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Forum Post: This Forum Should Have Sub-Categories! because...

Posted 7 years ago on Nov. 29, 2012, 11:31 a.m. EST by hork (40)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Organize this stuff a little more, will ya? I know it can easily be done. I suggested doing something like this on another forum and I think this is reasonable since order makes material easier to interpret. Especially for a forum page with one hell of a lot of posts.

Here's how you do it: -Go though the cumbersome process of tagging each post, back logging all the previous stuff and retroactively adding tags if you have to. -Start making categories available now, and encouraging people to tag their own posts and post in the right category

Why am I'm saying this? Because I want to post a serious comment asking for real help and not have this idea lost in the sea of everything else. This feeling of being lost in the dust made me feel like that's probably on the minds of a number of other people, and some who have already posted. I think this would be good for all.

My question is about the economy. More specifically the the "macro-economy" and so fittingly, I would like to eventually be able to post a discussion thread under the category "macroeconomics" on this site and feel more assured I'm narrowing my field to concerned and passionate teachers and students on this issue.

Macroeconomics is what people in occupy would be talking about if the subject were demystified.. if people could talk in that language while making some of their points, such that they could quip back to accusations of occupy being a movement with no clear demands.

Macroeconomic policy implies some kind of demands in terms of objectives for a country, especially because those demands affect how much money to some extent we are carrying around in our pockets.

Education cuts, health care cuts.. selling off highways.. all these issues can seem disparate and isolated to their own terrible battles but there is some logic tying all these varied issues together and that is macroeconomics and things like budget proposals that reflect those sorts of economic perspectives.

I am going to stress that merely looking at the hazardous up close effects of budget cuts to schools will result in less educated students, or that cuts to old age security will result in grandma or grandpa struggling harder and how ugly a sight that might be -- that this kind of an solely emotional focus to these stories detracts somewhat from any logical narrative that although less focused on the gritty details of each budget cut, does actually augment the value of every one of these points by bringing them all together under an encompassing logical cross-countrywide criticism of what is going on. This nationwide criticism is also couched in the same language used by orthodox professionals and so it has a certain amount of validity up the ladder in the professional sense so to speak.

To get right into it, macroeconomics discusses GDP, and lots of rise over run graphs representing functions of GDP. Right off the bat perhaps this stuff can somewhat get a little more technical, but isn't this what we should all be doing anyways? The demands I've learned do have a professional voice, and although not offered up by those attacking Occupy, I think it fair to say that still nonetheless Occupy has represented some variation of Keynesian macroeconomics, perhaps more a neo-affixed to it. To get right on point, I think today this macroeconomic analysis has a lot more to do with a fiat currency application of Keynesian economics, which I think is wrapped up in the school of Modern Monetary Theory (or MMT for short).

I think a separate category is necessary to conjure up enough people from this massive forum into a few sub-categories, where one of them would be on GDP and stuff like that and would be called macroeconomics.

The circular flow of income and expenditure would be addressed. For those who don't know, it states that all expenditure equals income, and that expenditures can be sub-divided. It has a formula:

Y = C + I + G NX

such that, Y =incomes C= consumption I= Investments NX = exports minus imports

All this stuff is equal to the total income and this is said to equal GDP. So this might not all seem like much, but when GDP is represented differently in a graph, then these expenditures can be further broken down, and different narratives start to emerge. While not getting into the logic of other schools of thought, MMT says that government expenditure, when it spends, goes into debt and with that amount of debt there is an equally opposite spike in surplus profits to the private sector, representing an increase in household income. The reason for this is simple, the majority of government spending goes right back into the private sector, but today the problem is different. Today money goes increasingly into finance, and that the old adage of capitalists against workers as being the greatest struggle is no more, for today it is capitalists and labour against finance capital -- that is, today most money from GDP is getting shored up in financial activities.

I know a sectoral balances approach to looking at GDP helps visually illustrate how the public and private sector have historically worked together to create a strong economy, and that only recently in time has the financial sector emerged as the dominant sector profiting compared to any other component of the private sector.

I also know that I am over-simplifying macroeconomics a ton, and that is why I would like to encourage a more serious discussion of the matter, but nonetheless I think this is a good intro to an important topic so there is no need to over-complicate things on the first post.


Please Reply!



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[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

I'll try here to get back on some kind of point.

