1971: "Personal Data"

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1971: "Personal Data"

Postby CopiousWaistcoats » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:21 am UTC

Image

Title text: Do I just leave money in my mailbox? How much? How much money do they need, anyway? I guess it probably depends how the economy is doing. If stocks go up, should I leave more money in my mailbox or less?

I don't have time to learn about taxes any time soon. I can just wait until next year, right?
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby HES » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:16 am UTC

I'm so happy PAYE is a thing over here.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:12 pm UTC

And, even better, those who live near the sea don't even need to worry about the Inland Revenue!

(I'm just under an hour and a half from the coast, by train. That counts, right?)

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:39 pm UTC

Ok, I'll play the straight man for about 1/60 longpix ...

"Personal Data" is anything that someone else could use to convince a bank to give them your money, or the government to arrest you instead of them.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:11 pm UTC

It's very important to pay your taxis if you want to get anywhere in life.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Stargazer71 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:32 pm UTC

So I’m pretty sure that Randall is being sarcastic about the limits of his own knowledge in the second panel ...

... but my overwhelming feeling on the second panel is still, “Ok, wait, you definitely need to learn about that one ... especially if you’re planning on another comic telling people how to vote.”

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby CopiousWaistcoats » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:58 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:So I’m pretty sure that Randall is being sarcastic about the limits of his own knowledge in the second panel ...

... but my overwhelming feeling on the second panel is still, “Ok, wait, you definitely need to learn about that one ... especially if you’re planning on another comic telling people how to vote.”


[rant]

I see where you're coming from, and I've no desire to get internetty with politics, but a democracy where an individual is shouted down for announcing a political affiliation without first showing a deep seated understanding of economics (or any other policy point) is not much of a democracy. There are far more reasons to vote, and to advocate, for a candidate than purely economic, IMHO many far more important reasons too. Everyone can vote, and as such political campaigns should not be purely focussed on economics or business or foreign policy, nor should they be purely kneejerk and populist, but given that xkcd is Randall's platform, and he has never claimed to be politically impartial, he more than has the right to support whatever candidate or political position he likes, economic knowledge be damned!! (Although anyone relying on an economic etc. argument to support a position should god-damn well understand it fully)

[/rant]
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby kiochi » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:16 pm UTC

whom

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:25 pm UTC

"If stocks go up, should I leave more money in my mailbox or less?"
Depend. Do you own any stocks?

Fun fact: the economic term 'stocks' comes from the biological term 'stocks'. People would take a stock of wood and cut markings around it to represent a debt. The more cuts, the more money was owed. The stock was then split down the middle so the lender and the borrower both had a record. People who make their living lending money would have to hold on to many of these records at the same time; they were 'stock holders'.

Oh, and if anyone is confused as to what an economic stock is, all you need to know is that if you own 5% of a company's stocks, then you own 5% of that company.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby DanD » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:19 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:"If stocks go up, should I leave more money in my mailbox or less?"
Depend. Do you own any stocks?

Fun fact: the economic term 'stocks' comes from the biological term 'stocks'. People would take a stock of wood and cut markings around it to represent a debt. The more cuts, the more money was owed. The stock was then split down the middle so the lender and the borrower both had a record. People who make their living lending money would have to hold on to many of these records at the same time; they were 'stock holders'.

Do you have a source for that etymology? Because my sources agree that stock does eventually derive from a block of wood, but the line of descent is uncertain, and almost definitely derives through stock in the sense of goods for sale (in stock) and that possibly from boat building.

Oh, and if anyone is confused as to what an economic stock is, all you need to know is that if you own 5% of a company's stocks, then you own 5% of that company.


Except that the majority of the population that owns stock owns it through various funds, so ownership is not nearly that clear.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Stargazer71 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:23 pm UTC

CopiousWaistcoats wrote:
Stargazer71 wrote:So I’m pretty sure that Randall is being sarcastic about the limits of his own knowledge in the second panel ...

