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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,rarelamb BS: Hurricane Rita, Mother Nature, & FEMA (155* d) RE: BS: Hurricane Rita, Mother Nature, & FEMA 05 Oct 05

Well met! The lines are drawn and the first salvos have been fired. Unto the breach once more!!! :) How I do love a good debate.

Points 1-3, 6 are consistent with my point that there needs to be a change in the culture of the poor. I have shown examples (as have you!) where a different cultural attitude will have a different result. The poor (and in particular blacks) do not have a healthy 'culture'. My arguement has been:

-Government policy encourages the replacement of self-reliance
-This means the converse or rather that people become reliant
-Which creates a culture of poverty
-And in the case of blacks, the philosophical ramifications of multi-culturalism and the victim society promulgated by liberals has made this class particularly susceptible

Point 4 is not an issue. You can define mean whatever way you want. It was not part of the main thrust of my original post.

Point 5 has been documented as being the way people behave. And yes, corporations do behave that way. In economics the general problem is called asymmetric information. Asymmetric information is comprised of two components: Adverse selection and moral hazard.

Here is a link for adverse selection:

Here is a link for moral hazard:

"The most well known examples of moral hazard come from insurance. Fire insurance, for instance, gives people an incentive to commit arson, especially if they are operating a failing business and decide that they'd rather have the cash from the insurance proceeds on the buildings than the buildings themselves. Many, perhaps most, police investigations of arson are the result of leads from suspicious insurance adjusters. More generally, insurance may encourage riskier behavior, such as sloppy fire prevention. For example, the expectation that federal government disaster aid will come seems to encourage the residents of Malibu, California to let bushes and trees grow near their houses, raising the risk of fire.
Moral hazard appears in other insurance-related areas as well: automobile insurance makes it safer for people to have accidents that cause injuries or property damage. Because of these hazards, actuaries are careful to avoid insuring any property for more than it is worth, or even for its replacement cost, and almost always require that there be a deductible, an initial up-front sum which the insured must pay out of his or her own pocket. They may also impose conditions, such as the ownership of fire extinguishers (in the case of fire insurance).
Moral hazard also appears in politics, for example, as it regards anti-poverty transfer programs and similar programs. The Central Bank's rescue of the creditors of a country suffering from a financial crisis (such as Mexican "Tequila Crisis" of 1994-95) encourages the creditors to make such risky loans again in the future"

I will now answer the rest of your points as they all deal with the same issue.
1.        People change their behavior when given new circumstances. If the government is not there to provide retirement benefits, then people will change their behavior to provide for old age. This can be done by having the younger generation take care of the older, people saving more for their retirement, people being sent out on icebergs, or whatever they decide. The point is that people will change their behavior.
2.        Or in the case of unemployment, more people will save more money for such eventualities or will rely on the family unit or will rely on other relationships in times of hardship. Again, people will change their behavior with a change in their circumstances.
3.        I do not believe in corporate welfare anymore than I believe in any entitlement program. I am in complete agreement that we should remove subsidies on our industries and tariffs on products coming in to our country. (See my post in the Canada oil thread)

Now to get to the more substantive material. The economic framework is the basis for much of my opinions. It has the benefit of many years of development and study.

Let us start with the basics of supply and demand.
The higher the price the more that will be supplied and the less that will be demanded. This can be seen in the graph on the link. You may want to goto point number 2 in the link titled simple supply and demand for simplicity.
In the event of a minimum wage, one would place a horizontal line above the market equilibrium price. This has the effect of decreasing demand for labor and increasing the supply of labor. This is not 'bullshit' but rather well accepted economic theory. Here is another link:
In particular:
"The costs and benefits arising from minimum wages are subject to considerable disagreement among economists, though the consensus among economics textbooks is that minimum wage laws should be avoided whenever possible as the costs exceed the benefits. Indeed, a survey in the Winter 2005 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives reports that exactly two-thirds of academic economists at top universities agree with the statement, "a minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled.""

Note this is the same effect of a union who is able to claim wages and benefits above the equilibrium price.

What about rent ceilings so the poor can afford housing? In that case we put a horizontal line below the equilibrium price. This has the effect of decreasing supply of housing and increasing demand.

Shortages under Rent Control: The New Evidence
What happens to price and availability of unregulated housing in a rent-controlled market? To determine this, this author collected data on all the available apartments advertised in eighteen major cities around North America. The advertised prices were taken from a single Sunday edition of the largest paper in each city during the month of April 1997. The advertised price of every listed apartment was recorded. (Three newspapers were used for New York.) Rented houses were also included. Some older urban areas--Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia--have very few rental houses, while in Sunbelt cities such as Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and San Diego, they make up a large portion of the rental market. To make sure this regional phenomenon was not distorting the figures, rental houses were omitted in two cities, Atlanta and Phoenix. Six of the surveyed cities have rent control--Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Toronto, and Washington. In addition, Boston ended rent control in January 1997. The median rent shown on each graph is based on the 1990 U.S. Census. [12] (See Appendix for all graphs.)
The most striking observation is that the graphs of rents in free-market cities follow a standard bell curve. The vast majority of advertised rents cluster around the median, with between 33 percent and 40 percent below the census median. The median advertised rent is rarely more than $50 above the census median. This may be because the very cheapest apartments are not likely to be advertised in the newspaper and because landlords often raise rents when apartments become vacant. The mode - the number where the graph peaks - usually occurs below both medians. Characteristically, there is a steep climb on the low-rent side of the curve, followed by a long tail toward the "luxury" end of the market.
It is also striking how affordable housing is in most free-market cities. In Philadelphia, the nation's fifth largest city, the most common advertised rent, the mode, is between $450 and $500--below both the advertised and census medians. (See Figure 1.) In Chicago, the mode was $500 to $550, also below both medians. Unregulated cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego, Phoenix, and Seattle seem to have almost perfectly competitive housing markets, with housing available at every price level but clustered at the low end.
The two cities with strict rent control are glaring exceptions to this pattern. In both New York (see Figure 2.) and San Francisco, advertised rents peaked at $2,000--more than triple the U.S. Census median rent for each city. The median advertised rent in New York was $1,350, in San Francisco, $1,400--both more than double the census median. More important, there were almost no rental units available at the low end of the market. In both San Francisco and New York, less than 10 percent of advertised rents were below the census median. (The New York figures also included listings from the Daily News and the New York Post, which are slanted toward the lower end of the market.) Rent control in both these cities appears to make housing spectacularly unaffordable. "

Government is not the solution to our problems, it IS the problem.

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