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Bloggingheads 12-20-2011 12:19 AM

Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 

harkin 12-20-2011 11:07 AM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Nice tribute to Hitch Megan, shooting with the bar in the background (did you sweeten the Diet Coke?).

Lots of right here along with lots of very wrong, didn't complete so will respond later.

DWAnderson 12-20-2011 02:17 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Re the high marginal rates on the poor created by phasing out benefit programs-- this is one of the big (and seldom mentioned problems) with means testing various government benefit programs.

Sure you could phase the programs out VERY slowly to reduce this problem, but then you would increase the size of these programs beyond what is politically paletable (and pretty inefficient).

This is a problem inherent in the welfare state, where cash is given as a matter of right. The problem is ameliorated with private mutual aid societies where you have non-financial incentives to make more money even at a significant cost in benefits-- namely that you are perceived as virtuous by your neighbors.

bkjazfan 12-20-2011 03:21 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 235084)
Nice tribute to Hitch Megan, shooting with the bar in the background (did you sweeten the Diet Coke?).

Lots of right here along with lots of very wrong, didn't complete so will respond later.

Cute observation. He drank and smoked a lot. Hitchens said "It's the fags that will get me in the end, I know it."

harkin 12-20-2011 04:57 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bkjazfan (Post 235094)
Cute observation. He drank and smoked a lot. Hitchens said "It's the fags that will get me in the end, I know it."

"Drank and smoked a lot" does not begin to cover it, based on what I've read and observed over the years. He seemed at least the equal of Dean Martin and Edward R Murrow regarding the ever-lit heater. As for drink, the only one it seems remotely up for comparison would be Winston Churchill, who seemed best able to handle an incredible workload on a reported quart of brandy and two-four bottles of champagne a day (plus 10 Havanas FWIW).

I still can't get over the fact that back when someone as smart as CH decided he needed to explore the superficial Vanity Fair world of bikini waxing, teeth-whitening and luxury spas, he could have instead been getting a simple medical check-up. Then again, he declared himself a "proud child of the National Health Service" so maybe he just figured the Dr wasn't available.

brucds 12-20-2011 05:27 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
"Then again, he declared himself a 'proud child of the National Health Service' so maybe he just figured the Dr wasn't available."

But of course Britain logs about 25% more doctor visits per capita than the US. Also logs longer hospital stays and has better mortality stats.

Try another know-nothing right-wing talking point. Best shot is something so crazy it's impervious to being disproven at the level of fact. Maybe "death panels" under "Obamacare."

yotajoule 12-20-2011 06:04 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
I must have missed the announcement; is bloggingheads shutting down?

bkjazfan 12-20-2011 06:06 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
48% of all Americans are either in a low income bracket or are living in poverty.

57% of all American children are living in households that are considered low income or living or impoverished.

18% of all homes in Florida are vacant.

New housing construction in 2011 will be the worst on record.

*Stats courtesy of economic collapse blog.

bkjazfan 12-20-2011 06:27 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by yotajoule (Post 235102)
I must have missed the announcement; is bloggingheads shutting down?

From what I gather there won't be a many diavlogs beginning in the new year. Bob discussed this on his last diavlog he had with Mickey Kaus on December 1st. He may have had a subsequent conversation about it but I haven't seen it.

r108dos 12-20-2011 06:48 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Bob, can there be a diavlog on the Piplline? I would like to know more about it. Environmentalist say game over if the Pipeline goes through. I didn't hear much substantive stuff here. Is it significant?

cbjones1943 12-20-2011 07:19 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
IMO Thread #5 (why it's so hard to stop being poor) should receive wider play--it's simultaneously amusing and insightful without being insensitive. Your segment reminded me of Dave Chappelle's series: "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong". One of Chappelle's pieces is linked...it is not my favorite, but it gets the point across.

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/...?videoId=11915

basman 12-20-2011 07:31 PM

Re: Bloggingheads eschatology?
 
End of this site, end of days, is that what I heard? Is there something apocalyptically new that's come to light after the announced downsizing?

Itzik Basman

badhatharry 12-20-2011 08:29 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
What in the world do these words mean?

Apparently, it's not psychically rewarding to build and own a business and employ people and have to argue with suppliers about grades of tin. I usually enjoy Megan's take on things but I sometimes weary of her elitist tone.

harkin 12-20-2011 10:39 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brucds (Post 235101)
But of course Britain logs about 25% more doctor visits per capita than the US. Also logs longer hospital stays and has better mortality stats.