I have some questions pertaining to economics. So I have been trying to understand the subject better, feeling its quite necessary on top of awareness of cultural and environmental problems, etc. In my search, I've found Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi who went from not much understanding the subject of finance to being a great help in organizing and simplifying concepts made obscure or deceitful such as concerns the bank bailout and lead up of rampant fraud in the mortage securities market. I've also found Real News Network's Economy section to be engaging, especially former Savings and Loans regulator Bill Black, who explains that he constantly has to teach professionals in law the workings of finance, a subject they typically aren't formally trained on but must acquire in order to investigate fraud. Between these two there is an understanding that one can learn finance and that one can also effectively teach finance to people who aren't familiar with the field if the subject matter is simplified and explained in terms people understand. With that said, I think occupy users could afford to more formally engage in this dialogue themselves.

Next, I want to talk about Bill Black's theoretical/analytical perspective on the economy and a field of economists to which he belongs. This approach to economics is called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and involves from what I can tell some evaluation of sectoral balances, meaning basically graphing out the sectors of the economy into a few or even just two sides for simplicity. The economy in macroeconomics is sometimes represented in a flow formula where total GDP equals total expenditure which equals total income. When the inner dynamics of this basic equation are looked at, this equation can be further broken down such that: Private Surplus (Savings minus Investments) = Government Deficits (Taxes minus Government expenditures) + Current Account Balance (Exports minus Imports) What this looks like on a graph seems to suggest that Government Deficits often add equally prosperous Private Sector Surpluses. There appears to be a diametric relationship between household income for that matter and government deficits. This runs starkly counter to the ongoing austerity narrative we hear so much about. I want to hear what people think. Here are some graphs and links.

MMT economists dismiss inflationary concerns about any sovereign country that is issuer of its own fiat currency (little complicated terminology that sounds more complex than it is, meaning the money is owed internally to the country and is not subject to the same interest rate loans that countries that don't produce their own currencies are subject to, and fiat basically means the currency is not pegged to any real reserves like gold, etc., so a country that uses fiat can produce as much or as little as it needs, without proportional constraints to some actual valued commodity like gold). MMT economists argue that a sovereign country that issues its own fiat currency can produce as much money as it needs to meet deficit requirements meant to flow into the private sector and household incomes. There are other finer details, and that's why I'd like feedback, maybe to enlighten me a little here, but nonetheless, some graphs. http://fictionalbarking.blogspot.ca/2011/12/eliminating-household-sector...

The above graph is Canada's Sectoral Balance, and I saw some pretty awful ones for Greece and Italy, probably more detrimental because they are not issuers of their own currencies and are subject to harsh austerity measures under odious loan agreements for that money. Stephanie Kelton for the MMT school did a good piece that has the graphs in the video if you watch the video through. The graphs are closer to the end of the video if you want to just fast forward to find them. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vQOk1VOU6k&noredirect=1 Also here are the sectoral balances for the United States, because it is at the center of some huge shifts in economic thinking.

The above image came from this link, but can be found discussed on other MMT sites: http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.ca/2011/08/sectoral-balances-2nd-qua...

And finally, here are a few additional sources, discussing the subject matter,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKpvJhcnAU0&feature=relmfu (This guy Marshall Aurbach has a good piece comparing Ontario and Quebec to Spain and Portugal at 26:00 mins in, but because of fiscal sovereignty issues and European Union austerity guideline where a country's deficit can only be an infinitesimally small amount of GDP, these European countries suffer under a false union that doesn't help its member states fairly).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd6rGbO-ruU Above link is Stephanie Kelton)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZQqrxHGcoQ (This economist is Michael Hudson)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utOGgyTMJKE&feature=relmfu (This piece is by Bill Black, and Real News has tons by him, title here should actually read "How To Steal Ten Billion Euro")

And here's some non video stuff, just material to read on MMT:





Hey Thanks for giving me your time, and please please lets consider formally organizing our forum sections better,


[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

A great idea, and as a former IT pro I have always found this forum an information org disaster.

But here's the fly in the ointment that will train wreck you.

Even if everything was organized exactly as you say, unless you yourself had editing rights over your own post, everything would soon be a monstrosity again in a very short time, because discussions on this forum tend to go all over the place. I myself have seen posts on one topic that degenerate into at least 5 or 10 (sometimes many more) completely unrelated topics in the same post. That's because a large number of people here have no interest in staying on-topic. Some come here purely for entertainment because they like to argue. Some come here because they want to subvert serious discussions. In short, anarchy prevails here, and it doesn't matter how you organize anarchy, because it is actually impossible to do that by definition.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

Read my other reply about what anarchism is. You can actually study its historical movements or you can say contemporary stuff like anarchy is Sid Vicious or whatever, its not though.

