My Objections to Libertarianism

Strafio
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My Objections to Libertarianism

I originally posted something similar in another thread, but that thread had already died off so I didn't get any responses.
The purpose of this thread is to outline my understanding of what Libertarians support and why I object to it.
People will either point out that I'm attacking a strawman and correct my understanding, or perhaps just debate my points.
Either way it should be interesting.

 

My understanding of Libertarianism.

They're looking for a huge reduction in government and in regulation on business.
I think some go as far as to wipe away almost all laws except that those that protect property rights and those that prevent violence and coercion. Some go as far as to say that this should be done through private companies rather than through state organisation. They're usually against state run healthcare, welfare and believe that even standards (e.g. fire safety standards that a landlord is required to meet in order to rent out a house) should be enforced by private companies rather than through state governed law. Maybe these are just the extremes I've come across but this is the general impression I have gotten. Feel free to correct me where you disagree.

 

My objections to Libertarianism.

1) For a person to have a fighting chance of making it in the world, they need the right start.
This person needs a stable upbringing with education, healthcare, nutrition and a reasonably stress free atmostphere. People brought up below the poverty line do not have this. Libertarianism appears to leave disadvantaged people to rot rather than provide what they need for a fair opportunity. I have heard others point out that they would still donate to charity, just out of choice rather than being coerced. My objections to that argument would be:
a) Most charities campaign for a change in government law or policy in order to provide stable long term benefits. e.g. Shelter Charities themselves are not long term solutions.
b) The law provides systems in an automatic way that doesn't require each individual to think and make the decision to do something. Instead, everyone automatically pays a subscription and it's sorted out by the system.

2) Opportunities are limited. Career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom.
It's not a case of, "anyone who works hard can make it" - there will always be people at the bottom. These people need atleast a minimal standard of living; a wage that will cover the necessities with a little left over for minimal luxuries. This is generally called a "living wage" - the minimum wage required to provide a person with the means to live a healthy, rounded life. This would give them a comfortable base to perhaps try and improve their lot should they decide they want to improve their life further. Libertarianism seems to accept that people at the bottom of the pile should only get what their company can get away with paying them.

3) Without state laws, how will cheating and corruption be prevented?
Libertarianism seems to claim that if we let business just run then it will manage itself. Like any activity in life, people can "cheat" in business and play dirty. Those with money and power can use this to manipulate those with less power into accepting unfair deals. Fairness requires laws and regulations to prevent such cheating and foul play. If laws are to be enforced by private companies, what safeguards would there be to stop these profit-driven entities from putting earnings above principles?

 

These are my objections to libertarianism as it is commonly presented to me.
I get the impression that many right wing libertarians want to promote the freedom of the businessman above the freedoms of working people.
That said, I may just have misunderstood certain points or I may have mistaken more radical views for being mainstream.
If anyone would like to discuss my points I'd be interested to hear.


Jeffrick
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I will try this.

 

 

 

                  I don't think  I responded to the first version of this post;  but..............

 

 

                 I am a true conservative:   I like small government,   low taxes,  and a very balanced budget.  Pay off the national debt and reap the rewards of NOT paying interest charges.

 

 

                 Whomb thou-ist sleep-ith with is only of thou's buisness an NOT of anyone else's-ith.  A true conservative would NOT think of infringing upon the civil rights nor social aspirations of others. A true conseraitive would NOT  and  COULD NOT  consider race nor religion nor previous conditions of servitude,  before making a judgement

                 A true conservative could NOT sit in Judgement without sanction from the body politic.  Then look out!!!!

 

 

                

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

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Jormungander
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As a self-described

As a self-described libertarian, let me chime in on this. I hope you don't mind if I respond sentence by sentence.

 

Strafio wrote:

They're looking for a huge reduction in government

Yes

Strafio wrote:

and in regulation on business.

Opinions are mixed on that point. But, in general, yes. "There should be consumer protection laws" is the sentiment that I have gathered as being the libertarian norm. Anarcho-capitalists who wrongly call themselves 'libertarians' will disagree.

 

Strafio wrote:

I think some go as far as to wipe away almost all laws except that those that protect property rights and those that prevent violence and coercion. Some go as far as to say that this should be done through private companies rather than through state organization.

I once met a man who advocated that while attending a libertarian meeting at my university. The libertarians there all claimed that he was an anarchist and was NOT one of us. But, some people who claim to be libertarians do claim that.

 

Strafio wrote:

They're usually against state run healthcare, welfare

Yep.

 

Strafio wrote:

and believe that even standards (e.g. fire safety standards that a landlord is required to meet in order to rent out a house) should be enforced by private companies rather than through state governed law.

Nope. I have personally met libertarians who were in favor of consumer protection laws such as building codes, OSHA and the FDA. Anarcho-capitalists are the kind of anarchist that you are describing. I have notice anarchists claiming that they are libertarians. That muddles the issues a bit.

 

Strafio wrote:

Maybe these are just the extremes I've come across but this is the general impression I have gotten. Feel free to correct me where you disagree.

Those would be anarchist who like to use the word 'libertarian' a lot. That's not the kind of libertarian that I happen to be, but it is the kind that others claim they are. I would not say that you are wrong. I would merely say that there are incompatible views as to what constitutes libertarianism. Minarchists and anarchists disagree on a lot of issues. I am a minarchist, so I will be speaking only from that perspective.

 

Strafio wrote:

This person needs a stable upbringing with education, healthcare, nutrition and a reasonably stress free atmostphere. People brought up below the poverty line do not have this.

I am below the poverty line. But, our poverty line is so extremely high that I have virtually all material possessions that I want and I am in grad school. Look at statistics of the kinds of things that most households below the poverty line have. Muliple TVs, multiple cars, cable, broadband internet, the list goes on... Most of those people are not poor in my opinion. They eat every day, they are always warm and dry when they sleep, they have multiple needless electronic possessions that only serve as entertainment... Those people live in senseless decadence (averaging more than one TV per household?, what a senseless waste of resources for supposedly 'poor' people) and wrongly think that they are poor. They are have an extremely high standard of living.

Also, I support free education. I think that 'a resonably stress free atmosphere' is something that is beyond the government's scope to deal with.

 

Strafio wrote:

2) Opportunities are limited. Career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom.
It's not a case of, "anyone who works hard can make it" - there will always be people at the bottom.

Yep.


Strafio wrote:

These people need atleast a minimal standard of living; a wage that will cover the necessities with a little left over for minimal luxuries.

Look at what most households below our poverty line own. They live in a level of decadence that most people can only dream of. There is no lack of luxury for our so-called 'poor'.

 

Strafio wrote:

This is generally called a "living wage" - the minimum wage required to provide a person with the means to live a healthy, rounded life. This would give them a comfortable base to perhaps try and improve their lot should they decide they want to improve their life further.

I am very much against a 'living wage.' The wage that one can live comfortably on should be much higher than the minimum. The minimum wage is what 16 year olds earn to do menial labor. If someone wants to earn more, then they need to get a job that an untrained 16 year old can't do. If their job can be done by almost anyone with almost no training, then they shouldn't live in comfort and luxury. But, unfortunately, they probably will anyways. When I worked minimum wage jobs, there were middle aged people there working besides me. They deserve to live in so-called 'poverty.' If I, as an untrained and largely unmotivated 16 year old, could do their job, then they don't deserve to live in luxury. I'll be damned if they are payed a 'living wage' and get to live in great comfort as a reward for their refusal to do a job that demands more than what any untrained teenager can do.

 

Strafio wrote:

Libertarianism seems to accept that people at the bottom of the pile should only get what their company can get away with paying them.

"Get away with"? The company and each individual employee will work out some kind of payment plan. The employees will take as much as they can 'get away with' in the same sense that the company will pay as little as they can 'get away with.' This isn't a libertarian view of things. That's how wages work in the US. I wouldn't paint libertarians as the proponents of that view since our ('our' meaning 'United States') politicians have made that official policy. The only exception is the minimum wage that is rightfully well below the living wage and unions that are being destroyed by companies, their own traitorous leadership and by the anti-union NLRB.

 

Strafio wrote:

Without state laws, how will cheating and corruption be prevented?
Libertarianism seems to claim that if we let business just run then it will manage itself.

Nope. Cheating and corruption are combated by laws against it. Libertarians have no problem with that. Even the anarcho-capitalist deontology denounces fraud as one of the fundamentally evil things that a person can do.

 

Strafio wrote:

Like any activity in life, people can "cheat" in business and play dirty. Those with money and power can use this to manipulate those with less power into accepting unfair deals.

Yep. But even the most hardcore anarcho-capitalist wants outright cheating prevented by some process. I am wary of the word 'fair' since it seems to be a euphemism for punishing success. Life isn't fair, stop trying to get the government to shoe-horn fairness into economic situations.

 

Strafio wrote:

I get the impression that many right wing libertarians want to promote the freedom of the businessman above the freedoms of working people.

We want workers to have the same legal freedoms that businessmen have. I suspect that non-libertarian want laws to punish sucessful businessmen and stack the deck against them when it comes to their dealings with workers.

 

Strafio wrote:

That said, I may just have misunderstood certain points or I may have mistaken more radical views for being mainstream.

Kind of, but those extreme people do claim to be libertarians. We just need to distinguish between anarcho-capitalists and minarchists. And for that matter, the minarchists are split between the right (paleo-libertarian) and left leaning ones. I think that paleo-libertarian/hard-core conservative libetarians are what most people think of libertarians as being. There are leftist libertarians. They are just inexplicably ignored in all this. I wish that more liberals would stop supporting the big-government liberals. I hate having to vote for conservatives simply because all liberal politicians are proud of their love of an overbearing and bloated government.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


EXC
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I am someone who has been

I am someone who has been accused of being an extreme libertarian, a communist and a right wing nut job. So I don't know how you should classify me, but here's my take.

 

Strafio wrote:

I originally posted something similar in another thread, but that thread had already died off so I didn't get any responses.
The purpose of this thread is to outline my understanding of what Libertarians support and why I object to it.
People will either point out that I'm attacking a strawman and correct my understanding, or perhaps just debate my points.
Either way it should be interesting.

 

My understanding of Libertarianism.

They're looking for a huge reduction in government and in regulation on business.
I think some go as far as to wipe away almost all laws except that those that protect property rights and those that prevent violence and coercion. Some go as far as to say that this should be done through private companies rather than through state organisation.

 

I would call it more self regulation. Where people in a particular industry need to pay for their own regulation and security and not burden other people with the cost of their activities. For example, banking and investment, many people never have much of a need to borrow money or play the stock market. Why should these people subsidize through their taxes the people that do? Why can't it be done through private companies that are paid for by the users of these services?

Look at Ebay, they are a private company but they have rules, they can punish abusers or ban them from the site. The government only need get involved when there is criminal activity. But the cost should be paid for by the users. Just like in the airline industry the people that fly should pay for the extra security and not everyone else.

I against private ownership of land and natural resources and rights such as water, fishing and mining rights that give priority to one group over another.

What is true is that what the people on the political left and right really want is to have one group of people be subsidized on a continuous basis by the rest of society. The government has men with guns that can force this on society.

Strafio wrote:

They're usually against state run healthcare, welfare and believe that even standards (e.g. fire safety standards that a landlord is required to meet in order to rent out a house) should be enforced by private companies rather than through state governed law. Maybe these are just the extremes I've come across but this is the general impression I have gotten. Feel free to correct me where you disagree.

 

 

I'm OK with time limited benefits for people in an education or job training program or people that agree not to have more children in exchange for benefits.

But the private company must follow the rules for public fire safety. How is a fire inspector that is part of a government union not a private interest? They are just an individual that goes out and does a job that someone pays them to do. Is there any evidence that the quality of work is worse when privatized or a direct government employee? 

Strafio wrote:

1) For a person to have a fighting chance of making it in the world, they need the right start.
This person needs a stable upbringing with education, healthcare, nutrition and a reasonably stress free atmostphere.

 

Which is why we need mandatory birth control and immigration restrictions. Overpopulation put a tremendous amount of stress on these services and the environment. If you just guarantee a stress free life without this, the overpopulation will swamp all services pubic or private.

Strafio wrote:

People brought up below the poverty line do not have this. Libertarianism appears to leave disadvantaged people to rot rather than provide what they need for a fair opportunity.

 

As part of a social contract it makes sense to help them. But socialist don't want this, they want unconditional entitlements. So you end up with more people asking for the freebies and few people willing to subsidize others.

Strafio wrote:

 Opportunities are limited. Career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom. It's not a case of, "anyone who works hard can make it" - there will always be people at the bottom. These people need atleast a minimal standard of living; a wage that will cover the necessities with a little left over for minimal luxuries. This is generally called a "living wage" - the minimum wage required to provide a person with the means to live a healthy, rounded life. This would give them a comfortable base to perhaps try and improve their lot should they decide they want to improve their life further.

 

I would say what is limited is natural resources and humans overpopulate until we reach the limit of exploiting them. Because of this overpopulation there will be too much competition for jobs driving down the price of labor. If you implement minimum wage, how are they helping the guy that is willing to work for less but no one will hire him? This also discourages people from developing a job skill society needs, so we have an oversupply in one area while there is an undersupply in fields like nursing, engineering, etc... without minimum wage.

Strafio wrote:

Libertarianism seems to accept that people at the bottom of the pile should only get what their company can get away with paying them.

 

Which is what you do when you shop. You look for the cheapest price for what you want. So aren't you driving down wages with this behavior? Why are the employers the only villains in all this? Aren't they just a middleman between you and the laborer?

And why are they able to pay a low wage? Because someone else will work for the low wage if the worker quits. And if it is so easy for capitalists to make massive profits exploiting cheap labor, why don't other capitalists compete in the same business and drive up the wages? The problem is really overpopulation and allowing the rich to buy up land.

Strafio wrote:

3) Without state laws, how will cheating and corruption be prevented?

 

How does a bank keep people from stealing the cash? Through expensive security systems and guards. But if I don't use this bank, why the fuck should I pay for this? Politics is a game to try to get something for nothing.


Strafio wrote:

If laws are to be enforced by private companies, what safeguards would there be to stop these profit-driven entities from putting earnings above principles?

 

Are politicians and people that work for government morally superior? Aren't they just looking out for themselves? Why are the teachers, firefighters and police unions all demanding ridiculous pensions if they are "working for the public interest"? It is a big scam that anyone is not exclusively self-interested.

If you think a private company sucks, don't do business with them. The government is a monopoly and you have no choice about doing business with them when they suck.


Strafio wrote:

These are my objections to libertarianism as it is commonly presented to me.
I get the impression that many right wing libertarians want to promote the freedom of the businessman above the freedoms of working people.
That said, I may just have misunderstood certain points or I may have mistaken more radical views for being mainstream.
If anyone would like to discuss my points I'd be interested to hear.

I think you have to view politics as practiced as just a way for groups to try to get another group to subsidize themselves. Libertarians do the same thing in demanding their property rights be defended by the rest of society instead of paying for these costs themselves. They claim to be for freedom, but when they put up a 'No Trespassing' sign on their land, they restrict my freedom.

The whole political system is just a bunch of hypocrites left, right and libertarian, just give me something for nothing. The only hope is for people to dump these irrational ideas of 'rights' and morality and develop a system of rational social contracts.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Jormungander wrote:As a

Jormungander wrote:
As a self-described libertarian, let me chime in on this. I hope you don't mind if I respond sentence by sentence.