... but my overwhelming feeling on the second panel is still, “Ok, wait, you definitely need to learn about that one ... especially if you’re planning on another comic telling people how to vote.”


[rant]

I see where you're coming from, and I've no desire to get internetty with politics, but a democracy where an individual is shouted down for announcing a political affiliation without first showing a deep seated understanding of economics (or any other policy point) is not much of a democracy. There are far more reasons to vote, and to advocate, for a candidate than purely economic, IMHO many far more important reasons too. Everyone can vote, and as such political campaigns should not be purely focussed on economics or business or foreign policy, nor should they be purely kneejerk and populist, but given that xkcd is Randall's platform, and he has never claimed to be politically impartial, he more than has the right to support whatever candidate or political position he likes, economic knowledge be damned!! (Although anyone relying on an economic etc. argument to support a position should god-damn well understand it fully)

[/rant]


[counter rant]

I agree with what you said. You're absolutely right that he has the right to vote, advocate his opinion, and is not required to be an expert in every (or even any) field in order to do so.

At the same time, I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen in a democracy to become informed on important issues. Democracy only works with an educated electorate, and we should never be complacent with shortcomings in our own knowledge (of which we all have, btw).

[/counter rant]

With that said ... I'm pretty sure he was joking and knows quite a bit about the economy and the stock market.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby DavidSh » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:13 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:So I’m pretty sure that Randall is being sarcastic about the limits of his own knowledge in the second panel ...


I don't think Randall is saying anything at all about his own knowledge in the second panel, even sarcastically,

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:51 pm UTC

DanD wrote:Except that the majority of the population that owns stock owns it through various funds, so ownership is not nearly that clear.

That just means you own a fraction of a company that owns lots of fractions of lots of other companies.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby niauropsaka » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:29 am UTC

As someone who knows a little about economics, I don't like this association of the stock market with "the economy." The stock market is its own thing. If the stock market goes down a lot, that may mean something is macroeconomically very wrong. But if the stock market goes up a lot, that just means speculators have more money to gamble with; the economy may still be in very bad shape in general.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:44 am UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:At the same time, I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen in a democracy to become informed on important issues. Democracy only works with an educated electorate, and we should never be complacent with shortcomings in our own knowledge (of which we all have, btw).

You mean on issues YOU think are important?

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:05 pm UTC

niauropsaka wrote:As someone who knows a little about economics, I don't like this association of the stock market with "the economy." The stock market is its own thing. If the stock market goes down a lot, that may mean something is macroeconomically very wrong. But if the stock market goes up a lot, that just means speculators have more money to gamble with; the economy may still be in very bad shape in general.
Yeah I remember at least once in recent months when the hypothesis was that stocks were dropping because wages were going up, which meant less profit for investors but more money for everyone who actually works for a living.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:18 pm UTC

likewise I hate how rising house prices are treated as a good thing economically when it’s only good for real estate investors and bad for everyone who, yknow, wants to live somewhere.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby GlassHouses » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:38 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:likewise I hate how rising house prices are treated as a good thing economically when it’s only good for real estate investors and bad for everyone who, yknow, wants to live somewhere.

But even that can be sold with an appeal to greed: OK, sure, you're paying a million $CURRENCY_UNIT for what your parents could buy for a song back in the '70s, but it's OK, it'll be worth even more by the time you retire! You're not getting screwed, your kids are! -- Except they usually omit that last part.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Stargazer71 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:41 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:likewise I hate how rising house prices are treated as a good thing economically when it’s only good for real estate investors and bad for everyone who, yknow, wants to live somewhere.


Yeah, good for real estate investors ... and ... y’know ... homeowners ... which is something like 64% of the American population.

But I guess we can just ignore such a small segment of the population so that you can share your wisdom.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Stargazer71 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:45 am UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
Stargazer71 wrote:At the same time, I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen in a democracy to become informed on important issues. Democracy only works with an educated electorate, and we should never be complacent with shortcomings in our own knowledge (of which we all have, btw).

