Voting VS Spending

Which is more effective?

Explore the business, economy, finance and trade aspects of human society.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Re: Voting VS Spending

#21  Postby Shagz » May 13, 2018 9:17 pm

People have shit taste in books. Therefore, Borg. Right, Dynalon?
User avatar
Shagz
 
Posts: 897

United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Voting VS Spending

#22  Postby Xerographica » May 13, 2018 9:31 pm

Thommo wrote:
Xerographica wrote:Timmy is a ten year old who loves Harry Potter. Frank is a fifty year old who loves Adam Smith. In a democracy, Timmy and Frank will have equal influence on the rankings of Potter and Smith. In a buying market though, Timmy will have more influence than Frank, given that all of Smith's works are freely available online. But what about in a ranking market? Chances are good that Frank will outspend Timmy.


I can't find any reason to believe that, in regard to books. Why do you say so?

The Wealth of Nations (WON) is my favorite book. However, I have never bought it. Why would I buy it when it's freely available online? In this specific example, the market fails at ranking. More specifically, the buying market fails at ranking.

Have you ever heard of Amazon Kindle Unlimited (AKU)? It's like Netflix for books. Subscribers pay $10/month and they have unlimited access to a wide variety of books. Let's pretend that, all else being equal, subscribers were given the opportunity to use their subscription dollars to help rank the books. If I was a subscriber, and the WON was one of the titles, then each month I'd earmark most of my subscription dollars to it. In one year I would have allocated around $100 dollars to it. In this specific example, the market succeeds at ranking. More specifically, the earmarking market succeeds at ranking.

With the buying market, I spent $0 dollars on my favorite book. But with the earmarking market, I spent $100 dollars on it in one year. This is a really big difference.

Earmarking and buying are really different types of markets. These two markets will rank books very differently, which will naturally result in very big differences in the types of books that are supplied.

In the buying market I'll buy Dean Koontz books but I won't buy Adam Smith books. In the earmarking market, I'll read Koontz's books but earmark my fees to Smith's books. Just in terms of this super small data, the buying market will supply more books about psychic dogs while the earmarking market will supply more books about the Invisible Hand.

In computing there's a thing called GIGO. It stands for "garbage in, garbage out". If you feed faulty data into a program, then the results are going to be wrong.

The economy works exactly the same way. If consumers feed faulty data to producers, then the supply is going to be wrong. Producers aren't mind-readers. They can't divine my true valuation of the WON. They can't divine your true valuation of your favorite book. So the objective is to figure out which type of economic system will result in consumers feeding the most accurate data to producers. In other words, the goal is to figure out which ranking system most accurately reflects the distribution of love.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#23  Postby minininja » May 13, 2018 9:40 pm

Xerographica wrote:Timmy is a ten year old who loves Harry Potter. Frank is a fifty year old who loves Adam Smith. In a democracy, Timmy and Frank will have equal influence on the rankings of Potter and Smith. In a buying market though, Timmy will have more influence than Frank, given that all of Smith's works are freely available online. But what about in a ranking market? Chances are good that Frank will outspend Timmy.

Xerographica wrote:Let's pretend that, all else being equal, subscribers were given the opportunity to use their subscription dollars to help rank the books. If I was a subscriber, and the WON was one of the titles, then each month I'd earmark most of my subscription dollars to it. In one year I would have allocated around $100 dollars to it. In this specific example, the market succeeds at ranking. More specifically, the earmarking market succeeds at ranking.

But in this example you've restricted your "earmarking market" to be the same as the voting democracy, the only difference being that you have the opportunity to split your vote. Why wouldn't Timmy also allocate his $100 to Harry Potter?
[Disclaimer - if this is comes across like I think I know what I'm talking about, I want to make it clear that I don't. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down]
User avatar
minininja
 
Posts: 1189

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#24  Postby Thommo » May 13, 2018 9:42 pm

Xerographica wrote:
Thommo wrote:
Xerographica wrote:Timmy is a ten year old who loves Harry Potter. Frank is a fifty year old who loves Adam Smith. In a democracy, Timmy and Frank will have equal influence on the rankings of Potter and Smith. In a buying market though, Timmy will have more influence than Frank, given that all of Smith's works are freely available online. But what about in a ranking market? Chances are good that Frank will outspend Timmy.


