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"Facts Are Stubborn Things . . . As Thomas Piketty Is Beginning to Find Out"

smitty_one_each (243267) writes | about 4 months ago

User Journal 19

Emphasis original:

The charges are devastating, and there is plenty to back them up. And again, let's be abundantly clear: The Financial Times is accusing Thomas Piketty of dishonesty, of making up his arguments, of actively trying to mislead readers and actively trying to mischaracterize inequality trends. This mischaracterization leads to

Emphasis original:

The charges are devastating, and there is plenty to back them up. And again, let's be abundantly clear: The Financial Times is accusing Thomas Piketty of dishonesty, of making up his arguments, of actively trying to mislead readers and actively trying to mischaracterize inequality trends. This mischaracterization leads to policy prescriptions on Piketty's part that are both entirely unrealistic in their design and implementation, and, more importantly, are wholly unsupported by the actual data on inequality . The main thrust of Thomas Piketty's book is entirely undermined, and his arguments and conclusions are annihilated. It is hard to imagine a more comprehensive refutation.
. . .
The second thing we ought to note is that neither Giles, nor Giugliano, nor the Financial Times would have discovered that Piketty's books is fundamentally flawed if they listened to Paul Krugman, who famously said on his blog that "if you think you've found an obvious hole, empirical or logical, in Piketty, you're very probably wrong. He's done his homework!" Yes, that was a real statement by Paul Krugman, and yes, it ought to haunt him for the rest of his lifeâ"and beyond. We now know that it is more accurate to say that Piketty fudged his homework. I doubt that Krugman knew that Piketty's conclusions were pretty much made up out of thin air-if he did, there is truly something rotten in the state of economics-but the point is that Krugman tried his damnedest to ensure that no one would take a critical eye to Piketty's data and conclusions.

And this is the same parade of no-talent rodeo clowns that embrace anthropogenic global warming (or whatever the term of the week is), abortion, ObamaCare, and pretty much every other intellectual cock-up going today. May God require of these idiots their idiocy.

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If only... (1)

mwlewis (794711) | about 4 months ago | (#47085425)

...any of that meant anything to anyone who liked the conclusions of the book.

Re:If only... (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about 4 months ago | (#47085505)

Exactly. The "fake but accurate" side will just give a big shrug and say so what. Wealth inequality exists, even if a given report about it is bogus. And they believe wealth inequality is problem, so like Al Gore's film, if it raises awareness, it still has tremendous value.

That's why Paul Krugman and others want everyone to look at it uncritically. Because the point is not in the details, but the advocacy.

Re:If only... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47085517)

The "Higher Truth" angle?

Re:If only... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#47086683)

Yeah, kinda like religion... Waddya know, evangelism at work. As if your "truthers" are any different from the other wackos out there.

Re:If only... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47086755)

Which "truthers" were they? I find out I have more fascinating stuff from talking to you. . .

Amazing (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 4 months ago | (#47085463)

Amazing that this book only came out in 2014. The first lady and her media supporters have been using this income inequality argument for her food desert boondoggle for several years already. In Nashville, they are calling it "food apartheid." Essentially, if there is not a proper grocery store within .5 miles of a poor person, you got yourself a food desert and they are "spreading" to the suburbs. The wealthy neighborhoods, no matter what their distance from a grocer, are not labeled food deserts because, they are like rich and mean and stuff.

Re:Amazing (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47085533)

'Grats on the Instapundit linkage for https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUiQhMtNpGo&feature=youtu.be [youtube.com]

Re:Amazing (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 4 months ago | (#47087095)

Was wondering if The Other McCain was going to run that or a related item. Thx for the twitter follow and mention.

Re:Amazing (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47087803)

I've been so beat for time lately. My blogging has suffered. In better news, son #2 is due in two weeks.

Re:Amazing (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 4 months ago | (#47087961)

Mega groovy congratulations!