You mean on issues YOU think are important?


You don’t think the economy is important?

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:25 am UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:[Yeah, good for real estate investors ... and ... y’know ... homeowners ... which is something like 64% of the American population.

Neutral for homeowners, perhaps. If you're living in a home, you're living in that home. The cost of a different home rises, but then so should yours (differentials in area popularity aside, meaning an upgrade-potential/downgrade-necessity may exist in partnership with other factors).

If you're out for a (re)mortgage on your existing property for a capital outlay in your own business, or something, then higher prices gives you more borrowability. But also risk, as the ability to pay back is not so tied to house values unless you're a realtor taking income from commissions.

Budding landlords have to pay more for the properties that they add to their portfolios, but pass the costs on by charging higher rents to tenants, thus retarding their ability to save up for their own purchase, so perhaps that even moderates the market slightly, stopping it becoming quite so much a land-grab by the 'haves' (who don't have to compete with the almost-haves), but that's a marginal silver lining in that cloud, that some people think is already dark and stormy.


I speak as one who has owned two separate houses at one point in my life, for an extended period between grabbing a property near where I knew I needed to be (some non-property funds for which came available) and before actually being able to sever my ties with the old locale. If I'd been doing the traditional chain-move thing, I'd have been able to afford a whole old-house-worth more in my new-house budget (give or take going back into mortgages, which I'd otherwise been free of for a number of years), but higher sale prices and higher purchase prices would not necessarily have worked in my comparative favour compared with a global stagnancy where my destination would be cheaper making it not matter that my spending-power from the old one would be less.

(As it was, the costs of running (and running between!) two houses probably ate up the small benefit I had from waiting until an optimal time to pass on the old place at leisure. That and general inflation acting upon what the value of money in my pocket ends up being worth.)


There are counter-arguments, and price-collapses also hit people hard (especially the mortgaged, when left in negative equity), but collapses happen mostly due to upwards volatility that looks 'good' to investors and speculators but ultimately doesn't help the person actually with the roof over their head.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Stargazer71 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:46 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Neutral for homeowners, perhaps. If you're living in a home, you're living in that home. The cost of a different home rises, but then so should yours (differentials in area popularity aside, meaning an upgrade-potential/downgrade-necessity may exist in partnership with other factors).

...

There are counter-arguments, and price-collapses also hit people hard (especially the mortgaged, when left in negative equity), but collapses happen mostly due to upwards volatility that looks 'good' to investors and speculators but ultimately doesn't help the person actually with the roof over their head.


Quite the mouthful.

So you can make different arguments for the reasons behind price collapses, but you can’t argue away the downsides of negative equity. It would seem strange to me to say that negative equity is bad, yet positive equity is ... neutral?

It’s even stranger to hear you start by saying that housing prices are neutral for homeowners yet end with an admission that a significant decrease in housing prices hurts. Well which is it?

You tried to brush away the different desirability of places, but that’s important. People tend to live in highly desirable places during their working years and retire to less desirable places, because jobs tend to be what makes an area the most desirable (see Silicon Valley). This makes it a reasonable way to boost your retirement (though you obviously should not solely rely on it—diversify, diversify, diversify).

You also mentioned that other house prices go up with yours, which is a valid point. The key is though that you get to keep that equity. If you pay 50,000 off of your mortgage and your house price goes up by 100,000, then you have 150k in equity. Now it is true that you have to put that money into a house that also went up in price, but you will still have 150k in equity in that new house. If housing prices (on average) go up for your entire life, then the process can go on until you own an expensive house. That, as a homeowner, is a very good thing. Tough to convince me that it’s “neutral”.

