Tuesday, July 19, 2011

M&S is not "lowest workers"

I got a very strange comment. It is completely wrong. Yet, believing in it alone can explain being tolerant with the M&S. It said: "even if you're allowed to shoot the inactives. Then the lowest currently-working class will become the inactives. So if the cycle repeats, you suggested that we should kill each other until, well, noone is alive?".

This nonsense comes from the idea of "social status". It's a competitive, zero sum construct that declares people lower than others. Of course if we remove the lowest, the second lowest will be the lowest. However this nonsense has nothing to do with real usefulness. Actually it has nothing to do with anything real, it exist only in the head of the socials with the purpose of feeling good about themselves looking down on someone.

The error is easily spotted if we convert the situation to WoW. The "inactives" are those who couldn't even kill Shannox. The "low workers" could kill Shannox only. The "blue collars" killed some normal bosses, the "high society" are on hard modes. Now kick every inactive, so by definition everyone killed Shannox. Those who killed only Shannox become the worst players of the game. But would it somehow stop them killing Shannox?

No doubt that kicking the 0-boss players from the game we made them the worst. Maybe they feel bad about it. Maybe everyone now look down no them. Maybe the term "shannoxer" becomes the new curse, replacing "ungemmed tard". The social status of the shannoxers would drop to the floor no doubt.

But they would not only keep being able to kill Shannox, but their gaming would improve in several other ways too! In any LFD group they would be the weakest, so everyone would boost them, while now they  usually have to boost 2-3 ungemmed, unenchanted, facerolling failures. /trade pugs could kill Shannox surely. If they improve a bit, they could easily join a low schedule normal mode guild.

The hard mode raiders may not even notice that the 0-boss failures are gone. The shannoxers on the other hand would change one day from drowning in lolling trash to trying on Beth with equal or better players. They would be the biggest winners of the change in reality. 

Back to real life: the workers, even the lowest ones produce services of value. Things that everyone buys. Now the things are distributed between everyone including inactives. Also, due to being poor, the shopping cart of the inactives is similar to the poor workers, so they are directly competing for the same itemsp. Removing the inactives wouldn't decrease the demand of Ferraris, but would decrease the demand for 10 years old used cars, making them cheaper, easier to buy to poor workers.

It is true that the removal of inactives would change the shopping cart of the "average person", making some of the producers of the items targeted to poor people go out of business. But in the same time, due to less tax (wasted on inactives), the buying power of everyone else would grow, increasing demand in other fields, opening jobs (with primitive example, the guy in the used car shop may lose his job, but get a new one in the car wash saloon because the middle class now afford to get his car washed instead of doing it with a bucket and a brush himself).

In terms of social status the lowest workers would lose a lot from removing the inactives. They could no longer say "at least I have a job, support myself" as everyone does that. But in terms of quality of life, amount of goods consumed, they would be the greatest winners.


Answering to a further comment: inactives are not between jobs. Everyone is between jobs now and then and in this period can support himself on savings and insurance he paid while working. Inactives never work.

WoW example: the good rogue is between jobs if all the guilds on the server are full on melee DD. He will get a job if
  • the economic situation changes (some melee stops playing and his spot opens)
  • he moves to another location, where the jobs of his expertise are (server transfer to a guild that has open melee spot)
  • he learn a new trade (rolls a non-melee alt)
On the other hand the ungemmend-unenchanted lolling rogue will never get a raid spot as he is inherently useless. He can move, he can roll mage, the server can be full of "LF rogue or feral to our raid team, apply at www.goodguild.com", it will make no difference to him. He is not unlucky, he is not the victim of market forces, he is just lazy and stupid.

    29 comments:

    tazar said...

    You are right and wrong in my opinion. Removing inactives would save cash which is being spend on them, but in the end it would lead to government wasting more money on something else (corruption, wars, ...). Root of the problem from my opinion is in taxes in general, fiat currency model which is used and inflation. That steals much greater proportion of your money.

    Gevlon said...

