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  • in reply to: Praising stock market milestones #4550
    jmc

      Jonathan, I agree with the CasP interpretation of what the stock market represents. I think the motivation behind my post was to think about the reasons for a politician to openly celebrate a stock market increase. There are ideological dimensions–some held by the politician and some held by the public.

      From the politician side: Is an elected politician–Trump or otherwise–transparently celebrating the capitalist mode of power? Or are some mistakenly assuming that a stock market increase is a good barometer of economic well-being? Does it matter what they believe?

      From the public side: Does the figure you present have argumentative force on its own? Or is it likely that without a deeper re-think of what capital is, the public will misunderstand or skew the meaning of the figure you present? If I had to guess, the general audience can dislike Trump talking about the stock market, but they are also not re-conceptualizing why someone would refer to stock market gains.

      in reply to: Intellectual property and the capitalist share of income #4538
      jmc

        Something like that, Max? You essentially want it as a post in the thread, and not simply a reply to Jonathan’s post.

        in reply to: Is rent a useful concept? #4523
        jmc

          The analysis I’m doing is trying to identify where the revenue that flows through a corporation ends up. I’m not focused on what is happening with the recipients. Part of the revenue is used to buyback shares and that money flows to the asset owners, while the company gains back a portion of its outstanding shares.

          I’m admittedly a novice on the accounting practices of national accounting. But I am curious why the “Owners v. Corporations” chart has rental income on the owners side, when it can technically include landlords who do not have rental income travel through a corporation. If rental income is counted on the assumption that corporations rent some of their properties to others, this is how the BEA explains the definition:

          Rental income of persons is the net income of persons from the rental of property. It consists of the net income from the rental of tenant-occupied housing by persons, the imputed net income from the housing services of owner-occupied housing, and the royalty income of persons from patents, copyrights, and rights to natural resources. It does not include the net income from rental of tenant-occupied housing by corporations (which is included in corporate profits) or by partnerships and sole proprietors (which is included in proprietors’ income). Like other measures of income in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs), rental income of persons measures income from current production and excludes capital gains or losses resulting from changes in the prices of existing assets.

          If the intention is to naively look at the flow of profits (before economics defines what is rent or not), your case can be made with undistributed v. dividends. In the United States, at least, the ratio of dividends/undistributed profits has tended to increase since the 1980s.

          • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by jmc.
          • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by jmc.
          • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by jmc.
          • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by jmc.
          in reply to: Blair Fix on the wording of mainstream economics #4456
          jmc

            Great read! I particularly liked the step-by-step reveal of what cannot be said in neo-classical language. Like Blair’s experience, I was made to think a lot about the significance of the prefix “anti-“. The removal of it is such a simple way to make oppositions in ideology look harmless and to model a world where individual reason is free to calculate gains in utility.

            Also, when I think of neo-classical word choice, I think of Gang of Four, who used it for a song title:

            • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by jmc.
            • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by jmc.
            in reply to: Capital as Power Essay Prize #4420
            jmc

              Thanks for the info, Blair. Past winners have produced top-notch work!

              in reply to: Web scraping data #4302
              jmc

                A time-consuming aspect of web scrapping is figuring out how you will capture the pages you want. In the case of World Prison Brief, there is a side bar that is allowing the user to go from country to country, or region by region.

                Code can be written to find all of the pages in the html.

                • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by jmc.
                • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by jmc.
                • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by jmc.
                in reply to: Web scraping data #4110
                jmc

                  Knowing a bit about data frames is useful because when you pass an html page through pandas you are only a few steps from a data frame. Essentially, pandas is already looking for the tables in a website. BeautifulSoup is better when you want to be able to look for anything.

                  A website like WPB will not give you a clean scrape. Rather your html tables come out as an ugly. But, let me show a comparison of how far you can get with a few lines of code. The country in the example is Tanzania.

                  We do not have a nice data frame yet, but you can see that, for our purposes, pandas is taking a short path to getting the data points within a table.

                  in reply to: Web scraping data #4109
                  jmc

                    Intriguing, James. Can you elaborate on the code you are using and explain a bit more on what the chart shows?

                    I’ll post in steps.

                    The code was not too difficult, but it is likely that the scraped website determines the complexity. I also believe that you have to be willing to find a pattern to iterate across different pages. For example, simple code will break if it says to look for 1998 data and one page does not have it.

                    I was working in Python. A Python typical library for web scraping is BeautifulSoup. I am finding that pandas is easier, as my goal is to have to have a data frame of prison data.

                    For those who are unfamiliar with data frames, they are popular data structures in R, python and other coding languages. Very long story short: they function a lot like Excel data, where you can edit cells but you can also apply functions across rows and columns. Here is me loading into a data frame a csv that is close to what I attached above:

                    Depending on the software you are using, you can look at the data frame just like an Excel sheet. My preference is to make quick checks that everything is OK. Here is me wanting to see the first 10 rows of the data frame:

                     

                     

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