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ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: DEUS EX

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Ok, so I'm a little late to the party having just got back from vacation, but I feel as a DC lobbyist or lobbyist in training I have some insight into the political aspects of this game and RGD.

 

First, in regards to what you said about money controlling the outcomes of elections, that's often true, but you have to consider that the person with the most resources is often the person with the most compelling case for the job. People, corporations, and yes interest groups will contribute to that person if they seem the most qualified, but still that doesn't guarantee them to win.

I'd say it's more skewed than that. In order for most candidates to have a fighting chance, they need the most funding, so that means platforms that appeal to those with money to burn. I saw a video on this concept not too long ago:

 

 

The summary is that candidates essentially need to appeal to wealthy interests to a degree before even entering a general election, otherwise they simply can't get the exposure.

 

Ross, you come dangerously close to telling people their votes don't matter in this episode and in a democracy that's rarely the case.
It's a conundrum in a way. The people absolutely have the POTENTIAL power to get anyone they want in or out of office, but I think the reality is that the majority of voters are drastically influenced by large media influences like TV, radio, etc. So if those have any sort of narrative or topics they avoid or promote, that's really what determines our range of possibilities. I really do think we have a detachment of our officials from what I consider our most important problems because we don't have very good representation. This is definitely a theme in Deus Ex (maybe even moreso in Invisible War). I mean in your example, 90,000 votes can absolutely swing some elections, but what if neither candidate is addressing the problems that will affect people the most? I'm not saying each candidate would be identical, but again, we have a lot of limits as to our range of possibilites under our existign system. So it's not that I'm trying to say your vote doesn't matter, it's more like I wanted to try to look more at how our current system is operating. Hell, the framers of the constitution thought a well informed electorate was necessary for democracy and I felt like Deus Ex was trying to give hints as to informing the masses.

 

Also, getting back to money deciding elections, going over to the Republican's side, their primary was won by one of the worst financed candidates, Donald Trump, who despite his background ran on a very populist, anti-business platform, for a Republican anyway. Meanwhile Jeb Bush, one of the best financed candidates with numerous corporate and special interest ties, was crushed in the elections.
Well first off, those are just the primaries, so the voterbase is going to have a more uniform range of views than you would in a general election. Second, both the democrats and the republicans are currently undergoing some sort of transformation as there is a lot of dissent against traditional establishment. We're definitely in a transition, what I was talking about the video I think is much truer for the past few decades. Where we're going is anyone's game, though well funded interests certainly aren't going to take things lying down. Third, even for being lesser funded, Trump has had a significant amount of funds entering the race. In other words, if he didn't have the existing funds to begin with, he likely never would have been a nominee. So in this instance, it's more of a case of the underdog rich guy showing up the big rich guys. And hey 91% is not a guarantee, it's just a very clear trend.

 

Now, in regards to your diagram of politicians, corporations, and lobbyists, which we call the Iron Triangle, is a gross over simplification of what we do.
It absolutely is, I was just trying not to go on any longer than I had to with this episode. I would argue lobbying for a labor union is very different than lobbying for Monsanto or Shell. One thing I didn't really mention was revolving door politics. Currently 50% of senators and 42% of congressman go into lobbying after their career. In 1974, it was more like 3% of congress. There is much incentive to do so. Apparently the AVERAGE pay increase is approximately 1500% over being a politician:

 

https://www.thenation.com/article/when-congressman-becomes-lobbyist-he-gets-1452-percent-raise-average/

 

The lines between wealthy or business interests and government is increasingly blurred. I think we're in a state of regulatory capture now in many ways. Now this doesn't mean every special interest group is a bad thing, however it does mean you need a certain amount of money to sit at the table in influencing policy, which has a large effect on how it's determined.

 

Although I represent one of the Labor Unions and not an interest group with corporate ties, I will point out that what I spend most my time doing is meeting with representatives, or more often their staff, and INFORMING them about bills and legislation that pertain to labor and the economy in general. Politicians can never be an expert on everything or even most issues, so they rely on us to educate them. My group doesn't give money to every representative or candidate we work with, and when we do they're typically $5,000 contributions, which is a drop in the bucket for most politicians on the federal level, and on the state level they get far less attention from the media and far less money from corporations.
This doesn't really run contrary to what I was trying to say, you're working in order to have a voice at the table, which takes money now. I would argue Congress is largely detached from the average voter and instead is only affected by groups like yours. Some of these DO represent the interests of common people, many of them do not.

