Greedy Goblin

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The price fixer and socialism

The PuG update: I'm thinking about a change in the alt rule. You can discuss it on this page.

Marx told that the worker class will unite against the evil capitalists and create the communism. It did not happen this way. The leaders of the communist revolution and the communist countries were not workers, they were educated people. The socialist, communist, Maoist revolts and riots in Europe were made by university students. The ones who want to increase the USA taxes and debts are lawyers, journalists and such. You can barely find a single worker or farmer among the socialists.

The educated people have a bright future in every country (or at least brighter than the uneducated ones). These people have very good chances to be rich, or they are already rich. So they definitely don't turn into a socialist for their own benefit. The coming of communism wouldn't elevate their lifestyle for sure. So if it's not envy or personal hate, why do these people stand up against capitalism?

The answer came from a strange prophet, the price-fixer moron from yesterday. These people are ignorant about economics, so honestly think that business is about lying, conspirating and exploiting. The price fixer and the snake oil salesman try to be them. The "good, moral" educated people want to save the World from them.

The problem of both of them is that business is not shady, evil, conspirating and exploiting. Business success is simply about giving better services to the people. The result of their ignorance is that the price fixer will always be poor (probably not as poor as a grinder, but much less wealthy as me), and the educated socialists either fail, or if succeed, find that their socialist utopia brings poverty to the people (and at this point get paranoid and start to kill random people for being "responsible" for it).

The solution would be simply learning and practicing enough businessmanship to recognize that being a successful businessman is only giving good services. I sold about 100 buckles since I met the price fixer (before that, I wasn't on this market, just sold a few buckles I got when someone left the game). Since I'm selling for 130G while the price fixer sold at 300, every single customer of mine saved 170G. Yes, I saved alltogether 17000 gold for 100 complete stranger people. Do you know anyone who gave so much help to strangers? Yay for me, I'm the most helpful guy in WoW! Except, I made 7000G on it, as the materials only cost 60G. The point is that I couldn't make any profit without "helping" them.

Luckily we have something that we did not have even a decade ago. We have WoW, EVE, soon we'll have Diablo III and many other games with economy. Here anyone, even a poor student with little time can practice businessmanship. There can't be moral problems either, as it's just a game, and if he is right that business is evil, he just steals pixel gold. If you see a socialist student, tell him to make 100K gold in WoW (and link him gold blogs). By the time he made the gold, he learned enough of economy to recognize that there is no "evil" in being a businessman.

PS: don't mention them if you don't want to scare them off, but by the time he made his 100K, he will lose all sympathy for the poor too. He will no longer see them as "unlucky", but what they really are: morons and slackers.

PS2: surprisingly, even the "evil" price fixer is giving a service to the people. He crafts 20 buckles, buys another 90 and relists for 300G.  In his absence, there would be 20 less buckles, so their prices would be even higher (if the equilibrium price for 110 is 300G, then for 90 it must be higher) or the buckle support would be random: you can get lucky and grab one for low or you find the AH empty. So he either decreases the prices, or makes the AH reliable.


Unknown said...

These people are ignorant about economics, so honestly think that business is about lying, conspirating and exploiting.
To be fair, virtual economies are a bad example to use when trying to dispell notions about corruption. Most of the time, rent-seeking is completely impossible because there's no authority to bribe, and the financial rules are as unbreakable as the laws of physics. You can't bribe an auctioneer to show your goods first. You can't prevent someone from learning a profession unless they join your crafting guild.

Anonymous said...

Business is about making money. That will sometimes involve giving better services to the customer, but not always.

Anonymous said...

WoW has more restrictions than the real world, that is why there are less moral issues.

Business success relies on a lot more than simply giving better services to people. I would've expected you to know that.

You the Belt Buckle merchant can not manipulate the life of your virtual goods through planned obsolence. The life and quality of the product is fixed by Blizzard. Not so in the real world. Planned obsolence is far from being a service to people.

You can not manipulate fools through marketing into believing that your Belt Buckle has some magical properties that will attract the opposite sex.

There are no enviromental concerns in WoW. You can mine ore or fish for eternity and the resource will never run out. You can't poison the water supply of a community the same way that a business can in the real world.

I would say that business success is all about taking more shortcuts than your competitor until they can no longer compete. Those with strong morals or ethics are unable to take as many shortcuts so they lose. Those without morals or ethics win. Those most able to manipulate are the winners.