    @tazar: money is made from air. Goods matter. Inflation doesn't take away goods. Inactives do. Corrupted politicians do too, but corruption is several magnitudes smaller than inactive-support.

    Ephemeron said...

    Corrupted politicians do too, but corruption is several magnitudes smaller than inactive-support.

    Not in every country. Case in point: Russia.

    Azuriel said...

    So in your bizzaro-land, everyone having more money (less taxes) does not increase the relative prices of goods in turn. Instead of selling cars, Larry washes cars for $1000 each! I am similarly curious about how money sent to inactives apparently evaporates into nothingness instead of maintaining economies of scale (e.g. food stamps buying food) and otherwise working its magic through the economy.

    The only positive thing that occurs by removing inactives is population control - less people means there is less competition over scarce resources. Taxes are wealth redistribution mechanisms, not wealth destruction.

    Jeanie said...

    I was the one that made the comment, and I think something is being misunderstood here: I wasn't talking about social status here. The "lowest-working class" is the most incompetent class that still possess enough ability to have a job now.

    My comment is based on the premise that: 1/ There is always unemployment in the economy, regardless of the average ability of the worker, and 2/ The most incompetent people will be unemployed.

    So, the "inactives" is the "most incompetent class", and the "lowest working class" is the "2nd most incompetent class". So when the "most incompetent class" is removed, the "2nd most incompetent" becomes inactives, as in unemployed.


    I may well be mistaken in the two of my premises, in which case can you explain what's wrong with it?

    Ulv said...

    You're right on the money Gevlon.

    Another analogy that could be used is the UKs failed energy policy. Currentl;y around 25% of our bill is made up of a 'green' levy.

    Basically this is the inactives that the rest of us support. It's taxation to implement subsidies tht make green/sustainable power competetive with gas, coal and nuclear.

    At least in WoW we can choose to not participate with the ungemmed incompetents. Not so when it's systemic governmental corruption.

    Ihodael of Darnassus said...

    "Corrupted politicians do too, but corruption is several magnitudes smaller than inactive-support.

    Not in every country. Case in point: Russia." (Ephemeron)

    Don't know the statistics for Russia but will give you the ones for Portugal: 47% of the population relies on social transfers to maintain themselves above poverty line - this includes pensions, welfare, etc.

    While I'm not advocating that we should end welfare, pensions, etc I'm pretty sure that we don't loose such a high percentage of the economy to corruption (I would have noticed it by now I guess...)

    Just today I passed by this shambling house, in the middle of nowhere... this is a wooden house, falling apart... but the people living in it have cable TV... so apparently they can't support even a small government supported rent but they CAN pay 25€/month to have cable TV... weird no?

    Anonymous said...

    Always funny to see how the ruling elite is able to play out every other class against eachother.

    What you forget, is that random events play a big part in people's life. If you get e.g. run over by a drunken driver and end up with paralysis, there isn't much you could have done and you would prefer a system that keeps you having a roof over your head etc. (which btw keeps you in place as a consumer/part of the economic system).

    Shit happens, and blaming the victim isn't cool - though perhaps you believe in predestination ie unyielding fate, directed by a God or whatever, and so every rape victim, every serial killer victim, every minority ever opressed or worse, 'had it coming'in one way or another.

    And of course in case of predestination, 'you had it coming' too to pay for 'slackers'.

    Of course you are free to believe that, but personally I find that stance rather immature, also because it paradoxically removes free will - wich is a requirement of believing you can change the course of your own life by your own actions to begin with, and the whole basis of the 'slacker' concept.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with Ephemeron. Another example: compare the spendings on supporting the bank sector of the financial crisis and the amount spend on the social state(s).

    You hear it from all neoliberal evangelists that the social state is responsible for the biggest spendings. Which is not true (especial when you consider that most of that money spend there directly flows back into the economy and partly even back to the state, through sales taxes and other fees).

    Gevlon said...

    @Azuriel: taxes are not wealth destruction mechanisms by themselves, wealth is destructed by the inactives eating it, drinking it, smoking it, living in it, vandalizing it.

    Taxes are taking money = buying power = goods away from the working people and give it to the inactives who will destroy it.

    @Jeanie: see update in post.

    Anonymous said...

    Did you seriously just tell a qualified, experienced car mechanic that he can just go get a $7 per/hr job washing cars?

    Gevlon said...

    @anonymous: if he can't get a job in his field, then most probably he wasn't too good in it. So yes, if you have the papers, but not the skill, than go back to menial work.

    By the way I was talking about car dealers and not mechanics, it's just as non-professional, unskilled job as cleaning.

    Grim said...

    @Gevlon
    Sales requires skill. A lot of skill. Not cashiering in a grocery store of course, but selling cars/houses/boats - anything that involves going face to face with a potential buyer and convincing him that he wants to buy the stuff from you.

    The Standing Dragon said...

    Two things, Gev:

    "Removing the inactives wouldn't decrease the demand of Ferraris, but would decrease the demand for 10 years old used cars, making them cheaper, easier to buy to poor workers."

    ... that isn't how supply and demand works. There are only so many 10-year-old cars, and if demand for them increases, their price increases. Q.E.D., they become harder to buy. You know that, though; I suspect this is a misspeak.

    This is more interesting, though:

    "@Azuriel: taxes are not wealth destruction mechanisms by themselves, wealth is destructed by the inactives eating it, drinking it, smoking it, living in it, vandalizing it.

    Taxes are taking money = buying power = goods away from the working people and give it to the inactives who will destroy it."

    Where do you think the money goes, when these folks smoke, drink, eat, live and vandalize? Does the money spent on cigarettes or alcohol vanish, somehow?

    Of course not - it cycles back into the economy, into the hands of someone more responsible with it. As much as we hate social welfare programs, and wish that they weren't necessary, you have - on the one hand - folks like the 'hit by a bus and paralyzed' crowd who deserve humanity, and folks like "gangbanger idiot with no sense" who we're essentially paying off to keep out of jail (which is far more expensive!).

    The issue is far more complex than you imply, here, and poorly-explained. I think you understand it better than you've written, but as this is set down, it's fairly bad.

    The Standing Dragon said...

    "By the way I was talking about car dealers and not mechanics, it's just as non-professional, unskilled job as cleaning."

    ... spoken like someone who's never worked in sales. It's true anyone can get a job as a salesman (there's no other way to enter into the field, after all), but being a good salesman is a difficult, long-term investment that often results in some of the highest-paying, most rewarding work.

    Yes, even at a car dealership.

    Anonymous said...

    You're more correct about RL than WoW due to the nerfs/buffs/balancing. I.e., if the worst half of population leaves the gene pool, that is evolution.

    If the worst half of WoW players left the game, voluntarily or involuntarily, then I feel confident that Blizzard, Inc would not allow a dramatic increase in raiding success percentage. If the worst half of players left, the fights would be made harder. If the best half of WoW players left, the fights would be made easier.

    The skill and competence of the players has little/no influence on what percentage of Blizzard's customers succeed; that is determined by the numbers Blizzard enters into their database.

    Glyph, the Architect said...

    "Removing the inactives wouldn't decrease the demand of Ferraris, but would decrease the demand for 10 years old used cars, making them cheaper, easier to buy to poor workers."

    ... that isn't how supply and demand works. There are only so many 10-year-old cars, and if demand for them increases, their price increases. Q.E.D., they become harder to buy. You know that, though; I suspect this is a misspeak.


    No, that's pretty much exactly how supply and demand works. Same number of crappy old cars, less people to buy those cars. Thus demand drops. Prices then start to drop to try and make sales.

    Anonymous said...

    Remember that money is just an exchange medium. Value is most important. Any welfare program transfers value to people not generating value...which they presumably use to feed themselves.

    Government spending is typically less efficient than private investment - but does have the advantage of addressing public goods.

    Taking the US as typical, about 20% of value is taken by the federal government. It is spent roughly (I'm cynical) on the following categories:
    10% interest
    25% military (10% welfare for corporations, 15% advancing US GVT agenda worldwide)
    25% medicine for poor people (10% welfare for corporations, 15% healthcare for poor people and M&S)
    25% social security (poor people pay poor people to retire...no net change really...just forces people to save)
    10% welfare for M&S
    5% other (eg...public radio and roadbuilding)

    My point being, I don't think the M&S problem is large in the US. Only welfare and part of Medicare really qualifies...which is probably about 25% of the Federal budget or about 5% of the economy.

    Even if we set up really cheap death camps, 5% wouldn't change the quality of life much at all. 5% is the sort of number you can get just by fiddling to make things run more efficiently.

    Now, if we eliminated the lowest 30% of workers, presumably the average standard of living would increase - but not that much - because the lowest 30% still contribute net value to the economy. The total worth of the nation would still decline. Trying to eliminate the lowest 50%, naturally, leads to a revolution.

    Anonymous said...

    When the business that sells things to the inactive goes broken because welfare is remove, then lots of jobs disappear. Without demand for those low level goods, these many people will lose jobs because simple menial labor is no longer in demand. Thus, not only will the inactive be gone, but also some of the lowest jobs will disappear.

    @Grim: Gevlon believe that social ability is not skills.

    @The Standing Dragon: When money goes to the rich and corrupt or organized crime leaders, it disappears from the economy while bringing inflation. When the money returns to the middle class, then it stays in the economic cycle.

    Anonymous said...

    Strangely, for the US, the spending on M&S is quite similar to the proportion of the population that is mentally ill...
    This makes a lot of sense, because most minimum wage jobs could be done by a willing monkey.
    I would guess that removing the lowest 5% would benefit the rest of the population - but I don't believe that removing welfare would make them miraculously able to work.

    csdx said...

    @Ihodael Just pointing out pensions aren't social transfers like welfare. A pension is a retirement vehicle, unless you want to call your 401k or IRA a social transfer as well.

    Kevin said...

    Quote: "... spoken like someone who's never worked in sales. It's true anyone can get a job as a salesman (there's no other way to enter into the field, after all), but being a good salesman is a difficult, "

    Good salesmen (or any good employees, actually) rarely, very rarely lose their jobs. Even if they do, there's usually another enterpreneur eager to hire them right away; and if you're that good, you can always start your own business.

    maxim said...

    It's true anyone can get a job as a cleaner (there's no other way to enter into the field, after all), but being a good cleaner is a difficult, long-term investment.

    And some great cleaners i know get paid more than many blue collar workers, too.

    As for removing inactives...
    Think of it this way. What would happen to all the WoW goblins if all teh M&S were just gone?

    chewy said...

    By the way I was talking about car dealers and not mechanics, it's just as non-professional, unskilled job as cleaning.

    Sorry Gevlon but that's just a stupid comment.

    I'm not a salesman but I've worked with enough of them to know that there is certainly a skill required. Yes, it's a social skill of which you may not approve but it is nevertheless a skill. Comparing it to someone who simply cleans cars is unjustified and demeaning.

    Azzur said...

    It's interesting that people attack some very specific statements and ignore the overall picture. Inactives are a negative value to the economy in that they consume but produce nothing. This is what is happening in greece, where the govt was forced to borrow money to finance it's welfare programs.

    The comment that Gevlon was alluding to that he found puzzling had a deeper "social" meaning - being in the bottom percentile of the population is bad. Gevlon argues that this is not the case, rather, being an M&S (who have negative impact on the economy) is bad. Gevlon mentions that if you're at the bottom 10%, but if you contribute to the economy, then you are useful. Rather, it is "social" factors that make being the bottom 10% as bad.

    Azuriel said...

    Taxes are taking money = buying power = goods away from the working people and give it to the inactives who will destroy it.

    As opposed to the working class and rich, whom do not consume resources when they eat, drink, smoke, live and vandalize? Those resources are consumed either way.

    Like I said, the only meaningful change is the incidental one that comes from a smaller population and the corresponding decrease in demand for scarce resources. The resources themselves do not decrease in value - if taxes disappeared overnight, the price of all goods would increase to compensate. In fact, dropping the bottom layer of population out is likely to cause the price of most goods to geometrically increase since companies like McDonalds and Wal-Mart and Honda etcetera are only profitable because of economies of scale in their production. For example, if the population of the US was 3 million people, it would make no sense building a car factory. Less gasoline would be needed to run the ten thousand hand-crafted cars, although the price of gasoline would likely be higher as well since it would not make sense to have so many oil wells, oil tankers from the Middle East, and so on.

    @anonymous: if he can't get a job in his field, then most probably he wasn't too good in it. So yes, if you have the papers, but not the skill, than go back to menial work.

    Oh, yes, of course. Qualified people are always working exactly in the field that they are qualified for, there is never competition for small amounts of jobs, and even in competitive fields the most qualified candidates are always chosen and those that aren't selected were obviously terrible at it.

    Anonymous said...

    I also want to add another thing: the prime interest of a bureaucracy - the ones' taking your tax money - is to sustain itself, and expand.

    Sure, you can say 'no more social security for risks people can't cover themselves!' but even when it would disappear, the only thing that would happen is that the money would go to saving the panda's or another government scheme - that most likely will never solve the problem its ostentably created for, if only because then it won't be able to generate more money for bureaucrats.

    Same thing with 'temporary' taxes (and laws, while we're at it): when the original cause/justification has disappeared (eg the oil-shortage during the First Gulf War in case of extra gas taxation in The Netherlands), the bureaucracy is so used to that cash-flow that they keep it in place anyway.

    Governments always say they want to 'cut back on bureaucracy' but in fact it never really happens, because the ones who have to do the cutting are the ones that are sustained by and part of that same bureaucracy in the first place. And self-preservation is the most basic instinct.

    TLDR: cutting social security will not save you one penny, it will just be used for something else, be it how the schemes work (spending 100k to get back 60k of fraudulent social checks like in Amsterdam)or new/other schemes ('at best' ones that benefit the elite more than Joe Goblin who's cheering he's getting scraps from the table he paid for e.g. the Mortgage Deduction scheme in The Netherlands)

    Malcolm Nix said...

    I'm under the impression most of the people posting here don't know any 'inactives'. I've been a lazy scum for years (1992-1998). In fact, I'm probably the only one in this thread who had to stand in line for a food parcel every week of the winter season.
    Now I have a steady job, I own the house I live in and, apart from a small mortgage, I don't have any debts anywhere. Although I sometimes question the usefulness of my job, I can't be considered inactive any more.
    However, high taxes make me smile. I pay taxes. I have to. I don't even try to evade paying them. I don't mind. I still have enough money left after taxation to pay all the bills.
    The thing that makes me smile is that those taxes annoy the rich. They have to pay taxes and a part of that money goes to people they despise. The unemployed, the undereducated, the drug users, the mental patients, unadjusted that don't produce anything. It confronts the rich with the notion that they don't own society.
    One man, one vote. Being rich isn't a right. It's a privilege of a minority tolerated by the majority that isn't rich.

    Anonymous said...

    Your argument is that the second lowest group gains by removing the lowest.

    If this is universally true than the right decision by that would be remove the group below me until my group is the lowest, though if everyone acts this way only the highest group remains and if im not part of it i will be removed as the group above me profits from it

    The only argument i have to keep idiots alive is cause they can be exploited easy and therefore make live easier for the smarter people who dont mind exploiting them. Of course that doesn't work out always.
    In wow's case blizz is already exploiting they idiocy. They let them grind for minor gains and keep them subbed for nice $$ returns. If you exploit them ingame in means that will let them quit blizzard will interfere as its $$ lost. (scam/ camp&gank / ...)

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