As to this forum would degenerate again, hmm. That's why I think a level of sub-categories would help. It creates structure.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

Well, good luck getting something like that changed. I have been here since January 2012 and very little in terms of information organizing has changed. You need to talk to the SysAdmin, not general contributors here.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

I will definitely write to the SysAdmin, and I will link my inquiry to this post, so I hope people keep commenting!

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 7 years ago

I've been thinking a space held for problem solving would flesh out some good ideas. So i thought this forum needed catagories, but after talking to some people, like Underdog here, it made me think about it in the sense that people would stick to their favorite corner and not be exposed to other conversations. Travel broadens the mind.

But i feel like right now we do need to make things as easy as possible or they're not going to amount to anything. When i first came to this forum all i saw was an utter mess of the mess of everything. I would have never come back if i wasn't trying to find something.

I like the mosh pit a lot, but holding a public space specifically to brain storm problem solving would boil down those specific results, and that is something we could really use. The only thing bad i could imagine happening is that it would be shut down for terrorism. It would be full of nearly all the same topics but the benefit would be in having that focused intention.

Trolls wouldn't be able to fluff it up with trivia or that action would expose them. And it would take some of the pressue away from the mosh pit, so that both aspects of the forum could slow down a little and become more user friendly to new people and onlookers.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

Little in terms of information organizing has changed because nobody has been interested in doing the actual work. Look on the bottom right, there is a link to the source code for this site. JART has accepted a bunch of pull requests from other people and merged them into the code for this site. If people were sending her code to improve the site organization then it might happen. This is not a hierarchal movement, right? It's up to all of us to do it. If none of us are interested in doing it then it's not going to get done. Simple as that.

[-] 0 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

Okay, so I did recently just add that huge comment on more MMT material, anyone care to comment on that and leave the crackpots on your reticule alone for the moment?

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

I suggest that the official posts be in a separate window that does not mix with the user created posts so that the official posts are not bumped down by user content.

Of user posts we should have tabs covering different issues that affect the 99%.

I suggest:

  • Environment

  • Fiscal

  • Social

  • Politics

Other catagories might be helpful. I'm open to suggestions.

We should also have sections under each tab that highlight suggestions for activism. (protests, petitions, letter writing, etc)

I would only add that we should eliminate all posts/comments that are gratuitous personal attacks.

Does that allow for your suggestion as well.?

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

You know, what you are suggesting is pretty fair. I'm not sure the troll comments are too much a worry so long as the sections are better organized. Troll comments could maybe be maybe marked in some way so people know whats worth reading, but this could only feasibly be done by individuals clicking on a box, and would be maybe 99% accurate. I wouldn't outright delete stuff.

Other than that the categories can be divided into sub-categories, some of these folder trees may be bigger than others.

For instance: Economy - gets subdivided into macroeconomics, economy news, budget cut news, etc. Macroeconomics can be divided further, it can have a general category and fiscal section and a monetary section, not everyone will want to separate them but you have the choice if you so wish.

Environmental could be divided into different types of environmental damage. One sub-category could be mining, another oil. Oil can be further divided into fracking, war for oil, offshore oil, etc.

You keep doing this as needed and people will become more organized.. almost Anarcho-Syndicalized in virtual space.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

I'm not against subcatagories, I suppose I aimed to start out small hoping it might not be too big a task forthe programmers to attempt.

I think adding a search box could be useful as well.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

lol, yeah no search box is obviously not a good thing

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Well once we have categories and moderators who will probably have to move posts to correct categories we will inevitably need search functionality easily available.

[-] -2 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 7 years ago

There is and been a search box on this site for as long as I can remember.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Indeed. So there is.


[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago


"Dear anarchists, please organize better. Thanks."

[-] 3 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

Actually to be fair, I'm pretty sure there is this thing called Anarcho-Syndicalism, and that means syndicates like a newspaper but of anarchist collectives, so in a sense quite organized. There is no necessarily unorganized requirement for anarchists, and I'm not sure where you could've got this idea except from maybe watching too much mainstream TV.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

I don't watch television, but I'm curious: has the history of Occupy led you to form an impression that they're a group focused on organization?