Not at all. You gave pretty much the information I wanted.
I myself might've jumbled the order of some of your points to put them in a "topical" order.
Let me know if you feel I've missed or misportrayed one of your points.
 

Jormungander wrote:
We just need to distinguish between anarcho-capitalists and minarchists. And for that matter, the minarchists are split between the right (paleo-libertarian) and left leaning ones. I think that paleo-libertarian/hard-core conservative libetarians are what most people think of libertarians as being. There are leftist libertarians. They are just inexplicably ignored in all this. I wish that more liberals would stop supporting the big-government liberals. I hate having to vote for conservatives simply because all liberal politicians are proud of their love of an overbearing and bloated government.

Tell me about left leaning libertarians? Are they the "Libertarian Socialists"?
Also, aren't the conservatives currently as bad as the liberals for big governments?
Didn't Bush set new records for government debt and lending?

 

One thing all types of libertarian (right/left and minarchist/anarchist) have in common is that they are looking for a reduction in Government.
Could you give me some examples of parts of government you/they would like to see gone?
What would replace them? (As in, what non-governmental entities would serve the roles instead?)

Strafio wrote:
and in regulation on business.

Jormungander wrote:
Opinions are mixed on that point. But, in general, yes. "There should be consumer protection laws" is the sentiment that I have gathered as being the libertarian norm. Anarcho-capitalists who wrongly call themselves 'libertarians' will disagree.

Could you give some examples of consumer protection?
I guess the most important one would be transparency and accuracy of information about the products.
That any "controversial substances" involved would be clearly marked on the packaging.

 

Strafio wrote:
They're usually against state run healthcare, welfare

Jormungander wrote:
Yep.

Okay. So this goes for both Libertarians as well as Anarcho-Capitalists.
That means that those who fail to get a job, how would they provide money for food and board while they job search?
Those who barely scrape a living on their wages, how would they afford an expensive, life-saving operation?
I currently live in England where we have the NHS which seems fine.
What are your objections to it?

 

Strafio wrote:
This person needs a stable upbringing with education, healthcare, nutrition and a reasonably stress free atmostphere. People brought up below the poverty line do not have this.

Jormungander wrote:
I am below the poverty line. But, our poverty line is so extremely high that I have virtually all material possessions that I want and I am in grad school. Look at statistics of the kinds of things that most households below the poverty line have. Muliple TVs, multiple cars, cable, broadband internet, the list goes on... Most of those people are not poor in my opinion. They eat every day, they are always warm and dry when they sleep, they have multiple needless electronic possessions that only serve as entertainment... Those people live in senseless decadence (averaging more than one TV per household?, what a senseless waste of resources for supposedly 'poor' people) and wrongly think that they are poor. They are have an extremely high standard of living.

Interesting...
The entire point of the "poverty line" is that these people aren't supposed adaquately afford basic needs.
Are you sure about "most" living with senseless decadence? I strongly suspect your sources on this one.
They seem to go against standard national investigations.
I'd be interested to know more about your personal situation.
Do you pay for all your board, food, internet, etc.
How much left-over do you have after basic expenses are paid?
Did you manage to aquire these material possession on your low income or have they built up from times, e.g. given as presents or when you had more money?

 

Jormungander wrote:
Also, I support free education. I think that 'a resonably stress free atmosphere' is something that is beyond the government's scope to deal with.

What I meant was there are some social/economic causes of stress that the government has the power to prevent. e.g. Job security by giving workers rights, being able to make ends week on a 40 hour week thorugh minimum wage laws. Making them use their resources wisely is a different matter altogether, but we should provide them with the resources to give them a fighting chance.

 

Strafio wrote:
2) Opportunities are limited. Career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom.
It's not a case of, "anyone who works hard can make it" - there will always be people at the bottom.
These people need atleast a minimal standard of living; a wage that will cover the necessities with a little left over for minimal luxuries.
This is generally called a "living wage" - the minimum wage required to provide a person with the means to live a healthy, rounded life. This would give them a comfortable base to perhaps try and improve their lot should they decide they want to improve their life further.

Jormungander wrote:
I am very much against a 'living wage.' The wage that one can live comfortably on should be much higher than the minimum. The minimum wage is what 16 year olds earn to do menial labor. If someone wants to earn more, then they need to get a job that an untrained 16 year old can't do. If their job can be done by almost anyone with almost no training, then they shouldn't live in comfort and luxury. But, unfortunately, they probably will anyways. When I worked minimum wage jobs, there were middle aged people there working besides me. They deserve to live in so-called 'poverty.' If I, as an untrained and largely unmotivated 16 year old, could do their job, then they don't deserve to live in luxury. I'll be damned if they are payed a 'living wage' and get to live in great comfort as a reward for their refusal to do a job that demands more than what any untrained teenager can do.

But career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom.
There's only so many skilled jobs out there and these unskilled jobs still need doing by someone.
These people at the bottom, yes they might lack motivation and drive to do a career, or they might be at the very limit of their capabilities.
Either way, anyone who works a 40 hour week deserves a living wage.

 

Strafio wrote:
Libertarianism seems to accept that people at the bottom of the pile should only get what their company can get away with paying them.

Jormungander wrote:
"Get away with"? The company and each individual employee will work out some kind of payment plan. The employees will take as much as they can 'get away with' in the same sense that the company will pay as little as they can 'get away with.' This isn't a libertarian view of things. That's how wages work in the US. I wouldn't paint libertarians as the proponents of that view since our ('our' meaning 'United States') politicians have made that official policy. The only exception is the minimum wage that is rightfully well below the living wage and unions that are being destroyed by companies, their own traitorous leadership and by the anti-union NLRB.

Would the libertarians keep things this way in power?
If so, then it is a Libertarian way of seeing things.
I can see that you still support a minimum wage, you just don't believe that it should be as high as the living wage.
btw, I saw that other thread where you talked about the traitorous leadership of that union - it's a shame.

 

Strafio wrote:
Without state laws, how will cheating and corruption be prevented?
Libertarianism seems to claim that if we let business just run then it will manage itself.
Like any activity in life, people can "cheat" in business and play dirty. Those with money and power can use this to manipulate those with less power into accepting unfair deals.

Jormungander wrote:
Even the most hardcore anarcho-capitalist wants outright cheating prevented by some process.

I get the impression that they'd clamp down on basic, obvious ways of cheating, but would allow for more subtle methods to pass for "business being business".
Maybe I under-estimate them.

Jormungander wrote:
I am wary of the word 'fair' since it seems to be a euphemism for punishing success. Life isn't fair, stop trying to get the government to shoe-horn fairness into economic situations.

I think "fair" can be abused - success deserves better than non-success.
Some "lefties" sneer at "corporate greed" and seem to attack rich people just for being rich.
I personally go for a "with power comes responsibility".
The way I see it, society needs tax money to run.
Those at the bottom of the pile have barely enough to make ends meet, and it feels wrong to cut into it much further.
Those in the middle can afford a bit more, and while it will cut into their luxury slightly, they still have plenty left over.
Those at the top can afford much, much more. They're beyond personal luxury and have enough for true extravangance.
Even with the extra taxes they pay, they still earn an extravagant amount.

Is it about punishing the most successful?
The way I see it, those at the bottom of the pile are still working full weeks doing jobs that need doing.
They deserve the basic luxuries and securities in life as much as anyone else, and taxes are required to achieve this.
Those at the top still walk away with enough to live extravagantly off. Why not?
Does their hard work entitle them to more than that extravagance when the hardwork of people at the bottom doesn't even entitle basics?

 

I'm not saying that people at the top are nasty, heartless, people; they're just trying to do what we're all trying to do, get the best deal for ourselves. The thing is, if we're too good at getting a good deal at the expense of society, it's not in societies benefit to let us get away with it. Power needs to be kept in check, not matter who it is.


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EXC wrote:I would call it

EXC wrote:
I would call it more self regulation. Where people in a particular industry need to pay for their own regulation and security and not burden other people with the cost of their activities. For example, banking and investment, many people never have much of a need to borrow money or play the stock market. Why should these people subsidize through their taxes the people that do? Why can't it be done through private companies that are paid for by the users of these services?

Look at Ebay, they are a private company but they have rules, they can punish abusers or ban them from the site. The government only need get involved when there is criminal activity. But the cost should be paid for by the users. Just like in the airline industry the people that fly should pay for the extra security and not everyone else.


Sounds complex in working out who uses what services and charging accordingly.
It also brings up a "direct usage" vs "indirect benefit" debate.
Even if we don't directly use a service, we usually benefit from it indirectly.

EXC wrote:
I'm OK with time limited benefits for people in an education or job training program or people that agree not to have more children in exchange for benefits.

But the private company must follow the rules for public fire safety. How is a fire inspector that is part of a government union not a private interest? They are just an individual that goes out and does a job that someone pays them to do. Is there any evidence that the quality of work is worse when privatized or a direct government employee?


I think there's arguments on both sides.
I think there's cases where private companies cut corners and quality of surface due to the need to skim as much profit as possible from the top.
On the other hand, government agencies have a reputation for lacking drive and motivation and tend to be filled with people just "holding a job" rather than trying to succeed and push standards forward in terms of competence and productivity. Obviously this is a stereotype and clearly doesn't apply across the entire board.

I've generally heard that the privatization of a public service usually ends up with the worst of both worlds, generally because the conditions of a private business that motivate the individuals to work hard and do well don't apply to the areas that public services tend to cover.

 

EXC wrote:
As part of a social contract it makes sense to help [unemployed people]. But socialist don't want this, they want unconditional entitlements. So you end up with more people asking for the freebies and few people willing to subsidize others.

You sure about this?
I think there's a bit of strawmanning going on here.
I think socialists would be fine with demanding some responsibility for the help that they're given.

Strafio wrote:
 Opportunities are limited. Career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom. It's not a case of, "anyone who works hard can make it" - there will always be people at the bottom. These people need atleast a minimal standard of living; a wage that will cover the necessities with a little left over for minimal luxuries. This is generally called a "living wage" - the minimum wage required to provide a person with the means to live a healthy, rounded life. This would give them a comfortable base to perhaps try and improve their lot should they decide they want to improve their life further. 

EXC wrote:
I would say what is limited is natural resources and humans overpopulate until we reach the limit of exploiting them. Because of this overpopulation there will be too much competition for jobs driving down the price of labor.

I don't think lack of resources is the world's problem at the moment.
I think it's generally agreed that there's enough resources provided that they were managed more fairly and efficiently.


EXC wrote:
If you implement minimum wage, how are they helping the guy that is willing to work for less but no one will hire him?

1) If people won't hire him it's for a reason.
We'd do better to address those reasons and make him a better employee through training rather than just under-price him.
2) When he finally gets a job, he'll be on a "living wage", meaning that he gets the basics he needs to live a decent life.


EXC wrote:
This also discourages people from developing a job skill society needs, so we have an oversupply in one area while there is an undersupply in fields like nursing, engineering, etc... without minimum wage.

In what way? I didn't get how you came to this conclusion.
You mean that if people get comfortable in unskilled jobs then they're less motivated to train for skilled jobs?
Solutions: Make skilled jobs worth more money - they'd be able to get more luxury and nice things for the more skilled job.
What's more, if we have over-supply in one area of industry, the surpluss "unemployed" will have motivation to train in order to find a job in the "undersupplied" industries.

 

Strafio wrote:
Libertarianism seems to accept that people at the bottom of the pile should only get what their company can get away with paying them. 

EXC wrote:
Which is what you do when you shop. You look for the cheapest price for what you want. So aren't you driving down wages with this behavior? Why are the employers the only villains in all this? Aren't they just a middleman between you and the laborer?

I'm not calling anyone greedy or selfish here - everyone's just trying to get the best deal for themselves.
However, if powerful people are too good at this, and get good deals at the rest of societies' expense, it's in the interest of society to put measures in place that ensure the "little people" get a good deal.

EXC wrote:
And why are they able to pay a low wage? Because someone else will work for the low wage if the worker quits. And if it is so easy for capitalists to make massive profits exploiting cheap labor, why don't other capitalists compete in the same business and drive up the wages?

Not such a reliable solution, and not a stable one at all.
Minimum wage laws provide a consistency.

 

Strafio wrote:
If laws are to be enforced by private companies, what safeguards would there be to stop these profit-driven entities from putting earnings above principles?

EXC wrote:
Are politicians and people that work for government morally superior? Aren't they just looking out for themselves? Why are the teachers, firefighters and police unions all demanding ridiculous pensions if they are "working for the public interest"? It is a big scam that anyone is not exclusively self-interested.

Business are run on profit - people make their money by getting profit.
Government organisations are run on principles - people make their money by sticking to and enforcing principles.
Some jobs aren't profitable as a private business, and are more effectively run by an organisation that's looking to enforce principles.

EXC wrote:
If you think a private company sucks, don't do business with them. The government is a monopoly and you have no choice about doing business with them when they suck.

I have no issues with private businesses. I use them for all sorts of things, this computer and internet included. But they still need to be kept in check to prevent them getting a too good a deal at my expense, and there's some services out there that just wouldn't be run well under a private business as profit does not drive performance in them.

What's more, I see the "Government is a Monopoly" argument as BS.
The Government is not a private company run on profit.
It is a state organisation that is accountable to the people it governs.
That's significantly different to private companies.


EXC wrote:
I think you have to view politics as practiced as just a way for groups to try to get another group to subsidize themselves.

I don't think that's an accurate view at all.
It seems steeped in individual perspective and idealizing rather than the reality of how things function and how it develloped to be.

 


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Strafio wrote:Sounds complex

Strafio wrote:

Sounds complex in working out who uses what services and charging accordingly.

It's what every business has to do. The insurance companies can work out what your premiums should be. I think will modern information age technology this will not be a major issue.

Strafio wrote:

It also brings up a "direct usage" vs "indirect benefit" debate.
Even if we don't directly use a service, we usually benefit from it indirectly.

Please give an example. When would 'pay for what you use' not be practical?

Strafio wrote:

I think there's arguments on both sides.
I think there's cases where private companies cut corners and quality of surface due to the need to skim as much profit as possible from the top.

Didn't the government 'cut corners' when it came to preventing fraud in the mortgage and finance industries? So we should let them run everything? Does the DMV care if you wait in line a long time? But the private business will get more cashiers if the lines get too long.

Strafio wrote:

On the other hand, government agencies have a reputation for lacking drive and motivation and tend to be filled with people just "holding a job" rather than trying to succeed and push standards forward in terms of competence and productivity. Obviously this is a stereotype and clearly doesn't apply across the entire board.

The reason I want private is that I can vote with my wallet. With government run programs, I must have the same choices as the majority. Plus I can't stop paying for government programs that don't do anything for me.

Strafio wrote:

I've generally heard that the privatization of a public service usually ends up with the worst of both worlds, generally because the conditions of a private business that motivate the individuals to work hard and do well don't apply to the areas that public services tend to cover.

The problem is we don't incentivize desirable results. If we only pay for educated students and reformed prisoners, we only get results or we don't waist money. So there still has not been true privatization yet.

 

Strafio wrote:

You sure about this?
I think there's a bit of strawmanning going on here.
I think socialists would be fine with demanding some responsibility for the help that they're given.

Well they accuse me of strawmanning. But I push them to tell me what it means to make healthcare a human right, it means under no circumstances can you be denied. The best they can come up with is require people to prove they are applying for a job. I don't think it's a strawman, this is what it means to make welfare a human right, it is an unconditional entitlement, not a rational social contract at all.