Keep believing the propaganda, as the socialist model is failing miserably. All those Canadians and others from abroad coming here for timely, superior health care....."nothing to see here, move along".

Unit 12-21-2011 12:03 AM

Noam Scheiber begs the question.
 
Faced with the current dramatic downturn Noam would just assume it away. His recipe for curing the economy is to "have 4% growth"; duh, that will surely do it.

Sulla the Dictator 12-21-2011 02:54 AM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brucds (Post 235101)
But of course Britain logs about 25% more doctor visits per capita than the US. Also logs longer hospital stays and has better mortality stats.

Try another know-nothing right-wing talking point. Best shot is something so crazy it's impervious to being disproven at the level of fact. Maybe "death panels" under "Obamacare."

I'm sorry, are you suggesting that the problems with the NHS are "right wing propaganda"? Do I have you right?

Sulla the Dictator 12-21-2011 02:55 AM

Re: Noam Scheiber begs the question.
 
Imagine how much better than that things could be at 8%. Then most current social problems will be solved.

stephanie 12-21-2011 09:45 AM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 235110)
What in the world do these words mean?

Apparently, it's not psychically rewarding to build and own a business and employ people and have to argue with suppliers about grades of tin. I usually enjoy Megan's take on things but I sometimes weary of her elitist tone.

I don't read it as an elitist thing -- you seem to find that a better explanation for lots of things than I do. However, I agree with your point. She's being way too limited on what's rewarding, and I expect many people who find rewarding the building-and-running-a-business tasks that Megan considers dull (or even middle management tasks, for that matter) would find Megan's job unpleasant. It's a matter of personal preferences and skills.

On the other hand, I'm sure we all know people who hate their jobs, even people who make lots of money at them and thus feel tied to them. I believe Megan has spoken about either having or observing others with such jobs in the past, so I think that's partly where she's coming from, although she picked an job as an example that better fit her point.

badhatharry 12-21-2011 02:10 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 235135)
I don't read it as an elitist thing -- you seem to find that a better explanation for lots of things than I do.

You're right. The word isn't elitist. I wrote something else originally and elitist was much nicer. I guess it is my catchall phrase for people who I perceive as thinking they know a whole lot more than they do because of their totally awesome and expensive educations.

I also perceive them as thinking they are somehow living a life of the mind and ideas...you know the really important things in life and it's only the riff-raff who have to deal with nasty stuff like making money and tin salesmen. But they do like their creature comforts and wouldn't know what the heck to do if the plumber didn't show up. Michelle Goldberg is this type, too.

I just don't understand how someone who writes about the economy can have such a strange conception of life in the working world..."psychically challenging", as if that explains anything. And I just really didn't understand the whole owning 7-11's to make money bit. She was saying it in a way that said..."you understand this, right?"...and I didn't.

Also, I doubt there is anyone who does Megan's job who finds it unpleasant. In order to write well, you have to enjoy doing the work.

badhatharry 12-21-2011 02:15 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 235122)
I'm sorry, are you suggesting that the problems with the NHS are "right wing propaganda"? Do I have you right?

Yes, because it is only the right wing who sees the problem. The left wing thinks and knows that it is the absolute right of every human being on the planet to have as much health care as they need. In order to achieve that goal it doesn't matter who has to be conscripted into service and for how little compensation. Universal health care is king. There are no problems with it.

stephanie 12-21-2011 02:54 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 235157)
I guess it is my catchall phrase for people who I perceive as thinking they know a whole lot more than they do because of their totally awesome and expensive educations.

I don't at all think that's what Megan was saying here. Like I said, she's talked about people with just her education hating their well-paying jobs, and also about much preferring her much lower paying job she eventually got instead. Her broader point, or part of it, was that just because a job pays a lot doesn't mean it's super satisfying.

In fact, I think she's wrong in the argument this point was supposed to further and assume that you don't, but I figured it was worth noting the agreement.

I honestly think a lot of this "elitism" stuff more generally is something that you are bringing to it. Many of the people you seem to hate so much don't think their jobs are all that or that they are better than anyone else. It's fascinating to see such a developed class-consciousness -- unusually so for the US, IME -- used to further one's identification with the Republicans. But I suppose I get irrationally offended by the "real Americans" thing, so perhaps it's something like that.