I can't find any reason to believe that, in regard to books. Why do you say so?

The Wealth of Nations (WON) is my favorite book. However, I have never bought it. Why would I buy it when it's freely available online? In this specific example, the market fails at ranking. More specifically, the buying market fails at ranking.

Have you ever heard of Amazon Kindle Unlimited (AKU)? It's like Netflix for books. Subscribers pay $10/month and they have unlimited access to a wide variety of books. Let's pretend that, all else being equal, subscribers were given the opportunity to use their subscription dollars to help rank the books. If I was a subscriber, and the WON was one of the titles, then each month I'd earmark most of my subscription dollars to it. In one year I would have allocated around $100 dollars to it. In this specific example, the market succeeds at ranking. More specifically, the earmarking market succeeds at ranking.


It's not clear what you're saying. Success is not a defined term there, and what you're actually describing is a straight vote (you and every other user get 100 votes to cast as you see fit) anyway.

Xerographica wrote:With the buying market, I spent $0 dollars on my favorite book. But with the earmarking market, I spent $100 dollars on it in one year. This is a really big difference.


You didn't though. With the earmarking market you spent $100 dollars for the right to vote in the earmarking market. You still spent no dollars on the book because (as you correctly point out) you can access it for free regardless. So in your example what we've learned is that your spending is not (perfectly) reflective of your preferences. This makes sense as there are numerous confounding factors (such as copyright law).

I think we should keep this point clearly in mind as it seems central to what you're saying.

Xerographica wrote:Earmarking and buying are really different types of markets. These two markets will rank books very differently, which will naturally result in very big differences in the types of books that are supplied.


Probably they won't. I don't think your preferences generalise - which is what I was pointing out with the data I supplied in post #14.

What you've got there is a hypothesis (one that I suspect, on the basis of the very limited evidence we've seen so far, is false), not something on which to base an argument.

Xerographica wrote:The economy works exactly the same way. If consumers feed faulty data to producers, then the supply is going to be wrong. Producers aren't mind-readers. They can't divine my true valuation of the WON. They can't divine your true valuation of your favorite book. So the objective is to figure out which type of economic system will result in consumers feeding the most accurate data to producers. In other words, the goal is to figure out which ranking system most accurately reflects the distribution of love.


I'm not sure that objective is right at all. It matters not one whit to producers that you prefer the works of Adam Smith - Adam Smith is not going to write more books either way.

Even if we ignore that and grant that that is the objective of producers of books for the sake of argument, it does not follow that this is the objective of an electoral system.
User avatar
Thommo
 
Posts: 24580

Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#25  Postby felltoearth » May 13, 2018 10:01 pm

Commerce is not a political system.
"Walla Walla Bonga!" — Witticism
User avatar
felltoearth
 
Posts: 9562
Age: 51

Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#26  Postby Xerographica » May 13, 2018 10:11 pm

minininja wrote:
Xerographica wrote:Timmy is a ten year old who loves Harry Potter. Frank is a fifty year old who loves Adam Smith. In a democracy, Timmy and Frank will have equal influence on the rankings of Potter and Smith. In a buying market though, Timmy will have more influence than Frank, given that all of Smith's works are freely available online. But what about in a ranking market? Chances are good that Frank will outspend Timmy.

Xerographica wrote:Let's pretend that, all else being equal, subscribers were given the opportunity to use their subscription dollars to help rank the books. If I was a subscriber, and the WON was one of the titles, then each month I'd earmark most of my subscription dollars to it. In one year I would have allocated around $100 dollars to it. In this specific example, the market succeeds at ranking. More specifically, the earmarking market succeeds at ranking.

But in this example you've restricted your "earmarking market" to be the same as the voting democracy, the only difference being that you have the opportunity to split your vote. Why wouldn't Timmy also allocate his $100 to Harry Potter?

On Youtube you can cast one vote per video. In one day a single person can cast 100s of votes. The videos would be very differently ranked if a single person was only give 10 votes/month to cast. People would be forced to prioritize how they distributed/divided their limited votes.

It would be better if the 10 votes were replaced with 10 dollars. But once the content is ranked by dollars, then lots of people would be willing to contribute more than their fair share in order to have more influence on the rankings.