Strafio wrote:

I don't think lack of resources is the world's problem at the moment.
I think it's generally agreed that there's enough resources provided that they were managed more fairly and efficiently.

Really, where is there more land and water to grow more food to alleviate the shortages? Where can we get more cheap oil to transport it? There is no incentive to be efficient, we tax work and innovation and subsidize inefficient uses of resources.


Strafio wrote:

We'd do better to address those reasons and make him a better employee through training rather than just under-price him.

We have a failed education and rehab system because this is not the goal.

Strafio wrote:

When he finally gets a job, he'll be on a "living wage", meaning that he gets the basics he needs to live a decent life.

And what is your theory on where this extra money he has comes from? Does it come out of the company's profits or is it just passed on the the consumer? Aren't you just making it harder for anyone to hire him?



Strafio wrote:
In what way? I didn't get how you came to this conclusion.
You mean that if people get comfortable in unskilled jobs then they're less motivated to train for skilled jobs?.

Yes, that's one problem. It changes people's behavior, more jobs will move to lower cost countries. They'll automate more jobs. Expect one worker to do the work of two(more stress) or they'll fire them. You're not boosting productivity with minimum wage, your just moving the problems to another area in the economy(i.e. inflation, unemployment).


Strafio wrote:

Solutions: Make skilled jobs worth more money - they'd be able to get more luxury and nice things for the more skilled job.
What's more, if we have over-supply in one area of industry, the surplus "unemployed" will have motivation to train in order to find a job in the "undersupplied" industries.

So you just mandate that everyone must make more money. Every business just passes this cost onto consumers, which means inflation eats up all the gains. Plus you get few exports due to your higher costs, investors move their money from business that employ workers to those that don't. You're at best just moving the problem around. You must increase productivity in the areas the consumers have demand.


Strafio wrote:

However, if powerful people are too good at this, and get good deals at the rest of societies' expense, it's in the interest of society to put measures in place that ensure the "little people" get a good deal.

How is someone's success necessarily at society's expense? In some cases they can use their money to create monopolies or buy up limited resources, this must be stopped. But this seems like the socialist strammaning. They are jealous of the success of others so they want to steal from them. Would it be better not to have any business?

Strafio wrote:

Business are run on profit - people make their money by getting profit.
Government organisations are run on principles - people make their money by sticking to and enforcing principles.
Some jobs aren't profitable as a private business, and are more effectively run by an organisation that's looking to enforce principles.


 

Can you give an example when someone ever is motivated by an principle than to be self serving. Politicians are more motivated by power and popularity than a CEO would be, but how is this any better than being motivated by money? Do you really believe anyone is capable of having your interests at heart?

Strafio wrote:

I have no issues with private businesses. I use them for all sorts of things, this computer and internet included. But they still need to be kept in check to prevent them getting a too good a deal at my expense.


 

So it's all about you getting a good deal? The free market isn't 'fair' enough for you. You want something for nothing.

Strafio wrote:
 

and there's some services out there that just wouldn't be run well under a private business as profit does not drive performance in them.

And what government services are run so well and inexpensively? The government has to set the rules and punish the offenders, not much is needed beyond that. I think giving people the opportunity to work their way out of poverty is about the only one.

Strafio wrote:
 

What's more, I see the "Government is a Monopoly" argument as BS.
The Government is not a private company run on profit.
It is a state organisation that is accountable to the people it governs.
That's significantly different to private companies.

If business is taking your money, they are accountable to you. Our governments are broke because no one is accountable to the bottom line. The government now is set up with entitlement to take you taxes and spend them without even a vote on how to spend nearly all the money.
 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Strafio wrote:Tell me about

Strafio wrote:

Tell me about left leaning libertarians? Are they the "Libertarian Socialists"?

Some of them do refer to themselves as 'libertarian socialists.' The ones on the left seem to be less business freindly; if not outright anti-capitalist. Some of them don't value property rights the same way right wing libertarians do. Others are just small government liberals who take stereotypical liberal stances on issues but don't want bloated clumsy government programs handling problems.

 

Strafio wrote:

Also, aren't the conservatives currently as bad as the liberals for big governments?
Didn't Bush set new records for government debt and lending?

Bush wasn't a conservative. A lot of the Republicans aren't. I refused to vote for McCain since he was a non-conservative Republican. Those big-government Republicans were worse than the Democrats when it came to debt. But now that the Dems are back in charge, they are worse than the Republicans were. They seem to trying to be one-up each other on overspending and borrowing.

 

Strafio wrote:

One thing all types of libertarian (right/left and minarchist/anarchist) have in common is that they are looking for a reduction in Government.
Could you give me some examples of parts of government you/they would like to see gone?
What would replace them? (As in, what non-governmental entities would serve the roles instead?)

The DEA,  ATF and NLRB are good examples of things I would like destroyed and replaced with nothing. There are hundreds of Federal Bureaucracies. Some of them serve legitimate roles. Most exist only to supply their workers with jobs. If we are to reduce the size of the government, going after then hundreds and hundreds of questionable bureaucracies would be the first step.

Guess how many new bureaucracies H.R. 3962 will create? 1? 2? 10? 50? 100? Nope. All those numbers are too low. 111 new bureaucracies will be created by that one bill. It is fucking absurd. We need to take a serious look at our bureaucracies and how much money they are allotted.

 

Strafio wrote:

Could you give some examples of consumer protection?

The FDA and (for workplace protection) OSHA. Not all bureaucracies are useless money wasters. There are a few that serve a neccessary purpose that I support. I don't want shit in my food or cancer from my job. It sounds like a legitimate government activity to ban contaminated food and unreasonably dangerous workplace conditions.

 

Strafio wrote:

That means that those who fail to get a job, how would they provide money for food and board while they job search?
Those who barely scrape a living on their wages, how would they afford an expensive, life-saving operation?

They should save up before hand or they won't have food while searching for a job and they won't have expensive medical operations. I knew middle aged adults working minimum wage jobs. If they need some expensive operation, society should NOT pay for it. They choose for decades to work the absolute minimum amount that they physically could. They live in government assisted housing. They are not retarded or crippled. They just liked working part time for minimum wage in a movie theater. Spending two years working with those people has made me against healthcare for everyone. I really hope that I never inadvertently end up paying for one of those people to get free healthcare in the same way that I pay for them to get housing assistance.

 

Strafio wrote:

Interesting...
The entire point of the "poverty line" is that these people aren't supposed adaquately afford basic needs.
Are you sure about "most" living with senseless decadence? I strongly suspect your sources on this one.
They seem to go against standard national investigations.
I'd be interested to know more about your personal situation.
Do you pay for all your board, food, internet, etc.
How much left-over do you have after basic expenses are paid?
Did you manage to aquire these material possession on your low income or have they built up from times, e.g. given as presents or when you had more money?

 

Look at the US Census. It asks people if they have a tv, car, microwave, washer, etc. Look at the stats for households below the poverty line. They live in great material wealth. I'm not against that. I just don't consider most of them poor. The US poverty line is set too high in my opinion. See the quote at the bottom of this post for some stats on how rich so-called 'poor' households are.

I do part time work as a contractor for an engineering company. It screws me on taxes to do that, since I pay a special 'self employed' tax that a regular employee making as little as I do would not pay. I don't have much left over after paying expenses. Some of the things I own (motorcycle, guns, XBOX) were purchased using money that I built up earlier. I consider those things to be needless toys. They are real fun to have, but I would not consider myself poor to lack them.

 

Strafio wrote:

But career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom.
There's only so many skilled jobs out there and these unskilled jobs still need doing by someone.
These people at the bottom, yes they might lack motivation and drive to do a career, or they might be at the very limit of their capabilities.
Either way, anyone who works a 40 hour week deserves a living wage.

I agree with you on the first three statements. I don't agree on the last one.

 

Strafio wrote:

Would the libertarians keep things this way in power?
If so, then it is a Libertarian way of seeing things.
I can see that you still support a minimum wage, you just don't believe that it should be as high as the living wage.
btw, I saw that other thread where you talked about the traitorous leadership of that union - it's a shame.

I don't support the minimum wage. I was talking about US law, not my own opinions. I didn't make that clear. I don't like there being a minimum wage, but it isn't a big enough problem for me to worry over. The libertarian way of viewing this would be no minimum wage and no union protection laws.

 

Strafio wrote:

Those at the top still walk away with enough to live extravagantly off. Why not?
Does their hard work entitle them to more than that extravagance when the hardwork of people at the bottom doesn't even entitle basics?

I knew a couple that worked minimum wage jobs part time. I visited their government-assisted apartment a few times to hang out with them. They had the best computer I have ever seen in private possesion. They had a DVD player, multiple game systems and an extensive DVD collection. I am certain that they are defined as poor by the government. Their refusal to work more than the bare minimum has given them much more than just the basics. I can only assume that all the money they saved by getting government housing assistance was wasted on all the luxuries I witnessed at their apartment. I am sure that some people on the bottom are lacking the basics. Somehow I have only met people on the bottom that have a lot of luxuries and all the basics. And the US Census says the same thing.

 

Let's look at what the US Census has to say about so-called "poor' households:

Quote:

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

  • Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

As a group, America's poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels.

Does that sound poor? Or is our definition of 'poor' skewed? There is real poverty in the US. It is just largely unrelated to how most below the poverty line households are living. I'm not trying to belittle true poverty. I just want us all to realize that a lot of so-called 'poor' people are living very, very well. It seems wrong that these people get government handouts while paying for satellite subscriptions to watch on their TV when they get bored with their DVD collections.

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British General Charles Napier while in India


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http://www.heritage.org/research/welfare/bg2064.cfm#_ftn8 wrote:

The Census Bureau defines an individual as poor if his or her family income falls below certain specified income thresholds. These thresholds vary by family size. In 2006, a family of four was deemed poor if its annual income fell below $20,615; a family of three was deemed poor if annual income was below $16,079. There are a number of problems with the Census Bureau's poverty figures: Census undercounts income, ignores assets accumulated in prior years, and disregards non-cash welfare such as food stamps and public housing in its official count of income. However, the most important problem with Census figures is that, even if a family's income falls below the official poverty thresholds, the family's actual living conditions are likely to be far higher than the image most Americans have in mind when they hear the word "poverty."

So then those figures are not reliable indicators of the living standards of those definitely on the base of the pyrimidial socio-economic structure and can easily include groups such as semi-retired wealth, semi-supported children of upper-middle class wealth, and of course, being census data, liars and welfare cheats. 

And this is your basis for contempt of the common worker, Jormangunder? Not a very solid one, is it?

 

Also... I note what seems to be a contradiction in your thinking here:

Jormangunder wrote:

They are not retarded or crippled. They just liked working part time for minimum wage in a movie theater. Spending two years working with those people has made me against healthcare for everyone.

Here the implication is that the poor are underpaid because they choose to work "part-time" and this provides your reason for condemning their hides...

..however...

Jormangunder wrote:
Strafio wrote:

Either way, anyone who works a 40 hour week deserves a living wage.

I don't agree...

 

Why don't you agree, Jormangunder? You've voiced your contempt for comfort-seeking beggars who play welfare systems to land themselves a cheap sort of middle-aged semi-retirement, Ok. But what have the hardworking all week bluecollar done to deserve your disdain? How do you rationalise that they "work the absolute minimum amount that they physically could", where's the evidence of that?

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EXC wrote:

Strafio wrote:

Business are run on profit - people make their money by getting profit.
Government organisations are run on principles - people make their money by sticking to and enforcing principles.
Some jobs aren't profitable as a private business, and are more effectively run by an organisation that's looking to enforce principles.


 

Can you give an example when someone ever is motivated by an principle than to be self serving. Politicians are more motivated by power and popularity than a CEO would be, but how is this any better than being motivated by money? Do you really believe anyone is capable of having your interests at heart?

I think that it is worse than that.  Politicians come and go a lot more frequently than CEOs do.  Politicians will rarely induce short term pain for long term stability.  How do you fix a problem of too much debt?  With more debt of course!   So guess who takes care of the long term better?

The value of our money is centrally planed via interest rates.  If you control the price of a dollar, you control the prices (although, a bit crudely).  Central planning and price controls never work in the long run.  But my opinion is that republican vs. democrat is just a waste of time.  We have become a de facto corporatocracy; a reduction in the size of government will help, but choosing between republicans and democrats will only allow for more time for the corporatocracy to gain more influence over what will become the shell of our once functional republic.  True libertarianism is the only viable alternative that I am aware of; it is too bad that libertarians have to fight so many straw men and are largely misunderstood.

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Jormungander wrote:Bush

Jormungander wrote:
Bush wasn't a conservative. A lot of the Republicans aren't. I refused to vote for McCain since he was a non-conservative Republican.

Ah... ok.
I misunderstood - I interpreted your previous post as saying you'd been voting Republican in protest of Democrat spending.

Jormungander wrote:
The DEA,  ATF and NLRB are good examples of things I would like destroyed and replaced with nothing. There are hundreds of Federal Bureaucracies. Some of them serve legitimate roles. Most exist only to supply their workers with jobs. If we are to reduce the size of the government, going after then hundreds and hundreds of questionable bureaucracies would be the first step.

With the DEA, I personally think it would be more efficient to legalize and regulate the drug market.
As for the other two, don't they protect the public and consumers from dangerous products?
That said, I do get the impression that the Government isn't exactly running in the most efficient way possible here...

 

Strafio wrote:

That means that those who fail to get a job, how would they provide money for food and board while they job search?
Those who barely scrape a living on their wages, how would they afford an expensive, life-saving operation?

Jormungander wrote:
They should save up before hand or they won't have food while searching for a job and they won't have expensive medical operations.

So at the same time as trying to deal with daily expenses on a minimum wage, they also need to save an indefinite amount to cover contingencies that might or might not happen?

Jormungander wrote:
I knew middle aged adults working minimum wage jobs. If they need some expensive operation, society should NOT pay for it. They choose for decades to work the absolute minimum amount that they physically could. They live in government assisted housing. They are not retarded or crippled. They just liked working part time for minimum wage in a movie theater. Spending two years working with those people has made me against healthcare for everyone. I really hope that I never inadvertently end up paying for one of those people to get free healthcare in the same way that I pay for them to get housing assistance.

So because you met a few people who did better off the system than they needed to, you think that the entire thing should be abolished?

 

Strafio wrote:

But career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom.
There's only so many skilled jobs out there and these unskilled jobs still need doing by someone.
These people at the bottom, yes they might lack motivation and drive to do a career, or they might be at the very limit of their capabilities.
Either way, anyone who works a 40 hour week deserves a living wage.

Jormungander wrote:
I agree with you on the first three statements. I don't agree on the last one.

So even though some people have reached the limit of their skill with a minimum wage job, and even though the pyramidal structure determines that there will always be people in these jobs, simply due to a limited amount of more skilled jobs, and even though these jobs need doing, you don't think that the people who work them deserve a basic living wage?

We're talking about someone who is working a full time, 40 hour week.
A lot of people work very hard in these jobs.
So why don't they deserve a living wage?

 

Strafio wrote:
Those at the top still walk away with enough to live extravagantly off. Why not?
Does their hard work entitle them to more than that extravagance when the hardwork of people at the bottom doesn't even entitle basics?