They should ask the Chinese (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#47085579)

I am a Chinese from China

We Chinese who survived the People's Commune and the Cultural Revolution can tell you that the idea of a "Total Wealth Equality" among all people is but a big BULLSHIT

Even inside the People's Commune where supposedly every single person get to share every single thing equally, INEQUALITY STILL EXISTED

Those who belong to the Communist Party would get more than those who weren't

Those who had connections (in Mandarin, it's called Guan Xi ) to someone in the top echelon got to enjoy much more than the working stiffs in the fields

I have lived outside China for more than 40 years and in these 40 years I have nothing but amusement of those so-called Western Intellectuals who espouse to the notion of "inequality is bad"

Inequality is the one force that push people to work doubly hard. It is because of inequality that poor people will get more incentives to move up the social ladder

Everywhere I went, from China to Europe to Americas to Africa, I see the same thing happening -- kids from poor families are more motivated than kids from rich families

Because of their poverty, because of the inequalities, kids from poor families have decided, ever since they were toddlers, to do whatever they can to get to the level of those who are richer than them

On the other hand, kids from rich families, because they never need to worry about where the next meal may come from, because they have a warm and happy and loving family, because they are spoilt from all the richness and wealth around them, kids from rich families tend to be complacent, lazy, unmotivated

In other words, the Western world is in a very troubling state right now because your so-called "intellectuals" are nothing more than a bunch of monkeys

Re:They should ask the Chinese (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47085655)

Inequality is to societies as voltage is to electrical circuits.

Re:They should ask the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47098883)

You're not making any sense. You complain about inequality in China, but then praise inequality for motivating the poor?

By your logic, it's a wonderful thing that only those with Guan Xi are better off in China. It'll motive those without to do whatever it takes to get some Guan Xi. Why did the poor make such a fuss over little Qiming's drunken escapades? Kid should have never been punished. His dad is Li Gang after all!

Your conclusion is wrong (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47085581)

Your conclusion that people who believe in the existence of wealth inequality would for some reason support the Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010 is utter bullshit. That bill was - as you yourself demonstrated - spoon fed to congress by way of the Heritage Foundation. There is nothing liberal or progressive about it; it is a giant handout to the industry that has the most power in Washington DC today (at least in terms of the number of senators and representatives who they own outright).

Don't pretend that your party would not have signed off on it if they were the ones in power. The industry just came for their payment at a time when your guys weren't holding the checkbook.

Re:Your conclusion is wrong (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47085709)

Your conclusion that people who believe in the existence of wealth inequality

What's to 'believe', in any religious sense? That there is a distribution amongst incomes is, I should think, about as controversial as the sunrise. I'm as confident that a distribution of incomes exists as I am that the climate is not constant, and that you were you at the point your information was 100% present, i.e., conception. These are matters of simple, common sense.

would for some reason support the Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010 is utter bullshit.

I mean, I agree that Krugman's output is largely scatalogical; is that your point?

That bill was - as you yourself demonstrated - spoon fed to congress by way of the Heritage Foundation.

And speaking of scatalogical cling-ons, you continue to dingleberry-pick that Heritage post like it's a rhetorical insurance policy. Per the Affordable Crap Act, they say that if you like your crappy logic, you can continue to chew on it indefinitely.

There is nothing liberal or progressive about it; it is a giant handout to the industry that has the most power in Washington DC today (at least in terms of the number of senators and representatives who they own outright).

I'll even agree with you, for any common-sense definition of 'liberal' and 'progressive'. However, just as you're trying to pervert the word 'conservative' to encompass the systemic copraphagia of the Obama Administration, 'liberal' and 'progressive' these days mean, for all practical purposes, 'favoring collapse into authoritarianism'

Don't pretend that your party would not have signed off on it if they were the ones in power. The industry just came for their payment at a time when your guys weren't holding the checkbook.

The last major effort to do anything with entitlements on the Republican side was the attempt to privatize Social Security under W. So, we needn't pretend: the evidence refutes you like a sad little Frog academic trying to resurrect a Marxist turd.

Re:Your conclusion is wrong (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47086805)

Congratulations. By length alone, that comment gave the best illusion of thought of nearly any that you have written in reply to a comment of mine in weeks (if not longer). You almost even managed to avoid reaching for standard conservative boogeymen in place of actual arguments.

