John Stewart - Crisis in Dairyland

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John Stewart - Crisis in Dairyland

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Crisis in Dairyland - For Richer and Poorer - Teachers and Wall Street
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

 This is just the best thing there is!!! If I had a religion it would be the Daily show! And I'm not even American!

 John Stewart is the best!

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"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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 I rarely agree with Jon

 I rarely agree with Jon Stewart on politics but I have to admit he is a very funny man.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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I don't know a lot about

I don't know a lot about economy. But I already thought that the share holding stuff was kinda spoiled. With people just trying to grab as much money as they possibly can.
After seeing Zeitgeist (and yes, I know it's biased, and I should watch a pro-economy film before I criticise it) I think I was right all along Laughing out loud

Liked the vid, too Laughing out loud


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Thunderios wrote:I don't

Thunderios wrote:

I don't know a lot about economy. But I already thought that the share holding stuff was kinda spoiled. With people just trying to grab as much money as they possibly can.
After seeing Zeitgeist (and yes, I know it's biased, and I should watch a pro-economy film before I criticise it) I think I was right all along Laughing out loud

Liked the vid, too Laughing out loud

I am reading In Praise of Idleness of Bertrand Russell... and man! I love this guy! I know he his an atheist philosopher but he is one of my favorites.

I am building up the idea that we are in desperate need of a radical economic reform. I completely agree with his book. For some reason I cannot understand, we western people keep trying to find solutions on the same methods that are constantly failing. Nothing lasts forever not even open market capitalism.

The only escape is radical reform in economics and in thinking society paradigm... or we are F$"#%& - Revolutions, wars, resource depletion, energy crisis, increased income inequality, famine and injustice will go rampant...

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:Thunderios

Teralek wrote:

Thunderios wrote:

I don't know a lot about economy. But I already thought that the share holding stuff was kinda spoiled. With people just trying to grab as much money as they possibly can.
After seeing Zeitgeist (and yes, I know it's biased, and I should watch a pro-economy film before I criticise it) I think I was right all along Laughing out loud

Liked the vid, too Laughing out loud

I am reading In Praise of Idleness of Bertrand Russell... and man! I love this guy! I know he his an atheist philosopher but he is one of my favorites.

I am building up the idea that we are in desperate need of a radical economic reform. I completely agree with his book. For some reason I cannot understand, we western people keep trying to find solutions on the same methods that are constantly failing. Nothing lasts forever not even open market capitalism.

The only escape is radical reform in economics and in thinking society paradigm... or we are F$"#%& - Revolutions, wars, resource depletion, energy crisis, increased income inequality, famine and injustice will go rampant...

Is there a better way for economy to work? Maybe some communist-style way (the answer Zeitgeist gave seemed rather similar to a communistic model to me), but how are we going to make that work?
I don't know...


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I always get frustrated by

I always get frustrated by the narrowmind of people who seem to  acknowledge that there are only 2 economic models feasible! To worsen things up it seems that any economic system that has some meaningful differences from the one we have, it is most often labeled as communism in a tone as if communist ideology was some sort of satanic cult!

For starters let me enlighten you that B. Russell was very critic of USSR communism. But he was also very critic on the way the west deals with socio-economic activities. This book I'm reading is not so much a "praise of idleness" but a praise to a rational economic structure. He advocates, with crystal clear logic, that it is not only possible but necessary for most of the workforce to work for about 4h daily or 20h a week. He speaks against the vicarious cult of work that he sees as no longer necessary. Given the fact that we have excess workforce and much unnecessary work worldwide, this makes perfect sense.

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"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Thunderios wrote:Is there a

Thunderios wrote:

Is there a better way for economy to work? Maybe some communist-style way (the answer Zeitgeist gave seemed rather similar to a communistic model to me), but how are we going to make that work?
I don't know...

Soviet communism was a capitalism, with power centralized in the hands of state - IOW, state capitalism. Party leaders in capital city (or Soviet Union) decided what will be planted, produced and sold in all regions which they knew nothing about. Everything was wrongly distributed, or there was nothing to distribute. Everyone lived like employees in one big, happy Korean corporation. The work was NOT supposed to be efficient, how else would you achieve a dictature of working class? By standing up to work in such a way, so others also find a place to stand up to it Smiling

They promised socialism, they promised a happy laid-back life style in adventurous times of hi-tech space exploration achieved through Soviet economic program, (just read Lem or Strugacki brothers) but never delivered it. In fact, the science was inferior due to the mentioned reasons plus lack of funding, persecution of intelligent people, demotivated workers and so on. 

What Zeitgeist propagates is rational and efficient use of resources and technology to eliminate purposeless work, environmental damage and all conflicts and expenses that we have over these. It contains no ideology to interfere with these technical solutions. So what sort of ism is that? 

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 "Capitalism" isn't so much

 "Capitalism" isn't so much an economic system as it is simply the result of a society that allows/protects private property rights and uses a currency. The term "capitalism" is often used in place of "laissez-faire capitalism" which is an economic system focused on minimal government intervention in markets. Socialism, marxism, state capitalism etc. are really terms for systems with varying levels and types of government involvement in the economic system. All these systems are "capitalist" in the sense that some entity uses a currency to invest in production and the profit is distributed. The real difference is who invests the money and who distributes the profits. 

 

The only system that truly rejects capitalism is a communistic type system that removes the idea of property ownership. Historically, the only real examples of these are small tribes and the occasional commune.   

 

Edit: By the way, in a laissez-faire system (or even the US's somewhat less than laissez-faire system) it is completely possible to survive working only 4 hours a day (or even less) if you want. Of course, you probably won't be as rich as you would working 60 hours a week but it is your choice.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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 Beyond Saving, I don't

 Beyond Saving, I don't know the reality of the USA as well as you. I only know that worldwide we need to reduce work time so that people without work can get one. And I don't accept people saying that that wouldn't be possible. I'm not for income equality but what we have is shameful. I don't agree that in the world there are people who earn offensive amounts of money without doing much and that are others who kill themseves at work just to survive. If there were a better division of capital many enjoyable things would be possible, like reducing working hours.

In my country is very, very dificult to find a job, much less a part time job. And you can't live with a part time job! A part time job is probably half of the minimum wage which is 500€ a month
 

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote: Beyond

Teralek wrote:

 Beyond Saving, I don't know the reality of the USA as well as you. I only know that worldwide we need to reduce work time so that people without work can get one.

That's counter to free market capitalism.

Teralek wrote:
And I don't accept people saying that that wouldn't be possible.

It doesn't matter.

I'm a free market capitalist, and you can whine, bitch and moan, all you want. I'm close to the top, and I ain't sharing my sandwich.

 

Teralek wrote:
In my country is very, very dificult to find a job, much less a part time job. And you can't live with a part time job! A part time job is probably half of the minimum wage which is 500€ a month
 

That's not a good enough excuse.

My parents are European, and were raised in poverty, pre and post WWII, and neither were well educated, and barely literate.

They moved.

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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Teralek wrote: Beyond

Teralek wrote:

 Beyond Saving, I don't know the reality of the USA as well as you. I only know that worldwide we need to reduce work time so that people without work can get one. And I don't accept people saying that that wouldn't be possible. I'm not for income equality but what we have is shameful. I don't agree that in the world there are people who earn offensive amounts of money without doing much and that are others who kill themseves at work just to survive. If there were a better division of capital many enjoyable things would be possible, like reducing working hours.

In my country is very, very dificult to find a job, much less a part time job. And you can't live with a part time job! A part time job is probably half of the minimum wage which is 500€ a month
 

 

Implicit in your claim is that the number of jobs is limited. If one person has a job, that means another person does not. Which, if people only worked to produce what was strictly necessary for survival would be true. However, in most modern economies, luxury production has far outpaced food, water and shelter. Also implicit in your assumption is that the number of jobs is fixed. This can be true when government is highly regulating the economy, or is putting road blocks in the way of investing. In the US the government does much to make it difficult to start a business but it is certainly possible, and relatively easy compared to many countries.

 

If your goal is to ensure that everyone can have a job and meet at least their basic needs, you should be looking to increase production by having the unemployed do something new. You should be looking at ways to make it easier to create new businesses rather than make it more difficult. The strength of the American economy has always been that risky investment has the potential to be highly rewarded while sitting on piles of cash is not. People like me are willing to gamble large sums of money in a business venture that may be profitable. Along the way, many new things have been invented, because the best way to make millions is to be the first one selling a new product. Free up capital that is sitting around and provide encouragement to invest it and new jobs will be created.