Jormungander wrote:
There is real poverty in the US. It is just largely unrelated to how most below the poverty line households are living. I'm not trying to belittle true poverty. I just want us all to realize that a lot of so-called 'poor' people are living very, very well. It seems wrong that these people get government handouts while paying for satellite subscriptions to watch on their TV when they get bored with their DVD collections.

That's not an argument to abolish welfare, it's an argument to keep revising the system to stop people abusing it.
Perhaps the main difference between us is that I think it's more tragic for genuine poverty to lack help, wheras you seem to think it's more tragic that someone out there is abusing the system and getting more than they need. Yes, I'd like to see and end to abuse. I think that the government should keep ammending the system to ensure reduce abuse, but using abuse as an excuse to leave the poor to rot altogether?

You keep referring to this case of a childless middle age couple who'd gradually learned to play the system.
Do you really think that they're representative of the poor in general?
As to the Census, I personally don't think material goods are the best signifier of wealth.
You can get second hand ones very cheap nowdays.
Eating meat isn't really a sign of wealth anymore either.
Meat is mass produced and can be extremely cheap in its lowest quality form.
I'd say nutrition is about whether they can afford decent quality fresh food or whether they have to rely on the cheapest, processed, mass produced crap. Food =/= nutrition.

That said, I'll leave that side of the argument to Eloise because she seems to know more about it. 


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Strafio wrote:But career

Strafio wrote:

But career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom.
There's only so many skilled jobs out there and these unskilled jobs still need doing by someone.
These people at the bottom, yes they might lack motivation and drive to do a career, or they might be at the very limit of their capabilities.
Either way, anyone who works a 40 hour week deserves a living wage.

Where are the rules about what anyone deserves? Who came up with them? God? Did you deserve to be born? Do you deserve to live to 100? Did Haiti deserve the earthquake? You need to realize this notion of morality is complete BS.

It's supply and demand. Someone else is willing to work for a low wage. Doesn't this person deserve a shot a working? And where does the money come from to pay the living wage. Eloise will tell you how greedy capitalists pigs are so we know it's not coming out of their pockets. The pigs either raise prices or don't hire anyone.

It's an oversupply of unskilled labor and an undersupply of natural resources. Fix the problem with population controls and education that works. Minimum wage just encourages more of the behavior that leads to an oversupply.

 

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EXC wrote:I am someone who

EXC wrote:

I am someone who has been accused of being an extreme libertarian, a communist and a right wing nut job. 

 

EXC, i want to know who called you a communist, i want their name... address, postal code, phone number... I must purge them from the human race, i've met fascists more communistic then you!

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EXC wrote:It's an oversupply

EXC wrote:

It's an oversupply of unskilled labor and an undersupply of natural resources. Fix the problem with population controls and education that works. Minimum wage just encourages more of the behavior that leads to an oversupply.

You have to start understanding that our problem with supply primarily is generated by a problem with control. We have oligarchs runing every aspect of the society, shaping it to their interest. The third world countries have little to no influence on their own production and most of the disasters are due to this simple fact.

EXC wrote:

It's supply and demand. Someone else is willing to work for a low wage. Doesn't this person deserve a shot a working? And where does the money come from to pay the living wage. Eloise will tell you how greedy capitalists pigs are so we know it's not coming out of their pockets. The pigs either raise prices or don't hire anyone.

Yes, they deserve a shot at working. They also deserve to have control of their own country, so that they can arrange the work in the interest of their people, NOT in the interest of a corporation.

A corporation should have ZERO say in the policies of a democratic country, yet they control US policy and basically run every country under influence of US. Supply and demand theory is bullshit. The only demand here is the demand of population for control of their land and industry and the only supply is the supply of slavery by the corporations.

EXC wrote:

Where are the rules about what anyone deserves? Who came up with them? God? Did you deserve to be born? Do you deserve to live to 100? Did Haiti deserve the earthquake? You need to realize this notion of morality is complete BS.

You just asked yourself: "Doesn't this person deserve a shot a working?" Those are YOUR words. All the stuff you mention is built into us, no matter what you want to call it. If you want to call it compassion, sense of justice or God's will, no one half educated should care - these things have been a subject of study and philosophy for millenia and are as real as your inability to formulate a valid argument. We use these simple and not so simple concepts to formulate our interests.

You are arguing for corporate interest by invalidating the interests of everyone else. You are attacking the way people argue for their interests - you must see this is as fake an argument as arguments get. You don't have a leg to stand on by questioning the word "deserve". People in Haiti are saying: we want our means of production of cement and food back from the international corporate into our own hands. Corporations say: no way, we want profit. Whatever bullshit argument you may present about how the word "deserve" is not carved in stone, this basic issue is not changed.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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The Doomed Soul wrote:EXC

The Doomed Soul wrote:

EXC wrote:

I am someone who has been accused of being an extreme libertarian, a communist and a right wing nut job. 

 

EXC, i want to know who called you a communist, i want their name... address, postal code, phone number... I must purge them from the human race, i've met fascists more communistic then you!

Virtually any Republican or Libertarian will call me a communist when I state that private ownership of land and other natural resources should be prohibited.

You don't get it Doomy, politics is all about people demanding to get something for nothing. Extreme right wingers, left wingers and libertarians are pretty much the same. The only difference is what they want(for nothing) at the expense of everyone else. Everyone wants a free lunch, some want Chinese food, other want Mexican, etc...

So my politics is like my religion, I'm against both.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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ZuS wrote:You have to start

ZuS wrote:

You have to start understanding that our problem with supply primarily is generated by a problem with control. We have oligarchs runing every aspect of the society, shaping it to their interest. The third world countries have little to no influence on their own production and most of the disasters are due to this simple fact.

Because we allow rich to buy up natural resources. We have uncontrolled population growth and failed education systems. Ergo a monopolization of natural resources an oversupply of unskilled labor and gullible consumers. Minimum wage laws do nothing to correct the undersupply/oversupply, they can only make it worse over time.

ZuS wrote:

You just asked yourself: "Doesn't this person deserve a shot a working?" Those are YOUR words.

I was asking the question because the person believes in the concept of "deserving" something. I just want them to explain the rules for what people deserve and who decides it. It's a BS morality concept. But yes we have been programmed to think this way by our irrational society (as means to control us.)

ZuS wrote:

All the stuff you mention is built into us, no matter what you want to call it. If you want to call it compassion, sense of justice or God's will, no one half educated should care - these things have been a subject of study and philosophy for millenia and are as real as your inability to formulate a valid argument. We use these simple and not so simple concepts to formulate our interests.

I agree we are 'built' with a desire to cooperate with others, when it's in our interests. To look for win-win situations. But what society(e.g. moralists and religionist) have done is use this instinct and used it to control us with irrational guilt. I think it's good for everyone to have a safety net for people to help pull themselves out of poverty. But what socialist want is unconditional, unlimited entitlements, like minimum wage. It's they win, I lose.

ZuS wrote:

You are arguing for corporate interest by invalidating the interests of everyone else. 

No I'm arguing for a system where what a corporation does or doesn't do doesn't really affect me or anyone else unless they voluntarily cooperate with them. Isn't a corporation just a group of people that cooperate for their common interest? If you don't like the wages they offer don't work for them. Don't buy their shit if you don't like them. Corporation are only a burden to the rest of society when they monopolize and fail to pay for natural resources they use.

ZuS wrote:

You are attacking the way people argue for their interests - you must see this is as fake an argument as arguments get. You don't have a leg to stand on by questioning the word "deserve". People in Haiti are saying: we want our means of production of cement and food back from the international corporate into our own hands. Corporations say: no way, we want profit. Whatever bullshit argument you may present about how the word "deserve" is not carved in stone, this basic issue is not changed.

I agree they should give back any natural resources they've taken. But then they take it too far and say we want to steal other people's property without paying them for the work they did. The communist mob can be just as much of a greedy thief as any corporation.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:No I'm arguing for

EXC wrote:
No I'm arguing for a system where what a corporation does or doesn't do doesn't really affect me or anyone else unless they voluntarily cooperate with them.

Soooo, a fantasy land then?

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EXC wrote:I agree we are

EXC wrote:

I agree we are 'built' with a desire to cooperate with others, when it's in our interests. To look for win-win situations.

That is just too narrow and obviously untrue. People giving their lives for others are obviously not going for any win-win situation and I will bet you that a very significant part of global population, if not almost everyone, could give you a thing or two they think is worth dieing for.

EXC wrote:

But what society(e.g. moralists and religionist) have done is use this instinct and used it to control us with irrational guilt. I think it's good for everyone to have a safety net for people to help pull themselves out of poverty. But what socialist want is unconditional, unlimited entitlements, like minimum wage. It's they win, I lose.

People use a language to try to explain what is obvious to them. Many of these same people are knee-deep in blood in third world countries trying to mitigate what the system you idly observe and comment on has brought with it. You should get to know some of these "leftists" and "right wing" religious people.

EXC wrote:

No I'm arguing for a system where what a corporation does or doesn't do doesn't really affect me or anyone else unless they voluntarily cooperate with them.

Impossible.

EXC wrote:

Isn't a corporation just a group of people that cooperate for their common interest?

No. A corporation is a concentration op political and financial power. Some of them can rival whole countries and they don't have any "group of people" as their interest. It is a tyranical organisation, modelled on communist and fascist societies: 1 top, everyone else subject to orders, no exceptions, no excuses. Some of the more recent ones openly assassinate people and fight wars in third world countries, and I am not even talking about Blackwater.

EXC wrote:

If you don't like the wages they offer don't work for them. Don't buy their shit if you don't like them. Corporation are only a burden to the rest of society when they monopolize and fail to pay for natural resources they use.

What if they put pressure on your local legislators against public interest? What if you have an obligation to deposit in their institutions? What if they station armed ex-military men to "secure" your neighborhood, paid by some third party, unacountable to judicial system? What if they run 70% of intelligence gathering for US government, still with private interest?

Should I just stop buying their shit? Well, I think I have a duty to do more than that.

EXC wrote:

I agree they should give back any natural resources they've taken. But then they take it too far and say we want to steal other people's property without paying them for the work they did. The communist mob can be just as much of a greedy thief as any corporation.

That is because a communist party acts the same way a corporation does, only much less organised.

Generally I think you are going too far with your isolationist thing. Clearly people don't do everything in their own interest. There are lives we envy, but there are certainly also lives we admire and those are almost per definition led by people who have taken the tougher high road one too many times to stay anonymous.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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this is funny

Jormungander wrote:

Quote:

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

  • Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

As a group, America's poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels.

Let's see - I have been unemployed for a year now.  I have applied to over 200 positions in my field.  I am willing to take work that pays less, but have been unable to get anyone to believe me.  I am getting unemployment benefits.  My "retirement" savings are gone.  My husband is self employed.  He makes about $500 in a good month.

1. Yes, we own our house.  I don't know for how much longer.  We refinanced it 3 1/2 years ago, 7.6 % fixed, inexpensive enough we could afford it on my paycheck alone.  When I had a paycheck.  It is 660 square feet.  Two bedrooms, one bath, a kitchen and a living area.  There is a fairly large deck, which is nice as we can entertain during the summer when it isn't pouring rain every day.  For us, that is more than 2 rooms per person.  It is smaller than most apartments, but it is home.

2. We have air conditioning.  There is a cut out through the wall upstairs that existed when we bought the house.  We had to replace the air conditioner when it broke last year - $260 at Sears.  The upstairs where we sleep is sweltering during the spring, summer, and fall.  Since the house was built in 1936 (approx), it has no insulation to speak of.  The ceiling/roof is literally 2 inches (5 cm) thick.

3. I think we are over crowded.  We have six dogs and sometimes during the summer, our grandson comes to visit.  He sleeps on a large chair that folds out to a twin bed.  Usually the second bedroom is our closet since that is the only space in the house where you can store things.  We have to rearrange to get the grandson space.

4.  Since I don't know what the average living space is in those European countries, I have no idea as to how our little house compares.  I do know that most any small space could be better laid out than this house.

5.  We own two cars.  A 1994 Chevy S-10 we bought brand new when we both had jobs, now has over 300,000 miles on it.  It is no longer pretty, but it still runs.  The other car is a 1993 Audi 90S.  We bought it about 2 years ago used for cash.  It was a good deal, about 1/2 of blue book.  It has less than 200,000 miles on it, still runs, handles like a dream and looks pretty good.  We are paying minimum amounts on insurance, but they are legally insured, titled, licensed, registered and 100% paid for.

6.  We own one 19" color TV/VCR combo we bought 10 years ago.  It ain't dead yet.

7.  We have not only VCR but also a DVD player.  Bought it new at Fred Meyer for $26.99.  It will die in a year and we'll replace it with another one for $30 or so.  We don't have cable or satellite - we don't watch that much TV - but we do have Netflix.

8.  Microwave - check, bought a new one last year, one of the $99 specials.  It is tiny to fit in the kitchen.  We have a stereo - pretty nice components, all bought 10-15 years ago.  No dishwasher.  It won't fit in the current kitchen configuration.  Maybe if we aren't kicked out soon, I will have a job, and we can redo the kitchen and squeeze one in.

Jormungander wrote:

Does that sound poor? Or is our definition of 'poor' skewed? There is real poverty in the US. It is just largely unrelated to how most below the poverty line households are living. I'm not trying to belittle true poverty. I just want us all to realize that a lot of so-called 'poor' people are living very, very well. It seems wrong that these people get government handouts while paying for satellite subscriptions to watch on their TV when they get bored with their DVD collections.

I am not trying to play one-up-man-ship with "I'm poorer than you are".  My point is that most of my junk was purchased years ago and I don't think I am poor.  I think most people get their junk when times are good or from family and friends.

When we were really poor, my mom bought us a TV when ours died.  I bought my son, daughter-in-law, and soon-to-be grandson a new car when theirs was totaled.  They still have it and the grandson is 14.  I have a friend who is a single mom and she has a car.  Her dad bought it, pays for license and insurance, she only pays for gas.  She has a TV her sister gave her when the sister bought a new one for herself.  Her apartment came with the dishwasher and air conditioning.  She has to pay for electricity, so the air almost never gets turned on.

No, we are not living out of cardboard boxes.  Or mud huts.  Or tents.  Or in Haiti.  I know we have more stuff than many people have around the world.  And so do my friends.  And your statistics are correct most likely.  But the conclusions you are drawing may not be accurate.   It is sort of like Reagan's "welfare mom" who was making all that money at the expense of hard working tax payers?  She never existed.

Funny, right after the big blow out last spring, the local paper ran a story about the increased load at the welfare offices.  People where incensed that they did not qualify for assistance because they had savings or had income during the last 30 days.  Way too many people believe you can waltz in to the welfare office and waltz out with hundreds of dollars in cash.  It really truly does not work like that.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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darth_josh wrote:EXC

darth_josh wrote:

EXC wrote:
No I'm arguing for a system where what a corporation does or doesn't do doesn't really affect me or anyone else unless they voluntarily cooperate with them.

Soooo, a fantasy land then?

Perhaps, but a socialist or libertarian is fantasy land as well. It's a fantasy to think that coorporations could be banned and replaced with anything better. What needs to be limited is their power to monopolize.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Strafio wrote:But career

Strafio wrote:

But career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom.
There's only so many skilled jobs out there and these unskilled jobs still need doing by someone.
These people at the bottom, yes they might lack motivation and drive to do a career, or they might be at the very limit of their capabilities.
Either way, anyone who works a 40 hour week deserves a living wage.