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Although I represent one of the Labor Unions and not an interest group with corporate ties, I will point out that what I spend most my time doing is meeting with representatives, or more often their staff, and INFORMING them about bills and legislation that pertain to labor and the economy in general. Politicians can never be an expert on everything or even most issues, so they rely on us to educate them. My group doesn't give money to every representative or candidate we work with, and when we do they're typically $5,000 contributions, which is a drop in the bucket for most politicians on the federal level, and on the state level they get far less attention from the media and far less money from corporations.
This doesn't really run contrary to what I was trying to say, you're working in order to have a voice at the table, which takes money now. I would argue Congress is largely detached from the average voter and instead is only affected by groups like yours. Some of these DO represent the interests of common people, many of them do not.

 

Lobbying is basically the legal corruption if you ask me... Often it has nothing to do with the actual people and improvement of their quality of life.

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This is a blog post. To read the original post, please click here »

 

 

 

Deus Ex! While I knew this one was going to take a while, I seriously wasn't prepared for how much this one was going to put me through the wringer. I think I've probably put more time in on this episode than any other Game Dungeon, there were just so many parts to cover. I really have been working around the clock on this for I'm not even sure how long now. My original plan was to have all three Deus Ex games covered before the new one comes out, but I can see now that won't be possible, but I still plan to finish them and will get them out as soon as I can. I can say with certainty the next two will be shorter overall and likely lighter in tone. This episode got more serious than I normally like to get for Game Dungeon, but come on, it's Deus Ex. Next episode coming semi-soon!

 

COMMENTS

There's a lot of disagreeable things in this video, but I'll just stick to one particular point. Ross makes a point to mention that wages have been decreasing as a percentage of GDP, and uses this as evidence that the globalist corporations are draining wealth to the top. If I recall correctly, I debunked this exact same myth several months ago when he brought it up in another form (saying wages haven't kept pace with overall productivity increases) by pointing out, among other things, the deliberate exclusion of non-wage benefits in the chart he was using, which have risen massively in the past 40 years. Ross simply responded that he didn't study such things and that what I was saying sounded like gibberish; which is fine. However, I do have to get a bit annoyed when he proceeds to make another video mentioning this subject and repeats the same myth using the same fallacious logic (excluding non-wage compensation).

 

In case the argument I made earlier was really that poorly put/difficult to understand/whatever, here's a video that I think quickly sums up the whole issue in plain and simple terms:

fHm7P4TA97U

tl;dr: actual compensation has risen more or less proportionally with productivity increases.

 

Now, on using percentages of GDP to see what people 'should' be paid: this is also fallacious. Corporate profits and worker compensation should be measured as a percent of corporate income, not the economy as a whole, because the GDP is not increasing solely on the back of corporate profits. Federal government spending in general as a percentage of the GDP has increased quite a lot, for example. To relate to another one of Ross's points, defense spending as a percentage of GDP has been generally decreasing since the Cold War started, so you can't say that all that GDP is going to the "military-industrial complex" either. In the 21st century in general, defense spending is lower than it has been at any time since WW2 ended, except for the brief period between then and the start of the Cold War where the Americans genuinely thought that Uncle Joe would be their bust bud.

 

Governemnt%2BSpending%2Bas%2BPercent%2Bof%2BGDP%2B-%2BTotal.png

D5640DC5EFFC0F7C3EED5D4893C0D5B0.gif

Anyway, when we measure employee compensation (not wages) as a percentage corporate profits (not the whole country's GDP), we get this result:

IBJtGWE.jpg

Employee compensation as a percentage of corporate income has consistently stayed at 10-13%. Currently it is much higher than it was in 1970, and just about the highest it has ever been- the exact opposite of what Ross claimed (I put a thin black line on the picture to make that more noticeable). And overall standard of living, of course, has increased massively, just as productivity has. So yeah, there's no dystopia here.

 

To relate this back to Deus Ex, I don't think there's another level to Deus Ex either. It's a hackneyed, stock, sci-fi plot that cherrypicks a handful of statistics out of context to lend its story some credibility. Really no deeper than any cyberpunk dystopia story with an evil corporate or government villain. It's still a fun game, though.