 

In a free market, there really is no excuse to not have a job. Someone, somewhere will pay you to do something. I have spent much of my life without an employer, but I have always had a job. Unfortunately, many governments have made it more difficult to work without an employer by requiring expensive business permits, anti-soliciting laws, government certifications, insurance requirements, zoning laws and similar barriers. I know a man who made his first million dollars selling sandwiches out of a cooler to loggers in California. It would be illegal for someone to do that today without going through a lot of expensive red tape. Get rid of the barriers, and the unemployed will find ways to provide services, which might lead to them employing others who are unemployed. 

 

Bertrand Russell criticized the inefficiency of laissez-faire capitalism by pointing out the number of new business ventures that failed. If I remember correctly he criticized the "wasted" labor that went into making machines for a new business that would spend most of their time idle after the business failed. True, that does happen. So what? We do not have a shortage of labor anymore. If an investor loses money on a failed business they have lost the money, but it doesn't disappear. It goes to the ones who built the material investments and those who were employed by the business before it failed. More people were employed who would not have been employed had the investor not started a business. Most importantly, the investor has learned one more thing that didn't work. If the funds are available, the investor will remake their business model and try to create something that has more demand and/or is more efficient. So while the labor is wasted in the sense that the same results could have been produced from less labor with 20/20 hindsight, the investor and the market in general, has learned one thing that doesn't work and will try something different. By allowing businesses to fail you allow an evolution toward a wealthier economy. The more investment you have occurring in an economy, the more jobs you have.

 

Alright, so we increase investment creating more jobs, but people still need to work many hours at an average job to survive because pay sucks, right? Wrong. Labor is a commodity just like any other. When there is a surplus of labor (a lot of unemployed) wages will be low. That is because as an employer I want to hire people as inexpensively as possible, if there are a lot of people to choose from, I have less of a problem finding someone to work for a low wage with the required skills. If there are very few people available, I will have to compete with other jobs, and offer higher wages because who is going to work for me at $7/hr when they can work elsewhere at $10/hr? So if you want higher wages, the answer is to create more jobs, even if those jobs are "wasteful". When the unemployment rate gets back down to around 5%, wages will increase. Especially if you had a mass of workers who decided that working part time is enough and remove themselves from the labor pool.

 

The interesting thing is that even in the 90's when the US economy was booming and it was extremely easy to work part time and make a very livable income, most people still worked 40-60 hours because even though their relative income compared to the cost of necessities was high, there are so many luxuries available that they stretched their budgets to purchase them. Rather than becoming investors themselves, they pissed away their money. Personally, I would prefer to work less and live without luxuries for a bit, but most Americans apparently feel otherwise. Many people seem almost addicted to work. I say let them work if they want. I prefer to work part time for fun and invest to make money from those who are addicted to working. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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redneF wrote:Teralek wrote:

redneF wrote:

Teralek wrote:
In my country is very, very dificult to find a job, much less a part time job. And you can't live with a part time job! A part time job is probably half of the minimum wage which is 500€ a month
 

That's not a good enough excuse.

My parents are European, and were raised in poverty, pre and post WWII, and neither were well educated, and barely literate.

They moved.

ROFL, the only question is where to move to now. Sometimes I think our government is almost obsessed with becoming more European. The US used to be a haven for free market capitalism, I'm not sure how much longer that will last. 

 

Heinlein suggested we go to the moon.... the view would be nice, but I think I would miss my backyard and fresh air. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Beyond Saving wrote:ROFL,

Beyond Saving wrote:

ROFL, the only question is where to move to now.

Canada.

They love immigrants.

Beyond Saving wrote:
Sometimes I think our government is almost obsessed with becoming more European.

America, in many respects, is 10-20 yrs behind Europe.

Always was.

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

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Beyond Saving wrote: I

Beyond Saving wrote:

 I rarely agree with Jon Stewart on politics but I have to admit he is a very funny man.

I must have missed the punchline...

No, I think if someone wants laughs, they go straight to Colbert.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Teralek wrote:I always get

Teralek wrote:

I always get frustrated by the narrowmind of people who seem to  acknowledge that there are only 2 economic models feasible! To worsen things up it seems that any economic system that has some meaningful differences from the one we have, it is most often labeled as communism in a tone as if communist ideology was some sort of satanic cult!

There are generally not sure about the politics in Portugal, but there 2 ideologies derived from (semi)current economic theory: one where supply and demand determines value and flow of money under optimal circumstances, and one where a (usually grossly inefficient) centralized governmental authority determines various policies effecting commerce and finance within its territory.

What I find disturbing is the level of selective outrage being practiced in political discussions such as these -not just on RRS but all across the internet.

But we're "10 to 20 years behind Europe", so maybe we should just give up the facade of responsible citizenship, adopt the European welfare state, and write a blank check to the useless, the diseased, and the mentally defective. After all, on our side of the ocean, our national gov't is involved in wiping the collective asses of not only the private citizenry, but quite a few big businesses as well. Another thing that's disturbing is that Beyond Saving thinks our economy is partly laissez-faire. It isn't even close to that.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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redneF wrote:It doesn't

redneF wrote:

It doesn't matter.

I'm a free market capitalist, and you can whine, bitch and moan, all you want. I'm close to the top, and I ain't sharing my sandwich. 


“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Good one ^^^ 

Good one ^^^ 


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Isn't what we have in

Isn't what we have in America now state capitalism? The Fed's policy has been to loan money to the banks at near 0%. The banks just loan out this money at around 5% for mortgages and higher rates for small business and even higher rates for credit cards. Or they use the 0% interest loans to buy stocks and make commodities bets. If the banks and bankers make a profit, they pay high income taxes. If they lose money, they get bailed out. The banks are just an extension of the Fed.

There really isn't much private investment or private capitalism. Just private companies and individuals that bet on which way a commodity or stock will go.

So I would say our economic system is state capitalism with middlemen(bankers) and a state regulated casino system to allow bets to placed on anything.

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Kapkao wrote:There are

Kapkao wrote:

There are generally not sure about the politics in Portugal, but there 2 ideologies derived from (semi)current economic theory: one where supply and demand determines value and flow of money under optimal circumstances, and one where a (usually grossly inefficient) centralized governmental authority determines various policies effecting commerce and finance within its territory.

What I find disturbing is the level of selective outrage being practiced in political discussions such as these -not just on RRS but all across the internet.

But we're "10 to 20 years behind Europe", so maybe we should just give up the facade of responsible citizenship, adopt the European welfare state, and write a blank check to the useless, the diseased, and the mentally defective. After all, on our side of the ocean, our national gov't is involved in wiping the collective asses of not only the private citizenry, but quite a few big businesses as well. Another thing that's disturbing is that Beyond Saving thinks our economy is partly laissez-faire. It isn't even close to that.

I thought you were an anarcho-sindycalist... well I guess I was wrong.

It's the same here, although not as noticeable as in the US, people really believe that the only options they have is between laissez-faire capitalism and communism.

What I find most depressing in Portugal is the gaining of consumer market politics and the death of idealist politics.

Back to the topic I often agree with Jon Stewart. This clip is a fine example of spot on sarcasm! Politics and political discourse in USA is rampant with hypocrisy, that is why Jon is so much fun, he can show that in a raw satirical form.

Why do you think one must  give up the "facade of responsible citizenship" to adopt European welfare? Do you think Europeans lack social responsability? Individuals by themselves are highly inefficient, specially in large urban areas. I don't see any problem to trust my social responsability in some sort of organized  institution that has the means and the knowledge to more efficiently implement my needs of social "empathy"... like the welfare state! I think this is responsible and rational citizenship.

Do people there really believe to be behind Europe in decades?! Don't you think US is at least partially a laissez-faire state?!

According to The annual survey Economic Freedom of the World from the Fraser institute, and the similar Index of Economic Freedom from The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, the USA is pretty well placed. There is a clear relation between economic freedom and wealth. But one can't avoid to notice some funny things. For example, Switzerland and Denmark are ahead of the USA and paradoxically some sectors of America view these countries as socialists!

Another paradox to the link between economic freedom and wealth is China, India or Brasil which are growing exponentially. According to the Gini index, which tries to study the income inequality between people... odd results are found! The USA for example has a poor score and again Denmark for example is way ahead in income equality. So... does economic freedom really is important to social justice?! well it helps but there are many other factors that must be taken to account. I think that there are lessons and advantages to be learned from Adam Smith's theory and Karl Marx theory. The countries that better learned these lessons in my opinion were the northern European ones.

RedneF wrote:
It doesn't matter.

I'm a free market capitalist, and you can whine, bitch and moan, all you want. I'm close to the top, and I ain't sharing my sandwich.

 

Speaking like a true "everyone for themselves" and "fuck the others" type of guy. The pinnacle of physical atheism, the ethics of the jungle... you, sir, prove my point on my other post on philosophy. Others here will turn a blind eye on this... naturally. You couldn't care less if the chinese who built your computer mouse killed himself working.