[-] 2 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

Keynes in a nutshell has created a lot of history, and Occupy was Occupying a neo-Keynesian school of thought from what I could gather. The mainstream said they were aimless, but the mainstream is all of the Milton Friedman school of thought, and have tried to erase Keynes from the history books, but in essence the people of Occupy were expressing some tangent of that approach to the economy.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

Some were. Others were more focused on a resource-based economy rather than Austrian or Keynesian economics, which means that computers would be in charge of everything and people would lounge around doing nothing while robots do all of the work. Others wanted handouts, like a waiver of all debt, or student load forgiveness. Then there were the people who wanted to revise the constitution, like the guy who wanted to add, "forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, respect, trust, friendship and love", to the First Amendment. And my personal favorite is the guy who is obsessed with legislating a minimum wage of $115k per year. The only thing that unites Occupy is the desire to avoid organizing, focusing on specific issues, or taking specific positions on any issue.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

You make me doubt your intentions TechJunkie, after this little rant into the absurd. Sure focus on the absurd and say that was all that was going on. I on the other hand want to look into the useful insights presented by occupy, you can focus on the crazies if you wish.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

Also some debt forgiveness not a bad idea, and raising minimum wage like some of the Scandinavian countries is a good idea too. Sure, focus on the guy overblowing the minimum wage to a $1 billion or whatever and ignore the reasonable numbers. But all in all, restructuring wage is a part of what has to happen at some point, perhaps little by little, but immediately a new economic approach to the deficit should be in order, where QE is cut and reinvested into productive sectors of the economy through government contracted projects, in essence raising the public debt but giving household incomes a boost, which is what all us in the private sector want, thereby lowering private debt!

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

I originally came here about 14 months ago, looking for useful insights presented by Occupy, and I've been here off and on ever since. What I found was a meeting hall for crackpots, which slowly transformed into an arm of the Obama 2012 campaign. I guess you're still at the pre-disillusionment stage if you think that this is a place for serious discussions about macroeconomics. This is a site where one guy is still in the middle of a year-long attempt to reject the idea that raising the minimum wage to $115k/year would cause inflation, and numerous people continually propose "replacing capitalism with democracy". So then how are you going to have a serious conversation about macroeconomics in an environment like that?

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23286) 7 years ago

TechJunkie, be honest, you've been against this forum since the day you got here. You never show support, only useless criticism along with smug hubris for yourself.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

Absolutely false. I've always been critical of Occupy's dysfunctions out of a hope that Occupy could become something useful. Constructive criticism is a very different thing than opposition.



I gave up, that's all.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23286) 7 years ago

You gave up a long time ago. I've been here as long as you and I don't remember you ever being a positive force here, sorry. I'm sick of hearing how great and smart you are. Calling the posters here crackpots says so much more about you than anyone else. And, macroeconomics is discussed here all the time and has been for over a year now. It doesn't have to be called "macroeconomics" to be macroeconomics.

And, if you are talking about demandthegoodlifedotcom it might behoove you to actually read what he/she has to say, because it makes sense. It's just avant garde, very out-of-the-box thinking and hard for people with closed minds to wrap their heads around.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

You discredited yourself just now by saying that this is a place for serious conversations about economics and then contradicting yourself by saying that the very non-serious proposal to pay everybody $115k - $450k per "makes sense". This is not a place for serious conversations about economics. This is a place for discussing crackpot proposals like that one.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23286) 7 years ago

You are the crackpot reactionary with the closed mind. You don't belong here. You can't handle any conversation that doesn't fit into your neat idea of how the world should be.

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

I belong here as much as you do, and the second part of your flame seemed like a non sequitur. Do you have a neat idea of how Occupy should be that doesn't allow any sort of criticism?

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23286) 7 years ago

Okay, fine, good point. Stick around. Keep hurling your insults at anyone and any ideas that don't fit into your standard picture of how the world should be.

[-] 0 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

hey beautifulworld, at some point reply to TechJunkie when he's constructive, like the stuff about Github etc, that could be useful, but maybe just use your energies on productive stuff, ie replying to my other ideas starting this post, either structure on forums or MMT, but just don't tire yourself out on a guy trolling 90% of the time when you could give constructive feedback. I replied to him, and think some of the compassionate conservative's ideas might have some merit, ie the stuff on Django and JART that I haven't the foggiest about, but leave his scapegoating aside. ITs a diatribe that kind of goes nowhere, and by engaging in it too much you kind of prove TechJunkie's point of there being no real good stuff to talk about. To be honest it is kind of a challenge by him to come up with something decent to say, which I think MMT provides.