Unheilvoll said...

In this state of the economics you can make a lot of money without giving any good service or product. You do not give any good "to the people" making your living buying and selling warrants, or other derivates, and then evading your taxes. I think when socialists look down markets as "evil", they are looking for this kind of people.

But without looking to this "evil" bankers, and evil non paying taxers, you are right: the market hasn't have any moral or intention to be evil. The evil ones are those who cheat on it, who break the rules (both buyers and sellers) accepted and legitimated by everyone in democracies.

Camiel said...

You said: "every single customer of mine saved 170G" and "if the equilibrium price for 110 is 300G, then for 90 it must be higher"

If the only ones feeding the buckle market are you and the price fixer, this is BS:

- Your customers didn't save a penny, as the price fixer camps the AH and bought your buckles for 130G as soon as you listed them and put them back on for 300G. Your only customer is the price fixer.

- There is no equilibrium price for buckles on a market this immature: the price fixer has a monopoly and his price will be determined by what he can ask such that people will still put buckles on their belts. You supplying a couple of extra buckles makes no difference to the market. It's only the price fixer who is effectively paying more for his materials now (your gain is his loss, for the rest noone is affected).

Rodos said...

I think you're mixing up two types of "socialist". There are certainly a small, mostly young, group who find the idea of profit distasteful because they don't understand. These are the people who post on with "TIL the ingredients of a Big Mac only cost 50% of the price. WTF?". They have no idea that a 30% food cost would be normal in most restaurants.

These people are apt to believe that all business is evil simply because the price of things they want is more than they can afford. But these naive folks are not the same as the ones who believe that concentrating wealth in the hands of a few does not create more jobs, or improve the total wealth of society.

Then, of course, there is the fact that there is certainly immorality in real-world business, and money to be made from it. You can often succeed without deceit, but as long as the possibility exists someone will exploit it. If it's legal, business operators are obliged to exploit it to maximise profit for their shareholders.

In WoW, there are not too many loopholes, but we still had the guys buying stacks of 1000 bullets for 7g, relisting stacks of 100 for 6.95g each and telling everyone they are "providing a service" for the customer who doesn't need 1000 bullets. They were lying. They set out to deceive their customers, regardless of whether those customers should have been more careful.

Azuriel said...

As others mentioned, business is about making money, not providing utility. Any utility a business creates is purely coincidental - if businesses could reliably extract dollars without having a product, they would be obligated to by their shareholders. The ultimate aim of any business under capitalism is monopoly. It is only because of government intervention in the marketplace that we have competition at all.

I have "socialist tendencies" because I see no value in having the top 1% control 40% of the US wealth. Who would? Unless you are already upper-class, you are one car accident, one cancer diagnosis, one personal disaster away from poverty and bankruptcy. The "educated" middle class are the ones for socialism because they have the most to lose - the other middle classers suffer under the delusion that upper class mobility exists (Republicans), and the lower class lives week to week such that voting doesn't even register on their Maslow Hierarchy of Needs.

Socialists don't need to be socials. Any goblin with realistic expectations from life should understand that fighting the 99% for the remaining 60% of the pie is a raw deal.

Riptor said...

Do you think the fact that in Diablo 3 there will be Transaction involving real Currency will change the way People behave in the Market?

Anonymous said...

"An economist is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

Interesting article about business practices.

Anonymous said...

Even within WoW business is not just about providing a service. You applaud “businessmen” who buy items from vendors and list them on the AH at an enormous markup. Exploiting naivety is not providing a service, it’s ripping people off.

It’s amusing that you try to justify your greed as serving society, is this a little bit of guilt creeping in to your goblinism?

Bobbins said...

'Marx told that the worker class will unite against the evil capitalists and create the communism.'
I personally think capitalism will destroy itself as if you take the richest country (maybe), American the 'capitalist' system upon which the country runs is breaking down with the 'intelligent educated' capitalists unable or incapable of even balancing its own budgets. The rich are eager to protect their disproportionate share of the resources of that country while giving as little back as possible. If that means people lack basic healthcare or food so be it they need their yachts and holiday homes more than people need food!
Capitalism is not evil it just creates greed and from that greed evil things are done. Communism doesn't actually work because the majority of people are capilists whether they like it or not!

