Re: Two Types of Distributions Found In Nature



That gives you an average of the rates, taken across individuals. Another mean is sum(f(x))/sum(x), the weighted average, which gives you the mean across x, and allows for x=0. Mathematically fine, but meaningless in Bret's little ditty, since so many folks, as you and I agree, are in the x=0 category, for which f(x)/x is undefined.
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But we can perform a kind of renormalization such that 0=1 hour. Surely one must spend at least that much time "earning every penny", as Massah Weiss likes to say, of one's trust fund income.
-tg

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The above is silly. Suppose one has the total sum and the sample size and the reported. Then, to calculate the mean, one takes the quotient.

The above is poorly expressed. People that do no labor obviously are not in the population for which the mean wage per hour is calculated. This doesn't imply the mean wage per hour is undefined.
Perhaps Andy's point is that Bret's numerator isn't the sum of wages, but includes more. I made that point on 30 October:
http://tinyurl.com/ypcgnc
That is, perhaps Bret is reporting roughly the mean value added per hour, not the mean wage per hour. The mean value added per hour has also been called, by some economists, the Monetary Expression of Labor Time. Bret's statistic is rough because to calculate the MELT, one would want to subtract out depreciation and perhaps make some further adjustments.
Bret also seems to accept, maybe only for the sake of argument, lies economists like Mankiw tell. One's wage is not a reward for working hard or being intelligent.
Maybe Andy's point is that workers cannot directly receive the value-added by their labor. Deductions from that value-added include, for example, "reserve or insurance funds to provide against accidents, dislocations caused by natural calamities, etc.", "that which is intended for the common satisfaction of needs, such as schools, health services, etc.", and "funds for those unable to work, etc.". But that point has nothing to do with the arithmetic of how one calculates a mean.
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Some here were trying to change the issue from _income_ to wages.
What next? Changing the issue to farm wages?
Farm wages may be a very fine topic for discussion but here we are discussing the more general term income.
Wages are only a part of income.

I would never -- I repeat NEVER -- say anything to cause rightards to scream bloody murder, to flame 'n dodge.

Now you did it. They will all be flaming you now, from the "liberal" [corp. sponsored] elitists at the _NY Times_ to the disreputable "market" economists at Hoover, Heritage, Am. Enterprise, Cato, the Chicago School, etc.

It's his unwitting point.

That's why the "market" economist apologists look so ridiculous on sci.math groups.
Bret Cahill
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No. The ratio of the mean to the median is one indicator of how skewed to the rich that distribution is.
(There are other statistics for testing for non-normal distribution. I happen to have the privilege of being among the first few to implement the Ozturk's statistic in computer code.)
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It's nothing short of amazing how many sheeple will, upon no basis whatsoever, parrot the nonsense that average mean income is a meaningless number.
I've seen that on previous posts on this issue.
How is the oligarchy doing it?

Don't confuse the rightards.
Bret Cahill
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wrote:>> Here's why: unlike many variables (strength of carbon fibers, for

Ozturk's method wouldn't seem to help here because the data instances are so close. Settle for the ratio. But then, we don't have the data!
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On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 19:35:46 +0000, Lars Eighner wrote:

Huh?
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If you don't want to discuss a quantity, just declare it meaningless.
Bret Cahill
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That's a stretch. One may find median to be a more useful statistic, but mean is far from useless--it can give good information when you understand the shape of the curve, or it can be useful for misleading and inflaming passions if the nature of the curve is not understood.
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The mean represents a "distinction with a "difference" that being a notable frequency along a distributional gradient. Many people from some trades have a wage that is situated along a frequency relationship and share a limited range of wages compared to other trades.
In mathematics and statistics, the arithmetic mean (or simply the mean) of a list of numbers is the sum of all the members of the list divided by the number of items in the list. The arithmetic mean is what students are taught very early to call the "average". If the list is a statistical population, then the mean of that population is called a population mean. If the list is a statistical sample, we call the resulting statistic a sample mean.
When the mean is not an accurate estimate of the median, the list of numbers, or frequency distribution, is said to be skewed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arithmetic_mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_conflict