Want to know something cool! I am about to go to work on a cruise ship! For 9 months I will work for an American company earning from 1500 to 3000 US$ a month. I am doing what you advised me to! I will work from 12 to 14h a day! With constant pressure at work to improve sales... Do I think this is fair? no! But I will go anyway... I have more funny stuff! For this job I'll need a US visa just to be able to work on this cruise ship and to be able to land on US soil on my way to the boat!

At the embassy they ask questions like:

Are you coming to the United States to engage in prostitution or unlawful commercialized vice or have you been engaged in prostitution or procuring prostitutes within the past 10 years?

Do you seek to engage in espionage, sabotage, export control violations, or any other illegal activity while in the United States?

Do you seek to engage in terrorist activities while in the United States or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities?

Have you ever or do you intend to provide financial assistance or other support to terrorists or terrorist organizations?

Have you ever ordered, incited, committed, assisted, or otherwise participated in genocide?

etc... Soooo funny!!!

and I have to provide evidence that my links to Portugal are strong... they don't want any immigrants. Don't worry I don't want to go to the USA. I don't believe in a world economy that commands my live and forces me to leave my home to survive. It is not that easy for any European to leave their continent, there are barriers to immigration.

Beyond Saving, the jobs are limited this is a fact. It became a clear fact after millions of chinese abandoned their subsistence living style to look for jobs in manufacture. Jobs are like any other commodity, when there are plenty the wages go down and when they are scarce the wages increase. It is also very difficult to make a million dollars like the sandwich caravan example, the market opportunities just aren't there. Some decades ago companies employed  much more than they do today, there is no need to this now, competition and productive efficiency "fired" this excess labor. Thus makes no sense to work so many hours since efficiency and machines do the work for us, this is what B Russell advocates.

Also to invest you need money. How can you invest money when you are poor? We know that for each successful business 10 fail. How can a poor person risk everything they have for 1 in 10 chance?! Rich pigs can risk without problem, because they have the luxury of still be rich after failing 10 times.

Bill Gates garage scenario is one in a million, it is not for all. There are so many reasons I don't believe in laissez faire that It would take a lot of forum time to explain. Resource and energy limits are another reason. 

 

We can have a luxury productive society and don't need to work so much. The number of available jobs is not fixed but the number of people without job has far outpaced job creation. It's the demand that creates jobs and demand can only grow so much, it cannot grow exponentially. I think economists think that everything can grow exponentially... maybe they will invent something to grow the planet Earth indefinitely... You want to grow demand? Well pay decent salaries then!

But I'm with you on one thing: "I would prefer to work less and live without luxuries for a bit"

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:Another

Teralek wrote:

Another paradox to the link between economic freedom and wealth is China, India or Brasil which are growing exponentially. According to the Gini index, which tries to study the income inequality between people... odd results are found! The USA for example has a poor score and again Denmark for example is way ahead in income equality. So... does economic freedom really is important to social justice?! well it helps but there are many other factors that must be taken to account. I think that there are lessons and advantages to be learned from Adam Smith's theory and Karl Marx theory. The countries that better learned these lessons in my opinion were the northern European ones.

If your sole goal is to make sure everyone has the same amount of money. Although, when you recognize that the "poor" in America are still quite wealthy compared to the vast majority of the worlds population. So while or "gap" between the poor and wealthy is large, it doesn't matter. The amount of wealth in a country is not fixed. When one person becomes wealthier, another person does not necessarily become poorer. It is very possible, and usually the case, that when the rich get richer, so do the poor in real terms (i.e. how much stuff they can afford).

 

Teralek wrote:

Speaking like a true "everyone for themselves" and "fuck the others" type of guy. The pinnacle of physical atheism, the ethics of the jungle... you, sir, prove my point on my other post on philosophy. Others here will turn a blind eye on this... naturally. You couldn't care less if the chinese who built your computer mouse killed himself working.

Quite the contrary. I wish the whole world (including the US) would embrace true laissez-faire capitalism. Everyone would be wealthier for it, people wouldn't starve to death and the "poor" would be people who bitch because they can't afford the premium channels on cable. I think it is abhorrent the way governments oppress people and the way welfare states enslave their populations by treating them like helpless children. But, I can't change the world. I am working hard enough just to change one little corner of my own country... and losing to the false promise of government security. 

 

Teralek wrote:

Want to know something cool! I am about to go to work on a cruise ship! For 9 months I will work for an American company earning from 1500 to 3000 US$ a month. I am doing what you advised me to! I will work from 12 to 14h a day! With constant pressure at work to improve sales... Do I think this is fair? no!

Why isn't it fair? For 9 months you will be earning a good wage and I assume lodging is included, and maybe meals? By the end of the trip you should have 10k to 20k in cash. Plenty to invest in a business opportunity. An opportunity provided to you by an evil rich corporation and wealthy people who blow money on cruises. If they didn't exist, what would you do? 

 

Teralek wrote:

Beyond Saving, the jobs are limited this is a fact. It became a clear fact after millions of chinese abandoned their subsistence living style to look for jobs in manufacture. Jobs are like any other commodity, when there are plenty the wages go down and when they are scarce the wages increase. It is also very difficult to make a million dollars like the sandwich caravan example, the market opportunities just aren't there.

And why are they not there? Look at the barriers to starting a new business and you will see the reasons why there are fewer jobs. Manufacturing is not the only job field, and IMO not even a good job field. Manufacturing jobs really suck, why would you want to do it? There are plenty of other jobs you can do to provide value to consumers. It is actually rather easy to make a million dollars selling sandwiches....if you get the fucking government out of the way. It is a lot of physical work, but from an intellectual standpoint it is easy. There are hundreds of market opportunities if you have the capital to start them and can find workers who are willing and capable of making them work (or do the work yourself). I have more ideas on how to make money than I have time or initiative to dedicate to them. Shit, I had a million dollar idea just yesterday that I crossed off as too much work, but I forgot what it was. It is going to bug me now. 

 

Right now the American economy is suffering from a lack of money in consumers hands because so many are in debt to the point where they can't buy much. This is because we spent todays dollars over the last decade. So opportunities will be slow until more Americans catch up on their bills, however, opportunities still exist. For example, I have just invested in opening up a second-hand store that specializes in quality used furniture. I anticipate that it should do well for me since many people can't afford brand new furniture, but still want things the look nice. My business partner is talented at repairing furniture and has spent the last year picking up pieces from estate auctions. There are always sectors of the economy that are doing well, the trick is predicting which ones will be prosperous and which are in decline. It isn't rocket science, but it does take a little research.  

 

Teralek wrote:

Also to invest you need money. How can you invest money when you are poor? We know that for each successful business 10 fail. How can a poor person risk everything they have for 1 in 10 chance?! Rich pigs can risk without problem, because they have the luxury of still be rich after failing 10 times.

Bill Gates garage scenario is one in a million, it is not for all. There are so many reasons I don't believe in laissez faire that It would take a lot of forum time to explain. Resource and energy limits are another reason. 

Who said you have to be Bill Gates? I will never be that rich because I am too lazy. The only way to make it that big is to do the work of building a massive corporation yourself. For me it is enough to bring in six figures, if I ever make it to the millions, let alone billions, it will be because one of my business partners was really motivated. At that point, I might admit the Brian that it was luck.

 

When I first started investing I took 12k and gambled it all. I was poor but I figured what did I have to lose? If I lost everything, I would have exactly what I started with. As it turns out, I lost it all because I was a dumb ass. So I went back to working for the man for a couple years and saved up my money again. Invested with a little bit more wisdom (although I was still a dumb ass) and made a little bit out of it. In the US if you invest with a little bit of intelligence out of 10 investments you should be able to average making 2-3 times your investment in 2, break approximately even in 3, and lose everything in about 4 and one will be very successful and provide you a sustained income.  Of course, your odds can be increased if you are more knowledgeable and make wise choices about what to invest in.

 

If you can bank an average of 10k a year from your job you can invest 10k every year. You might go broke the first year, so what? Try again. If you invest 10k every year for 10 years some of those investments will start returning a sustained income. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that after 10 years you would be experiencing a return of around 20-30k/year or more. Actually, personally I would be quite disappointed with that small of a return, but let us suppose you are a bad investor. After 10 years, you are now making enough each year to pay for the bare essentials before you even go to work. If you choose to continue working as a wage earner you are simply making money for luxuries or more aggressive investing.   

 

The cruise job sounds like the perfect opportunity for you to save up investment capital. I would suggest you do so and join the ranks of capitalist pigs like me, but it is your money, spend it as you wish. 

 

Teralek wrote:

We can have a luxury productive society and don't need to work so much. The number of available jobs is not fixed but the number of people without job has far outpaced job creation. It's the demand that creates jobs and demand can only grow so much, it cannot grow exponentially. I think economists think that everything can grow exponentially... maybe they will invent something to grow the planet Earth indefinitely... You want to grow demand? Well pay decent salaries then!