Also note deep undercutting is not a 'free market' function its purpose in to drive competitors from the market by artifically driving down prices. Its sole purpose is to reduce suppliers to the market which limits competition within that market.

Gevlon said...

@Zazkadin: my service is that sooner or later I will make the price fixer go and then the price will permanently be 130G

@Anonymous: buying vendor item and selling on the AH for 100x price IS a service. The moron, who is unable to find the vendor will get the item. Without me he wouldn't have the item. To pay 100x price was his choice, so he is happier after paying it than keeping the gold and not having item.

Klung said...

I really don't mean to be insulting because I generally enjoy reading your blog (about WOW), but the economic systems transpositions you make seem very candid compared to the rest of your writings.

In WOW you can't die (definitely), can't starve, don't need surgery, time is frozen or progresses at different speeds (raids restart from zero every week, dungeons every day, world is on pause and moves brutally when Blizzard releases an expansion); resources are infinite and abundant, there is no pollution, no unemployment, no technical progress, structures such as roads, zeppelin and boats are pre-existant and free (and never need repair, nor have accidents), there is only one "money" which isn't even a real money as its value does not rely at all on lever effect, no debt, and so on...

Basically, in WOW, you can't lose; you can only win or win more.
You can try to copy any system, even socialism, communism or capitalism (which all fail at even encompassing the finite nature of resources in the real world by the way), if you're smart enough, it'll be a success; if you're completely dumb, it'll only be a moderate success.

"Business success is simply about giving better services to the people."
Now THAT is ingenuous.
Even having only ran a one person business I have enough experience to scoff at that.

Please keep writing good posts about WOW and don't demean yourself with such allegations until you can back it up with actual economic mechanisms or sound comparisons.

Brian said...

I don't think support for some socialist policies needs to come from the belief that businesses are about evil or exploitation. The problem is that nothing in economics or business requires the economic results to be optimal for individuals or even optimal on a macroeconomic scale. And nothing in economics or business inherently gives all individuals a good opportunity at success.

In other words, in a totally free market, there will be poor people who can't afford basic services and have a hard time improving their lives. Not because business is evil, but because as far as economics goes, that's a perfectly fine outcome. As long as SOMEONE is making money, economic theory is working fine. Basically, economics does not address things on that small of a scale, and it's a mistake to use it that way.

WoW is also a bad example of the free market, to be honest. Blizzard has put a lot of socialist policies in place. Rewards like gold and gear are dramatically over-awarded at lower levels of effort. Sure, WoW has "rich" and "poor" players, but the difference is much smaller than in real life. And since the game rules enforce the concept of everyone having equal opportunity at enriching themselves, mobility between rich and poor is much easier than in real life as well.

Anonymous said...

You claim that business success is simply about giving better services to the people. While this is true in theory, it is false in practice, for two reasons.

First, this post assumes that business operates in an environment consisting of industry and consumer, but that's not true - in every country, business operates in an environment consisting of industry, consumer, and government, and government acts to interfere with the free market. For example, consider American telecommunications companies: via regulation and the sale of infrastructure and EM spectra, the government allotted monopolies to various telecom companies. This is true today, but is not new - US telecoms have always been handed such monopolies since early in the existence of the telephone. Because of this government interference, the telecom industries suffer little competition and, as an industry, offer terrible, overpriced services. Effective price fixing is rampant, because there is no way for new competitors to enter the market; they are locked out and so cannot undercut existing sellers as would happen in a truly free market.

Second, there is an assumption inherent in your argument that companies interact with the market only by production, pricing, advertising, etc, but this is untrue. Besides the advantages companies receive from government, there are a number of mechanisms by which companies compete outside economic avenues. Consider, for example, Coca Cola's misadventures in South America. When faced with the possibility that their South American plant workers might unionize, they employed paramilitary to intimidate and kill union supporters, artificially keeping the price of labor low.

Imagine, in your belt-buckle selling scenario, that you have a friend at Blizzard (the government) who subsidizes your belt buckle operation by allowing you to sell without AH fees (a tax break.) This puts you at a significant advantage versus your competitors, does it not? And while this sort of thing never happens (that I know of) in WoW, it's business as usual in the USA.