EXC wrote:
Where are the rules about what anyone deserves? Who came up with them? God? Did you deserve to be born? Do you deserve to live to 100? Did Haiti deserve the earthquake? You need to realize this notion of morality is complete BS.

I'm fully aware that you reject all notions of morality and would not have used the word "deserve" in a post addressed to you.
In the meantime, the last time we got into a debate about morality you left my last post unanswered.
You often chirp into a topic to declare to everyone that morality is BS, but I'd be interested to see if you can sustain that position through a thorough debate.
Click the link above if you fancy the challenge! Eye-wink

We tend to use the word "earn" or "deserve" in the context of someone doing their bit.
For things to be done, we need everyone to do their bit. The more they do, the better we think they should be rewarded. The less they do, the less we think that they should be rewarded. If someone does a 40 hour week of work, then I think they've done "their bit" enough to atleast deserve the basics i.e. the living wage.

EXC wrote:
It's supply and demand. Someone else is willing to work for a low wage. Doesn't this person deserve a shot a working? And where does the money come from to pay the living wage. Eloise will tell you how greedy capitalists pigs are so we know it's not coming out of their pockets. The pigs either raise prices or don't hire anyone.

I covered this earlier. If you let workers compete to work at the lowest wage, they're going to drive their price dirt cheap. Any society that cares about their welfare of their workforce will not see this as acceptable so will put in measures to prevent it, i.e. a minimum wage. As for the price increase, yeah there'll be a small one, but I think competition will force management to skim a little less off the top. It also mean that the minority of companies that aren't running efficiently, and are only getting by through treating their employees like dirt, they'll be put out of business and their market share will go to the companies that are competent enough to treat their employees right.

EXC wrote:
It's an oversupply of unskilled labor and an undersupply of natural resources. Fix the problem with population controls and education that works. Minimum wage just encourages more of the behavior that leads to an oversupply.

Out interest, what are your qualifications in economics?
You make some very bold and controversial claims, but are they based on strong economical study and evidence, or are they just groundless ideas that seem to work in your head but with no reference to actual reality? Some credentials and sources would be helpful here.


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Strafio wrote:You often

Strafio wrote:

You often chirp into a topic to declare to everyone that morality is BS, but I'd be interested to see if you can sustain that position through a thorough debate.
Click the link above if you fancy the challenge! Eye-wink

Certainly can. Can you give an example were an action was not self-serving? I can point to tons of evidence that free will is illusion, thus our free will to be moral is an illusion as well. Many psychological studies that demonstrate behavior is highly altered when others are looking. I just think the more you understand these thing, the more one should realize that morality is just pressure to conform to the goals of the group.

Strafio wrote:

We tend to use the word "earn" or "deserve" in the context of someone doing their bit.
For things to be done, we need everyone to do their bit. The more they do, the better we think they should be rewarded. The less they do, the less we think that they should be rewarded. If someone does a 40 hour week of work, then I think they've done "their bit" enough to atleast deserve the basics i.e. the living wage.

But unfortunately Mother nature doesn't care what anyone thinks is fair. If our societies work doesn't produce enough food for our overpopulated planet people will starve. So it only makes sense to have social contracts between people not so called rights and entitlements that nature doesn't care about.

How can we make food, shelter, healthcare and reproduction rights and then not expect nature to come deny these rights through lack of resources?

Strafio wrote:

I covered this earlier. If you let workers compete to work at the lowest wage, they're going to drive their price dirt cheap. Any society that cares about their welfare of their workforce will not see this as acceptable so will put in measures to prevent it, i.e. a minimum wage. As for the price increase, yeah there'll be a small one, but I think competition will force management to skim a little less off the top.

And hire fewer workers. The decision to risk money to start a business is based on expected returns. So don't you discourage more companies to shut down or move away and less to get started? So in the long run, how can this benefit? Isn't this what drove manufacturing out of the USA to Mexico and China? This is also what has driven illegal immigration.

Strafio wrote:

It also mean that the minority of companies that aren't running efficiently, and are only getting by through treating their employees like dirt, they'll be put out of business and their market share will go to the companies that are competent enough to treat their employees right.

But these guys that were "treated like dirt" did so voluntarily, so being unemployed must be even worse for them. How are you helping them by making it harder to find a new job?

Strafio wrote:

Out interest, what are your qualifications in economics?

What's anyone's qualifications in economics? Do I need a diploma or a Nobel peace prize, otherwise my opinion doesn't count?

Strafio wrote:

You make some very bold and controversial claims, but are they based on strong economical study and evidence, or are they just groundless ideas that seem to work in your head but with no reference to actual reality? Some credentials and sources would be helpful here.

I think you should read up on Malthus, Adam Smith, Hume, Garrett Hardin and Thomas Locke to understand where I coming from. I actually shocked that more atheists don't take this position. It's seems this belief in morality rather than rational social contracts is very similar to religion. It makes people feel better to believe that people are 'good', so just like religion people believe in it to get this good feeling even though there is no evidence for it and a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that free will and morality are delusions. So this constant appeal to morality(i.e. what is fair) is just as irrational as appealing to what God would want.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:Certainly can. Can

EXC wrote:

Certainly can. Can you give an example were an action was not self-serving?

Yes - people die for one another every day. Mothers sacrifice their whole lives to serving their children and sometimes even die for them. People die in jungles and deserts trying to help the labor force, women and children in war zones. I know at least one person I would exchange my life for this instant - no questions asked. If you can't recognize any of those as non-self-serving, you are out of touch with reality.

EXC wrote:

And hire fewer workers. The decision to risk money to start a business is based on expected returns. So don't you discourage more companies to shut down or move away and less to get started? So in the long run, how can this benefit? Isn't this what drove manufacturing out of the USA to Mexico and China? This is also what has driven illegal immigration.

I just always have a slight feeling you are fucking with me with statements like these. Did I miss the point at which corporations became a force of nature? They are STATE endorsed and created instances, here to make economy work, NOT to act on their own out of their own interest. We can and should dismantle them tomorrow, since they are clearly not doing what they were supposed to and are activelly making lives world wide miserable as can be, simply by trying to stay in power and keep status quo, no matter what it takes.

This is the point you are intentionally missing - if you just want to accept rule of the few pretending to be stronger, go ahead. I think fighting them is something worth dieing for - how about that, another thing done totally against one's own interest and yet it makes perfect sense!

EXC wrote:

I think you should read up on Malthus, Adam Smith, Hume, Garrett Hardin and Thomas Locke to understand where I coming from.

I will just assume you mean Thomas Hobbes, because John Locke would regurgitate his last meal while listening to you. Hobbes is much more your guy. I can tell you that you are nowhere near Adam Smith tho; compared to you the man is a socialist.

EXC wrote:

It's seems this belief in morality rather than rational social contracts is very similar to religion. It makes people feel better to believe that people are 'good', so just like religion people believe in it to get this good feeling even though there is no evidence for it and a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that free will and morality are delusions. So this constant appeal to morality(i.e. what is fair) is just as irrational as appealing to what God would want.

Do you really mean to tell me that you cannot with certainty say that another human being would die to save your life unconditionally? Do you mean to say that you don't have someone you would die to save, without any conditions? That is a life so strange to me, it is hard to even imagine. I know that, even if I was to become Hitler, my mother would drop dead the instant she found out that she could trade her life for mine. I also know that people I would die for can do whatever the hell they want in their life, including torturing me for as long as they want - same outcome! I can't communicate knowledge of unconditional love to you, it is just impossible, but it's there. I don't need any more proof that some actions are simply not self-serving, death in particular and especially for an atheist.

Now, I am not saying that people are good per definition, but I am saying that you don't have a leg to stand on with this "everything is self-service" crap. Also, when we come to belief in goodness of people, belief is real and it does MATTER! The sheer belief that people are 'good' is so pervasive throughout history that on it's face it has some value. It has shaped our history, guided many actions and continues to do so. Sure, we are far from milk and honey, but I can certainly imagine worse stuff happening without it. US would still be segragated if it wasn't there. We would still own slaves and think nothing of it.

You need to think out of the box and reconsider - this time is not the only time, we've had a history that led us up to here. Corporations didn't always exist, in fact they are no more than a hundred and a change years old and much younger in present form. People around you believe that people are intrensically good - even if it's false, isn't it fucking that much more awesome? Authority has to find still more creative ways to keep us in check and it doesn't look like think they can keep this streak much longer. Stop helping them. Ultimatelly the theory you sport will turn to be no more than a misunderstanding, but as long as you hold it, it will matter and it will hurt us as a species.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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ZuS wrote:Yes - people die

ZuS wrote:

Yes - people die for one another every day.

You mean like the heros and the brave soldiers and servants, unlike those selfish cowards? It doesn't happen that often and and the fact that you have so much praise for them just proves it done for social approval.

ZuS wrote:

Mothers sacrifice their whole lives to serving their children and sometimes even die for them.

And nature rewards them for this behavior by making them feel good. This is how her DNA gets passed along.

ZuS wrote:

People die in jungles and deserts trying to help the labor force, women and children in war zones.

And sacrificing for the cause makes them feel good. People die for their religion too.

 

ZuS wrote:

I know at least one person I would exchange my life for this instant - no questions asked.

Let me guess, it's not me. This person make you feel good, so sacrificing for them makes you feel good. But not me because I don't make you feel the right way. People die for their cigarette and drug addictions all the time because of how it makes them feel.

ZuS wrote:

If you can't recognize any of those as non-self-serving, you are out of touch with reality.

The reality of how I'm supposed to think and conform to social pressure? Or the reality of what the evidence really is. Should I choose to make my reality on fact or like they religious on social pressure?

ZuS wrote:

I just always have a slight feeling you are fucking with me with statements like these. Did I miss the point at which corporations became a force of nature? They are STATE endorsed and created instances, here to make economy work, NOT to act on their own out of their own interest. We can and should dismantle them tomorrow

Because communist party members are less selfish and the party and union bosses are more concerned about the workers. Please. Your less selfish than a CEO.

We need to reform the political system so they don't control the politicians with money. But if we get rid of income tax they won't have a pile of money to go after now would they?

ZuS wrote:

since they are clearly not doing what they were supposed to and are actively making lives world wide miserable as can be, simply by trying to stay in power and keep status quo, no matter what it takes.

So you don't like competing against them. Maybe they don't like competing against you. But that's the world we live in. Is your group of communists going to be any less self interested? Aren't you going to try to monopolize power and the economy as well?

 

ZuS wrote:

This is the point you are intentionally missing - if you just want to accept rule of the few pretending to be stronger, go ahead. I think fighting them is something worth dieing for - how about that, another thing done totally against one's own interest and yet it makes perfect sense!

But doing this feels this the right thing to do. I makes you feel good to think about doing this.

One group fight against others groups you're all selfish bastards trying to monopolize money, power and natural resources. How are you morally superior or less power hungry than anyone else?

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:.. stuff ..Ok so

EXC wrote:

.. stuff ..

Ok so you essentially say that:

1) people "feel good" when dieing for this or that and that's why it's self-serving.

2) "my" communists would suck too

I am not sure if getting shot feels good, but it certainly does make sense, because you die with a knowledge that the person you die for is safe. I suppose you could see this as self-serving, if you were completely retarded. Do you realise that you go miles and miles out of your way to discredit the very way we are built? No matter what happens to us, we 'feel' good knowing someone else is safe - that should be like a lightning bolth through your brain to realise that we actually function that way. And who says that it wouldn't be you? How do you know that given the choice I wouldn't choose to die instead of you? You don't. Might be surprised. And it sure as shit isn't because I hate my life, I freeking love it.

Yea, commies in the white house would suck. That is the nature of authority - they suck per default. Is that a reason not to fight the ones in power today? Hell, no. The results of the struggle are everywhere - they can't do stuff they could 50 years ago, let alone 200. 200 years ago Iraq would be ploved using Iradi children's shoulderblades, after they were erradicated by planted diseases. 50 years ago 5 million would be bombed with napalm, just like in Vietnam. Today, even with the unpresidented capacity to kill, even with 9/11, they can't do anything close to what they did to the indians or the Vietnamese. Wake the fuck up and choose the right side already, we are transforming this earth. I am sure we can use your critical thought once we are fighting commies again.

And on that bit about CEOs - I am a CEO. I can tell you with full confidence that private companies are the worst tyranies I have ever seen in my life and from this chair I have a pretty good view of things. They just promote the worst in people, it's simply structural.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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ZuS wrote:I am not sure if

ZuS wrote:

I am not sure if getting shot feels good, but it certainly does make sense, because you die with a knowledge that the person you die for is safe.

 

Getting lung cancer doesn't feel good either, but people light up their cigarettes knowing they might get it. Why? It feels good to light up. It feels go to believe you would sacrifice for another person. It feels good to believe there is an afterlife.

ZuS wrote:

I suppose you could see this as self-serving, if you were completely retarded.

 

Thanks for proving my point. It's all about the warm feelings of social approval. I supposed to feel like shit now for not believing in the nobility of self-sacrifice.

ZuS wrote:

How do you know that given the choice I wouldn't choose to die instead of you?

Then I would be retarded to believe that one.

ZuS wrote:

Yea, commies in the white house would suck. That is the nature of authority - they suck per default. Is that a reason not to fight the ones in power today? 

 

Agreed. So we need a more direct democracy, especially on how our money is spent. We need to move to a pay for the services you receive instead of an irrational tax system. If you choke off the money for the do nothing politicians, lawyers, corporations, unions and welfare cheats, there goes their authority as well.

But we're not going to get there with this game of moral superiority.

ZuS wrote:

And on that bit about CEOs - I am a CEO. I can tell you with full confidence that private companies are the worst tyranies I have ever seen in my life and from this chair I have a pretty good view of things. They just promote the worst in people, it's simply structural.

I don't care as long as corporations don't put a gun to my head and force me to buy their products, work for them or monopolize all the earth's resources. But with socialism this is what you get. With socialized healthcare I'd be forced to pay the medical industry for shit I don't want or need. Give me the freedom not to associate with corporations that suck as well as government that sucks.

 

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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We'll keep this topic purely

We'll keep this topic purely about workers rights.
If you want to debate morality, I think we left it off in this thread.
The challenge still remains for you to see it through.

 

Strafio wrote:
We tend to use the word "earn" or "deserve" in the context of someone doing their bit.
For things to be done, we need everyone to do their bit. The more they do, the better we think they should be rewarded. The less they do, the less we think that they should be rewarded. If someone does a 40 hour week of work, then I think they've done "their bit" enough to atleast deserve the basics i.e. the living wage.

EXC wrote:
But unfortunately Mother nature doesn't care what anyone thinks is fair. If our societies work doesn't produce enough food for our overpopulated planet people will starve. So it only makes sense to have social contracts between people not so called rights and entitlements that nature doesn't care about.

So um... I guess that's why we don't vote for "mother nature" to run our countries.
If you read up on the history of rights, you'll find that it came about through rational self interest.
Working classes found that better conditions were worth fighting and perhaps dying for, ruling classes recognised that treating the working classes better was necessary for stability. This process has gradually won humans in society the rights that they have today.


Strafio wrote:
Out interest, what are your qualifications in economics?

EXC wrote:
What's anyone's qualifications in economics? Do I need a diploma or a Nobel peace prize, otherwise my opinion doesn't count?