But I'm with you on one thing: "I would prefer to work less and live without luxuries for a bit"

 

Well, yes and no. You are right that demand can't grow exponentially, but it can grow at a moderate amount continuously. One of the main reasons the US is in this depression is because the government artificially inflated demand. By lowering interest rates, it encouraged people to borrow money to buy things in the 90's. Cheaper money meant people were buying things using money that would be made in the future. Every time the economy started slowing, the government would cut interest rates again to increase demand. Sooner or later, you have to pay the debt, and that day arrived causing a massive drop in demand in most sectors. So the economy really boomed in the 90's because it was growing faster than it should have by spending todays money early. If the government didn't set interest rates, or had some sanity in setting them, the economy would have experienced a minor slowdown. Labor would have been shifted to different areas and most people wouldn't have known the difference except for those directly affected.

 

A recession is simply the free market recognizing that demand has dropped in one area, and resources are reallocated to areas that have demand. A small recession is a necessary and healthy thing for a free market. If there is not enough demand for any of the current products, capitalists will create new products or find ways to make previously expensive luxuries more affordable. Why do you think i-pods, laptops and smart phones are cheap as dirt? Apple is a company that solely creates luxuries, yet remains one of the best companies in the world to invest in. Google makes their money by simply organizing information. They created a service and created a demand for it.

 

Now one other area that you have a bit of a point on is China or any other 3rd world manufacturing country for that matter. We are in a point in history where markets are colliding. There is a great book on the subject When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change by Mohamed El-Erian. Since most countries have substantially lower quality of life than the modern world, they are able to provide labor extremely cheap for pretty much any good that can be shipped over seas. It is inevitable that such pressures will have a depressing effect on wages in developed countries. However, the depressed wages are also offset by lower prices for many goods. If everything at Walmart was 20% more expensive, it wouldn't really matter if your wage was 20% higher because either way you can buy the same amount of goods. Personally, I think it is insane that many think we should try to compete with China in manufacturing. They will be able to do it cheaper until their standard of living increases. If they want to make cheap shit, let them. We can focus our efforts on creating service oriented luxuries.

 

That being said, there is much we can do in the way of applying pressure on China and other countries to modernize and improve the standard of living for their people to speed up the process of our markets integrating and make it less painful. We need to stop them from fucking with their currency, if that means withhold food and money from them, fine. We need to demand true free trade. That might mean a trade war like we had with Japan, fine. The US has a clear advantage in all things regarding trade because we are the wealthiest country on the planet, we are one of the few that produce surplus food and honestly, we have enough Chinese junk to survive on for decades. We have the power to hit them where it hurts, and can outlast them in any trade dispute.

 

The only countries that really have us by that balls are the oil producers. We could fix that and produce our own oil if it wasn't for the Greenies, and bust Saudi Arabia's bullshit oligarchy but I am dreaming now. The point is that we could force those countries to modernize if we withheld our money. It would be a little inconveniencing in the short run, but would be great for our economy, and the global economy, in the long term. It is almost enough to make me support Donald Trump for president because he is the ONLY potential presidential candidate that seems to understand what must be done in this regard.  

/rant until later, even us capitalist pigs have to get a little bit of work done in a day. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Beyond Saving, you are not a

Beyond Saving, you are not a capitalist pig... I think. To be that you would have to earn an insane amount of money.

I was clear on post #8 that I don't want everyone to earn the same... I am against the enormous disparity in wages. I don't see why when the rich get richer the poor also get rich. When this crisis blew, there were a lot of rich people of got much more rich... and the poor went poorer.

I was also comparing the USA with Denmark. I see much more poor people in the USA than in Denmark. And I often hear reports about homeless people in the USA.

How come laissez faire capitalism would end world poverty?! I just don't see the link...

With an average salary in Portugal you can't put aside at the bank 10k a year.

In my case yes. This money is tax free, lodging is free and meals too. I like it all except for the slavering work hours! I think that 14h a day is just way too much, this is the only thing that I think is not fair.

I'm thinking on applying the money I'll get but I just don't know where yet... I thought about opening a business but I can barely see any market space on any business in Portugal! Demand is falling because people are getting poorer.

I agree that competing with China on manufacturing is a lost fight. And I agree with you analysis of the crisis that was based on debt and cheap money. But I just don't get your message when you say that the problem is other countries playing with their currency and I don't see how you can withhold food and money from them, specially from China. If the market is really free in China the ones deciding how much a Chinese worker earns are the employers and those don't want to increase wages. And China is on the buyers side, Buying US debt by the billions. Every employer should be like Ford, who famously said: "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible."

I also think that your examples of investment are the only in the world that are worthy - Technology and computers. For all the rest demand is and will be stagnant for some time.

I have read an article some months ago that said if all humans had the standard living of the UK citizen, we would need the resources of 3 planet Earths... I believed it.

How can you produce your own oil? Coal to liquids? I get the feeling you think that Climate change is just a big conspiracy...

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:Beyond Saving,

Teralek wrote:

Beyond Saving, you are not a capitalist pig... I think. To be that you would have to earn an insane amount of money.

Depends on how much it takes to be a "pig". I am not a multii-millionaire.... yet, but about 3/4 of my income comes solely from the labor of other people. 

 

Teralek wrote:

I was clear on post #8 that I don't want everyone to earn the same... I am against the enormous disparity in wages. I don't see why when the rich get richer the poor also get rich. When this crisis blew, there were a lot of rich people of got much more rich... and the poor went poorer.

There were also a lot of the rich who got substantially poorer and a ton of the rich who should have lost everything if it wasn't for the government intervening with its bailouts. The poor get wealthier when the rich get wealthier because you have to look at what a rich person does with their wealth. Very few put it in a coffee can. They spend it or invest it. When they spend it, generally the money is going to people who are comparatively poor. They increase demand for goods and provide jobs. When it is invested, likewise that money is going to pay the incomes of workers. If you are working for a successful company that is making money, your pay will be higher than if you work for a company that is failing. Most business owners will reward their good employees with bonuses and such when the company is particularly successful. Of course, some don't, but they will find the quality of their workforce substantially reduced and tend to fail. 

 

Teralek wrote:

I was also comparing the USA with Denmark. I see much more poor people in the USA than in Denmark. And I often hear reports about homeless people in the USA.

Most people who are chronically homeless in the USA have severe drug and/or alcohol issues or mental disabilities. One area where the US is an abject failure is taking care of those who have mental problems to the point where they are unable even to apply for assistance. Although, I don't see how that really has anything to do with the economic system. We certainly have plenty of resources available, it is more of a distribution problem. Those who are homeless, but capable, have plenty of assistance available either through government or through private charities.

 

Teralek wrote:
 

How come laissez faire capitalism would end world poverty?! I just don't see the link...

With an average salary in Portugal you can't put aside at the bank 10k a year.

You don't see the link.... then you make the link. With the average salary in the US you could easily set aside 10k a year, or more. With the exception of the incapables that I mentioned above, anyone in the US who works at even minimum wage, 40 hours per week, can support themselves and save a little besides. If making more money is important to you, you can work 60 hours a week and save 10k within a year. Although good luck finding a job that only pays minimum wage.... they are few and far between. Even during the recession most jobs pay more. My point is that even the "poor" in the US are quite wealthy by world standards. Very few Americans live without cell phones (at least $50/month), cable tv (at least another $50), internet (even dial-up is $20) and a variety of other luxuries. The only ones who truly have no income are those that either choose to live that lifestyle, or those who have such severe issues that they are incapable of taking care of themselves. Which, I will freely admit is an issue our country struggles with, mostly because it is really difficult to detain someone against their will, and many who are in that bad of shape don't even know it.  

 

Teralek wrote:

In my case yes. This money is tax free, lodging is free and meals too. I like it all except for the slavering work hours! I think that 14h a day is just way too much, this is the only thing that I think is not fair.

I'm thinking on applying the money I'll get but I just don't know where yet... I thought about opening a business but I can barely see any market space on any business in Portugal! Demand is falling because people are getting poorer.

I imagine Portugal mostly has issues because of its relatively small size and it's economy is probably very dependent on the rest of Europe and the US, plus its ridiculous public debt. Although, Portugal does have some excellent wines. The wine industry has been lagging slightly because of the recession, but high quality Portugal wines can serve as an alternative to the over priced French and Spanish wines. Perhaps after your trip is over, the wine industry might be something to look into? There is really good money in importing wines to the US. Then you could make a living flying back and forth between Portugal and the US until your country gains their sanity and gets the public debt under control. Or you could take the wine to Australia, because their wine sucks so it would be good for them to learn what good wine tastes like. You would probably need a little more than 10k to invest, but if you are willing to invest that much yourself, it is easier to find other investors.  