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False.
Most mainstream economists make no effort to keep up on the philosophy, methodology, or sociology of science. If they did, they would know how naive the following distinction would sound to many:

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The ones who post here on economics are naive or weak minded.
The professional "market" economists, however, are completely disreputable and anyone can prove it to himself.
Virtually every outspoken economist at Hoover, Heritage, Am. Enterprise, Cato, the Chicago School, von Mises Inst., etc., will dodge a simple question fundamental to free marketry:
"Does free speech precede each and every free trade?"
The answer is a self evident truth. No math is even required.
The issue would be a great way to promote free markets as well as free speech yet our outspoken "market" economists will always become deafeningly quiet on the matter.
Why?
Our outspoken "market" economists aren't paid to support free markets.
They are paid to disable free markets.
So our outspoken economists have three choices when presented with the question:
1. agree with the self evident truth and get a lower paying job in the productive sector
2. disagree with a self evident truth and be ridiculed and then get a lower paying job in the productive sector
3. dodge an issue fundamental to free marketry (the slow death approach)
Bret Cahill
"If monied interests pay economists to dodge issues fundamental to free markets, next thing you know, we have a lot of economists dodging issues fundamental to free markets."
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When all else fails Brat repeats his mantra.
No one knows what the fuck he means by it or what precise indictment he is leveling but that is part of its purpose, since Brat clearly has a virtually zero grasp of economics (that is almost a given if someone cites a crackpot like Henry George as someone to be taken seriously).
Even more to the point, observe how Brat and his cohorts have been unable to effectively address a single one of the main points in this thread. All we've gotten is foaming at the mouth at the supposed injustice of there being rich people intertwined with some irrelevant babble about "mean" and "median". One has to wonder if these people have - like Rip Van Winkle - being asleep for the last 20-30yrs and are therefore unaware that Marxism and all of its underlying assumptions has been thoroughly discredited.
It's been a long, long time since it's been a purely theoretical issue. The concrete evidence is simply overwhelming both in the total disaster of communism and all of its socialist variants but also in the clear success of capitalism in the re-emerging countries of E. Europe and elsewhere, e.g. Ireland. But they are oblivious as if they were sleep-walkers intoning tired old slogans.
Fred Weiss
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Your "Rip Van Winkle" remark below suggests enlightenment is making progress against the ignorance, cowardlice, sloth and dogma of Randroidism in this thread.

The truth is worth repeating. There may still be some people out there who don't know how to discredit "market" economists with a simple question.
> No one knows
Oh, they know. They heard it on the GOP faxvine. That's why _all_ of them will dodge the exact same way.
If any "market" economist touches the question he will be working for much less pay in the productive sector.
Just because you are out of the loop doesn't mean the professionals haven't been warned.
. . .

I have no cohorts. As Henrik Ibsen wrote, "he is the strongest man in the world who stands alone."
Don't get into a snit just because the shrinking minority of rightards who agree with looneytarian boiler plate is now so small and isolated that the GOP abandoned it for creationism and jingoism.

The issue of this thread is very limited:
There only one distribution in Nature where average mean cannot be openly discussed.

OK, that's the issue:
Why are the averages "mean" and "median" irrelevant in only one distribution?
Bret Cahill
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Still waiting to hear about what that distribution in Nature is.

Uh, Oh! It seems to be getting worse. At first it was only discussion of the mean that was causing you to hear voices. Is discussion of the median now having the same effect?
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Someone suggested sumthin' about weathermen predicting rain but I could never figger out how the ave. mean was less important than the median in that example.

OK, smarty pants, _you_ try to keep the Randroid on topic.
Whenever I say anything about ave. mean income he calls me a smelly pinko Maoist Marxist Stalinist.
Bret Cahill
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Yes, it was clear that you couldn't figure that out. So what was the distribution from Nature that you were thinking of?
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So who is privately funding fusion research, Fred?
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Is that one of the "main points" of the thread, Izzy?
And in any case, what's your point?
Fred Weiss
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