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[RD] Economics people, please explain this to me.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mouthwash, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    No, or not quite. Money is shorthand for "control over resources." Ownership is only one of the kinds of relationships that falls under "control over." I don't particularly care about owning a house (at this point in my life I don't really want to assume the risks of ownership of a house), but I want more money so I can rent a better place.
     
  2. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Your willingness to rent is a snapshot of the underlying psychology. You're unwilling to take on the debt burden required to buy a house, and that's a reasonable choice. But your 'risks of ownership' are mostly encapsulated by the fact that you'd be gaining access to the house on margin.

    It's terribly burdensome to owe money on the car that you need to have as it slowly degrades. Or to owe money on a house as it loses market value. Owing really, really bothers a lot of people.
     
  3. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I don't conceptualize the risks mostly in terms of debt, I conceptualize them mostly in terms of things happening to the house.
     
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  4. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    I don't want people to need to pay money for having a good place.
     
  5. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    You and me both buddy but look at what a nice incrementalist I'm being here.
     
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  6. Yeekim

    Yeekim Moderator Moderator

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    This. As a kid, I met an old relative whose longest trips in life (like two or three altogether) had been day-long visits to a town some 100km away. Going somewhere for longer was out of question - who would milk the cow then?

    As for pasta... I still remember the heavenly taste of fusilli (probably some bargain brand) I first ate ~28 years ago after my sister brought some from the DDR for the first time. This made a stronger impression than a whole small bucket of Nutella, a wonder in itself. Should tell something about the quality/availability of foodstuffs in later period USSR.
     
  7. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    There is no doubt that there has been a lot of real economic growth along a variety of goods. Let's just work with the graph that we've all seen, since it captures most of the trends that we know even if we dispute specific numbers.



    But those trend lines are really interesting. Healthcare, as we know, are currently showing decreasing returns on investment. And some of the 'left behind' cohorts are literally seeing a decrease in healthspan. *As an aside, imo healthcare is one of the largest depreciation opportunities available for wealth-creation in the modern world, but nearly no one believes in supply-side investing.

    But it's education that is by-far-and-away the most interesting one. No one disagree that our major intent for education is to cause an increase in both productivity and living standards, but our system has turned from "you save up for school, and you capture most of the gains to your productivity" to "you borrow to go to school merely to tread water, and almost all gains to productivity have trickled upwards".

    In other words, you get educated to not see a significant historical improvement, and the top 0.1% captures all the improvements to productivity your education brings. And then they use those profits to lend you the money to get an education, effectively reducing your take home pay and increasing their gains on investment.

    The cheaper information technology is amazing. Especially for infovores or for people who value entertainment media. But the top two show a massive problem that we have with productivity gains increasingly going upwards.
     
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  8. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Warlord

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    There no clear line between the two.
     
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