2 thoughts on “The Visual Du Jour – Again…

  1. We are good at citing, and bemoaning such social conditions,– and horrors, such as genocides — but impotent at predicting, preventing and/or influencing them. Why? Because, in Sociology, we lack the tools of a Basic Science. We don’t need to remain so impotent. Hence, my effort to jump start a more viable science about Social Space.

  2. @Fred Katz

    I would disagree that “we” are impotent at predicting such conditions, or that “we” are even impotent at preventing or influencing them.

    First of all, arguably the greatest sociologist of all time, Karl Marx predicted EXACTLY these conditions, over 150 years ago, and the unfolding of these conditions has pretty much followed exactly the process that he outlined.

    Secondly, the world has seen numerous major revolutions of various anti-capitalist forms over the past 100 years intended to address exactly these conditions. Now granted some, or perhaps even many, of those revolutions have either backfired or been overtaken by dictators, etc., but the revolutions took place.

    Thirdly, these conditions don’t exist in many of the world’s major economies, such as Japan and much of Europe, particularly the Scandinavian countries and even France and Germany.

    And to say that social scientists around the world haven’t made use of the basic tools of science is an absurd notion. The conditions of inequality in America, and the rest of the Anglo-Saxon world, don’t reflect a lack of understanding of the forces at work, but rather a lack of political and economic power by those who understand them, which is itself predictable by anyone who has an understanding of the nature of capitalism.

    This is all imminently predictable, the fact is that American capitalists have been waging class war for 100 years in this country, and specifically since the end of WWII any social scientist (and yes economics is a social science, much as economists wouldn’t like to acknowledge that fact) who was not aligned with capitalist interests was ostracized and eliminated by the establishment, with very few exceptions, such as Chomsky, etc.

    American economics is an absolute joke, it is completely overtaken by propaganda and false assumptions. It not even approached in a remotely sensible manner and the fundamentals aren’t even taught. Economics in America is taught as a mathematical discipline, when in fact math is only a tiny component of economics.

    Economics really is to the social sciences as ecology is to the hard sciences. Ecology is the collective application of all of the hard sciences together, biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Economics is really the application of sociology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and mathematics, and really economics is 75% sociology, psychology and anthropology, 15% philosophy, and only about 10% math, but in America its taught as 90% math and 10% philosophy, with a whole host of (wrong) sociological, psychological, anthropological, and philosophical assumptions baked in and never questioned.

    As for a general comment. Note that this is referring to household income and the number of workers per household has increased dramatically over this period of time at all levels. If you were to look at individual income you would see a drop in the 50th percentile over time, not the slight increase we see here.

    Also note, however, that much of the increase in the 90th percentile is itself ALSO due to an increase in the number of workers per household. Indeed I believe the increases at all percentiles below the 99th percentile are due to increasing numbers of workers per household.

    Also, to be fair, it is likely that the 10th percentile is, and has always been, composed primarily of non-workers, the elderly, disabled, and chronically out of work (ex-convicts, etc.) so the incomes of the 10th percentile are likely to heavily come from government transfers.

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