 

Teralek wrote:

I agree that competing with China on manufacturing is a lost fight. And I agree with you analysis of the crisis that was based on debt and cheap money. But I just don't get your message when you say that the problem is other countries playing with their currency and I don't see how you can withhold food and money from them, specially from China. If the market is really free in China the ones deciding how much a Chinese worker earns are the employers and those don't want to increase wages.

The market in China is not free. Right now, we have a problem with China intentionally devaluing its currency to exacerbate the cost gap in manufacturing. They do it, because they don't give a shit about the standard of living for their people. They also use heavy tariffs to discourage imports, while demanding that we have none. In a truly free market with a real free trade agreement, China would have far less of an advantage than they do now. We could use our economic muscle to force them to free up their markets and participate in truly free trade.

 

Teralek wrote:

 Every employer should be like Ford, who famously said: "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible."

And great business advice. Companies that make high quality goods at low cost and pay high wages are inevitably very successful. Look at Microsoft, Apple, Google, 3M etc. They are all known for paying very high wages and to attract the best talent in the world. Quality might be a little questionable with Microsoft.... but there are benefits to being the first. Free markets reward good business decisions, and there were few businessmen better than Mr. Ford. Note, he did it all while fighting the unions every step of the way. It is a shame that Ford will eventually fall into bankruptcy because of the UAW.

 

Teralek wrote:

I have read an article some months ago that said if all humans had the standard living of the UK citizen, we would need the resources of 3 planet Earths... I believed it.

How can you produce your own oil? Coal to liquids? I get the feeling you think that Climate change is just a big conspiracy...

We have some of the largest oil tracts in the world in Alaska that remain completely untapped because of the greenies. If we kicked our oil production up to full speed, we could produce enough to supply most, if not all of our oil needs. The US is a resource rich country, if we decided to tap into those resources. 

 

Climate change? I don't think it is so much a conspiracy as a cause that has been adopted as an excuse to increase government power. I believe the climate is going to change or not change regardless of what we do, unless we take extremely drastic steps that might have consequences far worse than global warming. I do not believe that the world is going to end because of climate change, or that half the world will be wiped out or other doomsday scenarios. 

 

As for need "3 planets" I don't really buy that either. True, if everyone had the same standard of living some things might need to change. For example, oil shortages might become reality. However, we have the technology available to make more renewable substitutes for oil. We can get energy out of pretty much anything if we try hard enough. There might be ore shortages for various metals, but even that could probably be overcome if there was enough incentive for it. Or we could go mine asteroids. Even if it will occur at some point, it will take a long time to bring the whole world up to that standard of living, no doubt technology will look extremely different than it does today, especially if there is that much incentive. Replacements for metals, oil and other non-renewable resources will be found. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Forbes has released its

 

Forbes has released its billionaire list... "During the year (2010), 214 people became billionaires, bringing the world's total to 1,210; 15 fell off." So no... Most rich indeed got richer and the poor got poorer...

Hong Kong, probably is the more laissez-faire city in the world, and a city with profound inequalities. Half of the population is very poor. Government and capital elites don't want to increase social benefits because "it's important to have poverty to encourage people to work, if you don't have a pool of poverty people can't be encouraged to work for low wages"

I will concede to you that we need free market to increase wealth but this free entrepreneur must come with some heavy rules and mixed economy so that the huge greed don't torpedoes’ the economy into cataclysm. There is no invisible hand, only the hand of the opulent wanting to crush the working force and turning the world into a big feudal state, on which these capitalist feudal kings dictate the rules. This is the dream of the very big capitalist,

I am sure that if both Bush and Obama didn't bailout some companies we would be on another 30's like depression. I don't agree with bailouts but I understand why this was done.

My perfect real economy which I wished applied to most of the world is the economy of Norway. Norway has higher wages than the USA, bigger social beneficts, few poor people, and long term sustainability. Norway is the perfect mixed economy.

I think you are way too optimistic, especially in resource and energy panorama... I've been studying the peak oil phenomenon for some years now. There is no way Alaska oil can feed US oil needs, not by a long shot! Only and maybe, Oil shale and coal to liquids technology in theory can achieve that... at a cataclysmic environmental price. I don't see yet renewable substitutes for oil on a large scale. Only nuclear energy can do the trick at the immense cost of building infrastructure. Besides, if resources get expensive only the poor will suffer with it.

The state is not an evil entity; it can make a lot of good things. The state is simply the democratic way of everybody is allowed a voice and power to implement the will of the majority. So in a way the state is an enforcer of population rules on companies so that they are fair, balanced and keep their business honest and transparent.

I believe in a meritocracy but this taken to the extreme you want would create a much fractured society. Humans are different from on another, there are those who have the capacity to reach the top and others don't. Even if everyone would do their best some will always be at the bottom. Thus there would be those swimming in money and those who could barely earn enough to eat - this would be the consequence of laissez-faire; Hong Kong. Also, wealth is often not related to merit, but related to family. Although we all like the stories of the self made man, this doesn't happen often.

Funny you talk about the wine industry in Portugal. I am pleased to hear your opinion of Portuguese wines, and you are correct, there are some very good wines here... and I happen to know them... My previous job was to sell cork stoppers to wine cellars. There are hundreds of wine producers here; most of them are struggling to stay in the market. Most are turning their commercial efforts to sell abroad. Especially to Brazil, China and the USA to survive. I even met an American who was making wine here and he had contacts there... but he was also struggling, there is way too much wine in the world. If you are going to go into the wine business you better have a lot of money to hire a great winemaker to make a great wine. This wine can't be too expensive too... and most important you need to "pay" some magazines and wine critics to promote your wine... At least here in Portugal, winemaking is clearly the "game of the rich" every multimillionaire here has a wine making business.... The good news is that Portugal in these last month’s saw an increase on exports by 35% relative to last year same period! Wine exports share some responsibility for this

One of the best selling wines in the world is the Australian "yellow tail" brand, specially the shiraz. There are good Australian wines, but I must admit they have an artificial flair to them. You see, Europe always held the traditional winemaking, but competitors like Australia and Chile were smart to notice some changes in the consumer and business opportunities by mass producing their wines turning them so cheap that they could compete with European wines.

 

  

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"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:Hong Kong,

Teralek wrote:

Hong Kong, probably is the more laissez-faire city in the world, and a city with profound inequalities. Half of the population is very poor. Government and capital elites don't want to increase social benefits because "it's important to have poverty to encourage people to work, if you don't have a pool of poverty people can't be encouraged to work for low wages"

If you go to http://www.censtatd.gov.hk/hong_kong_statistics/statistics_by_subject/index.jsp?subjectID=2&charsetID=1&displayMode=T you can take a look at some labor stats in Hong Kong. Yes there is a huge disparity, but the real question should be why? When income disparity occurs because highly skilled workers are paid massive sums while those with no skills get paid little, who cares? Should someone who has no education and has no special skills get paid the same as someone who has a good education and specialized skills? I don't think so. You can look at the data, and quickly see that those in the bottom 20% of the population cause the main drag to wages making less than $35/hr. When you look at the numbers by job and education level you will see that only those who have the lowest education levels make less than $35/hr. So rather than blame the evil capitalists, if you want to improve the value and therefore the wages to those workers, perhaps you should be looking at improving the education system. Of course, a certain number of those who are below that $35/hr might be getting paid that while working on getting an education. I do not know how mobile the Hong Kong economy is in that regard, finding reliable stats on it is a bitch. The US is highly mobile, in that many people who are in "poverty" are there while going to school or in an apprenticeship that will lead to a good job. So it looks bad on the poverty stats, but really means nothing.

 

I don't care if income is even approaching equal in an economy. I do not think it is a healthy sign. On the contrary, it can be quite unhealthy because heading towards income equality usually equates to everyone getting closer to the lowest denominator. To me, the ideal economy is one that allows an individual to reach their full potential with minimal artificial blocks in their way. A person does not necessarily need to make a million dollars, but if they have the opportunity to do so should they choose it is good.

 

On the other hand, many people may not choose to dedicate their lives to making money. If a person chooses to work a low level job, making little money and they are happy with that, I don't care. Sure, they are adding to the dreaded income disparity, so what? The question is that if that person decides they want to make more money, do they have to mobility to work hard, be creative and otherwise make themselves valuable enough to earn money and maybe become a business owner themselves. In the US the answer is a clear yes. In Hong Kong, they have a unique situation in that it is a geographically small area that has really high demand for business causing real estate to be ridiculously high priced. With so much external money coming in to buy every decent property on the market, I can see how that would present a challenge for a local worker to buy property. But the answer to this solution is not to destroy what makes Hong Kong attractive to businesses. The answer is to export economic freedom to say China. If China had the same economic laws as Hong Kong it would be far easier for someone to purchase real estate and set up a business as a local because a drastic increase in land area, means increased supply to meet the high demand, means more reasonable prices. 