Then imagine that your supply of materials is too pricey, so you pay a group of opposite-faction players to continually gank your primary supplier until he consents to providing materials at a lower price to you (and you only.) Suddenly, you're in a situation which economics cannot predict - you're getting materials (or labor) below market value on a sustained basis!

Campitor said...

I live in an area where the Federal Governments sued a major corporation successfully for knowingly dumping hazardous material into the water supply in order to save on waste disposal. Business can and do evil things for profit. Business like any other mechanism isn't benign or evil but can be abused with great effect since a business will have access to greater resources. Which is why we need to keep an healthy level of regulation on business less they start up with child labor, an 80 hour work week, and dumping hazardous material into the environment.

Knorkel said...

Business is about making money.

Business is about producing value. Making money is merely a side effect.

Lothildin said...

You can't prevent someone from learning a profession unless they join your crafting guild.

Honestly, there's virtually nothing you cant learn if you dont join something nowadays.
All you need is to be inteligent, buy books, search the internet, visit forums, read newspaper, inform yourself.
You dont need to join a thing.

chewy said...

...being a successful businessman is only giving good services

Nonsense ! As others have pointed out it's about profit.

The euros you paid for your WoW DVDs do you really imagine that is a proportionate cost of development ? The margins are ridiculously high and the on going fee you pay to play is that proportionate to the actual costs of game support and development ?

Neither are true. The fact is that the game you play makes more money than the service it provides and why ? Because it can, it has market dominance (at least for now) and so the price is whatever they can get away with to provide the highest margins.

You are paying yesterday's moron price to play otherwise you'd be blogging about a "free to play".

Anonymous said...

Spinksville is correct. Business is only about making money for the company owners or the shareholders. Hopefully, the corporate culture of a company will see this ideal as making money by providing better services and products. Oftentimes, however, companies will resort to lying, conspirating, and exploiting to make money, sometimes on a huge scale. History is littered with such examples (Enron anyone?).

Anonymous said...

Free Market is an illusion. It only works in closed off virtual environments like WoW. The US financial disaster(s) should be explanation enough. Our current economic model just does not work, because it can be too easily abused by information asymmetry. Algorithmic microsecond trading? That cannot work! You cannot create money out of nothing!

If someone makes money, someone else has to lose it, no matter what the investment banks tell us.

I vote socialist on economy issues not because I want the poor to be rich. It is because I don't want to be forced to spend my money on bailouts. The right wing has utterly failed at offering a economic model which works in our real world, where people can bribe, cheat and lie.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon claims:

"Business success is simply about giving better services to the people."

Andrew Fastow, Bernard Ebbers, Dennis Kozlowski and Charles Ponzi were all successful businessmen until people found out they were frauds. Business success does not necessarily follow from providing better services; sometimes it is the product of providing better deceit.

Right now in the USA, it is not uncommon to run into people that are angry about "successful businessmen" like those I mention above. People of all types, as far as I can tell, are displeased with how the market and government have failed.

The communism/capitalism discussion centers around a false choice; nobody is saying we should replace the Constitution with Das Kapital. Instead, the debate is about where we ought to fall on the spectrum between laissez-faire capitalism and capitalism with regulations. I like eating meat without e. coli, so I favor the latter.

Anonymous said...

Meh. Free markets versus communism are both stupid choices. My opinion is that rationality is found somewhere closer to the middle. Of course, I prefer maximizing total utility rather than maximizing total wealth.
The issue with unrestrained free markets is that wealth enables the acquisition of additional wealth and can result in nearly all wealth being concentrated in the hands of a ruling elite. The upper 1% ends up happy, but the lower 99% starts a revolution and ends up burning down the place. So, everyone is poor.
The issue with communism is that no one works, so no wealth is created. So, everyone is poor.
I'm actually bang alongside business, but support the implementation of policies that tend to redistribute large concentrations of wealth and reduce barriers to entry. (Eg., progressive taxation, inheritance taxes, patent reform, serious whistleblower protection/compensation, and splitting up large companies.)

Andrei said...


Here is early Gevlon on taking advantage (aka exploiting) of M&S to make profit:

"If people would not be morons and slackers, "business profit" could not exist. There could only be "work profit". I crafted glpyhs, you pay for the time you saved compared to buying herbs and finding crafter and paying him work fee. I went to Tanaris for the recipe, you pay for the time.