Going on...

Your conclusion that people who believe in the existence of wealth inequality

What's to 'believe', in any religious sense? That there is a distribution amongst incomes is, I should think, about as controversial as the sunrise. I'm as confident that a distribution of incomes exists

If that is the case, then you cannot argue that Piketty's argument is complete bullshit, you can only argue that the magnitude he suggests is wrong. Your current text and tense suggest that you are trying to completely demonize the author and every bit of his conclusion.

would for some reason support the Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010 is utter bullshit.

I mean, I agree that Krugman's output is largely scatalogical; is that your point?

You are trying to connect a terrible bill that is conservative through-and-through to someone who you are trying to describe as being essentially the conservative antichrist. At the very least your argument needs a "not" operator somewhere to parse.

That bill was - as you yourself demonstrated - spoon fed to congress by way of the Heritage Foundation.

And speaking of scatalogical cling-ons, you continue to dingleberry-pick that Heritage post

That is a bizarre and 100% fact-free conclusion you are making, there. I quoted directly from the Heritage Foundation page that you yourself linked to. The text on said heritage page directly said what I quoted it for - and in so doing showed that they directly advocated for a mandate of the form that is in the Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010.

Meanwhile you are basing your arguments on talking points that are refuted by actual text.

There is nothing liberal or progressive about it; it is a giant handout to the industry that has the most power in Washington DC today (at least in terms of the number of senators and representatives who they own outright).

I'll even agree with you, for any common-sense definition of 'liberal' and 'progressive'. However, just as you're trying to pervert the word 'conservative' to encompass the systemic copraphagia of the Obama Administration, 'liberal' and 'progressive' these days mean, for all practical purposes, 'favoring collapse into authoritarianism'

I suggest you go back and re-read that sentence of yours, there. You previously have supported the bullshit claims that the HIIBA 2010 was designed to do the opposite of what you just said it does. For that matter, the start of your sentence above is at odds with the end of it.

Don't pretend that your party would not have signed off on it if they were the ones in power. The industry just came for their payment at a time when your guys weren't holding the checkbook.

The last major effort to do anything with entitlements on the Republican side was the attempt to privatize Social Security under W. So, we needn't pretend: the evidence refutes you like a sad little Frog academic trying to resurrect a Marxist turd.

First of all, social security and health care are two very different animals. Second, I expect you will take lashes from your fellow conservatives for daring to suggest that there was such an administration as he not only was not invited to the GOP nomination conventions in 2008 or 2012 but as you have shown before his memory is not to ever be invoked in discussion.

Even more to the point, though, HIIBA 2010 was designed to privatize health care, and it does that. HIIBA locks the government out far more so than it lets them in, as the vast overwhelming majority of consumers don't even have the option for a government run health care system even if they want one. The similarities between HIIBA 2010 and the attempts to privatize social security - in their functional approaches and goals - are obvious, even though they are proposed as "cures" to different problems.

Re:Your conclusion is wrong (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47087831)

Look, the PPACA is a wrecking ball, intended to clear the decks in preparation for Single Payer. Has there ever been any other goal for our Progressive wünderkinder?

Re:Your conclusion is wrong (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47088125)

Once again, you ignored pretty well everything I said, and then responded with one of your conspiracy theories. You forgot, however, to tell us how this also prepares for a reptoid NWO.

Any realistic person realizes that HIIBA 2010 guarantees that in the absence of the actual breakup of our republic we won't see a single payer system for at least another 20 years (and for that matter if the country broke up into 2 or more new countries then HIIBA 2010 is irrelevant and single payer would have no bearing on any conservative breakaway republics).

Re:Your conclusion is wrong (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47089071)

You forgot, however, to tell us how this also prepares for a reptoid NWO.

After decades of training people to look to the government for handouts, we're supposed to beg for relief from all this madness. I think we're supposed to vote in Her Majesty to tidy everything with Single Payer starting in 2016. Or was there some other plan?

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