Finally, you mentioned that landlords pass on the cost of expensive real estate onto tenants. This is often the case, but overall that statement is false. Landlords cannot pick their rent prices. They can charge only what the market will bear—no more and no less. If a landlord buys an expensive property and the rental market crashes ... well ... tough nuggets.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:03 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:So you can make different arguments for the reasons behind price collapses, but you can’t argue away the downsides of negative equity. It would seem strange to me to say that negative equity is bad, yet positive equity is ... neutral?

"There are counter-arguments", I said, then gave an example. I see you picked that up, but didn't appreciate where I was already running with it. I say that it is complex, with winners and losers and people in-between. Within the margin of error I give myself, neutrality is the most charitable one can say without perhaps shaving off the an arbitrary amount of the biggest gains and losses and reanalysing it in a winsorised manner to focus in on the Average Joe of your choice (and then there's worrisome preconceptions to try to avoid confirmation-biasing).


I didn't fully go into the brick-wall hit by first-time-buyers, nor mention properties passed down through inheritance (rarely at a mutually beneficial time of choosing) once the last-time-buyers no longer needed them. (And the many-to-one/one-to-many nature of how much old property gets passed to how many potential new owners, depending on family profligacy.)

You're right that landlords can't just pick their pricepoint out of a hat, but it is the case that market pressures are favouring more of a rise in rents than they are holding them back at prices consistent with recent history. The will to own a home of one's own, engendered to the masses decades ago, is continuing but battling against the reality of explosive house-prices and soul-sucking leasing costs to make a dissatisfied Generation Rent and all the associated problems.

(Like, this side of the pond, welfare costs including money going from the government treasuries through/around working-but-not-highly-paid pockets and onto 3rd party letters who don't need to worry about getting lettees who can pay, rather than (NPI) in-house social housing that can be made more effective for a given cost on economies of scale and lacks the impetous for the council to price-gouge itself, etc, etc.)

Greater minds than mine (or yours) understand the fine points, and you'd need something like a properly calibrated MONIAC to truly value a good degree of price-rise (less than that which overheats the economy, more than that which indicates stagnation), but rise==good isn't universally true for all degrees of rise. I can't properly speak for 64% of the US population, but home-owners who were allowed to have their cake and eat it too prior to 2008 lost out on much opportunity for slices after that, and though it was a somewhat different thing, it shows that you can't just counfer a fallacy of pessimism by asserting something under the fallacy of optimism, or vice-versa.


Sorry, more mouthful. I just thought your original comment was too broadly brushed to be as absolutely right as it read to me. It's likely that I've failed to paint my own picture with any accuracy, despite/because of fiddling with the detail, but I know there is more to it than either your Rothkoesque 'Red On Maroon' or my own van Gochish 'Starry Night', and no Hyperrealist artist has yet come along and exhibit their own work beside us for contrast.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:11 pm UTC

all that matters is the ability of more people to become homeowners, and rising home prices is bad for that.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:38 am UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:
Stargazer71 wrote:At the same time, I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen in a democracy to become informed on important issues. Democracy only works with an educated electorate, and we should never be complacent with shortcomings in our own knowledge (of which we all have, btw).

You mean on issues YOU think are important?

You don’t think the economy is important?
Not in the sense that market fluctuations actually impact the day-to-day lives of most people, no.

Stargazer71 wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:likewise I hate how rising house prices are treated as a good thing economically when it’s only good for real estate investors and bad for everyone who, yknow, wants to live somewhere.


Yeah, good for real estate investors ... and ... y’know ... homeowners ... which is something like 64% of the American population.
64% of occupied dwellings are occupied by an owner. That's not the same thing.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:32 pm UTC

DanD wrote:Do you have a source for that etymology? Because my sources agree that stock does eventually derive from a block of wood, but the line of descent is uncertain, and almost definitely derives through stock in the sense of goods for sale (in stock) and that possibly from boat building.


It was a book... whose title I have forgotten... that I read years ago... and was about math riddles... and was not particularly good.