The reason I ask is because most of your claims here are based on economical claims, and controversial ones too.
So my question is about whether these controversial claims are an educated opinion of someone who has thoroughly studied economics, or whether it's someone who lives in their own head? While I'm not exactly an expert in economics either, I'm not making such strong authoritative claims as you are. That's why I'm questioning your expertise behind them.

EXC wrote:
I think you should read up on Malthus, Adam Smith, Hume, Garrett Hardin and Thomas Locke to understand where I coming from. I actually shocked that more atheists don't take this position. It's seems this belief in morality rather than rational social contracts is very similar to religion. It makes people feel better to believe that people are 'good', so just like religion people believe in it to get this good feeling even though there is no evidence for it and a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that free will and morality are delusions. So this constant appeal to morality(i.e. what is fair) is just as irrational as appealing to what God would want.

1) I'm fairly familiar with Hume, Lock and Hobbes.
2) All of these writers are atleast 200 years old and are a bit primitive to say the least.

You seem to think that atheists merely have a lack of exposure to these thinkers.
If you'd gone a bit further and studied opposing positions, you'd see why many atheists have come across these ideas and then moved past them.

 


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EXC wrote:Thanks for proving

EXC wrote:

Thanks for proving my point. It's all about the warm feelings of social approval. I supposed to feel like shit now for not believing in the nobility of self-sacrifice.

Dieing can not be about warm feelings of social approval - you die, game over, all potential and current value is over for you. I can also tell you with certainty that my mother's feelings for me have nothing to do with social acceptance. Same with mine for certain other people.

Even supposing that it all is for social acceptance and warm feelings, it is significant that that is the way we are built. I am not talking about nobility, I have now in three posts said the same: it is a fact that we value self-sacrifice and it is a fact that we are cold and calculating and kill people some times - both have significant impact on how reality turns out. It's up to us to promote circumstances where it is hard to be cold and calculating. You could argue that cold calculation is just as imaginary, because it breaks up the minute you go to places where your actions have consequences - because we are built that way, we function that way, that IS our reality.

EXC wrote:

ZuS wrote:

How do you know that given the choice I wouldn't choose to die instead of you?

Then I would be retarded to believe that one.

I wouldn't be so sure.

EXC wrote:

ZuS wrote:

Yea, commies in the white house would suck. That is the nature of authority - they suck per default. Is that a reason not to fight the ones in power today? 

Agreed. So we need a more direct democracy, especially on how our money is spent. We need to move to a pay for the services you receive instead of an irrational tax system. If you choke off the money for the do nothing politicians, lawyers, corporations, unions and welfare cheats, there goes their authority as well.

But we're not going to get there with this game of moral superiority.

Never mind moral supperiority, I am interested in promoting one kind of society rather than another. Some systems promote cold calculation, others don't. Complex theory shows clearly that segragation happens on it's own and this fits reality well. People segragate automatically, especially by power level in society. If you want a more direct democracy, we will have to do something about the more powerful grouping up. Government and corporate sector are not separate in the US.

EXC wrote:

I don't care as long as corporations don't put a gun to my head and force me to buy their products, work for them or monopolize all the earth's resources. But with socialism this is what you get. With socialized healthcare I'd be forced to pay the medical industry for shit I don't want or need. Give me the freedom not to associate with corporations that suck as well as government that sucks.

They put guns to other people's heads (literally since Blackwater came to existance), including US citizens. Eventually they will comme to the heads of every man woman and child in the US, including yours. I think we should make this type of stuff impossible and that we should start now rather than when they come to your head - much more effective doing things while not on gun-point.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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Strafio wrote:1) I'm fairly

Strafio wrote:

1) I'm fairly familiar with Hume, Lock and Hobbes.
2) All of these writers are atleast 200 years old and are a bit primitive to say the least.

I think your 2) is patently wrong. While Hobbes might be EXC's favorite, Smith and Locke are more relevant for contemporary economy than most writers today. Opinions of people who were there when Iraq war was about WMDs will give you a much better picture of the nature of, say, corporate war adventures in the 21st century, than anyone who lives in 2150. We are forgetting the history and where this all started - this is like doing statistics without any method of sampling or expectance function, which is completely useless.

You have to read Adam Smith to understand that what he is used for today is rubish - the man warns himself against corporate-like organisations more than once. One particular indoctrination method in economic schools today is that they take the name, but leave the text out.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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When I say "primitive", I

When I say "primitive", I don't mean it as a put down.
Their ideas are still important.
What I mean is, if you use them exclusively, you miss out on the 200+ years of development that furthered these ideas.

If someone wanted to study economics, these sources might be of historical interest, but surely it's better to learn from an up to date contemporary source?


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Strafio wrote:If someone

Strafio wrote:

If someone wanted to study economics, these sources might be of historical interest, but surely it's better to learn from an up to date contemporary source?

NO!

Read Adam Smith BECAUSE he was writing about corporate idea before corporate existed. Today you do not have the luxury of excluding corporations from the laws of nature - they are just an assumed force in economic education, never to be questioned, regulated, or even imagined abolished. This is not only unhealthy, but disasterous for our study of economics - a corporation is nothing more than a creation of the state, given rights by the government.

Imagine any other field study taking some state-created item as an assumed law of nature. Take mathematics simply declaring that complex numbers do not exist by decree. That is the equivalent of the situation we are in today - solutions to all economic problems in all economic books are constrained to the corporate view.

Contemporary economics are sort of like the teachings of the Church during the time of Inquisition and will be remembered as such once we manage to rip our collective lives out of their grip.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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Strafio wrote:We'll keep

Strafio wrote:

We'll keep this topic purely about workers rights.

But when you and others disagree with me about workers rights, it always ends up an appeal to what is fair, what is compassionate, what is unselfish. So it ends up being a debate about morality. Can we assume then that the forces of nature don't care about what anyone thinks is fair? Nature will cause misery for humans if we overpopulate and we don't have technology and infrastructure to overcome these forces. Agreed? Otherwise, I may as well debate theists that think human misery is due to sin.
 

Strafio wrote:
We tend to use the word "earn" or "deserve" in the context of someone doing their bit.
For things to be done, we need everyone to do their bit. The more they do, the better we think they should be rewarded. The less they do, the less we think that they should be rewarded. If someone does a 40 hour week of work, then I think they've done "their bit" enough to atleast deserve the basics i.e. the living wage.

I think you are copping out on an explanation as to why if it is so easy to make massive profits employing below minimum wage workers, why doesn't a competing business get in the market and get in on all the easy money, thereby eliminating any labor oversupplies? You tell me how greedy capitalist all are, but then no explanation as to why capitalist competitors don't enter the market when there is so much easy money to be made. There are barriers to entering the market and we should fix these fix instead of saying the free market doesn't work.

Your agrgument is an appeal to morality and not an appeal to reason.

Strafio wrote:

The reason I ask is because most of your claims here are based on economical claims, and controversial ones too.
So my question is about whether these controversial claims are an educated opinion of someone who has thoroughly studied economics, or whether it's someone who lives in their own head? While I'm not exactly an expert in economics either, I'm not making such strong authoritative claims as you are. That's why I'm questioning your expertise behind them.

There tends to be two camps of economics, those that believe in the free market, those that don't. Those that don't make an appeal to morality and then completely ignore the secondary effects of a particular policy, they are OK with helping the poor now even though this help will lead to even more suffering in the future. The libertarian economists claim to be against monopolies and wealth without productivity, but then the policies of private ownership for profit of natural resources will of course lead to this. Neither group wants to touch the issues human overpopulation and an ineffective education system. So I don't really fit into either camp completely.

What should I do? I don't fit into either camp. I have my own ideas and I only partially agree with both sides. Sounds like you think I should just conform to the opinion one so called expert.

Strafio wrote:

You seem to think that atheists merely have a lack of exposure to these thinkers.
If you'd gone a bit further and studied opposing positions, you'd see why many atheists have come across these ideas and then moved past them. 

Then why is there this constant appeal to morality on this MB? How have we've moved past them? What is the basis by which workers or anyone deserve "fair" payment?

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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I'm no economist, but surely

I'm no economist, but surely someone in the last 300 years has managed to further Smith's work?
While he might have had some great ideas and predictions, surely since then there must have been a wealth of observations and experimentations for improved fact and accuracy?

If not, he must be unique within the world of knowledge.
For example; if someone was interested in evolution, it wouldn't be Origin of Species that I'd recommend.


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Strafio wrote:I'm no

Strafio wrote:

I'm no economist, but surely someone in the last 300 years has managed to further Smith's work?

Well sure, there are pleanty of economists that have contributed their own ideas. I metioned Garrett Hardin because I think he pointed out a couple of gaping holes in Smith's idealized theories. Elinor Ostrom has explained what is wrong with privatization and monopolization of natural resouces.

 A whole series of people have followed on and developed more complex theories. But the problem is if you think Smith was more correct than Keynes, it is a difficult thing to measure empirically.

Strafio wrote:

While he might have had some great ideas and predictions, surely since then there must have been a wealth of observations and experimentation's for improved fact and accuracy?

Sure. But there is no way to say anyone is correct. They all have ideas that have their merits. But take Keynes for example, perhaps stimulating the economy does lower unemployment in a recession. But what about the side effects of increased government debt, power, dependence on government and overuse of resources? Perhaps the cure is worse than the disease in the long run.

Strafio wrote:

If not, he must be unique within the world of knowledge.
For example; if someone was interested in evolution, it wouldn't be Origin of Species that I'd recommend.

I think an outline of it would be a good start in historical context. Darwin was a brilliant man just explaining as best he could with the facts available at the time. Just as Newtonian physics is a good start in that science. If you start with something modern, it may be too difficult to understand without years of study.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote: A whole series

EXC wrote:

 A whole series of people have followed on and developed more complex theories. But the problem is if you think Smith was more correct than Keynes, it is a difficult thing to measure empirically.

Just to make sure that no one is left with the wrong impression, but John Maynard Keynes was a quack with regard to his economic theories.  All he did was come up with theories that justified government expansion and spending, without regard for sustainability, efficiency, or stability.

 

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. ..." -- Thomas Jefferson


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Mr. XC wrote:EXC wrote: A

Mr. XC wrote:

EXC wrote:

 A whole series of people have followed on and developed more complex theories. But the problem is if you think Smith was more correct than Keynes, it is a difficult thing to measure empirically.

Just to make sure that no one is left with the wrong impression, but John Maynard Keynes was a quack with regard to his economic theories.  All he did was come up with theories that justified government expansion and spending, without regard for sustainability, efficiency, or stability.

Of course, that is about as shrude and incorrect summary of Keynes as you get, usually fom the corporate corner of government loving, but public influence hating rich people. An honest conservative would recognise Keynes as a conservative. Amongst his most radical conservative traits was his retributionist view of almost all parts of the judicial practice, including economic, which clearly does not go well with the government-loving narrative today's disaster profiteers try to pin on him.

In truth, people yelling the loudest against government today are it's biggest beneficiaries, namely the corporate few. They are not really opposed to government, just the public influence of the government.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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Strafio wrote:I'm no

Strafio wrote:

I'm no economist, but surely someone in the last 300 years has managed to further Smith's work?
While he might have had some great ideas and predictions, surely since then there must have been a wealth of observations and experimentations for improved fact and accuracy?

If not, he must be unique within the world of knowledge.
For example; if someone was interested in evolution, it wouldn't be Origin of Species that I'd recommend.

Indeed there has been a wealth of new work, most of it indoctrination and propaganda. Same would be the case with evolution theory, if the public and elite perception of our origin decided funding for the Pentagon.

I can see EXC went on a theoretical binge about lack of empiric proof for or against this or that theory, which I am sure he himself does not believe is especially significant. My point is not that you should listen to everything Adam Smith says, but to the unique perspective of a man who knew economic systems before corporations took over the universe. I would give you same advice to listen to the stories of ordinary people, as recorded in the book of the late Prof. Howard Zinn - People's History of the United States, where the voices of ordinary workers engaged in fights against corporate opression resonate with the same intelligent and sophisticated analysis of the danger of corporate power as that of Adam Smith.

The core issues have nothing to do with economic theory or any new development, the game has been the same for thousands of years. Taking from others pays more than following any ecnomic theory and if you can make the economic theory an excuse and method for dominion, than that is what the top dogs will do - plain and simple. Approach your study of economics with listening to people on the ground, NOT the theoretical top. The ones that have experienced transfer from different systems and have fought against some of them have the best understanding of practical function of the same systems, while Adam Smith has the power to contradict almost every contemporaty economist, if indeed any of them bothered to read the text.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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Theories are only useful when they predict things

ZuS wrote:

Mr. XC wrote:

EXC wrote:

 A whole series of people have followed on and developed more complex theories. But the problem is if you think Smith was more correct than Keynes, it is a difficult thing to measure empirically.

Just to make sure that no one is left with the wrong impression, but John Maynard Keynes was a quack with regard to his economic theories.  All he did was come up with theories that justified government expansion and spending, without regard for sustainability, efficiency, or stability.

Of course, that is about as shrude and incorrect summary of Keynes as you get, usually fom the corporate corner of government loving, but public influence hating rich people. An honest conservative would recognise Keynes as a conservative. Amongst his most radical conservative traits was his retributionist view of almost all parts of the judicial practice, including economic, which clearly does not go well with the government-loving narrative today's disaster profiteers try to pin on him.

In truth, people yelling the loudest against government today are it's biggest beneficiaries, namely the corporate few. They are not really opposed to government, just the public influence of the government.

My "summary" was of his economic theories and your followup seems to be about his political views.  I do not see a reply to the subject of my post here.

ZuS wrote:
... contemporaty economist ...

How many saw the housing bubble in advance of its crash?

ZuS wrote:
My point is not that you should listen to everything Adam Smith says, but to the unique perspective of a man who knew economic systems before corporations took over the universe.

I agree with this.  For example:
Adam Smith: 1723-1790
Corporate personhood: Fourteenth Amendment 1868

Corporate personhood is a game changer.  I think that it was a mistake because it allows corporations to be more influential in government than the citizens.  Minority interests that overwhelmingly guide public policy over the long term is one of the roads to civilization collapse, which is in no ones long term interest.

I recommend looking at Austrian Economics instead of Adam Smith in the same way that people should look at the theory of evolution instead of Charles Darwin.

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. ..." -- Thomas Jefferson


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I'm not so sure...

Strafio wrote:

I'm no economist, but surely someone in the last 300 years has managed to further Smith's work?
While he might have had some great ideas and predictions, surely since then there must have been a wealth of observations and experimentations for improved fact and accuracy?

If not, he must be unique within the world of knowledge.
For example; if someone was interested in evolution, it wouldn't be Origin of Species that I'd recommend.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-economist-has-no-clothes

"The physical theory that the creators of neoclassical economics used as a template was conceived in response to the inability of Newtonian physics to account for the phenomena of heat, light and electricity. In 1847 German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz formulated the conservation of energy principle and postulated the existence of a field of conserved energy that fills all space and unifies these phenomena. Later in the century James Maxwell, Ludwig Boltzmann and other physicists devised better explanations for electromagnetism and thermodynamics, but in the meantime, the economists had borrowed and altered Helmholtz’s equations.

The strategy the economists used was as simple as it was absurd—they substituted economic variables for physical ones. Utility (a measure of economic well-being) took the place of energy; the sum of utility and expenditure replaced potential and kinetic energy. A number of well-known mathematicians and physicists told the economists that there was absolutely no basis for making these substitutions. But the economists ignored such criticisms and proceeded to claim that they had transformed their field of study into a rigorously mathematical scientific discipline."

Read slowly - the analysis many economists use today is based on bullpucky. 

I'll say it again - throw away outdated theories.  You may study them for historical perspective, but they have little relationship to the complex world economy we live in today.  We need a new theory and a new vocabulary based on what is, not on what should be.  Yes, that includes libertarianism, capitalism, socialism, and communism.  They are all over simplified and used way too often for yelling matches to be of any use to anyone.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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Mr. XC wrote:ZuS wrote:...

Mr. XC wrote:

ZuS wrote:
... contemporaty economist ...

How many saw the housing bubble in advance of its crash?

I am not sure what you are aiming at. If you want to tell me that I am wrong in dismissing contemporary economists because many of them DID predict the crash, I partially agree with you. There are literally scores of both professional, politically involved and economists with various other affiliations that have both warned and yelled their lungs out against repealing the Glass Steagall act (back in '99 no less), against the low interest rates all through Clinton and Bush II (Greenspan/Summers/Geitner game of pump the bubble), all of them predicting a disaster not long down the road. Just the speech by Senator Byron Dorgan back in 1999 should remove ANY doubt that this was common knowledge for anyone who didn't have an interest in actually runing the system into a hole. Back when Bush gave the "the economy is strong" speech (2007 I think), for years there was a consensus of underground economists that the derivate/frequent trade world is just a pyramid scheme blown out of all proportions. I remember reading a report (2002-2003 or something) about derivate trade reaching value of 10 times the global industrial value.

If that is your point - you are right, there are many good economists out there and they know what our "economy" is really about. But, as I have already said, they are the underground and they are not allowed to teach proper economics, or even common sense. Even now the main stream story is that "no one could have seen it comming". Even after admitions across the board, after several risk assesment gurus wrote books about their own and the role of the government in purpusful destruction of regulation, the economist who saw this coming in 1990es and before are kept away from positions of power, ignored by the main stream media, or simply denied tenure at anything bigger than a flee circus.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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Keynes vs. Austrian Economics

ZuS,

I intentionally left that open ended.  I try to be unassuming and I wanted to hear what you thought first.  I did not want to mistakenly attack a straw man.  I agree with much of what you have said.

My point is that of those who could see through those multiple bubbles, I would like for you to look at how many of them also take Keynes' economic theories seriously.  Also, of those who saw no problems ahead, how many of them accepted Keynes economic theories.  Granted, this is not a good way to make a point, but I thought that it would be beneficial to tie the two together.  For many, this helps with establishing credibility; although personally, I prefer to judge based on the soundness of the idea regardless of its source.  My experience is that those who not only actually saw the problems coming, but actually described how the events would unfold tend to strongly reject Keynes economic theories.  This is not just a coincidence; many of these people (at least, those that I am aware of) tend to use ideas from Austrian Economics.  People who get the basics of Austrian Economics find Keynesian economics to be absurd.

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. ..." -- Thomas Jefferson


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Mr. XC wrote:ZuS,I

Mr. XC wrote:

ZuS,

I intentionally left that open ended.  I try to be unassuming and I wanted to hear what you thought first.  I did not want to mistakenly attack a straw man.  I agree with much of what you have said.

My point is that of those who could see through those multiple bubbles, I would like for you to look at how many of them also take Keynes' economic theories seriously.  Also, of those who saw no problems ahead, how many of them accepted Keynes economic theories.  Granted, this is not a good way to make a point, but I thought that it would be beneficial to tie the two together.  For many, this helps with establishing credibility; although personally, I prefer to judge based on the soundness of the idea regardless of its source.  My experience is that those who not only actually saw the problems coming, but actually described how the events would unfold tend to strongly reject Keynes economic theories.  This is not just a coincidence; many of these people (at least, those that I am aware of) tend to use ideas from Austrian Economics.  People who get the basics of Austrian Economics find Keynesian economics to be absurd.

Well, you could just have asked whether I was defending Keynes or attacking someone I assumend had a simplistic conception of the issue. To tell you in no uncertain terms - trying to call Bernanke a Keynsian is like calling Al Capone a Marxist. These guys are doing something, but it's got nothing to do with being "mistaken" about some ideology, just like you wouldn't say Capone had a mistaken belief in organising the proleteriat and just happened to form a mafia family by mistake.

Here's what I share with the crowd who have been shouting since before 1999: it's criminal and reaching much farther than a simple economic crysis, with roots in destroyed economies anywhere IMF decided to plant a seed of "free market miracle". Don't get me wrong, I am not attacking the free market - one can't attack an abstract idea that never has and never will exist in practice on grounds of factual inacuracy. There just isn't and can never be any empirical data on it. This should tell you something about the idea, however - namely that it has a different purpose than to be applied in reality.

Here's what I don't share with Ron Paul: it's not a matter of economic theory, ideology or whatever else you want to call it - there is no place for "admiting that they were wrong" - their actions are intentionally criminal and Ron Paul is not calling a spade for a spade. This would worry me to the extreme, if I was to endorse him for office.

Here's what I think Keynes got right: free market will never be free. We will have to fight for every inch of common sense in economics, because nonsense is good business for elites.

Here's what I think we have to do about it: stop kidding ourselves and start fighting the war we've been served. So it's a class war, so what? Am I going to let Ron Paul-like characters slide in and call it a mistake because some german said x, y and z at some point in history, Bernanke chose to pick him up as a shield and now they will have a stern conversation? That's the question with consequences for the 50k per year dead due to lack of basic healthcare, countries like Haiti being raped for decades and bombs falling in the middle east - those people are sure as shit not seeing any Keynsianism in their neighborhood and neither are the homeless, jobless and/or dead Americans.

You are off target considering this a theoretical question - that is just the newest issue of the muppet show, smoke screen for the college graduates. It's much simpler than that and the average Joe on the street understands it. You have to be thoroughly educated to miss the point.

PS: I just watched the vid you posted with that Peter Schiff guy - pure propaganda. I call these guys 90% right 10% wrong. They attract the target public (in this case somewhat educated folk like yourself) with 90% right factual stuff, straight talk, appealing way of speaking and a slight humoristic bend. The 10% that is left unsaid, or is vowen into the fabric of the talks, is the reason why they are in the spotlight in the first place.

Am I bullshiting you? Well, can you explain to me how he managed to avoid mentioning expenditure for two wars and an overblown Pentagon budget through the last 60 years? Not once did he mention this largest exspense on or off the books, while he mentioned "kitchen restauration" and "borrower speculation" as the main sinner? I can give you a qualified guess - he is a businessman with understanding for power of opinion (stock market is built on opinion after all) and the need to NOT step on the toes of power, if you are angling in for some office somewhere, or simply going for advertisement and exploit of opportunity in muddy water. I personally think he's going for both.

Prime example of 90% right 10% wrong is Lyndon LaRouche, the straight talk express propaganda machine, devoted to gathering all the succeptible intellectuals under his teaching and then effectively nullify their potential dissident effect in politics.

Bottom line: you want to listen to guys like these and follow their advice, you are either a member of the elite or about to be raped. He is useless noise - if you want solutions, we are the one's we've been waiting for.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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So if I wanted an

So if I wanted an introduction to economics, what would you recommend to a newbie like me?
I currently have this introduction book that seems to be a very technical and politic-free introduction aimed at someone like me.


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Strafio wrote:So if I wanted

Strafio wrote:

So if I wanted an introduction to economics, what would you recommend to a newbie like me?
I currently have this introduction book that seems to be a very technical and politic-free introduction aimed at someone like me.

Who is this question adressed to?

If you ask me, you will not like the answer - there is no such thing as a politic-free introduction to economics.

You need a course in intellectual self-defense first, otherwise you will be forever lost in bullshit. Intellectual self-defense consists of argumentation theory and non-mainstream history (go especially through Argentina, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba, Chile in the past century; go through Indonesia up to now; go through Palestina since 1930 to today, remember to check sources, avoid main stream and stick to low level reports - people on the ground).

If this is done properly, you can pick up basically any book, article or newspaper, go back to your sources acquired through intellectual self-defense course, use common sense and check the validity of claims.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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:o

Mr. XC wrote:

 

How many saw the housing bubble in advance of its crash?

 

 

Pretty much the entire financial sector, and many people on Wall Street.

 

They were playing hot potato with bad debt for years, knowing it was going to explode at some point. You can only repackage and pass it off to someone else so many times.

 

They knew running with a leverage ratio of more than 35 to 1 that this was an inevitability. The trick was making deals so when it blew up they weren't left holding the ball, basically by holding a large part of America hostage. The "If we go, you go" is why they succeeded. 

 

And they are much wealthier for it.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


Mr. XC
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Reply to ZuS and other comments

In my prior posts, I use "Keynesian economics," not "Keynesian."  Likewise, any time I talked about Keynes, I made sure to state that my statements were in reference to his economic theories.  Stating things like calling "Al Capone a Marxist" seems to tell me that you think that I am talking about Keynes' political views.  I have not once referenced anyone's political views in this thread above.  Bernanke and others are following a classic Keynesian economic recovery move:  Lower interest rates and have the government spend more money via debt.  If you do not think that Bernanke is Keynesian with regard to economic theories, I am fine with that, but his actions regarding our economic situation originate from Keynesian economics.  If you think that I am calling Bernanke a Keynesian from a political aspect, that is off topic from my posts.

I like Hanlon's Razor.  It states "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."  Why do I like that?  Because as humans, we have a natural psychological tendency to think that things happen for a reason and that it has something to do about us.  A bias of sorts.  This is why people love conspiracy theories.  Conspiracy theories often assume that something was done on purpose and it was to harm us.  The reality tends to be that people do stupid things and sometimes they just so happen to involve us.

Here is my perspective on our situation, for over 100 years (probably further back than that if I want to do more research), various independent self interested parties have been slowly changing our government for their benefit.  This has had a cumulative effect that gradually undermines our republic and economy (although the visible effects are sometimes not so gradual).  There is plenty of blame to go around for all of these parties, but I think that various levels of blame could be attributed to everyone.  cj brought up the point of over simplified theories going by various "ism's" (libertarianism, capitalism, socialism, communism, etc.).  The two party system in the US seems to delude some people into thinking that voting democrat or republican will change something about this accumulated corruption, and another group of people recognize that problem but reason that nothing that they can do can will fix it.  I think that some blame needs to be assigned to those groups of people, because it is the duty of every US citizen to try to protect our republic.

Libertarianism, while another such ism, seems to be a better option because it removes many of the powers from government that the special interests have corrupted.  While the free market may seem like a scary alternative to some, people living today have never seen a true free market in the US.  When the US moved to a fiat money system, it allowed interest rates to be planned, and under the fractional reserve system, this means that the price of money has been planned.  This is the equivalent of crudely central planning the price of every good and service in the economy!  This, of course, is most definitely nothing like a free market.  It corrupts the free market.  It distorts economic signals that allow capital to be efficiently allocated and allows good behaviour to be punished and bad behaviour to be rewarded.  Although much of this can be also be attributed to what the government has done with its powers (not just the monitory system), which is why I support removing those powers from the government.

I agree that we should stop kidding ourselves, but this is not a class war.  Saying that a particular class or "ruling elite" is responsible is just too ambiguous and also over simplifies the problem, or worse, prevents us from addressing the real problems at their sources.  Instead of the class or the elite (which implies people), it would be more productive to mention corporations.  While corporations are made up of people, they are treated as artificial persons by the government.  They even behave like artificial persons in that they have a built in motives (profit, stay alive / in business).  They have huge resources, some of which are used to influence the government.  But unlike real persons, they do not experience an eventual death like real persons do.  Thus, their assets and power continue to accumulate beyond many generations of real people.  When most people think of class, they tend not to think of corporations and the problems that they present that are unique to any problems that the rich can present.

I certainly agree with the spirit of "You have to be thoroughly educated to miss the point."  The economics that are taught in almost all colleges these days (based on Keynesian economics) allows educated businessmen and economists to think that they understand the economy when they really understand the economy like a witch doctor understands medicine.

About ZuS's comments about the videos, I have been following Peter Schiff prior to the housing crash.  Are you suggesting that the 10% that is unsaid is wrong?  He has mentioned that the government needs to cut spending many times.  I think that a reasonable person could assume that this includes the Pentagon budget.  Peter has also mentioned that war itself is among the worst forms of economic activities.  Mainly because we produce things and then proceed to blow them up.  He is against the Iraq war, even against using debt for war.  Peter is a large critic of large government, so I am not sure why you think that he is afraid of stepping on the toes of power.  He already has and continues to do so.


ClockCat,

The financial sector repackaged pools of subprime loans into different securities by rated safety.  Essentially, there was a security that got paid the most interest, but if there were defaults, the principal would loose value before any of the following pools.  The second security within this pool got a slightly less interest rate, but could also have its principal wiped out if the pool of loans went bad.  The last and most safe security paid the least interest, but was insured and considered safe.  After all, if the home owners did not pay, the bank would own an asset that always goes up in value!  They are not making any more land after all!    At least, that was the overwhelmingly popular theory at the time.  Even if that failed, the insurance would pick up the tab for the lost principal.  Unfortunately, the economists who judged the risk of this model did not use housing prices for more than 20 years ago or something ridiculously short like that.  So prior history where housing prices have fallen was not taken into account in the risk models.  Thus, people who thought that they had safe securities did not because someone who was trusted to be smart enough to know better did something stupid.

The hedge funds who bought the risky portions of the subprime pool were known to be risky.

The leverage ratios that you mentioned are unwise, but they seriously thought that they had risk under control.  Identifying risk is something that they spent a lot of time on, but obviously, it did not work out for these types of securities.

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. ..." -- Thomas Jefferson


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couple of ideas

Mr. XC wrote:

I like Hanlon's Razor.  It states "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."  Why do I like that?  Because as humans, we have a natural psychological tendency to think that things happen for a reason and that it has something to do about us.  A bias of sorts.  This is why people love conspiracy theories.  Conspiracy theories often assume that something was done on purpose and it was to harm us.  The reality tends to be that people do stupid things and sometimes they just so happen to involve us.

A lovely principle.  Or, from Douglas Adams, "Yes, an intelligent child may do stupid things.  But a stupid child may also do stupid things, and we musn't lose sight of that fact."  (I have probably mangled the quote somewhat.)

Mr. XC wrote:

Libertarianism, while another such ism, seems to be a better option because it removes many of the powers from government that the special interests have corrupted.  While the free market may seem like a scary alternative to some, people living today have never seen a true free market in the US. 

Ah, but we have plenty of eye-witness accounts of "free" markets.  Any novel or social inventory prior to 1930.  Yes, they can be difficult to wade through for modern readers.  Any Dickens novel.  The Secret Garden.  Or for a recent example, Free to Choose.  It was Milton Freeman's description of Hong Kong in the 1980s that turned me off of "free" markets permanently.  Who wants to live like that?  And if you are thinking you would be one of the ones on top, think again.  Odds are you will be living similarly to the boat people.  Getting on top involves a lot more than brains and hard work - it also involves luck.  We have no control over being in the right place at the right time.  Don't fool yourself.  

Oh, never mind, you are all too young to get it.  Wait until you are old and cynical and your savings are wiped out and the health insurance companies refuse to cover you anymore and your medication is $200 or more a pop.

