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PostPosted: January 23 19, 1:25 pm 
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darjeeling sipping elite
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tlombard wrote:
It wasn't available on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited or Prime reading so... I don't have the book at this point. I'll just follow along with your discussions and form my opinions from there!

I bought it for my kindle app


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PostPosted: January 23 19, 1:31 pm 
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tl;dr

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lukethedrifter wrote:
tlombard wrote:
It wasn't available on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited or Prime reading so... I don't have the book at this point. I'll just follow along with your discussions and form my opinions from there!

I bought it for my kindle app


That's the key word, you bought it. I was hoping it was available via either Unlimited or Prime which would allow me to read it for free. I will just follow the discussion here and maybe add it to my future reading list to purchase but for now I'm going to stick with reading the free books I have backed up between those two services. I'm a huge fan of Kindle Unlimited by the way. I go through a couple of books a week which makes the $10/month well worth it.


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PostPosted: January 23 19, 1:32 pm 
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darjeeling sipping elite
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Cheap bastard.


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PostPosted: January 23 19, 3:20 pm 
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tl;dr

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lukethedrifter wrote:
Cheap bastard.


Yes. I am definitely one of those.

Well, at least until it comes to hanging out with friends anywhere that sells booze. Then suddenly I start buying friends drinks and shots like I'm the richest person on the planet.

I have issues.


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PostPosted: January 23 19, 5:48 pm 
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Don't tone police me bro!
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I'm a little behind but ill post my thoughts in a couple days


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PostPosted: January 23 19, 6:05 pm 
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pioneer98 wrote:
- He mentions the crisis of 1870, the Great Depression, and the 2008 meltdown. He acts like the conditions that caused all of these events were strange or unique. What if our system just happens to have a major crisis every 60 to 80 years, because it is flawed? Let's say progressives win in a landslide in 2020, implement the Green New Deal and we enter a new era of prosperity. What will stop it from slowly unraveling until the next crisis ~60 years down the road?

This touches on a point I wanted to mention as well, that the first part of the book seems to be saying that everything was great in the 1950s and 1960s, and then we started to lose our way. Sachs does address specifics about what happened in the 1970s (Vietnam, oil crisis, etc.), but my early reading of the book is that he intends to give us a process to, well, make American great again. It seems to me that a lot of the great stuff from the 1950s is the oddity, or a temporary condition, and that our current state is more of the default. Rich people tend to control the government, and some of them will try to push the envelope and destroy some valuable civic institutions in the process.

It's a smaller point, but it bothered me that he devotes some time to discussion of the government debt. Maybe he'll dismiss this at some point, but at our current state, the debt is really an accounting item. You want good accounting, all else equal, but that's a secondary concern. That's generally understood, I think, but sometimes economists go through little panics over the issue, and I can pretty easily date this book as written in about 2011 as a consequence.


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PostPosted: January 24 19, 8:27 am 
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greenback44 wrote:
pioneer98 wrote:
- He mentions the crisis of 1870, the Great Depression, and the 2008 meltdown. He acts like the conditions that caused all of these events were strange or unique. What if our system just happens to have a major crisis every 60 to 80 years, because it is flawed? Let's say progressives win in a landslide in 2020, implement the Green New Deal and we enter a new era of prosperity. What will stop it from slowly unraveling until the next crisis ~60 years down the road?

This touches on a point I wanted to mention as well, that the first part of the book seems to be saying that everything was great in the 1950s and 1960s, and then we started to lose our way. Sachs does address specifics about what happened in the 1970s (Vietnam, oil crisis, etc.), but my early reading of the book is that he intends to give us a process to, well, make American great again. It seems to me that a lot of the great stuff from the 1950s is the oddity, or a temporary condition, and that our current state is more of the default. Rich people tend to control the government, and some of them will try to push the envelope and destroy some valuable civic institutions in the process.


That is one argument you could make for sure. My argument was more like: things like Vietnam, the oil crisis, etc have always happened, and you could argue (with the Vietnam War for sure) that our brand of Capitalism is what *caused* some of those crisis to happen. A system that either can't withstand a crisis very well, or arguably causes crisis to happen is probably a system that could be improved. It also kind of reminds me of Naomi Klein's idea, disaster capitalism - basically that crises are used as an excuse to dismantle some of the restrictions we put on capitalism, or dismantle public goods. Our response to many crises in the last few decades has generally been to cut out public goods or regulations and double down on privatization and markets.


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PostPosted: January 24 19, 9:44 am 
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pioneer98 wrote:
greenback44 wrote:
pioneer98 wrote:
- He mentions the crisis of 1870, the Great Depression, and the 2008 meltdown. He acts like the conditions that caused all of these events were strange or unique. What if our system just happens to have a major crisis every 60 to 80 years, because it is flawed? Let's say progressives win in a landslide in 2020, implement the Green New Deal and we enter a new era of prosperity. What will stop it from slowly unraveling until the next crisis ~60 years down the road?

This touches on a point I wanted to mention as well, that the first part of the book seems to be saying that everything was great in the 1950s and 1960s, and then we started to lose our way. Sachs does address specifics about what happened in the 1970s (Vietnam, oil crisis, etc.), but my early reading of the book is that he intends to give us a process to, well, make American great again. It seems to me that a lot of the great stuff from the 1950s is the oddity, or a temporary condition, and that our current state is more of the default. Rich people tend to control the government, and some of them will try to push the envelope and destroy some valuable civic institutions in the process.


That is one argument you could make for sure. My argument was more like: things like Vietnam, the oil crisis, etc have always happened, and you could argue (with the Vietnam War for sure) that our brand of Capitalism is what *caused* some of those crisis to happen. A system that either can't withstand a crisis very well, or arguably causes crisis to happen is probably a system that could be improved. It also kind of reminds me of Naomi Klein's idea, disaster capitalism - basically that crises are used as an excuse to dismantle some of the restrictions we put on capitalism, or dismantle public goods. Our response to many crises in the last few decades has generally been to cut out public goods or regulations and double down on privatization and markets.


I think Sachs is fairly moral as an economist. And I think that some of those things you describe he considers to be choices, or acts of conscious decision-making. ie the Vietnam War was a moral failure that impacted economy, the oil crisis was from our conscious decision to have an economy so deeply rooted in a finite, imported resource. The first line of the book is: "At the root of America's economic crisis lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America's political and economic elite." Sachs, I believe, considers what you said--that our brand of capitalism causes our problems--to be true. That is the central thesis to this book: the "price of civilization" to Sachs is us paying that price though taxes, good moral decision-making, responsibility, protecting one another, protecting the planet, etc.


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PostPosted: January 24 19, 11:00 am 
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Haven't gotten to this book. But am reading book that entails history Incas and Spanish Portugese conquests, and what remains now. Incas were not some sort of Meritocracy. Then the Europeans that came over - my word!

And the first two Horace Bingham's - missionaries in Hawaii So Pacific -even the moral obligation types failed, because they defined what is moral. Horace the 3rd "discovered" Macchu Pichu.

Peru has seen socialist land reformers, and it wasn't all great. see Shining Path.

Anyways, it is a matter of resources...how we efficiently share things. So peoples can be free-er to pursue their non-resource driven humanity - happiness and spiritual lives.
Human history shows we are terrible at this. The other animals are better about it. Their brand of capitalism or survivalism doesn't generally involve taking more than is needed, and killing things for fun.


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