To be clear, my main point is that different ranking systems can be, and should be, scientifically tested and compared.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#27  Postby Thommo » May 13, 2018 10:26 pm

Xerographica wrote:On Youtube you can cast one vote per video. In one day a single person can cast 100s of votes. The videos would be very differently ranked if a single person was only give 10 votes/month to cast. People would be forced to prioritize how they distributed/divided their limited votes.

It would be better if the 10 votes were replaced with 10 dollars. But once the content is ranked by dollars, then lots of people would be willing to contribute more than their fair share in order to have more influence on the rankings.

To be clear, my main point is that different ranking systems can be, and should be, scientifically tested and compared.


Against what standard?

There are many, many scientific, theoretical and practical tests of ranking systems (although far fewer of electoral systems per se), for example there are known properties of having a swiss competition as opposed to other forms, such as a knockout.

However this does not scientifically, theoretically or practically tell you which is better, because better is a relative (and here undefined) term. It's contingent on other (perhaps arbitrarily picked) values. Science can tell you which weighs more (in some context) between an elephant and a mouse, but it cannot tell you which is better between an elephant and a mouse.
User avatar
Thommo
 
Posts: 24580

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Voting VS Spending

#28  Postby Xerographica » May 14, 2018 1:05 am

Thommo wrote:
Xerographica wrote:
Thommo wrote:
Xerographica wrote:Timmy is a ten year old who loves Harry Potter. Frank is a fifty year old who loves Adam Smith. In a democracy, Timmy and Frank will have equal influence on the rankings of Potter and Smith. In a buying market though, Timmy will have more influence than Frank, given that all of Smith's works are freely available online. But what about in a ranking market? Chances are good that Frank will outspend Timmy.


I can't find any reason to believe that, in regard to books. Why do you say so?

The Wealth of Nations (WON) is my favorite book. However, I have never bought it. Why would I buy it when it's freely available online? In this specific example, the market fails at ranking. More specifically, the buying market fails at ranking.

Have you ever heard of Amazon Kindle Unlimited (AKU)? It's like Netflix for books. Subscribers pay $10/month and they have unlimited access to a wide variety of books. Let's pretend that, all else being equal, subscribers were given the opportunity to use their subscription dollars to help rank the books. If I was a subscriber, and the WON was one of the titles, then each month I'd earmark most of my subscription dollars to it. In one year I would have allocated around $100 dollars to it. In this specific example, the market succeeds at ranking. More specifically, the earmarking market succeeds at ranking.


It's not clear what you're saying. Success is not a defined term there, and what you're actually describing is a straight vote (you and every other user get 100 votes to cast as you see fit) anyway.

In economics, success is when the supply equals the demand. This is entirely dependent on the demand actually being known, which is why it's a failure that I haven't bought my favorite book, and why it would be a success if I earmarked $100 dollars to it.

Private goods and public goods are different. People can benefit from public goods whether or not they pay for them...

"But, and this is the point sensed by Wicksell but perhaps not fully appreciated by Lindahl, now it is in the selfish interest of each person to give false signals, to pretend to have less interest in a given collective consumption activity than he really has, etc." —  Paul Samuelson, The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure

The WON is a public good while a steak is a private good. I value both goods, but not equally... I value the WON a lot more highly than a steak. Right now I have the incentive to pretend to value the WON less than I truly do because then I can take the money that I don't spend on it and use it to buy a steak.

Here's my true ranking...

1. WON
2. steak

But here's how I spend my money...

1. steak
2. WON

It's a failure because how I divide my money between these two goods doesn't accurately reflect how my love is divided between them.

With AKU earmarking though, it's not like I'd have the option to spend my subscription dollars on a steak. Therefore I'd have absolutely no incentive to pretend that I value the WON less than I truly do. Success!

Thommo wrote:
Xerographica wrote:With the buying market, I spent $0 dollars on my favorite book. But with the earmarking market, I spent $100 dollars on it in one year. This is a really big difference.


You didn't though. With the earmarking market you spent $100 dollars for the right to vote in the earmarking market. You still spent no dollars on the book because (as you correctly point out) you can access it for free regardless. So in your example what we've learned is that your spending is not (perfectly) reflective of your preferences. This makes sense as there are numerous confounding factors (such as copyright law).

I think we should keep this point clearly in mind as it seems central to what you're saying.

One premise of AKU earmarking is that Amazon would take its cut of the $100 dollars and pass the rest onto Adam Smith's estate.

