Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Jini Index or Jini Coefficient — explained below…
The conventional Gini coefficient would surely make a short list of subjects I’d arrange into a sixth- or seventh-grade syllabus if I were ever availed the opportunity. For those unfamiliar, it is a fraction between 0 and 1 that indicates the distribution of wealth within a society, nation, region within that nation or some other enclave. If it’s higher, wealth distribution is unequal and if it’s lower then the distribution is more equal. If it’s 1, then there’s one lucky stiff who has all the loot and everybody else’s ass is broke. If it’s zero, then of course everyone has the same amount of stuff.
There is evidence that a lower Gini coefficient will lead to a more prosperous economy, but you have to do a lot of accounting and logical tricks to get there. You have to look at a lot of anecdotal evidence that has been cherry-picked to “prove” the desired conclusion and ignore whatever is contrary, and you need to re-define “prosperous” as something like “stable” or more like, to use a sailing terminology, “becalmed.” A lot of noted and prestigious economists insist that a lower Gini coefficient is a good thing. This actually supports little, save for that the noted and prestigious economists are perhaps a good deal more noted and prestigious than they should be.
The “evil twin” of this would be the Jini number, a measurement of my own creation. It, too, is a fractional measurement between 0 and 1, which I define thusly…
To recap: The Gini tracks inequality within possession of wealth, as the possession of that wealth pools up into an accumulation among elites. The Jini tracks control of the wealth, as that control slips away from those who have produced it. My suggestion is that this metric is far more important and far more worthy of the trouble involved in tracking it…and arguing about it.
It seems the democrats are trying to figure out how to hold a convention — how to get their message out to the voters. How to let us know what they’re really all about. I submit this task might be easier if we all agree on the meaning of a Jini index, or pick whatever other name you’d like…then they could let us know that they’re all about boosting it. And consistently. They could drop this whole thing about “We’re all about equality, but you have to keep in mind some people are more equal than others.” It’s been an effective way to confuse people, but it doesn’t do them very much good if they start to confuse themselves as they deliver it. They aren’t really about equality at all, not even a little tiny bit. They’re against wealthy people keeping the wealth they’ve created. Everything in producer-land has to be equal-equal-equal…as in…they can’t keep it. Inequality is not something quite so much forbidden, as it is a luxury to be enjoyed on the other side of the fence, where people have created nothing, preserved nothing, save for giant bureaucracies that legitimize and institutionalize theft. Meddling muggles whose hands have never touched anything more harsh, dangerous, exacting, demanding or slimy than a file folder, a bottle of water or a glass of scotch. They can have inequality. Because we proles need to know who is the grandest of them all. Like ants in a hill need to know who the Queen is.
Yes, the anthill is the perfect model. The Jini is 1.0 in an anthill.
The Jini explains all. Keep applying for those jobs, losers, we need more tax revenue to pay for Michelle’s vacations…
Update: Was thinking more about this, wondering if it’s a flaw that it measures two things, those two things being the movement of wealth into non-productive activities, and the distribution of authority over the non-productive bureaucrats. I’m sure that’s a sin in the academic world of statistical analysis, but in practice it’s probably alright…imagine a situation where all of the money is moved into non-productivity, the tax rate is 100% for everybody, but all 30 million or whatever unproductive bureaucrats hold a precisely equal share of power on a per-bureaucrat basis. We would have to plot this as a meaningful point since it is defining the high extreme of one spectrum and the lower extreme of the other…four fifths (0.800), five-sixths (0.833) or six-sevenths (0.857).
This would be necessary before we could spreadsheet it out, and the whole concept could come under criticism because this mid-point selection would be mostly arbitrary.
But in practice, this is an extraordinarily unlikely scenario. Hoarders are hoarders just as whores are whores. Who in the world would enact such a draconian taxation system, moving the loot into the ranks of the unproductive, every nickel of it, just to share the authority with a bazillion others in deciding where it should go? I’m sure a lot of people would make some noise to the effect that their passion is for exactly that. But I don’t think it’s really going to happen. It would amount to the perfect sharing exercise following the perfect un-sharing exercise. Human psychology can’t bend that far. You’re either playing by “toddler rules” or you’re not.
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