 

If there is a shortage of grain, the best solution isn't to take grain from everyone who has it and try to spread it around equally. The best solution is to grow some more grain. Only when growing more grain becomes a physical impossibility should you consider other measures. Right now, there is plenty of space on our world to increase economic freedom. 

 

Teralek wrote:

I will concede to you that we need free market to increase wealth but this free entrepreneur must come with some heavy rules and mixed economy so that the huge greed don't torpedoes’ the economy into cataclysm. There is no invisible hand, only the hand of the opulent wanting to crush the working force and turning the world into a big feudal state, on which these capitalist feudal kings dictate the rules. This is the dream of the very big capitalist,

I don't see that. Granted, I don't personally know any billionaires, but I do know and have met many millionaires. Most of them dream of doing what they love to do. People who make that kind of money are in fields they love, doing what they love on a daily basis. Most of them are really compassionate people who love nothing more than when someone who used to work for them makes something of themselves. I hear this stereotype all over except in reality. Sure, there are probably a few scumbags out there who would make themselves rulers if they could. But you see that kind of attitude in non-capitalist systems such as the Saudi's than you do in a system where a billionaire made their money. I don't think Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison or the Waltons have any desire to run a feudal state. But yeah, that is the role of government. If Bill Gates builds an army and uses guns and force to make workers do things or to force someone to purchase Windows 7, government should step in. If workers are voluntarily agreeing to the contract and buyers are voluntarily purchasing the product because they are stupid, government has no role.     

 

Teralek wrote:

I am sure that if both Bush and Obama didn't bailout some companies we would be on another 30's like depression. I don't agree with bailouts but I understand why this was done.

Really? Maybe you could enlighten me. We are in a 30's like depression, the only difference is this time we had a lot more wealth to fall back on. How did the bailout help at all? Who is better off other than a bunch of the Wall Street fat cats? The bailouts and the stimulus package create precisely the feudal like system that you claim Laissez-faire would lead to. Namely, corporations using their money to get the government to use their guns to take tribute from the rest of us for their personal gain. I don't understand why anyone would support it except for those who received the billions. 

 

Teralek wrote:

The state is not an evil entity; it can make a lot of good things. The state is simply the democratic way of everybody is allowed a voice and power to implement the will of the majority. So in a way the state is an enforcer of population rules on companies so that they are fair, balanced and keep their business honest and transparent.

The state in itself is not evil anymore than a gun is evil. It is simply a tool. And, as all tools can be, it is often abused. Those with power will abuse it. If you can learn anything from history you can learn that state tyranny is the rule, not the exception. When there is power, those who desire to will find their way to it and abuse it. The ONLY way to stop that kind of abuse is to have a state with severely limited power and a state with power that is focused on protecting liberties of individuals rather than taking them away. In an ideal world, the state would be set up as the referee, charged with clearing up disputes in a fair manner. The state would have absolutely no ability to favor one side over another. Unfortunately, in the real world, the state routinely chooses one side over another and favors one group of people over another.

 

Teralek wrote:

I believe in a meritocracy but this taken to the extreme you want would create a much fractured society. Humans are different from on another, there are those who have the capacity to reach the top and others don't. Even if everyone would do their best some will always be at the bottom. Thus there would be those swimming in money and those who could barely earn enough to eat - this would be the consequence of laissez-faire; Hong Kong. Also, wealth is often not related to merit, but related to family. Although we all like the stories of the self made man, this doesn't happen often.

True, in any given society there is a certain percentage of people who are incompetent. Because of their circumstances, they are unable to take care of themselves and absolutely no law and no economic system is going to change that. The only thing you can do for those people is provide them with charity. I think charity is best offered through private funds, which are better able to discriminate towards those who really need help, and those trying to "work the system". But, as a practical matter, I have accepted that a certain social "safety net" is going to exist. We have a very extensive one now...but people still bitch about the poor. Guess what? If you are on welfare, social security, disability, food stamps or whatever other handout you damn well better be poor. If you want money, make it. If you are happy poor, stop your bitching. The reality is that there is money and power in class warfare, no matter how much money is funneled through the government to the poor it will never be enough.

 

As for the inheritance, I am sympathetic to an inheritance tax. I am a strong believer that when a person dies 100% of their money should go to charity. However, I do have problems with encouraging government forced charity. I don't like using the government to force anything, and since I fight so hard against others using the government to enforce their morality, it would be hypocritical to try to use it to enforce mine. Although, in a free market most "old money" runs out. Even the largest fortunes in American history are dwindling within only a few generations unless the inheritors effectively took over the business. The Vanderbilts and Rockefeller amassed historic fortunes but those fortunes have dwindled. While still prominent families in the US, they are nowhere near as influential or wealthy as they once were. It is rare for a child raised in a family that wealthy to continue having that kind of success. 

 

Self made man doesn't happen often? In the US it is quite common. The vast majority of businesses are ran by self made men (and women). While reaching the billionaire list is certainly extremely difficult, look at who is on it from the US. Most of them are self made with the obvious exceptions of the Waltons who were direct descendants of a self made man and currently in the process of losing his fortune. But of course, no matter how you cut it and how much income you distribute, only 1% of people are going to be in the top 1%. Less than 10% of the wealth in the top 1% of Americans is inherited. The other 90% is from self made people. 

 

 

Teralek wrote:

Funny you talk about the wine industry in Portugal. I am pleased to hear your opinion of Portuguese wines, and you are correct, there are some very good wines here... and I happen to know them... My previous job was to sell cork stoppers to wine cellars. There are hundreds of wine producers here; most of them are struggling to stay in the market. Most are turning their commercial efforts to sell abroad. Especially to Brazil, China and the USA to survive. I even met an American who was making wine here and he had contacts there... but he was also struggling, there is way too much wine in the world. If you are going to go into the wine business you better have a lot of money to hire a great winemaker to make a great wine. This wine can't be too expensive too... and most important you need to "pay" some magazines and wine critics to promote your wine... At least here in Portugal, winemaking is clearly the "game of the rich" every multimillionaire here has a wine making business.... The good news is that Portugal in these last month’s saw an increase on exports by 35% relative to last year same period! Wine exports share some responsibility for this

One of the best selling wines in the world is the Australian "yellow tail" brand, specially the shiraz. There are good Australian wines, but I must admit they have an artificial flair to them. You see, Europe always held the traditional winemaking, but competitors like Australia and Chile were smart to notice some changes in the consumer and business opportunities by mass producing their wines turning them so cheap that they could compete with European wines.

 

 

I love wine. One of my dreams is to purchase a winery to retire on. And yes, you need a ton of money to invest in an actually winery. Here in the US you need at least $5 million. I wasn't suggesting you start a winery. I was suggesting that you start a company that exports wine. Generally, wineries will pay good money to someone who can hook them up with a series of wine shops for regular shipments. I would think that a person playing the middle man and selling wine to American wine shops and then making sure the proper government paperwork is taken care of could make themselves a decent fortune. Yellow tail has their marketing niche as people who don't know what good wine tastes like. They make their money through sheer numbers through cheap wine in mega marts. I think Portugal could take advantage of a different market, those who enjoy high quality wines but can't afford the snobby $100+ bottle French wines. Even high quality California wines are $50+. It seems to me that a high quality wine offered between $30-$60/bottle would sell well in many American wine shops. Most wine shops around here offer only a few selections from Portugal if they offer any at all. Seems like a lot of money could be made to me. 

  

 

 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Well, once again you

Well, once again you implicitly said that I defend equality in salaries, but that's not the case. It is the huge difference that I find illogical. Many people work their asses out and earn a misery, others work in a relaxed environment and earn loads of money. For example, I think the differences in salaries should not be greater than 30 times and the lowest wage should be enough at least for basic things, like basic housing with sanitation, clothes and food. Hong Kong is far from this and laissez faire capitalism can never attain this. Besides poverty is heavily linked with poor education, thus I support universal education healthcare (state schools and hospitals). So that each person is born equal and can have the same opportunities. Poor people can't go to school many times and when they do they have dysfunctional families, and empty stomach or other priorities than prevents them from learning.

The more unregulated the market is the bigger the disparities in wealth.

There is a difference between incompetence and the effort to work well, even the incompetent deserve to eat and have a house. I'm not talking about those people with mental disabilities or lazy people or people who want to be poor... I am talking about, for example, middle aged illiterate, hard working people with children to feed... There are a lot of hard working people in the world living in misery because of 2 things: greed and excessive worldwide workforce.

I don't see any problem with government enforcing things... Otherwise it would be anarchy! Any law in a given country is effectively government enforcing a certain idea, moral, or will. And every country in the world has laws!! Laws aim to give justice to a given society, or so they should...

About the depression, I think this crisis is very unlike the 30's, and not because of the "money pillow". The bailout was because those companies were to big to fail. If they did they would probably take the entire financial sector with them. That would mean many bank accounts would evaporate, for example. Also I remember seeing pictures of people in the great depression queuing for food in very long files... this did not happened now.

I love wine too! Exporting portuguese wine to the US is a potentially good idea... but I lack the contacts and the know how of exporting... I know the portuguese wine market rather well! I could advise you to some good labels, though you may find it difficult to find many portuguese wines there... Even now I just drank a great white wine for dinner which is about 7-8€!!! Well I think about it when I come back.

Since this may be my last post here until at least 2012, I want to thank you all for the time you spent counter argument my ideas Smiling I had some interesting talks here and found interesting people too! Like Beyond Saving, mellestad and Luminon! See you later! 


 


 


 

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"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:Well, once

Teralek wrote:

Well, once again you implicitly said that I defend equality in salaries, but that's not the case. It is the huge difference that I find illogical. Many people work their asses out and earn a misery, others work in a relaxed environment and earn loads of money. For example, I think the differences in salaries should not be greater than 30 times and the lowest wage should be enough at least for basic things, like basic housing with sanitation, clothes and food. Hong Kong is far from this and laissez faire capitalism can never attain this. Besides poverty is heavily linked with poor education, thus I support universal education healthcare (state schools and hospitals). So that each person is born equal and can have the same opportunities. Poor people can't go to school many times and when they do they have dysfunctional families, and empty stomach or other priorities than prevents them from learning.

The more unregulated the market is the bigger the disparities in wealth.

There is a difference between incompetence and the effort to work well, even the incompetent deserve to eat and have a house. I'm not talking about those people with mental disabilities or lazy people or people who want to be poor... I am talking about, for example, middle aged illiterate, hard working people with children to feed... There are a lot of hard working people in the world living in misery because of 2 things: greed and excessive worldwide workforce.

I don't see any problem with government enforcing things... Otherwise it would be anarchy! Any law in a given country is effectively government enforcing a certain idea, moral, or will. And every country in the world has laws!! Laws aim to give justice to a given society, or so they should...

About the depression, I think this crisis is very unlike the 30's, and not because of the "money pillow". The bailout was because those companies were to big to fail. If they did they would probably take the entire financial sector with them. That would mean many bank accounts would evaporate, for example. Also I remember seeing pictures of people in the great depression queuing for food in very long files... this did not happened now.

I love wine too! Exporting portuguese wine to the US is a potentially good idea... but I lack the contacts and the know how of exporting... I know the portuguese wine market rather well! I could advise you to some good labels, though you may find it difficult to find many portuguese wines there... Even now I just drank a great white wine for dinner which is about 7-8€!!! Well I think about it when I come back.

Since this may be my last post here until at least 2012, I want to thank you all for the time you spent counter argument my ideas Smiling I had some interesting talks here and found interesting people too! Like Beyond Saving, mellestad and Luminon! See you later! 

 

 

Cya around!

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Stewart is a singular talent... no doubt.


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Beyond Saving wrote:The poor

Beyond Saving wrote:
The poor get wealthier when the rich get wealthier because you have to look at what a rich person does with their wealth.


 

 

Trickledown is a lie, dude...

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:Beyond Saving

Kapkao wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:
The poor get wealthier when the rich get wealthier because you have to look at what a rich person does with their wealth.


 

 

 

Trickledown is a lie, dude...

 

Then why is there always a migration of poor people toward areas of wealth creation? Why is the flow of poor immigrants across the Florida straits north and not south?

The fact is there is a trickledown but what ends up happening is you just have more money chasing finite resources. For example, the rich have gotten rich and a lot of poor around the world have become middle class. So the rich buy bigger cars and the poor buy a car for the first time. You end up with more money chasing after the same oil reserves so the gains are eaten away by inflation.

 

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I don't think trickle down

I don't think trickle down is a lie, the idea is just over-stated.  If your goal is income equality or reducing overall poverty, trickle down isn't going to work as well as outright wealth redistribution.

 

It is all about percentages.  Pulling numbers out of my butt, say trickle down increases total wealth by 10% per year and the poor get 1% of that.  In other more socialistic schemes income might only increase by 7%, but the poorer classes might get 50% of that.

 

Income redistribution isn't the goal of trickle down economics, it's a minor side effect that capitalists push to get socialists to shut up.

 

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EXC wrote:Then why is there

EXC wrote:
Then why is there always a migration of poor people toward areas of wealth creation? Why is the flow of poor immigrants across the Florida straits north and not south?

Neither of which are examples of trickledown. (at least of the sort Beyond was making attempting to make a case for)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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mellestad wrote:Income

mellestad wrote:
Income redistribution isn't the goal of trickle down economics, it's a minor side effect that capitalists push to get socialists to shut up.

Touche, Melle

I don't think 'redistributing the wealth' should ever be society's goal, however. My aim is towards meritocracy as realistic as is possible (what Beyond pretends to strive for and what  rednef appears to want)

bla

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:EXC wrote:Then

Kapkao wrote:

EXC wrote:
Then why is there always a migration of poor people toward areas of wealth creation? Why is the flow of poor immigrants across the Florida straits north and not south?

Neither of which are examples of trickledown. (at least of the sort Beyond was making attempting to make a case for)

I've lived through the dot com bubble, the telecom bubble and the housing bubble. People migrated to get in on some of the wealth. The wealth does trickle for a while, then too much greed takes over. Too much competition for a small piece of the pie.

The problem is not entrepreneurship or people wanting to get rich or richer. The problem is sustainability and too wide of a gap in the skills required to deliver products and services in the economy. Which takes up back to our failed education system.

“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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Kapkao wrote:mellestad

Kapkao wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Income redistribution isn't the goal of trickle down economics, it's a minor side effect that capitalists push to get socialists to shut up.

Touche, Melle

I don't think 'redistributing the wealth' should ever be society's goal, however. My aim is towards meritocracy as realistic as is possible (what Beyond pretends to strive for and what  rednef appears to want)

bla

Can you site an example of where the market overpays for one person and unpays another? Why is that the case?

“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:Kapkao

EXC wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Income redistribution isn't the goal of trickle down economics, it's a minor side effect that capitalists push to get socialists to shut up.

Touche, Melle

I don't think 'redistributing the wealth' should ever be society's goal, however. My aim is towards meritocracy as realistic as is possible (what Beyond pretends to strive for and what  rednef appears to want)

bla

Can you site an example of where the market overpays for one person and unpays another? Why is that the case?

Site? Even if you meant cite, I'm not following you...

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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EXC wrote:Kapkao wrote:EXC

EXC wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

EXC wrote:
Then why is there always a migration of poor people toward areas of wealth creation? Why is the flow of poor immigrants across the Florida straits north and not south?

Neither of which are examples of trickledown. (at least of the sort Beyond was making attempting to make a case for)

I've lived through the dot com bubble, the telecom bubble and the housing bubble. People migrated to get in on some of the wealth. The wealth does trickle for a while, then too much greed takes over. Too much competition for a small piece of the pie.

The problem is not entrepreneurship or people wanting to get rich or richer. The problem is sustainability and too wide of a gap in the skills required to deliver products and services in the economy. Which takes up back to our failed education system.

Okkkaaaayyy, I don't necessarily disagree with any of that, but that still has nothing to do with Beyond's trickledown point(that melle addressed quite decisively, albeit for the wrong reasons)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:Site? Even if

Kapkao wrote:

Site? Even if you meant cite, I'm not following you...

Cite an example of where the free market fails. People criticize it, but they rarely have specific examples. When one examines the real cause of economic failure, it's a failure of government intervention in the market, failure of the school systems and overpopulation. I don't think one can come up with a specific example of failure of a free market.

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EXC wrote:Kapkao wrote:Site?

EXC wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

Site? Even if you meant cite, I'm not following you...

Cite an example of where the free market fails. People criticize it, but they rarely have specific examples. When one examines the real cause of economic failure, it's a failure of government intervention in the market, failure of the school systems and overpopulation. I don't think one can come up with a specific example of failure of a free market.

 

Well, that depends on your goals, right?

If your goals are a somewhat smooth wealth distribution curve and low levels of poverty then a person could cite America versus all the more socialistic leaning capitalist nations.  If your goals are gross GDP growth over time, you couldn't cite America.

 

Although, saying the free market fails when the government fails to intervene, the school systems fail and overpopulation exists isn't really fair, is it?  Once you say that you're setting up for a No True Scotsman fallacy where any failure can be attributed to those causes and the idealized free market is forever sacred.

I'd say that would be like me asking you to show me where Communism failed, and it wasn't because of human nature and corrupt leadership Sticking out tongue

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EXC wrote:Can you site an

EXC wrote:

Can you site an example of where the market overpays for one person and unpays another? Why is that the case?

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"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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EXC wrote:Cite an example of

EXC wrote:
Cite an example of where the free market fails.

I'm not saying it fails... I'm saying trickledown isn't an example of it 'winning'

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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mellestad wrote:Although,

mellestad wrote:
Although, saying the free market fails when the government fails to intervene, the school systems fail and overpopulation exists isn't really fair, is it?  Once you say that you're setting up for a No True Scotsman fallacy where any failure can be attributed to those causes and the idealized free market is forever sacred.

I'd say that would be like me asking you to show me where Communism failed, and it wasn't because of human nature and corrupt leadership :P

Ah, the Invisible Hand at work. Communists make the best capitalists, etc.

Again, "fairness" (of circumstances) isn't one of the goals of the free market. Yes, I realize that puts me at odds with 95% of RRS.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:mellestad

Kapkao wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Although, saying the free market fails when the government fails to intervene, the school systems fail and overpopulation exists isn't really fair, is it?  Once you say that you're setting up for a No True Scotsman fallacy where any failure can be attributed to those causes and the idealized free market is forever sacred.

I'd say that would be like me asking you to show me where Communism failed, and it wasn't because of human nature and corrupt leadership :P

Ah, the Invisible Hand at work. Communists make the best capitalists, etc.

Again, "fairness" (of circumstances) isn't one of the goals of the free market. Yes, I realize that puts me at odds with 95% of RRS.

 

Well, the goal of any given economic system seems to depend entirely on whom you are speaking with, so I don't disagree with that at all.  Like I said, define a goal, then you can choose a metric and attempt some sort of objective analysis.

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mellestad wrote:Kapkao

mellestad wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Although, saying the free market fails when the government fails to intervene, the school systems fail and overpopulation exists isn't really fair, is it?  Once you say that you're setting up for a No True Scotsman fallacy where any failure can be attributed to those causes and the idealized free market is forever sacred.

I'd say that would be like me asking you to show me where Communism failed, and it wasn't because of human nature and corrupt leadership :P

Ah, the Invisible Hand at work. Communists make the best capitalists, etc.

Again, "fairness" (of circumstances) isn't one of the goals of the free market. Yes, I realize that puts me at odds with 95% of RRS.

 

Well, the goal of any given economic system seems to depend entirely on whom you are speaking with, so I don't disagree with that at all.  Like I said, define a goal, then you can choose a metric and attempt some sort of objective analysis.

dictionary wrote:
an economic system that allows supply and demand to regulate prices, wages, etc, rather than government policy

That is the goal... and I can't imagine a more self-explanatory one than the above.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:mellestad

Kapkao wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Although, saying the free market fails when the government fails to intervene, the school systems fail and overpopulation exists isn't really fair, is it?  Once you say that you're setting up for a No True Scotsman fallacy where any failure can be attributed to those causes and the idealized free market is forever sacred.

I'd say that would be like me asking you to show me where Communism failed, and it wasn't because of human nature and corrupt leadership :P

Ah, the Invisible Hand at work. Communists make the best capitalists, etc.

Again, "fairness" (of circumstances) isn't one of the goals of the free market. Yes, I realize that puts me at odds with 95% of RRS.

 

Well, the goal of any given economic system seems to depend entirely on whom you are speaking with, so I don't disagree with that at all.  Like I said, define a goal, then you can choose a metric and attempt some sort of objective analysis.

dictionary wrote:
an economic system that allows supply and demand to regulate prices, wages, etc, rather than government policy

That is the goal... and I can't imagine a more self-explanatory one than the above.

That isn't the goal, that's the method.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Teralek wrote:I love wine

Teralek wrote:

I love wine too! Exporting portuguese wine to the US is a potentially good idea... but I lack the contacts and the know how of exporting... I know the portuguese wine market rather well! I could advise you to some good labels, though you may find it difficult to find many portuguese wines there... Even now I just drank a great white wine for dinner which is about 7-8€!!! Well I think about it when I come back.

Since this may be my last post here until at least 2012, I want to thank you all for the time you spent counter argument my ideas Smiling I had some interesting talks here and found interesting people too! Like Beyond Saving, mellestad and Luminon! See you later! 

I always appreciate tips on good wine if I know a wine is good enough I will go through the effort to find it. Good luck and I'll see you when you get back if I am still around. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Kapkao wrote:mellestad

Kapkao wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Income redistribution isn't the goal of trickle down economics, it's a minor side effect that capitalists push to get socialists to shut up.

Touche, Melle

I don't think 'redistributing the wealth' should ever be society's goal, however. My aim is towards meritocracy as realistic as is possible (what Beyond pretends to strive for and what  rednef appears to want)

bla

 

What's with the "pretends"? I'm not sure if I should be offended by that or not.

 

Societies goal ought to be to protect individuals from other individuals that attempt to use coercion. Ironically, it takes coercion (government) to do that. I believe group coercion should be as minimal as possible. I see government as a necessary evil so that individuals can operate with some reasonable assurance that they will not be robbed, killed, raped, defrauded etc. The problem is that the government can be used to rob, kill, rape and defraud. My main concern is how much of America (and the modern democratic world) have accepted the governments power to rob and kill as not only a legitimate power but one that there is a moral duty for government to exercise. We also seem to be increasingly tolerant when the government commits fraud because it has become accepted that "everyone does it" in DC. Just because every does it, does not mean they should have the power to.

 

Laissez-faire capitalism is the result of having a government that has extremely limited power.  

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Kapkao wrote:Beyond Saving

Kapkao wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:
The poor get wealthier when the rich get wealthier because you have to look at what a rich person does with their wealth.

 

 

 

Trickledown is a lie, dude...

 

 

Any evidence with that? Where does my argument break down? 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Red wines:EA; Cartuxa

Red wines:

EA; Cartuxa (reserve); Foral Evora; Pera Manca (bit expensive...)
Borba premium
Herdade do Sobroso (Cellar Sellection);  
Most wines from http://cortesdecima.com/ are good.
Monte da Cal... and many other top wines from http://www.daosul.com/en
Herdade do perdigão reserva http://www.herdadeperdigao.pt/
http://www.winedouro.com/
...

White wines:

http://www.ervideira.pt/ (the top wines)
http://www.adegavidigueira.com.pt/produtos_EN.php (Vila de Frades and Vila dos Gamas Antão vaz)
Foral de Evora
Dourosa

Sparkling wines:

http://pt.adegga.com/wine/AVIN9717802396910-raposeira-velha-reserva-bruto-1999

Port wines:

Vintage from Ferreira; Ramos Pinto; Offley; Burmester.

 

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:Red wines:EA;

Teralek wrote:

Red wines:

EA; Cartuxa (reserve); Foral Evora; Pera Manca (bit expensive...)
Borba premium
Herdade do Sobroso (Cellar Sellection);  
Most wines from http://cortesdecima.com/ are good.
Monte da Cal... and many other top wines from http://www.daosul.com/en
Herdade do perdigão reserva http://www.herdadeperdigao.pt/
http://www.winedouro.com/
...

White wines:

http://www.ervideira.pt/ (the top wines)
http://www.adegavidigueira.com.pt/produtos_EN.php (Vila de Frades and Vila dos Gamas Antão vaz)
Foral de Evora
Dourosa

Sparkling wines:

http://pt.adegga.com/wine/AVIN9717802396910-raposeira-velha-reserva-bruto-1999

Port wines:

Vintage from Ferreira; Ramos Pinto; Offley; Burmester.

 

 

Thank you, I have printed the list and will keep an eye out for these. A little internet search proved that they may be hard to find in the states! But Cortes de Cima is available at The Spanish Table, a very fine wine shop in Berkeley, California that I have been to before. They actually have a decent selection of wines from both Spain and Portugal. So I can at least guarantee I will try that one. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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There are more, but I would

There are more, but I would have to look for them. You can also ask for my advice from a selection of portuguese wines, but I'd recommend you email me for that... 

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Beyond Saving wrote:What's

Beyond Saving wrote:
What's with the "pretends"? I'm not sure if I should be offended by that or not.

Probably shouldn't; it's the internet, I didn't insult you personally, etc. However I left most of my train of thought behind all this earlier today.

My gripe is with the individuals and organizations you stand behind -they are certainly pro-coercion. That's all..

Quote:
Any evidence with that? Where does my argument break down?

It doesn't break down, as it isn't even an argument so much as a bald assertion that doesn't base itself in fact. Granted, numerous eggheads have re-examined trickledown theory since 'Horse and sparrow' days.

Evidence?

"I'm close to the top, and I ain't sharing my sandwich."

I have no problems with that, though. If I had busted my ass trying to crawl out of being at the bottom of the financial food chain, I'd be more than a little protective of my success as well.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)