Thommo wrote:
Xerographica wrote:The economy works exactly the same way. If consumers feed faulty data to producers, then the supply is going to be wrong. Producers aren't mind-readers. They can't divine my true valuation of the WON. They can't divine your true valuation of your favorite book. So the objective is to figure out which type of economic system will result in consumers feeding the most accurate data to producers. In other words, the goal is to figure out which ranking system most accurately reflects the distribution of love.


I'm not sure that objective is right at all. It matters not one whit to producers that you prefer the works of Adam Smith - Adam Smith is not going to write more books either way.

Even though Smith can't write any more books about the Invisible Hand, other writers can. The number of writers that do so depends entirely on the demand for books about the Invisible Hand. So it's a success when the amount of money that consumers spend on books about the Invisible Hand accurately reflects their true demand for them.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#29  Postby Thommo » May 14, 2018 1:27 am

Xerographica wrote:In economics, success is when the supply equals the demand. This is entirely dependent on the demand actually being known, which is why it's a failure that I haven't bought my favorite book, and why it would be a success if I earmarked $100 dollars to it.


I can't find one aspect of that that can be sourced to the economic literature. I think I'd like a source for this, because it seems somewhat ad hoc, unorthodox or idiosyncratic.*

Your demand for Adam Smith books is met whether you have to pay $0 or $100 for it. Depending on how you define supply (and again I don't think there's any resolution in the economic literature here) the supply of Adam Smith books is either limited to what he's already written - he won't write more, or effectively unlimited as home printing and the internet mean that either one of us could produce hundreds and hundreds of copies on a whim.

Xerographica wrote:Private goods and public goods are different. People can benefit from public goods whether or not they pay for them...

"But, and this is the point sensed by Wicksell but perhaps not fully appreciated by Lindahl, now it is in the selfish interest of each person to give false signals, to pretend to have less interest in a given collective consumption activity than he really has, etc." —  Paul Samuelson, The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure

The WON is a public good while a steak is a private good. I value both goods, but not equally... I value the WON a lot more highly than a steak. Right now I have the incentive to pretend to value the WON less than I truly do because then I can take the money that I don't spend on it and use it to buy a steak.


That appears to be falsified by your own behaviour, clearly your signalling of your attribution of high value to The Wealth of Nations comes at no detriment - you won't get charged more for it, for the reason you explain yourself - it's a public good, the supply is not limited or controlled and your pretense would gain you nothing at all.

The incentive structure Samuelson is talking about there does not exist here.

Xerographica wrote:Here's my true ranking...

1. WON
2. steak

But here's how I spend my money...

1. steak
2. WON


Sure, that's a reflection of prices. Prices depend on supply, demand and extraneous factors (in this case the copyright laws and their interaction with supply).

Xerographica wrote:It's a failure because how I divide my money between these two goods doesn't accurately reflect how my love is divided between them.


I thank you for explaining your concept of success and failure, I think it's becoming evident that I don't think it's of any use in the book case, and feel that applies even more strongly in the case of the politics.

This failure condition does not appear to be compatible with the success condition you're asking us to consider though.

Xerographica wrote:With AKU earmarking though, it's not like I'd have the option to spend my subscription dollars on a steak. Therefore I'd have absolutely no incentive to pretend that I value the WON less than I truly do. Success!


Hang on, no. You provided a clear definition of success for us to work with: "when the supply equals the demand" since neither supply nor demand has changed, this is not a success if the previous situation was a failure - it's identical.

And indeed your signalling of your preference has not changed either. In this scenario you've told us you prefer WON, and in your hypothetical you would continue to do so.

Xerographica wrote:One premise of AKU earmarking is that Amazon would take its cut of the $100 dollars and pass the rest onto Adam Smith's estate.


No, it isn't. :scratch:

AKU is a real thing, that you explained, and they do not pay money out to non-copyright holders.

If you're saying they should that's an entirely different hypothetical. And obviously you'd have to persuade Amazon to do it before we could come back to this one.

Xerographica wrote:Even though Smith can't write any more books about the Invisible Hand, other writers can. The number of writers that do so depends entirely on the demand for books about the Invisible Hand. So it's a success when the amount of money that consumers spend on books about the Invisible Hand accurately reflects their true demand for them.