That my be the worse citation I have ever given. Here is a better one I found with Google.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby niauropsaka » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:27 am UTC

Like I was trying to say earlier, the economy (in a general sense) and the stock market aren't the same thing. Economics is important, but that includes employment numbers, housing prices, trade balances, per capita household debt, and other numbers that we don't expect most laymen to know about. I don't think something like the Dow Jones Industrial Average is even a good proxy for these things. I wouldn't equate "the economy" to "the fluctuations of the market" any more than I would equate it to total sports book revenues; but I guess the stock market was for a long time the most publicised "economic" data people heard of.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Stargazer71 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:48 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:64% of occupied dwellings are occupied by an owner. That's not the same thing.


If you have a better estimate, then I'd be happy to hear it and will start to use that number instead. If you don't have a better estimate then I'd be very interested to hear how you feel this fact contributes in any way to the discussion.

gmalivuk wrote:Not in the sense that market fluctuations actually impact the day-to-day lives of most people, no.


Taxes are part of the economy and directly affect the day-to-day lives of most people. Interest rates are part of the economy and directly affect the day-to-day lives of most people. Inflation is part of the economy and most certainly affects the day-to-day lives of most people.

I mean, should I go on? Is disagreeing with people the only way you know how to spark a conversation?

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby DanD » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:11 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:64% of occupied dwellings are occupied by an owner. That's not the same thing.


If you have a better estimate, then I'd be happy to hear it and will start to use that number instead. If you don't have a better estimate then I'd be very interested to hear how you feel this fact contributes in any way to the discussion.


About 56.4% of total housing units are actually occupied by the owner. https://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/file ... spress.pdf (Table 3)

However, the basic point of the neutrality of rising home prices is, to an extent, fair with regards to owner occupiers. The cost of housing is part of the cost of living. A home owner/occupier cannot sell their house to use the money to do something without having to acquire additional housing. If all housing prices rise, in lock step, then equivalent housing will cost just as much as they get from selling their existing housing. Yes, their net value may go up, but in terms of standard of living, there is not a significant change.

Admittedly, if you step down in housing at some point in your life, you may take some equity out of the house, and the higher price is more valuable there, but that tends to be a case with limited applicability. Likewise, using a home equity loan for some purpose that is not tied to the cost of housing gives you some benefit, but your risk of losing the house increases proportionally.

Also relevant is that if the cost of housing goes up at a rate faster than income, then the percentage of owner occupied housing will decrease. (It is already almost impossible for 20 somethings to put down the 20% on a house that was absolutely standard in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.) To some extent, this has been offset by loans that do not require 20% down, but those loans cost more due to PMI or equivalent.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:01 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:64% of occupied dwellings are occupied by an owner. That's not the same thing.
If you have a better estimate, then I'd be happy to hear it and will start to use that number instead. If you don't have a better estimate then I'd be very interested to hear how you feel this fact contributes in any way to the discussion.
It contributes to the discussion whether or not I have a precise estimate, because any possible better estimate is definitely going to be lower than that number. Your number is only true if all the people in an owner-occupied dwelling are in fact owners, which considering the average household size hovers around 2.5 people is exceedingly unlikely. Given that the actual average number of owners per (owner-occupied) dwelling is somewhere between 1 and 2, somewhere between 25% and 50% of Americans are homeowners.

Stargazer71 wrote:
Taxes are part of the economy and directly affect the day-to-day lives of most people. Interest rates are part of the economy and directly affect the day-to-day lives of most people. Inflation is part of the economy and most certainly affects the day-to-day lives of most people.
Whether I personally have a job is, technically, part of the economy and obviously it affects me.

I never claimed there were no parts of the economy that affect people on a day-to-day basis. Your suggestion was that responsible citizens ought to have a working knowledge of how the economy and stock market function as a whole. Pointing out individual parts of the economy that themselves have individual parts that affect most people doesn't actually support your argument. (I talk about parts of parts because "taxes" is a lot bigger and more complex than the actual question of how much an individual has to pay, considering that most individuals never need concern themselves with things like the tax brackets over 22% or capital gains or real estate holdings or inheritance.)

Stargazer71 wrote:
Is disagreeing with people the only way you know how to spark a conversation?
Is being wrong the only way you do?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:20 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:64% of occupied dwellings are occupied by an owner. That's not the same thing.


If you have a better estimate, then I'd be happy to hear it and will start to use that number instead. If you don't have a better estimate then I'd be very interested to hear how you feel this fact contributes in any way to the discussion.


Since the average household size in the US is 2.6 (or was as of 2014), that would make the percentage of homeowners roughly 25%.

In general, the burden of proof should be on the person introducing dodgy statistics to support their point, rather than on the person pointing out their distortions.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Stargazer71 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:30 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:It contributes to the discussion whether or not I have a precise estimate, because any possible better estimate is definitely going to be lower than that number. Your number is only true if all the people in an owner-occupied dwelling are in fact owners, which considering the average household size hovers around 2.5 people is exceedingly unlikely. Given that the actual average number of owners per (owner-occupied) dwelling is somewhere between 1 and 2, somewhere between 25% and 50% of Americans are homeowners.


Fine between 25% and 50% of Americans. Literally nothing I have said changes as a result. Being pedantic does not make you smart--it just makes you an asshole.

gmalivuk wrote:Your suggestion was that responsible citizens ought to have a working knowledge of how the economy and stock market function as a whole.


Where did I say that? I remember saying this:

Stargazer71 wrote:At the same time, I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen in a democracy to become informed on important issues. Democracy only works with an educated electorate, and we should never be complacent with shortcomings in our own knowledge (of which we all have, btw).


And when someone said, "Well issues YOU think are important," I responded with a broad issue that affects a lot of people in a lot of ways. When pushed for specifics, I listed a handful that affect real people and have been somewhat applicable in recent election cycles.

Somewhere between the page and you're brain you inserted the idea that I think every citizen should understand mutual funds or something like that.

I did suggest that Randall should get a general concept of the economy and the stock market if he doesn't already, but merely because his comic makes light of ignorance of this topic. If you need me to tell you that "Randall" is not a synonym of "All citizens", then you're beyond hope.

gmalivuk wrote:Is being wrong the only way you do?


You didn't answer my question, which tells me that the answer is probably yes. I admit that there's a certain thrill of feeling "smart" when you disagree with someone, and I think you're just addicted to that feeling.

Either way, I'm sure that between this post and your brain about 50 straw men have been erected. Let the arrows fly.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Stargazer71 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:31 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Stargazer71 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:64% of occupied dwellings are occupied by an owner. That's not the same thing.


If you have a better estimate, then I'd be happy to hear it and will start to use that number instead. If you don't have a better estimate then I'd be very interested to hear how you feel this fact contributes in any way to the discussion.


Since the average household size in the US is 2.6 (or was as of 2014), that would make the percentage of homeowners roughly 25%.

In general, the burden of proof should be on the person introducing dodgy statistics to support their point, rather than on the person pointing out their distortions.


He's just being pedantic. What part of anything I said is valid with an estimate of 64% and not valid with 25%?

You can agree or disagree with whatever I said--who cares. What I'm curious about is if I said anything that you would agree with me if the number were 64% and disagree with me if the number were 25%.

(And btw, my wife and I both live in a house. Do we both count as homeowners? Or am I the only homeowner because I pay the mortgage? If so ... not cool.)

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:02 pm UTC

We're talking about "most people". If something applies to 2/3 of the population or 1/4 is kind of an important distinction.

But first you asked for a better estimate and now that you have one you're arguing that the difference (of up to 120 million people) is irrelevant and pedantic, so I'm sure you'll just move the goalposts again now.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:06 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
Stargazer71 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:64% of occupied dwellings are occupied by an owner. That's not the same thing.