Mr. XC wrote:

When the US moved to a fiat money system, it allowed interest rates to be planned, and under the fractional reserve system, this means that the price of money has been planned.  This is the equivalent of crudely central planning the price of every good and service in the economy!  This, of course, is most definitely nothing like a free market.  It corrupts the free market.  It distorts economic signals that allow capital to be efficiently allocated and allows good behaviour to be punished and bad behaviour to be rewarded.  Although much of this can be also be attributed to what the government has done with its powers (not just the monitory system), which is why I support removing those powers from the government.

I agree that we should stop kidding ourselves, but this is not a class war.  Saying that a particular class or "ruling elite" is responsible is just too ambiguous and also over simplifies the problem, or worse, prevents us from addressing the real problems at their sources.  Instead of the class or the elite (which implies people), it would be more productive to mention corporations.  While corporations are made up of people, they are treated as artificial persons by the government.  They even behave like artificial persons in that they have a built in motives (profit, stay alive / in business).  They have huge resources, some of which are used to influence the government.  But unlike real persons, they do not experience an eventual death like real persons do.  Thus, their assets and power continue to accumulate beyond many generations of real people.  When most people think of class, they tend not to think of corporations and the problems that they present that are unique to any problems that the rich can present.

Corporations should NOT EVER be treated as individuals.  It provides no other purpose than a legal fiction that allows corporations to claim privileges and rights that are not appropriate for that legal entity.  And I don't see how removing governmental powers to regulate corporations will correct this problem.  If not government, then who?  The "free" market?  Never happen.  Please review Teddy Roosevelt's era and the fight against monopolies.  Please review Adam Smith.  The "free" market promotes monopolies, it doesn't discourage them.  And it is the consumers of those monopolies who get the shaft - note, I am including other businesses as consumers of the products of monopolies as they get shafted as well.

Mr. XC wrote:

About ZuS's comments about the videos, I have been following Peter Schiff prior to the housing crash.  Are you suggesting that the 10% that is unsaid is wrong?  He has mentioned that the government needs to cut spending many times.  I think that a reasonable person could assume that this includes the Pentagon budget.  Peter has also mentioned that war itself is among the worst forms of economic activities.  Mainly because we produce things and then proceed to blow them up.  He is against the Iraq war, even against using debt for war.  Peter is a large critic of large government, so I am not sure why you think that he is afraid of stepping on the toes of power.  He already has and continues to do so.

War trashes the economy of both winner and loser.  For those too young to know - and I certainly don't remember personally, I'm old enough to have been born, but not old enough to consciously remember - there was a recession in the US immediately after WWII.  We didn't jump to superpower status because of WWII, but in spite of WWII.  And because we had more resources and were able to recover more quickly than smaller countries that also won the war.

Mr. XC wrote:

ClockCat,

The financial sector repackaged pools of subprime loans into different securities by rated safety.  Essentially, there was a security that got paid the most interest, but if there were defaults, the principal would loose value before any of the following pools.  The second security within this pool got a slightly less interest rate, but could also have its principal wiped out if the pool of loans went bad.  The last and most safe security paid the least interest, but was insured and considered safe.  After all, if the home owners did not pay, the bank would own an asset that always goes up in value!  They are not making any more land after all!    At least, that was the overwhelmingly popular theory at the time.  Even if that failed, the insurance would pick up the tab for the lost principal.  Unfortunately, the economists who judged the risk of this model did not use housing prices for more than 20 years ago or something ridiculously short like that.  So prior history where housing prices have fallen was not taken into account in the risk models.  Thus, people who thought that they had safe securities did not because someone who was trusted to be smart enough to know better did something stupid.

It is hard for me to fathom how people who are older than 40 were able to ignore signs of the housing bubble.  I've been through a couple - though this is my first time as a home owner, I was renting before.  Particularly people who were in a financial industry.  And in Econ 101, one of the first things we were taught is business goes through cycles.  Bubble and bust.  The whole point of regulation is to moderate the cycle, smaller bubbles mean smaller busts.  Yes, it also means you can't make as much, but it also means you won't lose as much.  Because busts ALWAYS follow bubbles.

Mr. XC wrote:

The hedge funds who bought the risky portions of the subprime pool were known to be risky.

When I first read the definition of a hedge fund my response was - Hey, they are pyramid schemes.  Nothing else and why are they allowed?

Mr. XC wrote:

The leverage ratios that you mentioned are unwise, but they seriously thought that they had risk under control.  Identifying risk is something that they spent a lot of time on, but obviously, it did not work out for these types of securities.

It seemed to me they didn't want to know the risk.  "Make hay while the sun shines!  Devil take the hindmost!  How dare you suggest we didn't investigate the risks!"  Bunch of dummies.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Mr. XC wrote:In my prior

Mr. XC wrote:

In my prior posts, I use "Keynesian economics," not "Keynesian."  Likewise, any time I talked about Keynes, I made sure to state that my statements were in reference to his economic theories.  Stating things like calling "Al Capone a Marxist" seems to tell me that you think that I am talking about Keynes' political views.  I have not once referenced anyone's political views in this thread above.  Bernanke and others are following a classic Keynesian economic recovery move:  Lower interest rates and have the government spend more money via debt.  If you do not think that Bernanke is Keynesian with regard to economic theories, I am fine with that, but his actions regarding our economic situation originate from Keynesian economics.  If you think that I am calling Bernanke a Keynesian from a political aspect, that is off topic from my posts.

Here's a quote from C. Munger in his recent article "Basically, It's Over":

"The strong faith of these Basicland economists in the beneficence of hypergambling in both securities and financial derivatives stemmed from their utter rejection of the ideas of the great and long-dead economist who had known the most about hyperspeculation, John Maynard Keynes. Keynes had famously said, 'When the capital development of a country is the byproduct of the operations of a casino, the job is likely to be ill done.'"

Why am I telling you this? - you should ask. I am not telling you to take another look at Keynes' economic theory - I couldn't care less about it in this context. I am rather telling you to adopt a more sceptical view on all of them, because they serve a purpose other than guidance in fiscal policy - a smokescreen of excuses. I don't know ANY classical economist who would say that creating money backed by no real value, destroying the industry and gambling for amounts that the whole world doesn't have is a good idea, yet that's exactly what's going on. We need to focus on reality and political action, not discuss theory - plenty of time for common sence in economics once these people are safely in prison.

Mr. XC wrote:

I like Hanlon's Razor.  It states "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."  Why do I like that?  Because as humans, we have a natural psychological tendency to think that things happen for a reason and that it has something to do about us.  A bias of sorts.  This is why people love conspiracy theories.  Conspiracy theories often assume that something was done on purpose and it was to harm us.  The reality tends to be that people do stupid things and sometimes they just so happen to involve us.

If I saw a kid with a black eye, I would say he might have walked into a door. If I saw the same kid with a new black eye same week, I might start doubting my first assumption.

Hanlon's Razor is exactly applicable to the economy here - there are too many indicators pointing to calculated political and clandestine moves to ignore. Destruction of the middle and working class, destruction of South America, Africa, Middle East, the unilateral negative votes in UN on resolutions and general disregard for international law, instantiation of military bases in 100+ countries (remember, this is a conscious effort unlike anything you can imagine - 100+ countries with US military bases sustained for half a century - that alone is indication of HIGHLY focused and efficient activity).

The economy is a part of the puzzle, but you MUST NOT bug yourself down in a discussion about which theory is correct - its exactly this kind of BS that induces blindness to political activity and makes you support this or that 90% right 10% wrong guy.

Mr. XC wrote:


Here is my perspective on our situation, for over 100 years (probably further back than that if I want to do more research), various independent self interested parties have been slowly changing our government for their benefit.  This has had a cumulative effect that gradually undermines our republic and economy (although the visible effects are sometimes not so gradual).  There is plenty of blame to go around for all of these parties, but I think that various levels of blame could be attributed to everyone.  cj brought up the point of over simplified theories going by various "ism's" (libertarianism, capitalism, socialism, communism, etc.).  The two party system in the US seems to delude some people into thinking that voting democrat or republican will change something about this accumulated corruption, and another group of people recognize that problem but reason that nothing that they can do can will fix it.  I think that some blame needs to be assigned to those groups of people, because it is the duty of every US citizen to try to protect our republic.

Ok, I agree with most of this. However, to be complete you must include history of "free market" ventures in the third world and all of the stuff I mentioned above. Add to that the consistency with which corporate media ignores issues & attacks dissidents while you're at it. This puts a different picture on the table, so that we can start putting the puzzle together.


Mr. XC wrote:

Libertarianism, while another such ism, seems to be a better option because it removes many of the powers from government that the special interests have corrupted.  While the free market may seem like a scary alternative to some, people living today have never seen a true free market in the US.  When the US moved to a fiat money system, it allowed interest rates to be planned, and under the fractional reserve system, this means that the price of money has been planned.  This is the equivalent of crudely central planning the price of every good and service in the economy!  This, of course, is most definitely nothing like a free market.  It corrupts the free market.  It distorts economic signals that allow capital to be efficiently allocated and allows good behaviour to be punished and bad behaviour to be rewarded.  Although much of this can be also be attributed to what the government has done with its powers (not just the monitory system), which is why I support removing those powers from the government.

Look, I don't think Libertarianism is bad. I just think that the whole discussion is fucking irelevant. We are not facing people who are 'mistaken' in not following Libertarianism, we are simply facing fascists - no amount of this or that theory will help you here - ONLY popular organising and political action, just like it has always been. How do you think blacks got the right to vote? How do you think US workers got the right to organise? What do you think the rest of the world celebrates the 1st of May? Look it up, it sure as shit isn't Reagan's Law Day - but there's a reason Americans do!

Mr. XC wrote:


I agree that we should stop kidding ourselves, but this is not a class war.  Saying that a particular class or "ruling elite" is responsible is just too ambiguous and also over simplifies the problem, or worse, prevents us from addressing the real problems at their sources.  Instead of the class or the elite (which implies people), it would be more productive to mention corporations.  While corporations are made up of people, they are treated as artificial persons by the government.  They even behave like artificial persons in that they have a built in motives (profit, stay alive / in business).  They have huge resources, some of which are used to influence the government.  But unlike real persons, they do not experience an eventual death like real persons do.  Thus, their assets and power continue to accumulate beyond many generations of real people.  When most people think of class, they tend not to think of corporations and the problems that they present that are unique to any problems that the rich can present.

Spot on - *clap clap*

I agree that class war is the wrong word. War against fascism headed by hypocrites might suit the situation better.

Mr. XC wrote:

I certainly agree with the spirit of "You have to be thoroughly educated to miss the point."  The economics that are taught in almost all colleges these days (based on Keynesian economics) allows educated businessmen and economists to think that they understand the economy when they really understand the economy like a witch doctor understands medicine.

Agree with 90 %, disagree with 10% - the theory is irelevant; ANY theory will be wrong, if the institution that educates representatives of the people is restricted for the top and their cronies, since people have no one representing them.

90-10, see how that works? 90% are facts we can agree on, 10% is the wrong direction suggested. If I was a retard, I would repeat after you - down with <insert random insignificant theory here>! This is a very efficient control technique, because you gain my trust all the way through the 90% of 'bold speech'.

Mr. XC wrote:

About ZuS's comments about the videos, I have been following Peter Schiff prior to the housing crash.  Are you suggesting that the 10% that is unsaid is wrong?  He has mentioned that the government needs to cut spending many times.  I think that a reasonable person could assume that this includes the Pentagon budget.  Peter has also mentioned that war itself is among the worst forms of economic activities.  Mainly because we produce things and then proceed to blow them up.  He is against the Iraq war, even against using debt for war.  Peter is a large critic of large government, so I am not sure why you think that he is afraid of stepping on the toes of power.  He already has and continues to do so.

Just like I said above, the 10% I have a problem with is not factual content, but the suggested direction. When Schiff says x, y, z about the economy, that is all fine. He can go up to 90% with that and get 0 credit with me - I will listen and learn from him because he obviously is awesome at what he does, but I will watch his intent. It's the last 10% that matter, which is the form, omissions, suggestions of action and affiliation. On all of the above Schiff scores a round 0. Now, I might be wrong on this one guy, but who cares? Following one guy is ALWAYS the wrong thing to do - organise and follow the informed masses - they know their interests and can set policy just fine. Martin Luther King wasn't a leader, just a very eloquent follower.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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mises, rothbard, hayek,

mises, rothbard, hayek, sennholz, hazlitt.... theres loads of free market capitalists out there

 

edit: damn forgot to quote, this was in response to the person inquiring if someone had advanced smith's thinking in the last 300 years

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Mr. XC wrote:The financial

Mr. XC wrote:

The financial sector repackaged pools of subprime loans into different securities by rated safety.  Essentially, there was a security that got paid the most interest, but if there were defaults, the principal would loose value before any of the following pools.  The second security within this pool got a slightly less interest rate, but could also have its principal wiped out if the pool of loans went bad.  The last and most safe security paid the least interest, but was insured and considered safe.  After all, if the home owners did not pay, the bank would own an asset that always goes up in value!  They are not making any more land after all!    At least, that was the overwhelmingly popular theory at the time.  Even if that failed, the insurance would pick up the tab for the lost principal.  Unfortunately, the economists who judged the risk of this model did not use housing prices for more than 20 years ago or something ridiculously short like that.  So prior history where housing prices have fallen was not taken into account in the risk models.  Thus, people who thought that they had safe securities did not because someone who was trusted to be smart enough to know better did something stupid.

The hedge funds who bought the risky portions of the subprime pool were known to be risky.

The leverage ratios that you mentioned are unwise, but they seriously thought that they had risk under control.  Identifying risk is something that they spent a lot of time on, but obviously, it did not work out for these types of securities.

I think the biggest problem that enabled the meltdown was allowing insurance companies to issue mortgage insurance without assets to back it up. The insurance business originally started out as groups of rich men that would put up their own personal fortune to pay if they lost insurance bets. But now, we let limited liability corporations like AIG issue insurance. The managers and investors make big money when times are good, then incorporation allows them to be shielded from any personal liability when the market is down. The free market can't work if companies can write fraudulent policies and issues policies without the money to pay off in case of disaster. If an insurance company fails, we should go after the personal assets of the investors and managers of these companies.

But before we blame it all on corporations, remember it was the leftists going all the way back to FDR that encouraged people to buy houses beyond their means. They were the big supporters of Fannie and Freddie, low interest rates, tax breaks for home buyers, encouraging lending in poor neighborhoods, etc... So they can hardly say "see the free market failed" because the government has been heavily involved for the last 75 years in getting people mortgages and creating the bubble.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Eloise
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EXC wrote:And where does the

EXC wrote:

And where does the money come from to pay the living wage. Eloise will tell you how greedy capitalists pigs are so we know it's not coming out of their pockets.

LOL EXC, you know I don't say that shit.

But I will tell you that it won't come from the pockets of the rich because the mechanism for cash to get into the liquid economy is spending and the rich don't spend. 

If the upper tier were required to spend their money, as opposed to bartering publicity, advertising, contracts etc in exchange for goods and services, then capitalism could assure us all a living wage. But that's not how capitalism works, the entities of capitalism benefit (on an individual level) most by milking the system which sustains it. 

In other words, you get more rich by not spending, so it's in the interests of a capitalist entity to not spend - yet spending is the lifeblood of a capitalist system, to not spend ultimately means death to the system - ergo capitalism is self defeating.

It's got nothing really to do with the individual personalities of the capitalists. It's just a crud system, and I don't understand where you libertarians get the idea that you can build a viable society from it. 

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