 

EDIT: As a bonus, Ross also tries to use the progressively lowering corporate tax rate as evidence that the rich are gaining more power at the expense of the common man. Someone better go tell that to the anarcho-capitalist hellholes of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Pages 173-175 the World Bank and International Finance Commission's report puts the effective corporate tax rate of the USA at 27.9%. By contrast:

 

Denmark: 20.3%

Sweden: 16.1%

Norway: 24.8%

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This is a blog post. To read the original post, please click here »

 

 

 

Deus Ex! While I knew this one was going to take a while, I seriously wasn't prepared for how much this one was going to put me through the wringer. I think I've probably put more time in on this episode than any other Game Dungeon, there were just so many parts to cover. I really have been working around the clock on this for I'm not even sure how long now. My original plan was to have all three Deus Ex games covered before the new one comes out, but I can see now that won't be possible, but I still plan to finish them and will get them out as soon as I can. I can say with certainty the next two will be shorter overall and likely lighter in tone. This episode got more serious than I normally like to get for Game Dungeon, but come on, it's Deus Ex. Next episode coming semi-soon!

 

COMMENTS

There's a lot of disagreeable things in this video, but I'll just stick to one particular point. Ross makes a point to mention that wages have been decreasing as a percentage of GDP, and uses this as evidence that the globalist corporations are draining wealth to the top. If I recall correctly, I debunked this exact same myth several months ago when he brought it up in another form (saying wages haven't kept pace with overall productivity increases) by pointing out, among other things, the deliberate exclusion of non-wage benefits in the chart he was using, which have risen massively in the past 40 years. Ross simply responded that he didn't study such things and that what I was saying sounded like gibberish; which is fine. However, I do have to get a bit annoyed when he proceeds to make another video mentioning this subject and repeats the same myth using the same fallacious logic (excluding non-wage compensation).

 

In case the argument I made earlier was really that poorly put/difficult to understand/whatever, here's a video that I think quickly sums up the whole issue in plain and simple terms:

fHm7P4TA97U

tl;dr: actual compensation has risen more or less proportionally with productivity increases.

 

Now, on using percentages of GDP to see what people 'should' be paid: this is also fallacious. Corporate profits and worker compensation should be measured as a percent of corporate income, not the economy as a whole, because the GDP is not increasing solely on the back of corporate profits. Federal government spending in general as a percentage of the GDP has increased quite a lot, for example. To relate to another one of Ross's points, defense spending as a percentage of GDP has been generally decreasing since the Cold War started, so you can't say that all that GDP is going to the "military-industrial complex" either. In the 21st century in general, defense spending is lower than it has been at any time since WW2 ended, except for the brief period between then and the start of the Cold War where the Americans genuinely thought that Uncle Joe would be their bust bud.

 

Governemnt%2BSpending%2Bas%2BPercent%2Bof%2BGDP%2B-%2BTotal.png

D5640DC5EFFC0F7C3EED5D4893C0D5B0.gif

Anyway, when we measure employee compensation (not wages) as a percentage corporate profits (not the whole country's GDP), we get this result:

IBJtGWE.jpg

Employee compensation as a percentage of corporate income has consistently stayed at 10-13%. Currently it is much higher than it was in 1970, and just about the highest it has ever been- the exact opposite of what Ross claimed (I put a thin black line on the picture to make that more noticeable). And overall standard of living, of course, has increased massively, just as productivity has. So yeah, there's no dystopia here.

 

To relate this back to Deus Ex, I don't think there's another level to Deus Ex either. It's a hackneyed, stock, sci-fi plot that cherrypicks a handful of statistics out of context to lend its story some credibility. Really no deeper than any cyberpunk dystopia story with an evil corporate or government villain. It's still a fun game, though.

 

EDIT: As a bonus, Ross also tries to use the progressively lowering corporate tax rate as evidence that the rich are gaining more power at the expense of the common man. Someone better go tell that to the anarcho-capitalist hellholes of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Pages 173-175 the World Bank and International Finance Commission's report puts the effective corporate tax rate of the USA at 27.9%. By contrast:

 

Denmark: 20.3%

Sweden: 16.1%

Norway: 24.8%

 

I like my "compensation" to be money though, I don't know about anyone else.

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Okay, apparently someone made Russian subtitles for Deus Ex episodes of Game Dungeon, independently from this site. It covers all three episodes, and while there are some translation mistakes here and there, it's pretty much accurate

Here is the first episode, and I'm putting it here, because I have no idea where else to put this

 

5xq8sH_xpPg

 

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To everyone interested in it, a fan improvement to Deus Ex called GMDX has been recently released. It includes bug fixing, improvements to gun play and AI, graphics and audio improvements, and much more. Most of the things it fixes have been mentioned in Ross's video - for instance, you don't jump like an old lady anymore because now you can mantle objects.

I think it's a straight-up improvement to the original game, which is a tall claim it being called the greatest game of all time. Regardless if you agree (or capable of agreeing) with that claim, I highly recommend everyone to check it out. It even fixes Leo Gold's hair color to "black" instead of "none".

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