Right, ok. But there are plenty of right-wing/supply side/neoclassical economists and there are plenty of publications of those kinds of economics. The difference between these ongoing supplies and Adam Smith is that they are not out of copyright, and thus their true demand is already known. And it turns out it's not that big. Even you, who clearly occupies the niche they are aimed at (actively interested in economics and so on) prefer to refer to Adam Smith than those works.

*I should add a few words here - I think in some sense that a demand being met would be an economic success, and perhaps that's all that you mean by being equal to, but they aren't strictly the same. Notably your demand for Adam Smith books is already being met. Your concern seems to be (and I apologise for putting words you haven't used into your mouth) that prices do not match (your personal subjective) valuation. Even though you say you value Smith's book more, the chances are you will buy and consume more steaks in your life than copies of Adam Smith books.

One of the truisms at this point is that there is no universally accepted economic theory of value, and Smith's assumption of the Labour Theory of Value doesn't appear to match your own here, but prices at least are a function of both supply and demand, at a minimum.

I think also there are a number of other measures of success in economics, relating to efficiencies. But a lot of these concepts won't generalise to social issues. Supply of illegal goods like narcotics, nerve agents or child pornography being met would not be a success in broader terms - far from it!
User avatar
Thommo
 
Posts: 24580

Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#30  Postby laklak » May 14, 2018 2:02 am

Is all this earmarking going to cost me actual, real cash? Because if so then fuck it, I don't care what the book is rated. If it's not going to cost me actual, real cash then it's no different than a Like or Dislike button, and has no more validity than that. I can also review those books for free (sticking with the Amazon example), and my review will likely have more effect on possible sales than any arbitrary ranking scheme.

If you're artificially restricting those earmark "dollars" (that aren't costing me anything) to $10 or $100 or $1000 a month, then you're doing exactly what a democracy does with a vote, except you're allowing more than one vote per person. What is the purpose of this whole scenario? What does it accomplish that isn't already done by some other method?

This sounds to me like a solution in search of a problem.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! - Chicken Little
I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that - Oscar Wilde
User avatar
laklak
RS Donator
 
Name: Florida Man
Posts: 18468
Age: 64
Male

Country: The Great Satan
Swaziland (sz)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#31  Postby Thommo » May 14, 2018 2:09 am

Incidentally, this is the Samuelson paper being quoted, and he's talking about a highly specific situation and set of assumptions, which derive from mathematical constraints regarding public taxation and spending in the quote.

http://econ.ucsb.edu/~tedb/Courses/UCSB ... sampub.pdf
Image

I don't think you're using that quote in line with what it means, Xerographica.

This appears to have been put to you before (by someone with undoubtedly more expertise than me):
https://medium.com/@Amplify/this-defini ... 55e969a7ef
User avatar
Thommo
 
Posts: 24580

Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#32  Postby Thommo » May 14, 2018 2:24 am

It's quite an interesting paper, I found these sections a touch more illuminating than the originally quoted portion:

Feasibility considerations disregarded, there is a maximal (ordinal) utility frontier representing the Pareto-optimal points – of which there are an (s-I)fold infinity – with the property that from such a frontier point you can make one person better off only by making some other person worse off. If we wish to make normative judgments concerning the relative ethical desirability of different configurations involving some individuals being on a higher level of indifference and some on a lower, we must be presented with a set of ordinal interpersonal norms or with a social welfare function representing a consistent set of ethical preferences among all the possible states of the system. It is not a “scientific” task of the economist to “deduce” the form of this function; this can have as many forms as there are possible ethical views;

The failure of market catallactics in no way denies the following truth: given sufficient knowledge the optimal decisions can always be found by scanning over all the attainable states of the world and selecting the one which according to the postulated ethical welfare function is best. The solution “exists”; the problem is how to “find” it.


Broadly speaking Samuelson is talking about public expenditure (from taxation) and how for any given set of ethical norms there is a corresponding unique point which is also Pareto-efficient (that is there's no place to go where someone gains and nobody loses) and how it is not within the remit of economists to decide those norms, but talking about what properties follow from their assumption.
User avatar
Thommo
 
Posts: 24580

Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#33  Postby Xerographica » May 14, 2018 3:15 am

laklak wrote:Is all this earmarking going to cost me actual, real cash? Because if so then fuck it, I don't care what the book is rated. If it's not going to cost me actual, real cash then it's no different than a Like or Dislike button, and has no more validity than that. I can also review those books for free (sticking with the Amazon example), and my review will likely have more effect on possible sales than any arbitrary ranking scheme.