However "business profit" is always leeching on M&S, guys who can't use their brain, wowhead and patch notes or too lazy to do anything on their own so condemned to do much more on command. If arrow business in unethical, then all of them are."

Here is even earlier Gevlon boasting about some shady business tactics including getting advantage by outright lying:

"...My first move was the standard anti-monopolist protocol: I offered him to sell him my stockpiles for 3-4G less than his monopolist price. I told him that I bought the flasks on the other server for these prices. It's a blatant lie, since I bought them for 20-22G. He will take these or fight.


After a week my little monopolist started to get impatient, but a couple of more lies cleared my way for some more days...

I guess Gevlon in his earlier business days had different take on "business is not about lying, conspiring and exploiting"

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, I love that every time you criticize socialism, the M&S come out in full force to prove your point.
I'll stick with one example: the posters that claim that America is failing due to corrupt capitalism. These are the same geniuses that can't admit for one second that this debt has been created by socialist policies.
How dumb does a person have to be to make a claim that only demonstrates how foolish their point is? Just ask a M/S!

Yaggle said...

I just don't understand your lumping of people into "The ones who want to increase the USA taxes and debts". I want taxes increased to lower the debts. And I am a worker, and when we had higher taxes 15 years ago, we had very small debt. I don't care if anybody calls me a capitalist or a socialist. Whatever works. I was never happy about the debt going up under Bush and I am still not happy about it under Obama. The problem in USA is a combination of too much spending and not enough taxes. It's not just one or the other, it's both.
And jobs are not just created by lowering taxes on the rich. They are also created when low and middle class people have more money to spend. Lowering taxes on the rich does not create jobs if nobody still has money to spend.
The best way to fix the economy in the USA now is to tax more on the rich until the deficit is paid off. Sorry you pro-business people don't want to hear the truth.

Anonymous said...

Like one poster above me said so well 'business is about making value'. In wow this system is very simplistic.

The high end content (as in level 80-85) mainly provides non scarce items and things that can be mass produced with non scarce items.
Some goods are scarce due to a difficulty to obtain, being outdated content or maybe even due to controlled supply from the server (smelt/transmute cooldowns). The value of scarce goods gets supported by a higher demand and low supply.

Out-buying a competitor would only work with scarce items. You can run him dry and raise the price. This does not work with mass produced items. It will be more beneficial to drive him out.

Everyone can craft and farm. Rare recipes (which can be somewhat seen as a patent i guess) are just a small %. No unique skilled value gets added. Employers aren't needed (if you see farmers as an outside supply line).
I just don't see how the 'wow economy' is a good example for the real life economy.

Azuriel said...

@Anonymous: buying vendor item and selling on the AH for 100x price IS a service. The moron, who is unable to find the vendor will get the item. Without me he wouldn't have the item. To pay 100x price was his choice, so he is happier after paying it than keeping the gold and not having item.

Without you (or someone supplying the item), the "moron" may be compelled to research the location of the item assuming they really wanted it, perhaps discovering Wowhead or other sites that can direct them towards what they want now and in the future. The "value" of your service is NOT reflected in how much they paid, but is merely the cost of their ignorance. You would be providing an actual service if the customer knew that a vendor sold the good for X amount, but determined that your price Y was more convenient (etc) than price X + travel time. The lack of perfect information - one of the fundamental assumptions of every economic model - makes it impossible for you to assert that the customer was getting a "fair" exchange of value.

I also have an issue with economic theory in general when it assumes customers have a clear understanding of the value of a good - value fluctuates all the time, and poor decisions are obviously made by everyone - but that is neither here nor there. As the Wiki entry for homo economicus mentions:

"Only naïve applications of the Homo economicus model assume that this hypothetical individual knows what is best for his long-term physical and mental health and can be relied upon to always make the right decision for himself."

Anonymous said...

If virtual worlds involved a finite pool of resources, this post would actually have some kind of relevance.

You probably already knew that anyway.

Anonymous said...

This depends on the business and the sector. Eg., Apple and Google are mostly about producing value. The financial services industry, by and large, is more about exploiting information assymetry and accumulated capital. There are arguable exceptions, but I believe that rational arguments can be made that that is where most of the money is made by the previously mentioned entities.

Businesses are tolerated by governments because they usually produce value efficiently. I'm not sure that the financial services sector is meeting its obligations.