[-] -3 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

That's exactly what everybody on this site does, so yes I think I'll accept your advice. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

When you give up you think that's still constructive? I think that kind of lays bare your current intentions. Also, there is this false sense that endless criticism of anything capable of being criticized is the path to productivity. I disagree. I think yes constructive criticism, but you can't fish for incidences of the most foolish comments, give them more voice by citing them again and again, and say this is done in the name of constructive criticism, because its not.. its useless banter serious people don't need to discuss. We all know there are idiots writing nonsense like anywhere, but you don't need to focus on that stuff when other issues are being discussed. Its a regression to pithy petty smack talk, and its stupid.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

No, I'm just not concerned any more with being constructive, since Occupy no longer has the potential that it once had.

Don't judge me too harshly, because you might reach my level of disillusionment sooner than you realize. Mine started from the exact same frustration over the state of the forum. The fact that the structure of the forum inherently amplifies the crackpots has always been one of my concerns. The structure of this forum is not conducive to Occupy living up to its potential. But I'm not worried about that any more because it's just one of many elements that led to Occupy's irrelevance. Still kind of entertaining though.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

Maybe discouraging others from attempting something isn't the best use of your constructive criticism either. Just try to discourage and disillusion. Hey, I'm pretty disillusioned myself, aware of a plethora of problems but its not a reason to say everything is pointless let things go on the way they are -- this is a sort of tacit approval of the status quo, since you consider it the best possible and throw your hands up.

That's fine, you can throw your hands up, but don't throw them up here and not to me. You're not convincing me that caving in and giving up is the best use of my time. Go throw your hands up in the real world, whatever, live in doldrum state of mind, but what is the value of articulating it to this post except to troll? When people are trying to be constructive, what is the value in saying others are meandering around? Its kind of unrelated to what this post is about, which is about making stuff more organized, not complaining its hard to do, excuse my french but #$@ that.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

I'm not trying to discourage you. Go for it. In fact I'll show you how to do it. If you look at the bottom right of this page, you'll find a link to the source code for this site on GitHub. It's a Django app. Modify that code to add the kind of structure that you're talking about, and send a pull request through GitHub to JART.

[-] 2 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

After a criticism of you, I'd like to go through a healing process with you, I perhaps disagree with your outlook, but you have a technical knowledge that is valuable. Could you elaborate on GitHub, Django and JART.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

JART is the person who kindly built this site for free for us. She has lots of other responsibilities and she can't spend all day, every day, on improving this forum. This is a movement that's supposed to be about exercising collective will anyway, so it shouldn't be any one person's responsibility to do everything. Django is the web framework that the site uses, and GitHub is where the code is hosted. GitHub enables anybody to make changes and submit them so that JART can easily merge them into the code. If there were anywhere near as many people contributing code as there are people complaining about the site, then things would be a lot different.

[-] 0 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

I think that is why a "troll" clickable box would be good to have beside the twinkle and stinkle and reply buttons. Also I would like to see votes cast for this so votes on how many think so and so is a troll would help. Lol

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23286) 7 years ago

Hork, I understand what you are saying about categories but keep in mind that you can search for any word or combination of words in the "search" button. Hence, for GDP, you get a very nice list of many posts discussing the GDP:


Re: Trolls. They are inevitable because this movement is threatening to many people.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

Hey thanks, I overlooked the search box, damn. Feel like an idiot, but not as much an idiot as those crackpots, blah blah egotistical self-righteous indignation and distrust of everyone blah blah, lol. Just kidding, I'm not focused on kiting everybody along down a road of insult-politics, but I do appreciate your pointer and interest in helping me out.


[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

Since you're fairly new here, there are other things you can do in the search box like, for example:


will pull up all of my recent OPs

I really don't use the search box much except for that when I want to find an OP I know someone else has written but can't remember what it is.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

Hey, you organize the site better to narrow the field to people who want to actually discuss your said topic. The current structure leads peopel with any idea in their head to find some post near the top of the forum and just contribute whatever the hell they have on their minds just to get heard and get a response. People will scramble for replies in this way because the structure of the forum page kind of encourages it to get noticed. If material were more categorized then this affect could be diminished substantially.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 7 years ago

Please realize that you're not the first person to bring up these criticisms of this site. That's what I'm trying to tell you. You're under the false impression for some reason that the people who built this site for you want it to be more organized. Just like the hundreds of people before you with the same criticisms.

[-] -2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Our macro economy is centrally planned. Don't worry, the administration, the Fed, and Goldman know what to do.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

News flash pretty well every economy has a centrally planned component.

[-] 1 points by hork (40) 7 years ago

I don't know if a country exists that doesn't have an administration in their government involved in economic planning. Your language is too vague.

[-] -2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

The vampire squid knows no bounds.