If you're artificially restricting those earmark "dollars" (that aren't costing me anything) to $10 or $100 or $1000 a month, then you're doing exactly what a democracy does with a vote, except you're allowing more than one vote per person. What is the purpose of this whole scenario? What does it accomplish that isn't already done by some other method?

This sounds to me like a solution in search of a problem.

Earmarking would be entirely optional. If you don't want to decide how to divide your subscription dollars among the content, then you could continue to allow Amazon, or Netflix, do it for you.

Personally, I'm pretty sure that there's a big disparity between...

X = how Netflix currently divides my dollars among the content
Y = how I would divide my dollars among the content

I don't see how I personally benefit from Netflix spending some, or any, of my money on romantic comedies, sports shows or horror movies. If you're an atheist, would you be cool with some, or any, of your money to be given to the Catholic church? Imagine having to try and persuade somebody that you should be free to not give any of your money to the Catholic church. That's how I feel having to try and persuade you that I should be free to not give any of my money to content that really doesn't match my preferences.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#34  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 14, 2018 3:21 am

Xerographica wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:Democracy is the least unfair system that I am aware of. It's not perfect, but it's the best we currently have.

My main point is that there's no evidence that voting is better than spending at ranking things.

And again, there's no evidence for the inverse either.

Xerographica wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:Now with regards to your argument/analogy:
1. Books are a matter of taste not objective facts.

I agree.

Good.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:2. This means you have no objective basis to assert that one way would elevate trash and the other treasures. Especially since you haven't even properly defined what 'trash' or 'treasures' refers to exactly.

Like you pointed out... trash and treasure are subjective, so it would be pointless for me to try and define them. [/quote]
So you admit your analogy is fatally flawed?

Xerographica wrote:But if voting puts Harry Potter at the top, while spending puts Adam Smith or Charles Darwin at the top, then this is something you should seriously consider before endorsing voting as the best way to elect presidents.

Why? By what objective measure are Smith and Charles demonstrably better than Rowling?
And again, what makes you think Rowling would be at the top, because right now, she isn't.

Xerographica wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:3. You haven't justified your assertion that voters would elevate trash and spenders treasure.

The proof is in the pudding.

Vacuous aphorism. Evidence is what you need, not assertions.

Xerographica wrote: Sure, I could say that the point of education is that it's correlated with income.

Which would be yet another blind assertion I doubt,

Xerographica wrote: Is there any evidence that this is true?

No, and plenty of the opposite.

Xerographica wrote: Does there need to be?

Yes.

Xerographica wrote: If so, then you should agree that there also needs to be evidence either for, or against, the effectiveness of voting compared to spending.

Again, attacking one notion doesn't prove another.
It's not a true dichotomy.

Xerographica wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:4.
Reasonable people expect executions to be supported by evidence.

Reasonable people wouldn't accept executions.

The majority of jurors accepted the execution of Socrates.

What's that appeal to authority fallacy supposed to do with anything?

Xerographica wrote: Were they reasonable?

Not in that case.
Especially not.

Xerographica wrote: In any case, I'm guessing that they would have been far more reasonable if they had been obligated to put their money where their votes were.

Which is all it is, an unsubstantiated guess. :roll:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
User avatar
Thomas Eshuis
 
Name: Thomas Eshuis
Posts: 29066
Age: 29
Male

Country: Netherlands
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#35  Postby Thommo » May 14, 2018 3:29 am

Xerographica wrote:Personally, I'm pretty sure that there's a big disparity between...

X = how Netflix currently divides my dollars among the content
Y = how I would divide my dollars among the content


Of course there is. And one of the obvious reasons for that is what it costs Netflix (net) to provide the content.

But you're diverging from what economic theory has to say about value here. The question is what price will you pay for the product, and despite your protestations regarding steak, it's not at all clear that if an Adam Smith book cost more than all the steak you ate in your life (which based on averages for meat eaters is going to be thousands of dollars) you would still pay the price.

Xerographica wrote:I don't see how I personally benefit from Netflix spending some, or any, of my money on romantic comedies, sports shows or horror movies.


You don't need to, and this is one of the things pointed out to you in that previous discussion of yours I linked upthread. Your "personal value" is not the same as the "common interest".

What Netflix would save in expenses if they hosted no romantic comedies, sports shows or horror movies would be reflected not only in reduced costs but also in lost sales, this could end up being cost-neutral to you (they may not have to raise or lower subscription fees) or harmful to you (they may have to raise subscription feees) or beneficial to you (they may be able to lower subscription fees). But Netflix are acting in Netflix's interests and not yours, this again is a point central to Smith's thinking (and not at all relevant to Samuelson's).

If there's a market space for a cheaper, more specialised service, then if we go with Smith's view, the invisible hand will, in time, exploit that niche and you as a consumer will have a market choice between the broader service at higher price and narrower service at lower price (in reality this won't happen, due to the imperfections of the market though - it's one of the most obvious ways in which Smith was wrong).

Xerographica wrote:If you're an atheist, would you be cool with some, or any, of your money to be given to the Catholic church? Imagine having to try and persuade somebody that you should be free to not give any of your money to the Catholic church. That's how I feel having to try and persuade you that I should be free to not give any of my money to content that really doesn't match my preferences.


But you don't have to? You can just not subscribe to Netflix.

There's actually a direct example of this sort of thing having recently happened regarding Sky Sports packaging in the UK TV market.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/ ... lf-cricket

It took decades of consumer advocacy and as far as I can tell it didn't result in consumer gains, on average, in reality anyway. My uncle who only watches golf was thrilled to bits though.

One of the obvious constraints here, as in the Netflix case, is the effective monopoly granted by the regulatory environment.
User avatar
Thommo
 
Posts: 24580

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Voting VS Spending

#36  Postby Xerographica » May 14, 2018 7:24 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Xerographica wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:Democracy is the least unfair system that I am aware of. It's not perfect, but it's the best we currently have.

My main point is that there's no evidence that voting is better than spending at ranking things.

And again, there's no evidence for the inverse either.

Correct. Therefore... what? We just continue to use voting despite the fact that there's no evidence that it's more effective than spending?

For me it's simple. I'm very much disturbed, and bothered, by the lack of evidence.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Xerographica wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:2. This means you have no objective basis to assert that one way would elevate trash and the other treasures. Especially since you haven't even properly defined what 'trash' or 'treasures' refers to exactly.

Like you pointed out... trash and treasure are subjective, so it would be pointless for me to try and define them.

So you admit your analogy is fatally flawed?

My theory is that voting elevates trash while spending elevates treasure. My theory is either wrong or right. Experiments will either prove, or disprove, my theory.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:Why? By what objective measure are Smith and Charles demonstrably better than Rowling?
And again, what makes you think Rowling would be at the top, because right now, she isn't.

You have your own estimates of how useful different authors are. You'd see if the estimates of voting or spending were closer to your own.

You have your own estimates of the usefulness of exercising and smoking. You'd see if the estimates of voting or spending were closer to your own.

Right now you're focused on the lack of objectiveness, but it's a given that either the voting ranking or the spending ranking is going to be closer to your own ranking.

Imagine two very different worlds. One is much closer to your own preferences... which one do you choose? Of course you'd choose the world that is much closer to your own preferences.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#37  Postby Cito di Pense » May 14, 2018 7:44 am

Xerographica wrote:
Imagine two very different worlds. One is much closer to your own preferences... which one do you choose? Of course you'd choose the world that is much closer to your own preferences.


Ah, but do we prefer what we choose, or do we choose what we prefer? Fucking brilliant, you are, in the department of tautology department. This is all about choosing (or preferring, take your choice). See the Free Will thread.

Xerographica wrote:My main point is that there's no evidence that voting is better than spending at ranking things.


Well, it's very important to make lists of rankings. I'd guess that ranking tops your list of what's important. Or is that wanking?

Xerographica wrote:My theory is that voting elevates trash while spending elevates treasure.


Wanking elevates endorphins.
Last edited by Cito di Pense on May 14, 2018 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Ivar Poäng
Posts: 26747
Age: 22
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#38  Postby Thommo » May 14, 2018 7:51 am

Xerographica wrote:Correct. Therefore... what? We just continue to use voting despite the fact that there's no evidence that it's more effective than spending?