Anonymous said...

>These are the same geniuses that can't admit for one second that this debt has been created by socialist policies.

If that were remotely true, you'd have a point.

Schools. Streets. Water. Electricity. Internet. Hospitals. Universities. Science. Transport. Telecommunication. News. Police. Courts.

These things are not socialist, but they are hard to go without. The government provides them. Someone has to pay for it.

It is not socialist to pay tax so I can drive my car on a road when I bring my children to school where they learn science. It's efficient.

America's debt was mostly created by right-wing politicians who get bribed by rich people to offer insane tax cuts. You do know that Warren Buffet complained that he pays less tax (in percentage of income) than his own secretary?

I am not a socialist, but I am not stupid enough to believe the lies of Bush & Friends. Luckily, I live in Europe, where we have more socialist governments and spend a ton on health care, yet I still pay less tax and our dept is smaller. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

"I am not stupid enough to believe the lies of Bush & Friends"

Of course not, you'd rather believe the lies of Obama & Cadre. I see that Bush's lies added 4 trillion (40% of the current total) after he left office...

And thank you for the straw man argument; you'll have to quote from the part of comment where I said we shouldn't have government at all...

Interesting to see that M&S are such fervent socialists; there is just something about the idea that parasites have to glom off of the work of competent folks that echoes from the real world to WOW.

Anonymous said...

the "insane tax cuts" took the top bracket down from 39% to 35%, btw...please do explain how that is going to create a 40% increase in debt.

Or maybe this is easier to explain with an average yearly deficit of 800 million with Bush's last four years (including FY 2008, wherein Congress was controlled by Obama's party, and in which the budget shot up to 1 trillion from the previous average of 550 million) to an astounding average of 1.6 trillion a year under Obama.

I know that numbers are too complicated for M&S socialists, but the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have one

Anonymous said...

Though I don't always agree with the efficiency of the methods, I read this blog for it's interesting WoW posts, that seek to increase player efficiency by responding to people's self-interest in cutting corners with equal self-interest to refuse to accomodate.

I am, however, growing tired of the real world political posts. These methods work in WoW, but just because someone is anti-social there doesn't mean they reject aspects of socialism in the real world.

In WoW, most market regulation is unbreakable and enforced equally. You can't put something on the AH, but then take someone's money and give them a broken item when they win. Many scams and frauds are acted upon by GMs. The real world doesn't have all these rules.

Last of all,
"You can barely find a single worker or farmer among the socialists."

You obviously do not live in the USA. The US government gives enormous subsidies to farm, which is why we have so much corn that we're trying to use it as a substitute for sugar and oils, or power cars with it.

The very first state you must impress to become President is full of corn farmers, by the by.

Anonymous said...

"the "insane tax cuts" took the top bracket down from 39% to 35%, btw...please do explain how that is going to create a 40% increase in debt."

The whopping increase we have in the debt is because we experienced the largest single economic downturn since the Great Depression. We were amazing close to another global depression in 2008. This is a simple fact.

As for tax policy, we've been pursuing the disasterous conservative meme of tax cuts pay for themselves ever since Reagan came into office when he lowered the top bracket from 70% to 50%, then down to 28% under George H.W. Bush, back up to 39% under Clinton and finally down again to 35% under George W. Bush. Corresponding national debt increased +11% and +9% under Reagan's two terms, +13% under the first Bush's term, -0.7% and -9% during Clinton's two terms, and +7% and +20% under Bush junior's two terms according the the Congressional Budget Office. Tax cuts by themselves don't lead to increased revenue or job growth. It's "insane" to think otherwise when faced with thirty years of evidence behind us.

Also according to the CBO, George W. Bush's tax cuts and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan currently account for nearly half of all public debt as a share of GDP right now. We've never ever gone to war without paying for it through tax increases or bond drives. Those wonderful tax cuts during a time of war will be hurting us for a long time to come.

Unknown said...

Honestly, there's virtually nothing you cant learn if you dont join something nowadays.
All you need is to be inteligent, buy books, search the internet, visit forums, read newspaper, inform yourself.

Ever heard of medical boards or bar associations?

N said...

"the "insane tax cuts" took the top bracket down from 39% to 35%, btw...please do explain how that is going to create a 40% increase in debt."

See the following graph: