 pm

I'm not entirely sure how relevant this comment is going to be so feel free to ignore it, but I really wish that someone had taught us/me more about budgetting/money handling/economics at school. I am rubbish with money and it is all my fault but I think if someone had sat me down and properly explained things in bigger terms then maybe I wouldn't have such a massive overdraft. Then again, it could've been one of the lessons I skipped.
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby Max on Tue May 26, 2009 12:11 am

Alka wrote:I'm not entirely sure how relevant this comment is going to be so feel free to ignore it, but I really wish that someone had taught us/me more about budgetting/money handling/economics at school. I am rubbish with money and it is all my fault but I think if someone had sat me down and properly explained things in bigger terms then maybe I wouldn't have such a massive overdraft. Then again, it could've been one of the lessons I skipped.

Entirely relevant: that's really what I've been saying for years: economics should be taught right along with history and english. I'm more than a bit of a socialist, but I fully recognize that we're in a mixed economy so it's a survival tool to understand the basics of how an economic system works, so's I don't make really dumb mistakes. If people simply understood how interest rates worked, it'd be a massive improvement. If people knew what utility really meant, they might change their spending. If people had even an inkling of what an opportunity cost was, they'd be turning off their TVs. People know who won American Idol, which has zero bearing on their lives, but they've no idea what it means that Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner are running the economy, and that directly affects people's ability to make a living....
And so you gotta be strong You've got to just speak in tongues About how you belong
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby TheWorstIdea on Tue May 26, 2009 1:08 am

Max, have you seen or read I.O.U.S.A? (You can watch the condensed version here).

Really interesting stuff, especially coming from the former US Comptroller General.

I think it really highlights the idea that you have to pay for everything eventually. It's like we've been programmed to believe that anything related to a bank or lending doesn't matter. And credit card companies have known for a long time that the people to target are young people (how many people were harassed by credit card companies on their campuses?) and people who make just enough to make minimum payments but not much more than that.

I find the US services versus taxes debate quite interesting...and something that really hasn't been in the news despite the gloom and doom economic reporting. Yes, we have medical service plans and disability insurance and employment insurance in Canada, but we also pay significantly more taxes. Interesting to see the cost-versus-benefit debate on a larger scale. And the political implications: do voters really understand that an economy cannot support certain services without tax changes and do politicians understand that services cost money?

It's really scary to think of the US dollar collapsing. Just a nightmare for countries that trade with US. I remember a couple of years ago the Canadian dollar was worth more than the US dollar for about a month, and it really screwed up trade. It's hard to devalue your currency against a currency that isn't worth much any more.
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby Max on Tue May 26, 2009 9:21 am

TheWorstIdea wrote:Max, have you seen or read I.O.U.S.A? (You can watch the condensed version here).

Really interesting stuff, especially coming from the former US Comptroller General.

I think it really highlights the idea that you have to pay for everything eventually. It's like we've been programmed to believe that anything related to a bank or lending doesn't matter. And credit card companies have known for a long time that the people to target are young people (how many people were harassed by credit card companies on their campuses?) and people who make just enough to make minimum payments but not much more than that.

I find the US services versus taxes debate quite interesting...and something that really hasn't been in the news despite the gloom and doom economic reporting. Yes, we have medical service plans and disability insurance and employment insurance in Canada, but we also pay significantly more taxes. Interesting to see the cost-versus-benefit debate on a larger scale. And the political implications: do voters really understand that an economy cannot support certain services without tax changes and do politicians understand that services cost money?

It's really scary to think of the US dollar collapsing. Just a nightmare for countries that trade with US. I remember a couple of years ago the Canadian dollar was worth more than the US dollar for about a month, and it really screwed up trade. It's hard to devalue your currency against a currency that isn't worth much any more.


Seen it, thanks!
As for people preying upon those who are too ignorant to defend themselves? It has been ever thus. Call me cynical, but that's precisely why we need governments, and I've never been an anarchist: our whole economic system has predatory elements built right into it. I mean, consider the full ramifications of what you're talking about: people offering students credit, and people being taught that money is "dirty" so you're a better person not knowing about it. Seriously, how often have you seen or heard it played up like a virtue to know nothing or to not care about the basic workings of money, on college campuses. That's predatory, and it's not only accepted, it's encouraged!
Meanwhile, you're right that Canada has a problem with the government over-reaching. But, what you may not understand is that for a good percentage of Americans this level ofthought is beyond what they have the background to discuss. They just hear canada, and think of cheap drugs and single payer health care. There's no processing beyond that.
As for trade issues, the US really has to decide if we're going to get protectionist, or not. We're waffling way the hell too much. We're china's plaything some days, and other days we start talking tough. But, that's the legacy of Nafta, if you ask me: this half-baked notion that we're some kind of semi-union, but only insofar as it benefits a half dozen companies. Everywhere else, we're gonna squack about tariffs. Stupid, really. But, once they could get NAFTA through, other ridiculously oligarchical plutocrats could keep it rolling, til the till was completely disrupted, and yeah, the dollar so unstable that I could actually see a rally starting up based upon may's still-weak numbers, simply because it's not as bad as feb.... (Hey, can you tell I've been re-reading the Shock doctrine?)
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby MotherNaturesRevenge on Thu May 28, 2009 2:33 am