Quote:

Also, I doubt there is anyone who does Megan's job who finds it unpleasant.
I was (obviously) referring to those who did some of these jobs that don't sound appealing to Megan finding her job as unappealing as she found theirs.

Sulla the Dictator 12-21-2011 03:44 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 235165)
I honestly think a lot of this "elitism" stuff more generally is something that you are bringing to it. Many of the people you seem to hate so much don't think their jobs are all that or that they are better than anyone else. It's fascinating to see such a developed class-consciousness -- unusually so for the US, IME -- used to further one's identification with the Republicans. But I suppose I get irrationally offended by the "real Americans" thing, so perhaps it's something like that.

I think it is class and cultural, but not necessarily wealth. There is a cadre of professionals, mostly urban and mostly coastal, who rub many people in the inland the wrong way. The condescension plays a large role. It is a unique class resentment because it is unrelated to money; rather it is tonal.

AemJeff 12-21-2011 04:01 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 235171)
I think it is class and cultural, but not necessarily wealth. There is a cadre of professionals, mostly urban and mostly coastal, who rub many people in the inland the wrong way. The condescension plays a large role. It is a unique class resentment because it is unrelated to money; rather it is tonal.

If somebody said the same thing but reversed the order of identities used in the second sentence, this would be equally true. It's a simple statement of regional and cultural affinity having nothing to with class and little to do with tone. And since harry is coastal and stephanie is of the "inland," it mis-characterizes the specifics of what you're trying to describe.

Sulla the Dictator 12-21-2011 04:22 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 235173)
If somebody said the same thing but reversed the order of identities used in the second sentence, this would be equally true. It's a simple statement of regional and cultural affinity having nothing to with class and little to do with tone. And since harry is coastal and stephanie is of the "inland," it mis-characterizes the specifics of what you're trying to describe.

Not really, since I said: Mostly. It involves class because it doesn't apply to any other group within these coastal urban enclaves. Not the poor, not the working class, and certainly not the commuting suburbanites. Not even the legitimately wealthy.

In other words, that junction in modern economy where petit bourgeois and haute bourgeois meet. Soft science and law and government employment. The irony is that this is a very small subset of society; but because it fits the media almost ENTIRELY, it is magnified. And even aped....which is unfortunate. :(

badhatharry 12-21-2011 05:58 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 235165)
I don't at all think that's what Megan was saying here.

Of course she not saying that.

Quote:

I honestly think a lot of this "elitism" stuff more generally is something that you are bringing to it.
I don't deny that at all.

Quote:

Many of the people you seem to hate so much don't think their jobs are all that or that they are better than anyone else. It's fascinating to see such a developed class-consciousness
What proof do you have that the unidentified people I hate so much don't think thier jobs are all that or that they are better than everyone else? For the record I never mentioned hate or that these people think they are better than everyone else.

I'm so glad that my developed class consciousness fascinates you...or are you just sayin' that? And what is class consciousness in your estimation?

Quote:

-- unusually so for the US, IME -- used to further one's identification with the Republicans. But I suppose I get irrationally offended by the "real Americans" thing, so perhaps it's something like that.
What the heck are these words supposed to mean? This is like the 7-11 thing. There's meaning here that's supposed to be apparent but just isn't to me.

stephanie 12-21-2011 07:14 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 235173)
If somebody said the same thing but reversed the order of identities used in the second sentence, this would be equally true.

Yes, that's what I was getting at with my "real Americans" thing, and it largely strikes me as fabricated or at least somewhat stirred up in both cases.

Unit 12-21-2011 08:41 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 235110)
What in the world do these words mean?

Apparently, it's not psychically rewarding to build and own a business and employ people and have to argue with suppliers about grades of tin. I usually enjoy Megan's take on things but I sometimes weary of her elitist tone.

I think she's making the standard Econ 101 argument about "compensating differentials".

sugarkang 12-21-2011 10:25 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit (Post 235218)
I think she's making the standard Econ 101 argument about "compensating differentials".

Yes. The same reason why law school graduates go to big firms after school despite very low job satisfaction. I say you let Megan slide on this one, Harry; or, you know, don't.

stephanie 12-22-2011 10:24 AM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit (Post 235218)
I think she's making the standard Econ 101 argument about "compensating differentials".