If you have a better estimate, then I'd be happy to hear it and will start to use that number instead. If you don't have a better estimate then I'd be very interested to hear how you feel this fact contributes in any way to the discussion.


Since the average household size in the US is 2.6 (or was as of 2014), that would make the percentage of homeowners roughly 25%.

In general, the burden of proof should be on the person introducing dodgy statistics to support their point, rather than on the person pointing out their distortions.


He's just being pedantic. What part of anything I said is valid with an estimate of 64% and not valid with 25%?

You can agree or disagree with whatever I said--who cares. What I'm curious about is if I said anything that you would agree with me if the number were 64% and disagree with me if the number were 25%.

(And btw, my wife and I both live in a house. Do we both count as homeowners? Or am I the only homeowner because I pay the mortgage? If so ... not cool.)


When it comes to who owns the house you and your wife live in, I'm not an expert on property law, I don't know which state you live in, nor what state or federal law has to say about marital assets, nor who signed what when you bought the house and/or signed the mortgage papers. Depending on the situation, there's a fair chance that, yes, you are the homeowner and she isn't. There's also a fair chance that you're joint homeowners.

It's not that "this group benefits from X" changes validity depending on the size of the group; it's that it changes relevance. Other people have already addressed the validity of the claim that homeowners benefit from rising house prices.

If your sole point is to pedantically point out that it's not just real estate investors who benefit from rising house prices, then, sure, the point would be equally valid if you were the only homeowner in all of the US. If your intention is to counter the point that rising house prices are good for real estate investors, but bad for people who want to live in houses, then the size of the affected group is entirely relevant.

If the 64% figure isn't relevant to your point, why did you bring it up at all? Why not just stop at "and ... y'know ... homeowners" rather than bringing in the statistic if you think the statistic doesn't contribute?

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Stargazer71 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:28 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:We're talking about "most people". If something applies to 2/3 of the population or 1/4 is kind of an important distinction.

But first you asked for a better estimate and now that you have one you're arguing that the difference (of up to 120 million people) is irrelevant and pedantic, so I'm sure you'll just move the goalposts again now.


I suppose arguing over what percentage of Americans are homeowners is easier than arguing whether rising home prices helps homeowners, so I guess I’m not surprised that that’s what you decided to do.

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:41 am UTC

Rising prices does not help most homeowners (for reasons already spelled out), and most people are not homeowners (for reasons already spelled out; also, to be clear, the important difference is between people who own at least one home and homes who have at least one occupant as an owner, which are not the same statistic), so for both of those reasons, rising home prices are bad for people generally. It's bad for all of the people who don't already own homes, which is most people, and it's not even helpful to people who just own the home they live in. It's only helpful to people who own homes for their investment value rather than for their own use, who can all go fuck themselves for profiting at the expense of literally almost everyone else. Fucking leeches.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:52 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:It's only helpful to people who own homes for their investment value rather than for their own use, who can all go fuck themselves for profiting at the expense of literally almost everyone else. Fucking leeches.

I don't know if you're cussing out property-flippers and slumlords and caught a few others in the blast radius... is it your position that all residential property should be owner-occupied, and the idea of "rental property" should not exist?

Or just that medicinal leeches are still leeches?

Because I sort of liked having a place to live while I was building up enough funds to buy a place...

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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:00 am UTC

I thought my position on this was well-known by now, and I'm not interested in having this conversation at length yet again; but yes, rental property should not exist, and you shouldn't have to build up funds to start buying a place, and the existence of rent is what causes you to have to by artificially distorting the housing market. In a world without rent, those who own property they're not using themselves would have to either sell it on terms that would-be renters could buy it on, or else take a total loss on it, and obviously it's in their best interest not to take a total loss. But they can profit more from renting out than from selling on such terms, so they do, since we let them.
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Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:23 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:and I'm not interested in having this conversation at length yet again; but yes

Wishes respected. Thank you for answering.


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