i don't know about any one else, but if i had to pay more taxes to get healthcare and healthcare for others it would totally be worth it. healthy people equals happier people. americans don't agree with this concept because they'd rather buy a gas guzzling suv at the end of the year than help out their fellow man because it's as if they believe poor people ASK to be poor. they're the ones in the end that are bearing through shit because they have done without while the middle class that is collapsing can't handle themselves because they've become accustomed to their lifestyle and forgot what it was like when they WERE struggling. i heard a woman they interviewed in tent city who's top concern was not being able to bathe and having to get food out of trash can...i guess it's good people are still wasting so there's food to get out of the trash can though ha ha. totally off topic, but i know. capitalism is not bad it's corporatism that has ruined this country...i have anarchist tendencies, but do lean more towards the socialist side because i'm not unrealistic about human nature. watch the corporation.
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby caseystilletto on Thu May 28, 2009 10:45 pm

MotherNaturesRevenge wrote:me and a friend were just discussing how ridiculious the profession of acting is as far as the pay...sure you're entertaining me, but fuck man i could do that every night with my friends and i'm not making jack shit ha ha.



Gotta disagree...I'm a theatre major specializing in performance..and for every Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts who are out there getting paid millions of dollars, there's about a billion people who are getting paid little to nothing, and sometimes nothing, just to try to get their name out there as a performer, both in theatre and film.
Trying to get a full-time job as an actor is really fucking hard, because it's not consistent work. Usually people are working like one or two regular jobs just so they can go on auditions on the weekends.

If you don't like paying for a grossly overpriced movie ticket, get Netflix. Go to the dollar movies like I do and bring your own snacks. Or gasp, go see some live theatre--community and college productions are pretty damn cheap.
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby caseystilletto on Thu May 28, 2009 10:48 pm

PS: Thanks for the links Max...I will check them out, didn't just come on the thread to be theatre-Godzilla. I totally agree about the education point--kids at least should be taught how to make a budget, balance a checkbook and learn about loans in high school or earlier.
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Re: Do you want an excellent intro to Economics?

Postby TheWorstIdea on Fri May 29, 2009 12:02 am

Max wrote:Seriously, how often have you seen or heard it played up like a virtue to know nothing or to not care about the basic workings of money, on college campuses. That's predatory, and it's not only accepted, it's encouraged


Yep. Not a concept I entirely understand. I mean, if you're working for what you got, why wouldn't you want to know where said hard-earned cash is going? Bank fees, 20% or more interest on credit cards...that's a lot of cash! There's some initiative going on (in Canada) where credit card statements have to show how long it would take to repay the credit if you only made minimum payments. I can't remember if it's actually gone through or just talk at this point, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a reality check for a lot of people.

I've seen commercials for a credit card that gives bonus points if you use your credit card for groceries and other day-to-day expenses. I though that sort of spending actually lowered your credit rating?

Max wrote:They just hear canada, and think of cheap drugs and single payer health care. There's no processing beyond that.


That's true...it's easy to want something, until you see that 30% of your income is going to taxes and other federal programs. I guess it just depends on your priorities. Federal assistance got me out of a crappy situation, so I can't say that I resent paying higher taxes for more services.

Max wrote:But, once they could get NAFTA through, other ridiculously oligarchical plutocrats could keep it rolling, til the till was completely disrupted, and yeah, the dollar so unstable that I could actually see a rally starting up based upon may's still-weak numbers, simply because it's not as bad as feb.... (Hey, can you tell I've been re-reading the Shock doctrine?)


Ha ha. I think the rally already started! Just wait until the banks let up and everyone defaults on their loans again (and again). What I don't really understand with all this economic doom and gloom is how it's being perceived as temporary and everyone should just buck up until it's "over." I don't think it's ever going to be over-over. Sure, the economy will pick up, the job market will pick up and lenders will become more liberal in their lending, but the way I see it, if people don't fundamentally change the way they see the economy and curb the rate at which they hemorrhage cash (on both personal and corporate levels), nothing is going to change in the long run.

Trying to get a full-time job as an actor is really fucking hard, because it's not consistent work. Usually people are working like one or two regular jobs just so they can go on auditions on the weekends.


Yeah, full-time acting is hard work. I have friends who bust more ass than I could ever imagine trying to get low-paying gigs. Same for non-union techs and crew. I think it's pretty damn rad that people are willing to sacrifice to do something they love. I've also noticed that a lot of professional live theatre/opera companies and symphonies are offering wicked cheap deals right now to bring in younger audiences. It's good incentive to stop buying into an industry that's paying a select few millions and millions and start supporting the people in your own communities.
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