Yes, and to be more specific, she's not saying that running a business is unpleasant. She's saying that lots of people who make a good income do so because they work in large part for the money. Even people who also find their jobs satisfying (as running a store certainly can be), may nonetheless not love it so much that they'd work the same amount without the compensation. Some other jobs are of the sort that people do for other reasons they find more significant than the money -- either they take a paycut to do work they find satisfying or they'd even do the job without the hope of payment (like many authors and bloggers who started doing the work entirely unpaid).

Megan presents herself somewhat as in the first category -- she makes a lot less as a journalist than as an investment banker or some such, but has talked about the tradeoffs. It's just not elitist to say the average working person probably wouldn't keep his job and hours precisely the same if he won the lottery or that many people at i-banks or, indeed, big law firms have jobs they hate or lifestyles they'd prefer to change.

Again, I don't actually agree with Megan's broader point (or at least I don't think it matters in the way she does), but on this part of her argument she's correct. And that many store owners and middle management types find their jobs as satisfying as Megan finds hers doesn't change that at all.

stephanie 12-22-2011 10:45 AM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cbjones1943 (Post 235108)
IMO Thread #5 (why it's so hard to stop being poor) should receive wider play

Agreed that there was some decent discussion. The one thing that bugged me a bit was Megan's suggestion that what she was saying was somehow contrary to the understanding of those on "the left," as certainly those I've known involved in programs aimed at the poor and the related problems, including working with inner city kids and with the homeless, wouldn't have disagreed with her points at all. I think the argument is really about other things.

But I suppose it depends on precisely what part of the overall political dialogue one is focusing on.

On the payroll tax bit, my sympathies are more with Megan actually (the specific politics of it all aside), but Noam didn't seem to push back much at all.

sugarkang 12-23-2011 01:25 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
North Koreans would have to be de-programmed before anything even happens. That might work for half the population because they've got their doubts about the Kim deities, but the other half is an open question. Problem #2: their education is largely useless, save for subjects without any kind of normative values or assumptions about the real world, i.e., math. Problem #3: they're visibly small and malnourished.

I'd be afraid that N. Koreans would end up as a 2nd class "other" if re-unification occurs. If there's work for them to be done, it would end up being factory work, housekeeping, and similar menial jobs. No doubt, their material standard of living would improve, but who knows if their mental health will.

I didn't know how poor I was until I started making a little money. -- Bud Fox

badhatharry 12-23-2011 08:14 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit (Post 235218)
I think she's making the standard Econ 101 argument about "compensating differentials".

That's interesting but I doubt any of this applies to a guy who is making $750,000 per year. No one gets to that position without having a passion for what they're doing. It reminds me of the myth of the unhappy billionaire who wishes that he had made a different decision about career and become an artist (preferably starving).

badhatharry 12-23-2011 08:34 PM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 235268)
Yes, and to be more specific, she's not saying that running a business is unpleasant. She's saying that lots of people who make a good income do so because they work in large part for the money.

So for me it was these kinds of terms that she used: firms that don't do anything sexyand work that any of us wouldn't find psychically rewarding.. I listened to the preceeding bit and I guess this had something to do with raising the tax rate. So why did she bring up arguing with tin salesman? Was she saying that the guy who makes $750,000 wouldn't do such unrewarding work if he was taxed at a higher rate and didn't net as much money? If so, it wasn't at all clear.

Parallax 12-25-2011 03:15 PM

Finally someone introduces McArdle to reality
 
It was nice to see Scheiber mention that what McArdle worries about is imaginary. Although I would have liked a more forceful repudiation of that line of thinking.

McArdle's comparison with Ireland is non-sensical. First Ireland made the foolish decision to guarantee all the bank debt and second Ireland does not have its currency.

laura 01-05-2012 08:58 AM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Yes but Baileys Irish Cream? It might be Megan's tipple but I wouldn't have thought it was Hitchens' style, unless he was really that thirsty.

AemJeff 01-05-2012 09:01 AM

Re: Images On Your Eyeballs (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by laura (Post 236303)
Yes but Baileys Irish Cream? It might be Megan's tipple but I wouldn't have thought it was Hitchens' style, unless he was really that thirsty.

It's a lot easier to imagine Hitchens with a bottle of Laphroaig, or maybe Black and White in a pinch.


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