For me it's simple. I'm very much disturbed, and bothered, by the lack of evidence.


I don't quite understand either why you think that disenfranchisement of those without money having been tried before (feudalism and the centuries that followed all featured land-owner and wealth restrictions) doesn't provide us with some form of evidence base, nor why you would be very much disturbed by the continued use of the most effective system thus far discovered.

We need some form of election if we are to have a government, and even if we haven't yet discovered the best possible, that's no kind of motivation not to use the best we have.

So what else are we to do? Not have governments while we investigate your personal suspicions? Is that a reasonable expectation given there seem to be literally billions who don't share that suspicion?
User avatar
Thommo
 
Posts: 24580

Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#39  Postby BWE » May 14, 2018 8:14 am

Xerographica wrote:Here's a list of books...

The Origin Of Species
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The Handmaid’s Tale
A Tale of Two Cities
50 Shades of Grey
Principia
The Bible
War and Peace
A Theory of Justice
The Cat in the Hat
The Wealth of Nations
The Hunger Games

Imagine if this list was sorted by a bunch of college students. One group of students would use voting to rank the books while another group would use spending. To be clear, the spenders wouldn’t be buying the books, they would simply be using their money to express and quantify their love for each book. All the money they spent would be used to crowdfund this experiment.

How differently would the voters and the spenders sort the books? In theory, the voters would elevate the trash while the spenders would elevate the treasure. This would perfectly explain the exact problem with Google, Youtube, Netflix, Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Medium and all the other sites where content is ranked by voting. Democracy is a major obstacle to the maximally beneficial evolution of society and its creations. Of course I might be wrong.

Evidence is something that all reasonable people expect. Reasonable people expect medicine to be supported by evidence. Reasonable people expect executions to be supported by evidence. Reasonable people expect evolution to be supported by evidence. Reasonable people expect love to be supported by evidence. Reasonable people expect important things to be supported by evidence. So when it comes to democracy... where are all the reasonable people? Where's the expectation for evidence that voting is more effective than spending?

Naturally some, or even most, of you will be very inclined to try and justify/explain/defend democracy. But if you do so, please acknowledge the fact that your defense is not based on any evidence that voting is more effective than spending. Since your belief in the effectiveness of democracy isn't based on evidence, it must be supported by faith. You trust that democracy is correlated with abundance.

Every theory of abundance is a religion. Some religions are more correct than others.

A) I don't think those would be your results.
B) subjective is subjective regardless. You can't get an ought from an is. *
C) see b. It trips everyone up sometimes

*so much clearer than naturalistic fallacy
User avatar
BWE
 
Posts: 2375

Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#40  Postby BWE » May 14, 2018 8:16 am

Xerographica wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Xerographica wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:Democracy is the least unfair system that I am aware of. It's not perfect, but it's the best we currently have.

My main point is that there's no evidence that voting is better than spending at ranking things.

And again, there's no evidence for the inverse either.

Correct. Therefore... what? We just continue to use voting despite the fact that there's no evidence that it's more effective than spending?

For me it's simple. I'm very much disturbed, and bothered, by the lack of evidence.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Xerographica wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:2. This means you have no objective basis to assert that one way would elevate trash and the other treasures. Especially since you haven't even properly defined what 'trash' or 'treasures' refers to exactly.

Like you pointed out... trash and treasure are subjective, so it would be pointless for me to try and define them.

So you admit your analogy is fatally flawed?

My theory is that voting elevates trash while spending elevates treasure. My theory is either wrong or right. Experiments will either prove, or disprove, my theory.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:Why? By what objective measure are Smith and Charles demonstrably better than Rowling?
And again, what makes you think Rowling would be at the top, because right now, she isn't.

You have your own estimates of how useful different authors are. You'd see if the estimates of voting or spending were closer to your own.

You have your own estimates of the usefulness of exercising and smoking. You'd see if the estimates of voting or spending were closer to your own.

Right now you're focused on the lack of objectiveness, but it's a given that either the voting ranking or the spending ranking is going to be closer to your own ranking.

Imagine two very different worlds. One is much closer to your own preferences... which one do you choose? Of course you'd choose the world that is much closer to your own preferences.

A) there is no evidence of anything anywhere in this thread.
B) are you trolling?
User avatar
BWE
 
Posts: 2375

Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Economics

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest